Dita Parker

Friday, March 19, 2010

All the things she said

I went to see her. Postponed the hour of going to postpone the hour of leaving. "Don't be sad, I love you."

She read me her poems. I listened and recorded, not sure I'll ever be able to listen to them, but at least I know they'll exist when she no longer does. 

I read the entire trip there not to think. I wrote my way back to think it through. Shorthand, tight, panicked almost, as if I couldn't get it down fast enough. "It's really happening."

Why am I not paralyzed? What sort of monster steps outside herself midgrief like a war photographer extracts himself from the scene to snap a shot, one moment frozen in time? The scene will roll on. It's really happening to you. "Heads I'll live."

Is it strength or numbness, the shocking detachment? Is it courage or a selfish attempt to take cover? So extreme you don't think you can speak about it. Are you afraid of who you are or only what you feel? What you will feel. Someday. Every single one of us. "We don't have to talk about it."

You may find yourself with a pain in your gut. Or not pain. Not nausea, awareness. You indeed have a gut. It becomes a substitute for sustenance, that awareness. You may find your heart and head still function, send you off to work, let you smile back at your child, live your life. "It's not you he's come for." 

You may find yourself holding your breath, holding your breath without realizing, in an unconscious stupid futile attempt to postpone the hour of leaving. You will find the heart caves in next, that the head shot comes last, when the hour is long gone.

Don't run. It will give chase on a horse that never tires. Do not run. Face it take it feel it all of it. The monster. It's you. It's there to pull you through. Don't be scared. It's only you. "Show me a smile."

"Don't be sad, I love you." Six words to break and mend the heart.

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