There are books you fall over, reading and re-reading until you no longer need to read it, as though your fingers soak the words in through your pores and you see the lines from memory.
The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver is one of those books for me.
It may be the subject matter that I find so appealing, maybe it’s the writing style, or maybe it’s the fact that she can string together a bunch of words that make my body shake with recognition, as though it wants to shout,
“Yes. I know that feeling.
I feel it too.”
As long as I kept moving, my grief streamed out behind me like a swimmer’s long hair in water. I knew the weight was there but it didn’t touch me. Only when I stopped did the slick, dark stuff of it come floating around my face, catching my arms and throat till I began to drown. So I just didn’t stop.
I’ve been living at a break neck speed. I’m picking up jobs like I formerly picked up women, offering myself to every employer that comes along.
And it’s all because if I stop, when I stop, I am suffocated by the realness of my life. The emptiness. The cycle of disgusting self pity and the pathetic repetition of my tired mantra, “why is this always happening to me?”
I think I’m four for four now.
I always championed love as the most important, most worthy pursuit in life, but the reality is that I am not very good at it.
The reality is that I have been shown, when the opportunity comes for a better option, and it will, I will be left.
I was wallowing in it. For weeks, I was convinced of my worthlessness. I cried to my friends. I asked them what was wrong with me that everyone kept leaving. I even became convinced that I must be god awful at sex if every single one of my partners chose to go find it elsewhere.
But it’s useless to wonder why. So, I strapped on my boots, got a second job and endeavored to spend not one more second alone in self pity.
The most I can tell you about life right now is that after a fifteen hour day of work, your feet will smell like they’ve just crawled out of a coffin to spread the smell of their decomposition all around you. All you’ll want to do at the end of the day is fall into bed and not think about doing it all over again tomorrow. Which is convenient, when you’ve been trying really hard not to think about anything else in your life.
When I have free time, I surround myself with people who love me without pretense. Positive, shining people, who don’t mind the fact that I’m not myself lately, they just stay.
And I keep moving, keeping my mind busy with anything and everything but thinking about my failures. Making plans for a future that involves even more moving.
Because, I’ve always been really good at running.
And this time, I’m not letting anyone catch me.