Do me a favor, go back and read Fight Club first if you haven’t already. This is important. I will wait. I need you to go back and read fight club because I need you to understand. I need you to understand that when people are hurting, they seek solace. They seek a means to stop the pain they did not cause themselves, but have the difficulty to carry with them. I need you to understand that when someone goes to fight club, they are at their wits end. That they have all but given up on life, the burden they bare is too much and the pain is too great. Yet, they show up at the door steps and take the leap of faith. They step in the door and as bad as they feel and as scared as they are about what people will say or feel about them, they are willing to take more pain from the past, especially if it will help ease the pain in the future.
Have you gone back and read it yet? Thank you. I have another favor to ask. I need you to clench your fist and strike the wall as hard as you can. And then do it again. And perhaps a few more times until the pain in your fist is so bad that it can cover the worst pain you have ever felt in your heart. Can you do that for me? Because I can’t do it for myself anymore. I am tired of hitting the wall or the couch or the punching bag. I cannot hit anything anymore, because the pain in my heart is still there and I can’t make it go away. So maybe you can keep punching for me.
She didn’t call me, she didn’t call anyone. That’s the rules. That’s the fucking rules. You are supposed to call. You are supposed to text. You are supposed to answer the goddamn door. But she didn’t. She didn’t do any of those things, and that is why the police were called. That is why the police were asked to do a wellness check, and that is why the police were the ones to discover her.
She was the first one I met at my first fight club. She was the one that told me the rules and gave me the book. She was the one that sat next to me and she was the one that fucking should still be here today. But she is not.
She was beautiful. Her strawberry blonde hair was always well kept, her smile contagious, her laugh refreshing. And her soul was beautiful. I listened to her stories. What the hell am I saying, she didn’t tell stories, she told truths. She told about her truths, about her pains, about her struggles. And because of her bravery I was brave, and the person next to me was brave, and the whole damn room was brave. We were brave because she was brave, and now she is gone, and we all must remain brave. Fuck. How does a balloon remain full of air once you remove it from the lips? I refuse to pinch my heart like the fingers pinch the balloon, forbidding the life in it to leave. But the breather is gone, and all that remains is the breath she gave, so I must do all I can to preserve it. We all must do what we can to honor it. The breath. The life.
Pain is only reserved for the living. She is no longer in pain, but we knew her pain, and we knew her struggle. She showed us all how to fight and even though her fight is over, the spirit remains and it helps us remain with her. No matter what you say or how you feel about the situation, she was wonderful, her hugs the kind you could fall in to and forget about the cold of the world. Her truths took us to the place where the devil resides in others, but her heart taught us how to forgive and clean our hands of the blood others placed on them.
She never spoke of her plan, nor did we ever suspect it. To imagine the pain she felt after the fight she showed must have been deeper than any of us could have ever imagined. Yet we have all stood on the edge of that dark pit and stared down. We have all wondered how deep it was and what was at the bottom. She held my hand as we looked into the pit together during fight club, and she made my fear go away. She helped me find my fear and toss it into the pit. I guess I never knew she was willing to see how deep the pit was on her own.
I need one more favor. I need you to do one more thing for me, and this is important. I need you to call me, or text me, or someone, or anyone. I need you to not wonder what is at the bottom of that dark pit. I need you to stay here in the light. I need you to know that the only thing that goes in the pit is shame, and fear, and sorrow, and hate. Let that shit go into the pit. Let that shit go. You stay here. You stay with me. You stay and help me fight and I will help you fight , and we will help others fight. I need you and I need you here. I need you to know that I am not the only one that needs you here. Nancy would tell you to fight even though she can not fight any longer. She would tell you to be brave for her and to honor her. She needs you to help me teach the world to throw all our shit into the pit, and hopefully one day the pit is so full, that no one can ever fall in it again.
editor’s note: Nancy was real. This story is real. The problem is real.