Thursday, March 18, 2010

To Allen Drive

I threw it into Lake Michigan. It flew threw the air like a rock I was trying to skip and it may have skipped if it hadn’t turned vertical and entered the water without a splash. I had been saving it for some sort of closure, waiting to throw it into a body of water. I was thinking as soon as I brought my arm forward it would fly out of my left hand and like people do in the movies, I would instantly feel better about what took place and the hole in my heart would be covered up instantly. It wouldn’t be filled, that’s impossible. Just covered up so I can’t fall into it again and again.

For minutes before I threw it, I held the piece of metal in my hand, thinking of where I had taken it, of when I received it; of the times I used it. For ten and a half years I have had it on my being. It doesn’t necessarily look that old, but it feels older. The metal texturing, similar to sand paper, has been worn smooth at the center of its broad end where I grasped it so many times, often in the dark, fumbling around in the cold.

I looked at it resting in my palm, noticing the unnatural bend of the metal, something I gave to it months ago out of anger. I had bent it to a ninety-degree angle and then felt embarrassed about my anger and I bent it back, but there is a scar now. It isn’t perfectly straight like it once was and I wonder if I could still use it if I needed to. But I know I won’t need to. It can’t be used anymore, but it is the last physical object of that place I have, giving it meaning beyond its functionality, which is the reason I still have it, five months after it ceased to be useful.

But it was time to let it go. Just the sight of it over the last months has vexed me. I don’t need to keep it for its meaning, I don’t need another thing lying around the apartment that brings to mind that hurt and shock. That was why I was there, I guess, on a sunny, warm day on the shore of Lake Michigan, because there will always be that hurt and shock, regardless of whether or not I keep this metal. So as I brought my arm back I was tempted to curse once again the people and places that made this metal useless, but I didn’t. I tried to let go of some of the aggression and I flung it into the water, which was Caribbean blue that day, hoping that some of the anger sank to the bottom of Lake Michigan along with the key to 706. I can only hope.

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