Bad things, like nightmares, like monsters, like demons, like pain. Like crime, undiagnosed and forgotten, or grief, partially healed but ever present, or absence, like a splinter you could never squeeze out and is now somewhere too deep for you to reach. Like babies you’ll never meet and boys you didn’t want to, roles you didn’t try for and parts you didn’t play.
Bad things are sometimes like a boulder on the doorstep, sudden obstacles that together you can hoist and move and eventually forget all about. Bad things like a flood in the kitchen that will require a new hob and leave stains around the walls. Bad things like a seed that got under the floorboards and turned into a tree that threatens the whole house.
Bad things in endless forms. Not knowing who will fix your wing mirror next time it falls off. Rotten oranges. Three-way conversations at one in the morning, one person saying we all need to sleep, one person off their nut with worry and pain, one person too far away to reach even if you were all in the same room. Bad things like the things you do not know you do not know, because you are too stupid, or inexperienced, or young. Bad things you should not know about, but you do, and you wish more than anything you could not.
Bad things turning your brain into a place of primal urges; fight or flight? Fear paralysis, or pounce and attack? Bad things that you just simply cannot explain. Bad things that take away your words, your faith, your hope, your trust. Bad things that just accumulate, relentless ocean waves, so that fully escaping seems impossible, and eventually even keeping your head above water seems like some distant and unlikely possibility.
Bad things like tripping and falling, and one day somebody will pick you up, and even with a broken leg you can still make it round the world if you take your time. Bad things like being the one without the broken leg who has to take two steps forward and one step back for the rest of their life to pick the other person up. What is that? Is that fate, or a life condemned, or a life sacrificed, or youth, or love, or stupidity? You need to just take your time.