The Worst Noise in The World

 

It comes at me like a semi on a speeding highway. 

It attacks my soul

like a nasty infection.

I start to feel small.

A child clinging to innocence, remembering 

when I held on to my grandfather’s fingers,

realizing that my childish hands are too small for his;

I settle on his pinky. 

When I heard it

and it meant something to me, I was twenty-one. 

The party age.

But this is no party. 

This is a death march. 

I see the simple coffin where he lies with a plain Jewish star

because Jewish people don’t get buried in fancy

 coffins or clothes. 

Black ribbons that family members wear. 

Ripped in half to symbolize loss. 

An ancient tradition. 

The raw feeling of understanding that the pain is over. 

He is gone. 

Going into the ground for eternity.

The raw feeling of watching your dear sister whimper.

 

Please stand and repeat this prayer

Yitgadal v’yitkadash sh’mei raba…

Standing next to Anne on the right. 

Jayne on the left, clenching, the purple patterned tissue box.

realizing that I will never see him again 

or hear the stories of my childhood from his voice.

 

I start to feel the weight of elephants on my chest and

I

Can’t 

Breathe.

I’m a broken merry-go-round 

that won’t stop spinning.

I just want to get off and 

Can’t 

Breathe.

I want to throw up 

run far away, but

 my legs are shackled

 to the ground

 

Anne on the right. 

It’s going to be okay. 

Just breathe. 

It’s going to be okay.

Just breathe. 

Jayne on the left, clenching, the patterned purple tissue box. 

It is coming for me like a train at a thousand miles per hour. 

The Rabbi takes the shovel

explains we are tucking in the departed

 

Three times.

 

The dirt hits the coffin 

I almost fall over. 

The dirt hits the coffin 

This is it. It’s over.

The dirt hits the coffin

He would want this. To have Anne, Rachel, and Sarah tuck him in for his eternal slumber. 

But

Jayne collapses in Dad’s arms.

and when 

 she hears the worst noise in the world for the first time, 

 

She 

Can’t 

  Breathe.

A Phone Call

I never thought I would have a connection with you.

You always seemed distant and cold.

Always wanting to talk about

Work or school.

Mostly about the future.

 

But when you were concerned about me

I called

and we talked about how you were effected by a mental illness

And you were proud of me for talking about it

Naming it for what it is.

Because when you name it

It loses its power over you.

I just hope you realize that. 

I’m the type of person…

I’m the type of person to volunteer when no one else will 

because I hate awkward silences.

I’m the type of person who will listen for hours

because I care too much.

I’m the type of person that knows the words to most movies

because I am scared of people. 

I’m the type of person who apologizes even when it’s not my fault

because I loathe conflict.

I’m the type of person that will splurge on my loved ones but conserve for myself

because it’s easier to love someone else.

I’m the type of person that doesn’t speak up

because my whole life I’ve been in the shadows.

I’m the type of person that will remember you forever even when I want to forget

because it is burned into my brain like a brand.

I’m the type of person.

To the Man that Catcalled Me

Thank you for giving me flash backs to that night.
That night I will never forget,
when he didn’t read my body language,
and my mouth could not say the word 
No.

Thank you for making me regret 
wearing that cute dress that shows off my body,
when it was down to my ankles.

Thank you for making me wish I was still depressed,
so that if I was,
I wouldn’t have cared to put on makeup
or wash my hair.

Thank you for giving me anxiety when coming out of the bathroom.
Hoping you had left the bar 
so I wouldn’t have to make eye contact with you.

Thank you to the man who catcalled me 
when I was just going into the restaurant 
to use the bathroom.