darkness and tall trees

Not that long ago, sitting at a dining room table in a brownstone in Brooklyn

I finally told the story. Our story. The story of a July long ago.

When for four weeks, I felt… understood. Like I belonged. Like I wasn’t an outcast.

All of which was dismissed by those who thought they knew better

(Or that was their excuse at least; I know now that the extent of their inability to handle what life throws our way)

The reality was actually a profound, emotional connection. You changed my life. You changed how I saw the world.

You weren’t what anyone expected. Oh, you were bright enough. Astonishingly so, actually. And courageous – or is it stupid? courageous enough that you were well acquainted with the ER.

But you were also wild, reckless as if you had nothing to lose, unafraid of everything that terrified me.

Regardless, we found each other. That is, until others decided we weren’t okay. That you weren’t okay.

The shame forced on me from without was so great that sometimes, when I count the most meaningful relationships of my life, I almost forget to include you.

I always wonder if you knew why I walked away. Did you believe my excuses, conjured up to protect you, or did you know that it wasn’t my choice? I don’t know, but I do know that being forced to stop talking to you broke something inside of me. I lost part of my innocence, part of my trust, part of my belief that those closest to me had my best interests in mind.

I became acquainted with the depths of the experience of shame (well, more than I already was), even though I had nothing to be ashamed of.

I am only just now assessing the fallout.

I recently figured out that someone in my life reminds me of you. In them I see a similar mix of tragedy and courage, wildness and depth. Sometimes in our deepest conversations I hear echoes of you.

And I am reminded of humid darkness and tall trees. Of unseen but talked about stars. Of chess games and songs and snaffle bits and barbells and running, running, running breathlessly through the night, having no idea what’s ahead but not caring.

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~ by Sophia on December 1, 2010.

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