This is not the life I wanted. This is the life she wanted.
To be safe. To be safe from everything. To not feel. To get up late and make the day short. Make the noise shorter. Make the window to meet other people in very small.
I loved her so much. I gave her everything. I gave her my love and my attention and all the information she wanted. I lied for her. I dreamed of saving her. Of winning the lottery and getting her back to that island, the only place she ever spoke joyfully of.
I took her rhythm for my own, just to be able to be with her after dark, when she calmed down. To feel safe together. One more day, conquered. 2AM in front of a hissing TV, it’s safe now. It’s safe to go to bed. She’s too tired to get upset.
I miss her so much. I wish just once, she had heard me and not who she thought I was.
I wish I could stop wishing for that.
I wish I could stop living like she did, keeping everyone at a distance and all possibility tied up in indecision.
I’ve had 22 years to come up with a life for myself. I haven’t.
I wish I could learn all those things that make up a day, make up structure, the way other kids did. They became people. I just became avoidance.
I can tell a good story. Almost all my stories are good. And they happened. I’ve never needed to embellish what happened in my beautiful haphazard life. But what does it mean, if I can’t hold my own day together?
I don’t even know what to learn. What’s possible. I’m still living like there is a confused, angry, dangerous grown-up in the room. Except now that grown up is me.
I’m so sad, I don’t know what to do with my day.
That’s not the life I wanted. But I can’t remember the life I did want.
I was always so good at hope. Especially at uncovering other people’s.
when I turn up my own life blanket, all I see is dust bunnies.
I stopped looking forward. I stopped living in my body. I stopped living what I believed in. Put a cork in wonder. I used to be a pirate. I used to come up with crazy plans. I used to dream up things that couldn’t possibly succeed and make them work, on faith alone. (As if faith is ever alone.)
When did my spark of crazy go out? Is it just in the other room?
What a shit story to tell. I hate stories that deconstruct pain. What’s the point? Putting other people through that and it’s not even accurate. It can’t be, because they weren’t there.
But here I am, putting more pain on the page, smearing it out thin, hoping to finally see through it.
I so want to write better stories than this. But I guess first I have to live a better life.