The city is a slowly waking beast in the morning, with sunlight blinding against steel and glass. The nighttime growl of traffic begins to roar, drowning out the morning birds’ songs. The streets rumble with people in business suits and sneakers, smart heels stowed away in briefcases. Places to go, deals to make. The city comes alive in the morning, shedding off yesterday’s skin. The squirrels and the pigeons and the mutating raccoons all feast on the molt and a whole new day begins.
I’ve been saving all my hospital bracelets for a year. Call it part hoarding tendency and part trophy. “I made it through the day. I survived.”
Sometimes it seems like there’s a parade of chimpanzees around every corner waiting to throw more shit at my head while I’m just trying to make it through the day.
I’m working on the hoarding. I used to see my stuff as showcasing my personality. Now I just see it as what somebody will have to throw away when I’m gone. I know that’s dark, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned this year it’s that nothing can last forever. No one expects their last Facebook post before dying to be some stupid buzzfeed quiz, but sometimes that’s exactly what happens. You don’t get to prepare.
I’ve taken morbid solace in believing I would die before everyone I know. I imagine being dead is easy; it’s only hard for those left behind. It was comforting to believe I would never be one of those left behind.
So I kept these bracelets as trophies. I wanted to make art with them. I said many years ago that what I wanted to do with my life was take all this pain and turn it into something beautiful. But life keeps getting in the way. It feels like I hardly catch my breath before running from those fucking chimpanzees again.
Life’s hard and shit happens, but we all manage to muddle through…even when every day rains hard decisions…even when each new day brings new pain. So far, I’ve been pretty damn good at surviving. I can take the physical pain. But the emotional pain…it just gets put on the shelf to be dealt with later and it only adds to the hoard.
So here’s a moment of silence for those lost and left behind. And here’s a year’s worth of reminders, finally going into the garbage where they belong.