Can you feel that?
The stabbing feeling in your chest?
The piecing pain as your heart beats against your ribs,
Like a desperate prisoner banging on the bar of his cell?
Or the lump as hard as a rock lodged in your throat?
The choking sensation as is the stings getting tighter?
The inability to expel any sound?
Can you feel the knot that twists your stomach?
How about the throbbing headache?
The skull shattering combustion of your brain,
Can you feel it?
The cold sweat dripping down your back,
Glueing your clothes to your skin?
Suffocating your body with each movement?
How about the turbulent tremor?
The aggressive shaking,
The ache of bruising muscles?
Did you feel that?
Can you feel the agony you put me through?
It’s about time you did.
This whole ‘Lets remain friends’ thing was only to humor you. I knew it was never going to work. Besides the history, friends come and go with the seasons and as you know, I was never very good as holding on to the special ones. Sure, I wanted to keep you around. I wanted to hear the jokes again, the laughter. Maybe I wanted to see that cheesy grin reflecting in the mirror as you creep up behind me to give me a hug while I brushed my teeth one last time… Oh wait, you never once did that.
Ok then, perhaps I wanted to keep that sense of familiarity. Meeting people, getting to know them, its such hard work and I’m not the kind of person to just put myself out there on a platter, letting any ol’ random who takes an interest, have a bite. Finding someone, a person, its hard for me. And you’re so close by… But that’s selfish and while the future may set off the atomic bomb in my stomach, triggering the hypotension and perspiration all while resulting in an overload of anxiety, there is this small hope, almost excitement that I will find the person of my dreams. The person who showers me with affection without being asked to. The person who will ultimately be everything you weren’t: Enough.
Alright. I’ll be truly honest. The reason I kept you around was because I was scared. It scares me. The whole “us being over” thing. I thought, that just maybe, for the first time in my little insignificant life, that you were the one that all the magazines, all the movies and TV shows talk about. I thought you were my ‘Forever’. And I can’t accept that. Like William Wallace, stood in the middle of the battle field, surrounded by the bodies of fellow fallen warriors. I raise my arm, shout at the top of my aching lungs: “You may never take my freedom!…” but my freedom means nothing if I don’t have you.
The doctors, they said it,
An illness? You claimed it.
Like a badge of honor, you wear these labels,
Consumed by the reactions, you act unstable.
You’d think no-one else had ever experienced,
The hardships you claim, You’re delirious.
Everyday is different:
You’re depressed and snappy,
One minute you’re suicidal,
The next you’re shagging every man,
You’re in such denial.
Am I coming?
Do you want me?
Your reality is a lie.
Come off social media,
It’s not hard to just be genuine.
Life’s not great,
But you’re on the road to ruin,
Everything you’ve built the past 4 years.
You know where I am,
I can lend an ear.
But only if you take a sec to remember,
How lost you were that special November…
Play me in the background.
When I was down, I used to spring back up. I used to put on my imaginary armor, fists clenched and flight. Blow after blow and I would continue, feeding off the adrenaline as tears streamed down my face. I would be hanging, broken and bruised but still asking for more. I never won, I never felt victorious.
Post fight and I would skulk away, shed my protection and be isolated. Alone. And ultimately, confused. I thought I was being strong. I thought I was protecting myself. I must not let anyone hurt me. Not again.
Inside, I was fractured. Things were coming apart, loose connections flailed in the voids. Thoughts and instructions couldn’t complete their journeys. The lights were going out.
So I would panic. And when I panic, I fight. The cycle repeats.
I spend my entire youth like this. subconscious self sabotage. Things continued until all the lights were out, my eyes were glazed over and I was nothing more than a shell, walking the earth with fragments of my soul rattling in my shoes. As my shell trekked the country, it unknowingly passed hundreds of similar beings; Broken.
Heres the thing about being broken, it takes an effort to fix it. Over the years, with the help of pills, councillors, therapists, the pieces in my toes began to slowly rebuild. Brick by brick. At first things were held together with tape. A quick fix. Sometimes I faces challenges and before I could think about my reaction, I would fight. And break. Crumbled. Again the peices began to rebuild. Slightly stronger tape was used. As time went on, the challanges seemed less relevent. I didn’t have the energy to flight. Instead, I would shrug and walk on by. I couldn’t collapse again.
