All along I thoughtOvernight fear chases sleep from my head and doubts crowd in to choke of the self-confidence I worked so hard to build up over the course of the day, in my constant mental self-nagging to breathe deeply, move slowly, think less.
I was learning how to take
How to bend not how to break
How to live not how to cry
I've been learning how to die
Fear joins the cold and together they snap a blanket out full and it drifts down over me like a shroud and maybe I am dead and I haven't noticed yet.
No, I'm not.
And if you would prefer, you can stop reading or I can lock you the fuck out and then you'll never have to pass judgement on me. But we both know we're blowing smoke, because I need to write to empty my head, because the cost of keeping it in is greater than the cost of letting it out, and you, well, I guess you just have a sick fetish to keep coming back. It's okay, there is no shame here. If I have none then you don't need to worry about a thing.
Last night Caleb came over. I may joke around, and call him names and bait him horribly and allow him access to my head and my heart but when all is said and done (that's an oxymoron, it never is) he is trying, just like we all are, to make his way in the world under a cloud of tragedy and he's trying to figure out who he is, who he wants to be.
Just like you, and just like me.
Remember how I told you once that Ben and I were two halves of the same person? We both veer far off course creatively, we're both wildly immature and perverted and we're both incredibly fragile, determined people? Well, believe it or not Caleb and I have a lot in common too. We both loved Cole and miss him terribly, we're both masochists driven to distraction by our needs and we both have an overwhelming desire to protect Ben.
Anyhow, Caleb was over last night to drop off the presents he has for us, because he did that shopping himself, even for the children, which never fails to impress me, and also to apologize for cornering me so brutally on a day when I was losing that sunlit, confident edge. He offered me the rest of the month off and I refused, and he took his forgiveness and wore it like a blue ribbon prize, because he's worked hard to not come across as the villain in the group. (That was Ben's job, remember?) and he's worked hard to try and be closer to us as his family. To watch over us. Sometimes unwelcome assistance, but assistance nevertheless.
He's held back from weighing in on important subjects, and he's overstepped his boundaries on others. He makes mistakes. I'm not going to make excuses for him and he's not going to shove down my throat the mistakes I make.
Mistakes like completely ignoring some of Ben's wishes. Which I'm not going to tell you, because if I thought the hate mail multiplied before, you would lose your minds. And maybe someday I will grant them, but not now because I'm in no condition to go there.
I'm really not.
And I'm okay with that, and frankly, so is Ben, because he isn't ready to face his greatest fears. Not yet. It isn't time. There will be time later, but not now.
Because now, I'm late for brunch. With everyone, Caleb included. I don't ask for readers, you know, so if you don't understand why I need him in my life, I can't help you.