Boot Straps

Photo by @Raishimi  follow her on Twitter. Check her blog here.
Photo by @Raishimi follow her on Twitter. Check her blog out here.

Ever lean on your support system only to find it can’t support your weight? Ever vent only to find yourself plugged up? Ever put yourself out there only to learn there’s a curfew for people like you? Yeah, I know the feeling. You ask for a hand, only to get the low five. Either they don’t get what you’re going through, or they don’t want to.

It’s hard to find a sympathetic ear when they’re all wearing headphones. It’s hard to rest your weary head when they all have such cold shoulders. It’s hard to get the storm cloud out of you when all you’ve got are fair weather friends.

You try to tell your story, only to realize you’ve become a cautionary tale.

You’re swept up in the current. The undertow is licking at your heals. The life guard’s binoculars are fixed on you, but he’s just enjoying the view, looking down from the comfort of his perch up in the sunshine.

You’re screaming from the fiftieth floor, while firefighters roast marshmallows at the base of the building.

In the confessional, the priest says, “The Lord helps those who help themselves.” Then he slides the screen closed. There’s a click, a padlock clamping shut.

The EMT finds you convulsing in the waiting room for the ER. She sticks a stethoscope to your forehead. She says, “Somethings rattling around in there.”

The woman in the seat next to you says, “He’s turning blue. I think he might have swallowed his tongue.”

The EMT waves that notion away, “People do that all the time. Let it work through his system. He’ll be fine.”

It doesn’t work through your system. Does it? It stays there until you learn to function with it, to bury it. You secretly resent anyone who can’t see its teeth eating you up inside.

You quarantine yourself in your own plastic bubble. You carry this weight where ever you go. You know that when you stumble, it’s up to you to pull yourself up by your own boot straps.

***

I wrote this last fall. When I was a broken record no one felt like changing. I kept singing the same tune and no one wanted to hear it. I felt put out. These abstract song lyrics are what came out of it.

Boot Straps

Give a man a fish
He’ll be on you for the tarter sauce
Give a man your ear
And he’ll just chew it off
Give a man your time
Give him all your empathy
Once the vampire gets inside
He’s never gonna leave

(Pull yourself up)

Give a man an inch
He’ll take a whole lot more
Swim out to save him
And he’ll ride your ass to shore
Give him lemons
And he’ll heave them at the sky
Give him lemons
And you’ll get citrus in your eye

This is
The new masculine
Turn your back
To lend a hand
Run the leper out of town
Leave his ass to drown
He can only see his boot straps
When he’s all the way down

(Pull yourself up)

Enabler
Thirteenth Stepper
Looking for loopholes
In an age old prayer
“God grant me
The serenity
The courage and wisdom
To put his ass behind me”

This is
The new masculine
Turn your back
To lend a hand
Run the leper out of town
Leave his ass to drown
He can only see his boot straps
When he’s all the way down

(Pull yourself up)

Blame the victim
For the outcome
Salt his wounds
And the ground beneath him

(Pull yourself up)

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