Bent Words

Bent Words

July 10, 2021

Sitting underneath the awning, with the steady “shhhhhhh” of raindrops falling faster and faster, you pulled me closer and I felt twenty-three. Our legs intertwined like folded hands – tangled comfortably – and the closeness like a dream, so much so that you’d think we had just picked up where we left off only a few weeks ago instead of so many years. The fog, the haze, the rest of world – like a soft backdrop, blurred and muted for our benefit, knowing the importance of this one meeting.

And everything was suddenly okay.

The Reason.

The One.

Outwardly I’ve had to change. But inside has stayed the same.

So when I look back it’s not really looking back at all. It’s always been right there, in front of or in between all the other things that have happened. Big things. Little things. Sometimes resting, sometimes frenzied, sometimes gripping the very roots of my soul and sometimes just a blink of a reminder, making sure I haven’t forgotten or strayed too far away. Scattered about the surface like the glittering stars over the dark and immense sky. Whether you can see them or not, they are still there. Hidden behind the clouds, waiting to shine, ready to burst.

I’ll look for you there.

The Reason.

In the past there was a penchant for the thrill. A shot of caffeine in the late evenings. A dare in the turn of the throttle. Nothing that sickness, sleepiness or even alcohol could quell. Around every corner I tingled. It was smooth, electric, intense. But now I just want the quiet warmth of an evening falling over a day filled with ALL THE SWEAT of a hard day’s work. I bust my backside so I can put my feet up knowing I have done it ALL. I have mailed the mail, folded all the laundry (ha! Just a joke, that mountain of mayhem doesn’t easily shrink into a hill), cleaned the dishes that no one can fit into a dishwasher. I have swept the ceaseless crumbs, scrubbed the toothpaste out of the sink, made all meals, and worried over all the schedules one must juggle.

I ascend the steps from my dark, cold dungeon, and leave behind the mustiness of a basement which allows inside no light or love. My body prepped with the sunscreen I sprayed in the morning which I use like perfume. Board shorts, motorcycle shirts and a glass of anything cold.

Sun. I am listening to the wind rustle the trees. ATVs hit the road, children scream and scatter, a book open on my lap and a whole world of worry to forget about. For a moment, I’m not cursing my existence for the mistakes I’ve made. I’m not picking up whatever is left on the floor, sweeping for the third time in one day. The clouds drift by in billows of magnificence and I look up and I’m okay. Maybe it’s not where I am supposed to be but I’m briefly not angry about that. I stop questioning why my mom doesn’t want to see the kids or deprive her husband of his limited time on this earth with them. I’m not upside down or inside or fearful that I’m making another mistake with my inability to MOVE. I’m not entirely stupid, incredibly disappointed or shamefully slow.

I could see myself happy if a neighbor stopped by to say hello. I could handle a last minute grilling adventure where I DON’T melt the bloody siding off of my house. I could totally run into town on the Grom and feel confident that I’m just having a bit of fun romping about. I might not hate the kids when they come home, I might not wish for instant GPS transportation to the beach with a cocktail that never turns tepid, my toes in the sand and an oversized hat so I don’t burn the fuck up in an instant, I might not dread the weekend. They are my kids so it’s not babysitting but it feels like it is and I just don’t get paid for it when it really feels like I should be.

It's not all too much.

For a moment.

But it will be soon. When you’re out of place, out of patience, out of love. I feel ashamed admitting it but to only post photos of smiles and sunshine would be a lie. Something’s wrong, something’s missing, something’s clouded by what could have been.

“What are you making?” he asks.

“Not sure yet. It was supposed to be portabella mushroom risotto but it’s turning into more of a red beans and rice sort of thing,” I reply.

Looking down at the recipe card, he comments sadly, “Rules are suggestions you don’t like to follow, aren’t they?”


If you do exactly what they tell you to do, you’re just a lemming following suit with the rest of world of suckers, imprisoned by your own ignorance and fear, free of nothing but the persuasion of how things ‘should be,’ riding the same path on the roller coaster that everyone else has ridden – screaming at the same time, blinking until it’s suddenly over. You are not building anything new, living the way YOU want, or making this life your own. You don’t have to chase the thrill, you don’t need every moment to be a busy cluster of ‘what’s next?!’ Sometimes it’s nice to just know that right outside your door is a spot in the sun where you can put your feet up and exhale and not regret who and how you are.

Written at 7:24 a.m.