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I have a clockwork heart.

Meaning that it breaks occasionally and needs fixing. But instead of hiring someone to fix it somehow I either put it back together or it majestically jumble-fucks itself back to some working semblance so I can keep on ticking.

Both are confusing. I can’t google myself. I mean, I can. But I can’t google how to fix what I am feeling from any moment because then, “the google,” as I like to say to anyone younger to drive their eyelid to start twitching–tells me to snort some yoga and put on a face mask while going out more.

This heart ticks and whirs and clangs through the years with only the occasional hiccup. It feels and I feel.

But the things that once ground it to a halt, metal screaming on metal, no longer do.


Anxiety is great for winding me up. And by great I mean it mixes with depression and that means I lay in bed wasting my day, beating myself up for wasting my day, because that is a waste and everything in your life has been wasted and now look at me/you? You’re a wasted chance.

But no. Self-care! Wait, is self-care being anxious about not doing something which makes you more anxious? How many coats of this face mask until I know how to be the right kind of human again?

Sometimes I go the entire year now, not thinking about it. And the guilt about that hits me as hard as you dying did.


I don’t understand the pieces. I do know they come apart sometime, anytime, beginning November and continue until the end of the new year. There’s a spring containing memories that comes apart on the 3rd. A metal ribbon etched with all of the very stupid things I’ve ever done reminding me of all the times I wasted pops out on the 22nd. Try not to look too closely at that.

A key attached to a ratchet that twists the mainspring to my heart, tighter sometime on the 10th. The key is fucking jammed. Today it will wind itself up so tight nothing makes sense. Tomorrow it will unwind and I won’t get a single thing done. The day next it will be fine and I’ll find a brief moment to breathe with balance.

But I didn’t cry.
I’m not crying.
I should be.
Why aren’t I?


Facebook’s algorithm or whatever random toddler in charge of Facebook memories showed the status for December 10th.

You were transported to the hospital. Another heart attack.

You had so many, already, honestly I don’t understand how you were still here for so long. So many springs and ribbons and keys and hairsprings, wheels and bridges corroded, rusted and akimbo everywhere.

Sometime between December 10th and December 11th, you couldn’t put it back together again.

And you were gone.
The ticking stops.

My father asked me to write what to say to you during your funeral. Because I write words. I put them down, one by one. They even make sense every once in a while. Not often.

I couldn’t fathom how to tell him that no parent, and no child, should have to write the words of love, joy and regret for someone they loved, dead. But that wasn’t right either. Someone had to do it.

Well. It wasn’t me.
I couldn’t finish it. My key jammed, and wound me down. Something inside broke. It took me a long, long time to fix it.

He read what I had anyway, when your ashes were laid to rest in the soil of the place you called home more than anything else.

I wasn’t there for that. I wasn’t there for any of that.


It has been 8 years since you died.

I have been struggling to get out of bed for November and December, my mind refusing to acknowledge or wonder why. Spending the days wondering if it’s just hormones (no) bad blood sugar (no) forgetting to take meds (no) a lazy day (no) being unmotivated (no. No. No. No that’s not the reason. That isn’t either.)

Finally a key turned. I realized the date and the month and the fact you were gone. Still gone.

I’m not crying. And I feel so much like this day should STOP. Stop laughing. Stop revolving around the sun. Stop smiling. Stop loving. Stop writing. Stop working. Stop typing. Stop tweeting. Stop. Like you stopped. Everything should stop.

But there it goes. It ticks and it whirs inside me, slow, wobbling, a little crooked but still ticking.

Me and my clockwork heart.

April 2nd, 1956 – December 11th, 2011
Mom, I miss you.

Published inPersonal