I didn’t mean to be a knee-jerk jackass, all spitfire and gritted teeth screaming you were wrong. I didn’t mean to play that song so familiar and pretend I didn’t know the tune.
Remember all those times I called you on your shit and you hated it? But had to admit that I was right? I basked in that glow of knowing it was true, that my words found their way to the heart of you and created a seed of doubt. That would grow until you’d know better, what you were on about.
Well, turns out, when that shoe is on the other foot, though it might be bare, it’s just as hard to admit there might be something to it.
I’m suddenly scared, reminded of the night my father died. We said goodbye and then we came home and immediately started to pack away his things.
His suits into garbage bags, a black plastic barrier against the notion that clothes were just more things he didn’t need anymore. His books that no one wanted, the trinkets no one knew the origins of, the years of unopened bills, all cast off. Because there was no place for them in our lives any more without him to give meaning to them.
I find myself casting off the idea of you. Packing books I never thought I’d give away into boxes to go, filling garbage bags full of odds and ends that I always thought I would use sometime. Things I considered grounding, though perhaps cementing me is more accurate. Tying me to a notion that I can stay still, build a life, build a home, build a shared reality inside a heart that was so eager to let you in.
Watching the dismantling of my own existence in real time has left me reeling, dizzy with concern that my action is merely a reaction. A way to placate the sense of grief with the illusion of purpose.
Have I given over to an emotional response? A sort of gaunlet thrown down in the spirit of, if there’s no home with you, there’s no home anywhere? I worry that it’s true.
Or perhaps what’s required is a reminder that I’m more than the walls, both around my stuff and around my heart. That I can find my way using anywhere as a starting point and still end up feeling at home.