I stood on the threshold, lashes fluttering like butterflies, held upwards to hold the dam of tears forming and building behind the emotions curling and curdling in my soul. My chest cracking from the breath that could not be found, tightened and pinched as the compressions of emotions trolled across my ribs. Sometimes you cannot fight emotion, it opens from the heavens and spears you in its beam of light, so strong you gasp for air and your eyes water from the pain.
What I thought was sorrow was not. I thought I was sad, sad that I was stepping away from something special. But as I dug through the pain and forced myself to part the seas of hurt, anger came. The truth was there was not much special. Special means you leave a mark, a sign, a symbol, maybe a legacy to remind people that you meant something, that like the man on the moon, your flag continues to wave in your absence. I had no flag.
My sum total of existence in what I thought was a home, was relieved of its burden in a mere blink of time. My entire existence, packed neatly and gone in less time than it would take to make that perfect bed. After over a year, my mark was indelible, it was as if I was never there, wiped, erased so quickly, because, as anger pointed out to me, I was never there, never made a mark, never given a seed to sow. I was the interloper. Poaching space and time where allowed, like a scavenger, accepting the bits that were thrown and retreating to the space given.
So anger did come and shame followed close, like lightning to thunder. I was indelible, my physical mark no more than a pencil smudge wiped away. The smudge of myself I wiped away as I carried my belongings as quietly away as they came, as unseen as they always were.
Shame, my friend, that I allowed my worth to be less than a piece of furniture, a closet, an empty room. That I begged for space, for that mark, for my flag. Waiting in shadows to be promoted above the worth of a physical space, of material objects, of vanity, of aesthetics, that my feelings would be worth more than the image of perfection and order. They were not and the heavens parted and the light shone down with shame. Naked, humility.
And I wondered, thundered, where did I let my self-worth go. As my chest cracked and the dam of tears built. As I stood on the threshold, with my indelible belongings, piteous enough to be compiled in 30 minutes of an hour, fractious enough to fit into a boot of a car. My entire physical worth did not weigh up to the cost of a room and a couch.
But its my worth and I take it back, it may not be anyone else’s treasure but mine, may hold no value, but it’s mine, and it may shame you in your space but it’s mine. So there is no need to guard your space, because the interloper is gone, not even a hole for a flag remains, not even a whisper of shame.