60th Chances

Sometimes I feel like I’ve used up all my second chances. From you, from the universe. I’m honestly not sure why I’m still here. Do you believe in sixtieth chances?

There’s a circle of life, and a circle to life, and mine seems particularly small, or else I just travel it too fast. Around and around, loopity loopity loop. I take a hardship to dumb luck and loop back again. Loopity loopity loop. (I’m sick again, I’m better now, something is happening, something is always happening, how do I sleep through it, I’m not sleeping, I do sleep but it’s more like nightmaring.)

One time I dreamed I peeled the moon, and she looked like a kernel, and I looked too closely at her, and she popped.

Don’t look too close.

Under all these crater-scars and borrowed lights, I’m just a piece of something cut off from the husk of it.

Don’t look too close.

I’m afraid I’ll pop. I’m afraid my roots are too Eastern for any of this Western medicine to stick. I’m afraid I’m too felon-chained to navigate freedom. I’m afraid I’m too redundant to move towards a better plot. I’m afraid, I’m afraid, I’m afraid. Loop.

A good story is more of a spiral than a loop. Something worth listening to, something that makes more sense than “I couldn’t get out of bed today”…

Somedays, I can’t get out of bed.

Recently, I got back my right to vote. Today I found out my hip has healed very well. Sometime this week, I shook so hard from a panic attack, my rings slipped off my fingers and clanged on the floor like handcuffs sliding free.

Everyone says to take time for yourself until it’s their birthday party you’re missing, their text you’re hiding from. Everyone says to be authentic until the moon gets naked and isn’t a moon after all. Until she’s just one more thing that goes to work, and wears a suit, and hopes it doesn’t let the outside change it until the day it does. Pop.

Sometimes I sit on an orange couch, and pretend it is a sunset. I wear my unpeeled moon like a fancy dress, and I know I am just an earthy thing, a common thing, a small thing compared to what I once was. And, equally, I know I can be all the light my dark needs. I am so happy there, so full of joy to be seen as popcorn light. A now-self and potential-self and past-self, all at once.

I smile and I shine there, between the light and dark, on the orange sunset that doesn’t need a moon-shaped thing but welcomes me anyway.

I slow my orbit for a minute, or a day. Or has it been three days, or four? This is where my problems start, even when I’m glowing.

I have no sense of time now. I signed it away to sit in a cell, once upon a time. A signature of loops, a life of redundancy. You already know this fairy tale. You’ve seen this soap opera. It’s boring now, so I’ll circle it on my own and hope you don’t notice the days that pass in a blink.

One blink if you’re just going through the motions.
Two blinks if you’re fully here.

God never blinks, and so I don’t know for sure if He’s here anymore. I don’t know if He knows I can be a light if He never sees the dark.

But you’re here and I’m ignoring your call because I tried to wash a quarter yesterday and cried my eyes out, missing my late husband. You’re here, and are rooting for me, but I keep floating away from the safe tangles of your branches.

You’re here. And you were here for that second chance, because you believe in them, and me.

The phone rings again and I don’t know what to say, so I let it keep ringing. A beautiful ring, another one to shake, another loop to take.

I’m sorry I need so many loops. I’m sorry I go so fast through chances. I’m sorry I can’t blink twice right now. I’m sorry I miss you. I’m sorry I missed you.

I’m sorry I can’t come to the phone right now.

Leave a message, and I’ll return to you on my next go around.

Leave a message.