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Location: Midwest, United States

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Pain Is Relative

I do not profess to be expert in pain. I may have suffered more than some, and far less than others. A quick survey reveals that I have been struck by two cars and one bus. I’ve been kicked mercilessly until I heard my ribs crack and felt them collapse. My jaw has been broken (twice). My scalp has been lacerated, and I’ve been pummeled until my eyes swelled shut and I spat blood from cut lips. I shattered a few bones in my wrist (in an absurdly Wagnerian display of teenage angst). The skin on my knuckles has been split...repeatedly. I’ve been flayed with chains, and I’ve been shot in the knee.

Granted, I have a scar or two to show for all that. My face is badly misaligned. Still, bones knit. Technicolor contusions fade with time. Scars form over wounds. It’s called life and, while I may have experienced a few moments worthy of inclusion in the “learned wisdom” file, there were no lingering consequences.

Wanna know what really hurt? What really hurts today? I reached out and clasped my love’s hand. She pulled it away. I felt a pain beyond words, beyond tears. In one splintered moment, dreams came crashing down. I was too numb to speak and too hurt to cry.

Some wounds never heal. Even now, I hurt too much to cry. Tears will flow once time dulls the memories, but the wounds will never heal. A broken heart hurts far worse than a broken limb.

I’ll take physical pain over heartache any day.

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