Monday Morning Commute: A Trade Was Made

mmc a trade was made

The Universe was owed a life, so I gave it the first twenty-five years of mine. It only seemed fair. When a daredevil defies the odds, a Furie is bested. It only seemed fair. When a beast recoils just before the trap snaps shut, the Odds are defied. It only seemed fair. Fourteen years ago I took a ride that should have claimed me, but the Universe wasn’t paying attention.

I don’t believe in Providence, or Destiny, but I do believe in Chance. The opportunity to do better, to improve, to make the most of it. Like a lot of chances, I hadn’t asked for it, nor did I expect it. But it was given to me all the same.

So when I climbed out of that car, climbed out of myself, and climbed out of whatever sort of husk had set slowly over me during my first quarter-century, I looked the Universe in its Third Eye. We spoke nothing, but exchanged something, and that was the first twenty-five years of my life.

It only seemed fair.

This summer though, I’ve gone looking. Around the corners. Down the halls. Behind the aisles. Looking for those first twenty-five years of my life.

They were there. Right there. Just waiting for me.

The lie I had told myself was that I had given the Universe the first twenty-five years of my life, but the truth really was that I didn’t want them anymore. Maybe it’s necessary to lie to yourself every once in a while. When you’re climbing out of cars, when you’re climbing out of yourselves, when you’re climbing out of husks. Clean starts don’t exist, but maybe sometimes you need to believe in them just to put your first foot forward. But that doesn’t amputate the angst, it just punts it. My first twenty-five years weren’t sacrificed, they were stabled, tabled, hidden for a while.

This summer though, I’ve gone looking. Rummaging. Pulling out and examining those first twenty-five years.

They were there. Right there. Just waiting for me.

What’s nostalgia when it’s dread?

What’s nostalgia when you’re not looking back because it feels good, but because it hurts?

Sometimes maybe lies are necessary, and definitely sometimes maybe hurt is good for the soul. Not the sort of ruinous hurt that lays one down, but the sort of healing hurt that comes from acknowledging who you were and finding peace with it. It’s easy to say you Contain Multitudes when you’re just trying to pretend you’re complicated and unique. It’s difficult to say you Contain Multitudes when you’re ashamed of the first twenty-five years of your life. A burdensome, non-productive shame. Though, is shame ever really a productive emotion? Probably not.

This summer though, I’ve gone looking. I’ve found them. The first twenty-five years of my life.

They were there. Right there. Just waiting for me.

What does it mean to acknowledge? What does it mean to accept? What’s the difference between the two?

Not sure, unclear, and I have no idea.

But what I have found this summer is as I’ve sifted through the wreckage, the bartering with the Cosmos, the climbing, the cars, the husks, the shame, the liminal states, the regretful behavior, the endless car rides, the sleepless nights, the countless different medications, the unpredictability as a friend-boyfriend-brother-son-coworker, is that, as they say, the Way Out Is Through.

I thought the Universe was owed a life, so I thought I’d give it the first twenty-five years of mine. It declined. The rest has been up to me.

This is Monday Morning Commute.

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