The distance gave the pieces time to fuse together, slowly climbing up my body, giving me back feeling in my hands, in my heart, in my brain. I wasn’t trying to be strong, I was strong. It repaired the connections that were once lost. The idea’s came back and so did the imagination. And when it was time to turn on the lights:
I was ready to face the world as a new person. I have crumbled for the last time.
Face to face,
The dusty battlefield sketches out our territory.
A gentle breeze compliments the dusk sky.
Lets do this.
I fight for the future.
You fight for the present.
You’re slow off the bat,
I aim my words,
Knowing exactly which ones to use and where they’ll hit.
In one swift motion I fire.
“When should we move in together?”
“Do you want children?”
“Shall we move away?”
“I hope we grow old together”
“What about marriage?”
“Imagine our first home.”
In rapid succession,
They fly towards you,
But you play your card,
My words fly closer and the dust uplifts.
I catch my breath,
The dust clears.
You dodged every word.
Your loyal move.
I wipe my brow,
I’m not done yet.
I try my next trick,
Flicking though my arsenal,
I find what I’m looking for.
In a frenzy I shoot,
Miniature family and friends sore in your direction.
Accompanied by whispers of laugher and joy,
Quizzes and birthday celebration.
Topped with all the adventures we were going to have.
I can see you panic.
Don’t get overwhelmed now.
You were unprepared for this fight.
Your inventory is empty.
The wind picks up.
You try to run.
But you take the hit.
As the dust clears,
You stand motionless.
Blood trickles down your nose.
I have little remorse.
I see that you’re weak,
So I take another chance.
Time to use my ultimate weapon.
I step closer to you.
I know what it will do to you.
What she will do to you.
I release the cat.
Sprinting at full force,
She targets you,
Clouds cast over the closer she gets,
You don’t stand a chance.
She was always your weakness regardless what you tell yourself.
Claws rip chunks of flesh,
Screams fill the battlefield,
I have my own battle scars to prove it.
Claw piece deep,
As you collapse from the pain caused by such a small thing,
As the blood begins to drain away,
I call off the cat.
She retreats back into the shadows.
I am victorious.
I approach your limp body as you gasp for breath,
I hover over you.
With your last ounce of strength,
You surprise me.
You throw memories.
Flashbacks hit me over and over,
I won’t be defeated,
I represent too much!
I’ve come too far!
I watch you,
You know it too.
I don’t want to kill you.
I’ll wait until the next fight.
As I walk away,
You use all your power and fire your final shot.
Your ultimate weapon.
I know it’s coming.
I can hear it rushing towards me,
I duck and roll.
“I love you.”
It lands on my neck,
Theres an explosion of light.
I’m hurt bad.
I can’t move.
You crawl towards me.
Your pain is audible.
You find your feet,
Clutching your broken body.
We look into each other eyes,
Utter one final sentence:
It’s a family event, a routine, a ritual.
Scarves of support wrapped around our necks,
Scores of fans march down the street
Filling the air with harmonious chants.
We are going to a football match.
Street venders sell programs as we filter though the gates.
Tickets, Turnstiles, Mascots, Merchandise.
Mushy peas and Steak and Kidney Pie,
Scents that fill the air.
My hand runs along the concrete walls,
as we emerge into the stand.
We are at a football match.
Cold plastic seats fold down,
The fog lights come on
and it begins.
People cheer, the chants get louder.
I don’t know the rules,
I don’t know whats happening,
But I’m happy.
I’m at a football match.
The atmosphere is tense yet fun.
Everyone jumps up,
I follow suit, Cheering, Clapping.
I think we are winning?
It’s an improvised performance,
To bond with the man I should call, Dad.
I used to go to football matches.
I have blocked out a lot of my childhood. It was a different life but although I hate football, these weekly fortnightly trips will always hold a place in my heart. They were a rare time that my family was a normal family.