Continental Divide or A Depressed Man’s Guide to Folding Yourself

Ache.

Resonating through snow-capped peaks, pulsating through the soles of my battered Nikes. There’s a groaning. The slipping of plates, tectonic quakes, millennia of friction and reformation. Earth has many spines to walk on, the white, osseous snow, gold her marrow. Thin air cracks the skin, nosebleed, crimson drop marries hexagonal flakes in a salacious rosé. The mountains always give me so much, it felt like a pitiful sacrifice, accidental, minute.

Rumination; digesting experience. Inevitable.

I’ve spent so much time in my life trying to forsake myself.

I’m a mountain that has been moved.

Spent years pouring out pieces of myself because I was taught altruism is Holy, and the self is to be cast aside.

I’m a river that is all dried up.

I lost my salt. No spice in life. Settling to be a vessel. Settling to be a pump.

I’m an ocean nothing floats on.

Always looking past the sky in an attempts to glimpse heaven. A concept. Intangible.

I’m a sky that nothing wants to fly in.

I kept putting aside existence. Allowing others’ passions to be more important than mine.

I’m a sun that doesn’t burn hot.

Shame embodied, never knowing myself to be anything else. Offering nothing but loathing to mirrors.

I’m a moon that never shows it’s face.

Lip service. Conflicting morality. Too tired to save face anymore.

I’m a mouth that doesn’t smile.

Tired of being poured out. Tired of “being a light”. Tired of being a silhouette.

I’m a word that no one ever wants to say.

Fold up my legs, fold up my arms, forget me in the attic. I hope that origami self collects dust while I figure this new one out. I hope his memory becomes a hazy vignette when placed next to my future. And I thought about him while standing on Mother Nature’s spine, that Origa-Me. I thought about when I gave up my faith, when I started making those creases, how hard it was but how freeing it felt. I thought about my father figures, and how I didn’t want to reflect them, making that first fold. I thought about my therapy, about my traumas, all the parts of myself I gave away, shaping and folding. I thought about my mother and how many times she’s said, “I just want to see you happy” as I put in the finishing creases. I thought about the freedom I felt in that thin air, the excitement of placing that Origa-Me self in a box as I dreamed of a future I wanted. How satisfying the hops of a hazy IPA were as I pulled down the ladder. The callouses on my fingers from copper strings felt more authentic as I place the box under the rafters in the corner. How the mountains shifted like I did, slow and steady, as the edges of my Origa-Me self starts to yellow. How my groaning went from disembodied and pained to purposeful and passionate. Dreams don’t seem so outlandish. Free to indulge in happiness and hope as other boxes surround that paper man. It’s uncomfortable because it’s new, it’s uncomfortable because it’s making me whole. Galvanized, compacted. Turning to exuberance and anxious excitement; a different kind of

Ache.

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