To the Grasping Urchin,
I didn’t ask you for anything. And you never offered. I stood stripped, freezing, and alone – but smiling. Nobody asked or noticed. I did not begrudge them.
When you came around, grumbling and soliciting, as ever, I did not condemn you for it. What had I ever been for you but another source of validation and support?
I merely said, for the first time, “Right now I cannot. I have nothing to offer.” You have no idea what it stripped from me to say as much aloud. In that moment, I acknowledged that, years of effort to the contrary, I am incapable of saving a single other person, perhaps even myself at this point.
Why, then, would you choose this moment—after I admitted my limitations—to confess your anguish and need?
Would you like my last breath?
Unlike you, I never pulled anyone into the drowning waters with me or tried. But I am not a buoy or a raft. Your options are to claw your way to the surface or go under, just like the rest of us.
I wish you success, not luck.