It hit especially hard this morning.
It’s been a a good long while since it has happened. The weight of the past crushing me while I sat in my car waiting for the light to change to green. All because I took a minute to examine my surroundings. The neighborhood hit with gentrification. All the old replaced with new.
The burger place was now a bank. The corner pharmacy now empty, a For Lease sign clinging to the storefront, dusty and tattered. I knew this area once. Long ago, another life, a homeless teen sharing a basket of fries with the other delinquents. Lifting bags of chips and hygiene products from across the street.
I drove past the alley I slept in.
Before I learned that my body was a commodity that could be exchanged for a night out of the cold.
All the independent coffee shops with the bottomless cups keeping me/us warm during the long days…gone.
I felt my eyes welling.
I tried to shake the shadows off.
I kept driving. Taking deep breaths. Fighting against the rising tide of panicked sadness. And then I saw the greasy spoon I took my first child to when he was still in diapers. Yet another version of myself that I couldn’t bear to be reminded of. A young mother who knew nothing of receiving unconditional love but poured herself into loving a child she could barely care for and knowing it. Letting him reside with his father because she didn’t have her shit together enough to provide for him the way he deserved.
Drinking until the guilt faded into the next sick hungover morning.
The guilt turning into feelings of being unworthy.
Being unworthy turning to multiple attempts of suicide.
I always failed.
Because at my core, I was a coward. I didn’t want to live. But I was afraid of dying.
The pall was enveloping me quick.
My cheeks were wet with tears. This city, which I had tried to run from before, was bombarding me with all the things I had tucked away so neatly. Or so I thought. My mistakes, failings, friendships, loves, heartbreaks – my heart was flooded, drowning. No use now. So I succumbed to the tide pulling me under.
Sobbing, I thought of you.
How we were going to “make new memories to replace the old”.
There is no such thing.
The old will always resurface. Intertwined, reminding of us of who we were. What we have been through. We can be grateful that we have progressed. We have transcended the previous models. I am Me, Model 273. Maybe. I don’t know, I’ve lost track of the many skins I’ve shed. I just know that I will continue to evolve and that soon, the places and time we shared together will eventually join the rest.
Another shadow following me until I stop moving.
it’s the way…
of one’s own making
as lucidity fades
of the sun
becomes a dense,
all that is left
on the morrow
Swallowing gulps of
I had a life jacket
Ripped it off
It kept me from swimming
I just needed to keep afloat
I will never
The Sun Rise
I did this to myself
how wretched this predicament and how stinging the pain wrenching deep down into the place where i would run to be happy – to find an escape from the seduction of agony and her silky wiles of indigo blue dank
she follows it follows
and i might finally be done
how gorgeous this spot becomes – i just never before noticed the velvet of the violet hues – so vibrant – and how strange that this isn’t really my place anymore…. it has transformed into something completely different
in the corner a crumpled mass of sorts – what a marring sight to the dark beguiling magnificence of my secret grotto – beige and malformed it taunts me with its ugliness but i am too distracted to approach
i don’t want to know
how completely in awe i am that i begin to spin and spin and spin until the blues and purples become nothing but a hazy canvas and i am the center or maybe the circle on the right – perhaps the ? on the bottom left
i am everywhere and anywhere – nowhere – and i collapse into a pool of crimson that i soon realize is nothing but a river of my past’s tears that has collected into a quicksand pit around my feet and i begin to sink and sink and
the beige mass – crumpled deformity raises what i think might be its head but i can’t see past the thick of the deep maroon
all i hear is silence and my breath as it rasps swallowing my gargled delirious sobs
I’m not fond of it. And it’s something I can never put my finger on. I can be having quite the innocuous day – somewhat pleasant, fairly uneventful, nothing out of the ordinary will have occurred – when I am just dealt the most sucker of punches to my emotional sternum. I feel my mental legs buckling beneath me, slipping into the wash of melancholy, muddy and oppressive.
I am hit with the Sad.
A Bushel of Blegh.
You could lay at my feet all the smiles and laughter that had just been bouncing about, deliver happy chirps of well-meaning pick-me-up cliches, wrap me in the Tomorrow Is Another Day positivity that you keep handy for occasions such as these…
They will all be shunned.
Not because I don’t want any of those and more.
Not because I enjoy the depressing descent into Debbie Downerville.
I will ruin every last bit of bright and shiny you give me. I will dejectedly demolish every grin and chuckle with my clumsy clompy feet. Accidentally muffle and strangulate the once vibrant twittering of good intentions. I will shred to pieces the shawl of optimism, never a chance to warm against the shivering dankness of the dark.
I would rather you keep those bits to yourself. Keep every last piece intact. Protect each one from my awkwardly ambling slippery with the Sad self.
I may be a dumpy mess, but I am not a monster.
with bated breath
i have waited
gave my mind to death
with eyes tight shut
i fell and fell
bruised, banged and cut
asleep with fists
fighting my thirsts
oh how i would miss
being this cursed