Farewell to a Year

José Carlos Casimiro

José Carlos Casimiro

Farewell to a year that stripped me to my utmost, to honesty and a raw self I could hardly handle. I chased these months with skin so sensitive it burned with time.  

I stepped into last January undiagnosed and desperate. Regularly blinded and vomiting from pain, routinely asked to leave the doctor’s office. Your insurance is wrong. We don’t believe your pain levels for your symptoms. Go see a dentist. Go see a neurologist. Your pain is not real.

There is an over-prescription of pain medication in this country, but some doctors will tell you that maybe you just need more sleep, that it’s not as bad as you think - even fifteen pounds lighter and an 11-year-old smoking habit dropped cold.

It's diagnosed now, let’s relax. A progressive condition, but we won't accept your insurance for surgery. Some people just die a little quicker than others. Maybe my life will be a little denser. I think I know what “live fast” means now.

It’s been a year of strange luck: get run over by a bicycle cop and receive a free salad; get your wallet stolen a in a pitch black bar, kiss a woman in a pitch black bar.

I was crossing the street and a stranger left their car to beat me into the pavement until my shoulder cracked, until my knees blackened and swelled. Until my girlfriend and I were covered in my blood.

Later, she would bruise me herself.

I haven’t talked about politics, about the atmosphere that thickens between all of us, choking our words and actions; the limitless losses that take and take. It feels physical. It’s an ache, the ferocious powerlessness one can feel in the face of all this. And I am so tired.

2017 was always reminding you where you were and that it was there, too, shaking its chains, snapping its teeth behind you.

Well I’m standing in the graveyard. My foot’s on the shovel, ready to dig.

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