It's tenuous, this everything. That's both vague slack and specificity. The presupposition was that what is tenuous is our relationships, but even as the starter pistol rang through that thought it was apparent that, while wholly truthful, the idea was so incomplete, so suspiciously lacking as to be intentionally neglectful, that it gave off the slightest dishonest rank, a day too long in a hot car.
Of course they're tenuous, relationships, with one and another, when ultimately all we have to offer a friend whose dog ran away, or one whose baby died, or one whose former husband wrestled her teenage son to the ground but not in any way that could ever be perceived as playful, all we have to offer is ourselves. And more ultimately, which, yeah, makes the self-offering penultimate, it is enough as enough can be. We are.
As enough as enough can be, and no more, because of cruelty. There's always the theory that cruelty is borne of self-loathing though we most often, most of us, dismiss it as cliché. Cliché when its barrel is pointed at us, and maybe not so when we catch ourselves yelling at our kids for yelling at us.
This can, then, unquestionably be exponentially applied. Because it is tenuous — relationships, yes, everything, yes, financial stability, relative wellness, love, job security, fun, cruelty, shelter — all are subject to a matter of tone. And tone, any tone, is pretentious bull construct, with its "penultimate" and its "vague slack."
Carrying too many delicate things at once inevitably ends poorly. The heavy load may be less precarious than the awkward one.
Because one day encompasses wrapping a present, watching an eleven-year-old make her second basket in her first season, finding a place to store a four-foot tall papier-maché ham, eating too much cereal, failing to complete a projected budget, suggesting investing in mustache wax for a dog who resembles Martin Van Buren, dancing to C & C Music Factory, hearing the words "PSA: we're out of floss" from a child who has grown faster than can be fathomed, sleeping in, sopping up dog urine, admiring the staying power of Harry Dean Stanton, fixing a refrigerator with duct tape, walking on hard-pack snow in a wooded marsh, taking a sip of wine that has turned to vinegar, hugging someone who wasn't into it, speculating over pizza about the fictional lives of Louisiana police detectives and a too-perfectly racially blended Californian extended family, receiving many kisses, and buying briney olives. After 110 inches of snow this winter and five more on their way tonight, it's finally clear that some cycles were not designed to be broken.