Thinking there’s something that I should write that goes with this and I’m thinking that I don’t know what it is, but I can feel it in the muscles of my face, my arms, I can feel it tight around the core of my body. It feels lean, with comprehension. What I want to write, feels like all the things we don’t want to say, or the things we don’t want to do, but know must get done. It feels like all the cold rays of dawn that I rounded the corner into on my way to anywhere but where I was supposed to go, cupping my hands around a cigarette, putting that distance between me and the pain, every day, with a kind of guts that came from I don’t know where. It feels like all the things I knew that others didn’t, it feels like the difference between me, and, everyone, that isn’t any difference at all. It feels like all the indirect looks exchanged with other beings that blur those lines of separation, those knowing moments that say, “Yeah, I let some hurt in too.”
It feels like sorry.
Not the kind of sorry that gets thrown around, on the run. Not the kind of sorry that is about anyone else, or what anyone else might think. The kind of sorry that comes with knowing what you’ve done, or knowing what someone else has done, with knowing what sorry, actually means. The kind of understanding of “sorry” that happens with maturity, with understanding the world, and the word, differently, or, finally, and, again.
It feels like dig down deep until I’m feasting on that lean. The leaves crunching under the soles of my boots. I think about how many miles I used to walk, sometimes ten plus a day, because I didn’t have a car, from one side of town to the other. Think about when I had two jobs and had to walk to, because I had two broke down cars, neither of which was worth fixing. I think about how long it has been since then, and it has been a long time. I think about how there’s all different kinds of lean. There are pantries full of food, means to get more, and there’s still a kind of starving, but that’s not as lean as not having any real food. I’ve known that lean too. There are starving hearts, starving minds, starving lungs, and starving bellies. There’s the old saying, standing knee-deep in a river, and dying of thirst.
There are starving souls.
It feels like, I quit smoking more than a decade ago and despite several attempts at starting again, it’s yet to take, the quitting or the starting again, but I still think I want a cigarette sometimes, bad. Those cigarettes used to accentuate the lean, because walking everywhere wasn’t enough to burn it off, all that tension. It feels like being right on the edge of it. Like this guy I used to know and the way he used to smoke too, the way he leaned against buildings like he was holding them up, the way he’d just leave, without saying anything to anyone, decide to go, and, go, and that was just him. He was right on the edge of it, all the time. But then, you don’t smoke anymore, because that’s evolution, when you know better than, and you’re no better than anyone else. Maybe you’re just having a good day.
It feels like, I used to think, if people could just see, you know? And it was the sound of my youth, that belief and that hope and that want, that if people could just understand. It’s crossing that bridge to knowing that some people do, see, understand, and know, and remembering, it’s not about what they see, and it never was. It feels like so many things that were so long ago, and you think you’re passed it, and I thought I was passed it, and you realize, none of us ever really is, on any given day, that’s just the luck of the draw. Sooner or later, life actually happens to most of us.
It feels like letting the hurt in,
because looking at it sidelong, won’t heal it.
It feels like letting go.