I have a cough that is getting worse and sounds very unpleasant. My chest hurts, as well.
This morning, after I finished meditating and was in the kitchen making myself something to eat, he said my name.
I turned to look at him; he took my face in his hands and tipped it slightly so that I would look at him. He is a few inches taller than I am, which is not that strange. I’m around 5’9″.
I expected him to say something, but he was quiet, just looking at me.
I felt emotion boil up inside me, turning into a flood, threatening to overwhelm all of my carefully constructed demilitarized zones and walls. I didn’t think I could control it and that frightened me.
I looked down, lowering my head, and feeling my shoulders curl up and in. I grappled with my emotions desperately, breaking them down and shoving them away, trying to get back to something in the range of neutral. Scared out of my mind.
“What would happen, if you let yourself feel?” he asked quietly.
I covered my face with my hands. He had not entirely let me go. I wanted to to retreat, hide, run. Futile; where can you hide from your own mind?
“Lose you, too,” I said into my hands.
A moment passed, while he was poised on the edge of saying something and then reconsidering it, and reconsidering other things. I could feel him thinking.
“You don’t believe in promises anymore.” It was a perfectly neutral observation, with no blame attached. There was a slightly wistful note to it.
I felt awful. I felt like I was wronging him. He was never done anything that made me think he did not mean what he was saying, even though I have doubted various portions of the important parts.
Completely miserable, I agreed with him.
His hands slid down my shoulders and then around my back. “There is nothing to do about that but time.”
“I’m sorry,” I said, wretched and guilty.
“If a man breaks your leg, and you cannot rise to greet me, is it your fault, or the man who broke your leg’s?”
“The only blame lies with those who broke it. If a man breaks his arm, and it is set properly, he will have use of it again in two months. I have never heard of a heart mending in two months. Or the ability to trust another.”
“Some people fall in love and everything magically gets better,” I said later.
“Is that mending, or distraction?”
“It depends the sincerity of it, I suppose.”
“How do they feel about the world outside of their beloved?” he pressed. “Do they love any others, have they compassion, warmth, openness to anyone else?”
I started to answer him and stopped, and started flicking through my rolodex of every thoroughly broken-hearted person I’ve known. “…No, not that quickly, if ever.”
He rested his jaw on his thumb and his elbow on his knee. His index finger ran along the side of his face to his temple and his other fingers were curled by his cheek. We were sitting on the bed. I’d woken up with my cough turned vicious.
I’m going to go to the doctor in the day, if they have any urgent care appointments. If not, then they should on Wednesday.
He has lovely hands. I wish I could draw.
“And yet you have not stopped caring very deeply for others and have such compassion that it rends your heart in an entirely different way. I know you can’t trust them with yourself,” he said, slicing off my protest before it had finished forming. “But you don’t think they’re innately bad people. That isn’t why you cannot trust them.”
“It–” seems like I’m wronging them. “Seems very rude, to not trust people who haven’t earned distrust.”
“Are you actually told anywhere to trust everyone?”
“I… No, I don’t think… In the way I’m worrying about it. Though it…”
He waited patiently.
“I’m too sick. And I can’t remember everything. Even if I weren’t sick. But then maybe I would feel up to going through everything.”
“If–” He was very gentle, rather like the way the Grand Canyon was carved by water. “–you cannot recall everything you are supposed to be doing, then you may be incorrect about what you are doing wrong. And if you are doing something incorrectly, but you know it should be done differently, and you want to do it differently, but your psychological circumstances are overpowering you, did you not just read today that that did not make it a failure, and even if it did, that if you were failing, you are never to feel guilty about it?”
I suddenly understood why Brand finds it so aggravating at times that his father can pick everything he’s seen, read, or thought for eons right out of his head, and then weave the most incontrovertible arguments against anything. Even if that weren’t one of Loki’s innate specialties.
I wasn’t aggravated, but I did feel as helpless and foolish as the rock trying to argue against erosion. Stop eroding me! Stop it! I never said you could be here! Go away! You go away right now! While the water blithely runs along.
Without my doing anything that I was aware of, itunes opened and Remember How We Forgot by Shane Koyczan started to play.