It’s easy to lose track of all the lives you’ve lived – to forget about all the times you’ve been hurt, all the pain you’ve felt. Or maybe it’s all the meds I’m on that makes me this foggy… but I’ve never so deeply understood the concept of change as when I read my old thoughts and can’t recognize the person who wrote them. I wish I could grab that girl, wipe away her tears, shake her by the shoulders and tell her she’s gonna be happy one day, because I – the walking, smiling evidence – am the only one she’d ever believe.
I have an ex from my same town, who I’m sure still walks these streets, but I’ve never run into him. I haven’t talked to him since. I rarely think of him, honestly.
I had an old friend, whose thoughts danced in the same pastures as mine, but he lived a few or some 285 miles away. Somehow we cross paths more often — and not because we’re taking trips down memory lane.
I tried to cut him clean out of my life, but damn is a mind that frolics the same fields hard to run from. How do you escape the very voice the narrates your thoughts?
It took me years to get to this place, I had to take it day by day. I remember at one point struggling just to go an hour without checking to see if he reached out, I fought to keep busy. Eventually, I stopped responding altogether, stopped answering his calls, and as the curiosity lessened, I muted his contact. Some people call this ghosting, the art of a coward — maybe that’s what I am, but that’s what you have to be when you let a demon find refuge in your thoughts.
Before I started dating the guy from my town, we’d bump into each other simply buying milk, walking through parking lots, going to fast-food chains… After I dumped him, he must have stopped frequenting these locations, maybe we’ve been lucky, but I feel as though he was protecting himself from awkward run-ins and heartache.
Time passes, wounds heal, the sound of a name burns less and less each day.
Once I knew I was strong enough, I unmuted the old friend’s number. It could never bring back the thoughts he undoubtedly sent into the void, but it didn’t open up the flood gates, either. We occasionally still cross paths, despite the bounds of time and space. He’s not always in my head anymore, but when your brains think as one, it’s easy to pick up each other’s frequencies and broadcast the interference.
On the rare occasions he shares a thought, it’s often precedented as I stumble upon a memory of him, and I can’t help but wonder if he lives the same coincidences surrounding my communications.
I used to run on anger.
I let it fuel me, consume me,
I filled pages with poetry,
hating myself and the world.
Sure I was sad – I still am,
but it can take time and anger
to accept a shitty hand of cards,
especially when said hand
keeps hitting you upside the head.
and though I wish I could exist
beyond the confines of a body
I know that this body, and all its problems,
made me who I am.
I’m fighting through this pain
but I’m not mad anymore.
I’m content with who I am
and I’m learning to see the light.
my body hurts
first, it was my knees
i can’t walk with any ease.
my body hurts
my skin’s aflame
i can’t trust myself the same.
my body’s hurt
since age fourteen
my nerves had to intervene.
my body works
through the decay
because i struggle every day.
i don’t think about you much anymore, but when i do, it burns