For days, weeks, I've felt nothing at all. The occassional pang of loss, twinge of excitement, but mainly just a monotonous, echoing nothingness resounding through my body and ringing in my ears.
Goodbyes are said, belongings sorted, sifted, packed into boxes, where they will sit in cold, dark storage rooms where time stands still and a lifetime of memories are preserved like pickles in a jar. What things are too precious or too necessary are stuffed into two overflowing suitcases.
And all the while, Numbness.
Farewell parties; days scratched off a calender; travelling mercies spoken.
And then, a Trigger. Something insignificant, unrelated. A frustating cab ride, a split grocery bag, a missing button, and it's as if a cork has been forced out of the neck of a bottle and the result is explosive.
The tears come, and they can't be stopped.
Suddenly, all the emotions are escaping from the confines of my heart and are spilling out into the room. The confusion, the anger, the sorrow and feeling of loss, they all mix with the feelings of excitement and anticipation and form the saltiness that is swallowed by my pillow. My body convulses with grief and it's the first time in weeks that I've felt like it's really me in there; that I'm not just a stranger inhabiting a body which seems familiar but, when I look closer, really isn't, the way that in a dream you don't always recognize yourself until you wake up.
A small, non-committal part of me makes a half-hearted attempt to sweep up the tears and pocket them, push them aside for a time more convenient than this, but it's like trying to fix a broken hourglass. The sand is escaping and scattering in every direction and it's impossible to mend the glass fast enough to contain it.
The damage is done.
I can't be a robot anymore.
I hear you in the gentle sound of a smile, and it breaks my heart.
Sunday, February 22, 2009