Saturday in Autumn: leaving is a feeling
It was a Saturday, in Autumn. It was cold and windy but sunny and my cheeks were flushed pink and I was alone. I chose to be alone instead of hang out in the company of people — human people who could comfort me or stroke my hand and tell me everything was going to be alright, “just peachy” or that it would all pass. I felt sea sick on land. I had felt like that for awhile but the feeling was getting worse and it had been creeping up on me and things were changing and I was scared.
I wish I could say I wasn’t or that I invited change (because I usually do — that’s what I am all about) or that I longed for a foreign routine that was becoming familiar and repetitive and comfortable — something I thought that I had always longed for, but to me all I saw was a cage - a box - a key in a lock that held my life behind iron bars or something like that. I had no idea what it was but my stomach was sinking and I was drowning in the thick air around me.
The air was full of things, good things, things I always wanted but things that were making me feel empty and desolate and isolated and scared. So scared because I could not control my fate. I could not control where I was born and where I could stay or live and I felt my life was slipping away and it made me distant, reclusive and solemn and people would ask “are you okay” “is everything alright” and they would say “you are being really quiet” and I would fake a smile and fake a dance and fake a sentence and fake it all and I felt myself collapsing and I wanted to run away again and push people away because I was scared that I would have to leave anyway and it is easier to leave when there is distance. That was always how it was in my life. Leaving was the hardest thing but distance made it easier — cutting someone off had never been hard and maybe that is an incredibly hard thing to admit because it seems so cold and it is.
It was cold and I shivered and tightened my thick wool scarf around my neck. I loved it in that place, in that far away place that I use to loathe. I can’t even remember why I used to hate it so much but that feeling was so far away now. That feeling was replaced with a heavy, full warm hug of a feeling and the thought of losing it made me weep. It made me so sad I could barely breathe and it made me push away and it made me dissolve and hide away in my dark room or in a cold park filled with people but where I felt so alone. Alone was how I had been for such a long time and I was ready to change and I felt that opportuntiy was being taken from me.
I pushed my legwarmers up and wiggled my bare toe through the hole in my shoes and walked towards the park next to the Planetarium that seemed to be centuries old and I thought about how far away stars are and how there are planets 5000 times the size of Earth and I thought about how that made me feel even more distant and small. But somehow it gave me comfort in that fact that we are all really just small specks on a small speck in a vast universe. And maybe my problems didn’t matter that much and I was so damn lucky and I should think about that.
I breathed in deeply and the cold air swirled inside me and I gulped it down and I inhaled and exhaled and did it all over again and it got easier.