Un Destin Inéluctable

Branch by branch
This tree has died. Green only
Is one last bough, moving its leaves in the sun.

What evil ate its root, what blight,
What ugly thing,
Let the mole say, the bird sing;
Or the white worm behind the shedding bark
Tick in the dark.

You and I have only one thing to do:
Saw the trunk through.
— Not So Far as the Forest, Edna St. Vincent Millay

A common occurrence in my life is the act of falling in love too quickly. Whether it be with a person, a work of art, an occupation, a skill or food, I am a victim of love at first sight. I have love to give, a trait apparently passed to me by my father; my emotions lay heavy on my sleeves and brows, showing all who look it’s burden. I seek to share the load, to pass it onto unsuspecting victims who seek to make me an unsuspecting victim. We dance, tangling our web around one another until two have become one and one screams to be two again. I fight and flee the broken world of a coupled web, abandoning it, and with it, a part of myself. There is no love in my life in which I have not dismantled.

Sustained love is a human’s true test. To love a partner through the entire journey, to love a child it’s entire life, to love what you do in every moment you do it, to love yourself as you live; these are the trials of the gods. My love is intermittent, at times failing. The love I have to give is directly proportionate to the love of myself, and to love myself has proven to be impossible.

I know little about my father’s life. One of the few facts I do have is that he worked as a garbage man in his home town before he died. The community burned their garbage and his days would end with offloading at the pits before returning his truck to the garage. One day he must have backed up just a little too much; went back just a little bit too far and the truck was pulled into the burn pit. He got out—he wasn’t hurt, he wasn’t anything other than responsible for the mess.

It’s an opinion that this was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

I worry that this series of events have been my garbage truck. I worry day and night that I have destroyed the things that will come back to destroy me. I have abandoned things and that I love and things that love me, and I worry that I’ll do it again.

One of my friends travels with a ghost and a dog, haunting me with her eyes and her body, reminding me in the moment of everything I miss and blocking out the true reasons we are not one. Her flesh is an all consuming force and dismantles my mind as I breathe, but I can feel it in my blood; mixing with the duloxetine and dodging the numbing agents, travelling closely to the endothelium, the cells that make up the walls of my veins like only a hereditary disease can.

I fight against it, but I need more and more help as time goes on. I have been scared to do the one thing that helps the most because of the fear reaction—but that is beyond my control now. I will die if I don’t write. The pen is my sword in the war against myself and the intrusive thoughts that plague my existence. The pen is a divergent path for the fear that must never reach my heart. My father and grandfather lacked the self-awareness bestowed onto me by my mother’s blood, and that is the blood that drives the art in my soul. It will not be the blood spilled onto my family’s portrait.