• Mathura Hawley


I could declare “enough” and hang myself from the rafters of the back deck. Or, I could, for the first time in my adult life, live.

I am waist deep in the river at Rooster Rock park then plunge forward into the water up to my neck. I have just had sex with a beautiful blond boy on his blanket in the reeds, and now the water is cool and the sun is almost down over the trees. I have been coming here for the past couple of months since Jonah left and Luke died. It’s been a place of solitude when I needed one desperately and I’ve had some easy conversations with strangers who have no idea who I am or what I’m going through. Who did not see me as I sat in my living room, holding Luke’s fresh ashes, near the door Jonah had walked through and closed with no explanation. As I remembered the dark traumas of a few years ago, and felt terrified they would happen again. I had sobbed. I had wondered why. I had felt severe isolation, and still in lockdown, had not a single kind arm to comfort me. And then, for a little while, I felt nothing, a first. And that's when I realized I had only two choices. I could declare “enough” and hang myself from the rafters of the back deck. Or, I could, for the first time in my adult life, live. Not get through the day. Not take care of someone else. Not pretend to be what a person, job, or the judges in my head required me to be. I mean, live. My dad. My boyfriends. My jobs. Luke. They had all needed me. And I had needed them to need me. And the years flew by just getting by. What if, for the first time in my adult life, I had no responsibility but to do whatever the fuck I wanted, needed or desired. To make it worth it, and to make it work, I would have to go all in. Do everything the best I could. Learn things I didn’t know. No short cuts. Take my own hand and walk myself through this with the goal to become all those things I had once believed I could be. I trained my body and I cooked for myself. I untied my sexual judgments and insecurities and told any man I desired exactly what I liked. It worked. I shared stories with friends I have never dared to share with anyone. They embraced them. I spent weeks mapping out who I am, who I want to be, and what it will take to get me there. From those moments of aggressive vulnerability I have never, ever felt so free. And now I am swimming naked in the river, with others who are doing the same, watching the sun go down. And breathing it in. And I don’t have to be anywhere. And I know that this time is a gift that I may never have again, but I am going to work so, so hard to support this version of my life, and not just live for one I feel nothing for. If the best way I will ever be able to help anyone else is to help myself first, then I finally have a plan. I am determined that, whatever I am carrying when I emerge from the other side of all of this, will light the path for anyone who has been on the long, terrifying and exhaustive journey of pain.

Hear when a new post
goes up

Thanks for submitting!

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
No tags yet.