Do you lurk in the shadows watching me?

I am so exposed.

I put everything out there, hoping you will see, will read me, will view me—will watch me and know how I feel, how I still feel.

Open, my life is a book, written on pages before you, and everyone can read it, read me. Part of me hopes you are watching and part of me is so afraid of what you might see.

You are invisible to me. All traces of a connection that was once so real and strong to me—gone. I seek for it; I yearn for it. I reach out and can almost touch it, almost feel it, and then it vanishes like smoke before my eyes.

I don’t cry. I don’t get angry. I’m not sad. I’m just barely breathing, barely holding on to that thin string that is sanity and dangerously close to stepping over the line into the realm of fantasy forevermore—drifting into fitful sleep each night.

Even in my dreams, I cannot find what I am seeking. You are just gone—like we never existed together—like I never meant anything to you. So easy to walk away. So easy to remain silent.

Searching for answers. Scared of the truth and scared of the reality and intensity that emotion brings, I push it as far away from me as I can.

Busy. Keep busy. Wandering around in my brain and my heart is dangerous—so I keep busy. So many little things to fill my time that I don’t have the time to think of anything, yet I’m always thinking of everything.

Thinking of the truth, knowing the truth, and knowing the truth should change how I feel, but realizing it doesn’t change a thing… not about the feelings, only about the reality of the life I must live now.

So far away in space and time, yet the distance between us is a mere thought, a mere flicker of a flame from a candle that makes my mind drift, my heart ache, my body weep, even if my eyes are dry.

Calm now, but then the breeze blows and the flame flickers again, and then again… and I rush to keep the fire burning, but the flame extinguishes itself, and I stare into the darkness, watching the smoke rise into the air, and smell the acrid scent of burnt memories wafting through the night.

And I feel so all alone.

Yet beyond all this, I feel your pain. I feel your confusion. I feel your frustration and the anger you turn toward yourself. I feel your most difficult nightmares intensified by that which you will not even admit to yourself. Truth is only a word away, yet it is so frightening all the changes truth brings.

Sometimes we can lie to ourselves and change the memory in our hearts, try to pretend the things that once meant so much don’t mean a thing. But the reality still exists, even if we won’t admit that to ourselves.

The reality of it stings, it bites, and we bleed and burn for the things that once were, without ever understanding what was—and never touching the fringe of what might have been.

Can we convince ourselves that we are where we want to be? Can we convince ourselves that it’s all for the best? Can we convince ourselves that we will forget in time, that the memories will fade and that the pain will become less and less… until only a distant glimmer of the past, the future holding nothing of the togetherness that was once the plan?

Or was it?

That is my question. That is my fear. That is my worry. That is my reality.

Will you ever reach for me?

And if you do, can you reach far enough? Are you strong enough? Are you willing enough? Does your desire burn long and hard enough to make the effort that it will take to reach through the very darkness that you caused and bring the world back to light?

Or will you just drift away into oblivion forever?

My arms are open. My heart is exposed. My life set before you in the most vulnerable way possible. Do you see it? Do you read it?

What will you do with it now? What will you do with the life you own… the life you bought but I paid for…. no returns, no refunds, no exchanges—now what do you do? Where does it go from here?


Silence so deafening it hangs in the air between, ready to explode like a keg of gunpowder with but a small insignificant spark of desire.

When the smoke clears… when the flames die down… when the haze lifts and I open my eyes to view all that is before us—tell me, what will I see?

(Excerpted from 2006 essay in The Path)

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2 comments to Watching

  • Buffy  says:

    … ♥ ♥ ♥ …

  • Derek Odom  says:

    That was so damn good! I read every word. 🙂

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