Letters and Diary Non-Fiction posted February 28, 2016

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What the Heart Wants

by michaelcahill

They all talk about me. You know, them. Everyone. I hear them and feel the fool. I don’t believe them or believe in them.

The old oak has branches reaching almost to the ground. My arms are sore; I admit as much. But I can endure pain. No one sees me wince or hears me moan. To hell with them, I won’t let them. I’m not with them. I’m alone.
Still, they talk. You’re getting old, we all are. It’s too late, face it. Hope, love, those are wasted on us, they’re for the young.
I still think I can climb that damn oak tree though. Ten feet isn’t all that much. I could’ve jumped up and grabbed that branch there like a monkey when I was younger. Just like a screeching, banana-eating monkey. Then straight to the top.

And there were ladies watching me then, wanting to climb that tree and be there with me. Sometimes one would lag behind, going just a little slower than the group. The group would round a copse of trees and she would bolt and grab that branch and there she’d be, right by my side.
I’m climbing that tree tonight. Maybe I’ll fall to my fool death. But maybe, just maybe I’ll make it to the top.

It’s night and here I am. I made it this far. I can’t jump. I hug that oak and find a foothold and a knot to grasp with my hand. I pull myself up and grab the branch. Pain shoots through my shoulder. I ignore it and pull. I throw my other arm over the branch and pull with both arms. The pain doubles. But I’m on the branch, somehow, I’m on the branch.
This is crazy and I love it. Is what I seek at the top? I’m going to find out. I’m surprised at how easily I’m navigating the branches now that I’m finally in the tree. My shoulders don’t even hurt anymore. I see the stars and claim them. I feel my heart swell and listen to every word it speaks. Yes, I hear it. I follow it as it urges me to the top.
I sit alone at the top of that old oak. There isn’t a soul here with me. My heart aches and it fulfills me somehow. I hoped … well, I hoped. But the stars still look beautiful from up here. I whisper secrets to them and they sparkle with their response.
They talk about me the next day. They like to talk. I’m a fool it seems. An old fool at that. I just smile. I know I can climb that old oak tree, see?

They don’t even notice the stars anymore. I share secrets with them.



Another-I don't know what to call this. :))
It's not really fiction since it's about me, but it's a metaphor. So, what is it?

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