Having trouble breathing.

Blue on blue

Having trouble breathing
Past midnight
The power is out and there is a beeping coming from downstairs.

The carbon monoxide detector…
So I take the battery out and head up the stairs.
I will have to fix it later.
And I am coughing. And wheezing.
I can’t stop. I hear a gurgle in my chest.
I can’t fix it.
And it takes probably an hour to get back to sleep.
The next day is cold and there is no power.
Edison will have to fix it.
So I spend my time painting.
A portrait of my dog.
I spend all day working on it
Fixing it to look like her

My life is not bad. I have a nice house and good job.
I love my wife. I am comfortable. And I guess as happy as I can allow.
I have time.

I think about all the things we use that need electricity.
All the things that take up time. And entertain and distract.
And suddenly in the middle of this it all stops.
And with the fresh snow outside
It is unnaturally quiet.

I set up the generator and got everything working.
So that if the blackout continued we’d have heat and light.
I ran it long enough to take a long shower
And just that little bit of time got the temperature in the house a bit warmer…
And just as the motor stalled for whatever reason, the power came back on. And the noise and distractions came back to me.
I hope the generator isn’t broken.

My brother has died and we said goodbye to him last week.
I lost him a long, long time ago.
And it hurts to think about what should have been a better life.

Everyone he knew describes such a gentle spirit with genuine affection.
It is just another thing I can’t fix.

And my son is still dead.
He should have had a longer life. That would have been better.
But I can’t fix that.
I come to the end of a long Christmas vacation
The third without him
And that emptiness in my chest (my congested chest…)
There is so much I miss and it does hurt.

I somehow want people to understand
Why I strive to keep moving and keep busy
And why I want to argue with you.
And why I can’t.
That I can’t be myself. And that there is something bothering me.
But that it isn’t their deal. Don’t worry about it.
To interact and entertain and discuss and to be here with me-
Broken and bruised and scarred. I need help to heal but I need you
To leave me alone… because at the end of the day
I can’t take the risk that you will hurt me.
Because so few actually understand.
There is nothing to do or say that will make it any better.
It has been said. And I have heard it.
And I know that I can eat all the chocolate and it won’t make a difference.
Except that I am gaining weight.
Is this all that it ever will be?

I have to know that I am sick and hurt and angry.
And healing takes time and rest.
To fix this.
And that I have to learn to lean on a more gentle spirit
A better angel
One that does not seek to lash out.
This should have been a better life.

I’m taking a late nap.
Because of the congestion in my chest.
I intend to paint a portrait of a tiger.
A tiger.


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