Dying to Live

By Michelle Porter

All thumbs are fingers

But not all fingers are thumbs.

All squares are rectangles

But not all rectangles are squares.

All judgements are opinions

But not all opinions have to be judgements.

 

We are all alive

But that does not mean we are all living.

 

Life doesn't seem to me like a fantastic journey. It seems to be a leaf withering in the autumnal chill, wilting and deteriorating until it shrivels and dies an unfulfilled life. Who remembers every leaf that falls from the tree right outside their window? Of course you don't. You only noticed that the leaf was dying when it was cold and grey, but that's too late. You don't ever realize a problem until it's a lost cause.

Sometimes my branches fall off, and the supply of life cuts off a little more. The trunk is fat but hollow, and I've given up trying to fill the empty space inside.

I deprive it of rainwater and pour down acid after acid until I'm numb enough not to feel the woodpecker carving SOS signals into my bark covered body. 

My tears are red now, and they come - out of the wrong vessels - in floods. I'm beginning to prefer the horizontal lines less than the vertical ones. Run your fingers down the grooves in my branches and tell me the story of the memories left behind.

 

It's called the human race, but mine is coming to a stop miles before the finished line. The floor is made of treacle and I'm racing against a population who are sprinting through sugar. 

 

Happy is a heroine, crushed into a sea beneath me, and I am an addict, forbidden from immersing myself in its sweet substance. But a bomb doesn't just become a bomb when the wick is lit. Life's so hard that none of us make it out alive.

 

See, I believe that there are different degrees of darkness. On the scale of darkness, there are some who remain in the pale gray of the spectrum, some who dip into the mild charcoal shades, and some who are in the black. My dark is a darker black than most can see, let alone comprehend. Mine is a black so dark that you can't even make out shapes any more, it's all just darkness. And when that happens, it's hard to see a future, even though it may be two steps in front of you.

 

How contradictory I am. I am a human juxtaposition. 

How impossible I am; to feel everything and nothing at the same time — to care too much, but not at all, to want everything, but nothing. 

I can be directly beside you having a conversation with my mind in a different galaxy.

No amount of sleep can ever quench the exhaustion that I feel.

I use pain to relieve myself from pain.

The only knots I know how to tie are on the noose that tightens every time I wake up fine and have three seconds of false hope before it all hits me all at once like a body of water submerging me. I begin to drown, deeper and deeper, struggling to breathe, everything muffled. At this point I feel all of it. The grip around my neck grows stronger as my tolerance grows weak. 

 

I am an oxymoron.   

I am living to die. 

I am dying to live. 

 


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