Justin: In the Feast of Being Able to. Amen.

It gets better

I am a firm believer that when we pass through hard days, no matter God’s primary purpose, there will come a time when someone else will find themselves where we were, and no one but us will have the understanding to empathize. I’m posting the following that I wrote just a few weeks ago, because a friend is there now.

by Justin Douglas

I used to dream of being underwater.
I wasn’t forced there or fell there,
but like any good nightmare, I just was.

At first I would panic,
and a lifetime of loved ones
sped through my mind, then God
and Jesus and sin and salvation,
and then something formerly unrealized
took over:

My super powers.

If I breathe very shallow,
and very, very, slowly,
I can breathe underwater.

I don’t breath the water, exactly.
I somehow sneak air from it,
like staring down a bear
and slowly, ever so slowly,
backing away.

I swam in the hotel pool tonight.
There is no diving board
and in fact, no diving.
There is no loud music
and no glass containers,
so after a few laps,
I entertained myself by floating
face down.

I thought about drawing a breath.
I thought about calling him and saying
2002 was entirely my fault.
I thought about a mass email
to tell them how I really feel.
I thought about asking for the loan back
or caring what I eat
or going back to that house.
I thought of picking up the phone
and finding a way to make it work.

I dressed and walked two blocks
for famous California burgers –
past 9 palm trees and 2 lots of dirt.
Past 4 gas stations, an underpass,
a crippled beggar and a car wash.
A lewd comment from behind a tinted window
flattered me.

I really should watch what I eat.
Where I walk.

I am thinking of turning to run.
I am thinking of taking a deep breath.