sometimes, i think i’d do anything to be like you. even when my heart burns with hatred, and envy. to have a garden, and a lawn. and something all my own. a family. i’d like to walk inside and say honey i’m home and know that every inch of this is built on love. and when i’m gone, someone has to remember me. someone will grow up good, and happy. sometimes i think i’d do anything. i’d shove my dreams under the welcome mat, i’d sell my soul for plastic costco wreaths. for something like home; something like peace. for an aching monotony, and vacations to the beach. a square patch of dirt, to set down my feet. sometimes, i want to burn it all down. that perfect life, where i will die forgotten. and if i can’t have it all, then they can’t either, goddammit. cause you have it so good. or you’re wasting away. or you’re a cog in the machine, you’re collateral damage, about to snap in two. and it still doesn’t feel okay. with butterfly wings slipping down your throat; a slow death of high-heeled shoes and pretty coats. i hope you’re happy. i hope it’s worth it.
i. the people are laughing. they’ve got enough money to laugh all day; to buy swimming pools and vacations, and learn everything there is to know about the world until the sun comes up again. their clothes are bright, and their hair is so pretty, and they’re laughing at their game. they’re glossy-eyed and lovely, and i hate them all the same. i hate their lives, i hate their stupid problems. too much fame, and too much love. i hate your face, when you tell me that you’re lucky, ’cause what if i’m not? what if i don’t want to be? what if i’m held together by scotch tape and hatred? what if i’m sitting in my room on a friday night, alone? the people are laughing, and drinking their tea. they’re having a grand old time in their palace, and it’s never going to be me.
ii. the people are talking about some new tv show. it’s good, really. it’s beautiful, it’s shining bright. and i think if i met them in real life, we’d be the best of friends. they’d say you’re special and you’re perfect. and i’d stop being eaten alive by your pretty teeth, and your gleaming eyes. and i bet you got those clothes first-hand. i bet they’re really nice. i bet you never cry, never stay up late, paralyzed by doubt, and fear. i bet your house is always neat, and tidy, and you love the person in your bed more than anything. i bet you work hard, and give it your all, and in your world, that’s all it takes. and i’m glad. at least one of us got their cake.
I don’t like being a jealous person, and it’s definitely something I’m working on, but sometimes on my worst days, I can definitely go there, and just feel so miserable and resentful to people wildly more successful than me–because let’s face it, that’s most of the online content I see. It can get into a pretty destructive spiral, so I decided to write about it, and I liked how this piece turned out.
step 1: facial cleanser
take a deep breath, and meet your filthy eyes in the mirror. you know what you’ve done. you know that you will grow beyond it, you will realize your falsehoods and blind spots. and the people around you still hold it in their chests. every stumble, every anxious giggle, and that fucking typo in your email, carved into your chest.
step 2: toner
drift away from yourself, slowly. play this forward so far out into the future, you can’t recognize your face. yeah. that’s good. let it fester, and wallow, let your eyes go dark and strange. buckle under the weight of something no one is expecting but you, and trace the paths of your veins all the way out into the future.
step 3: moisturizer
meet your eyes in the mirror. ocean blue. feel that water, as it pounds against your shoulders, turning a blind eye to your years of debt. and you are forgiven. again, again, again. turn off the water, feel your hands on the cheap bathroom counter; it’s blue, or so it seems. blue like the sky, blue like the sea, blue like my eyes, like all the things you’ve never said to me. blue like tossing, and turning, one eye open. even when i’m asleep.
when it rains it pours
i’m your thunderstorm; your fucking tornado
skin melting like candlewax off shaky bones
screaming, and crying, and folding into the pillow
until there’s nothing left to complain about
but dust and feathers
when it rains, it’s ugly
it’s muddy feet and bleeding teeth
as you peel off rotten boards of wood
from your chesapeake home, ’cause it’s bullshit
the mythology we’ve built ourselves up on
when the wind snaps tree-branches
and sends leaves falling to the ground, and the power lines
snap like rubber bands, it’s all about me
about the static electricity, sparking at my fingertips
and poems that fall flat, dripping off my knees
like melted ice
and maybe you’ll grow, and change, and tell me you’re sorry
some day over the rainbow
but for now, i think i’ll cut out your false history
and set it aflame
’cause when it rains, i’m made of melting tissue-paper
and it’s all coming out of me, ugly and blubbering
i’ll sweep your houses out to sea
i’ll flood a lake and drown a city
pretend it doesn’t bother me
spitting out bitter apple-seeds on the lawn
i’m curling up into baby-soft folds of skin. i’m watered down and ragged and giving in, so i hold myself close, with every fragile beat my heart has to give. every scrape of broken glass down my throat, every shaky breath of poison air into quivering lungs. yeah, every tap-tap-tap on the window, as i tend to the scars on my ankles and the hungry days when i prayed to be consumed. and i’m sorry, when i hurt you. when i hated you. when i googled ways to die. when i cried on the staircase at two in the morning, ‘cause i was too dizzy to see the light. i’m holding myself through the night, ‘cause holy shit, i could have died. i could have crumpled up like an autumn leaf, and shattered like dust beneath someone else’s feet. but trying is a million times more scary, you know? like fluttering leaves and half-snapped wishbones, sitting by the sink. sometimes, i almost miss those days. and i’m sorry, baby, for all the nights i have stayed up late. for the screaming, and the shouting. and all those years, i flickered in and out. i’m sorry that i’m still learning how to love myself. i’m sorry for every cut, and bruise, and sticky-hot tear on tissue paper skin. i’m lying still, breathing out. and in.
I wrote this a few nights after this super-scary incident I had, where, long story short, I may or may not have accidentally swallowed a small piece of glass.(I decided to have leftover soup as a late-night snack, the lid on the casserole dish had somehow shattered, and glass had got into my soup, which I clued into pretty fast, but in theory I could have swallowed some.) It was terrifying in this existential way. I felt so delicate that night, and so… glad I was okay. Which, when I’ve spent so long self-destructing, is kind of new. Overall, it was a really weird experience.