I remember what it was like, the day I declared my heart hard and dead. No more would I open it to assault and battery.
I peak it open, just enough nowadays.
It's still shut firmly most of the time. Opening just enough to appropriately interact and love a bit, but not enough to risk anything truly.
I shut it to harsh words and unfounded criticism, I shut it to the lies, deceit and trickery. I shut it to ambivalence, indifference, outright hatred. I shut it to the ugly and the untrue, to the negative and derogatory.
The moments it opens I find myself breathless with the anticipation of the cuts; deep and lasting that are sure to come.
I love, but I won't tell you that very often.
Because I think about you all the time. Many of you. I think about what I'm going to say, how I'm going to say it, I think about how I can endear myself to you how I can make you proud and make you love me deeper.
I want to believe in your love for me. I want to believe that it's real. But the locks on my heart cover the scars of when it wasn't true. The chains I've bound myself up in show me that it can't be trusted, that it will all fall apart and I will find that once again there were lavender roses covering your sweet smelling lies.
I wander about my neat and sweet little life mostly unaware my heart is shut. I put on a good show and I squeak open the small remains of my heart I've allocated the rest of my life to live within. It gets me by, most days.
It's the times I realize I'm holding myself a little to stiffly, a little to separate; it's the times I don't answer my phone or text you back. It's the times I sink deeply into the darkness and believe that your sweetness is covering the lies that will show themselves soon enough. It's the times I shove food mindlessly into my mouth and shrink from the thought of tying on shoes to go to the gym. It's the times I struggle to remember that it's actually worth it.
It's in the squeaking open moments that I see you; the few (many) brave that put up with my distance, with my silence, with my lack of things of consequence to say.
It's the quiet whispers and softly blowing breeze that tells me the shut part of my heart is repaired; that it's ok to come out again to play. It's in the are you still alive calls and the relief in your voice when I call you back that tells me sweetness doesn't always cover lies; that sometimes sweetness is really just sweetness.
It's in the moments watching the magnolia petals blowing across the road that I suddenly realize my shut heart is hurting me far more than the risk ever could.