I've been working so hard at staying present
and even harder at making you think
I am

Lying about how often I don't remember
How often Monday night turns to Thursday morning
How often I bite the inside of my cheek
Pinch myself
Tap my foot on the ground
Clawing at internal consciousness

I hope you don't notice how often I leave conversations
How many times I pull the car over because
I don't drive yet
My flip answers aren't due to arrogance or being an asshole
Rather utter confusion
What were we talking about?

I hope you know that I would do anything to make this easier for you

I shake my head and look down to the right
My therapist told me so
I shake my head like I'm trying to clear blurring vision
A last ditch attempt to retain the self I call myself

It's like
The moment you light up a cigarette three years after you quit
Or spiking a vein after 6 months clean
Utter relief followed by latent regret

Truth is
It's hard to be out here

But I'm sorry

I'm sorry you came home today
To a home health care nurse looking concerned
Looking at
Your 35 year old partner in a ball on the couch
Hands over his head, duck and cover
Saying

I'm sorry, I'm sorry
Please don't

I'm sorry you have to say my name with a question mark

I'm sorry I'm not wood or steel or iron
But water

And I will keep biting my cheek
And lying
And I will scream
Everyone
Just
Act
Normal

I'm sorry

I will tie myself together like we're
Prisoners tied the mast of a pirate ship
Back to back

Hold on boys,
We're taking on water