It’s twelve by the time I make a sandwich, dye my hair, and finally shut my eyes. I let myself forget for a while. But fragments make their way back into my mind: the weed in the cookies, crouching low in the bushes, and saying nothing instead of saying no. The sun makes its way in through the blinds over the twin windows beside my bed. My eyes are red dots - every blink is a light bulb burning out.
And light bulbs aren’t meant to be turned on; they’re meant to already be on. But the filament breaks, burns, or simply melts. Unless it’s in good condition, it snaps.
There’s a hole in my heart that I’ve been trying to fill. This morning, I surrendered to it. I tried to cover it up with spiked strawberry lemonade. I photographed it. I did all that I could. It’s not enough to pick a sandwich, to choose a color of dye; who am I going to be? It’s an easier question to answer, or at least sidestep, when I’m proud of the things I’ve done, when I’m alone with the things I’ve scrapped or saved.
My knees still hurt from hitting the sidewalk last Tuesday night, when I crashed my body into the cold ground and yellow and purple bruises bloomed overnight. I told myself that looks are subjective and conditional and in a small way, false. It’s a play we put on for one another. I took a bow, I fell; I found a tiny hole in the knee of my jeans where the world broke in.
I saw myself in the mirror as four strokes of eyeliner and a pair of brown boots. I liked it. But in the morning, I find myself walking on Fulton with the sun in my eyes and my tights ripped up on purpose, the only thing I’ve done by choice. Tiny regrets are caught like fireflies and stored in my chest. At night, they glow.