The Other Side of Normal

When the unthinkable happens...

I want to wake, yet have not slept

To return to that piece of reality where normal use to be; that space where this ugly did not exist.

In the beginning, there is nothing, just an empty space; all sound, emotion possible/probable explanation, reason have disappeared. Blank. Waking sleep-trapped in an immediate fog, dense, intense, frightening.

In this beginning, nothing is moving.

The anger is a needle, going in and out, creating something with no pattern. I can’t sew, never learned, don’t have the patience.

Early morning. Cold. Bitterly, dangerously, layered, covered. The ache throbs, the worry steady beneath the surface, an undertow waiting…

The sky is steel, grey and empty, almost shiny, barren. Trees reach up and I wonder who is there to touch them.

Broken neighborhood still sleeps, or is at least quiet, too cold that Saturday morning, nearly afternoon in a county ER, set up for sex crimes. Her cubicle, #3, a Y counselor escorts me; with tears pouring down her checks, “I’m sorry, Mom”

I wanna know now, who the fuck is sorry.

The/this vacuum in reality has sucked up logic, compassion, reason; all the remains are dust. Particles of our lives once ordinary.

Emptiness yawns, stretches wakes to find us sitting precisely where we were, somehow the rotation of the planets still goes on yet, for us, we won’t notice.

Ordinary is grey, cold, stranded on the dark side of normal.

Too much, too many pieces to unsort, try to put back together, so we’ll look like something; our puzzle, one jumbled tangled mess.

Once again we scramble to accommodate her choices. We simply can’t abandon her, yet here we are, dancing to this tune. New, ugly, off key.

The three of us, stumbling over leaking emotions, Raw open wounds.

Blame is a by product of wrong, not that anyone would ask nor deserve this yet, while sleeping; not is as it was.

A pin in my pretty balloons, I lie deflated, making the festive scene a mess. Party over, trash litters the room, dishes piled high, all the planning…the world, this place in it at least, is its opposite.

Tonight is a black and white photograph, lost in a box underneath some other place in time.

The images creased, call

You hesitate to answer, and then do

Going back, remember.

Who you were then, where you are now, all the space in-between.

Tonight is old, and folded, needing to be put back in that box.


The anger has receded, yet I’m still keeping too much in.

The house is silent; we have yet to give this thing its voice, its opportunity to be heard. Quiet.

The quiet is a veil, keeping hidden some secret, a moment to be revealed

Later; truth. Behind the edges of normal, waiting

This thing, is so unfair to Patrice, she’s here with nothing, waiting for money.

Tonight is a black and white photo

Stark.

Almost cold to see

A memory captured by something that no longer exists. Then

Tonight is a black and white photo

Images without expression, snapped in an instant, some piece of a time someone thought was important. Now.

Folded, creased, hidden in the back

Tonight.

This night calls to those/these images creased without expression, to look again, watch in that space of innocence-this now developing.

I’m an open wound, raw-red, burning, edges frayed. Ripped down to my soul, open. All that I am, exposed; where are you?

Snatching off my band aid-thin layer of protection; then disappear in your silence.

I’m here, alone. Darkness. Cold, broken, battered; you toss up your wall, indifference stranding me here in this clutter; alone, with only my mounting rage to keep me warm.

What do I want from you? After all these years, nothing. You don’t know how; you’re just something/one I settled for…

It’s cold. Arctic. My space is shrinking. The roar grows louder and you are missing, the mess of this white woman’s house mocks me, the mounds of broke shit piled in nearly every corner laughs. I am powerless, an open wound. Naked. Exposed to your bitterness.

I’ve been trapped by her choice, its outcome, not consulted. Our delicate container shattering piece by piece, you merely want to step over it; I want shit that works.

He tells me, “I’m sorry for not letting you vent earlier.”

I answer in my head, “I’m sorry I expected more.”

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