I hear you.
I’m here for you.
Look at me.
LOOK. AT. ME.
Let me be your voice in the night. You were mine, remember? You found me seizing with a tongue-bitten fright. I’ll never forget that hellbound night and the coppery taste of toxic blood as it drip, drop, dripped like scarlet rain from my burned out nose and stained the sternum of my shirt where love lost hurts the most, painting in red the mortal wound of a broken heart.
Does the pain ever go away?
No. I’m afraid it doesn’t—at least not until you no longer care, or worse, you’re no longer there.
Time… too fast when you’re happy, too slow when you’re not.
Time is a lazy ass man sitting on the couch, ignoring much-needed repairs but always pointing them out. I tried to hit him over the head with many brown bag bottles and that didn’t work. I was thrown into jail. Then I drugged him with the deadliest substances but that poor choice only made things worse by shape-shifting Time into an anxious and terrifying monster with a distorted face. I became a MISSING PERSON.
Monsters aren’t real, darling . . . until they are.
But don’t, okay?
Stop hurting yourself! You’re giving the four winds of your soul away. Every fucking time. Counting down to that fast-approaching day when there will be nothing left. Only blanked out seasons and distant decaying memories festering with maggots of regret. All of your seventy times seven forgivenesses will be used up. Every bridge will be burnt. No more do overs—nope. No more salvation crosses—none. No more extra house keys to let you in at night. No one will want to deal with you but your snickering dealer. You will pay the devil to be your friend. You will pay a burnt coffee breath lawyer to be your friend—a cold, lying, legal hooker who will leave you diseased with debt and distrust.
You will become a vagrant and a wanderer upon upon earth. Begging for change on the dirty streets. Unable to change.
Think of Caen, Normandy. Orphaned children crying. The collapse of every structure in your life, rising in smoke.
Picture Hiroshima. That will be you. Whenever you light up for a split second, your skeletal image glows behind an X-ray and you’ll return to dust in an instant of missing years.
Remember Kurt Cobain and his self-inflicted pain. His last kiss came from the open mouth of a shotgun.
On my darkest night, child, your face was the face of God. You bent over my shivering soul with a transfiguration light, heavenly and pure, snowy white.
Child of the Holy God I don’t know—He must be real because you are— everything will be all right. Cling to my love. Hold it tight. I’ve been down this road before and, baby, it’s a dead end. You will be dead. THE END of a story never written. Unless there is a savior.
I don’t remember much of what was said when I was crazed out of my head. But you were my voice in the night. A soothing tone calling me from deep waters.
Let me be yours. A voice from a salvific somewhere.
Crave life. Crave living. LIVE! That’s what you told me. It was your tenacious love that finally opened my ears. You never gave up on me.
I’m not giving up on you.
You need an exit strategy. No condemnation. I promise.
Love is the answer. Starting with a healthy self-love.
Your loyal love is my daily fix. You’ve always given it freely without ever asking for anything in return. What can a man gave in exchange for his own soul?
You are my ecstasy. My rush. My rainbow. A vivid epiphany of all that really matters in this world. Someone worth living for.
Don’t you know? The religion of your faithful love has saved me. You’ve always practiced what you refuse to preach—you don’t have to—your life is living proof. You are the noonday sun in my sky.
I’m so proud of you.
I’m so sad for you.
Take my hand. Get up. Let’s leave this wretched place together.
You, darling, belong to the day. Stop reveling in the sins of the night.
The LORD bless you and keep you and cause His face to shine upon you and give you peace.
Look. The sun is rising, Let’s walk into this new day together. Come, come.
Listen. The birds are singing. They are praising their Creator with a happy song. I want that to be you.
No. Don’t look back.
Stop looking back. You will turn into a pillar of salt. Allow your red light past to burn with brimstone and fire and become the Dead Sea. Lift your eyes to the wide open skies. Look unto the hills from whence cometh your help. Your help comes from the LORD who made heaven and earth. (Honestly, I don’t know where God has gone off to but he’s definitely not back there.)
Fold your hands. Surrender. Pray.
Right now. Do it.
Shut the door. Keep out the devil. We believe in him, don’t we? That tapeworm of souls.
I was a pig once, you know, and not ashamed to admit how extremely afraid I am of the big bad wolf. Bricks and mortar are not enough. I remember the filthy flophouses and flea markets of substance abuse, the living and the dead behind alleyway dumpsters, how we forgot everything we know to be true for an expensive cheap price, where we huffed and we puffed and we blew our houses down.
So. Think about it.
Your pupils will return to their normal size. Blessed homeostasis. On the seventh day, God rested.
Sweetheart, you haven’t lost your life, your freedom, or a single tooth. Not yet. Come on. Snap out of it. Detox from it. Lean into your pain with a clear mind. It’s the only path through the valley of shadows.
Look at me, bittersweet song of my soul. I’m here for you. I’m not going anywhere. I promise.
Lean on me until you can walk again—until you can run with full strength in the opposite direction of where you’ve been.
Yes, run for your life, dear one. Every good gift is waiting for you. Eat from the tree of life and live forever.