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It's a Bird!

It's a bird! It's a plane! It's a rocket? It's a... It's a meteor. It's huge, and it's coming. It's too late to do anything. It's inescapable. It's death.
It's my childhood, rushing back to me. It's the smell of grass and an old trampoline. It's the feel of his slimy dog tongue. It's the sound of my mother's laugh. It's the sound of my mother's cries. It's my voice deepening, seemingly overnight. It's my pants not being long enough. It's my pants not being wide enough. It's my first kiss. It's my second kiss. It's my third! It's my first heartbreak. It's the crying on my parents' bed, counting by threes. It's doing anything to keep from thinking about her. It's my pants still not being wide enough. It's my sweet, sweet discovery of sweatpants. It's the hours spent waiting for something to change. It's the moment that waiting ends and living begins. It's the dulling of pain as time passes. It's the dreams that bring the pain back, unbidden, unwanted.
It's the finding of new joy. It's the time spent trying new things. It's the taste of Thai food. It's the broccoli that had been my enemy for so long becoming a new constant companion. It's the chill of the theater. It's my hands sweating anyways as I hold hers. It's the sound of clittering and clattering claws as the puppies chase each other. It's the sound of the old dog telling them to stop. It's the one muddy knee and the emptied bank account. It's the feeling of bliss. It's the sight of her in a white dress. It's the feel of the tailored suit being too tight. It's the longing for elastic waist bands. It's the music accompanying her walk. It's the vows I cry my way through. It's my two words, then it's hers.
It's the expenses, more than anyone ever expected, piling up like mountains. It's the shadow of debt hanging over us. It's the turning on of the light, revealing that shadows are always more bark than bite. It's the small blue plus. It's the cravings. It's the hormones. It's the stories she doesn't appreciate now but she'll laugh about later. It's not later yet.
It's a girl. It's a beautiful, beautiful girl. It's the sound of her first cry. It's the smell of her head. It's the feel of her hand, weak but with promise of so much strength. It's the attempt to avoid every speed bump so she'll stay asleep. It's the hitting every speed bump to make her giggle. It's the sound of her hundredth cry. It's the sound of her thousandth cry. It's the sound of my sanity snapping. It's the dance she does to the cartoon theme songs. It's each one being identical. It's her insisting they're not. It's her favorite number being nine. It's her favorite number changing when I tell her that's my favorite number too. It's her mother's constant filming. It's the positioning and repositioning to get the perfect pictures. It's the threats when I try to take pictures of her. It's the remembered stories. It's still not later.
It's my daughter's first day of school. It's the tears falling down my cheek as I watch her walk away. It's the time spent just watching them sleep. It's the fur, feet, arms, legs, and heads tied in knots. It's the blanket I drape over them. It's the pang of regret from wishing I could do more. It's the hugs from her, her mother, and the greying dogs, who don't clitter and clatter as much as they used to. It's the forgetting of the bad times. It's the savoring of the good. It's the movies viewed in darkened rooms. It's the conversations shared over take-out. It's the books never written but frequently discussed. It's the fights fought. It's the apologies accepted. It's the love shared.
It's still coming. It's only a few seconds away now.
It's a life lived. It's the silent acceptance. It's the slight, unexpected smile as I close my eyes.
It's the end.
The End
This story was first published on Wednesday, December 16th, 2020
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