The weight of the world

The weight of the world is 8lbs, 9 oz and feels heavy on your chest. Too heavy to stand up, to get off the couch and go take a shower. Too heavy to refill your cup of coffee and so you sip it, cold. You are trapped under the humming, snorting, drooling weight. You are rooted to everything that breathes.

The weight of the world is 3.5 lbs, and you put it on your son’s shoulders as he heads off to school for the first time. You wonder if it’s too heavy for him, what with the water bottle and snow boots weight it down. You can hear the weight as the double doors clicks behind you, and you make a mental note to ask the principal about their lock down procedures. The world is heavy.

The weight of the world is 1-2 lbs at a time. Half a pound holds a young girl who wants to become a spy. Two pounds filled with thief making a new life in revolutionary France. Five pounds total for the trials and tribulations of three young wizards. Just a few ounces when Margaret wonders if God is there. The weight adds up, and sets her free.

The weight of the world is 20 metric tons of carbon emissions and leaves you feeling like you cannot breathe when you wonder if your children will be able to.

The weight of the world is whatever one piece of paper weighs on a scale sensitive enough to detect it. A ticket to go somewhere that is not here, to see a world that looks nothing like your own. A ticket to drunkenly sing about hills and 17th birthdays as you make your way through the streets of Salzburg. A ticket to feel alone and lonely as you unpack in a town where no one knows your name.

The weight of the world is 1/10th of a gram and fits around a finger. A promise to love forever. A promise that grows larger as it is filled with more people to whom that vow is owed.

The weight of the world is 6.24 ounces and grows larger and lighter every passing year. It fits in your pocket and screams at you that you could be better, happier, more interesting, smarter, prettier, richer. In your hand you hold endless stories of all the atrocities, dangers, and tragedies ever recorded. Until the night grows around you and you swipe to look at the face of someone you love instead.

The weight of the world is .2 ounces and you flip it between your thumb and your forefingers. You wonder if you should give it away to the man on the street corner, as your car inches closer. You won’t help him, you understand. And you probably won’t hurt him, either.

And the light turns green before you make up your mind.


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