Strangers on A bridge

After the rain, the town bell chimed on that cold morning

Susie stumbled across the street in a drunken daze.

Last night was just one in several that she had collapsed at the tavern.

An ambiguous fog loomed in the street

Her heels clicked on grubby cobblestone

There were  no body in them

No  birds in the sky

no wind in the air

she could barely see ahead.

But then she saw him. A figure sitting on the bridge

when she got closer she saw the fear and loss in his face

He leaned back against the air, and released one hand from the rails

“Don’t!” she yelled

He acknowledged  her presence by reaching for the rails,  like his life depended on it, and it did. “If I do it, every thing will go back to normal”

“No!” Susie who had fully snapped out of her high now and was hyper alert said, “Nothing is worth this”

The man began to cackle which led Susie to conclude that he maybe relapsing from paranoid schizophrenia

She got closer, she noted that he was middle-aged. He was handsome in an eccentric way. “What’s so funny?” she demanded

“Birds don’t know what to do when you have no need for them”, he said, “you won’t understand why I have to do this….”

“What is it? Susie interrupted ,”dead beat dad? or was your mum a pill hoarder? did she hang herself in the middle of your one room flat and left you with starving mouths to feed? No wait! that’s me! so I’d be damned if you tell me I don’t understand.”

Susie was seething with ire, how dare this ruggedly quaint idiot act like his life was hard, enough to fall to his doom when she hadn’t slept on her bed in seven years. Her warm soft bed felt grubby and lonely. If any body should be sitting on the bridge counting down to meet the grim ripper, it should be her.

She rushed towards the bridge and hoisted herself to seat beside him

“Whoo oo there!, the stranger stuttered, “what do you think you’re doing?”

“Talking with you reminded me of how much  simpler life would be if I just disappeared.

“Hey,  I was teasing. Ha ha. I wasn’t really going to do it”, he said jumping down “see, give me your hand. please”

“No! you said it yourself, if I feel this worthless, I probably am”

“look at yourself”, the stranger started, “you  courageous woman, I can’t pull the value from within you, but I can promise you  that it is there, you feel culpable and clearly we’ve got a ton of similar problems that Dr. Jekyll couldn’t fix, So let’s head to the tavern and share a cheroot”.

Susie was both impressed and  hesitant by his aphoristic banter

If you feel no different afterwards, I will personally hoist you up there” , he  vowed

“I guess you’re right”, Susie conceded grabbing his wrist.

He placed his jacket over her shoulders, “the name’s Vickram”

“Susie”, she said staring into his cinereous eyes, risking a smile, “there’s something about you”, she admitted.

“That, dear Susie is called hope”, he said as they disappeared into the fog, towards the direction of  Dean’s tavern

The awakening

Most times I prefer that it become adaptable to the audience by letting you read meaning into it, but this one is personal.

We’ve had to deal with our fare share of insecurities in a way that’s unique to us. Ergo, no two war stories will ever be the same.

After a scheduled coffee date this week,  I was forced to stare at myself  in the  mirrored hall and I couldn’t help but Thank God, because I saw myself for how beautiful I truly was.

Before then I made futile attempts to not look at myself because all I saw was a grimy shadow of imperfections. I thank God for my journey thus far. I thank him for the courage to love myself the way he intended.

 

 

Don’t look at me

for I wear shame like a crown

worthy of thorns

worthy of scorn

worthy of everything, but mercy

 

The person I saw the other day

she looked back at me with vulnerability

so I mocked her for being weak

I mocked her for I knew she has much shame

exactly as much as I have

 

In the day time I yearn for worthiness

the worth of love and belonging

An impression I never fanthomed

the abyss that leaves me empty and dry

Drowning in a sardonic rash 

 

And I searched for it in her

for forthnights and moonsons

for decades and eras

for milleniums and eons

till I was emptier and drier

 

It drove me crazy

For in many men the courage  existed

I went astray connecting deeper with her psyche

and  she had no compassion for me

just like I had none for her

 

So I laid there pleading

I grew numb. My teeth  bleeding

I could tell she was scared of me

but her shame kept her locked  away

in iron clad glates

 

In her eyes a glimmer of compassion

Her voice chocked with hope

Hope was all I needed

to reveal her courage

and rid her fear.

 

I began to tell her

everything she is good at

I was beginning to see it

even if the world didn’t

Yes I see it!

 

Then did she rise and break the fetters

I thought she would smite me

I couldn’t blame her

yet her eyes gleamed with empathy

She rescued me, like Heracles did Theseus

 

 

She cleaned me up

she took my hand

we walked together

out of the seat of witness

I have never felt worth until now

 

This is what vulnerability feels like

I formed ground-breaking connections

These all happened while she sat cross-legged on a  mat

chanting in deep breaths;

I am enough!