I wasn’t seeing anything clearly
that semester in the park.
All that I could see was
everyone else talking, and
their perception of me.
So I fell silent in paranoia,
paralyzed by the idea that no-one could help
this growing unrest only I could feel.
And what an awful feeling, crippled in fear
that the mind, like a bridge, with enough force
could so easily collapse.
Because I wasn’t who I was a year before.
Or a year before that—I didn’t want to be.
I didn’t have a clue of who I was or where I wanted to go, you see—
It felt as if my sense of meaning had dissolved.
As if my efforts were for not.
And as I sat staring, watching all my friends disappear
it felt as if all my life had been a lie,
like someone else was pulling the strings.
And the longer I kept quiet,
the less there was to say.
The longer I stood still,
the more I wanted to run.
See people don’t just drown,
they tread water till they no longer can.
Some try for shore, others the horizon.
Except I wasn’t seeing anything clearly
that semester in the park,
trying to rationalize my fathers death and why
I hated myself so deeply for something no one could explain.
You know, if I close my eyes long enough I can still see that teenage me doing everything he could to keep it together.
Stone faced and embarrassed.
And what’s a stone do best?