You ever have that kind of pain that stops your breathing?
Like you can’t get the oxygen in? And even when you do it feels like it’s not working?
I do. It’s called heartbreak drowning.
It’s been over three months since I flew off my home island. The weeks go by like minutes. I am still waiting to celebrate Halloween and now it is Christmas everywhere. I’m in some sort of time warp, where the days fly off the calendar and I sit still, unable to move. Missing a life that I don’t even know exists anymore.
I may never be able to write about those days, lost outside of a hurricane, searching and begging the universe for a chime, a sign that they are alive. Maybe I’ll never be able to explain being paralyzed with the fear that they were all gone, and I’ll certainly never be able to express how it felt to come back to life with each name and each ding of my phone. No, I can’t see having those words.
Counting the babies and friends that I love has changed me forever.
I’m going home for 5 days at the end of December. I can’t wait to see my neighbors and the friends I have left on the island, which are few. I can’t wait to love on Bella, the cat I can’t believe I love so goddamn much. And I can’t wait to feel that velvet air and look into that patchwork quilt of blue waters that I have been lucky enough to call my backyard.
I won’t lie, I am scared. I am scared of what I will find. I’m scared of what I will feel. I am scared that the life that I loved has washed away with the two category-5 hurricanes, and once again I will need to peel my dick outta the dirt and reinvent this beautiful shit show.
But that is why I get to be the badass in my story because I will do what I need to do even if I am scared shitless.
But I don’t walk alone. I come with an army of badasses. Oh, these bitches are CRAZY, they are powerful, and they are everywhere.
Today I got a box in the mail. Addressed to Lizzy Yana, signed Jen Papsmear.
Of course, I thought, is it true? Someone stole my next baby name?
In the inside it has a beautiful painting by one of the silverist linings of these two stupid bitch-ass hurricanes, an artist and friend, and soul sister if ever there was one, Jen Papartos, given by, and I can’t even write this without crying so hard, one of the most powerful, wise, and loving people I know, my dearest friend, Jess.
I’ve had people in my life that have known me all my forty years, but then sometimes there comes along a person that I feel has known me longer, and you can do with that what you want, but what I will do with that is be so grateful.
It’s something for someone to know you’re hurting, but it is a true friend that can see before even you can that you’re drowning, and they know how to save you, they are willing to get between a rock and a hard place with you.
That’s the part about friendship that we don’t talk about, you sign up, sure, first it’s coffee and a few inside jokes, and before you know it, this person that you chose to share your story with picks your ass up from the floor and dusts you off, and saves you, not out of any obligation, but out of love.
And that’s why I believe friendships are the reason we are here. To connect to people and form a web of safety, so we have the freedom to just be ourselves.
As long as I have my friends, I will always be home.