I like to bury my past in mental closets. Sometimes I pack it in boxes that I label with shame. But more often than not it’s disorganized. Piles of junk that I shove away. I put Shame on the door so I know not to go back. And I tell myself that I can not afford to see any of it, lest I am infected by the contagion. The disorganization gnaws quietly away in the back of my mind. Just more thing to remind me I’m not good enough. Even at hiding from myself. And so Shame has become the Cerberus that guards the library of my past.
It was surrender.
It was like giving way to possession. Giving way to a higher power. Allowing a spiritual force far greater than myself take control and command me.
He shrugged it off like a high school fantasy. But what did he know?
I was sunk.
Burned with holy fire.
And he could only dream it was just about him.
If it brings you peace, habibi, dream on.
But there were those moments when I heard a song, when someone mentioned a word, when I caught a smell, and my fingers dug into the steering wheel or the glass I was holding or into my palm. And no matter how much I hated him. No matter how much of a fool, or a coward, or an ass, or a child, or an idiot he was.
I loved him.
And, God, it might be the death of me.
It was as if I were staring at shattered glass. Every piece reflected a different angle of the same reality, but no matter how many I examined nothing could help me put them back together into something whole or conclusive.
But sometimes the truth is like that. Shattered, varied and impossible to grasp, at least not without cutting yourself.
I don’t know how to live my life anymore, between loss, abuse and opportunity I am a kite lost in the wind. I am at the end of my rope, but the height of my opportunity. And here I am, taut. Stretched to my limit. Terrified I might snap. So ready to be home, to be safe and then.
I didn’t think I’d feel again.
Not after everything.
Especially not after him.
Am I feeling again?
Or am I taking hold of you just to survive?
Are you a certainty? Or another wave in vastness of experience and opportunity?
I didn’t think anything could make me want to stay here. And yet.
Why do you make my world stop in its tracks?
And am I a fool for even being caught in your gaze?
And compounding in on me were the countless reminders that I would never be good enough. Too talkative, too open, too bold.
“I’d like to point out that your age gap will be a disadvantage. It makes it difficult to relate.”
“She’s like you, but she doesn’t get overly excited about things.”
“What with the age gap and. . .”
“I know a heck of a lot more than you do. It’s no offense to you, but it’s just the way it is because I am older.”
“You need to realize he’s older than you and therefore his wisdom is much deeper than yours.”
“Ah yes, he knows that wisdom comes with age.”
“When you get older you’ll realize. . .”
“Have you ever considered someone your age?”
As if my age kept me from seeing right through them.
As if they really believed they were more mature.
As if age were a garuntee of wisdom.
Because youth is blindness. Because youth means naïveté.
Because age is equal to worthiness.
An insult you will never grow out of, because you will always be younger than its giver.
Sometimes I believe that love is the most bitter poison of all. Something you cannot run from, cannot kill, cannot drown out. It promises all the power to heal. Yes, it has that. But will it make good on its word?
Hope. The bitter thorn in the flesh.
Love is unforgiving. No amount of reason can dismiss it. No logic can sway it. No record of the pain it has caused can dissuade it. No. It stands. Brutal. Cold. Absolute.
In rejection it will not let go. And in death it is only hardened, more resolute than ever it was in life.