I fear no one
and no thing,
and that's terrifying,
or it should be
and the rest of you
set in a mold,
waiting to be released
by trembling hands,
understanding I'll lose some of myself
in the process,
for the mold holds
These are both me. I have just passed a threshold. According to the BMI (Body Mass Index), I have crossed over from obesity to overweightitude. It should be obvious which photo shows the obese me and which shows the overweight me. The obese me is deeply unattractive, painful to look at, undesirable, insecure, maybe not even human. The overweight me, on the other hand, is handsome, charming, charismatic, irrestible to the opposite sex. It's amazing what one lost pound can do.
I read grand words about who I am. I'm your child. I have a purpose. I should strive for perfection, even knowing it is unobtainable. How can I, when my basic needs aren't met? I have enough to eat, if all I need is calories. I have shelter, but for how long? I have a gift of caring, with no one to care for. My mind is unique, but how, towards what purpose, can I use it? I have to trust, to step blindly, when I haven't trusted wisely, when I've tripped over my own feet. There is a way, a path, made for me, only me. Why isn't it lit?
Life feels like a jigsaw puzzle done by a little kid who is just figuring out how to do jigsaw puzzles. You get crammed together with the other pieces, put into position, whether you fit or not. It’s uncomfortable, even painful, as one of those pieces. You feel as if this omnipotent, demonic little one will never manage to snap you into your proper place.
I moved recently, from one town to a smaller one right by it. I was happy to leave the house where I lived, on a rutted, hard dirt road that jarred the tailbone when biking. Housemates were intrusive, the live-in landlord was unpredictable, everything was a steep hill (and occasional asthma attack) away. I left for an apartment on an in-town farm, with nice flat roads, no roommates, and a landlady who should be cast in bronze. I was happy when moving day came around, despite loathing the process of moving. As I left my old place for the final time, I looked out over an incredible view of the Sandias floating above the Albuquerque nightline. I breathed in and out and headed off.
It hit me as I turned from my road. Where I was going and where I wanted to be were so close to each other, and where I wanted to be wasn’t where I was going. I could have turned one way and been one place in a couple of minutes, but I wasn’t welcome. I could have turned another way, and gone someplace at least interesting, but it was a ways away, and I was using someone else’s means of movement. It’s a feeling that’s lingered. I’ve said this before in a different context--you rarely get what you want. I’m being just a little vague here, but I feel directionless, so it seems appropriate.
This is melancholy. It combines elements of wistfulness, longing, regret, depression, and doubt. You’re not supposed to be here, but you’ve nowhere else to go. You haven’t given up hope, but you don’t know what to hope for. Others can’t read you, because you can’t read yourself. The old is tiresome, the new is unpromising. You’re at a loss.
I’m here, and I probably should be here, at least right now. Meanwhile, I need to find a way to move--in some direction.