there are moments in your life when you forget about being adult enough. when you would rather the recourse of lashing out in attempt to salvage your name and your respect. insulating yourself is something you learned in grade school, but as an adult, have only practiced when walking alone at night from the red trains in brooklyn. this is when you remember those that held you like a crystal, smoothing over your edges and gasping "you are still beautiful" no matter the jagged edges you've tossed to those that wish you harm. and if the dried blood every put them at unease -- they never let on. so i guess this is where i should show my gratitude for those someones that have looked in my eyes and said "I know" and "How can I help", even where there was nothing to do but sit there, and shield me for a minute.
this act of pure maternal wisdom is always hard to find. it will indelibly separate the meaningful people in your life. because most of the time, the things that cause them to say those same words, are rarely worth the breath they are made of. the instances that quicken your breath and fight your lungs for space will rarely become a blip on the map that will later become your life. this -- won't even make the autobiography. not even a chapter explaining the reason you will have since stopped hugging in public. nor will a paragraph outline the difficult time during your career, the moment you knew you were going to be big because "who really has time for this high school shyt anyway?" not a sentence. a meaningful utterance. nothing. but this. a warning.
a warning to yourself that your mother taught you better. there had to be a day, so many years ago you forgot it, like the name of the boy you danced with at the homecoming dance. maybe brief and meaningful - in its moment, but forgetable and hardly worth the image you would unsuccesfully masturbate to. the words your mother must have told you when complaining about the girls that pretended to be your friends until they decided they'd rather fight the well liked and popular girl for a chance to gain a newfound and fearful type of popularity. and how you cried, for being misled, before of course you pick up a garbage can and tossed it at the biggest one. even then. your mother will ask you - "who was there to help you?"
because no one gets jumped and walks away friends with those that watched.
this is when you defend your friends "she was so big," and "they were probably scared" fall, flutter than collide on the doorstep of her ears. deaf. i would like to presume this is the moment where my mother was so eloquent in relaying the message that would later resonante so loudly in my bones, that i reverberated its honesty when teaching my own children. and it would become the family joke when making cups of Swiss Miss hot chocolate, this timeless antecodote, that i would later share with my daughter, so that she too could learn to protect herself from moments like this.
my mother said: "Anyone that will watch someone do you wrong, is not your friend."
and later. in my 3rd decade, in a kitchen in brooklyn. those same words will bounce off the walls as i try to scour some honesty out of it all. but there is no way to pretty up the ugly. and there are no room in this chapter for fence stragglers. without remorse i can recognize the beauty of a horizon from afar, through pictures, and memories of how i once captured that moment. but i will always know this is how the view looked before i turned my back, because the silent shadows will always fade into the landscape. and the insulation that i've been blessed with will settle into its beautiful permanance. and my circle will become a little bit smaller -- to keep out the cold.