Someone close to me is going through something very hard.
It's the kind of hard that makes electricity hum around the edges of your darkened house at night.
It makes you afraid to breathe.
People can do things, they can leave.
They can leave you with a body you can't feel. They can leave you after they held your hands in front of an alter and kissed you and kissed you. They took your newborn son from your arms for the first time, once. There was a first time the both of you looked into the face of your child, your hearts quaked, his differently than yours, after all. He can leave, after all that.
People are capable of a great many terrible things.
Sometimes they go out to get cigarettes.
Can I take a moment to say how grateful I am for my life? I worked hard to get here, but working hard doesn't have anything to do with it. Or maybe it means everything. We all work hard, and sometimes it feels like we are getting back what we don't deserve. Sometimes we get shit on, and we wake up in the morning and sit on the edge of the empty bed for a minute. Maybe it's winter. Maybe we cough a few times. We make coffee and look out the tiny kitchen window. It's snowing and the sun hasn't come up yet. A misting of grey light covers everything and the world is quiet.
Times goes on like a funeral parade, tires on wet pavement.
Sometimes people don't work hard at all, they don't fight for anything. Nothing is right and there is no wrong. It feels like these people get away, in the end, but they wake up on cold mornings in February, too. They wake up and their children can't remember their faces. Their sons have a hole in their hearts, it gets filled by women.
The women in his son's life, they brush his hair back from his face, cup his chin in their palm. They stay up late with him, rocking him in a dark corner of the cold world. They are a soft place, breasts and the scent of honeysuckle; empty, drooping bellies and hands that are red and raw with effort. His women pull on boots and brush snow away from the windshield in the wasteland of half-light and 6am. They save pennies in jars for Christmas. They hold him because he needs to be held, and they are warm and he is safe.
There are people who don't leave, too, and they are made new. They are tape and paper with tiny, glittering trees. They are cocoa and elbows on the table, wearily holding a head of shimmering red hair. They are the screened windows of a tent in the morning. They are the chirping of birds; they are the branches of trees. They make the wind. Everything will be okay.