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Monday, July 30, 2012

There was a Me

There Was A Me

© 2012 Christopher Blake Carver

Sitting nervously—fidgeting at the bar

Looking at each entering face

The way Einstein looked at an equation or that the leper looked at Jesus.

Convinced that my salvation lied inside the touch of their finger or the smell of their cologne

or them telling me that yes- I was desirable.

Yes- my bad qualities and weird qualities and my secret parts and the embarrassing parts- they would not matter.

For after all, we are still both lying here in this place. And your touch says you love me- right?

Even though your too quick departure will say something else entirely.

And even though the words may not come from your lips—

The truth is expressed by your actions.

And a drowning man

Sometimes only needs that hint.

Of a raft-

or only the idea of floating.

To give him just enough hope to survive the cold night and the hungry sharks

long enough for the search party to arrive.

But arrive it did not. No helicopter from beyond the horizon.

No tall dark haired Jake Gyllenhall look alike to drag me from the chat room

or the bar stool

or a midnight cold bed of someone worse than a stranger.

He did not come.

No matter how hard I tried to see his face on so many- he was my own Snuffleuppagus-  but just as imaginary for me as my neighbors.

And, in the end, the unreal selves could not save me.

How could they anymore save me than Santa Clause could bring me love down a chimney in exchange for cookies and milk and some carrots for Donner and Blitzen.

Rather than pull me from the waters they only pushed me deeper.

Till my lungs filled with the brackish water and I felt

Who I was—

Who I could be—

Who I was made to be—

begin to slip eternally beneath the surface.

Pulled toward the bottom by  not a monster of Jules Verne

But by the scariest creature of all— a demon of my creation.

A composite figure made of a job too long held—

A purpose denied—

Dreams too long ignored—

Love too long quested in the manner someone would try on a pair of shoes

and discard the nice fitting pair with the slight blemish by the toe.

At last, as my lungs filled completely with the water,

A part of me died

So that the biggest part could Live.

This familiar sensation. 

A rocky Ohio cliff in 1999 that was to be either my end or my beginning.

This time the choice to go away from what was isn’t quite as easy.

The old days and the old decisions and the old mindset cannot be quite so easily turned away.

The ghosts of those bad choices so many bad for me people- bad for me- me—

try to claw back and offer comfort in their lesser ways and in the acceptance of a lesser me. No greater sin exists than the temptation of the blinded and tuned out soul, full of contentment—and absent of any thing close to salvation.

And few things are as welcome to

A drowning soul as comfort.

But in the moonlight reflection bouncing off the water beside my sinking self

I can see just enough of the outline of my frame to remember the scars hidden by the darkness.

And the Molly Maid skill of a memory that whitewashes and sanitizes the

Crime scenes—

not even the chalk body outline remains so that the visual of that lost figure can  scratch inside your heart and mind a Mount Rushmore view of the lessons learned.

No, the only way past is through.

It is down on the bottom- fully under the black soup that consumes me

and forces out the memory and the air and the fantasy and the wistful memories that are so much better than their subjects were in real life.

The last vision of an easy future with no hard choices—no hard sacrifices—and no fear—collapses in a pile beside me—at least rendered to the pile of the life that may indeed be easy—but that holds no question, no challenge, no growth, and thereby no death. 

It therefore can not be mine—for it cannot be real.

As my final gasping panting falls victim to the new reality,

the new understanding,

the new peace,

The last glimmers of the old ways fade from sight.

The old ways- in an instant- just don’t fit anymore- just don’t make any sense-

And the brilliant glimpse of light and peace and Oneness come into view.

Not the comical bible images of the surface level Christians of departed family and friends welcoming me through gates of Gold handing me keys to a mansion.

But something deeper—more real—and more meaning. 

The feeling of connection with friends known—friends yet to be known—

 a world I am a part of—

 and a world I have a place in.

Welcoming me to an existence I had long forgotten and a peace I had long forsaken.

I was here before, when things were new.

When strangers were potential friends- and not keys to my own self doubt.

A land where I sensed my purpose- where I didn’t doubt what love was-

Or my place in this beautiful world. Taken from me by no one other than myself.

Now helped back there by Strangers, God, and everyone in between.

I fall silent in the still waters

And let myself silently pass back into

To the greatest home I have ever known

And the peace and love a stranger could never provide.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Chris: What a lovely ode to losing despair and finding hope and self-love. I am uplifted by your honesty and determination never to settle for less than you desire and deserve. This, from a random New Yorker who had the good fortune to stand behind you on a movie line. It never crossed my mind in those few minutes we talked about authors and history books and Lincoln, that today I would find your blog, and in so doing, learn the secrets of your gentle heart. Thank you for sharing this with the universe and trusting it with a stranger. With admiration, Marlene