Sophie seeks the unfettered air of distant shores
© 2016 by Binahkaye Joy
“At what point can we be assured that someone is truly worthless? No, no. I’m serious. I mean, when is it okay to stop caring. To stop giving a damn. I want to know. I mean, I’m asking because I can’t afford to have anything extra weighing down on me. If there is some definitive way to know that it’s okay to discontinue caring for another person. Another human being. To, you know, just flat out abandon any ounce of concern, I need to know what that is. And I’m not talking about hate. That’s energy too. That’s just as strong as love. It’s still a weight. I’m looking to transcend all that. I mean, loving him wasn’t any less of a burden. Hating him took too much joy out of me. I just want to undo his place in my mind. That’s it. That’s it. I want him to be homeless. I want him to wander so far from my perceptions and thoughts that he becomes unknown to any of my senses. That the songs he used to play on his iPod on a loop, that those songs could play and I wouldn’t skip a beat in my conversation. I wouldn’t hesitate to exhale. I’ll keep breathing like normal because no melody has yanked me back to that tragedy I once called love.
So yeah, when can he become worthless to me. Weightless. Nothing. When can he become nothing to me? And I want to be clear here, I’m not talking out of anger. There’s no more anger. That is a river run dry. Five years already. The anger evaporated with my tears. But still, there is this weight. I need it gone. But it can’t be from a foul place. It can’t be from disgust. It can’t be me actively resisting him. That is just more weight. That is the whole thing. I mean, if I’ve got to push against something or force any effort into his removal, then I’m still doing work for him. I don’t work for him. I don’t want to work for him anymore. I want out. I want there to just be the air there when I breathe. I don’t want my breaths to have to accommodate his inability to bend. His stiffness, the weight of him. He could not be moved so I tried to bend my breaths around him. That hurt more than you know.
He has taken up too much space as it is. I mean, that is why I have come all this way in the first place. Left the country. Left my mother. Changed hemispheres. I needed some space. I needed to learn how to breathe without obstruction.” ~~ Sophie watches the sun set on an island where nobody knows her name. She considers how she came to be in this particular spot, needing directions back to the main road before it gets too dark, and instead exposing the frailties of her heart to the daughter of the kind coconut man, a young woman who, oddly enough, looks like the sister she was always asking for but never actually got to meet.