I have a rock in my chest. I haven't felt this much grief since my Dad died. The world is falling apart. One tragedy after another. The only things that help are writing, reading and my punk rock music.
I just read Gabi: A Girl in Pieces by Isabel Quintero and it transported me away. I got lost in it. Like the best kind of maze of a world, one that I never wanted to end. Gabi's world was so real to me. It was my own world as a young teen in a lot of ways. Chaos. Addiction. Choices. Gabi's story ended with her failing to walk at her high school graduation due to an altercation and suspension, but her graduation and acceptance to Berkeley remained. My high school story ended with me not graduating and watching my twin walk, sitting under the bleachers tears falling on my cigarette after dropping out five units short.
I wouldn't walk in a robe with a black cap perched on my head until my graduation from UCR almost a decade later. Three years after that, I would walk in a gold and cardinal robe to pick up a law degree from USC.
After I finished Gabi's story and put the book down, I opened Facebook and started reading about the shootings in Orlando again and tears swelled up in my eyes. Like an ocean wave, they poured down my cheeks as my husband snored. Is this the world we live in? Or some weird and evil dream?
But I know this is too real. I just want to escape from it. I want to get away from all of the sadness in my world. No more dead brown gay brothers and sisters, no more IRC shootings, and no more mother-in-laws having a stroke. And no more dad with cancer who dies at 69, leaving you in a room all alone with only words. You write just to hear his voice in your head.
Sometimes I wish I could forget my memories. Then, other times, I know the memories might look like rocks, but are really caged birds beating their wings at my mind, aching and breaking to be set free on paper.
By my hand.