challenging myself

Gimme A Sign

The question I think I hate the most is:

Can I see your glasses?

Yes, just look at my face.
Oh! You meant, can I remove my security blanket, the small piece of equipment worn over my eyes that help me see five inches in front of my face, so you can put your fingerprints and facial grease all over it, blink sporadically through the lenses, and make any one of these ignorant comments:

Wow! Your eyes really are bad!

Do these make me look smarter?

Can you see now?

Yes, dipshit, my eyes really are that bad. I tried to explain that to you during the fifteen minutes you asked to see my glasses. I’ve needed a progressively stronger prescription every year since I was nine years old.
No, you don’t look smarter, you bimbo. You look ridiculous, squinting through my grandma glasses.
Go ahead, ask me one more time if I can see without my prescription glasses. And then I’ll ask you the same question after I’ve smacked that shit eating grin off your face.

So, as you’ve probably deduced, my glasses are beyond important to me. You can see how I react when I’m pressed and pressured into handing them over to a friend for five minutes.
Now imagine me losing them…

I’m usually pretty good at remembering where I’ve put them down before bed, a shower, makeup application…sex.
But, let’s go back, before face paint and intercourse, to junior high. The pressure to fit in is already on full blast from every direction. La-dee-da me takes my glasses off for a shower and sets them down in a spot I don’t normally leave them in. And when I walk back into my room, I can’t see a damn thing, and I’ve completely forgotten where I’ve set my vision enhancers.
First, there’s panic. The kind you get in that split second before the big drop on a roller coaster, where you feel like someone has reached their arm down your throat and taken a hold of your stomach. I’m zooming around my room looking in every place I’ve left them before. A good minute or two passes and I’ve moved beyond panic.
Cue sheer terror. The kind that makes your life flash before your eyes.

I WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO SEE AGAIN!!!

Or at least for twenty minutes while my family helps me look for my better set of eyeballs. I won’t be able to see anything. People will laugh at me. I will be embarrassed.
And then come the tears. At least the beginnings of it. Now I’m just incredibly sad.
I’m begging God, Please help me…please I need my glasses! I need my…

Oh, there they are.

Somehow, Someday

DAUGHTER. YOUTH.

I think I have a hard time letting go of the past. It’s sort of this Radio Flyer I’ve got tied around my waist. No matter where I go or who I’m with, it’s always trailing right behind me. And every memory, experience, every person from my past is crammed into this little red wagon.
I think I’ve let it become a crutch, as well as a burden. Something I can look back on whenever things aren’t going particularly well. I can sift through the piles of garbage and pick out something to feed the beast that helps me feel sorry for myself. I’m finally at the point where I realize it’s time to retire this tired, rusted cart. I need to find a secluded, empty field. Dig a gaping hole in the ground. Pull the pieces out, one by one. Give each one its time, then toss it in the hole. Bury it out where no one will find it. Forget where I buried it. And walk away. Never return. Because what I do today, that is what makes me. Not the Radio Flyer. Not this person or that. Not this choice or that. Because that is all behind me now. Where it belongs. The burn marks left from where you hurt me have healed. I will not let you, a stranger to me now, rule my life, my head, or my heart.

Oh My Sweet Carolina

I’m lying beside you, on this tiny bed meant only for one. But we’ve managed to squeeze ourselves onto it. I can feel you twitching against me as you fall asleep. But I just lie with eyes open, because I can’t fall asleep here. I focus as hard as I can on the soft light coming in through the window.
You shift next to me and I realize I had closed my eyes for what might have been a second, or a minute. I can’t tell. I’m just a little shocked at being awoken, because I can’t fall asleep here.
You look at me as you turn and ask, What are you thinking about?
I say, Nothing.
But of course, that isn’t true. I can’t tell you what happened though. I can’t tell you that in that second that my eyes were closed, I went somewhere else.
At first, I couldn’t see where I was. There was a light, one far brighter than the one coming in through your window. And a warmth, beyond what your mink blanket was giving me. I could feel…sunlight. The light of the sun in my eyes, and it’s tingling heat on my cheeks, the tip of my nose, the tops of my shoulders, my legs. Once I adjusted to the light, there you were. Standing beside me. Looking off into the distance. What were you looking at? I wondered for a brief moment, and then the wonder disappeared. Because you turned to look at me. You looked right at me and smiled. That smile, it was more than just a friendly gesture. It was telling me something. It was telling me,
We’re here.
We made it.
Isn’t this amazing and beautiful?
And I realized where we were. Atop a mountain ledge. We had just hiked all day to this spot, and now we’re here. I may have complained about a thing or two along the way, but we made it. All I could see was land, unadulterated and untouched earth. For as far as the eye could see. It stretched out beyond the horizon in any direction you looked. A small creek here, and a tired but stubborn tree there. The entrance to a cave, and the path we and so many others have traveled to find this place. This amazing and beautiful place.
I look back at you and smile. You haven’t taken your eyes off me. And I realize where I am.
We’re here.
We made it.
Isn’t this amazing and beautiful?
And I realize when we are. We stayed together for years, and now we’re here. We had a fight or two along the way, but we made it. All I can see is you. And you see me. And we are amazing and our life is beautiful.
You shift next to me and I open my eyes.

Why Do They Leave?

The crossroads. I needed a big break. This was supposed to be it. And now I’m standing in the middle of a field looking around, trying to find a way out. Stuck in this giant maze of twists and turns. I feel so tired. I just want something to go right, right now. Am I really tired though? I start to get settled and then I end up jumping off the path that is so clearly the right way to go. And I have to cause some drama or cause some excitement. Something to stir things up. That is the vicious cycle. I think, it’s time to slow down and settle down. I find contentment in my relationship and in my life. And then I get bored. And I have to run away. Is that bad? I think the biggest problem with that is all the people I hurt along the way. My family, my friends, my lovers.
Here you are. I can’t tell you if this is real or if this will be like every other time. But right now, I know this feeling, this desire. This is the kind that doesn’t go away. I will not let you screw this up. It’s time to face the music. You will not get rid of me that easily.
I want to whisper in your ear, ever so quietly, and tell you all the screaming thoughts in my mind. The thoughts that boom in my head and keep me up at night. The words that are sitting in the back of my throat and threaten to escape whenever I look at you.
I know what I’m good at. It isn’t math or science or music, or even writing. It’s support. I can be the best girlfriend, the best wife, the best lover, the best companion. I will push you towards your goals, even though I have no motivation for myself. I can give advice for days, but I am terrible at taking it. I can give you space when you need it, because I need it too. But I am not built for being alone.
You noticed something. Maybe other people see it too, but they never say anything. You looked me straight in the eye and talked about loneliness. You were right. But I think the solution is a different one than the obvious. I need to jump, right off that cliff crowded with people who I wish could quench that need. I need to fall right into that deep sea of me. Just me, day and night. I need to get my life straight. Because I want you to see me. I want you to look straight into my heart and love what you see.
And I don’t want to lose you. Will I ever be able to say that to you? I want to. I want to tell you that I will be there, tomorrow, next week, in six months, for as long as you want me there. Tell me before it’s too late. Before we lose each other forever.