Pain Scale

She asked if I was going. I said that I probably wasn’t. She asked why. I said that it’s hard to go alone and it’s hard to leave alone. She thought a minute. Then she said she understood and said that she wondered why things like this were so hard. I shrugged.

She is mostly alone. She does things with others only when people ask her to do things with them. Otherwise, she spends time with herself or with people she may not know like when going to dinner at a restaurant or a movie or something.

We understand each other. It’s hard to talk about some things but, at the same time, it’s easy to talk about those things, too. These are things we don’t have to say but we understand each other perfectly. And neither one of us – or anyone, for that matter – can come up with a solution.

It simply is a different existence. It’s not right or wrong. It just is. And each morning one rises with it and each evening, one goes to bed with it. There are ways to mitigate the sting when it gets too bad, but usually, one learns to live with the dull throb.

Have you seen those pain scales in the emergency room or in the hospital room? The ones with the smiley face at ONE and the increasingly painful expressions until, at TEN, there is the grimacing, hurting face? The pain I’m talking about can be anywhere on the scale, depending on the day.

It just is.

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