When a Change Happens
Sometimes it’s planned, calculated, assessed, logical, budgeted. Risk management. Most of the time, it isn’t. You realize it after it’s been too long since the change occurred. You walk past a river one day and realize, suddenly, you’re different. Not in any major way, it’s more subtle than that. It’s a feeling of sky washing over you and not panicking. It’s stillness, in a way.
It happened while you were brushing your teeth or rolling your socks the way you like them rolled. Or when you made eggs for breakfast and ran to catch the bus. It happened when you cried or laughed, or both at once. It happened while you were sleeping, blissfully unaware of the synapses re-ordering. Something in your grid shifted, ever so slightly.
You aren’t alarmed by it, or maybe you are. You wonder if the people around you have noticed. It’s nothing on your face. It isn’t even obvious. Only a tuned ear could hear it, sense the tension in the wire that was never there before. It’s scary for a moment, then gone. It’s a humid day, shrouded in grey and you think the weather is nice, because, well, at least it’s not raining.
The change was quiet and slow. Soothing in a way you wouldn’t have imagined. It was easy without the polarity of struggle. Though the thing you worry about is going back. Can you go back to how you were? Do you want to? Something had to be left behind in order to make room for something new. And yet, there are still remnants of the things that hurt you. That’s the change you want, but you can’t make it happen. Some things stick – and as you stand by the river, you hope they wash away.
Slowly you let the grips go. Let your knuckles return to a pale pink. It’s already happened. And you breathe; allow yourself to feel your new skin. It feels just like the old one, really. It just hasn’t touched the same things. It does, however, have the same fingerprints and memories. The same chubby knees. The same scar under your chin from when you fainted in the nurse’s office on Picture Day in the 1st grade. You can touch it and be happy that bit of you hasn’t changed. You drink in permanence.