#FinishThatThought Week 2-34 : Treed

“Excuse me, but what on earth are you doing up that tree at this stupid hour?”

It occurred to me I should make some type of response. Of course, how should a grown man, sitting on a tree branch 30 feet above the ground at three AM respond? I was of the opinion there was no good response to make.

“Um. Reliving my childhood?”

I knew from her facial expression, my wife was not happy with that answer, and I should give her a better answer before she took a saw to the tree trunk.

“I needed to get outside.”

“Like when you walk?”

“I don’t really know, I just…” Sometimes it was hard to explain why I did anything I did. “I had to get outside. I couldn’t stay inside.”

“You couldn’t take a walk? You’ve taken them before. At this time of day.”

That was true. I’d left the house at three AM more than a few times in the past eight weeks. I’d taken walks that lasted two hours or more.

“I didn’t want to scare you any more.”

That was the truth, really. I knew she worried about me walking, especially before dawn. She worried if I’d come back, or if I’d end up dead by the side of the road somewhere, or mugged, and beaten, and left to die.

“I figured if I stayed in the yard, you wouldn’t worry so much.”

What else could I say? I knew it was nuts, sitting in a tree at 3 AM. Normal people didn’t do that. Normal people got up at five or six, then got ready for work. Normal people got in their cars, and drove to work. Normal people sat at their desks, or in their office cubes, and worked all day long.

For eight weeks, I’d watched them. Every morning. I’d watched them drive to work. I’d watched her drive to work. And then I sat at home, feeling like everything was wrong and broken. Like I was. Broken.

When I did things at stupid times, no one could see me. No one could watch. Everyone was asleep, and wouldn’t be thinking, “What’s he doing? Why isn’t he at work?”

“So, you think climbing a tree at this time of day means I won’t worry?”

“I’ll come down.”

She shook her head. “No. Stay up there. Just let me know when you have to climb a tree.”

“I’m OK. You know that. I’m OK.”

“I know.” She waved at me, then went back inside.

I’d have cried, really, I would have. But after eight weeks, I didn’t have any more tears. I knew she’d go back to bed, but she wouldn’t sleep. She’d worry about me. Even though I’d told her I was OK.

I wanted to tell her I would be OK. But in that tree, 30 feet off the ground, at three AM, I knew I couldn’t, because I honestly wasn’t sure I’d ever would be.

490 Words
@LurchMunster


I wrote this for Week 2-34 (Year 2, week 34) of Alissa Leonard‘s Finish That Thought. Please, go read all the creatively shared stories in this week’s challenge.

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Feel. Now.

I’ve learned so much
In the past two years.
About the life
I’ve been blessed with.

I’ve learned that sometimes
I just get wrapped up
Remembering my past.
The things that went wrong.
The things that caused me pain.
The things that made my heart
Ache so very much.
And cause my soul
To shed so many
Tears of pain.

Other times
I get wrapped up
In the schedule for my life.
The things on the to do list
For today,
This week,
This month,
My life.
And I feel so frustrated.
As if there’s no me left.
Like everything is planned,
And the plan is who I am.

But I’ve learned
In these past two years,
On this journey I’ve been on,
That when I get wrapped up
In my memories,
Or plans.

It’s time to stop.
To take a moment.
And remember
The gift this life
Has given me.

It’s time to close my eyes.
And simply breathe.
And remind myself
Of now.
This heartbeat.
This breath.

It’s time for me to stop.
And feel.
Feel the air
Caress my skin.
Feel the heat or cold.
Feel the wind.
Smell the smells
Of this world
That we all live in.
Hear the words
Of those around me.
Laughter,
Tears,
Frustration,
Sorrow,
Joy.

Feel my own body’s pulse.
My own heart’s beat.

And just remember
The priceless gift
Of life
That I’ve been given.

I’ve learned
Every time I do.
Every time I stop.
And feel.
And return to now.
This moment of time.
This heartbeat.
This breath.

That all the things
That stress me out.
Simply
Fall
Away.