I used to have solace inside me – somewhere behind my ribs, maybe, in a deep, fleshy corner of myself, pumped full with blood. And when I needed it, I could cut myself open with sharp, angular words like “visceral” and “detriment,” and comfort would pour out of me like flows of magma – hot, and precious, hardening into armor all around me.
I could lament in paper confessions, like etching answers directly onto the surface of my heart, I could grieve in inky, smudged blotches that came away on my fingertips as I crumpled and tore the defective parts of my soul into testaments of my resilience. I exorcised myself of loneliness and guilt and my heart and mind were clean. Clear and lovely again.
But maybe – maybe that skill is one that withers away. Maybe there’s no muscle-memory for the spirit like there is for the body. I left myself – pulled away, curled up, hid from pain that had loved me so gently, and, oh man, I tediously harvested courage and strength from other people’s passing tragedies until I’d collected enough to dare get to know me again.
That place inside me where solace used to be is bloodless and dry. I only remember smooth, round words like “lament” and “melancholy” and they sit on top of me, heavy and cold.
I don’t know how to write my way out of hell anymore.