The Cold Heart

When you hit your 30’s, you enter a decade-long safe haven..  According to data, life’s third decade, along with child rearing and balding, includes a dip in mortality rates.  In this 10 year bubble, you can enjoy statistical safety.  Shy of 30 or just over the edge of 40, life reverts back to a high risk investment.  Whatever childhood illness, polio maybe, didn’t kill you, and your high blood pressure is just brewing.  Making it to 30 is its own achievement, and the vestiges of life’s prime are keeping you just within its warm membrane, outside of the cold.

I am 29, so I still have a few months before I can enjoy my statistic insurance.  When I was 25, I thought I’d probably die by 26 with the way things were going, which is to say, they were going fine and I wasn’t ill with anything beyond a pervasive sense of doom.  Unfortunately, “pervasive sense of doom” wasn’t good enough to earn one of those treasured diagnoses.  Sure, I have anxiety, stress, and heat exhaustion on my records now, but they haven’t gotten me much medical credit.

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The Mistrusted Heart

we used to trust each other.

do you remember?

trust isn’t what they say it is.  something aware, this person you make a choice over, this precious stone you look at in your window, acknowledge, appreciate.  that’s not trust.

when you trusted me, you barely knew me.  we were practically brothers, closer even, so implicit was your trust, you never gave me a second thought.  hot, cold, dizzy, awake, easy, we never looked at each other.

we didn’t need to.

we used to trust each other like that.

you didn’t think, he might fail me.  i mean, you knew i would, in the way we know the sun will implode.  like i will, like all of us, the things you trust will implode on themselves.  still, we aren’t that bad.   you’ve just forgotten.

i can still take you places.  i took you to so many before you forgot.  you placed at state because of me, first in 200 meter backstroke.  you climbed a goddamn mountain because of me, how many fucking feet?  you fell in love, because i gave you the blood to do it.

you thought you were dying because of me.  you didn’t die, may i remind you, i got you through even that.  but am i appreciated?

we were lying down the other day like we used to.  you were giving off heat like an oven, and you almost put your hand on me, wanting to press against me, the first time you’ve touched me in how long.  i felt nervous with it hovering over me, like it might swat me, or reassure me, and i thought, maybe this time.  but you pulled away.  couldn’t touch me.

my work used to be taken for granted, in the best way.  now i’m a disappointment?  i feel you watch my every move, and doubt.  you’re terrified of me, like a hag in a sleeping bag on the sidewalk.  you think that’s not disappointing?

jesus, i’m not even that old.

did I miss a beat?  how can i know? i do a lot of them a day.  it’s a big job.  one misstep, things crumble.  do you realize how much worse others have it?  you want to know what real failure looks like?
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