To Whom It May Concern.

Hit it, Rowley:

To wait on a human to raise the stakes of your life is to ask for heartbreak. What you do is you keep going, keep moving. Carry all the things one more day, and don’t want it to end, because you’ll regret that particular want at the end.

Don’t be surprised when things come horrifically full circle. Don’t hold back the flood. Don’t wait for a hand to come out of nowhere; hands don’t come out of nowhere. Don’t, for godssake, think about what–whom–you may or may not have lost out on.

Remember when things were good, even if it hurts. Especially if it hurts. Remember the perfection you believed a human could be. Remember when a laugh was all it took to make your night. Remember how a person can clean up, if you’re unhurt enough to notice.

Once you’ve done that, try to forgive your indulgences. If at all possible, don’t hate yourself for being human. If at all possible, forgive yourself for abandoning yourself. If at all possible, forgive the hell those laughs led you to. Remember it’s not their fault. Remember that fault isn’t what it’s about.

Remember that fault is all anything is about.

 

Muster the tenuous calm until the shaking stops. Drink another cup of coffee so the shaking comes back. Repeat until frayed, repeat until grounded, ostensibly.

Hope, against all odds, that this particular cycle will repeat itself.

Try to think about moving someplace cold enough to reset those things that must be reset.

Don’t stop. Don’t wait up.

Keep going. Ostensibly.

Onward, upward.

A friend—the friend—rambles and roams enough for the both of us, but it doesn’t stop me from missing her, or from letting my mind beat against all the things I could otherwise be doing were I all those theres with her, had I not anchored myself with the intangibles of my particular psyche too long ago to remember or worry about.

Still, our lives overlap and run alongside one another at certain points and depths, geographically and otherwise. She wrote to me the other day about not being able to answer when approached with the requisite inquiry into one’s state of being: “How are you?” Now I want to be able to answer, she says. I’m just going to pick one.

It’s going onward, upward at an angle of approximately 5 degrees. Slight incline. Against a light breeze. Long way to go.

One day into something I’m unsure I’ll be able to carry off, two days after carving unsure lines into the sides of a bluff and the bluffs carving deeper, surer cuts into me, less than 90 days before my first MFA application is due and less than 365 before I become a student all over again (for pete’s sake), what I heard was this: You and I were made to go on and on, and at some point we are allowed to pick the angle at which we would like to rise.

She said it’s my turn to pick. Here it is, my dear: Straight up into that blue sky, on and on, until I run out of air, fall like the goddamn fool I’ve come to love anyway, and start digging upward again.

And happier for feeling you there, all of inches and seconds away through these miraculous typing mirror machines.

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