Shadow puppets dance
Only ten fingers on the ceiling
Regret this large bed.
I guess I finally agree.
It’s probably best you chose not to play with me,
I would have loved you.
I would have loved you even when I didn’t like you;
When you didn’t want me to.
When you didn’t love yourself.
I’d have taken care of myself, for you, and you, for me.
And I would have loved you.
I’d have listened:
to you breathing as you slept,
your thoughts when they were so deafening,
And your words quiet and loud, when you would share:
I’d have steadied your hands when they shook while you spoke,
Placed a hand upon your chest when you quietly raged about fathers and why their kids stuttersuck… all to choke down their feelings of humiliation and fear…
Kissed you upon every entry,
Every single tear,
Every single night.
Laughed in joy,
settled into rare silence,
gazed in awe,
and continued to glow
in your mere presence.
I would have. But yes…
Yes, it’s probably best you decided not to play with me.
Because I KNOW.
I would have definitely loved you.
Even if the one who gives me butterflies doesn’t recognize it. I’m tired of doubting myself and trying to understand what about ME isn’t conforming to their standards.
All of them.
I am enough. In fact, I might just be too much. I’m not missing out on them. They are missing out on me. I’m tired of dulling my glimmer to keep from outshining them. I’m tired of feeling sheepish when they tell me I’m “intimidatingly smart.”
I’m tired of amazing connections being written off because one thing doesn’t immediately “spark” or maybe “someday” someone might want ______insert here_______.
Fear of missing out is bullshit. Cowardice.
I’m a lot, I get it.
I AM ALSO:
Honest to a fault.
I’m good enough to do this.
I’m smart enough to complete that.
I am fucking EXTRAORDINARY.
People have always said that I have “such a great imagination” and it is!
It’s a great imagination! I mean, I have the most amazing dreams and I can draw things and I can remember things and I can visualize and I can mimic and I can create things!!!
…but I can also break my own heart. In fact with this great imagination, I can completely tear my own heart out of my chest, 10 times a day.
I can spend 3 minutes considering possibilities and scenarios that have probably never even crossed another person’s mind; imagining situations that other people might be in, scenarios that other people might have been in, might put me in…
Oh and the conversations I have in my head!
Wow… The subsequent fall out from those imagined interactions.
Oh reverie, what a cold bitch you can be…
I spent a lot of time alone when I was younger…
Out of choice,
Out of necessity,
Out of fear,
Dissociation… my head was my safe space…
I also read a lot; read a lot. I’ve decided that’s probably why I’m the semi functional adult you find here today…I can empathize and imagine reasons for every behavior, even to my own detriment.
That’s probably why I always liked law and social work… huh…
I remember going to school and regaling people with tales about “my friends” from somewhere else, telling my mom about “my friends” at school, and then when questioned, realizing I meant “Oh, I mean this girl, in a book I read”…
Now don’t get me wrong, I appreciate my “Choose your own adventure” brain, I do. I really do.
And honestly, the older I have gotten the more positive the potentials have gotten…
All the various versions of my world… my self imposed variable simulations that I run… they aren’t as dark anymore. Well, mostly not as dark anymore…
Sometimes they’re lovely little scenes that play out and comfort me;
My ability to put myself in other people shoes… to anticipate the next move… word… feeling… it’s a tool. Less a maladaptive coping mechanism now.
Somedays I even think, as I’m sitting at my desk, listening for the differences in one case to the next… struggling to check my bias and my imagination and then an oft random thought, it crosses my mind…
As I’m fake smiling at the person across the room…
Boy, had I the nerve I’d have been an amazing actress…
But I didn’t and I don’t…
In this body?
In this state?
In this life?
This version of myself?
I can convince myself we have a connection… we are meant to speak to each other. This is no coincidence, me being me, and you being you, and being here:
at this time,
in this place,
I have already run the paths, the various iterations of us, the probability, determined the risks to mitigate and the possibilities that we are going to have the most amazing life together.
But, we haven’t even spoken. Not really.
If we passed again on the street… I don’t know if there would even be a glimmer of recognition from you. But me?
Oh, I’d know you. Anywhere. I’ve seen you open your eyes while kissing me. Seen you cry at our first grandchild’s birth. You’ve held my hand while we were given the most heartbreaking news. I’ve watched you grow old, watching me grow old.
I’ve already loved you more fiercely than I’ve loved anything or anyone.
I’ve broken your heart and you’ve broken mine and we came back together so many times we’ve both lost count, because that’s just what we do.
That’s what we do for 33 years. 33 passionate years.
But we haven’t even spoken. Not really, not you.
But me? Well, I’ve got a great imagination.