Almost Never

I almost never want to be you anymore.

I almost never want to be anyone other than myself, which is a surprising thought to hear in my own head. The shiny, new lack of envy isn’t the result of a sudden mastery of self-care and self-esteem and self-worth and self-love; no, there’s too much self-focus there to leave much room for love. This is closer to resignation than deep contentment. Settling into the creaking, knotty pine rocker of my own skin comes, I think, from just paying a bit more attention, from seeing even a little bit below the surface, that, and getting older.

I almost never want to be you anymore.

I understand that to be you and enjoy your privilege – to never worry about money or food or being warm; to never be concerned about eating the last, using the last or making something last – to enjoy your privilege would likely cost me my empathy. It might dry up my compassion, as well as my tears.

I almost never want to be you anymore.

I understand that with your amazing square jaw also comes your fallen arches.

Your beautiful spouse also comes with her parents and family and all of their collective baggage.

To be you to have your great head of hair would cost me my hard-won smile.

With each story people share with me I understand a little more that it is not cliche’, but an inescapable fact: that we are each and all of us fighting our own battles; that we each do have our own cross to bear.

More and more, I almost never want to be you anymore,

almost never, except now,

when it’s dark and cold and Christmas,

when the summer-long hours of desert sun no longer dare my darkness to surface,

when the August heat no longer holds the constant winter draft of abandonment at bay,

when these days are so short that sunset brings a soft, golden sadness,

then, now, everytime,

something happens to my memory,

a sort of soul amnesia flowers barely noticed,

and I forget, sometimes, that I don’t want to be you;

not anymore,

except,

after the first snow fall

and until I’m convinced,

again this year,

that there will be a thaw, that the cold draft will end,

that someone will shut the door and this time,

I’ll be on the Inside; enclosed, not closed out,

until I’m convinced of my imminent and annual

surprise of Spring;

the consistent surprise

that any of us are still here at all;

Until then.

– PreetamDas Kirtana, 12/1/14

“…when the days are so short that sunset brings a soft, golden sadness, then, now, everytime, something happens to my memory . . . “
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