I’m all tangled inside. I just don’t wanna. I don’t wanna think about it. I don’t wanna be about it. I just wanna go on with my life like it’s not there. Let the wind blow through the stands of my heart. Let time comb its fingers through. Let gravity untangle until they hand down long and straight. Wait for the wind to slow, to cool, to chime.
I don’t wanna deal with it. I just wanna let it lie. Lie to myself. Tell myself it’s not there. Tell myself it’ll go away. Tell myself it’s not a big deal. It’s not different from anyone else. Sometime tell myself it’s okay. Tell myself it’s okay to feel tangled and sad. But not okay to show it.
Go about business like usual. Smile and laugh and make small talk. So much to do. Don’t have time to be tangled. Nobody wants to see the knots inside. They want to see smooth and polished outside. They want to see what they expect to see. So I give them what they expect to see.
“My grandma died.”
“Oh, I’m sorry.”
“That’s okay. She was 87.” Try to put a brave face on it. Make them know I’m okay. Hide the knots which they don’t want to see anyway. They can’t untangle them.
Who are you to make sarcastic comments about the death of my loved one? Who are you to try to turn this into a tragedy? Moron. Idiot. Asshole. I’d like to staple your mouth shut.
Don’t say anything though. Walk away unsettled. Who are you to try to question my attempts to minimize? To comfort? To pass off?
That’s my job. I do it quite well all by myself. I minimize. I comfort. I pass off. I close the door on the room full of tangled knots. I walk away and go on with my life, the one that’s still being lived. I go to my classes, my jobs, my interviews, my meetings, my commitments. Can’t be helped anyway. What else is there to do? Say la vie.
I start to think about the tangles and they start to twist up. My fingers fly faster. My leg jiggles. Feel the tension in my shoulder. Feel the tight stomach muscles. Feel the hunching forward, curving of the spine, aching of the eyes, like my hair is pulled to tight.
That’s not helping anybody. Not making me feel better. No bringing back the dead. No relieving grief or loss or sadness. Not helping my family or my classmates or anyone. I don’t believe in catharsis.
Time heals. Time untangles the knots. Tears tie them tighter. Tears I fight and in the struggle tie the tangles tighter. Should I stop fighting. I don’t know. Not in my nature to stop fighting. Not in my nature to be who I am.
Not in my nature to grieve out loud for what cannot be changed.