I didn’t think I had so much condensed pain. It had been solidified, kept tight in a box somewhere. But then the heart warmed and the contents melted and now I feel the little bits of thawed liquid rise to the surface, the piercing shards of newly melted ice striking me.

I want the pain to go away so I can hold it at a distance. Regard it. Put it back. I’ll collect it later, I say. But there is no later. Only now.

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Photo by Tobias Tullius on Unsplash

I know why I stayed with you. Because the alternative was loneliness. This kind - the aching in your bones, the starving desperation, asking "when will I be whole again?" And so I wait. Willing that someday I’ll lay myself to rest. Someday I’ll wake and there you’ll be, a warm reminder that life doesn’t have to be an empty cage, spent solitary, sequestered, silent, alone.

So now I lament. Speak the virtues of asserting oneself, not knowing how long I myself will last. When will the hope run dry? When will life take its bitter course? I run up the hill, only to find that beyond is nothing but the same barren terrain laid open, as if to say, "there is nothing but me left".

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Nae Do

PhD candidate in Race, Podcasting and Social Media. Associate lecturer in sociology. Irritating know-it-all.