Life as an Extreme Sport

Walking My Own Line

I hurt myself today
to see if I still feel
I focus on the pain
The only thing that’s real

I am torn flesh, blood dripping raw; wounded and wary. Flailed skin wrapped in barbed wire, held together with duct tape and small ‘keep out, no trespassing’ signs. I don’t trust you, I don’t trust anyone. If I did, I would talk to you, could talk to you – tell you about the fear, the balance and the line I walk. The tension between flat out self-destruction and preservation, and how tightly wound I am between those two points. How very close I’ve come this quarter to slipping over, sliding down and just…breaking. It would be so easy to let go.

I wear this crown of thorns
upon my liar’s chair
full of broken thoughts
I cannot repair

I can’t cry, you know. Oh, sure – a few tears might slip out, now and again. The silent and poetic kind that film so well; poignant ones. But full on, body wracking sobs – I haven’t been able to do that in a long time, since J~ passed, and the ability was waning before that. It’s a letting go that I can’t do, a loss of control that I fear will unbind me. And if I become unbound, I don’t think I’ll be able to pull myself back together, not again. I don’t think I have the strength, the will. Not anymore. Not this time.

So many people tell me how strong I am, how amazed they are at my strength. But it’s not really strength, it’s self-preservation. I hold on tightly to the one thing I can to keep from flying apart at the seams.

what have I become?
my sweetest friend
everyone I know
goes away in the end

My wall cracked last night, and I almost talked to someone about this. I almost vocalized what I hide behind a computer screen and scripted words. And I walked, feet following the split in the concrete sidewalk, and felt the air on raw cold skin, and I paniced and bolted. I hid behind laughter and self-deprecation, and shooed Adam off to homework, myself to home and silence and aloneness, to repair the breach that almost broke the dam.

How damned trite. This entire thing – trite. The words, the lyrics, the attempt to express what cannot be expressed.

Do you know the ultimate irony? Me, writing about affect and connectivity, when I hold myself as such an island. Come close enough to shout, but don’t you dare set foot upon the shore. My damned empire of dirt.

I will let you down
I will make you hurt

People keep telling me I have a beautiful soul. I wonder what they’d think if they saw all the tarnish that I keep hidden from view. People keep saying a lot of very nice things about me – so why does it not matter? Why is it the cruelty, the meanness and mockery, that stays with me? Why does the positive wash over and off me without impact, but the negative takes root and grows? Why can’t I believe the good? Why do I only believe the bad?

Why is it that one person can hurt me and undo anything good done to me by others? Why do I only focus on the pain? I don’t like this person I become when I feel this way, but the only way I know to never feel like this is to never give anyone the chance. Why can’t the good be stronger than the bad – why do I have to lose myself? Why does it have to hurt?

If I could, I would start again a million miles away, and I would keep myself. I would find a way.