These words were actually written a month ago. Not a lot has changed, but at least I’m writing again.
Each day I do in exercise in self-loathing. I turn on the shower as hot as I can stand it. I disrobe and step into the billowing steam. The water flushes my skin scarlet with anger, humiliation, confusion, and remorse. I lay my head against the tiles and I close my eyes. As a literature teacher, I know water is supposed to be a symbolic cleansing. As a human being, I know this is just a figure of speech. There is nothing that can expunge shame.
It’s been a long time since I did this – poured myself out onto a page and shared out for the world to see. These past few months have seen irrevocable change, and things are much darker than they ever have been. It’s as if the light optimism of my youth reeked like the dead and was buried in secret haste. Only something foul clawed its way out.
Once upon a time I knew who I was or at least had solidly clung to its semblance has to have that perception. I am still amazed at how that concept is so fluid and temporary, how the winds of fortune or misfortune can shift the sail of the H.M.S. Identity.
I don’t expect understanding. I don’t expect sentiment and encouragement. I don’t expect any words I put down to make any sense to anyone let alone myself. Without a rudder, I am aimless, and these words I’m stringing together do not provide the relief I so desperately seek.