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  • Writer's picturecocodensmore

Surely I will die. Nothing can be this painful and not kill you. Nothing.

May 5, 2018 Louisville

No one around here celebrates Cinco de Mayo. It’s all about Derby. I am a stranger in a very strange land.

It’s at night when it really hits me full force. The weight in my chest is unbearable. Grief turned physical. I try to distract myself. Watch a movie. But this time it’s not working. I text Frank, tell him he’s wonderful. I wonder why I do that. He is wonderful. But I think I’m telling him that so he’ll stay hooked. I don’t want to lose him. He’s not what I want but he’s all I have.

It isn’t all Jeff. He’s only a sliver. I’ve come undone. I’m grasping at nothing, air. I can feel nothing. Flailing my arms about, like I’m in a dark room and I’m feeling for anything substantial so I can know where I am, so I can orient.

I think of my mother. I think perhaps I’ll not see her before she dies. It’s been over two years. I feel lost to her, she lost to me. She, my only close family.

There’s also Jayne. But she’s far away. Lost in her youth, lost in the joy of her youth.

And there’s Paisley. So young, so beautiful, full of promise, all golden with good things lain out before her. She will have all good things. She owns who she is. She will achieve whatever she wants.

I sent Paisley the London blue sapphire. One of only two rings of value I haven’t sold. Why did I send it to her? Because I want her to have it in case I die. Before I die. Surely I will die. Nothing can be this painful and not kill you. Nothing.

Tears well up. I try not to wail; it troubles the cats. Especially Chloe. She sits on the ottoman next to me, close to me, and stares at me. When I notice her, I force myself calm. I allow the tears to run down my face, noiselessly. Rivulets. Flowing. Endless. I try not to shake and sob. I try. But sometimes I fail and I wail. Pain overcomes my inside, and I wail. It is indeed a harrowing sound, even to me.

I feel like a child. And the adults that are responsible for me, for keeping me safe, for giving me a sense of belonging, of worth, they are all gone. They’ve left me. I realize I’m supposed to be a grown up, capable of taking care of myself. I’m more than past my mid-point in life. But still I feel I cannot be alone and survive. That the world is too ugly and my life is too painful to survive. I’m unprotected.

It’s me against even me. I’m my own bitter antagonist. I wrestle with my spirit, with my very soul, like Jacob wrestled with the angel. I demand my blessing from my innermost person. But nothing comes.

I put my hip out. I cripple my own self. I cannot walk straight. I cannot walk the path of my existence in a straight line. I leave the road to my destiny; I meander off into the darkness of my own mind. I have completely lost my way. I am terrified.

"Where the fuck is bottom? Where the motherfucking fuck is bottom?" -Amy, Hello I Must be Going

Photo by Gary Yost on Unsplash



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