Hello old friend, where have you been?

I’ve been combing the nights late to find more time to breathe. And then the morning begins before dawn. Circling back unto itself, tether of warm air and the promise of a new day. I couldn’t help it. I was a cog in a cycle, stuck going round and round until someone other than myself pulled the lever down.

So stop. You, old friend, you know. Money is not love and loving yourself is more important and more challenging than any outside source. Stop the cycle. Take up with yourself and walk the freedom trail. Remember those moments?

You were scared because you couldn’t see the end of the road. But you started with the first step and then you felt the rush of cool air, reassuring freedom. You named the tall trees for that moment. You crystallized the ginger-sugar in the echo of your living room. If only you had refinished the wood floors by hand. Always outsourcing.

Yes. I do remember that. The autumn was ending into itself and the tall trees masked the brightness of the sky. We didn’t even broach the subject until after we’d eclipsed hill and fall and collapsed back into plush velvet chairs with coffee that was too strong.

It was such a simple question – where is your power? And it was rhetorical. You knew you didn’t need an answer. Why do you need one now?

Remember the fear? You carried it like a bundle around each wrist for seven years. And when it materialized into human form, it wasn’t anything to be afraid of. Remember that now.

There is power in the light, she said, and there is power in the dark. If you concentrate on the only thing that exists, right this minute like a daisy in your sweaty palm, you’ll be fine.

One moment continues into the next until you have a string of them, like white holiday lights strung along the sukkah top or dangling before the winter solstice. They are the same lights every time; it’s we who attach meaning to them. Connotation.

And so what is it, now, that gnaws at you?

She asked the question over and over, like a tunnel without end.

What is it? Can you see it?

Yes. She nodded into the echo. It’s that, by his stories, he negates my whole existence. I don’t even hover over the water. From the way he spins it, I was never there.

But I was. She exclaims this and punches into the air for emphasis. I was THERE! And the story spun out of control with different characters, a completely foreign setting.

Yesterday, the children found the word alien in literature to refer to persons from another land. Until that moment, they’d only known the term to mean outer space creatures.

How odd, the eldest said. Or something like that. That’s not even nice, to call them aliens.

It was a different time, the mother explained. Words take on meaning depending on who’s saying them and what the context.

But they had already moved on to another topic, another scene outside the window, another song on the radio.

Yes, she said. I remember the moment.


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