It Is This Paper I Tell.

Sadness can be easy.

The tears are right here after all. "Shall we fall?" They want to know. 

"Shall we fall?" They press on. 

Sadness can be easy. Sadness is what I have allowed. Sadness is the friend left, standing right behind me when I am tired of attacking pain, of telling it to leave me alone, to leave me be. Sadness is the one left right behind me. In the darkness. With no one. Or with those I refuse to see. With pain before me. With my hands bloodied. Sadness is right behind me, gently, just a whisper, says, "Come."

On this end of the ring, me.

Sadness behind.

On that end, pain and them.

They who laugh when I still have not found where my laughter is hiding. They who I once laughed with. They who I have not been able to understand, who have not been able to understand me. They are laughing. I am searching.

"Shall we fall?" The tears ask.

Behind me, sadness looks on. On my side. "Come."

I want to come, I want to be with sadness, because maybe then I can rest. Maybe then I can accept that I will not understand. 

But my hands, my hands, my hands are also asking me to look at them. 

"Stephanie," they say.

The sound is hoarse, with a tinge of something like determined, "Stephanie." They say, "How many days have we held you? How many days did we not fail?" 

Hurt.

My hands, before me. Bruised. Scabbed. Weak. Joints in ache. Bloodied.

"Do not insult us."

My hands, before me.

Sadness, behind me.

"Shall we fall?" The tears ask.

I do not know what I whisper, but here the tears are, falling. Here I am, writing. With these hands. Just writing.  Just saying, "I do not know. I do not know." 

I look around, wondering who to tell. Who is here, besides sadness? Who will hear me? Who will listen? I know they are here, another group of people, the group of those who will listen. I will not disrespect them so much as to say they are not here. They are here. But who will I see? Sadness, behind me. My hands, before me. Them, on the other side of the ring, laughing, those I used to laugh with. 

Who will I tell?

I will tell the one I always tell. The paper before me. It is this paper I tell. Inanimate, open. Unable to tire. Unable to panic. Stoic. This paper. I will tell this paper only, tell this side of the page, until finally, finally, we turn over a new leaf.


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