This Is The Hard Part

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Flickr/Phil Roeder

This hold music is making me tear up. I’m not usually like this, I swear. You would know. I’m waiting on the line, not for you, just because it’s the next thing I have to do. We both know about the things people have to do, like making phone calls, or leaving, or staying—or small, serious chores like chopping wood.

It’s the little things these days. It’s the hold music. It’s the morning. It’s the evening.

It’s how the kitchen sink faucet won’t stop dripping like a goddamn metronome, marking my hours in this half-empty apartment. The figurative pendulum swings, like my arms around this ax. Every day is chopping wood.

But still there’s a rhythm—like a ticking clock, like a breath in sleep, like a pulse.

A heart that aches is a heart that beats. A heart that aches is a heart that beats. A heart that aches is a heart that beats. You can’t wreck a wreck.

I just wish I could sing. Because if I had the voice for it, then I would blaze torch songs until the building caught fire. Then I wouldn’t have to look at all of this stuff. Etta James said she’d rather go blind. And I get it, Etta, I do.

This is the hard part. This is the sixth repetition. This is the third lap in your mile. This is splitting half a cord by hand. You knew this was coming and now it is here.

There is a formula to half-time speeches. Begin by assessing the damage, frame the fight, and address the odds. Then hammer the existence of a special situation that makes overcoming those odds possible. It isn’t really what you say, but the tempo and tone with which you say it. It’s the rhythm that pushes people forward.

Or at least that’s how it is in the movies.  I wouldn’t know. I ran track. There are no half-time speeches in a race.

You don’t assess the damage, frame the fight, or address the odds. You just keep going forward. But still there’s a rhythm—like a ticking clock, like a breath in sleep, like a pulse.

This is the hard part. It’s good that it’s hard. It should be hard. Every day is just chopping wood. But still there’s a rhythm to it. The thing about wood is, once you have enough, how very easily you can make it into something new. TC mark

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