I wish I could say things will be different now, but I’m impatient. I want what I want and it’s not easy. It takes all of me. I’ve sat two decades under damp soil. I’m impatient.
You should have more by now. Have more and want less. Want normal. Want peace. Keep still and learn to float. Make them proud. The ones that are here and the ones that you’ve lost. You’re learning to manage. You’ve fallen apart.
And you’ve built worlds. And you’ve lost hope. And you’ve spoken things to life, and you’ve laid a lot to rest. Are you smarter now? What have you learned? Have you learned?
Love when you feel it so you don’t regret it again. Let him go. Love. Love what you do, love who you’ve been. Remember that you’re alive and that’s something.
Are you different now? Do you feel any different?
Do you remember when it became too much? When you sat across from me and I told you I had welded a key meant for unlocking worlds. I told you there was a place for you. That it was built for you. But not just you, and not just me. It was bigger. Do you remember?
And your hands began to melt all over the table. You reached for your glass but it slid right through. I cut my finger picking up the pieces. You lost your nerve trying to put it back together.
I shouldn’t have to apologize for starting a fire. We’re just atoms, we’re supposed to change state in heat. Vibrate faster, expand, become air. You’re going against your nature.
I can’t wait for you to grow.
I’d made a habit of telling you what hurt. I always had a new problem for you that needed solving. A fresh catastrophe from which I needed rescuing. I think it gave you something to spend your time on. I think it gave you some use.
But then I found a thing I needed more than water. Afraid to die of thirst, I’d take too much and lose my air. I’d come back for you to drain me dry and squeeze me out and press me flat. Still, I’d plunge back in to soak it up, and you’d be there on the shore to watch it end.
I could’ve done with a little faith in your encouragement. Maybe my drowning made you feel justified in never bothering to swim. But in drifting this way, I’ve lost sight of the shore and I’m filled to the brim and I’ve learned how to float.
So now that I don’t need saving, tell me, what will you do with your day?
She’d go to the edge of the peer by the water every day. She’d go there and just try to remember what happened. What the fuck happened and how did it get so bad.
It brought her back to late summer and everything she liked about one season falling lazily into the next and the possibility of it all. It wouldn’t get better, but it would end. And what would come wouldn’t be easy, but it would be new. And it would be cursed, but it would be hers.
It would be bleach white and she could decide what mess to make of it. She did sloppy so well, from the bun on top of her head to the shoestrings tucked into the sides of her sneakers. Everything about her was untied, but she learned early on how to blow in the wind.
She’d go to the edge by the water because maybe it’s not worth it. Maybe it’ll get better. Maybe she’s out of time. Soon the wind will shift, as it does, and she’ll be carried on the same breeze that brought her.