December 31st, 2013

Whether it is kept, or whether it is false, a promise must be made. It is so important to say something to the one who seeks comfort. So, say that you will stay forever, even if you plan to depart tomorrow. Say that you will love them for all eternity, even when another’s scent lingers on your skin. Love makes starving infants out of us. It is enough that we are naked; must we also be made to hold our aching bellies?

This is it, kids. Grab hold of the dog, and listen up. Know that I am still queen of the underworld. Ignore that I have climbed to the top of the mountain several times, only to be told it was a hill. What is important, is that I made the attempt under the impression I was conquering dangerous terrain. Ignore that I killed Hades, only to be told it was the doorman. I struck with determination and conviction.

The hellhound is not coming back. He has told me this in dreams, in that same language I know so well. He says it is time to be well-formed, and fill my height to the top. My cursive is bad, and my confidence is worse. I have fallen off the highest wall, so I know the pain of breaking every bone. It is not fair to say I fear pain, only that I seek to avoid it. Running and hiding are not crimes, but it is not wise to make a job out of this. I soak in what I think I must, flatten out my feet, and speak with authority. I take the sticky children‘s hands, tell the new dog he is a good boy, and I march forward.

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December 31st, 2013

September 12th, 2013

Tomorrow would have been my king’s seventh birthday. There is nothing to be done. As they say in Al-Anon, let go and let god. Let god take the breath out of your lungs. Let him strangle you, as you take your vitamins in the morning. Let him bruise your arms, as he holds you still.

My very survival has always depended on the ability to identify my vulnerabilities. It isn’t hard to stay soft these days, because it is all I am. I cry as I drive to work. I cry on the drive home. And if I close my eyes, I see my boy sitting on the hill with the gnarled tree. I try not to create castles and fantastic things out of cigarette smoke. I do not want to smile, fearful this will move me away from his ghost.

I have adopted another dog. I do not want him, reject him when he begs for attention, ignore him when I can. I have named the thing Diego. Once he is house trained, I will gift him to my father. It seems he is having a difficult time dealing with my hellhound’s passing. They did, after all, spend most weekends together.

This act of kindness, it draws out my patience. Diego is nothing like my beast. He is a needy creature, disgusting and loud. There is no beauty to him, no grace. Though it has only been a day, I long to be rid of him.

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Diego, the day I adopted him.
September 12th, 2013