The Flaw / Melissa Mesku

The flaw
You don’t start immediately; that would be too perfect. You start a little later. This flaw will make you work harder as you try to make up for it. You didn’t mean to do it that way, but that’s what happened, and it pleases you.

The will 
You think that you will work harder, but you know you, and you are kind to yourself. Even in that last sentence you could not follow the will the whole way through. You said “but” and then doubled the length of the opposite meaning. I think you will do it again once more: but it’s OK. It’s OK to start late, and to not finish. It’s OK to do it wrong.

The thing
It’s OK because you already have the thing: a trust in yourself so complete and total that no one (no works, or lack of works, or words, or lack of words, or person, or lack of people) can wrest it from you. It is the thing you have and the thing you give. You give it to every friend you make (it’s also the reason you make the friends you do, so you can give them the thing). 

The well
The thing is a well. You draw from it every day and it never runs out. 

The question
Why do you have the well, the thing, the will? Because I trust. Why do you trust? Because I always feel safe. Why do you feel so safe? Because my trust has never been broken. Are you naive? How has it never been broken? Because no one can break it; my trust is mine. Have you not broken your trust yourself? Yes. A few times. But it takes trust to make trust. But how do you have enough to keep going? I don’t know. The answer is blowing in the wind. 

The wind
It may be the air in my soul. Maybe even my mother’s heartbeat.

The question
Why do you have the well, the will, the thing? Because I am strong and resilient. Why are you strong and resilient? Because I am deeply healthy, healthy despite myself, healthy even against my own will. Why are you so healthy? I don’t know. I smoke and am very lazy, and yet. 

The wind
An exhalation off my cigarette, twice as large in ice cold air.

The question 
If you are so healthy, and strong, and safe, what will you do with all this? I will do the most important work. What is the most important work? To stop the bad things from happening. What are the bad things? You know, all the things. The destruction of nature, the destruction of psyches, the cruelty and short-sightedness of civilization.

The question 
How will you do this? I don’t know. 

The question
But doesn’t this matter a great deal? Yes. And still you don’t know? Yes. 

The answer 
The question continued asking itself for thirteen years and now is done. It never got a good answer, and so has drawn its own conclusions. They are this: You have failed. Your flaw, your soft will, your ignorance of your gifts, your laziness – you have done nothing to stop these things in yourself, and you have done nothing to stop the bad things in the world. The most important work? You haven’t even begun. 

The end
The question interrogated the darkest corners with thousand candle-watt light. The light spent all of itself on the dark, and the dark absorbed the light. Everything falls in on itself and now you begin again.

The flaw 
I trusted the question and it led me here. I trusted my nature because it was natural, and now I see it was not enough. Now I must be vigilant. There is no room for flaws, or failure. 

The will
I declare: Now there must be only will. Power, strength, will. I gently feel around in front of me as I push forward in the dark.

The thing
I think I still have the thing; the last I saw it, it felt very solid and permanent. Perhaps now is the time to rely on that knowledge. I declare: Now is the time to rely on that knowledge. 

The well
Down the well it’s dark. I will have to draw from it without looking into it. Maybe I should stop drawing from it at all.

The question
I am not taking questions at this time. 

The wind
Only the sound of my mind.

The question
The silence is deafening.

The wind

The question
This is where the question would be. What was once a conversation is now a yawning, empty space. No voice whispers little truths to me, no voice pesters me with questions. I declare: So be it. Sweet nothings on the breeze never got me anywhere. 

The question 
Really, no one is going to ask me a question? Then I’ll ask one. I am doing the work! Can you hear me! I am getting closer! The important work, I’m here and it is getting harder! The question: Does anyone care? Is there even a point? I am out here doing this alone and I’m not sure it even matters.

The answer 
Only the sound of my ear straining to hear.

Melissa Mesku is a writer and software engineer in New York City and the creator of ➰➰➰.

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