Anybody but yourself
Does a day come when I awaken undefeated
Rested, eager, prepared
To push on
How can I be sure it will get better
Not now, but maybe
Does a day come when I look in the mirror
Unabashed by my own image
Why does it feel like
No one can hear me
Am I not vocal
Or does no one listen
It's only me
To counter myself
Who else could know
How much hate I have
And whose fault is that?
How do you heal a wound you can't see
And no one knows exists
Because only you can feel the pain everyday when you wake up
And everytime you look at yourself
And every evening you spend alone
Wondering what you should be
Or could be
If you were anybody but yourself
The hardest part about crying yourself to sleep sometimes is to just let go of the tears and give in to the sleep.
It means, for a moment, you can forget whatever belabors your mind and just exist
Don’t look at me
There's a period of waiting before our shift begins. We, the catering team, all sit together, a row of black uniforms.
I'm looking down at my phone because no one is talking to me. Instagram. Facebook. NYTimes. But my neck is stiff, so I decide to look up.
Everyone else is talking, engrossed with each other. Smiling. Gesturing. Nodding.
I watch for a few moments, then I look down again. No one spoke to me, but that's ok. I don't want them to.
If you ever want to see your kids again
You're speeding home.
You plead with God, listening to the dial tone again. Pick-up, dammit!
You reach voicemail a third time.
You have three minutes until you can skid into your driveway - three minutes of terrifying possibilities cycling through your mind.
You swerve down your neighborhood street. Convulsing, you leap from the car, blood pulsating, prepared to commit voluntary manslaughter. No one is downstairs.
You bound upstairs in two strides, screaming his name. You throw his door open-
My back is facing the door. I turn; he's drooling on my left sleeve. I whisper, "Look! He's finally asleep."
It’s 2017 and I Still Smoke Cigarettes
When I walk into Wawa already holding my ID and I head straight to the cashier, I don't make eye-contact with the freckled worker as I ask her for the Marlboro box with the "gold label."
Please, like pretending you don't know they're called Marlboro Lights makes you look less pathetic. You can't fool them, acting like you're buying them for someone else.
I already have my ID out on the table - she scans it without looking at me. I'm 22, but I always feel like I'm 17 when I-
Always? Are you a chain-smoker? Do you purchase a pack once a week? Are you one step away from getting a tube in your neck to breathe? You're a pretentious hypochondriac.
I use my credit card because it's faster than fumbling for the correct cash. This is my hometown; the last thing I need is for the wrong person to see me buying or doing the wrong thing. Especially since I have a monopoly on this town's babysitting revenue - and what parent would hire a smoker these days?
Why are you acting like a shady criminal? Amoral and illegal are not synonymous. Did you even attend college? You rube.
I get outside without looking at anyone else, but I know that nobody recognized me in there or I would have been approached. That's the kind of person I am; approachable, sweet, charismatic, good-natured.
Fat, unattractive, stupid, undesirable, miserable, intolerable, annoying-
I can't get the package open fast enough. My heart is racing; out of excitement? Out of fear? Out of knowing that every elementary school teacher I ever had would roll in their grave if they could see me now? If they could see how their cute, intelligent, promising student could embrace such an ugly habit?
Promising? That light died not long after those elementary school days. What have you even been doing since then, just surviving? Just pretending you want to do the whole happy life routine? You've basically tripped over every life milestone you've reached; your life is fucking pathetic and you're 22.
I struggle to get the cigarette to light, chipping the polish on my thumb.
You are one obese fucking struggle. Everyone around you is thriving while you wilt; you couldn't land a job right out of college and it's been three months since graduation, but all of your friends are employed; you can't find a boyfriend or any companionship because, despite being young, you are not remotely attractive and it will only get worse with age, so your chances at love rapidly deteriorate each day; you despise being with the friends who care about you and you despise being left out of events and plans that you don't actually care about; you have only ever disappointed the people who have raised you, and now you mooch off of them even though they are drowning in debt and you can't do anything to help them, much less yourself. And if you think it will get better just because you continue living, you are a bigger fucking idiot than everyone thinks you are. You are incapable of change, of growth or happiness, and you are better off-
I hold it in. I hold the first inhale of smoke in as long as I can. I let the smoke sit inside my mouth.
And I sigh.
I Broke My Femur Falling for You
A rigidly formulaic romcom featuring a man and woman who want to be together but - due to constant poor timing and deep-rooted self-doubt planted by a handful of supporting characters - take a solid 2 hours to finally get their shit together and conclusively get married.
Featuring a kooky-family, a secondary and less significant plot issue to eventually be resolved (usually having to do with someone's career), and some kind of last-ditch effort to get to the airport and magically sprint through TSA before the love interest's flight departs in exactly one hour.
Don’t date the monster under your bed
Dating a roommate never goes well. So why did I think this was a good idea?
Michael's been my roommate since his girlfriend kicked him out and I heard him sulking beneath my bed. At first I assumed he was one of those murdering rapists your mother warns you about, so I greeted him with a can of mace and various empty threats of my large husband coming home any minute. In return he cowered, covering his single eye and begging for mercy. After an astute observation, I realized he was just a heartbroken fool, and reluctantly agreed when he asked to stay for the time being.
Things took a turn from there. My first clue should have been that he insisted on sleeping on the floor of my room instead of on the couch that I'd prepared for him. I ignored his promises that he'd be respectful and began to sleep with brass knuckles just in case.
The next clue came from watching a romantic comedy with him one night - one which I can't sit through without laughing so hard that I cry. I noticed him staring at me, and my jaw hit the floor - he was fucking master-bating to my laughter! The movie abruptly ended, as did his nefarious activities after I beat the shit out of him.
Later, once I'd calmed, he asked if I'd consider a date. Before I could disagree, he shoved me in my closet. In the middle of a fucking blizzard.