Disappointment and his contours


How does disappointment sit in the chest occupying all the sides, up and down, and filling every space between the ribs with heaviness? What colour is it? Is it a brilliant red that shocks the senses? Or a dull painful gray that spawns numbness?

I have been to disappointment’s house, so grand and so cold. He has invited me in. I have sat in his chair and listened to him give a soliloquy about himself. How he deserves so much more than the things and people he settles for. How expectations must always be high and met by those who claim to love him.

I have tried to leave then, quietly getting up from my chair so I can slip away only to have him push me down again.

Tales of how things can never be the same after he arrives on the scene of a relationship, and how he wishes humans would learn to walk away from people who fall short flow from his intoxicating mouth. He has a smooth tongue, his voice sure and mesmerizing. It catches your breath. And soon enough I start thinking to myself:

“He must be right. He must be right.”

He smiles at the defeat that creeps into every facial line I own. He knows exactly when he hits a jackpot.

In the past I have left his house drained and dejected. Under his tutorage I have watched people I love walk away because it was too hard to stay. Just too hard. Disappointment has applauded me in those times laughing with his big, deep voice and slapping his hands together joyfully.

“You did great!” he beams.

I know it is not true but I convince myself that it is so, so I can sleep at night.

But life always teaches us that people are just people. And that in all the ways we rub against each other sooner or later we will fail one another. Our world may stop. There might be thunder and some mountains in our corner of the earth may shake violently. But we will surely arrive at this point. Because the truth dictates that human beings are fallible, beautiful and messy.

It doesn’t mean we pick every disappointment and add it to our personal collection but that we are intentional about how we arrive at disappointment’s house or how we let him into our homes or sleep with him or frolick with his tantalising contours so we never forget that for those we love and cherish, we will both disappoint and be disappointed.

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