There is a strange stillness in the air as you sit across from me,
It’s neither here nor there but I can feel a shift in the atmosphere.
There was a time, not long ago, that we would have already started up an odd conversation
Heck, we would be elbow deep in some controversial topic and an 11 pm pizza
Your brown eyes would be fiery with passion and your mouth would be snapping
Your beautiful teeth would be visible as you threw our head back and laughed at my puns
We would have played a guessing game and bemoaned the passing of our youth
We would have made a million plans and laughed at the millions of others we made years back
You would have reached for my hand and I would have held yours to my heart
All this would have happened as we cooked and danced in my small kitchen
But that was all over two years ago and we seem to have drifted apart
Of late all you wanted from me were stolen conversations in the night
so on occasion you would visit my home, high as a kite.
And we would talk and talk and I would write and wish
And just as the light of morning fleeted through my curtains, you would leave
Only to return when the drugs overrode your new instinct to hide from me
And like clock work,here you are again in my house at 11 in the night
Yet this time feels stranger than the rest because for once you have not said a word
Silence, the ticking of a clock, the clink of my spoon against my coffee cup;
It’s getting darker outside and weirder inside
I stare at you and in my heart I pray for you, but also for me too…
Because the boy I once knew and cherished is gone
The vibrancy of your personality and the rainbow of your character
You were always so colorful, loving the world and everyone in it
You always had an opinion and were never afraid to voice it
But yet as I stare at you right now, you seem broken
You are blue, everywhere;
Your hands from the cold outside, your soul from the pain inside and your demeanor from the scars you try to hide.
You are only happy these days when your blood is filled with coke
You only visit me when your lungs are filled with smoke
And when you come, your fingers trace my face while you stare at me with hazy eyes.
And every time you do, you spill your secrets
But this time I have to prompt you and ask you what is wrong
And just like that, the flood gates open and the rain pours…
You say that you are tired of the darkness, the dredge in your soul.
You claim that you feel nothing and no one excites you anymore
You complain about the lack of passion, the lack of fire in your spirit
You say that you never feel alive and you cannot seem to find a reason to live
You tell me about all the girls and the rides and the dreams
You confess to all the sins that you had once claimed were not yours
You purge out all the stories and secrets you have kept for the last decade it seems
You take a break, take a sip of your tea and glance away in shame
You stare at me in contrition as if I am the God that you have been running from
I take a deep breath and try to think of what to say Only for you to start speaking again
You say that your heart is bleeding and your soul is reeling
You tell me how you are tired of the nightlife, the drive-by sorta love
You claim to be overwhelmed by the darkness and the shadows that haunt your heart
And as per usual I write about you; my pen bleeds ink as I fill page after page with the stories of your life
Next page; I wait for you to get up and leave as per usual…
And yet today you stick around.
The light streams into my tiny living room and my body aches from lying on the floor all night
My fingers are stiff from all the writing and my heart is heavy with words
I throw my journal to a corner and I stare into your brown eyes
They are red around the rims now; you cried at some point in the night and I am sure your high has faded
You look like a sick child looking to their parents for relief
Like a broken vessel waiting to be fixed
But I am sorry, I can’t fix you.
Yet for the first time in 2 years I finally gather the courage to speak
And all I can come up with are questions
“How many times do you kill yourself to feel alive?
How many habits did you take up to relive the pain?
How many lives have you imagined to reinvent your own?
How many puffs of smoke and snots of coke will numb your mind?
How many more needles will shoot life up your veins?”
You stare at me and say “Millions and millions till I kill myself or die trying”
But undeterred and determined to address these demons I say
“Can you hear that? The sound of other lives shattering because you gave up on your own?
There is so much for you to give, so much for you to receive.
You have a family, real friends, talents and giftings and youth
You have the wonder of an imaginative mind and the skilled eye of a photographer
You have the quick wit of a comic and the hands of a sculptor
You have the heart of a poet and the caressing voice of a singer
So do not for one second tell me that you have nothing left to give
Do not believe that life is but a dreary road
Do not convince yourself that you are too weak and bored to thrive
Do not believe the lie that your youth is all about getting high
The only things I can give you are love and God
I cannot give you the will to live, to thrive
All I can throw out is a lifeline
So take this shot baby; drink up a taste of life everlasting
Shake off the madness, sadness and chaos of your life
Come and surround yourself with life; friends, family and good music
Travel and see the wonder of God’s creation.
Come home; let your heart come home.”
(To be continued)