Stories & Scar Tissue
I drink in the pages in the same way that not too long ago I drank pints of bourbon, always hoping to escape the noise in my head or give it reason. The words are much more effective.
This is the storm before the calm as the internal battle rages inside of my head, rational against irrational, and though I am well aware of the difference and which will eventually be the victor, when something has had forty-five years to seed, grow and seethe inside like a poison that forgot its purpose and instead keeps me alive, it doesn’t give in to easily to the new way of thought.
At times when I feel that the only true escape is sleep, I turn the light off by my bed I use to read, but it makes little difference, as secretly, silently, while my attention was in a different world written by someone else, quiet light has leaked through my window shades. The Sun is giving the hushed alert that it will soon light up the City again, making San Francisco into hundreds of thousands more stories – some plots linked together with a multitude of characters and events, others just very, very alone and nearly completely solitary. I already know pieces of the story that I will be a part of today after I sleep for a few hours, but all the rest is yet to be written…
I briefly look for something to bookmark the page I decide to leave on, laughing to myself a second later when I remember that I’m reading from my Kindle. I laugh because it feels like I’m going crazy. Crazy with fear, with love, with hope – all of these ding battle inside of my heart. Head crazy is one thing, but when it stems from the heart… it’s different. More powerful, less accessible to make right.
Fortunately this isn’t a fraction of what I felt the fourteen years ago when I began this search in earnest – when for the first time in my life I found someone who not only asked the right questions, but was the first person I truly felt could identify with what was inside of me. There was no sympathy – she didn’t try to fix me, didn’t say the words that I had been hearing from others all of my life – she just read the words that came from somewhere unknown inside of me, and was silent, or cried along.
I miss her. I always will – and I’ll always be grateful for our lives crossing… as they needed to.
I often wonder what builds character in a person, builds strength in their heart. I once think I believed the old saying “That which doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.” – but I’m not so sure of that anymore as a general rule. It comes with its caveats. When that which doesn’t kill you lands you in a hospital for upwards of two years, watching the life you love, the people you love, and all the heart you’ve so happily invested in it pass you by, leaving nothing but a feeling that you’re too old, too weak to ever catch up again, leaving a feeling that this time is done… it’s harder and harder to get out of bed every day and face it, fight the scars and the irrational thinking that this is the end of what you loved, and now it’s just a matter of time.
You want to go out, to start again, but where? I still haven’t been able to figure that out. I feel that I’ve lost the way back through the looking glass.
Last week I went to visit my doctor. Not an appointment, he just wanted me to come by, & set a few minutes aside in his busy day to catch up. I told him about finally finding my birth mother, and of waiting to see where that went. Briefly, we talked about that, a few other things, and then as I was preparing to leave he gave me an incredibly warm hug, looked at me with wet eyes, and told me that he has never known anyone with a heart as strong as mine.
I could have said that it’s because of all the scar tissue. I could have said that I would give anything for the opportunity to have it broken again, just to feel it, to know that it is still there, waiting, wanting, beating out a message of its desire to share itself with someone else, to feel full once more. I’ve got it in my head, however, that so few that I would want to offer it to would want the flesh wrapped around it. It’s a very difficult thought to overcome when so much time and energy has been put into making the flesh whole again – but I must, and hopefully soon, I will.
Then again, maybe he just needs a better stethoscope.