Just gonna stand there and watch me burn…

16 07 2010

My world is on fire…everything changes so quickly and yet nothing truly changes.

It’s so hard to walk away from something right in front of you that has your name written all over it and yet looks nothing like what you want or need.

It’s so hard to turn away from a structure that you have spent five years alternately building and tearing down brick by brick.You feel like every good moment was a brick that you could set on top of the half-constructed wall and mortar in solidly; you felt like it would hold forever and someday you would take a step back and look at what you had put your tears and fears and dreams into and see this magnificent edifice shining in the setting sun of your life. Then one day you realize that the mortar is crumbling, the bricks are crookedly set and covered in moss and ivy and that the entire wall is uneven and swaying in any little wind gust. The edifice that you had seen rising in your future is nowhere to be found and you have to make a choice…you can walk away and find a new foundation to build upon or you can stay and patch the holes, shore up the walls and try to keep building.

A few weeks ago I was prepared to throw proverbial Molotov cocktails at the crumbling walls and stand there and watch it burn…it was so easy to act brave and nonchalant and indifferent in the face of my ire and pain. It was so easy to pretend that it was easier to start from scratch rather than finish what I had started five years ago but I found myself so alone and desolate that I retraced my steps to see if anything remained on that burnt out shell of a foundation that I had so eagerly abandoned.

It became clear that every bad moment had been a brick I had torn from the walls, a window I had shattered, a match I had thrown on the floor and I could practically look around the empty charred remains of that structure and envision where each scar, each broken piece came from…and I found comfort in the history of it.

I saw the first time he said “I hate you”; I saw the first time I slept alone after we broke up and how empty that bed felt; I saw the first time he said he didn’t love me anymore; I saw the time I slapped him and he pulled my hair so hard that parts of it fell out the rest of the day; I saw the moments when we couldn’t be in the same room anymore because the sight of the other person sickened us; I saw all the moments of silence when we had nothing left to say and five years’ of tears dripping down the brick walls.

Then I noticed the few straight strong bricks that still held true in those crumbling walls and I marveled at their strength and ability to hold those walls upright when the rest of the universe seemed to be determined to pull them down.

I could see the first time he said “I love you”; I saw the first time he slept with me and I felt so safe in his arms; I saw the first time he told me I was beautiful; I saw all the embraces that he bestowed on me when I was hurt, lonely, or abandoned; I saw the moments when he was there to listen to me and tell me it would be ok; I saw the times he forgave me when I didn’t deserve it; I saw the look in his eyes when I knew he loved me deeply.

So now I look at this bombed-out shell of a structure and see my history, both good and bad and I hesitate to walk away from something that I have too easily cast aside, set ablaze and deconstructed in my callous discontent…and for now, I try to prop up the falling walls, patch the holes and pray that it doesn’t collapse around me.

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