Fine

We’ve got a problem.  

This is all hands on deck, unfurl every sail.  There’s a storm approaching and we’ve got to out run it.  This wasn’t supposed to happen.

You asked me how I’ve been and I told you I spent yesterday crying on the floor.  We’re not sure what went wrong, those words weren’t in cue.  I was supposed to say I was fine.  Now you’re blinking from the whiplash and asking me what happened.

Apologies for the blank stare and silent tongue, there’s panic in the mind and fires have erupted everywhere.  Please be patient, we are scrambling for a response, but it’s hard to form one with the alarms blaring at me to say I’m fine I’m fine I’m fine.  There’s been a malfunction.  

I can see the furrow of your brow, the words forming in your mouth.  I want to say ‘I appreciate it, but you really don’t have too’.  Honestly, I’d rather talk about my weird dream last night, or your weekend plans, or anything else but this.

Because I am fine now.  Or I’m better, at least.  

I will be fine soon, really, I don’t know why I brought that up.  Please help, we don’t know how to backpedal our way out.  We’re opening every door we can find, scouring for something to say.  

We’ve got a problem.

Something has been unlocked in the process, we’re experiencing a backdraft.  There’s a suffocated memory suddenly exposed and it’s flaring up.  This is a code red.  I repeat, we have a code red.  Someone, anyone, put out the flames before they consume me.

We’re dousing everything in water.  So sorry for the delay, we can hear your questions.  Please give us two to three business days to get back to you.  Every hose is on full blast, flooding the place.  Flooding me.

Please excuse this burst of tears, they aren’t what they look like.

Smoke is filling every crevice, thick and toxic from the memories it comes from.  It’s staining the walls gray and black.  We’re flooding them too, my tears are contaminated with smoke, flushing it out.  It’s getting on your shirt.

When did I start crying into your shirt?

I can’t say I’m fine, you won’t believe me.  We’re struggling to shut the doors we’ve opened in hopes of containing the problem.  No one has a script anymore, we’re flying by the seat of our pants.  There’s so much water and it’s too murky to find anything in it.

I’m sorry, I tell you, I don’t know what’s wrong.

But that’s not true. 

I’m not clueless to this train wreck of a conversation.  I watched it unfold in slow motion.  What’s wrong is I wasn’t ready to talk about yesterday’s breakdown.  What’s wrong is that I panicked, and I flung myself into memories without caution.

What’s wrong is that I have always shut these doors as soon as I could and let the pressure behind them build.  

I’m fine, really, today has been fine.  What you’re witnessing is from the past when I wasn’t.  This is just a result of poor cataloguing.  This is just my mind still in a wreck from a previous hurricane.

We’ve got a problem.

I haven’t been caring for old wounds.  I haven’t had the energy to open those doors.  They were closed to keep memories from overwhelming me, but they can’t stay this way.  This isn’t sustainable.  This isn’t inconsequential.  This isn’t fine.  I can’t do this alone.

Huston, we have a problem.

And I’m going to need some help.

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