Taking Shelter

It’s been another year. Let me pull you gently now and take one last look. You are vibrant and gorgeous, and your mind is insanely cool. But you say, “I am trying to be you, but I am not you,” and your hands are too cold and don’t remember how to rub together, and your legs are restless and follow imaginary circles on the kitchen floor. And I swear I don’t know what the fuck to say to that.
“You stayed kind, smart, loving and badass, and your writing is like candy floss for the brain, and your raw and unfiltered is magical and meaningful,” is what I want to use on you already, because it’s a bunch of beautiful truths that should soothe your soul. But that wand wouldn’t work either. When your cup is empty, it’s really empty. And right now all you seem to have is the handfuls of moments like pebbles in your palms that stayed, when the rest slipped through your fingers like sand.
I told you to hold on to them. I told you that locking away the pain will also lock away your capacity for love and aliveness. I told you that there are others messy hearted like you in this world. I told you, you feel like sunshine after rain, I told you, you look like a piece of magic. I told you, I like the thought of you, you make my mind feel beautiful. I told you about calmer, softer times, I told you, “Listen, I love you, joy is coming.” I told you, “I believe in you. Go.” But you are here, looking back at me.
I can’t speak to you when you don’t believe in yourself.
You hid them all in a box I catch a glimpse of. The paint peeling off it makes it look like a metal band logo, faded and stretched out. I know. You want everything to be more than just an instant; of everything. You don’t want to make any more memories with people you’ll soon be trying hard to forget. You stand in the shadows of their hearts and tell them you’re not afraid of the dark, even when you can’t see a damn thing. You follow your heart like a compass even if it doesn’t always point North, and look at where you are now. I know, I know, I know.
I’d love to tell you that those pebbles aren’t all made of darkness, that they are memories of you facing fear after fear after freedom, adrenaline slowly creeping into your bones, and moments of “I’ve never told anyone that before,” or “I never thought I’d be able to do this,” or “I think I may yell back now,” or “Here I am. Here I stay,” because you would glow. But – how do I say this – I love you but I’m done trying to force breath into a dead thing’s mouth.
They say that people with the biggest hearts have the worst tempers, because they are passionate about every aspect in life. What about you? With your arms wrapped around your knees like that, how many times can you rekindle? Despite the certain dark and romantic glamour, where there used to be fires now there’s only ash. I recognise this look. We’re not alive, not anymore. I would be talking to myself, and you would’t listen. Try again tomorrow.
I climb the porch steps, sit down and wait. The night is over for us, the trees are dead, the stars burn out. But the way it was light and then suddenly, it wasn’t, doesn’t scare me. If we have one thing in common still is that we are never afraid of the dark. Our heart fireworks over and over, even if sometimes this means missing the thunder in the dark. I picture adding a cigarette to my free hand and how perfect the scene would be, even when half of me is done for the day and the other half is picking up the pieces. I will always pick up the pieces.

Love, all my storms

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