Brush It Off

“Brush it off,” they say, dismissing my sadness with a unanimous flick of their wrists.

I bow my head, part of me hoping that my neck would snap in half and I could cease to feel. No such luck. They saunter back to their stage-scripted lives, and I’m left alone once again. Same as always. Nothing new.

Brush it off, I scoff. Brush it off? Are their emotions all in powdered form? Is it really as simple as a little bit of ash? Do they really just shake out their shoes and go on like everything’s okay? Is everything really okay?

My heart pumps a thick sewage through its valves. My love is sweet, slow molasses. My hope is free-flowing tree sap. My anger is thick black oil. And my worries are expired cough syrup. My anxiety is spoiled milk. I’m full of sticky sorrows. Good, bad, or ugly, everything inside of me flows slow and suffocates my spirit.

I can’t scrub away my sadness, let alone brush it to my feet. Each time I’ve tried to clear it away, I end up in a bigger mess than I began. Smears and smudges hinder my judgement. The messier I look, the further people run. You see, any time I try to dig myself out, I slip and always end up in a steeper ditch.

“Brush it off,” they say, like it’s just a surface blemish. Like it’s a little bit of dust on a shelf or maybe some sugar spilled on the counter.

But they’re almost certainly lying to themselves. You can’t sweep your blood under a rug and expect that to solve your problems. You can’t just dump optimism and smiles into your veins. My skin may be thin, but my blood is thick. And my heart is stronger for it.

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