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A Letter to the Lonely

A letter to the lonely

Collage by Erin Incoherent

Let me tell you something they do not want you to know.

You can still do this on the days that they think you can’t.
So easy it is to become discouraged but,
Every wildfire starts small.
Do not get distracted.

You are fighting a war.
Bet on it and prepare for it.
This is a warning for the vulnerable;
A sign that reads: ‘TROUBLE AHEAD’ for those with difficulty deciphering ulterior motives.

Can I put this more blunt?

There are hyenas here.
They laugh together.
Can you hear them?
I do not know how they got in here but I do know why they came.

They want to break your strength.

Howls tearing through thin air sound like trouble brewing.

They sound the same in my skies, too.
I thought I heard them nights ago, but they seem so much closer now.

I stand still here. Waiting for unwelcomed company on my plateau in this painted wasteland.

Goosebumps rise on my flesh as a cry erupts in the short distance between the herd and my location.

The hairs on my arms stand tall, reaching for anything to grab balance from.
I feel myself tipping again.
As the howls get closer you can begin to distinguish their sound.
Their laughter is what brings the panic.
The fear response.
The fight or flight…
Those thoughts of falling
‘Here comes the ground. Flinch but don’t wince.’

Don’t let ’em see it.

The hyenas snicker and gleam. They’re upon me now and it’s time for the feeding
My heart breaking is an orchestra that vibrates their very bones.
It keeps them warm like a fireplace in the mountains full of air as thin as my patience.
I fall.
I don’t want to fall but I am so tired of standing.
I just wish to be left alone.

Here I lay hazardous, but to whom?
Those remaining in the room.

The hyenas take shards of me with them in their heels as they leave in a rush of dust I’m still waiting to settle.
I’ve found few things hurt worse than betrayal.

Why do I get back up?
It is so much easier to stay down here.
on the floor.
In pieces.
And I thought I loved a five-syllable word.

Now is the time when I must put myself back together again.
And nobody really wants to be here for that.
Not again.
Or at least, not at this point, again.
Maybe they’ll just watch on the sidelines for now and see if I need someone to intervene.
Like, really neeeeeed someone to intervene…..
Someone else to intervene.
Once that person comes through, they can leave their sideline post and pat themselves on the back for having the decency to watch this cyclical tragedy complete yet another cycle.

Hey, they made sure I was breathing. They’re not heartless, alright?
These people are ‘careful’, not ‘care-full’.

And it’s a hard thing;
To teach. To be patient. To teach again.
The heart grows a callous.

How strangely everyone heals.

Most people surround themselves in concrete and laugh at others from the safety of their shell

I don’t do that anymore, lonely one.
Or have you forgotten I’m still talking to you?

My shell is broken and the wind screams in both ears.
It shouts at me from false rooftops the way trauma knows how to.

There is no place to hide here in the wastelands,
And fat hyenas hunt in packs.
There are always meals to be made.

Such devious company begs the question:
Why are we so afraid to be lonely?
Or was the plan to never get catastrophic enough to find out?

The sunsets are beautiful here and I wish more people came out of their shells to see them.

But they are scared.
And rightfully so.
It takes tough skin to adapt to these environmental conditions
But living so open and vulnerable allows you to plan and prepare.

Plan for the tragedy, prepare for the wet season; when residual pain carries itself down from the sediment in the mountains and floods the wastelands.

These are not the only climactic struggles you will face, but they are the hardest to combat.

Plan for the attack.
Remember that they still prepare to find you shattered.

Reveal to them, the beautiful glass structure that now stands where they left a wasteland.
And prepare for the aftermath.

Prepare for them to make it a wasteland once again.
Prepare for the storm because you’re bringing the lightning.

The heart will grow another callous. Plan for that, too.
And perhaps when we plan this time, lonely one, we will remember the strength in being vulnerable.
We will remember the whites in their eyes as they came back to feast this time, basking in the beauty of what they were about to destroy.
This time, we will recognize a familiar fear upon their face, a fear normally reserved for people like us, as they calculated our trajectory.
Our blind ambition.
Our fire growing.

And as they begin to worry about how they can keep us temperate, docile, and broken, we will begin to build higher, faster, and with more skill than they ever thought us capable of.

This is because they can’t stop you unless they kill you or get you to quit of your own volitions. But they only ever want to take a part of you.

Never kill you.

They don’t find you so special.

Self-doubt is a hell of a motivator for giving up. And look at you! You’ve made it so easy for them! They’ve got their work cut out for them there.

Stop them.

Scorch this Earth and make it hallowed ground.

Make it sacred and make them fear stepping here.

Cover yourself with your ashes and forgive yourself for past weakness.

Prepare to shatter.

Make it count.

Make it hurt.

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