I am surrounded by the nicest, the best, the most wonderful. And yet I manage to say goodbye with all the courage I don’t have, with the mere brush of a kiss I feel with every fiber of my being. And then I walk away.

I am surrounded by debt. Horrific, never-ending loans and back due for this and forward due for that. No amount of bank in tips will correct it. I ask for help, and I don’t receive it. My savings, my utter lack of retirement, my day-to-day earnings are apparently totally expendable– apparently yesterday, everyday. No wonder why I am here. Alone. No wonder I will never, ever go back.

I am surrounded by good people who used to be bad. They meet me at my house to change the batteries in my smoke detectors that are too high in my cathedral ceilings for me to reach, but only after they have ridden a bike to meet with their parole officer. But I am not afraid of these good people. Because they are very good. I know it.

I am surrounded by scary, bad people who appear to be very good. I wouldn’t ask a favor of them if they were the only people available. Never. They are that scary. As very good as they appear to be.

I am surrounded by lush vegetation that hides scorpions that mangle my hand when I try to kill them. My hand heals, but only after I am reminded a second time that the scorpions never really go away, and neither does the pain in my hand that I successfully hide now that my splint is off.

I am surrounded by late-night phone calls that I answer in one ring, too embarrassed to admit that I have been asleep since the sun was still high up in the sky–at say, 6:30 p.m. I am asleep, not because I am depressed, but because I am just that tired. I answer the calls, not because I am just that desperate, but because I am that happy to hear from a person or two, when I least expect to hear from either.

I am surrounded by good food and fine booze and anything else anyone could want, and I only eat a little and drink the best, because all else bores me, right before it scares me.

I am not afraid these days. I am not unhappy. I am not angry. I am surrounded by everyone and everything of every ilk. As alone as I am, I am in my zone. As much as I want to run screaming one minute, I never run the next. Not these days. As much as I stay put, I wonder if it is time to answer another empty call to roam. No. No. Not today.

And when I hang on to the promise of a text, I wonder again. How is it that I am surrounded? Then I admit, sometimes–maybe all the times–I am surrounded of my own hand. Then again, maybe not so much. Sometimes, one is merely surrounded by an unpredictable surge. Sometimes it sweeps you away. Sometimes you are strong enough to swim against it. Sometimes you just swim with it. Because you are feeling just that strong.






12 responses to “Surrounded”

  1. L. Avatar

    That was very good …powerful and delicate at the same time. Sending well wishes from California.


  2. Leda Avatar

    Great post. Made me feel less alone.

  3. Kim Ayres Avatar

    Very powerful writing, RG

  4. Texas Fan Avatar
    Texas Fan

    You know, as i was walking to work this morning, I was contemplating the fact that it just isn’t as easy being me as everyone looking on from the outside might believe. I’m glad I’m not the only one who feels that way sometimes.

  5. Jean Avatar

    The river is only part water – the rest is flow….

  6. JoeInVegas Avatar

    My goodness, such deep comments and all I can throw is my little hello.
    Hello, nice to see you today, you are looking pretty good from the outside, thanks for being here.

  7. friend Avatar

    You certainly don’t lack the courage or intuition, you have what it takes to make it through.
    Surrounded or not, that was really good writing.
    I’m proud of you, RG.

  8. Restaurant Gal Avatar
    Restaurant Gal

    l–thank you
    Leda–Appreciate that.
    Kim–Thanks my friend
    Texas Fan–We likely all feel that way, I think. Life is good, but just not so easy.
    Jean–Just going along with it.
    JoeinVegas–Hey, thanks. 🙂
    Friend–Thanks for so many nice thoughts.

  9. dan-E Avatar

    in some ways, i can relate. especially the debt part. great post.

  10. Restaurant Girl Strikes Back…

    Danyelle Freeman sends a cease-and-desist letter to her Twitter impersonator….

  11. Restaurant Gal Avatar
    Restaurant Gal

    dan-E–Thanks. The debt part is a goal of mine to lose as soon as possible!

    Grub Street–I commented back to you on your site. Seriously, I really don’t want to have to worry about a Twitter or Facebook or My Space impersonator. Now I suppose I have to start all these account just so that won’t happen???? Ugh.