Open the door. Step into the endless hallway where there are no doors (yet). Stand there. Wait. Minutes, hours, days, months, maybe even years, however long it takes, until another door opens. And trust that there is always another door. Step inside. Accept that your imperfect life is good enough, that you are not broken, you are “becoming” and what you are becoming is brutally real. Resist running back to the door that swings inward with its splinters and heavy dead bolts.
Don’t force it. Not today. Stand in the dark (feel what it’s like to be buried alive). Breathe. It hurts. Breathe anyway. Fake it ‘til you make it. Wear the Mask—smile like a killer. Mimic “right” expression—“Killer smile,” (split the words: Kill Her, Smile) (why not, she’s dead already). The part of her that helped her smile is gone. No one will notice. The Mask hides all. Be “Okay.” Move on. It’s been nine months. How long do you need anyway? Here comes the chatter: take a pill, take the edge off, take a beach trip (piles of books would do me good); so and so lost her son, it leveled her, I know exactly how you feel (you couldn’t possibly); everything happens for a reason, maybe something you said?
This dark feels like the dark that wakes me from restless sleep. What now? What’s the Plan? I had everything under control (distant laughter). I made lists, (Plan A and Plan B in case Plan A failed and became Plan B), met clients, argued law, wrote books, knew my kids. I did everything right. I followed the Rules. I surrendered. I surrendered ….everything.
What now? I’m half expecting God to answer. But I know he doesn’t work like that. So I pick up my phone (really). The screen lights up the dark. I speed dial my girlfriend. No answer. I call my parents and immediately hang up. The realization hits too hard; when a child hurts she reaches out, she goes home. Mine will never reach out again. Frantically, I dial more numbers and hear voice mails and busy signals until finally, I stop. And listen. And pay attention. Soon, the door cracks open.