“I won’t accept your apology.” Ticktock. “Really, there’s nothing to be sorry about.” He froze. Slowly lifting his face, he looked at me. I mimicked his kneeling posture. Our eyes met, his bewildered expression versus my unwavering gaze. “You and I, we’ve been leaders in our company. If there’s something we’re very much used to, it’s making the cold, hard decisions.” Silence. “At that time, I couldn’t do it. There is more she could achieve, I thought to myself. But I wore my passion, cloaking my selfishness well.” Bile rose in my throat. My eyes started to sting. “I have failed her and would fail her more if you haven’t stepped…”
“You could’ve..,” he started.
I raised my hand, and he allowed me to continue. “When I look at her and the group, at what they’ve accomplished, the awards, the praise, I couldn’t help but question myself, if I pushed on, would she have this? Can I give her this?” I swallowed, then laughter rose from me. It sounded bitter. “Let’s face it. Chances are… she won’t. You, you saved us. Amber loves to call it “lost love” but I’ve always disagreed. It, it just wasn’t the right time.” Another round of silence. My knees started to hurt. “Do you still have feelings for her?”
“What the ..?” I stood up, affronted. “You’re ruining the mood by asking stupid questions!” He looked ashen. I grinned at him. “Ah…” he rubbed his temples and stood up. “Rumors about your temper seems to be true.”
“Some rumors are true,” I retorted.
HE. His hands. He’s all over me. A huge mass pulling me back. Putting his weight. Pressing. So I remain rooted to where I was seconds ago — wet ground. I didn’t resist. I couldn’t. I could hear voices. Cheering. I’m saved.
But why can’t I help but feel annoyed?
A hurricane, flying objects, those pots with their yellow flowers, my aunt waited for a year to see them bloom, now they’re outside, part of the growing debris, flying, sucked by a monstrous wind, left, right, I could feel its strength, its pull… I’m coming closer. My last chance to turn back is on my hands, wet, firm grip on a bent railing. Loosening.
I’m letting go.
“WHY DON’T I SEE STARS?”
I turned my eyes to the heavens.
Then a voiceless answer comes to me “if
you see the stars, will it change how you feel?”
“then don’t look for the stars!
don’t look for the comets.. don’t look for anything
unless you’re ready to see them.”
This internal convo did occur. Haha.
Random clicking got me here. Again.
Others of us—
the stubborn, unbreakable humans—weld our wounds
to form tools. Then we spend our days
mending bent humans or wiping the humans
mired by all the wrong fingerprints.
~ from Eugenia Leigh’s We Called It the Year of Birthing
A good read by Jason Fagone
“The main thing people get wrong when they imagine being shot is that they think the bullet itself is the problem. The lump of metal lodged in the body. The action-movie hero is shot in the stomach; he limps to a safe house; he takes off his shirt, removes the bullet with a tweezer, and now he is better. This is not trauma surgery. Trauma surgery is about fixing the damage the bullet causes as it rips through muscle and vessel and organ and bone.”
“She started talking about the 2012 murder of 20 schoolchildren and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Goldberg said that if people had been shown the autopsy photos of the kids, the gun debate would have been transformed. “The fact that not a single one of those kids was able to be transported to a hospital, tells me that they were not just dead, but really really really really dead. Ten-year-old kids, riddled with bullets, dead as doornails.” Her voice rose. She said people have to confront the physical reality of gun violence without the polite filters. “The country won’t be ready for it, but that’s what needs to happen. That’s the only chance at all for this to ever be reversed.”