Leslie Blackwell Leslie Blackwell
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7 different directions - should be "seven different directions (smaller numbers from 1-10 should be spelt out)

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Shade Webb Shade Webb
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Life in Pieces

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She had a friend.

I lost a piece of myself recently, which inspired this garbled nonsense.

      We’ve all left pieces of ourselves behind at some point. A song that kept you going as a teenager is forgotten in the later years. A person you thought would hold it all together isn’t there any more. These pieces of self are accumulated and though some are never forgotten, many are left behind.

       Now think of these pieces as a puzzle. No, not one of those 100 piece riddlers for the kids. I’m talking about a fucking monstrosity of thousands, tens of thousands of pieces. This bad boy isn’t just flat either, we’re heading up into the sky on a tower of 3D awesomesauce. As you bring together these different people, events, and memories you tower ever higher. Some of the pieces are large, and create a foundation that hundreds of smaller pieces sit on. Some of these smaller pieces branch off to a larger piece in ways that you don’t realize or even remember as you move onward.

       Let’s not forget, though. This is still a puzzle. But this is a puzzle with no picture on the box. Hell there isn’t even a box at all. You’re just wandering around with no idea if these pieces you come across fit into the puzzle, or how large they are in comparison to others. The brief glimpses you do get of what the final image may be, aren’t even comparable. Just when you think you’re hitting the peak, a piece drops out.

       It’s not so bad. Some pieces just don’t fit, and as you’ve travelled through this process you realize that. You’ve thrown away bad pieces before. You’ve left out your favorite food of hot dogs and macaroni and cheese when you realized your passion for cooking. You’re so drawn by all these new pieces of tasty deliciousness that you don’t even miss that part of yourself. That piece didn’t take anything down with it, and so it fades in the distance as your tower soars.

       What about this large piece? Well maybe that was your first love. Maybe it was the family who mattered most. Maybe it was your friend who became your family, because family wasn’t there. When that piece dropped out of the puzzle, you lost your footing as half the damn thing came down with it. You weren’t even looking at the old pieces back then. You were driving towards the distance and never looking back. This childlike assumption that life was going to keep giving you the pieces you needed, and wouldn’t strip one away with petulant glee. When that piece fell, you thought that you had fallen as well.

       You didn’t though. All those smaller pieces somehow came together to form a foundation that was shaky as hell, but gave you a foothold to climb back up. You found a new song that kept you going, and it joined the tower. You rediscovered someone who you may have thought was small, but grew to help rebuild as soon as you gave them the chance. You drove ahead. A little of your naivety lost, with a bit more courage to replace it.

       The next time your tower slipped you thought you were ready. But you rarely, if ever, are. This process repeated, and will repeat, for as long as you keep building. You thought your tower was going straight up but this pile of shit is leaning in 7 different directions with no signs of stopping. You begin to accept that maybe this thing isn’t going straight ahead after all. You stop sometimes to look back on the angles and smile a little. Some of those curves weren’t so bad after all. Look at that one. You’ve got hundreds, no thousands, of little pieces all swerving to one side. You can barely believe it’s even still standing, and looking back you don’t even know how they managed to do it. But they did. 1 comment

       You will keep finding new pieces, and losing the old. Each hole that is created isn’t plugged, but a new support is placed to make up for it. You never know when you’ll find the next piece, or even if it fits. You don’t know where the tower is going, nor what it looks like. You have no fucking clue when something's going to drop off, or when something's gonna hit your tower and pieces will pour out like a ton of bricks. You do feel more prepared though. Maybe not for anything, but for some things. You’re not as quick to lose your footing as you once were. Not so quick to the painful agony of remorse.

       And hell, maybe that’s just my tower. I can’t see yours. However, I’ll take that bet that yours is standing straight and narrow any day. So why waste time pretending it is?

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