On the Bureau of Prisons website this morning Darren is officially listed at “released”, and I’ve got the shock of it. I knew of course it would be this week, but to see it CAPITALIZED at the end of his prisoner listing is something else entirely. It is one piece of this horrid business almost finished, even as the rest of it continues embodied in others who once shared our hearts and lives. (And that once seems like another lifetime now, not long in years, but long gone for what’s come in between then and now.)
I put on my headphones at work to retreat, a few moments to catch my breath. I am alone here with the insistent knock in my frame, that past which insists on being let in. Right now. When it’s not a good time at all. I’ve got things to finish before I leave! (But when is it ever a good time to revisit that which has harmed us?)
I can not cease the film that plays: the cabin in the hills with the bathtub in the living room, the black sand beach where we argued as if our lives depended on it, the night of swimming in a phospherescent sea, a sunny day beside the frozen creek, long ribbons of roadtrips, picking mushrooms in second-growth forest and turning them into soup, gunshots in the sharp air of autumn. The distinct feeling of always walking back into a circle that felt like home.
And as much as I hold it close, there is a selfish me that wants this past to disappear. To be allowed to move on without the weight of apology and recrimination shackled about. Of course we all just wish that it had never happened. The arrests part. The hearings. The prison. And even, perhaps, some of the actions themselves.
It was all over anyways, before the FBI got involved.
But I see it says there RELEASED, so released he must be. And I by extension also? No longer in custody perhaps, but never truly free. How can any of us be?