The sun is hot today and shrouds everybody with halos, illumiates the wheat. As far as I know he does not know this. It's his loss.

This was the year he wore all black and nothing but except underneath. He had an excuse. He had a lot of them. But the first excuse was theater. I liked his face and his way with light. I liked the shadows too.

I let him in my skin. I got an answer, too. I got what I was looking for. Lesson hard learned was this: You cannot save a soul except your own. He does not know this yet and I cannot teach him, because he's dead and deaf to me. He will disappear in a canyon and I will be left with the bag.

This is what I do with my Thursdays. My best friend died five years ago and another one died five days ago and it hit me like thunder that one of them is dead, walking and knows it, and does not care. He has been defeated and does not want my cheerleader self around petitioning for overtime. So it goes.

Five years ago, I came home from a party and my mother broke the news. I did not sleep that light though I had the trains as usual to sing me to sleep. I thought, who would want to die in a world that was crawling with trains? I was foolish then. I am foolish now. I miss him. I miss both of them. I'm embarrassed that this came so easy and that I too have given up, like I gave up before, this night, five years ago.

I tore my antenna down; I refused to read between the lines. When I'm just awake enough, and you carry your pain into a room with me, it'll hit me like a heart attack, two of which I've had this week. Then I was drowsy, and my heart beat steady as his slowed to a thud.

I do not have perfect memory. But maybe, when the silence got too long, I just hung up. Had it hit me at the time, I would have hung up and made more calls. I still would have known a stomach pump hurts, that I could only have extended his life by a brief duration, as he intended to live it half-assed and in cowardice, wearing black and waving the white flag for years and years.

If I do not sound forgiving enough, I should say I've been to the edge myself, looked deep into the canyon for months at a time. I have always been defined by my fears; I have always been weak. If I seem to have lost my patience with big, strong men, the ones I attract who insist on marching straight into the storm, it's that I see fear in their eyes and they do not. When you are unreasonably afraid of everything you learn it's not reasonable to be afraid of anything. And of my weaknesses, the most glaring is that I assume what's obvious to me is obvious to everyone, and screaming it 'til I'm hoarse.

The obvious, then, is that the sun wraps around me like a warm old mother; that my callouses and hangnails are beauty marks; that the trains will always sing you to sleep if you listen hard enough. That if you listen, I won't have to say a goddamn thing. That the earth, is you press your ear to it, is a heart alive, that you are alive too if and only if you allow it.

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