To be wildly angry at that which terrifies you is the most vulnerable of things.
Powerless yet thrashing, you’ve never felt so empty.
Do you remember when you were a child, and you screamed and you screamed and you flailed on the ground,
but they never felt sorry for you,
and you dug your hole one hundred feet deeper with each desperate attempt to fight?
You did it again when you begged him to love you and that word slipped out and you didn’t mean to say that phrase and now he is so angry and you’re flailing on the ground again.
Please, you beg. Why don’t you help me?
All you want is for him to wrap his arms around you so tightly and squeeze until there is nothing more to the universe than his heavy weight protecting you from what this has been about from the day you came through that warm and safe tunnel
right into the cold, white hands of a man who has lived two billion, two hundred seventy million, five hundred and ninety-two thousand times longer than you.
If you could have looked into his eyes he would have desperately tried to warn you with them.
His old eyes would have tried to show you the pain and the sadness and perhaps would have hoped to comfort you by letting you know we’re all the same.
But that is only what he has been told by others who knew just as little as he and, likely, just as little as you.
Your father will never tell you that he fantasized for years about murder because he was obsessed with the moment of death,
and that his fantasies ended when he watched you exit your mother’s womb because that ambiguous moment of your birth was just the same.
He was not satiated.
Nineteen years later, your lover will hold you in his arms
at midnight once a month
and listen to your sobs while you try to explain through gasps and gulps that you must be more scared than everyone else
because no one else talks about it and you
just can’t stop.
He says that it’s not worth thinking about
and you wail with your head thrown up to the ceiling and your sticky mouth wide open.
Every book, every film, every story you have ever witnessed or been told leaves you with a feeling of dread.
Your friends exit the theater unaffected and you look at them in disgust because how can they carry on?
How can they continue as if life has not just ended before their very eyes and is ending all around us and there is NOTHING we can do about it? Aren’t you ANGRY?,
and they shrug.
When you dream that night it is of an atomic bomb with a timer,
tick tick ticking, and you watch the seconds
count down to your finality
and you wince and you flinch and you bang your fists against the wood paneling above you
because you are hiding under the house you grew up in,
because you have to do whatever you can to protect yourself,
because inevitability does not mean you give up
and it does not mean you can’t be pissed as hell about the fact that something less real than you can decide
that you are no longer.