When she sat there, staring out- trying to think of the next words to scribble down, the right words- she would have the same look as a widow waiting for her veteran husband, a sort of faraway longing with a persistence no other teenage girl had patience for. To describe her as an adolescent would be false. Her age may trick the common spectator into believing such a thing, but to say she was merely in a state of transition from skinned-knee girl to woman would be to miss the point entirely.
Summer is coming again, bare feet in the water, picnics at the arboretum, a gun range in New Hampshire where you don’t need a license or classes. Driving at 2 A.M with everyone you love packed in the back, they’re all asleep except for you and me in the front, smiling at the songs we know too well. Songs we’ll remember when we’re forty.
Dropping people off one by one, driving home with the windows down. Looking forward to tomorrow.
This is what you see:
A girl in dads clothes, books in front like armor.
She doesn’t see you. Doesn’t want to.
She talks to monsters in her head,
plans for ones in her bed.
A quiet screaming thing,
a girl with no last name.
She’ll grow and bloom
and you won’t know, that this,
she’s lost control.
Just as time heals all wounds, it can also play a part in decay. One may live years with a decomposing heart.
A ghost made flesh, an invisible death.
You’re not stupid. I wish you didn’t feel that way. You don’t know everything, so you’ll learn. You’re growing. Everyone grows from little. Knowing little, understanding little, being little. But that’s only how you start.
You deserve so much. You give so much. Love isn’t for other people. Other people aren’t better, smarter, other people are just people, and they’re just as insecure as you are. They don’t think they deserve to be loved either.
God, you’re so beautiful. But you’ll never see it, we don’t see that. We see in others what we can’t see in ourselves. And that’s not always fair. So stand straight. Let me look at you.
Yes. I was right. You’re really quite something.
Happy keeps moving. It used to live in Love, and then Love took a dive never to be seen again.
Though sometimes I get postcards from Love; “I’m still here, sorry I haven’t phoned, it’s been a busy year. I’ll try to see you soon…”
“…Maybe next year?”
Happy keeps moving. But when it’s here I try to remember. ‘Happy is here, don’t forget to remember that.’ And then it leaves again and Hope starts leaving me notes around the house like,
“Tonight! Tonight! Tonight!”
“It’s okay to smile… Smile at her!”
“Maybe at the party you’re going to…”
“Maybe at the movies by chance…”
“Maybe… maybe… maybe…”
And Hope says to Love, “Can’t you come by again, just for a visit?” But Love doesn’t listen to hope, it never has. It goes where it wants, to those who aren’t looking. And it meets Happy there.
Wouldn’t that be something.
I think the universe makes mistakes. I think this is the case with me. I think a girl was born, years and years ago. A girl with a wandering mind and observational eyes; who thinks she knows the endings of movies but is always wrong. A girl who spends too much time reading books and not enough doing what she said she would. I think she looked up and wondered if anyone else saw the same sky as her.
She wondered why it never happened, why the boys she met never turned into husbands. Some wanted to, she was, after all, very pretty. Soft round cheeks and small brown eyes.
But the boy who would sing his songs to her at night and ask what she thought, who didn’t think he was good enough for her, who told her her name was a knife when she was away and a blanket when she was there…
That boy never came. He wasn’t at the party where she searched, he wasn’t that boy she met that summer on vacation. He wasn’t the milk man’s son, he wasn’t a classmate who died in the war.
That boy never was, because the universe made a mistake. And when he was grown he searched for her in black and white photos of people who’d died years before he was born. He thought maybe he found her once or twice. Those soft round cheeks, those small brown eyes. That stubborn look she never had a chance to use on him. He thought so, but couldn’t be sure.
I’m ready for the next episode. These days feel more like a “previous on” than anything else. I’m waiting for new episodes. Cliffhanger ending- twists and turns along the way. The TV show of my life is getting stale, we need something to wow the audience. I think I need to take a risk, do what I said I would never do again. I lowered the stakes, made it too safe for myself. Where’s the danger, where’s the shocker as we fade to black and the credits come up. I don’t want to be passive. I don’t want the circumstance to be the story. Compelling characters make the hard decision, they create the story. You have to face the horrors, you have to know you’re a star, you have always been a star.
