was it a bad place?

Big Sky

Image by ecstaticist via Flickr

by Madeline Laughs

I went there.

I skipped and I laughed and I went there.

The fun and the laughter rang out all around me as I swirled my skirt in patchwork circles trimmed in lace. My face was young again and it gleamed with cherry coated cheeks of happiness for the new adventure. I could feel the love of past friends all around me and the good memories flooded my rose colored, kaleidoscope vision. I danced and clapped my hands and I went there willingly.

This was a time I had built the foundation of the rest of my life on. My tiny hopes and dreams bloomed into real life and nothing had ever hurt me. Here I was right back there basking in that home fire and remembering what it felt like to feel so safe again. 

It was just like they had always promised me it would be and I was grateful.

Deeper and deeper I tripped into the past that was now mixing with the present day like oil with water. False remembrances threatened to make me question the reason for my voyage, but I giggled at my silliness and trudged forward on.

My brow disobeyed me defiantly and now knitted in a permanent frown as my mind struggled to make sense of so many details that may have never happened. I could taste the heartache and disappointment as bitter as unsweetened chocolate and I shook my head and spit trying to rid the smell of smoke and mirrors and the flavor most unfamiliar to me.

My step slowed and now I looked all around at the place that wrapped it’s bony  arms around me. How did I get so terribly lost? What path forked it’s ugly tongue and misled me to this place so far away from my own good memories?

Where were those boys?

Where were they all hiding?

The sunbeams dimmed and fractured through the thickness born of pain. I touched the rough bark and tried to picture in my mind all of the youth and exuberance that once resided there. I closed my eyes and forced a smile to my lips to show that I still believed even if this place had forgotten how. I could remind it. I could share what I knew and how I had lived with this goodness in all my days and maybe I could give it back to the dappled days of  long ago before now.

My tippy toes faltered past uneven ground and deep pitfalls. I moved with caution avoiding the scariest parts but still scraping my elbows and ruining my new shoes. I could no longer close my eyes for fear I’d sully my dress as I fell to my own undoing.

When had the sun gone down?

When had the clouds stopped promising rain?

I stood alone here in the middle of despair and deception. It tugged at my fingers and it pulled my hair. Swatting it away never occurred to me because I was so terribly sad now myself. Melancholy gripped my heart savagely and squeezed it tight as a turnip top. I felt I belonged here now. Parts of my checkered covered joy splintered into jagged shards as I remembered my own pain and my own sorrow.

Had it not all been bright and cheerful?

Had the elasticity of a child’s hope worn thin with dryrot and age?

I turned back to the way I had come. Longing pulled at the corners of my carefully made bed. My lids drooped with the sleep of one who has given in and given up. Must I stay the night here since it was something I gave all of my pennies and thoughts to?

Must I stay?

Why hadn’t I listened to the voices gently cooing the warning of danger? Why had I thought nothing could steal away the basket of faith I carried so carelessly? Had I not visited of my own accord with the promise of scattering rosy petals of comfort and helpful advice?

Summoning all of my own reserves and testing the tread of my rubber souled elastic sneakers I bounced and bounded back towards the well lit opening of the end of a tunnel furrowed from loss and regret. I left behind the scent of my perfume and the promise that someday might be better than today could ever be. I stretched my arms as long as they could branch without coming loose from my one true self. Hair flew all around in the strong wind of my departure, still feeling like there is hope there to be discovered one dark night when the harvest moon lights the way.

Was it a bad place?

It was never a bad place at all before now. How could it be? It was a part of my good life and it shall remain in a place that is safe from the winds of change. The segments boiled and misty merely tell of a time when life stopped living leaving behind a dish of desserts not justly deserved.The scars the memories have left in their frothy wake mar the beauty that we once took for granted. Rough to sensitive fingertips that should never venture where they are not welcome it waits for the time of lift off like a rocket to outer space.

As I stand here on the edge of the foundation that supported my entire life once, I scatter rosy petals of understanding and the hope of peace one day. I dance and swirl my skirt, but my laughter is tempered by the memory of things I never knew about before today. My heart holds no malice for being deceived and deported. My heart holds only the love that brought me close to the edge and back again.

I will keep smiling at this place to remind it of a time from so long ago when all of us were looking forward and never behind. Though my eyes will now betray the forlorn heartbreak that has forever marked me like a branding iron, I will carry this with me for all of the rest of my days.

Where are those boys?

I’d rather you be mean, than love and lie. I’d rather hear the truth and have to say goodbye. I’d rather take the blow, at least then I would know. But baby, don’t you break my heart slow.

~Vonda Shepard

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About Madeline Scribes

A writer with a sense of humor. If anyone can laugh at life, it's me.
This entry was posted in Artsy and Poetic and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to was it a bad place?

  1. Thanks so much for the article.Really looking forward to read more. Much obliged.

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