Does everyone’s internal dialogue contain so many voices and perspectives? Is everyone awash in conflicting thoughts and impulses?  Or is it just us, the Utterly Fucked?  It’s that feeling where I want to go and do something, a hike, a few hours at the bookstore, a nice walk around the ‘hood, something I know will be good and right, and instead I can make myself do… nothing.  Sit.  Read the paper.  Nap. Have another beer.

Sometimes I decide today is going to be a good day and then slam the door on the way out and cry in the car, pounding on the steering wheel all the way to work.

Other times I realize I can’t take any of it anymore and then I don’t have to.  I end up blithely drifting through the day, smiling at the elusive sun and puddled earth.  We are getting so much rain these days I’m afraid Silas’ tree is going to need swimming lessons.

Most days the cascading terror of my-life-gone-horribly-wrong churns me awake before the dawn, but often by nightfall I’m laughing with Lu or friends, surrounded by so much love I almost start to feel lucky.

I used to feel lucky all the time.  I used to think I was one of the happiest people out there, despite the often intense sense of anger I have always felt at the occasional injustices of the World.

My World is entirely Unjust these days.  Happiness is elusive, too.

I used to sleep well.  I can still fall asleep in fifteen seconds flat and I nap as though I have a special super power for napping.  But I cannot remember a time when I have had a full night of sleep.  Pre-dawn is the worst.  There’s no refuge there besides more sleep, and there’s just way too much to think about.

The Path of Worry is a deep groove.  I slip in before I know it, and finding my way out is an ordeal.  Sometimes it’s easier to just lay down amid the worn rocks and sharp pebbles and watch the vultures circle above.  I try to pick out the silhouette of hawks amid the scavengers.  I’m amazed by the endless sky and steep sides to this gully and I wonder, every morning I wonder, how the fuck are we going to get out of here?

Can’t climb the walls.  Can’t disintegrate into the Earth.  Backwards is disaster and so that only leaves forward.  But sometimes I cannot move one single step.  Then, sleep is the only refuge, but always I wake up wide and worn out and can’t believe it’s another day without Silas.

All of them are.  From That Day until the end of my forever, it is all without my son.  I feel my bones getting wobbly and sick at the thought of that.  I feel my soul shrivel and hide.  My mind sends me images of bright, shiny objects to distract me from the catastrophic disgustingness of a thought like that.  It used to shatter me, now I just sigh and rub my eyes and wonder what I’ll do next to get by, hang on, let go or act out, depending on what I can muster for the moment.

You’d be fooled, though, just reading this.  These words are the gymnastics I do in my mind day after day, moment after moment.  In person I’m nothing like this.  Most of the time I’m calm and pleasant.  If you just met me today you might never know my son died in September and that I am still in the very taloned grasp of crushing grief.

That’s why I’ve been thinking about changing my name.  “Imissilas” has a great ring to it, and that way whenever I met someone new they would know what I was all about.  And that way, when my friends called out to me, they would know what I was thinking about anyway.  With that name I could unify myself.  Instead of being my name and missing my son, I could just be both all the time.

I don’t know how to do this.  I don’t know how to live this life, to experience this pain, to heal, to hang on.  So I’m just making it up as I go and letting the confusing contradictions of every single day and moment, of my soul and heart, of my fear and love and confusion, all of it, I’m allowing it to wake me up when it must and lay me flat when I can’t stand and crush the tears out of me when the pressure grows too strong.

Drained I find a way to pick myself up again and trudge forward, head tucked against the torrent, slowly winding my way through this shadowed, vultured valley.  Silas’ heart beats in my chest.  His soul fills everything within my skin.

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