You know that song “it’s my birthday and I’ll cry if I want to”? Well I was in the middle of an amazing party. It wasn’t on a celebration of a birthday but a celebration of 101 ones smokeless days and then the crying came.

The crying was a result of remembering what had caused the smokeless days I think. The evening was a time to forget a battling father: with lung cancer, missing an upper lobe and slowly dying. Long ago had defeat been admitted and the final results been confronted but there are times when reality can rear its ugly head. In the midst of a mindless, thoughtless moment of abandon, it did so tonight.

It seems so little to ask reality to step aside for a few hours. To sit quietly in a corner. To allow life to at least feel normal for just a while. It also seems an impossible task also.

Reality is always there just barely beneath the surface, floating amongst the ice and cherries of the liquid cocaine, and is always gnawing at the edges of the numbness. Pounding in your heart as loudly as the bass line in your ears. Always pressing for attention. Reality can be such a bitch.

I know the pain of reality. I know the pain of surviving and seeing others who do not. I know the reality of holding a sister as her 9 year old lungs draw their last breath, as struggling gasps become quiet shallow resignations of defeat. I know the reality of sitting awake all night… sitting awake facing reality.

I know the need to escape. The need to just forget the world for a few minutes. The need to be anywhere but here and now. I know the pain of being drawn back by the slightest sound or vision. There is a tire swing in my front yard that rides gentle breezes when I am sitting in the shade enjoying the evening.

Life would be so much easier without the need to love. So much easier without being drawn to someone by forces unseen. So much easier without having the tears of a celebrating friend send you home to sit in the tire swing and blog on your phone.

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