I rock back and forth. The ever-present, “I can’t do this,” dripping from my lips.
Mason whispers into the nape of my neck, “Yes. You can. I believe in you.”
I inhale sharp and nod my head. Hemingway running through my mind, “Isn’t it pretty to think so?”
In therapy Leif won’t even let me entertain the idea. “You are not uniquely broken. It sounds like you want to create different habits and responses. There’s no reason you can’t do that.”
I stare at him and bite my lip and start to cry and nod again. “Okay,” I say. Though it feels like it’s more for his benefit than anything.
Strangers leave blog comments as votes of confidence. I get pumped up for a moment, but I inevitably remember that I don’t believe any of it. That I think it’s all bullshit. Like I know some great secret no one else does. Truth is, no matter how much everyone else believes I am capable of making it out of this, I’m not.
I’ve always asked if bridges were high enough when crossing them. Always known where the hotels with balconies are. Always been aware of how long it takes to get a gun in the city I’m living in. I’ve always had a running list of options. Always known I am just biding my time until I break down well enough to go.
I talked openly about how I wouldn’t make it to twenty-five. But rarely mention how I continue to assume I won’t make it another year. Every birthday comes as a complete shock to me. Every anniversary.
But they’ve been right all along. I’m the one who has been foolish.
Inhale sharp. Nod my head. Mean it. This year I’ll learn to believe it.
I love you, Mase. Happy anniversary.