soft and sweet; let her bloom in oversaturated shades of orange and purple. let her be stupid, and innocent, for as long as she can bear it. ’cause it won’t last for long. and someday, she’ll rot into the ground. she’ll scrub the dirt off her cheeks, and feel secrets twist up into a knot in her throat. it’ll be dollar bills and delicate fingertips, and familiar faces on the wall. it’ll be piano songs, and a tennis games, where no one wins. let her be silly, let her dance, and sing. let her live every awkward phase and stubborn mistake in all its glory, and listen to music with the volume too loud. let her paint her skin with pinterest poetry, ’cause it makes her feel like floating, like bleeding in the sink; and it’s never as pretty in real life as it is in your head. let her be ugly, ’cause there’s something to who we are when no one’s watching. let her punch the shower curtain, and laugh at jokes that don’t make sense, and play with the ghosts out back, where we buried the guinea pig in seventh grade. let her tears make mud out of dirt. let her live it all again.
There’s this really scene in The Office where Andy says something along the lines of “I wish we knew we were living in the good old days before they ended.” (It’s been a while since I watched that show, but as I recall, in context it’s a lot less touching, because Andy is acting like a jerk by the time he says that. Anyway, I digress.) But I think I do know–because the past few months, I’ve had this weird feeling that I’m gonna be kicking myself in a few years for not living this time of my life to the fullest; gonna look back on it and wish I could do it all again. Like these things are only going to seem remarkable in retrospect, which is like, ninety percent of my life summed up. I might write something about that.
Anyway. I’ve been thinking a lot about nostalgia–and this weird feeling of nostalgia I’ve been getting for the present of late, and this is what came out of it.
i’m not good at objectivity. because sometimes, when the light catches my cheeks just right, i feel the whole world spin on its head. but i’m trying not to get caught up in the first emotion that comes to me. i’m trying to be cool, and calm, and collected, because i’ve heard that’s a good step somewhere along the way to being happy.
so in no particular order, here’s what i remember: nothing and everything at once. a happy girl on the swingset, coming home and crying on the floor. i’ve spent so many years, clutching secrets close to my chest, and feeling their weight. but no matter how hard i try i just can’t let them go. at least, not today.
so for now, i’ll close my eyes, and let you count out all the holes in my jeans. feel soft touches build me up like rome, because no matter how hard i try to hide it i always have been a stack of dominoes.
and that’s the kind of thing i know i’d use to share with no hesitation. because the world is good, and strangers could be trusted. probably. and there was a future out there, waiting for me, just out of reach. but now i am a circuit with no fuse, ready to catch fire at the slightest gesture. but i’m not gonna hurt you. i’m gonna keep my cool if it’s the last thing i do.
here’s what i know: i am the witch, i am her hostage, and the self-entitled prince riding in to save her too. which probably means i’m a regular fucking person, also known as a catastrophic failure, or a constant work in progress.
doesn’t that make your skin crawl? doesn’t it slip under your tongue, or slither down your spine? because it does mine, every time i think about it. but i’m told that sometimes, you just have to face it head on, break in a brave face like a new pair of shoes. and catch myself when i stumble, just like i would catch you.
i’ve heard that’s something happy people do.
Another escapril prompt! I thought this one turned out pretty nicely, but let me know what you think. 🙂
let me close my eyes, and take you to my safe haven. that place i built so long ago, sitting out in the backyard with a book as a friend. it’s got castles, and a gleaming blue sky. and when it rains, it’s always loving and kind. it’ll be here, when you need it–to fall asleep at night, to get through the argument. because you’re not really good at conflict either, right?
and in this place, no one ever gets bitter, or angry, or loses their control. and you don’t have to wrap yourself up in tarpaulin hatred, don’t have to run away from home. let me show you a place where it’s all going to be okay.
where we don’t have to be afraid to speak our minds. don’t have to run and cry behind the couch, where no one else can reach, and tuck ourselves in at night. or work until the soles of our feet bleed just to fucking survive.
and when you look up to the stars, it’s all there, waiting for you–just within reach. and when you’re taller, you’ll stand up on your tiptoes and take what could be yours. you’ll cry for the weight of it all, and wonder which path to choose.
but if the idiot in your math class can grow up into a functioning adult, so can i, right? and every person on the planet has stared over this abyss at some point or other, by definition you cannot be alone. and i promise you: from now on, things are going to only get better. i’ll fight for it, i’ll try, i’ll choose the good path.
not yet stained in blood and tears. i’ll make myself anew and work it out as best i can; treat myself with the kindest love i’ve got in me, and offer the same to you.
and say it, not embarrassed, not afraid: i love you, i love you, i love you. every single day.