…and maybe should stay there.
I have gone through those break-ups that deflate you, suffered losses in which you know you will never stop missing the person as long as you exist on the planet and they do not. I have physically hurt to the point of tears, curses, and moans–all of which are a relatively uncommon phenomenon in my life.
I know the numbness that hovers about and then follows the pain; pain in which you feel your skin–I wrote this once when I could find no reasonable fix–is turned inside out. Pain without a beginning or end.
Pain is a solitary act. A lonely beast of a burden. For no one can feel it but you. Others can know it; can see it on you; have had their own and therefore can empathize with yours. But it is your coat to wear, and if you’re lucky, discard even if you are forced to smell it after it has long grown musty and useless.
Just remember: anyone who says they share pain with you is exaggerating the truth.
Vulnerability is not something I easily admit to but lately, well, I find no use in my shame and frankly, am pretty much out of room to store all the coats. Here’s how it looks: I am unnaturally exhausted; impatient and grumpy; and generally like tonight: I am not good.
Tonight I am not good because I have worn my skin as an incompetent and apparently incendiary shield too long–the entirety of my time on the planet. It may as well be inside out because it is not protection for me and besides has been rubbed raw by every weapon that has come against it for no other reason than it is my skin.
Tonight, Jordan Davis would be about to get, or maybe getting, “turnt up” for his 19th birthday. Or maybe he would be eating dinner at a restaurant with his family or with his girlfriend.
Jordan wore skin like mine in what is apparently one of the worst states in the Union to wear it. So he won’t be doing any of that. He’s dead.
He was probably as unaware as the students I teach of how fragile that skin really is. After all in 7th grade biology, Mrs. Naumann taught me that the largest organ of the body is the epidermis–the skin–and it has the biggest job of all; to protect all that’s under it: our hearts, our minds.
But what of those organs when that very armor is under attack? What happens to we of strong hearts and minds that have managed to endure even with skin rubbed raw by oppression, bruised by the weight of musty coats of pain? What then? What the hell then?
I don’t have answers but I have threadbare skin. And a closet full of musty coats. The closet the old saints would talk about when I was a little girl in the Christian church where one would commune quietly. And alone.
We always talking about solidarity. But if you ain’t together, are fragmented patches of skin and funky ’cause your closet’s stinking shit up, ain’t a soul standing with or by you. But, like I said, I think pain is a solitary act anyway.
If there is any solidarity in this pain that will save us, maybe it will come from us each going inside, alone and quiet. Facing our own–
Aw hell, I don’t have any answers and there really aren’t any/don’t need to be any right now.
Just be well as you can UtR family.