Listen, I shall tell you a mystery: I do not like life. Within me, there is ______________. Yes, it has always been there. I can hear its echoes on the periphery of spiral-bound High School books, even through to today’s still-born paragraphs. That no matter how wonderful my life is – and, yes, there have been years of joy and plenty and laughter – it is never quite wonderful enough to escape ______________. Life is better in my head.

Now, all of this is not to say that I want to end life. In the abstract, I suppose, yes, I do look forward to death just like most Christians do with the worn apocalyptic sigh of “E’en so, Lord”. But, just like anyone else, the living urge screams up when I am eyeball-to-lightbulb with sudden break lights in front of me. I, too, swerve to avoid disaster like the rest. Yet, here I stand, tucked between an imagination that breeds colorful expectations and a grayer reality. I’m disappointed. I’m worn the fuck out.

Yet, I still get up every morning (mostly) on time, when the faint slivers of light brighten from behind spiny, leafless mountains. Sometimes, when I leave the house with wet hair, turn from the lock and step towards the car, I’m always surprised how much brighter it is. I forget winter is only season and not, say, a state of existence. Most days as I drive down the hill, I say aloud in my car, “Sun, you are most welcome this day”. I forget that if joy is temporary, then ______________ is, too. My priest says this is not forever. All things are temporary.

How do I greet the morning with my mourning soul? Have I really gotten up? No, I can honestly write, I am down and I have been down for the count. How long? Months, years, decades, maybe a century as the crow flies? I’m not sure. But, here I am, stuck in the water-less cistern of ______________. And, herein lies the problem: I can’t get up. I don’t think I can get up. Mostly, though, I don’t even want to get up.

I don’t want to get up. Yet, there I am. Here I am, yearning for light, all the same. Here I am, mumbling madness . . . but I haven’t given up, not yet. I will want to get up, one day. One day, perhaps in the ninth hour, I will think I can, even. One day, I will get up out of ______________. But, no. No! Not today. Today, I do not want to get up. 

Do not ask me what it is. You know what it is. You know it where the muscle fibers cut away from the bone. You know its stalking of the mid-afternoon, circling ’round a coherent idea, swimming in thoughts not thought. You know it in crying tears never came, in passions never sung. Do not so coyly inquire!

So, be kind, please. Be gentle (with this soul). Lower expectations (of your lover). Only caress my locks as a warm wind lazily makes its way from the turrets. The cedars signaling a dance, filled with the breeze. Sleep with me. It’s all I know to do, for in oblivion I do not speak. All we let our cares slide out to the lilies below, watered with tears. I abandon myself, belief, faith, time, now.

You, there! You reading this with timorous heart, wounded by  ______________! You are why I am here now, before you will be. So, I ask you: what is it in a man that makes him get up, time after time? What is it in a woman that makes her want to get up after failure, after falling? My friend, my friend, I do not know! I have no answers. But, surely, it must — it must! — be grace!

Listen! And I shall tell you a secret: all shall cease and we shall become gods, et saecula saeculorum.