I visit cemeteries this time of year, although there is no headstone here with his name on it. I wander along the epitaphs, etched towers that take a whole life and boil it down to 140 characters or less. Tombstones, the original twitter, and I laugh in that sick desperate way that worries people. Well, if anyone were listening I mean.
I sit down under the tree, the one struck by lightning two years ago. Damn thing is practically split in half and yet the groundskeepers leave it be. I like that. It’s gnarled and ugly, broken in two never to be pieced back together again. The old tree and I understand one another. I feel like I belong here.
The ghosts echo mournful pleas. I swear sometimes when I slow my walking and listen hard their words float like wisps from the cracks in the soil.
They say dozens of different things, thousands even. Mostly they want to go back. They want to go back to that one moment that split them in two, like my tree. They want to fix it, to shield themselves from the lightning. Even death did not change their sorrows. I can hear every single voice, and I know how they feel.
I never believed people could change. Of course, sometimes people could pretend to be who you wanted them to be. Yet, they could never maintain the façade for very long. I am an atheist of change.
Maybe people can’t make the conscious effort to change like that. I think, if anything, life is what changes you. You don’t change due to ultimatums, fear of punishment, loneliness. You change on a random Tuesday afternoon at 4:13 when you weren’t paying any attention. You change when you lose everything, when you become split into who you were and who you are now.
Instead of saying “Anyone can change” we should say “Anyone can adapt” Once your heart is frozen in that state of grief, there is no going back. Perhaps all we can do is become accustomed to the cold. Allow it to numb every inch of us. It can’t be changed, so we have to allow it to settle in our bones.
I dance with the cold now. We waltz through life, the cold and the Snow Queen. We feel nothing, know nothing, and have faith in nothing. Does the cold makes us free, or chain us to our mourning forever?
This I don’t know. I am only the girl who likes broken things, who was cut in half one sunny November day, who dances with the frost.
I am only the Snow Queen.
And so we waltz.
1,2,3, 1,2,3 1,2,3,