December 28, 2006
I need to cry. I can feel it under the surface of my eyelids, in every breath I take when I’m alone, in the music that swells me until the cage of my skin digs into my soul. I can feel it in the deadness all around me: muted colors, muscles stiff from forgotten Laughter.
The message on my cell is from E. I don’t answer it because…
…I’m too sad and there’s nothing she can do about it and I don’t want her to feel helpless, and then feel frustrated with me for being such a chore, for being such a downer, for not responding to her effort.
…I don’t want to lie and pretend I’m happy when I’m not, but I don’t want her to get tired of me so pretending might be the only thing I can do.
…she’ll try to cheer me up and I don’t want to be cheered up, I want to cry, I need to cry, and if I don’t I might explode, might, implode, might curl up and die, might stay in this moment forever.
…she might not try to cheer me up.
…she might not be interested in my sadness at all, and might want to talk about suitcases or plans or Things that people do, Things that she will do, and Times when she will do these Things, and I might be holding my breath the whole time and in the end I might feel disconnected to the one person I love above all others, and that would be devastating.
And this is how it starts, caught up in my own shit, I make decisions for other people that are not my right to make. But I am afraid. I am afraid that they will not choose me, even if they have chosen me a thousand times before. I become afraid that they will choose me, and that they’ll regret their choice. This is how it starts, the Game You Cannot Win. Is it insecurity or loneliness, or perhaps a combination of the two?
I know all the answers. I know I should call her back. I know that whatever a given moment brings, E. will not leave me. I know I need to reach past the fear and get out on the limb and try.
But most of all, I know I need to cry. Until I do, I will be afraid of the rising waters, of drowning in the hollow of my own heart. The tears will set me free. I know that.
But the water rises nonetheless.