Time isn’t always counted in numbers. A number of seconds, minutes, weeks, years, lifetimes- how much can you really measure? There are certain milestones though, that hit you hard. You do a little double take and wonder what happened in between. Where did all the time go? What does that mean for you?
Our relationships with our parents are fraught with complications. In a way, they are your only proof that you ever came from somewhere. The last in a line of humans about whom you can claim- this is where I’m from. This is who I am. When that link disappears, you are strangely disoriented. There is no more connect between you and the last ancestor. Did you just spring out of the ground? Where is the other half of where you came from? What does it mean to be from him, when he isn’t there any more? What does it mean to be a daughter? Technically, if the parent isn’t there- am I still a daughter? Or am I a free floating particle in space?
Do you miss someone who isn’t there any more? Missing is a tame word. You don’t ‘miss’. You remember the pain of being torn in two, and realise you spent the last five years learning to walk with that. It doesn’t heal. You lug it around everywhere you go. Something unexpected one day will make it smart. The sun is constantly shining on your head and it doesn’t matter if you have a headache or are thirsty or hungry or if you’ve lost your way. You keep moving. Soon enough you’ll forget where you’re going. Or you’ll realise it’s not really important anyway, but you will keep moving and the sun will keep beating down on you and now, there is nobody who will come in between. So you hold your head a little higher and your back a little straighter, and slowly and painfully try to learn. What are you trying to learn? You’re trying to learn to be everything you need. And you need so much.
You throw off the princess crown- you have no time for such fripperies. With one hand, you hold together that soul-deep rip so you don’t bleed out- and despite your best efforts, sometimes you do- and with the other as your tool, you go forth into the world. Sometimes it clenches of its own accord. One little hand follows you dutifully around. It pats your back and holds off the bullies and, occasionally, hides your eyes.
Five years since the dust settled on you, and it is both an eternity and a single moment. The pieces of me have learned a new choreography- a little stiff, a little edgy, but there you have it. Would I turn back the time? No. Do I miss you? When I am happy. Do I worry? No. You’re ok. We both are. Why should I crib.
But I am angry sometimes, you know? You had too much faith in your own immortality. Perhaps you had too much faith in me too- that I would figure out this madness on my own. What if I had failed? Every day brings a new opportunity for it. What did you ever teach me that would help me live without you?
Five years is half a decade. There’s a lot to catch up on. I put myself through school and now the whole wide world is at my feet. What did you want to see me grow into? Where did you see me going? Not that you were very particular, then. You wanted me to have my own way. What would you say to me now? Does any of it even really matter?
I sit today and I reminisce. Sometimes there is one before-and-after moment that swings your entire life the other way and all you can do is hold on so that you don’t go hurtling off into the sky. Slowly, you realise there is nothing to hold fast to- that the pony on the carousel was a figment of your imagination. There is no carnival. And you are a particle floating in space. Then, you can only learn to be everything you need. And then, you are finally free of all your scars and all your tears.
When I am whole again, I’ll come find you. Wait for me.