What’s the difference? The first time, this time?
The first time, it was all I could see - her body, pulsing before me,
I was there,
When she fell,
I was alone,
And I had to leave before I knew she’d be okay
This time, I wasn’t right there - I mean, I was close
But all I heard was the crash and then my own voice I think,
No, no, oh my god
Both times, there was the numbness,
The need to do something useful.
The first time, it was staying by her
The second time, it was running, finding the street names,
Standing by the caller & making sure people would come to help them
But I couldn’t help them
Both times, I was scared by how calm I was in the moment -
I didn’t cry,
I didn’t break down.
I was functional, I think,
I could still think
The first time, I was slow, walking home
I had someone to blame,
Convinced myself we had been abandoned & she was there for longer than she could have been,
But I have no way of proving that
The second time.
I feel strange.
I don’t know what I feel.
Walking home was a mess of emotions,
Every car that passes, a challenger approaching,
Engines, roaring, raring, raging, ready, oh I am so ready,
BRING IT ON!
Headlights taunting, flashing,
And hard footsteps, running, stomping,
And finally reaching the front gate, feeling nothing.
And I still don’t know if they’re okay.
The panicked dissociation around watching someone get hurt.