You won’t read this, and that’s fine. I guess I never intended you to. But when you’re built like me, built with a brain that begs to be thrown onto a piece of a paper or projected on a computer screen, a captive audience isn’t always the most important thing. Saying it is the most important. Getting it out so it stops spurring the soft spots in my mind. Declaring it is so it can stop stirring in my stomach. So, that’s what I’m doing. Saying it.
There are a lot of ways I could go about this. There are a lot of ways to say what I want to say. Too many, almost. Usually, when it comes to this sort of thing, the words don’t hide from me. They stand square in the hallways in my head, ready for me to find them. I see them, imagine what they sound like, what they feel like, and I write them down. I’m no stranger to that process. It’s something I’ve done more times than I can imagine. My words are, without a doubt, my most familiar friends.
But now, as I sit here, they’re hidden. Ducked behind shadows, crouched around corners. Avoiding me at all costs as if I have intent to harm them or their families if I catch them. They’ll do anything to keep from being discovered, described and used. They’ll do anything to evaporate from my consciousness, to disappear from my fingers. And if I’m being honest, that’s pretty fucking frustrating.
Because now, right now, at this point in my life, my inability to find those words is fatal. I don’t mean that my body will die if I don’t find them. I’ll continue to be and breathe. But there is a part of me, a part that’s been bruised and crippled from years of neglect, that won’t. There is a part of me that will drift away sure as the breath leaves my lungs. Sure as the moon slips away from the morning. There is a part of me that has been hiding, hiding now with those words, invisible.
That’s why I’m writing this. That part of me, the part that used to light up when my hand brushed another, is starving.
It’s irrational what I’m about to say. It doesn’t make sense. Maybe that’s the way it’s supposed to be. Either way, it doesn’t matter. Because that small, dim part of me is alive enough to tell me that you are what it needs. That cold, starved part of me still exists enough to tell me that you are what will save it. You.
It doesn’t make sense because it’s set off by the smallest things you do. It’s ignited by your walk. Stoked by your laugh. Sustained by your presence. I’m sure you don’t even realize it. How could you? You’ve probably been that way your whole life. It’s just the way you are. And for that reason, for that foggy, smoke-filled reason, I’m lost for words.
Maybe someday I’ll find those words again. Maybe someday they’ll stop trying to escape and instead come to me with happiness and hopefulness. And if they do, if they walk out from those dark, shadowy places, believe that I will run to you. Believe that I will run to you, wherever you are, and hold out my hand. I’ll hold out my hand, cut and scarred from those years of self-abuse and self-defense, and give you words full of the goodness that I have left. Full of the happiness that I can remember. Full of that part of me that’s been hiding for all this time.
You won’t read this, and that’s fine. But I needed to say it. If only to feel like I’ve found what I’ve been looking for. If only to feel like there’s hope. Hope that that small part of me can be repaired, patched up, made new. Hope is a deceivingly big word, but it’s not too big to conquer. So I’ll be here, searching. Searching for those words and what they’ve kept from me. Searching for that part of me. Searching for you.