My brother’s fake glasses and me; a memoir.
I’ve built castles on crumbling foundations. I’ve written stories with leaking pens obscuring half the words I’ve choked onto paper. I’ve typed correct lists of awkward Nordic and Nerd names for soap opera characters on pages stapled together and stuffed into important desk files without labels. I’ve built ideals on the principle of not getting killed by serial killers. I’ve lived an ethos unconnected with the granite weight of real life. I’ve built paper houses on anthills full of fire. I’m not going to say any of it was easy, I never took an easy step in my life. I’m not going to say I ever reached for perfection, I never did a perfect thing my whole life.
I’m asking for more time for the first time in my life. I’m a fucking mess and I’m not quite ready to fix myself. Feels like I’ve got things to do first, ghosts to counsel, wrongs to consider, and I need my scaffolding left alone long enough to get there without breaking every bone in my body first. I never wanted more time before like I want it now. It occurs to me that this might be how every person about to die has felt throughout the history of humankind. Nothing special here, nothing new in this spyglass of mine looking across my imaginary kingdom of possibilities. I’ve never been less healthy in my life and never wanted more desperately to stay alive. You’d think this was where I rise up with my tracksuit and sweat and take back my heart, lungs, and liver. You’d think this was the moment in the movie of my life where I shoot my vascular system full of oxygen and glory.
It’s not. I’ve never been here before and I’m not okay. I’m writing a new script for my hopes and in it I get to live long enough to live longer because I haven’t finished my business here. There are people who need me to help hold the floods back, to help chain the devil to the cracking walls long enough for them to run to where not even God can find them. I’m the witness protection program for fallen angels, defunct carrier pigeons, and people like me.
I’ve built relationships on wooden prayer beads from homeless men collected at the corner of Seventh and Market Street when I was sixteen years old. I’ve built my philosophy on the shirtless backs of beetles that excavate living skeletons for rotted marrow. It’s how I see into human hearts through to the valves that pump even when the muscles cramp with sorrow. I see your sorrow and raise you an ache. I can extend you the promise that you’re going to live through this until you don’t. I am oracle. I am diminished hope. I am your everything at three in the morning. I’m what’s left of you after the floods.
I don’t want to die until I’m better than I am today. No one can help me. Can’t always get off the knees of this grief. Not when new souls lean onto them with the weight of love and sorrow before the old ones have taken flight. If they ever do. (They never do.) These knees crush under the weight of everyone’s story needing remembrance. I can’t hold everyone in here, can’t hold everyone so fucking high every day when my scaffolding is so crowded someone is always falling. I’m always falling off my own towers of faith.
Thinking about Ezekiel and Sonya tonight. Please, don’t anyone else I love die for a while, okay?