These Are My People

I never knew I belonged to a clan, but I do. It took me a long time to figure out who they were. In fact, you might even be one of us. But if you’re not already a member, I’ll go ahead and tell you about our organization.

For starters:

We cry at songs. Poetry too. We believe in babies, the elderly, well-told jokes, dogs, cats, crickets, and long bouts of quiet. We doubt ourselves, but we doubt you even more.

We make awful spouses and lifelong lovers. Horrible children, but good sons and daughters. Above all, we enjoy the idea of God; because there aren’t any better ones out there.

At night, we lay in bed and consider how delicate our own rib cages are. Like raw chicken bones. Our itty-bitty hearts, too. And even though someone like you might never think about things like that, some of us do, and have for decades.

The thing is, we wonder what death feels like, and why it hasn’t kicked us yet. What the hell makes us so lucky?

But I’m breaking the rules. We don’t generally talk about these things with non-members. Lord, no. Because you’d end up thinking we were terribly depressive. In fact, that’s what you’re thinking now.

But we’re not as sad as you think.

The truth is, we’re a lot like you, except, we’ve lost someone. We were unlucky enough see it. We pressed our ears against their chicken-bone ribs, while holding their rigor-mortised hands. We cussed God Himself out, because He was the only one who could take it. We tossed handfuls of dirt on seven-foot boxes, and mumbled half-assed eulogies. We slept for weeks, lost weight from malnutrition, and sobbed so hard we vomited.

We’re a clan.

Our stories are different, but we recognize fellow members without saying nary a word. We’re not sick. We’re strong, dammit. For each other.

One day you’ll understand everything I just wrote here.

And when that happens, we’ll be strong for you, too.