By Gabrielle Maryland
PROMPT—During Covid-19 ...
At the height of the pandemic, I found myself sobbing on whatever floor could hold my shaking frame.
Often times, it was the cold tile floor of the rented bathroom I shared with my partner-- a thankfully soundproof cell at the periphery of our 2400 dollar a month studio in Upstate New York.
I cried, I assume, for the same reasons most did when masks became apart of the every day attire.
I cried at the thought of dying from a disease that I didn't quite understand.
I cried at the thought of my life's work being meaningless, and without value at a time when my sustained income began to dwindle, and the prospect of eviction became more and more real.
I cried at the perception that I was alone, in the darkest hours of my life-- when in reality I just wanted someone to hold me.
However, very stupidly, and without merit, like a child, I began to act with the impetus that everyone who didn't dwell in my skin was my enemy.
I simply pushed everyone I loved away.
I wanted to die-- alone and in a cell of miserably quiet peace-- because in some ways it would've been easier than to reconcile with the losses I had suffered.
The loss of a parent, whose complicated legacy was constantly being dredged in my body with every passing thought.
The loss of the person that I thought I needed to be, because only good, kind girls get love.
The loss of my long departed youth, that in her death I also grieved.
Loss during Covid-19 was everywhere, but somehow in that ridiculously overpriced bathroom, loss felt like it solely affected me.
So when I re-emerged each time from my lavatory abyss, anger trailed me. It informed everything I did, and for a time, I was exceptionally, and unequivocally cruel.
I was far removed from the person, that had expressed unyielding love for my partner.
Far removed from the person that felt deeply for every person that she met.
During Covid-19, I became the monster that I once saw dwell in the depths of my mother-- and in all the months I had felt the penetrating cold of that floor-- it only took one moment to shake me from my misery.
One day, the fragile hand of my partner rapt quietly against the door-- and very calmly and with every ounce of care in her heart, she asked me if "I was okay?"
Naturally spurned by instantaneous embarrassment, I lied and told her, "I just need a moment."
When I emerged, I found her lying serenely against the pillows in our bed, and in that moment, I missed her-- and every reason I had to push her away became moot.
I knew in that moment, that I needed to love her-- to come back to her, and cherish her and myself.
Life is too short to carry the burdens of our past.
In these arduous times, love has taught me that we are more than what has made us.
Gabrielle Maryland is known to her family as Gabby. She is an entirely unpublished writer and is surprisingly thankful for this disposition. Gabrielle is an energy healer by trade and a Medicine Woman by initiation. She writes from Rhinebeck, NY.