By Caroline Hesby, TIWP Student
Still and silent. I’m draped over the chair on my front porch. I feel my own heart thumping in my chest and the familiar heat of the sun spreads across my legs. I never thought this relaxed state could bring me so much discomfort. Over time, you taught me that to stumble was better than never taking the leap. Here I am, stagnant and stiff, longing to pursue your words of wisdom more than ever. The hardest part is that after years of learning how to lift myself out of sadness like this, now it is completely out of my control. Sometimes I imagine you walking up the street, here to tell me that it’s all over. I snap out of this daydream with a new layer of dusty loneliness wrapping me in its web.
Usually, this is the part where I can look at myself in the mirror and make the decision to erase the sadness that floods my soul. Now I must chain myself to my front door, lay across my front lawn alone, stare at the blank ceiling, waiting for somebody else to let me out of this nightmare.
It is no longer inner frustration that I just need to work out. It is deep sadness and longing, it is draining despair that I cannot even fix. How am I supposed to keep going like this?
Sometimes I imagine the day it ends—when I will see that smile not shining through a screen but right there in front of me. I imagine having a million words but keeping them to myself because you know what I want to say. I snap out of this daydream once more, left only with the suffocating and dull air that recirculates my room. These days, it is not about making a choice, it is not about working up the courage to take a leap of chance and know the whole world is waiting for us on the other side.
It is about waiting, and waiting, and waiting every day, while the tolerance dries up and the desperation tugs harder at our beings. Do you remember what it was like before this? Do you remember those daring possibilities and risks that kept our joyful souls young? Do you remember what it was like to be among all of those people, yet still be in a world of our own?
I will wait as long as I need to, for the safety of those I love, those I don’t love, and those I don’t even know. I would never be selfish enough to risk a life for my own wishes and desires.
Though it hurts, I know I can hold myself down, I can lay here as long as I must in order to support all of our futures. I will soak in this sadness, knowing that someday it will end.
But at night when I dream of the past memories and the excitement of the future, it hurts. Because I can’t do anything but lay here and ache, grieve in the loneliness, and reach out for the reconnection.
I wish our conversations had a calendar destination in mind, I wish I could tell you the exact day that I am looking forward to. But it is as unknown to the rest of the world as it is to me.
Though the birds sing outside, unaware of the great shift that has occurred, and as normal the flowers sprout from the ground to show their vibrant petals, I’ll sit here yearning in anguish for normalcy, for reunion. And I’ll try my best to be strong.
But I miss you.