Breathe

February 25, 2011
I walked down the street, I didn't really have a destination, I rarely did, but I ended up at a park. I heard the squeak squeak of my shoes, a cheery rhythm that cut into my train of thought. I had decided to come out, lift myself up, something I almost never did. I thought that it would give me some time to think. But now, with people laughing and playing around me in the park I had accidentally wandered into, I couldn't begin to understand why I had ventured out. The sun was an oven, its heat enveloping the world, trying to make its residents melt. The heat was almost unbearable, but I kept going, not really knowing why. I retreated back into my thoughts again, my thoughts, since last November, were all I had. The cold had gotten into my brain, creeping and crawling, kissing my mind with its deadly winter touch. It had covered my mind with ice that, even with spring and summer's comings, had refused to thaw. I saw a few people glance at me, I was out of place in my jeans in hoodie. I was a snowgirl, covered and protected from the sun's rays, as if the slightest touch of warmth would make me melt. I flashed that sweet, fake smile I had developed in those cold months before the year ended. Some smiled back at me, some nodded or ignored me all together. That was probably for the best, I was like a mirage, you saw me but I wasn't really there.

I found a bench under one of the ancient oak trees that stood like guardians in the park, watching and waiting for something to go wrong. I stretched out, liking the feeling of the cool wood that soaked in to my skin through even my thick jacket. I watched as people went by. Some walked or ran or jogged or skipped, but they all moved, I noticed. I couldn't move, I was stuck. Ice covered my mind and had grounded me as surely as if it had frozen my feet to the ground. I had been pulled out of the circuit that was life and ,no mattered how hard I tried, I just couldn't grab back on. I had to watch on the sidelines and look on as everybody put one foot in front of the other and moved. It wasn't all bad though, I could see things everybody else ignored in their moving lives. I saw the complexity of the city around me, but I also could see the simplicity of the rain as it fell. No, it wasn't all bad but it was lonely.

I got up and started walking, eventually I came across a group of people. Usually I shied away from such things, but I craved the feeling of movement around me, so I entered the throng. I pushed my way to the front, curious about what was drawing so much attention. I finally fought my way through the crowd and found myself looking at, not the interesting object I thought I would find, but an old man, in his late fifties or early sixties, a guitar laid in his lap. He searched the crowd, as if looking for someone. His eyes landed on me, and I could feel him drinking me in. He nodded, seeming satisfied, and brought his instrument to a playing position.

The music that erupted from the shabby, rundown looking guitar was the most beautiful thing that had I had ever heard. The man spoke no words but the music he played spoke for itself. It was a song filled with love, of little children laughing and of marriages to the one you know you'll love forever. It was a story of every happiness one could experience in life and fill my heart with hope, knowing those things could be mine. The tune held a million tiny messages, ingrained in the notes and chords, each more important than the last. When it ended I was surprised to find tears in my eyes. I hadn't cried since last winter, my tears were the first drops of melted snow. The man now look at me, a meaningful look in his eyes. "Never let life, or anything in it, smother you. Just stop and breathe," he said with a smile and a wink in my directions.

I nodded, the tears flowing freely now. I ran, throwing a 'thank you' over my shoulder. I ran and ran until I was at the top of a hill at the edge of the park. The city stretched out before me, all bright lights and abuzz with life. I turned in a slow circle, taking everything in, and then I did the thing I realized I hadn't really done since that cold November night since my parents died. I stopped and I breathed. At that moment I felt the ice melt, soaking me with tears and happiness. This time though, with the tears came freedom. I could move.





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lovemesplendid said...
Mar. 7, 2011 at 7:16 pm
I would love some comments. You know 'young writers need guidance'. Haha, yeah whatever. Still comments would be appreciated.
 
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