I’m walking this road, the narrowest string of land, snaking its way along the edge of an inky ocean. On tiptoe I proceed, inching carefully forward—but after so long my toes are numb, and I don’t even notice the ache, much of the time. But then something glints in my path, and my head wobbles, and I find I’m tipping, and I see the water approaching as I start to fall. It takes an effort to right myself, because it’s so near, and it would be so easy to let go and fly downward to the blue-black depths; a roar in my ears of all the things I’ve lost grasping toward me, enveloping with a clammy heat. I could spend the rest of my life there, in that space full of questions and wistful smiles and answers that ever elude. I’d be stuck, static. I’d drown there. But I’d be so secure. Instead of walking endlessly here where it’s clear but I can’t get away from the water that hovers, wraith-like, at my side. It taunts, calling, waiting to strip me of a bland, teetering reality brimming with denial and hopes I don’t really trust.
Because sometimes I’ve seen my fate—and it’s reflected in a murky sea, flowing gently backwards.