These are the first words I’ve written since I’ve been out of the pit, unless you count signatures on checks or aimless blog posts or doodled grocery lists. But those words are nothing like these words. These words are real. They mean something.
When gravity turned on me, bits of my soul were shaken out, sprinkled onto a clump of moist woodsy soil like pepper spilling out of grinder. I lay still, my head hanging over the edge of the pit, my eyes studying the patches of greater and lighter dark swinging around in the bottom of the pit. The swirling blackness left me nauseated, wishing I hadn’t opened my eyes. I stayed there for days and days and nights and nights. Not caring that I was out of the pit. Not caring that I was still lost in the woods. Not caring what would happen now. Not caring what had just happened.
Last night it occurred to me that perhaps the pit was a dream. But I knew better. Had I been dreaming, I would have dreamt I were someone else . . . I was somewhere else. I would have dreamt myself out of these woods, not into a pit. That’s how I knew it was real. That’s how I know these woods are still huge and undeniable and thriving around me. That’s how I can muster the strength not to care what may happen next.
“Get up.” He says.
“I don’t want to talk to you. I want to be left alone.”
I can’t see him. I didn’t even hear him walk up. And I hate that he’s always coming and going.
“I think it’s usually harder for you to talk to me after I’ve been away.”
I turn over like I’m in bed, but there’s no cover to readjust or pull over my head. I hang my other arm over the side of the pit, hoping he'll go away.
“I don’t think it will be any easier if you wait.” He says.
I close my eyes, letting the aroma of wet earth pull my head deeper into the tuft of ground cushioning my body. Why are the areas surrounding a pit always soft and slippery and smooth?
“It’s okay to get up and we can talk about the pit.”
“Thank you for your generous offer, but – if I did feel like talking to you – the pit is the last thing I would want to talk about. I don't want to talk.”
I hear silence. I open my eyes and turn to look. His voice is gone.
I'll write. It's safer than talking.