There are times in life when you have to follow your instincts for the long haul. When you have to eschew everyone’s anecdotes and calculate your own experience against the wall of human experience. When you have to ask the hard questions and push when everyone else says to pull. When you look in the mirror and see what you’ve become and don’t have time to be depressed because you’ve become exactly what your child needs. When you have to believe your dreams even when no one else can see them with the clarity you do. Or at all.
Ultimately I still believe that truth sets us all free. Free to feel the pain we have a right to feel. Free to behave badly when the ax brushes our throats. Free to thumb for rides into a universe of danger and adventure. Free to eat meager words of encouragement for sustenance. Free to not die of heartache or fear. Free to embrace our freak while simultaneously finding our tribe so we don’t feel so alone in the dark.
I know what I am. I know who I am. I see people with a painful clarity that I know is reflective of the truths they think no one can see. The truths they need to believe that no one understands, and I always play along. I cling to hopes for them I have no right to cling to. I wrap wings around them that I burnt when I was thirteen years old that have become vaporous with memory and disuse.
I am the fattest person I know. I’m wearing my shadow life on my bones. I would apologize for my size if I wasn’t so busy holding so many people up. If I wasn’t so busy trying to find the numb calm the knife used to give me. I have had less to drink than I want and am coddling a hot cup of tea and telling myself it holds my burdens for me.
It doesn’t. That’s just a lie I’m telling myself tonight.
Never mind the noise.
Never mind the ash.
There are times in life when you have to follow your instincts for the long haul. When every aphorism is trying to fix you to the wall with industrial strength adhesive – pinning you to the Devil’s own inspiration board. When everyone is trying to shill their religion because you are bent with pain and vulnerable to their promises of light. Because they see your half-life and think they can outlive it.