"love always, charlie"
Today I remembered something from five and a half years ago and it made me sad. I was a junior in high school and my little sister was in grade school still, but she took my high school bus every morning because she had to get to her school early for orchestra practice. So every day we walked to the corner together- her with her viola in her hand. But whenever we got on the bus, we didn’t sit together. It’s one of those things you look back on and think “why the fuck didn’t we sit together?” It wasn’t because I was embarrassed, because I wasn’t. Maybe she thought I was, but I wasn’t… We both sat alone and just stared out the window. Maybe we just liked that quiet time- I know I did. But there was this one day, when I thought I was having the worst day of my life. (It really did feel like the worst day of my life at the time.) And it was a school day. It was picture day, let me add. And through a puffy face and red eyes, it was the best school picture I had ever taken, let me also add. Anyway, I cried all morning, until the point I didn’t give a shit anymore who saw or heard me, because I knew I couldn’t stop either way. So I got ready for school crying, walked to the corner with my sister crying, and got on the school bus crying. I remember sitting in my seat just crying. I didn’t feel sorry for myself. I was just the most genuine kind of sad one could ever be. Looking back at the reason I was sad actually makes me laugh, and I don’t feel any of that pain in the slightest way. What made me sad when I just thought about all this was thinking about the moment on that bus that I felt someone tap on my shoulder and when I looked behind me to see who it was, it was my little sister. She looked so sad, almost as if she were going to cry, too. And she said, as if she were actually pleading for an answer, “Is there anything I can do for you?”
When she said that, I started crying harder. I guess it was one of those moments when you’re sad, and someone does or says something nice, and you just appear more sad. But the reason that happens isn’t because we actually feel more sad. It’s because when we’re sad, that’s when we realize how many people really, I mean truly, love us, and it makes us realize we shouldn’t be so sad when there’s all these people who want something more for us. So why did I cry so hard when she asked me that? Maybe it was because she wanted me to stop crying. So maybe if I cried a little harder in that moment, got more tears out, they could stop sooner, for her. Just maybe. Or maybe it was just an emotional overload and nothing more.
All I know is she’s not that little girl anymore- skin and bones playing a viola. She’s sixteen now, and those days are probably almost non-existent to her. But I remember her so well.
This really had no point, but it was something on my mind.
Detach myself? I’ve learned how to do that, yeah. I have detached myself from everything that has ever been hard, that has ever hurt. I got pretty good at it, too. I walked away from feelings that would eat some people alive. I looked loss in the eye and learned not to flinch. And when I stopped flinching, I stopped looking at all. I stayed awake with the company of regret for a period of time, until I eventually detached myself from that, too. But there’s one thing. There is one thing I don’t think I will ever completely leave behind. Even when I think I can, and I am, it comes back at unlikely times, like one of those recurring nightmares you can feel in your bones when you think about it but you can’t explain it to anyone. The way you smell all the candles on the shelf but then you get to one scent that stops you in your tracks and you can’t remember why or what you feel, but you feel it and it’s strong as hell. The way you look at a picture of you as a child, smiling with your mother, who looks a certain kind of happy you haven’t seen in years but you can start to remember, and you start to miss it. That’s how it feels, when you come back to me.