"It's all bullshit anyway. What does it matter whether I say "he" or "she" for the genderless one? Do you really think that the words you say make that much of a difference?"
"Do you really think that you don't make much of a difference?"
…The silence of the thought. The panicked flicker of insecurity and fear brushing against a revelation of responsibility, of being-in-the-world. It is easier to forget, most of the time. To think oneself small. All of those inspirational quotes, like the one that got passed around a lot in meme-fashion after "Coach Carter" came out, they hid stark truth behind psychological comfort food. They said one thing, and they meant responsibility. Humanity: a massive weight pressing down around a morbidly obese man, folds and flub descending upon the single skeleton as it sags under its burden, bending but not breaking because the body, though weak, can withstand more than it knows.
This is the way that most of these conversations go. We talk about anything, and with a newfound flippancy, the brilliantly meaningless reflection off of a newly jade-gilded surface, there is the readiness to dismiss. "Everything is meaningless." Nothing is new. The world line of the stationary observer moves upward, ever upward, but there is no deviation, no progress, because [the gender neutral, "es"] can barely propel itself in time much less carry all of humanity in tottering forward steps along the change-in-x axis.
All of it, a covering for fear: I am not enough. I want you to see me as not enough, so neither of us will be disappointed when I fail. Oh, I will be, even if I convince myself that I shouldn't be, that it is only to be expected. But at least that is only one of us, and then too, it will be the compounding of failures, the confirmation of self as failure. When you say, "Enough. You are enough," the salt stings the wound but brings no healing. Where there is no blood, self-exsanguinated by the wounds of cruel words spoken in hate against soft skin, there can be no renewal, no scar to begin the future.
"Not I, not any one else can travel that road for you,
You must travel it for yourself."*
The only answer is to will within, take in nourishment, revive dead tissue with the means to reproduce lifeblood. The body doesn't change. The fissures remain, the pain is real. But there is always the choice: to remain dead or to be renewed. All is not lost.
*"Song of Myself" 46. Walt Whitman