On my left calf, there is a bruise from the time you playfully bit me. As it’s been three weeks since, I think it should be gone by now, and I cannot stop thinking, what’s wrong with me? Ask me what I thought about when I climbed that rooftop. Ask me what is running through my mind standing eight stories above, gazing at family dinners and passing birds and an impossibly violet sky. I shouldn’t be thinking about you while up here, but it is you that I am thinking of. You are supposed to be here with me, right here in this moment. Or maybe it just feels like you are supposed to be here in this moment.
I’m looking out at violet bleeding into midnight blue and the faint golden glow clouding the city. Is that you Father? Or are those just city lights with no meaning? Now I’m looking up, most up, at the emerging stars. I’m curious to see if I can align them in a way that makes sense. Orion. Lyra. Ursa Minor. Ursa Major. I’m in desperate need for explanations as I might’ve met God earlier, throwing everything that made no sense into even less sense.
Preceding when I ascended to the building top, three strangers, a middle-aged man and woman and an adolescent boy, approached me as I casually leaned against a brick building. The man simply said, “Can we pray for you?” So they took turns, each praying for different things: for my friendships, for my health and safety, for my presence on earth. I was so embarrassed because upon their prayers, which I struggled immensely to see the benefit in, I started crying since I’m suicidal and crying at everything is what these kinds of people do. Before they came, I was simply standing there in red pants and a jean jacket, playing a stupid game on my phone, muttering profanities under my breath. Nothing special, nothing sad. So why me, Perhaps God? Why me? Maybe angels are real. Or maybe some people are just good, really, really good.
Up here, I can’t decide whether the city is small and touchable or grand and untouchable. Peculiar—I can stick out my hand and in the length of this hand, miles of cobblestone streets and buildings become covered. I feel as if I can understand the problems of all the inhabitants, but I know that is impossible. These are their stories, not mine. This is our city, not my city. I’m thinking it might be the silence of this high place that’s causing my perceived omniscience. The silence that everyone forgets down below, I remember it up here. It is real. It is tangible. It is all encompassing and it is lonely.
There used to be beauty in the silence: late nights and required whispers. Quiet kisses, muffled laughs, and hidden looks. In the shadows and moonlight, we loved. And dazed on the rooftop, wallowing in seconds long gone, I suddenly feel in love with the way we used to cry, not laugh, but cry. It wasn’t perfect, but it was pretty and delicate and dangerous like a flame. Our brief love affair, infinitely too brief in my opinion, was an amorous dance with restrained desires and secrets escaping through fingers running down backs and lips sighing into hair. And now? Now the tears that fall from our cheeks are not the tears of combative arguments of who loves more; they are the black tears of ugly and empty hate. And speaking of two polar ends of the emotional spectrum, if I had really loved you, it seems I would have halted my abandon of restraint, of walking on dangerous balconies and waving from above. But no, I never stopped mercilessly taunting fate from places I shouldn’t have been and I’m sorry for that. Truly, I’m entirely sorry.
Whether jumping from bridges or resurrecting from near death, I’ve come to the conclusion that there are no life changing events, just events that change trajectories by a few hundredths of a decimal point. I’m not thanking the liars and the heartbreakers and the assholes in my life for where I am today, and I’m never going to until the sun shines in my head again.
Not of my fault, nor of your fault, nor of anyone else’s fault in this realm, life is not as fun as I thought it’d be at six years old. What lessons have I learned other than dislove and distrust? Waning friendships? Fading dreams? Dying wishes? And I’m also wondering if anyone can touch the abandoned space between isolated systems of organs (I depressingly think that no one is capable of truly distancing this void). And additionally, I’m feeling really sad that I’ve ran my future children into the ground in result of my pronouncement to be as un-alive as possible.
It’s final; life is everything and nothing that I thought it would be. Yet somehow, I remain in love with a universe that hurts to love. And standing eight stories above, looking down not at the cars stuck in traffic, but at the bruise on my left calf, the silence now sings not of fantasyland love, but of loneliness. And to this, I am learning to say, “Okay. O-k-a-y.”