There is Life After Survival

“There is life after survival” is a line in the Buddy Wakefield poem, “We Are Emergencies.”

I remember those words sometimes.
Jonathan sits next to me, at the mahogany bar lurched over in a way only tall statured people can do, and he sips his porter slowly before saying, “You wouldn’t know what to do if you weren’t bracing for the next hit. Relax, Darlin. You made it.”

The paranoia sets in. The hits came from everywhere this year. I don’t know if a stranger that looks like a friend will become a future ghost. With my emotions so rabid and feverish, I’m often not sure if I’m about to make a mistake.  When I’ve learned to look both ways when crossing one-way streets.

“I’m just here to get bye” I tell myself walking away from Cermak, a store known for it’s cheep produce but limited groceries. I have a loaf of bread, a can of chicken noodle soup and some Wheat Thins. Sometimes it’s like I don’t know how to cook anymore.

But I still do. Not knowing and still doing. Maybe we’re all just winging it. Maybe our hearts didn’t tell our heads that we are no longer on auto pilot.

“There is life after survival.” But what is that life like?

It looks like going to the fridge for a beer but grabbing a juice instead. It smells like the heat blasting at a club before you read your work live for the first time. It feels like air that is just cold enough to for you to feel your blood  move through you and it sounds like the clink of the spoons as you and one of your first friends in this city have at a fried peanut butter and jelly pie.

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