Where There’s Smoke, I Am On Fire

I wanted desperately to believe her all through another catastrophically dark night of the soul, cutting jaggedly across a continent that I confess I no longer fully understand.

I held a dispassionately slipping white-knuckled grip upon late-night promises hastily made in the midst of well-intentioned temporary empathy, even though I feared the very real risk of inevitable reignition because I had been left burning before.

And I knew just how much it was going to fucking hurt.

First, I was consumed in the flames of the bridges left behind as the conflagration caught hold and raced unobstructed through the tinders of my misunderstood heart, purging the possibility of structural integrity as my world collapsed all around me, leaving behind the undeniable realization that it was my hand that held that match.

Then the lingering misanthropic embers encroached invasively into the preconceived misperceptions stacked neatly in discords up against the brittle perimeter of my jaded dwelling left exposed and vulnerable to the evaporative whims of inconsistent intent.  And it didn’t mean a fucking thing as I watched that burn down, too, as my stuttering, shameful vision intertwined with a choking smoke that made it difficult for anyone to see all that was quietly collapsing here, in this stunted and visceral City of Wayne.

Through it all I did my broken best to hold my head up in the cleaner air, struggling to be everything that I was once told I should be- honest.  Accountable and accomplished.  Passionate.  Empathetic.  Involved and invested.

But it all just turned into a world of shit as society collapsed in fits of unmasked coughing and all the relationships went underground in panicked, state-mandated isolation, fearful of catching the infection. And in the limitless spaces of that resulting segregation I was left alone to sift through tragic, undeniable truths uncovered in the ash.

They always tell you that you should reach out when you feel the foundation slipping beneath your feet and you feel yourself caught within the destructive grip of the darker angels of your nature.  In my own obtuse ways, I tried making that call, only to realize just a little too late that not many can hear you when the whole world is crying out around you.

I came to understand that it matters not which language my love chooses to speak.  Not when the distracted, compartmentalizing world has seemingly gone deaf, becoming too consumed with distancing itself determinedly from a broken man selfishly clutching his last words to ever have that meaningful conversation.

It became clear early on, back in initial days of the ever increasing calamities, that honest words have little place in this world; there just isn’t the bandwidth available to fully appreciate them in a web full of lies.  That disparity erased the impact of the last remaining avenue of escape open to me in my quest to fulfill youthful aspirations, suffocating the creativity and killing the last of my three dreams.

And yes, I realize just how selfish this all sounds.  Despite any impression accidentally given, I do understand that everyone is hurting.  I know, and appreciate, the burdens under which my too few friends are struggling and I have tried my damnedest to triage that hurt, intentionally putting aside my own unique challenges for the sake of helping to carry them through theirs.  I invested my time and my heart and my love, hoping to help give them the mojo needed to make it through just one more day.  It was a choice I made freely, and without reservation, willingly sacrificing myself to help those I most care about in this world.

I guess I just thought that when I helped them to find more solid footing, they would reach behind them to help me out of the muck, too.

But here I sit, unknown and unrecoverable, living out the heyday of my mediocrity in hesitant fits and tantrums banged out on to a plain white page.

And I wonder if anyone will even take the time to read it….

About Grey Fox

...author, fighter, lover, typewriter fanatic, and unrepentant Fenian bastard. Known to few, hated by many, but still typing the good fight.

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