I had to write something for an introduction to Chapter 14 of my book, Rescue 1 Responding which is being featured at GoLocalProv.com. After reading the chapter that is in today’s edition, this came out;
“While we are in the thick of things we respond, put people back together, or not and move on to the next one. Every now and then the person we canâ€™t put back together is ourselves. So we hide the feelings, put them away where they should stay away. As time progresses and the things we try to hide have nowhere else to go because the place we put them are full, cracks in the compartments in our mind appear, and those painful memories creep out of the shadows with tire irons, bats and sometimes bombs in hand and beat us senseless. After twenty-five years there are a lot of things lurking. The girl who fell from the escalator at The Providence Place Mall lives inside of my head, and shows up uninvited when I least expect it. And so do hundreds more.”
I think those little ghosties have been knocking at my brain’s door since last Thursday. My wife was watching a documentary about Ernest Hemingway. I was barely paying attention until the film showed gravestones of some of the Hemingways who have taken their own lives, then showed Muriel Hemingway and her daughter at a New York City Suicide Prevention event.
Some doors open a crack, some a foot or two, and sometimes the force behind the door forces it to fly off its hinges to let everything that has been lurking there into the open. Thursday afternoon, bright sunshine, temperature in the eighties, Mr. Wilson snoozing on his doggy bed, kids on bikes outside my window, parents running alongside, my bird feeder active with squirrels, chickadees, woodpeckers and finches and me, paralyzed, staring unseeing at the TV screen, seeing instead hanging bodies, grown men with holes in their head, young girls covered in vomit with an empty bottle of pills nearby, an elderly guy in his car, in his garage, motor running, cold and dead in the driver’s seat with his golf clubs next to him, a man at the bottom of a fifty foot wall, his brain six feet away, wrists slashed, phone cords around necks, bodies in closets…
My wife turned off the TV and said she was sorry.
I never know when it will happen. I never know how long it will last. I never know when it will end.
I just don’t know.