No cigar

In which memory stings

I’d never encountered anything that I couldn’t achieve so long as tried. 

So I tried.

I held smiles on lips that no longer worked, turned precognition to maximum to put things in place before they were needed, and tried to follow the rules spoken on a million forums (not too much, not too little, not too keen, not too distant, be less annoying, be less pathetic). 

I tried harder.

Helplessness began to claw its way up my throat over and over again, refusing to be swallowed back down. Wet footprints trod cheeks at first in darkness and then began to march in daylight. 

I tried harder.

My heart was rubbed raw with myriad microscopic failings. My ears began to ring with siren calls that drowned every scene with portents of failure. 

And when I finally cut myself loose, I still didn’t get it. I couldn’t understand that the problem was not one of effort but one of being:

I needed to not be me.

Stuck with me, as it were, I came to recognise the futility of trying.

And yet sometimes those sirens still whisper sweet nothings.

No matter how hard you try, you will never be enough.


  1. You’re very skilled at conveying the enormity of emotions with brevity.

    I’ve felt something like this, too. These feelings were very much tied to religion for me, and fortunately when I cut myself free of religion a lot of that faded. These days, at least I generally like and accept myself regardless of fears of whether or not anyone else will. I’d rather feel wistfully sad that I’m not someone’s cup of tea than still be locked in an existence trying to change the flavor.

    Liked by 1 person


    1. Thank you! Your final sentence is such a glorious analogy 😀

      I guess it’s part of that bit of our brain that wants us to belong, that hates when we cleave from the rest of our society. At least we can shut it up with time 🙂

      Liked by 1 person


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