The cold air envelopes my skin in its arctic teeth.  I look for shelter.  I have no home, no warmth, and no hope.  My fingers are numb.   My tattered coat flaps in the wind.  I see lights glowing in the guts of warm houses.  I wish I was inside.   I see parked vehicles. I wish I was inside.  Ice cycles hang everywhere.  Christmas lights hold a soft glow as steam rises into the cold night air from frosted roofs.  The snow creaks and pops under my frozen boots.  I would sleep in a garage, or in a dumpster if I could find one.   My body is numb,  it hurts to breathe.  I fall face first into a snow drift.  The cold snow melts on my face for a moment.  Is this what hell would feel like?  A forgotten soul, lost in a blanket of pain.  I hurt in darkness, then suddenly, I am gone.


A migraine headache squeezes the pulp of my brain.  My head is an over inflated tire trapped in the bone of my skull.  There is an ache behind my eyes.  Pressure, ache, severe pain.  People talk to me, it hurts.  Light, movement, music, life, it all hurts.  I lay in a dark room with a cold washrag over my eyes and on my forehead.  I see spots like fireflies dance in arcs on my eye lids.  I have to listen to music I never listen to.  White noise.  If I know the words, it hurts.  I shift in bed, and move my pinky finger.  Perpetual pain.  An electrical storm within the flesh of my brain.  All of my focus is upon my ache.  I think of hell.  To be immersed in perpetual torment without escape.  Would death hold pause?  Or is it from suffering to suffering.  I ache, I ache, I fall asleep for the last time.


A broken heart feels like a lead blanked wrapped around my chest.  It pulls and is heavy.  Every topic, every moment, surrenders to the thoughts, that hurt.  I wish there was medicine for heartache.  Something to push it away, dull it, perhaps erase it.  I try to distract myself, nothing works.  It takes time.  Time for the pain to dissipate.  I didn’t chose this ache, it chose me.  It was like catching a cold.  I was in an infectious place, my emotions were malnourished.  My neglect causes this perpetual ache.  My heart is broken, if it heals, amid stitches and scars, it will never be the same.  It may be smarter and better, but not original, hopeful and pure.   Wounded by black fire, its beats, crooked, puffing chalky smoke.  I am trapped in a hot shower of emotions, and they burn me where I can’t see.  I can’t stand still.  Pain eats away what is left of me.  I make it stop forever.


Things don’t go my way, as I sit in a new warm car.  I am mad that my wife picked out the wrong color of winter coat.  I am so hot I have to turn the defrost off.  I look at the temperature reading on my radio.  “Minus twenty?  Wow!”  I would hate to have to work outside in this.  I yell at the coffee shop people, they screwed up again.  I tell wife some drunk homeless dude passed out in a snow drift.  She is crying  because her best friend died from  severe migraine or something last week, and her husband was so heartbroken he lost her, that he took his own life.

In that moment, I realize,  I have nothing to complain about.  I stopped and thanked God for the many, many, blessings he has given me. I ask him to forgive me for not seeing the other souls and their pain on this earth.  I hug my wife, my hot tears soak her shoulder.  My kids said, “Ewwww daddy!”  My wife and I laugh.


Copyright © 2017 Zachary W Gilbert

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