Back when all my undergarments were made of fishnet, I took a college writing class. The first assignment was to write a narrative essay. I think that was what it was called. It was fairly informal. We were even allowed to use the devil "I".
I chose t(more)o write about Back Then, when my days were a bit stranger than they are now. Living in the same rooms as a person with schizophrenia for 15 years makes for some interesting dinner-table conversations later. Meeting boyfriend's families was an ordeal.
"So, where did you grow up?"
"In a truck."
"What do your parents do?"
"My mom was in the Air Force for many years. She repaired the electrical components on airplanes. Very cool stuff!"
"What about your dad?"
A black-ringed stare and napkin-fiddling was the easiest answer.
Right. So. Back to the essay. There were times and places that were a bit too much. Eating a dinner of stale Cheetos outside, under a tree, at dusk, again, was once too much.
And my thoughts at that Midwesterntwilight moment were this: even with all this, my life wasn't bad. I had all my limbs and all my teeth. I had something to eat. I did not have leprosy.
My life wasn't so much bad as bizarre. And that was what I couldn't get 'round. How to reconcile the not-bad with the not-what-it-could-be. I'm still doing that. It's why I'm writing this right now. It's why I write at all. It's why I wander quiet neighborhoods on my lunch break instead of eating a nutritious meal (now that I can). I'm in the middle of the not-bad and not-what-it-could-be, sliding along the continuum like a heavy bead on a thin string.
Did I mention that the stars that dusk were close and bright? (less)
i've been getting this advice, you see. From all those princess movies I consume. Like flood water, they have been leaving water marks. From knees to tummy, from the broken pieces between my legs to the growing fat on my chest. Marking me with wishes never thought to come(more) true.
And you can't be wishing on stars, pretty girl; Cause no blue fairy is gonna cut your strings.
And you can't be expecting crickets to be golden voices of reason; cause the pleasure you're looking for is just gonna turn you into an ass.
And no matter how loud that clock might tick, that gators always is gonna get your hand.
But, even if it's just words on a screen, just tuck me into bed tonight. Leave me some water and a map just as a reminder. That it's the second star on the right, and then straight on till morning.
and then, when
I wake up...
I'll see if any of that advice has sunk in. (less)
In the beginning
it was all me
carrying the load
more than i could handle but
"leave it to her, she'll take care of it"
(more) days into weeks into months
they ran me ragged till i thanked them for it
then kicked me in the face
must be nice, sitting in judgment
searching for a string to yank then giving it a tug
they all line up to take their best shot
that the end's in sight
spreading the icing after i baked the cake
a shiny gold star for every forehead