Monday, May 2, 2016

Hard.


The world is a cruel place. That is unalterable truth. It can and will break us; like a broken bone, some of us will heal neatly, smoothly, with nary a hint of a seam. A few will callus, calcify and harden, bracing ourselves for the next hit and promising to hold strong. The rest will be a mixture -- a long-forgotten seam here, an aching pain there, stiffening just a little.

There are few moments anymore that I allow myself to soften. Like a darkened, stuffy room, there are rare times I permit anything more than a sliver of sunshine in through the curtains for fear that the dust will object.

I couldn't tell you how I got here. If asked, I would be unable to draw a map, but I suspect it has something to do with the volcanic rage that boils over and down before hardening into a razor-edged stone. It's probably less about anger, though, and more about sadness. Regret, combined with time, has a way of evolving into bitterness. 

There have been too few apologies at this point. Where does the way back begin? The dead may very well carry our secrets into the grave with them, but those left behind get to live with everything never said. We can offer up platitudes and throw emotional trinkets in the bucket labeled 'loss', but when the bucket is full, does one just pile it on? After all, it's a trash can glued to the floor. 

The window for a potential apology closed tightly in November. Sealed off, the memories are tinged with moldy regret. Whatever sweetness lay in possible forgiveness is gone, and what's left is a deep, simmering sorrow that blames circumstance for my lack of courage. Time doesn't heal all things if time runs out. 

Years of cowardice will infect a soul, and like a cancer, it eats its way through vital organs until the host has nothing left.