I’ve been putting off seeing the strongest woman to have ever lived. I can’t bear witness to her never-expected demise. She has always and will always be more of a mother than my actual mother. I finally sat down with her today. She looks so feeble and like she’s disappearing. Her hands picked up a new nervous tick. I held back my tears while she told me that you can’t look back, what’s passed is passed, only look to the future.
She offered me money and it broke my heart. As if that’s what I’m only expected of. She’s the last person left that could still see the flickering, dim light that illuminates the good left in me, and I can only abandon her in the last remaining moments of her life.
Another regret I will learn to drink away.
After I left, I stopped at the gas station that I went to years ago. The last time I can correctly remember being in there was the night I went digging in a place I had no business being. Tear ducts drained, dry-heaving as I scrubbed the mud out from under my fingernails. The coin that you left wasn’t there and I knew then, what was past was really gone.
I will be 28 next month and I am frozen. Frozen in those summer nights. Frozen on that love seat. Frozen when he made me his own.
I’m never moving forward, never standing still. I’m just here, collecting dust at the places they’ve all left me. Never looking up. Never seeing what is. I can tell you every discolored tile, every crack, every chip, every paint splatter on nearly every inch of this town.
But no one could ever describe the way my eyes are rimmed with deep ocean blue, faded into the softest and clearest ocean blue with flakes of smokey grey, and the diamond lines of gold. Only the devil could see how my eyes light up, and God see the moon in them.
Now I’m agnostic and I can’t remember the last time my eyes gleamed from behind my cheeks.
You’re probably married to a wonderful wife with kids who gets to witness you eating like every meal is your last, every single day. He’s probably washed away his sinful longings to live the righteous life he has always been destined for.
And then there’s me. The scared boy that has buried himself and unearthed it so many times that the scratches from the mulch chips no longer sting. The boy that used to be so nice because it was effortless for him. Now he’s nice because there’s nothing left for him to offer.
And he needs you. He needs to have that reassurance for when that beautiful woman finally goes. But now you’re gone. Thousands of miles away. Seeing the moon, the stars, the galaxies in someone else’s eyes.