I literally crossed an ocean to get away from the numbing confusion. I can hear the situation screaming from the other side of the Atlantic but it’s quieter now, easier to block out. A five hour time change can do that. I know all too well that running away to sun sea and sand won’t cure me, but the muffling alone is working wonders, even from within the walls of JFK Airport.
I can’t cry publicly. As the wheels of the plane left the ground at Heathrow my heart wrenched itself forward in my chest, fighting to remain behind, struggling to escape its bonds. It stretched and strained and didn’t give in. The sinews of it spinning a fine web in the jet stream and keeping me tethered, however loosely, to what I’m trying to escape. I felt it creak behind my rib cage and forced myself not to cry. Catharsis is not for public consumption. Oh the irony.
Peaks and troughs for two days now. Peaks when I’m with people, smiling easily, the mask firm and thick, quips rolling off my tongue like it’s all water off a duck’s back. It’s not. The troughs are ocean trenches threatening to swallow me whole, struggling for air between sobs and whimpers, drowning in my own crushing anguish.
And it’s not poetic. It’s ugly and stifling. It’s shaking breaths sucked in through a mouth simultaneously trying to howl. It’s snorting and braying, snivelling and whining like the blind young of some cave dwelling creature. It’s paralysing, all consuming, pathetically curling up into a ball, soaking linen in saline misery. It’s having to pull over, rocking back and forth in the driver’s seat to console yourself because some melody cut too close. It’s considering the abyss that kept you isolated as an old friend with open arms who always knew you’d come running back. It’s feeling like it was inevitable.
Delayed flight. No wifi. Plenty of time to sit and stew and wonder if he’s hurting too