Sometimes life traps you. It closes you into a corner. Locks you in your room. You feel like it’s all just bricks, and you’re the mortar. Getting crushed into something boring, forced to be somewhere dry and uninviting. Sometimes you feel stuck. Stuck in some sort of state where news of broken bones and discovered love is no different. It’s all the same. It’s all the same shitty, sad, mortary sameness. And you can’t escape. Life deals you a hand that Christ himself couldn’t turn into something useful, and you already bet all your chips.
Sometimes life robs you. Robs you of the only true currency we have in this poor, poor world. Sometimes that currency, that constant, true currency, is snatched from your pocket. Quickly and slyly stolen by million year-old gypsies who’d do anything to spite you. Or maybe there was a hole in your pocket all along, and you just needed someone to blame it on. It doesn’t matter. What you had left of your time is gone, and you won’t get it back. You’re a betting man, remember?
Sometimes life bullies you. Sometimes it pushes you against the playground fence, or calls you names that sound like snake bites. Sometimes life looms over you. Like a wobbly legged giant. Or a brick tower, tilting sharply. It leans over you until it’s just about to break. But it never does. Because breaking would be too simple. It floats there, like a chandelier hung with thin thread, wanting you to think it will fall, begging you to cover your head and scream. Worrying you. Scaring you. Crumbling around your feet.
Sometimes life hates you. And all you can do is hate it right back.
Many times, far too many, life can be bad. Of that I’m sure. There’s nothing anyone can say that will sway me or change my mind. Call me a cynic. That’s ok. I probably am one. Because many times, far too many than I’d like, I see life as something that can hurt, something that can sting. And that’s ok too. Because I never get bored.
But among all of this – this dirt, pain, shit and mortar – there is good. And that, too, is something I’m sure of.
Because sometimes life is generous. Sometimes life gives you brothers with different blood. Sometimes life gives you sisters with big hearts. Sometimes life lets you breathe deeply while walking through a crowd of complete strangers in a completely strange place and feel so serene. More serene than Christ himself just after he’s turned a bad hand into something useful. Sometimes life is happy. Happier than the happiest songs sung by church choirs and boy bands. Happier than vanilla ice cream. Happier than well-intentioned graffiti. Sometimes life can be gentle. Sometimes, when you fall from a tall, leaning tower, life gives you something surprisingly soft to fall on. A mattress twice as thick as it should be. Or maybe all you need is some tall, green grass. Sometimes, just sometimes, that’s what life’s best at; giving you exactly what you need, exactly when you need it.
Sometimes cynics smile. Because we find something, some small piece of evidence, some subtle nudge that tells of a life that’s not so cynical. Sometimes, inexplicably, a feeling of goodness rushes over me, prickling my chest, filling my lungs, whispering to me to stop being so grim. Telling me to start seeing behind some of life’s curtains. Start seeing that life isn’t so bad.
Maybe it can be good.
Maybe, just maybe, it can be great.