I have a hard time trusting people who don’t evidence some sort of tendency toward self-destruction, if only because it is a flaw so deeply knitted in my own being that I have a hard time understanding what it would mean to exist without the drive. And this is a problem, because I know full-well that self-destructive sorts are impossible to fully trust; if anyone would–either willfully or helplessly–commit injury after unnecessary injury upon themselves, it seems foolish to expect they could be trusted to care and protect another. And yet.
It’s been nearly a year since the last time I was CPRed out of an unwitting suicide (only a year, and already) and that episode was certainly not the first. I do not know whether the number of times I’ve slipped into the welcoming purgatory between my life and something else, and then returned, is evidence of a snarling attachment to this world, or a carelessness about it; I seem prone to a clumsy and sweet unwariness toward fatality, and yet… I am still here.
In any case, I find more comfortable the presence of others who hold themselves warily, and those who know what it’s like to carry inside oneself an easily-triggered grenade–be it one of depression or starvation or addiction or abuse–and who are used to the inner extremes of kid-glove and cruelty. Sometimes I think this is everybody, though. I find it easy, inevitably, to trust.
. . .
Tonight it rained here, sleeting and thick. Tonight, on the way home from a distressed post-midnight walk, I had to traverse the tarp-covered bodies of dozens of sleeping homeless; on the sidewalks outside a nearby foundation, hundreds of people had huddled to protest, with the warmth and weight of their breathing selves, the closure of a dozen local shelters. The night was cold but the heat from their staggered stillness warmed the air, and I breathed it with an open mouth as the rain fell hard and I picked my way around them. Tonight I am warm, and I cannot sleep; tonight on the sidewalk others dream. Is suffering so comfortable? Is comfort not? I will never understand the world.