how do you always know the best way to love me?
you respond to my attempted aggression with calm, gentle love and support. my tears are wiped away by your soft hands which brush my cheek slowly, steadily, until my crying ceases.
your lips graze my forehead and your fingers are in my hair. they trace my spine and rest on the curved dimples of my lower back. your movements flicker about my body like it is your home and you belong here.
standing in her bedroom, she’s wearing white lace, and rose silk, and her classic golden hoop earrings. her brown fur coat drapes elegantly around her shoulders. her cotton candy lips are soft, her shining brown eyes gentle orbs. she raises her smooth hand to her face, turning her face from side to side, examining her youthful skin.
she sits in front of her vanity and pulls on her sheer fishnet tights. she rises slowly and slinks across the room to her bed, where she lies.
there, a blank postcard rests.
it starts in the deep, red pits of my stomach.
the monster claws its way up my throat from the inside, leaving marks along my wind pipe.
it’s teeth are sharper than a great white’s, and it bits my tongue from my mouth during its escape and i can no longer speak.
my bedroom window is wide open and the smell of fresh rain is drifting in, filling the room with a dewy glow. the candle in the windowsill burns vanilla and tobacco, warm and homey.
my bed is empty without you. my blue sheets always fall off the edges and i know that when you arrive in july, it’ll drive you crazy. i pull my dusty pink duvet up to my chin and breathe the scents in deeply. i hold tight to the stuffed horse you sent me, drenched in your lovely perfume. i pet her matted fur and she reminds me that the miles mean nothing.
I never made it to Los Angeles the following year.
january in new york was difficult. i was completely alone, and struggling to make ends meet. i lost my best friend and the suicidal thoughts were coming back. i desperately needed a change, and i would do anything to achieve it. i lied to my parents so i could go back to school early, because i couldn’t take being home any longer.
nobody was around to see my brokenness and nobody asked how i was. my sleeping schedule was obliterated- i was going to bed at four in the morning and waking up at two in the afternoon. i was living off of granola bars and popcorn, the only food in my dorm. i hardly drank any water and the chances of winning the lottery were greater than the chances of me taking a shower.
it’s about ten in the morning and i’m sitting under two trees by cayuga. it’s quiet and it’s warm, but the grass is cool. people come and go; all ready three different people have vacated a bench a few feet away from me in a prime location. the man who is here now has a pair of binoculars and gazes across the lake. i wonder if he is looking for anything in particular. he’s pulled out a book- he will stay awhile.
two blonde, curly haired children run barefoot up and down the dock. their giggles pierce the silence of the breezy lake’s atmosphere, but nobody seems to mind. these children and their onlooking mother are accepted as part of this calm environment, despite the chaos they bring.