From the height of my balcony the world seems smaller, easier to tame. Easier to love. Sunlight lay across my knees. I feel like an episode of my life, one that keeps repeating itself. One that I can not bear to hear myself typing alive and placing on an imaginary shelf. ‘This past doesn’t need to be reused in the future,’ I repeat like a mantra, biting my lips and my fingers and intrusive thoughts. No blood comes out, only hurt. I am not even brave enough to bite hard.
I sit there quietly, late into the night. I’m feeling everything, everywhere. My intensity is both a blessing and a curse. It comes with great responsibility, and a greater need for transparency. Not for the faint of heart. I love with both my hands and all of my fingers. When I hurt, I hurt in every colour, from every angle, in any lighting. Other feelings are bland, beige, tasteless. Mine grow into a thick, coarse darkness I have to keep kicking until it bleeds daylight all over again.
Fiery, roaring, breath-snatching, red hot soul. Bubbles deep in your stomach and your head spinning and your heart pounding kind of soul. I feel and I feel and I feel, like I am banging at the insides of a cage. There is too much me in me, until a rage spread thin, like apathy, takes over. I lay down by the window, exhausted at best, empty at worst. I still feel myself, but at a lower volume. I find comfort in knowing that the opposite of coherent is interesting – just enough to get back on my feet again. I suppose that’s the best I can be for now.
They tell me to let it all out on paper, as if I should want to conserve it. My only ever salvation has been writing and they know it. My soul stops bleeding into my mind for a few blessed hours. From messy and fragmented, I go back to proudly touching my gentleness, just enough to know it’s still there. My own enthusiasm when it comes to it inspires and humbles me, and the promise of being myself makes me want to go hard again. I fall in love with my aliveness, and how it makes me and breaks me all the same. But how can I write this time, when everything I write is a form of love?
When they take me by the shirt to remind me who I am, I push the words back into their not-now cages. ‘I don’t want to write,’ really means ‘I don’t want to love’. Not now.
I need more distance before I can let myself feel; before I can feel. Then I can decide what to do with us, with what’s left of us. I speak gently to myself now, for I have no energy left to slice myself open. I do in the same voice that would promise staying up another night with you, if you’d ask. Instead, my voice tells me stories. It tells me my stories. I didn’t ask, but I listen. I sound delirious, quick, and disconnected. Anxiety takes away all the commas and full stops I need to make sense of myself, and all I can do is wait it out.
Times like these I wish I could tie a knot at the end of my rope and swing from it already. I wish I could make myself feel safe and seen when my mind starts devouring itself. I wish I could run my own fingers through the knots of my soul. I wish that, when I spread my heart like butter on toast, I didn’t hope for someone else to come along and snatch it off my plate. I wish I could learn to love the skies I’m under. I wish I were the thunderstorms I hide from. I wish I could feel and write and live without fear.
It’s easy to believe in yourself when you’re lying, because you’re talking about someone else. But no matter what you see, I still go to sleep with my truths on my mind. I still won’t write them down. I don’t know if I will, even when it all passes. I am always told I am too much, and I don’t want to add any more to that just yet. ‘I’m sorry for the burden,’ I tell the girl who doesn’t always know how to be kind to herself while blooming. I am the only who knows that her silence isn’t detachment. I wish I could forgive her, and hold it.
“Wild one with your screaming soul, I can feel you loving from here.”