the skin on my fingers starts to burn.
being outdoors these past few days is a little like the lies i tell myself. they seem like good ideas. they can’t possibly be that dangerous.
my boots step onto the snow but it doesn’t feel like snow normally does. i know what it feels like to walk in the woods in winter. this is different. the ground slips and catches at the wrong times.
i can’t trust my own feet.
i used to shoplift when i was a teenager.
not constantly but still, i did it. there were things i wanted that i couldn’t pay for. there were things i could pay for but didn’t want to. there was a story i began to tell myself.
i should take what i want.
who is it really hurting? this big box store that budgets for losses like these? no. in fact, i should take these things.
what’s the point of paying for what i can steal?
i used to like to trust the wrong people.
folks who talked too loud and told their secrets too easily. there was no shadow, nothing hidden, honest. i couldn’t stand all the phonies and so i threw my lot in with those realer than most people could stand.
this was the story i told myself then.
i’m needed. i’m wanted. i’m such a good friend.
i was there for those who were honestly a mess. when i walked with their noise i could ignore my own thoughts, needs, and heart.
i liked to serve steak and settle for crumbs.
the skin on my exposed face is starting to hurt and i just want to keep walking.
i know how to walk in the woods. i can’t lose real things by continuing to moving forward.
no. i’ll be just fine. i lift my hands in fingerless gloves to take more pictures, but my arms refuse to comply.
i see something a little way further into the woods, but it is so cold now.
i can’t help it, i turn back. i’m not even able to keep my face up in the air. with my head down, the sun shines off the white snow that isn’t behaving like snow and it blinds.
i reach the car and i’m barely able to open the handle.
my fingers stretch out in front of the heaters and i look out at the perfectly frozen day through my windshield.
it all seems so harmless. it looks like i should be able to stay out there and be alright.
the warmth hurts my hands but i don’t move them. i’m learning to stay close to the truth.
i’m learning to do what hurts so that i don’t lose what i need.