We were just kids walking to school, skipping classes, drinking too much Coke in the weekends and talking about small things as if the world depended on them. We believed the world would depend on us. We were well-intentioned, no matter how we played on the edges of darkness and clung to one another in the chaos of adolescence. We held on to one another with a fervour. Somewhere within we knew that innocence was rushing from us like the tide escaping the shoreline. We longed for our freedom but had no idea what ‘real-life’ would bring.
We were unprepared – no fault of our parents, our school system, our religious institutions or lack of. It wasn’t television, the dawning of the internet age or the influence of sex, drugs’n’rock’n’roll. We were unprepared because that’s how you must be, to enter the fray of life. Stepping up onto the diving board, if you knew what was ahead you would never do it. So we closed our eyes and jumped, hoping everyone was just as scared as we were and trying not to show it.
But that was only yesterday, and what the hell just happened?
We gave birth to babies, kept some and gave some away; lost husbands, boyfriends, broke a limb, broke a back.
Suffered cancer, fought cancer and won, fought cancer and lost.
Stayed in one place for 2 years not leaving the house, didn’t stay anywhere more than 2 weeks, didn’t call anywhere home.
Tried to have babies and lost them, tried to have babies and couldn’t make them, tried to have babies then hated them, tried to have babies but couldn’t find a lover.
Found love in the arms of men, of a woman, of a few men and women.
Called ourselves feminist, traditionalist, reformist, non-conformist, modern, post-modern, wouldn’t be called anything or put in a box.
We tried over and over to find hope, until it was hopeless and then we succumbed to depression, succumbed to life and to death.
We died in our waking and living the same old thing, day in and day out wishing we were dead and some of us just died. Drove a car into a cliff face, never woke up. Drank too much vodka and drove, never woke up. Drank just enough wine to wash down the pills, never woke up. Tried to slice ourselves open but that never took, while some of us starved and others threw up. Some of us heartbroken and fear never recovering, others so strong now we hate ourselves and everyone. Some of us just lived but never woke up.
Some of us divorced, divorcing or cheating in public, in private – all of us still lonely somehow, even as we find ourselves in the places we never expected to be. Good or bad, who knows, who cares – we’re still fifteen and holding on to ourselves. Trying to let go and leap, trying to hold on to someone else just enough to let them be loved and be loved ourselves but not enough to kill it, the love in our hearts, the love in our life.
And we have become well-practiced at living, even when it doesn’t feel real but there is so much that feels so good, that we live like the breath is being stolen from us. Live, live, live screams our blood.
Some of us burying children, marriages, husbands, parents. Some of us nursing each other. Some of us dreaming still, looking forward to next beginnings, some of us waiting for the first beginnings and what the hell just happened? Live, live live screams our blood.
It was yesterday and we were jumping with our eyes closed into Life, that we had been hurtled towards by Time and everyone, hurtled ourselves into it and now we are dying. Some of us have died.
So all the time, we are hurtling towards death and it flies at us in the minutes and hours. Our lovers, our children, our parents, our siblings. By car, by disease, by water, by choice and I do not know if we are ever at peace.