I told you that I was a roadway of potholes, not safe to cross. You said nothing, showed up in my driveway wearing roller-skates.
The first time I asked you on a date, after you hung up, I held the air between our phones against my ear and whispered, “You will fall in love with me. Then, just months later, you will fall out. I will pretend the entire time that I don’t know it’s coming.”
Once, I got naked and danced around your bedroom, awkward and safe. You did the same. We held each other without hesitation and flailed lovely. This was vulnerability foreplay.
The last eight times I told you I loved you, they sounded like apologies.
You recorded me a CD of you repeating, “You are beautiful.” I listened to it until I no longer thought in my own voice.
Into the half-empty phone line, I whispered, “We will wake up believing the worst in each other. We will spit shrapnel at each other’s hearts. The bruises will lodge somewhere we don’t know how to look for and I will still pretend I don’t know its coming.”
You photographed my eyebrow shapes and turned them into flashcards: mood on one side, correct response on the other. You studied them until you knew when to stay silent.
I bought you an entire bakery so that we could eat nothing but breakfast for a week. Breakfast, untainted by the day ahead, was when we still smiled at each other as if we meant it.
I whispered, “I will latch on like a deadbolt to a door and tell you it is only because I want to protect you. Really, I’m afraid that without you I mean nothing.”
I gave you a bouquet of plane tickets so I could practice the feeling of watching you leave.
I picked you up from the airport limping. In your absence, I’d forgotten how to walk. When I collapsed at your feet, you refused to look at me until I learned to stand up without your help.
Too scared to move, I stared while you set fire to your apartment – its walls decaying beyond repair, roaches invading the corpse of your bedroom. You tossed all the faulty appliances through the smoke out your window, screaming that you couldn’t handle choking on one more thing that wouldn’t just fix himself.
I whispered, “We will each weed through the last year and try to spot the moment we began breaking. We will repel sprint away from each other. Your voice will take months to drain out from my ears. You will throw away your notebook of tally marks from each time you wondered if I was worth the work. The invisible bruises will finally surface and I will still pretend that I didn’t know it was coming.”
The entire time, I was only pretending that I knew it was coming.
We can stick anything into the fog
and make it look like a ghost
let us not become tragedies.
We are not funeral homes
with propane tanks in our windows,
lookin’ like cemeteries.
Cemeteries are just the Earth’s way of not letting go.
let’s turn our silly wrists so far backwards
the razor blades in our pencil tips
can’t get a good angle on all that beauty inside.
Step into this
with your airplane parts.
and repeat after me with your heart:
“I no longer need you to fuck me as hard as I hated myself.”
Make love to me
like you know I am better
than the worst thing I ever did.
I’m new to this.
But I have seen nearly every city from a rooftop
I have realized
that the moon
did not have to be full for us to love it,
that we are not tragedies
stranded here beneath it,
that if my heart
every time I fell from love
I’d be able to offer you confetti by now.
But hearts don’t break,
they bruise and get better.
We were never tragedies.
We were emergencies.
You call 9 – 1 – 1.
Tell them I’m having a fantastic time.
There’s potential in the gaping spaces that separate each of your fingers, the spaces you keep referring to as the universe because sometimes the gaping spaces are lonely and quiet and mocking of your insignificance the same way the universe is. There’s potential, in the lonely crook of your neck, in the dust collecting across your collarbones, at the curve of your hips, there is potential, yes, and there is time. There is so much time. There’s a soft promise sitting on your lips, a promise someone will one day keep with twisted, ghost fingers and a tied spine, even if for one day, two weeks, a year. There is so much time for romance, so stop wishing for it — kiss your words instead, touch your lips to music notes, caress canvases, hold the hands of your friends, there is potential there too, you know. It’s easy to feel unlovable in the cold, winter is overbearing, too close for comfort, so teach it how to be alone, show it the beauty of solitude.
I am reblogging this because it’s Valentine’s day and my dash is full of forever alone posts from people who I know are beautiful and funny and fucking great and look, the chances of you being forever alone are actually really, really slim and you’ll find someone someday, the odds are actually in your favor, and it’ll be okay, so just, I don’t know, enjoy the chocolate your parents gave you or something and be happy about the friends and people you have in your life, because I am actually really thankful for mine. Today I am just basking in my alone-ness (not loneliness, never loneliness with the friends I have) and watching crappy tv and listening to some really damn good music.
Listen, despite all the reasons you’re right for me, there’s one huge, pus-filled blemish that trumps all the other bullet points—you’re not interested in me. Whether you like me or not is irrelevant. You can like me until the cows come home but that’s not going to change the fact that your interest level is humming gently at zero and you’ve got your stupid fat foot on the break.
