I accomplished absolutely nothing.
Slept in late and went to a grand total of three AA meetings.
The sun felt fake and the breeze, chilling. Teasing.
Like artificial heat.
I think I was still hurting, experiencing the very subtle slowing down of things.
Had to step under a sun whose idea of fun
Was shining into my bedroom shutters when all I wanted
I gave up on politeness.
It was a time of in between,
Like the spaces between these words. Empty,
But needed to make space and then meaning.
At the time I could not write and
did not feel like anything.
I was used to the everything. Prone to surviving over living.
What did it mean to be a separate entity from the sky?
Sunlight felt so mean. Cruel on defenseless skin plastered and gained back all over me.
It was necessary. I learned to endure the timing. Living again in my very own body.
I spoke to my father again that summer. Played tennis once a week with scarred and new fat legs. We never talked about what happened, about the winter, about the thing. I Ran like a slug and he begged for a little more effort. Said tennis was all about the footwork and technique. He liked to teach. Wanted to help me.
He didn’t know just how much effort it took,
To stand at the park with him and look, into eyes I could not love or hate.
To stand in old city tennis courts and muggy July drizzle while
It made no sense to be there, with him, as a part of the puzzle.
Every step was another missing piece.
It was like enduring a persistent fever in the spring.
Fragmented sets and delayed forehand swings.
All wrong and incoherent timing. Backhands and limp volleys.
We played anyway and it amounted to no tennis skills or confidence showing. I said nothing.
Because it hurt, on the court, when I could not put the pieces together, and could not see the purpose of things.
Clovers were green. I watched a lot but didn’t speak. One time I sat down in the middle of the lesson because it was seven forty three and the clouds were orange and the sky turned pink. I pretended I was in a dream.
In that summer season, he did not hit at me.
Then we’d silently go out to eat.
It was okay though, quiet, and awkward.
It gave us both peace; a missing piece.
It was something. And while easy, to fall back into the horrific winter dream,
I am now thankful for the awful four months
Of the dull fever and meaningless in between.
Now when my father sees me, he beams. Puzzle pieces are coming in, slowly. They are being imperfectly rearranged.
All I can say about July is that forgiveness is strange.
I guess sometimes its okay to rely on
Medicine and summer’s forced lighting.