Posted by: canaryinacoalmine | November 27, 2006

no. 2 pencil

The man on the other side of the glass was visibly startled. Had he heard it? The sound of heartache can make a room close in on your ears. Pressure so hard it makes you deaf for years.
I cried big alligator tears, all the way home. Texas sized tears, ones that make the world feel as though it’s been not enough…or it’s been to much. I get lost trying to figure out if it’s the tie that binds or the one that keeps relationships rooted in our history. There aren’t many things in this world that can make my heart pound so loud that I hear it in the roof of my mouth. Thud. Thud. There aren’t to many days that make me feel like I’m the saddest girl to carry burden.  When I get down, it’s like carrying Andre the Giant on your shoulders.
Standing in the airport I wanted the pounding to stop. I wanted it all to stop and just fucking go away, And I wanted more than anything for this man to stop staring at me through the glass. I wanted him to walk away and talk to me while he did just that. He stayed rooted looking at me through the glass as though I was an animal caged for emotion. I stared back, dabbed a beverage napkin at my eyes, and caught his heart like a fish to a fly. A minute or ten passed then, my world went black. When I came to this stranger was next to me. Embarrassed by the action I informed the woman propping up my head
“No. I’m fine. I need to catch my flight.”
“Mam – we don’t think you should move. The airport EMS is on their way.”
“No, please I’m fine. I haven’t eaten anything today and,” I trailed off lost in my own head, “have you ever walked into a room filled with people you know and feel so lonely you can barely take the next step.”
He was talking again, “Holiday’s are tough.”
“I make them tougher.”
His hand grabbed my shoulder when he laughed, “We all do. That’s what makes them functional.”
I didn’t have the time nor the words to use to help explain to this stranger what’s it’s like to look in a mirror and not recognize the face inside it. How lately I’ve been having days where it takes everything inside me to put on a mask and walk like a character I’ve concocted. I don’t have the time to tell him I’m clumsy to the point of default bruising myself on every sharp edge. If I bruise, scream in pain, I must be real.
“Here let me help you.”
Without thought I repeated him in question, “Let me help you?”
We paused, his hand ceased on my shoulder as we stared again. I lost the staring game in grade school and had to look away. The air thickened to paste, freezing us in time.
Now, I’ve always considered this life to be a constant continuous buzz of humility without trepidation. It’s one for solidarity of the human spirit. A stranger in need of another stranger in need trying to hold it together.
“That’s what makes them functional.”
I’ve just deleted two paragraphs.  After I read it, I realized if i did that…it would be like mailing a letter without adding postage.


  1. Does this mean you had a really good trip or a really bad trip?

  2. Darlin’, WHAT HAPPENED???? Now, i really feel like *&%$! You should’ve told me you were coming into Charlotte!

  3. I hate having to read between the lines…but sometimes you are right, the thing we need the most we see in the eyes of a stranger…and who know’s what they see in ours?

  4. I just wanna understand the title.

  5. i think weve changed places, sass. my site started as a cry in the darkness. you commented not too long ago that so much has changed in me. i see change here too.

  6. I’m not sure what is going on with you either Jess, but it sounds scary and all to familiar. Don’t stop taking care of yourself and asking for help when you need it.