We have a game we play, just me and Beans. She will lean across the coffee table/chair/pile of toys/anything to pass me something while letting out the most exaggerated groan of stretching ever heard. She does it with one corner of her mouth turned up and laughter in her eyes. And then I mimic her action and her over the top streeeeeeeeeeeetch groan to take from her baby soft fist whatever it may be that she is proffering. And then we laugh.
We laugh because it’s silly and it’s funny and we’re the only ones that get the joke. The game works because no matter who instigates the first groan the other will be there on the other side with mirrored outstretched arm and open palm, ready to relieve the load.
Because that’s how this shit works, you reach out and you hope to god/the universe/everything that someone will be there, that your fingertips will stretch until they can stretch no more and finally make contact with warm skin on the other side.
Sometimes it is unquestionable, some people will always just be there, their own fingers outstretched before you have even straightened your elbow. Because they know and you know and you both just get it.
There is nothing quite like reaching out into the unknown, across a barren wasteland full of things that you don’t understand while your fingers scrabble and your nails claw at the earth desperately searching for something – someone – to cling to. Your skin becomes raw, your arm aches and your nails are broken and dirty but there has to be someone there. There just has to.
When you lay yourself bare all over again, admitting your deepest (darkest) feelings into the cold plastic of a telephone, hearing your voice echo down the line and fingers taptaptapping at keys recording everything that you’re saying in black and white, making it real. When you do that and find yourself with nothing but air to weave your grasping fingers through it hurts.
It hurts to say things out loud. It hurts as you try to find the right words, stumbling over hundreds of wrong ones on the way. As you force your mouth to form the right shapes so that the words can pass your lips and the truth can be told and your soul bared.
I don’t know why or how or what or when or why I can think terrible, awful things when I am near my daughter. Does there have to be a why? Isn’t it enough that it is and I’m telling you and it hurts?
There is no cure, the why and the how won’t cure me. I just need help.
Promising me something, making me wait those two weeks, every day wondering and waiting and hoping and hurting because today might be the day that finally the help appears and a hand closes around mine and things can start from now.
But it never is the day. I pleaded and cried and bared my all but I’m left empty handed, wearily flexing my fingers through nothingness. Because life depends on it, there is no life without it.