Finality -- Little Red -- 11/30/2003

I have too much to say about this, and not enough words.

The future swings before me like a revolving door; open, close, open.

Fears: I am making a mistake. I will amount to absolutely nothing. I will regret this so hard it will feel like the Devil Himself has reached up from beneath the Earth to brain my skull against the pavement.

That old song plays in the background, the one few people know besides me. "I'm happy with myself," she sings, doubtfully. "And I don't have what it takes to please you."

Fears, cont'd: You will feel like I have let you down.

A rehearsal: "I just can't do it anymore," I say out loud, alone, preparing myself. "I'm giving up," I add, because it is the only way she will understand. She claims to have a lot invested in me, and I am willing to lose her over this. I'm not giving up, I correct myself silently, no longer in the business of lying to myself, no matter what I say to others. I just changed my mind.

I feel as though the walls are closing in around me, and my body is eating itself from the inside. If I stay here I will die, I think, and I might not be wrong.

Possibilities: I am throwing it all away. I am reacting, not acting. I am not, in fact, as good a writer/worker/survivor as I think I am. I will be forever known as "that girl," the one who couldn't make it, who gave up the good fight just a year short of salvation. Graduation. Whichever.

Another rehersal: "You were always stronger than me," I say. This one's for Betsy, because she is my closest comrade-in-arms against the University, and the one I feel most guilty for abandoning here. I tell myself it's not an abandonment, but it is, in some ways, because we had a silent -- sometimes not-so-silent -- pact that we would both make it out of here alive.

Truth: I am not as good a soldier as I think I am. I forget why I thought this was important. I am not willing to hurt for this anymore.

Possibilities, cont'd: Leaving is a different kind of strength.

Options spread before me in a pattern that looks a lot like hope. I can feel energy crackling around my edges, trying to sneak in with my every troubled breath, even while my chest is weighted down with trying to live inside a life that I love and hate in ways that cannot coexist.

Hopes: In the end, I will be a better person. I am still capable, remarkable, brilliant when given the chance. I will not have to lose the part that matters here -- the part about love and truth and friendship and hoops of steel.

"I'm happy with myself," the girl sings on. The song hums to a close in a way that sounds distantly like "I'm leaving you," but I have never been sure if that lyric is just my addition to a weak instrumental coda.

The door closes. Finality, like death, sweeps over me for a second in utter, piercing blackness. I have disappeared completely.

I part my lips to breathe.

The door opens.

 

*send thoughts to little red*
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