The Broken People by Matt Carlson

Photo by Christopher Crawford

Photo by Christopher Crawford

No one told us. We had to figure it out for ourselves. I suppose no one walks up to you and says, “Hey you’re broken – did you know that?” But maybe if someone had, we could have at least tried to figure out what was broken exactly and maybe find how to fix it. Now it was all too late. I’d only just figured it out, though the signs had been there all the time. The distances, the absent people. The on-going-seemingly-never-ending questions that we daily kill ourselves with.

We’re like: “Who am I?” or “What’s my purpose?” “What am I doing in this place?” “What am I doing with these people?”

No one had ever asked me to be God Father to their child, though I’d done baby sitting and animal sitting. But that God Father thing kind of hurt, though maybe it was only circumstantial. And then certainly, they all thought I’d be dead already. Surprise! I’m still here (wherever here is at the moment) and alive, though I don’t actually feel I’m much alive today.

The days are melting into one another. There doesn’t really seem to be any separation between them. I imagine in 20 years me looking back and yelling at my younger self, “What’s the matter with you? Live your fu@ ing life already!”…

What people are doing outside helps me to discerne whether it’s the weekend or during the week. People with lives have schedules, places to go and people to see, fun events to go to, people to pick up or drop off somewhere. So if the parents are running in the streets with kids in their hands, of course they’re going to school! And when there is parking everywhere for weeks on end, well you know it’s August vacation here in France.

But for us, the broken ones’, nothing goes by someone else’s schedule really, though there are moments of that. There are periods of time where we fool ourselves that we are somehow normal and like everyone else. We drink our coffee, post on Facebook, answer a few emails, even talk on the phone (that is to say, if we have those things). We have some activities and those activities (whatever they are) camouflage the reality that is us: the worrying, the constant head voice that runs us into the ground, the judging that we are never really quite good enough.

It judges us for who we are, or aren’t, it dictates our every move and chastises us when we slip up. It judges our  looks: too tall, too short, too skinny, not skinny enough, too fat, not enough muscles, not enough education, the wrong job, not enough money, the wrong city, the wrong husband, wife, girlfriend or other, the wrong pets, the wrong car, or wall paper. The list is endless. It never lets up, our worst enemy inside our heads: judging, recriminating, analysing all the time – it keeps us in our heads and we forget about our bodies – the ones that we are occupying. So that too, begins to degrade because we don’t think about taking care of ourselves – we’re too busy thinking and thinking and thinking, then worrying, worrying & worrying some more.

Sometimes we have friends who are unbroken and they try to assist us. That never lasts very long because their lives are so perfect, they have little time for your brokeness. They wonder why you can’t just “get over it” whether its a lost love, job, friend, pet, family, friend, genetic thing…whatever. They have no idea how to help someone that’s broken simply because they are not. And they don’t really want to hear about it either. They are too busy with their terrific careers, wonderful relationships, their money, their super smart children, their fantastic vacations… their inner beauty that is so so…what sparkling? (Are you getting sarcastic vibes here?)

No the best ones to help are the other broken ones’ – yes you know who you are! Maybe you are still not living the perfect life, but you’re trying to see it through making the changes for a better life. You have intentions of something that is better, even if you don’t have all the answers – you’re in the movement of making those changes, little or big. It doesn’t matter, just that you are making the effort to make life better, for you, for others. Yea, you other broken people are the best.

Always will be.


One thought on “The Broken People by Matt Carlson

  1. Kathleen Wilson

    Not nice to make me cry! Beautifully written. We are the broken ones, for different reasons, and for different circumstances! I am going to read this again and again! And when I do I will think of you, my sweet, broken, working on wholeness, talented, loving,……. cousin and friend! I love you dearly and miss you!



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