I’m not going to complain about it being Wednesday today. It was a fine day. That’s all.
Recently I was part of a conversation between a frightened eighteen year-old boy and the three of us adulty women. He was expressing his frustration at the realization that life would be nothing but a series of struggles, lots we lose. Before he could even finish his thought, all three of us were nodding along. Yep. Then we said very inspirational stuff, like how sometimes the struggles that we lose turn out to be the best kind, and how it’s always hard, but the point is that you try, and you try to have a good time doing it, and stuff that’s even wiser than that that I don’t recall clearly.
It’s true though, that wise stuff we said. It’s also true what he said, which is that it sucks. I feel for the kid. It’s tough thinking about adult stuff for the first time. And all the times after that, too.
I have a friend who is taking the time and space necessary to work through some old stuff. Stuff is kind of a synonym for trauma where I work. I think that is an amazing endeavor and I’m in awe of you, my heartsong friend. Another thing that we told this young man was that it is awesome that he’s realizing the whole “life is way hard” thing here, where he has awesome older women to support him, and where he is able to process some of the “stuff” in a totally safe place. And he has nothing else to do! We all have homes, and jobs, and cars, and roofs that leak, and probably mice somewhere, and mortgages, and pets, and appliances that don’t work, AND our “stuff” keeps coming up and we keep having to deal with it even though we are really fucking busy. Sorry. I had to curse there because all the words I tried instead of cursing weren’t nearly as fun.
So, I started to write a poem about trauma and the way it returns, but then I got home and hugged HP and the poem turned into something different. I think it is still about trauma, in a way. I don’t know.
There are some days, he can tell, that you’ve spent all day staring into the vast mouth of a wasp reanimating in the first sun of spring, telling all the monsters that “oh no, you’re back”, when you come through the door saying “you can tell the carnivores by their teeth”, and somehow he, only, can see that today every rotting memory is a beast in waiting, that for hours you’ve been imagining a mean insect with a delayed sting, that numbs for a decade before awakening the swelling and burn. By an act of sheer sorcery in his arms you are made the greatest composer, and that on his body you will write back that circling plague, the locusts of injury and memory, you will beat them back with the gaping pleasure of these bodies right now, you will be a poet between these sheets, tracing up his underarm to curl around the shoulder in pretty brushes, P, circling his torso O, the E nibbled sideways under his chest, a good M starts you mouth at his shoulder, down the breastbone and back up the other side. What lovely penmanship this is, this bedroom composition, and even though the carnivorous pests lie in wait, each touch is your recovery.
I tried a different format this time. This poem got weird. Whatever. Whatever Wednesday, from now on. This computer is being wacky, too, so no fun photos for me tonight. Happy Wednesday!