Do_Not_Cross,_Crime_SceneWhy would I want to come back, inviting a death sentence established in my fate from the beginning of time? I very adamantly wouldn’t. However, it turned out I had to return to the scene of the crime, so to speak. I had to be brought to my knees and come back where it all started to see the truth. I couldn’t do it on my own anymore, no matter how hard I struggled against the confirmation that I am nonfunctional. The fact is that I haven’t been able to tap into managing my life or myself for a long time. But now a work in progress that takes time. And patience doesn’t hurt either. All the thinking I’ve done, poetry I’ve written, the fantasies I’ve cultivated, it all rested on getting and staying away from here. I always believed there was a place out there, most specifically on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, where I would belong and where I would deem worthy beyond these confines of Tennessee and be eternally inspired. Even though I may end up there someday, a geographic cure would not be found. Moving, shuffling rock, getting on the plane, walking out, going on the streets, and finding places to nestle, that’s great, but will not save me from the shackles inside me. It won’t teach me how to cope with my anger with the world and the nasty people in it. It wouldn’t do a damn thing to ease my anxiety or self-deprecation. It never would have “fixed” the disease of my mind. It wouldn’t have taught me not to keep silent or to accept that many of the people from whom I chose to seek affection like a desperate, naïve puppy or vulture were using the same abusive techniques as it said in all the books. No, Copenhagen could not have pried my eyes open. Nor would any world metropolis cool off the burning of the moon and the torture the pillow brings every night. But I certainly believed it. I have also since discovered that my actions will always follow my beliefs. That thought can be quite disconcerting and absolutely terrifying. I believed this place to be a grave after living off Disability as my only means of income, living in government housing, and eating nonstop until I gradually died of myriad complications. I didn’t want to remain bound to the place where I watched people of overwhelming importance and influence in my life die of alcoholism and drug overdoses or disintegrate into one of the lowest states a human being can let himself fall. Those radiating angels incite the flames of hurt and blow the breath of a gorgeous rage. But they just lay there, watching as I was being dragged by chains; just lying there watching. The dirt here, the soil, there’s something terribly wrong:

 

I will be with you forever

 

Your friends and lovers don’t exist

 

I will be with you forever

 

Your friends and lovers don’t exist

 

I will be with you forever

 

Your friends and lovers don’t exist

 

I will be with you forever

 

Who is this “I?” The answer is simple. It is DOOM. I knew DOOM was in me, but I also believed it was here. I never thought I could have the power to escape it or kill it. I thought it had me in its grip for always. I was wrong! Yes, I admitted it and could not be more proud and relieved that I’m not always right. It turns out that this place isn’t Hell, rather Hell was in me. For everything there is a season, a time, even a place. Right now this is mine.

 

About the author

Melissa McCollum

I am a girl pushing against a naturally constructed stone wall and guess what? I will never give up. I am much more of a fighter than, I believe, despite shuffling very little rock in my life, my 31 years. I just want my work out there. The rest will take care of itself.

My name is Melissa McCollum, a poet since the age of 14, born on Bastille Day, 1982. I’ve always thought that was a summary of who I am: Fireworks and the powerful rush and waves overcoming the crowd taking me up with them as my feet are somehow still on the ground and the loss of reserve as my every facet are enmeshed in worship. Of course, we can’t forget the Quaaludes.

Oh, yeah. I have balled my eyes out watching Doctor Who.