TIDYING UP THE MESS OF OTHERS

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Submitted Date 02/02/2019
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Mess

Our souls flirted with each other between coffee breaks and cigarette smoke adventures, lost until dawn broke through the darkness around us. We would warm ourselves up with fragile flames from plastic lighters. I held your warm breath upon my palms, careful not to move too much, careful not to let that golden air slip to ebb and flow amongst the rest of the galaxies invisible. You’d twirl your fingers through my hair, I’d try to keep my eyes steady at the sunsets behind your shoulders. I can never get close enough. Stretched out arms and chapped lips. I could feel the weather inside of my bones and your frosted breath inside my lungs. Every moment with you was delicate.

I wanted it so badly, to live in your mess. To let the tar cling around my body, to maybe share the heavy burden of it with you, and swim in the depts of your deepest nightmares and darkest pathways.

The sunset would flirt with us through tree branches, and I’d run out to catch a glimpse, but you’d pull me back before I could catch it. “You can wait another day”, “you can wait for another time”. I could never live in or beneath the empty and cracked porcelain china cups on top splintered wood wet floors. I couldn’t co-exist with the cracked glass or take shelter within the cold corners of the room in your heart. I know you wanted me here, to stay, to live amongst the darkness because maybe you thought I could help, as if my body could cast a bright light on your shadows when I am only just another shadow. I could never live in your mess because I became your mess. I stayed with nothing more to offer but company to the rubble.

I think about the ‘why’s’ a lot now. The why’s to it all. As if I could not articulate that my soul was as empty as yours, that I could not do the cleaning for you, the organizing, the rearranging that you expected so much of me to do. My ebb and my flow were no different than the waves of tar you sent tumbling, crashing towards me through your words, ink spilled on a thin sheet of paper I held up in front of my heart like a shield. I was as lost as you, but I still feel the word sorry lodged in the back of my throat, wanting to crawl back into the belly of my stomach every day, situated between the outside and inside with hopes of becoming a bandage to the something we had together. To the something we existed to be within the smoke.

I guess my tongue knows better to be a guard then a catapult for words, and I still don’t know if it’s better that way, to live beneath the silence of ruptured words and broken bonds, or broken expectations. Brokenness.

I couldn’t help you in the same way you could not help me. I no longer hold myself accountable for something you called selfish. The time I spent picking up glass to discard, you threw more plates to the ground. Now I spend time alone, amongst my own mess, too busy bandaging up the wounds from yours, too busy opening them up again to peer back in just to understand.

We spend too much time breaking ourselves to save others.

Or am I wrong?

As a writer, I am an intense observer. Does anyone else get so caught up in other people’s lives, stories, and problems, in hopes to both help and use it as a reflection to peer deeper into themselves? Am I making sense? I’ve spent so much time trying to find a reflection of myself within the cracked glass of others. I’m not sure why. It does not get me anywhere, really. I guess I’m just a bit obsessive trying to fix things or overanalyze. Which, I think is not always a bad thing. I mean, I can’t provide any quality justification, but aren’t relationships about connecting with others? I think I just try to connect too deeply to the point where I lose myself in becoming the connector and the one with the burden of fixing. I think part of my past codependency had set me thousands of feet back from ever looking within myself, my problems, my reflection in my own brokenness to fix myself.

I guess some people, like me, believe within fixing and tidying up the rubble of others negates the amount you must tidy up for yourself. Though that mindset changes when you’re on the other side of abusive interactions.

I’m rambling, overanalyzing a piece of work I have spit out within a few minutes and reflected upon for a day or so, but that’s what we do, right? Writers. These gears shift in my head to better understand myself through my poetry or dairy scribblings and word vomit, and sometimes I get somewhere and sometimes I don’t, but I always feel like I end up understanding the other party-the other person-the other character in the story than myself. Weird. Funny, that is. Maybe tragic.I guess it is in the refusal of becoming only a tragedy with no say on the other side.

If I am to break I refuse to break empty, but to spill out some sort of ramble or insight in the end.

Mess. What a funny word. Three letters of simplicity and orderly balance resembling something so disordered. Things I know too well. Things we find in ourselves and others. A mess of acceptance and a mess of a goal to clean up. Something like that. I guess.

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