Verb. Confess to be true or to be the case, typically with reluctance.
The name of my best friend, Liam, is said to represent protector, or guardian. A shorter form of the Irish name Uilliam, its origins trace back to two Old German elements, willa and helma, that, when merged together, translates to, "Helmet of will."
Liam the protector is preparing his helmet of will by means of vodka tonics for lunch. We perch on two stools, our confessional, in a dive we refer to as "Dark Bar," simply yet aptly named for its interior lighting design by way of video poker machine glow. This is where we meet halfway between our offices, to hide from meetings, clients, bosses. This is where he talks. This is where I listen.
"As the sole breadwinner for a family of five, two dogs, one cat, and a rotating assortment of hamsters and beta fish, I'll do whatever I have to do."
"The dogs are the only ones excited to see me when I come home."
"I want to love my wife. I really do."
"I read about people getting hit by cars while riding their bikes and think, why wasn't it me."
I recognized this sadness the first time we met in line at freshman college orientation, and I've carried it with me ever since. Hoisted over my shoulder, tucked into my seat pocket, cradled in my arms.
This sadness fills up the room, spreads through sneezes and direct contact. A virus. Contagious.
This sadness is airborne.