The horrific realization that one thing that has made me the way I am is the fact that I have forever been accustomed to instability, and that this in turn has made me accustomed to all decisions being reversible. When all is chaos, when the people around you forever turn their emotions on a dime, scream and kick walls and then ten minutes later profess love, beg forgiveness, this has the strange effect of making everything fleeting. The meaning sucked out of all action beyond the present.

Your parents tell you they are getting divorced, and then they don’t. Ten years later, they do. Years and years ago, your lover leaves you, and the next day acts like it never happened. This happens at least five more times in four years. You are threatened with death, clinging to metal screaming on the street, you are threatened with money being shoved at you and with money being taken away, you are threatened with sex being shoved at you and with sex being taken away, everyone is too fucked up on something and in this and you are taught that these are romantic gestures. That the turmoil is a sign of care.

And so, now, a thousand lives away, you learn you still carry those lessons in your heart. That breaking up with someone is a way to show someone that their behavior is unacceptable, that you will not stand for this, but also it’s a tool you use because it isn’t capital punishment, not the nuclear option. That’s the slow, mature, and measured voice you use when severing the limb in surgery, not the heated cries of battle. And now, you are devastated because someone kinder, softer, more genuine than you finally took you at your word. And you don’t know what your words even mean, let alone what desires lay beneath them. Ash falls quietly from the sky.