you take a girl. a girl who is strong (well trying), but who gets tired. and you pair her with a long day, too much traffic, too much heat, the wrong clothes for the weather, and she's hungry. and she's thirsty.
you stick her at yet one more ball game. surrounded by people she just cannot understand. even on a good day. people who make no sense. their smiles are as bright as their teeth, their cars, their shiny shiny shoes.
and she wants to be present. she wants to be able to respond to the vapid bullshit with the same smile she can always whip out at a moment's notice. she really doesn't want to be falling to pieces right here right now.
but she's been keeping a lot of balls in the air and she's tired. and she's hot. and she's. just. done.
so she decides to come undone.
and as fast as she can before the flood crashes she gets to her truck. and she crawls all the way to the way back. and it's hot and airless and uncomfortable. but coming undone doesn't need to be pretty. it just is.
and the tears come as fast as they ever had. if she could be on her knees she would because it's that kind of cry. as much a prayer as anything.
and in between the gasps for breath and the wails and the tears she says everything she's been holding inside OUT LOUD. she says it all. she says the words she's been forming but has been scared to say all this time. she does not beg and she does not make false promises. she does say please.
and the heat becomes comforting. the enclosed space keeps her safe. she is thankful for the tinted windows that give her privacy.
and everything that is just comes out. in tears and wails and lots and lots of snot.
of course she doesn't have a tissue. she forgot to fill her water bottle. she forgot to eat. she forgot to dress for the weather. why in the hell should she hope to have a tissue.
who remembers the little things when you're just dealing with the big.
the body remembers.
and it rebels. and it says STOP. and it makes it very clear that you can only do the big work of living if you care for the body that allows you to do it. it doesn't require much, nor will it put up with being fucked with or neglected for long.
then, eventually, as with any other storm, the worst passes over. the tears lessen and the cries quiet. lots of sniffling. lots of snot. but the worst is over.
and she decides it's first things first. or the body does. at this point she's given it all over to paring it all the way down. and now it's first. things. first.
she's still on the front lines for slaying the dragon, will still keep those balls in the air, but before all that she needs to take care of what she can. the dragon can wait, now it's time to eat.
a few crumpled dollars in exchange for the best cheeseburger she could ever imagine. a water fountain that fits her water bottle. a napkin to wipe her mouth, and the last of her tears.
and she's good. better. over it and ready to move forward. ever forward stronger than before.
it's amazing how we can stand up for so long, how we can be so strong, stronger than we imagine. a rock in the face of life's huge adversities. we even surprise ourselves.
and then to get undone by the little things. too much sun, jeans on a hot day, a lack of food.
and then to get totally reduced in order to build back up again.
and it's really amazing what a good cry and a little beef and cheese can do.
the journey of a thousand miles starts with the step before the single step. take care of yourself and then you can take care of the world.