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Porch swing tales from the archives (2017)

By Lindsey DonatPublished 2 years ago 3 min read
Photo by James Garcia on Unsplash

This porch swing has seen some shit.

Not only has it observed the cat going to town on the wooden support beams with his claws and fighting with some unruly neighboring felines. Not only has it heard hushed conversations pertaining to typical family drama and cringed at some underage drinking during a summer pool party (sorry mom and dad)…

It knows me. On a molecular level.

It bore witness to phone calls between my friends and I when they were having relationship problems and announcing exciting new life developments.

It dutifully supported me as I took long summer naps in the sun, rocking me slowly back and forth.

It was there to fulfill my desire of wrapping myself in a blanket to watch thunderstorms.

And it has seen an awful lot of tears.

This swing is my confidant, my gateway to insight, and a relaxant. I never would have guessed that at age 25, I would still be crying on this swing.

This swing knows me better than anyone on this earth.

It knows my fears, big and small, from any type of flying and stinging insect (we have a wooden swing on a log house, a carpenter bee's paradise) to what the girl who always got all A's and is currently top of her graduate school class will do to remain successful and happy for the rest of her life.

It also knows my irrational fears, like how I always imagine an army of zombies behind the tree line at night. It laughs as I wait until the last possible second to disengage my headlights and then bolt from my parking space on the lower driveway turn-around up to the side porch.

It knows how indecisive I am, it knows about my goals, it knows my heart in all of its mangled and patchy glory.

It knows how terrified I am of putting all of my resources into someone only for them to turn out to be just like him, a narcissistic and pathological liar who crushed my spirit and confidence.

It knows that I regret not going to Nashville for grad school when I had the chance.

It knows that even though I don't know if a God exists, I ask for his help through prayer when I'm sitting out here because I am just that lost.

It knows that, for me, a good cry isn't enough. I need at least 10 of them for a decent cathartic release.

It knows that I am too headstrong and stubborn to admit when I am scared shitless of what is coming next, so I conceal it with overconfidence and a façade of contentment.

Dare I say it knows me better than I know myself. It sees the external, the nonverbal, the expression I don't consciously attempt to portray.

And it's reminding me right now that I am afraid of the dark, literally and metaphorically. I crave control. I should probably go inside. But there, my thoughts will simply fly around the containment of my room and endlessly ricochet off the walls. Outside, they may travel out into the world and be set free. And maybe there, the hive mind will manipulate them and send them back to me, with all my problems solved.

I don't want to be alone in this.

Besides, while I'm home in the countryside of Pennsylvania, far away from the city, it's nice to be in the darkness. It's peaceful. M y inner workings are not drowned out by the sound of other voices all asking for the same guidance.

I think I just need to get better at being in the dark.


About the Creator

Lindsey Donat

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