Monday, January 9, 2012


I see him coming and there is no place for me to go.  The one way out is the way that he will walk in. 

I can smell him twenty feet away. 

Through glass. 

Through a door.

The room begins to spin and collapse around me.  I tell myself that it's not him; that would be impossible.  My mind.  My nose.  My body.  They all betray me.

He walks through my door.  I offer a simple handshake.  I hope that a brief touch will flood my shattered mind with the calm of reality. 

That's not him.  He means no harm.  And then my reassurance turns into frenzied questions.

A handshake turns into a hug.  Too much contact as his cologne seeps into my every sense.  Glass shatters as my mind spins in sync with the room.

A painful haze fills the room.  My vision narrows into a tiny point.  A push.  And then a shove.  Obscenities spewed propel me backwards as a corner of the room folds me in as protection.

My back slides down the wall as I crouch to hide my face.  The two walls meet and wrap their arms around me.   I rock as I listen for the silence.  The calm.

But instead as the haze lifts I hear the racking sobs of a wounded someone. 

Tears like razors spill into my protective hands.  They cut my hands as each one drops.  I shake and pound my head into the walls. 

Those sobs are mine and I can hardly breathe.  I squeeze my eyes so tight to stop the tears.  They subside but I do not open them afraid that the monster is still there.

A voice calls my name. 

Another warns not to touch me.

One eye opens.  And then the other.  I shiver as I see the worried faces.

No shards of glass.  No wounded hands.  His smell still lingers but he is gone.  The shrinking room has expanded to an endless space of shame. 

Another hand offers me a way out of my corner.  I brush away my tears but my face burns hot with shame. 

It has finally happened.  My past has found a way to intersect with my public life.

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