you know when someone you know of passes away? not someone you knew, but someone whose name you had heard before, or whom you had passed in the hallway, or who you shared some small, yet indelible connection with? maybe i’m alone in my reaction to such occurences, but upon hearing the sad news, though i always am struck by a sense of loss, the feeling of grief is curiously absent. it’s almost as if i don’t have the right to mourn their passing, as if that ritual is reserved for only their close acquaintances. it wouldn’t be right for me to attend the funeral and shed alligator tears, that level of bereavement is only for the family and close friends to experience.

at times in my life, it’s almost as if i need a pardon to express my emotion, as if, there are times, when i do not have the right to feel a certain way. i cannot be angry at people who will not be bothered by my anger. i haven’t the right to expend such emotion on people who regard me as merely a fringe part of their life. or perhaps, i can feel anger, but i cannot express it. i haven’t the right. i realize that i keep coming back to that idea of a “right” and as much as i regret my redundancy, i cannot help but feel as if it is the only accurate moniker for the concept i am trying so vainly to grasp.

how does one go about having the right to care conferred upon themselves? it is only when a feeling is reciprocal or mutual that it is expressible? or if a feeling exists, is that right enough for it to be declared? would we be given emotions that are, by their very nature, inexpressible?

i suppose that nothing is truly inexpressible, it is not as if the words to declare my feelings are unable to cross my lips, i have spoken the sentences to dead phones, empty air and wet pillows before — there is no reason for me to assume that they would not come out just the same before an audience. however, there exists a tangible alarm that sounds every time i begin to think about doing such a thing, as if the possibility of the action does not equate to any reasonability. and therefore the emotion is inexpressible in every meaningful sense of the word.

 i wonder if any pardon truly exists. if i am waiting for permission that will never be granted. and if it is merely my own fear that bounds me. i don’t think so however.


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