The Sidewalk To The Left
The sidewalk in front of me. The individual sections geometric and precise...a controlled mold of different ingredients meant to solidify our paths. The sections separated by an uneven fitting together...split apart by the shifting of time and circumstance. The grass has grown over and smoothed out the hard lines of conformity, bringing an even greater beauty to these pieces of our lives. They are a deviation, a splitting off from the path so many follow. We walk along knowing only what is in front of us...individual goals in mind while hoping we can form something new. The possibilities of a tangental path separated from us by mere inches but the hurtful words and actions...soulfully, spiritually, and typically...the gap is so wide we can not see the other side. Not content with where we are familiar. The unexplainable and unbearable safety of the familiarity of pain and a past neither one of us could escape. As I sit looking at this breaking off point, this separation from the path so many of us are walking, there is a tiny shed with a red door sitting off the main thoroughfare. The paint is peeling in spots allowing me to see the natural beauty of the perfect imperfections...the grain in the wood...the growth rings...the things I knew used to be there but couldn't let myself see past in these moments. Parts of this door have been worn away, eaten by the elements it has been exposed to and that can be beautiful too...where the paint covers old scars and the things we don't want people to see. Now this covering has been bubbled up, peeled back to expose the truth of what is and what could be. So much of how we understand time has passed for this doorway without care and I just want to be there...not to paint over it, just wanted to softly run my fingers along the grain to let it know I cared. The base of the door, closest to the earth has been neglected, unmaintained, left stained by the sting of the rain...crying skies that lie and try to hide the sun above the clouds.
The panels have shifted over time, slipping from where they have been cut to fit into a framework that is no longer supporting them, no longer where they are meant to be...held in place by the pressures surrounding them, the only thing keeping them from falling to the ground. Cracks open up space and light enters a different way. The door no longer constrained...a rusted lock hangs open...the door simply closed waiting for someone who cares enough to press gently. The latch that once folded over now sits unused. A reminder of a time when it was deemed necessary to protect the contents. Now a simple nail in the door frame and the lifting of a hook to enter this space. I looked inside and there are boxes filled with empty cups. So many empty cups stacked on top of one another...manufactured and packaged protecting contents that are not yet there. Sitting silently waiting to be filled for the first time. I see this red door in front of me as it is..for the first time. A beautiful entrance to a shed I see as a dusty heart, a tiny home. As I stand in front I see my reflection in the window panes of a soul looking back at me...one that sits empty full of my empty cups wrapped in plastic...protecting what I didn't think I had to give, and in time...had to hide away again. When I think about you I shake. Hard to see through the tears and breathe in the cold air. Trying to write as my fingers freeze...wanting to be a part of this place, my eyes squint closed...shaking my head, and I step back. This is not my home. Sitting here alone...people all around. Some see me. To many I am only a blurry figure and to others I speak out in hopes their heads turn but there is nothing, not even a stutter in their steps...I am invisible...the invisible man, an empty chair, looking through me on the side of a walk they are not on, a shadow staring blankly. There is a cold breeze and a chill in the air but this is not why I quake in my boots trying to remain warm in my dirty snow pants. Dirty from the dirt of the mountains. Dirty and ripped from chasing the emotions through the wilderness as rugged twisted branches reached out and slashed at the seems...running from you always seeing your face. When I think of you I tremble missing my other half...and I look at this door staring, standing aimlessly lost in memories that rot my base and make me smile and cry as a single snowflake touches my face and reminds me of your fingertips, your smile...cold outside, dirt under your nails...we smiled. Eyes wide open staring blankly towards this door and all I can see if your face...the smile that warmed me inside and wondering how we got to this place, the hurt I just want to forget and throw away....and I will never forget how I was this door and you opened me...more love than pain for a short time.
The wind is blowing but a song is drowning out what became the everyday for me. Is it because I couldn't accept what you wanted this to be or is it just the way things had to be...the way I thought it used to be. Romanticizing a door with chipped peeling paint standing in the cold again as the mist and the scenes fade away. Now the snow is just wet and cold on my face...as I turn back around away from this crooked path, stepping over the gaps. I sit back down and fill this page, trying to empty out what is left of the plans made. It hurts so much sometimes, the things I heard myself say, the things I saw and heard them say...that I just sit and stare writing of a tiny shed with a red door, trying to replace memories with pictures in front of me...staring so intensely...not blinking...my eyes turn red and sting trying to burn a new image into my brain. Wanting to stay here just in case, but it is getting dark now and the colors of the day are beginning to fade. There are no words that will make it okay. There are no words that can make it change. There are no more words I can write about this broken walkway, so I cap the pen and run into the woods with a moon above... yet another reminder..., but someday maybe this will fade and chip away like the paint covering the door with a hook and a loop, rotted stoop.
© 2020 Nowhere Man