On Carrying Storms

Confession: I am a sensitive person.

It’s hard to describe. I am not affected by many things. When I am, I have hair triggers that can send me reeling into blinding rage or brooding spirals. My emotional memory isn’t photographic. I don’t just recall my memories, I sink into and relive them.

There was that afternoon in 2009 when I found out my significant other slept with one of my acquaintances under my nose. My knuckles flexed with the memory of shaking hands, hungry for a taste of that man’s blood. My temple jerked at the memory of shrieking “Calm down? Calm down? I should be punching you in your fucking face!”

There was the maroon Hyundai Accent I totaled on October 6, 2006. Three days before my 23rd birthday, 40 some-odd miles outside of Indianapolis. The crunch of the car’s roof as it flipped one, two, three times. I blinked in that rhythm–one, two, three–once after each flip, making sure I was still alive.

There are a litany of childhood traumas I dare not mention here. Each lives under shallow scar tissue in the recesses of my mind, simmering beneath my skin, threatening to boil over at the mere mention of them.

This works for the good memories, too. I see the day I graduated from college and hear the click of my heels on the floor of the Nutter Center. Keying in on good sex makes my hips twitch and my skin tingle with thoughts of deep strokes and fingertips pulling strands of hair I don’t even have anymore.

When I say that I’m sensitive, I guess I mean my body holds memory.

It’s a gift and curse. Makes my writing come alive with sensory detail. It’s hell on my relationships. Even when I forgive, forgetting is impossible.

It’s why my dislikes aren’t just dislikes, but absolutely unacceptable. People who cross me must cease to exist. Even a quick glance can remind my senses of their transgression; forcing me to steel my jaw to prevent gritting my teeth in public. Certain songs can fill me with despair or euphoria.

I am telling you this because I am a walking storm of memory today. I needed to see a description of what’s happening in my mind and body outside myself. I am here, but not present; flashing through scenes and connecting dots like Chazz Palminteri staring at the bulletin board at the end of The Usual Suspects. I’ll never un-see what I’m seeing and have no idea how to hold this particular storm inside of me.

I guess I just needed to say all this to someone.


Featured Photo by Elvis Bekmanis on Unsplash

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