“Am I going to be okay?”
An easy question to ask and so much more difficult to answer.
Am I going to be okay without the vision of you and me tangled within clean white silk sheets? Body warmth offering a much more comfortable high than the 35-degree day predicted outside.
You always managed to keep me levelled. Somewhere between the heat of the friction which grew in the silent stares that consumed our first night, cold as that metal pole at the dingy tourist bar I jumped on to get that party started right.
Am I going to be okay without the tender thought of my future with you in it? Eating microwave meals on the old dented oak wood floor from 1994. Figuring out the next steps, but first, we should probably buy a couch. Not caring about money or fame because we are comfortably full on the feast of unwavering love between two people who are still figuring it all out.
Am I going to be okay knowing there is now someone else to take my place? Noticing the uncanny similarities between her and I – our looks, our sense of humor, our skins brushing like an untamed flame, blue-hot to the touch sending us into a third-degree burn of ardor… is that all even real? I can’t fathom a passion born with such fervor twice.
“Am I going to be okay?”
“You will be okay,” they say to me. “Think of your career, think about your accomplishments, think about everyone who loves you… everyone else.”
Glass shatters in an infinite number of ways. Sometimes the pieces are so big that a little bit of glue holds it all back together. But when it shatters into a million little shards, the type that insidiously gets underneath your fingernails even in the most delicate of clean-ups, it’s easy to feel like we will not be okay – that the pain is ineradicable.
But I will be okay. I’ll be okay admiring the Sunday sunrise as I drink my sweetened iced coffee from the 24-hour corner store waiting for the market to open. I’ll be okay when I’m listening to my favorite song, a little wine drunk and dancing around my living room with the windows open, curtains blowing in the golden warm June air. I’ll be okay once the idea of you doesn’t send a thunderclap into my throat, palpitating past my heart into the pit of my stomach.
I’ll be okay once I’m okay. But until then, I choose me. I choose to laugh at life’s funny inconveniences over dragging myself into the loss. I choose to dream my way to the good while feeling the anchor of the bad tethered to my ankles. I choose to relearn all the parts to myself you once touched until I don’t need what I once thought I could only get from you to breathe.
In the bubbling magma of the unknown, I find myself. It’s both a strength and a lonely place. But it’s where I’ve been planted, and within scored lands of volcanic ash I’ll bloom into an arid grape, using the soils granite, pumice, and obsidian to create a wine of such taste and structure that even the most sought-after sommelier would describe as nothing short of a masterpiece.
I’m not okay – but I will be – once I am.