So you are wrong for me. You are wrong for me because your mouth doesn’t instinctively melt into mine. You are wrong for me because you’re baulking, and I don’t even really care why anymore, just that you are. You are wrong for me because you can see a way to be without me. And when I think about all the things I’m looking for in a partner, all the other bullet points blur into insignificance if you’re not interested in me.
I thought I was done with romance after all the failed ones, but it turns out I’m not yet ready for the cynical, arms-length relationships I’ve been having. I’m not actually all that broken, believe it or not. Wait, no… Yep, I’m still completely functional. And I want someone to want me like Ryan wanted Marissa. I want you to look at me, to speak to me, to be intrigued by me and to decide, quite simply, “Her.”
Eighteen years later and I still haven’t memorized the sound of my heartbeat or learned how to inhale the coldness of limbo, of in-betweens, of the hours between sunset and sunrise. They don’t teach us these things in school. They don’t teach us about emptiness, about feeling hallowed and numb and how the coldness of Spring will settle in your bones until warm tea no longer holds the cure. They don’t teach us to drown our sorrows in water, not alcohol, because it does less damage and there are oceans full of salt that will heal bruises and broken dreams. They don’t teach us forgiveness or compassion or the standards of apologies. They teach us language and syntax and spelling, but not that words can be ticking time bombs and explosions make the earth tremble with fear. They speak of atoms and particles and the laws of thermodynamics, but not that we are matter and cannot be created or destroyed, just become something entirely different. Less orderly. They forget everything is composed of stardust, including us, and that we inhale the same air our ancestors did. They tell us to believe in ourselves while simultaneously refusing to acknowledge our recklessness, our existence, our energy. They tell us to go to school, get a job, settle down, and raise a family - in that order. They teach us how to remain insignificant in this vast universe of constellations and galaxies and infinity.
I wonder when they will teach us something worth learning.
Victoria always puts into words the things I can’t figure out how to say myself.
January has issues with her mother, February is always talking about things he wants to do while March does them, April eats sweets and May pays for them, June is the oldest but not the wisest and July always has an opinion on everything. August never stops trying to do the right thing, even if he doesn’t always know what that is. September once saw something so sad, she never stopped crying. October holds the lift for anyone, vice-presidents and street-sweepers alike (for his memory, not for theirs) and November makes fun of him for this. December is tired but always hopeful. He has never once stopped believing.
Monday’s obviously a bastard, quite literally as dad can’t remember what or who he was doing. Tuesday’s temperamental but okay as long as you stay on her good side. Wednesday doesn’t say much and Thursday sometimes hums just to break the silence. They’re in love. Friday’s always wasted and she and Saturday hold each other tightly until their delirium fades.
But Sunday, Sunday knows she’s the end. But she closes her eyes, and she pretends with all the strength in her tiny heart that really, she’s the dawn.
Suicide is just a moment. This is how she described it to me. For just a moment, it doesn’t matter that you’ve got people who love you and the sun is shining and there’s a movie coming out this weekend that you’ve been dying to see. It hits you all of a sudden that nothing is ever going to be okay, ever, and you kind of dare yourself. You pick up a knife and press it gently to your skin, you look out a nineteenth-story window and you think, I could just do it. I could just do it. And most of the time, you look at the height and you get scared, or you think about the poor people on the sidewalk below - what if there are kids coming home from school and they have to spend the rest of their lives trying to forget this terrible thing you’re going to make them see? And the moment’s over. You think about how sad it would’ve been if you never got to see that movie, and you look at your dog and wonder who would’ve taken care of her if you had gone. And you go back to normal. But you keep it there in your mind. Even if you never take yourself up on it, it gives you a kind of comfort to know that the day is yours to choose. You tuck it away in your brain like sour candy tucked in your cheek, and the puckering memory it leaves behind, the rough pleasure of running your tongue over its strange terrain, is exactly the same. The day was hers to choose, and perhaps in that treetop moment when she looked down and saw the yard, the world, her life, spread out below her, perhaps she chose to plunge toward it headlong. Perhaps she saw before her a lifetime of walking on the ruined earth and chose instead a single moment in the air.
We, the perfect girls, try to fill these gaping holes with food, blue ribbons, sexual attention, trendy clothes, but no matter how hard we try, they remain. We have called this insatiable hunger by many different names-ambition, drive, pride-but in truth it is a fundamental distrust that we deserve to be on this earth in the shape we are in. A perfect girl must always be a starving daughter, because there is never enough-never enough accomplishment. Never enough control. Never enough perfection.
—Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters by Courtney E. Martin (via adaptationorretribution)