Snow blankets waved; weren’t we expecting that?
The clouds turned themselves to soft white ice and rained down to us. For us,
just for now.
It wont’ always be this; this cold, this night, and nights before won’t be again. But then…
Tonight the sky softened, the air froze, and beneath it we were stupid.
Safe from judge and jury. Safe, simply.
And separate we will sleep.But someday soon we will gather again. Laugh about then, worry for the now.
But it is only January, and there’s so much to look forward to.
The thing about bearing your heart; the blood always attracts wolves.
We’re not all meant to have what others have. Some of us are here to observe and report best we can and hope we can find the right words to describe the indescribable.
It takes only a split second to fall in love. That’s not a guess, it’s not what I think- it’s been proven scientifically. Of course it takes the previous weeks or months of knowing someone to reach that moment- but don’t be fooled- it is a moment. A flash. You like someone, you think they’re fun, maybe you have a crush, and then-
BAM. You’re in love. And nothing will ever be as it was.
I remember I was waiting in her dorm while she was in the shower- she knocked, I answered, the second I opened the door it was all over, I’d never seen anything so beautiful in my life. She stood there for a minute, ‘You gonna let me in or…’
My breath had, as the poets say, been taken away (quite literally might I add) and for the next three years or so I was a pathetic, wanting, mess.
Some people think it’s all science, all chemistry. Others believe in something more, something that science can’t explain. I believe in both. I believe that something science can’t explain puts you in that moment. I think the chemistry of it all is just the part we can see, the part we can test- point to it on a machine and say: See that there? On the bottom right? That’s love.
But who’s to say that the science is the cause? Shouldn’t it make sense that something so profound as love have a physical- real-world reaction? I think it does. I think it should. But machines can’t show you the million things that came before the science.
The midnight car rides, singing ‘Closing time’ from the top of your lungs- teaching her beginner chords on the guitar, watching her try and fail with frustrated huffs.
Hugging her while she cries- skinny dipping- movies- talking-talking-talking.
No, science doesn’t explain love. It only proves that it’s real. But really, we already knew that.
We say we want to experience new things. So we go to the mountains and look down the edge - our hearts pitter-pattering in our crystal frail chests; panicked and alive. Our heads are dizzy with clouds of new.
New. New. New.
It’s easy to put people down for liking vintage pictures more then modern ones. People say; ‘You only like it because it’s black and white and feels artsy.’
To me it’s simple, if the photo was taken forty years ago but it depicts something that happens everyday, something that we have recent pictures of such as kissing, laughing, crying-
The reason I find the vintage photo more interesting is because these things happen today, in the age of science, computers, feminism, civil rights, human rights- but these moments also happened in a time when none of those things were true. We are separated from the people in these photos by time, distance, languages, cultures, death-
and yet we are more alike than we are different. These people who died before I was born, who never knew what a computer was, who never saw The Avengers. We have the same hopes, delights, fears, sorrows. We are all human.
But the most fascinating thing about looking at a smiling face from generations ago rather than yesterday is that it shows a person before- before things happened to them, before her father died, or his wife divorced him. Before the girl became a famous poet. The past is caught the moment the flash ignites and the photograph is burned on film. And the before remains there- forever.
I draw my best inspiration from heartache. Longing is money in the bank. If you say you don’t love me I’ll have seven new songs, maybe a screenplay.
If you ignore me, a thousand strangers will like the posts that follow.
If you appreciate me but live too far, if you think I’m talented and forget.
If you show me what it would be like to be happy, to be warm. If you leave.
I am not loved in the way you dream about.
I don’t need it. I need a stranger’s praise.
The little gray heart on the top right corner blossoms red. That’s love to me.
I don’t need to cuddle on the couch. I don’t need a kiss after nightmares.
I need the quiet. I need the predawn hours.
In this place I am king.
I make destinies. Create families. I can show you a love like you’ve never seen, will never see.
I can make a girl say the sweetest things. I can make a boy lie. I can create worlds. Burn them.
I can do anything.
As long as I’m alone.