there is a sharp pain in my left ribs that shocks me when i bend forward. this can’t be good, but how do you put a band-aid on a rib?
i like to ignore things.
isn’t it funny what scares you?
do you ever find yourself apologizing just to make the other person feel better? do you ever want to stick a fork in your forearm just to snap out of it?
my childhood wasn’t bad, it was interesting. my brother got sick and had a Make-A-Wish. he chose a shopping spree. when he died, most of his things became mine. coincidentally, adults like to buy presents for kids whose siblings have just died, so i had both a bedroom and a “toy room.” the eldest daughter of our pastor told me all the other kids hated me because i had so much stuff. i was 10.
today the radio said it was the first day of fall which i believed because i was wearing pants. fall feels like a Wilco song you want to live. summer sometimes feels like a video game you can’t win.
the year i was told no one liked me, i played my brother’s Sega Genesis every single day. Aladdin was my favorite game, but i never beat it. i would get to the very end and lose. eventually, i stopped trying.
quitting takes just about as much courage as starting.
my firsts months in NYC were lonely, somber, and cold. so fucking cold. i was working 2 days a week, barely able to navigate, and regretting the move. so, i scraped together spare change and booked an appointment with the nearest acupuncturist. Sherry’s studio is near the water, sandwiched between decorative-twig-selling boutiques and Michelin restaurants. unlike my former practitioners, sherry is all business: what’s wrong with you? how many hours do you sleep? how’s your poop? i was anticipating warmth, sage, and comfort in the form of “i understand how you feel, pumpkin. everything is going to be okay.” instead, i got poked and scooted out the door with advice like “drink less tequila, eat something green, and stay away from milk.” no fun Sherry, i called her.
i returned. again. and again. it was my safe place. eventually, i did stop drinking as much tequila and sometimes i even eat green stuff. the absence of empathy allowed me room to heal.
somethings can be ignored, others apologized for. our Right to heal is not one of them. we entered this world whole, there’s no reason we shouldn’t leave it that way. even if no one likes us.