Into The Winter
Crawl out of bed and listen to the wood creak below your toes. Skate across your space and start to grab at what you’ll need. You move quickly, like you’re late for nothing and then the window whispers in your direction. It teases you before you’re ready.
Peel your clothes off and make room for more. Wrap your neck, roll your socks, coat yourself all over. Then when you’re bundled and set, lock the door so you can leave it behind. Take your keys and hug them between your palms. You hold them so tight, like they might reciprocate.
Step out and into the cold. Don’t hesitate. Walk into the chill and let the door slam behind you. The sound of the metal frame’s thump against your building startles your bones and sends shock waves. It should shake you, it should push you out of the easy.
The temperature cuts right away, so don’t act surprised. Let it turn you inside out. If it hurts a little, that’s okay. That means it’s making change.
Pack your hands into your pockets. Keep them safe and warm if you can. Then pick a song and stick to it. Match your steps to the strums. Pretend the song is just for you. Hide in its notes, in its pace. Let it guide you down each bare block. It will lead you to the unfamiliar if you allow, if that’s what you want. Maybe let it take you there this time.
You might stare into the thin air, you might hear a lot of noise inside of your head. Let your thoughts breathe and then freeze into the open space. They’ll break, they’ll fall, and they’ll rise again if they’re meant to.
Sit down on a tiny bench and take a minute to miss the something you never had. The feeling is yours, you made it from scratch. It’s foggy but it’s real and it hurts. Try to keep your head up and your eyes wide. Keep yourself company. You’d rather be here than at arm’s length somewhere else.
You can’t wait around for an idea. He disappoints.
Confuse this pain with that of the icy atmosphere. Mix them up and then walk them off. Get up and move down the sidewalks and let them move you back. Follow them until you find a new rhythm. Don’t stop moving until you’ve purged this thick feeling. It’s too heavy to carry around anymore.
Hold onto your tears, delay your reaction and then let them go. See them fall and leave you forever. Look down at your boots and watch them skim the icy sidewalk. They form a gentle sound when they touch down. Listen to the quiet crash they make. It’s the sound of moving forward and moving on. And it’s the sound of finding something you weren’t looking for.
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The best thing about being a young adult right now is that you, more than any previous generation, have the freedom and the resources to create your own religion. So, let’s get started.
The apartment you lived in your first year out of school, the walk-up with a view of the street.
I wanted to quit my job. I hated my boss.
His eyes widened, he became angry, and backed off of me. I told him he could leave now. Now. He said “With you being a good Christian girl, and me studying to be a priest, I think it’s important we not tell anyone what we did.”