Forgive Me If I Decline
My social circle has gotten very small lately:
my man, my cats, my mom, my dad
I’d like to venture out, meet you for lunch,
but I don’t know what to say.
I have no job, no kids, no money
Even fast food or simple drinks
are out of my price range
It’s hard to tell the truth about myself
I would just compliment your accomplishments,
say “I’m doing ok” or “hangin’ in there”
I’d like to say I’m overwhelmed,
drowning, at my wit’s end,
already pulled the last straw
I’d like to tell you the details
of the last five years:
the hallucinations, the broken glass
all over the staircase, the hammer
to the truck window, the homelessness
Me, my brother, my father
sick at almost the same time
three different kinds of cancer
spending 2 of the last 5 years
practically living in the hospital
my closest friend dying in another state
while I was too sick to travel
My mother walking around with
only 10% of her heart working
so stubborn she refuses surgery and medication
It really is the Tylenol keeping her alive.
(If I go a day without hearing from her,
I’m overtaken by fear – afraid I’ll find her
dead still sitting in front of the television)
My man had six surgeries last year
after having many others in his lifetime
(A body can only handle so much anesthesia)
Did I mention the betrayals,
the constant worry of how my bills
will get paid, or what I will have to eat?
I was surprised when my cholesterol was high,
but then I realized there were months where I
lived solely on ramen, hot dogs, or donated pizza.
My brother died, and I’m afraid to mourn him.
When my oldest brother died, my family fell apart,
and there’s so little left to cling to
I don’t know what would happen now.
I can’t afford to lose any- thing/one else
especially not what’s left of my sanity.
I would like to tell you all of these things,
but you wouldn’t believe me.
It sounds like a long-running soap opera,
but it is truly my life.
So please forgive me
if I decline an invitation,
I just wouldn’t
know what to say.