Confessions Of An Aching Heart
I’m slipping. Slipping and sliding more than a seven-year-old in the summer sun. I can’t seem to get my footing right, and I’m starting to wonder if it’s just easier to stay face first in the pooled up water.
I’m tired. Dog-tired. Bone-tired. Dead-tired. Used up. Drained out. Spent. My eyelids are like two arms full of groceries on my face. Heavy. And the handles on the bags are beginning to snap.
I’m aching. My limbs are in a constant state of emergency. The muscles in my back are calling “all hands on deck!” as the engine catches fire and this vessel begins to sink. Panic. Spasm. “Captain, we’re going down.”
I’m afraid. All the time, afraid. As if fear and I were handcuffed together by some well-meaning adult that merely wanted us to learn to get along. Only, the key is lost, and fear swallowed the well-meaning adult whole. So now it’s just me and fear—engorged and full and stuck in these shackles until the key is located or until fear has enough of me and swallows me whole, too.
I’m lonely. Stuck in a glass display case. Surrounded by crystal, and tokens collected from travels, and all the other things people don’t want anyone to touch. An oddity. A rare thing. “This doesn’t happen to people. What a sight!” Everything in here is cold and lifeless, and I think that perhaps, I am supposed to be those things as well if I am to live here.
I’m impatient. Pass me the plate because mama needs to get it while it’s hot. If waiting were a piping venti caramel macchiato, I would burn my tongue every time on its frothy, smooth magma.
I’m insecure. Acutely aware of my physical and mental state. Swollen and sunken and sullen, and all alliteration aside, utterly unsure of myself. Positively sure that I’m struggling to love the woman in the mirror. God forbid she be enough just as she is.
I’m lost. Mapless, deep in the woods. The trees stretch so high that they block any sunlight from reaching my face. Their shadows, hovering, create darkness and a chill in the air. I walk circles around them, desperately searching for an opening. For a pocket of light.
I’m torn. A fish caught on two lines. One hook in my left cheek, the other in my right. Trapped in two worlds, pulling me separate directions. Neither will release their lines, and it feels as though I will rip in two from their persistent yanking.
I’m desperate. Frantically shoving my remaining chips to the center of the green felt table in a last-ditch effort to turn my luck around. All in. All I’ve got. The smokey room falls silent as the dice roll. There are six ways to roll seven and thirty alternative outcomes. The odds stacked against me, but I know I have to win. I have to win. This is all that I have left in me.
I’m reaching. Hanging from the edge of a cliff and trying with all my might to extend an arm far enough to grab the hand that waits for me. I swing my body back and forth for momentum because I can’t, I won’t die here on the ledge.
I’m trying. A baby learning to walk. Using my strength to pull my body into a standing position before bravely venturing one foot in front of the other. I fall, and I rise, and I keep pressing forward with each tiny step.
I’m hopeful. Sitting on the cusp of this storm and I can see faint colors of a rainbow in the distance. As the clouds shift and the downpour softens, her bright hues seep through the gloom and offer faith of something brilliant, just on the horizon. And I think, maybe, just maybe, if I can survive this—then I can hop on her arches and slide over the rainbow to a new tomorrow.