A beautiful word. There is softness in the breath when spoken.
Prettier than fragile, I think. You see, fragile is stamped on boxes thrown into those bins at the post office. It’s written in bold, black letters on small placards in front of thick, misshapen pottery at the flea market. Handle with care. You break it, you pay. That’s all. Just be a little careful or something may happen. Nothing usually does happen, so I disregard the warnings. Fragile is only the possibility of brokenness.
But fragility, well, fragility is inevitable brokenness. With fragility, you could peel back skin and see fissures winding their haphazard patterns along the hardened shell of what used to be a vibrant labyrinth of a supple and fluid life. It wasn’t enough. The constant thumping of blood across tissue just isn’t enough.
Fragility is like the glass cases that enclose and protect those delicate, glass-blown figurines. Tiny, see-through castles perched atop cliffs that aren’t large enough to hold them. Birds so beautiful that they can only be storybook creatures. Perfectly figured ballerinas with expression-less faces, but always a touch of pink on their lips. The prismatic reflections draw you in to see the wonderment, but you would never think of actually buying. You wonder who does the buying.
You lean close to the case because the beauty entraps you, but there is no touching, no tapping on the glass. There are no breaths. Breathing could begin the shattering. You feel the risk being too close. Too present. It is so frightening, this fragility. All that’s needed is an object, just heavy enough, to be thrown into the glass to start the process. To prove fragility.
It happened the day I realized I would never be first again. The thought had never occurred to me before the moment I heard the word on the other end of the phone line. “Halt.” A heavy word. I felt the force of a flat palm slam close to my face. So close to the glass. “We must halt.” I wasn’t sure what that was supposed to mean. But that’s what was said. And what I heard, was ‘You have no choice. You are not first, and you never will be. It’s too late for you.’ Halt. I picked myself up off the floor and walked into the bathroom to watch the crumbling begin.
It is what happens in a life like mine. A life of fragility. Anything… anything can become the brick.