cats > people. always.
When the landslide first happened, sometimes, I would look at myself in the mirror as my face fell apart–shocked that it could. Amazed by the emotion that poured out of me over this man who had been dead most of my young life.
Sometimes, the grief that came out stayed for days with no sign of going away. Sometimes, I cried so hard I couldn’t breathe.
Sometimes, I still do.
Tonight, at least, I knew it was coming. Could tell by irritation that slipped into my voice during a mundane conversation that actually meant so little–but apparently meant more than I thought. That familiar passive aggression that comes when someone inadvertently hurts me. Because pissed off is easy. Because I expected something and got nothing, as always. Because people often suck.
That part of me that tries to appease everyone tried to hold it back–but I have little control over emotions anymore. I wouldn’t have it any other way. So the flash showed up and darted away as quickly as it came. But I knew the rest would come soon. It had to. It made sense. It always does.
So, it was no surprise that–while going through old photos–the tears started falling. And then my face fell apart. For just a few minutes. Just enough to make it hard to breathe. Just enough to remind me why I always stop breathing this time of year. I thought I had escaped it. But as always, grief has other plans.
I am often forgotten. Not maliciously. But still. I’ve learned to stop expecting things. Pain has taught me that. Don’t expect anything because anything at all is often too much. Don’t hold people to standards. Don’t expect them to treat you with the love you show them. Just accept the scraps and be cool.
But I’m not cool. Never was.
My father learned that long before anyone else. My face does these things that say everything before I even know it’s there. And when I do, up comes the wall. But I’m tired of pretending it doesn’t hurt.
It’s not that they don’t love me. They do. In the ways these people love people. But it’s not enough.
I’m almost angry at my parents for ruining me. For showing me so much love that I can’t accept the half-offerings people throw my way. I’m tired of pretending like it’s okay. I’m tired of never feeling special because God–I know I’m special. They taught me that.
And everything in my being just wants to scream about how unfair it is–like that six year old child holding that damn blue carnation that day in December.
I can feel the wail rising–the anger and the pain and the crap that still exists in me. And I am letting it run down my face, unto my chest, down to the blanket. I am letting my eyes well up and puff up. Letting my face be pink. I am unashamed.
Because that’s the truth of who I am, and I am done apologizing for it. And I’m done accepting anything less.
Alone doesn’t hurt. Being around people who make you feel alone–make you wish for alone–does.