Elderly women whisper 

Elderly women whisper: “marry a man that loves you more than you love him.”

Fall in love, get married and have babies. This is the unspoken rule. This is how life is lived.

A husband, a wife, a house in the suburbs. Fulfilling Big Brother complete. This is what we display to the public, social normative behavior. Wouldn’t want to stand out.

In that house, hidden from the public view, depression, irritability, wild thoughts and obsessive behavior. Brilliant minds are partially revealed, but the invisible force of the fear of nonconformity drives us to shelter those ideas most objectionable.

But what about happiness? A secret love, a passion, something more. Don’t let them see it. It is not allowed.

Out of earshot rapid ideas are exchanged between lovers. The conversation is stimulating, exciting, brilliant. The chains of normalcy are broken, excitement reaches a climax, euphoria is found in forbidden love making.

A secret is kept, for now the lovers live in painful longing. The roles of the nuclear family continue. Big Brother smiles.The grandmothers are proud. Conformity complete.

 

-LRose

The Threshold 

Where do we break? Between composure and infantile wailing? Euphoria and irritability? Comfort and pain? The pain that pushes you to the point where suicide makes sense. The threshold is lower in us. They try to raise it with pills and therapy and sunshine, so it can’t easily be breached, but it dangles over me, just out of my reach.

I jump for it over and over, wishing I had longer arms or legs. Sometimes I’m weighted down and can barely get off the ground. And if I’m lucky it soars out of sight and I am happy to not have it rest so close to my head.

That line, that threshold, the difference in us is that we see it. Discuss the risk and benefit, what society won’t admit. This makes us real. We do not pretend it is out of reach, that breakdown, that violence, that final breath. We know it is closer to us, our eyes are open.

Admitting it’s existence pushes the breaking point a bit further away. But it is still near. There is comfort where there is pain. It’s an angel and devil, not so far away. That lower threshold, some of us reach it anyway.