Enjoy The View
I have always felt just on the verge of understanding, hands outstetched to the stars above, fingertips a breath away from brushing the constellations, yet so far away.
Everything spins past at a dizzying pace, people and places, all voices lost to the wind. I can remember hot summer nights and cigarette smoke, but never faces. I remember high heels clicking against the gymnasium floor in time with the music, but never the song.
I often feel that I exist entirely in memory, drifting back and forth within the unconcious mind like a dreamer, like a parasite. My body goes through the motions. When I hover before the bathroom sink brushing my teeth, blank stare fixated on the smeared surface of the mirror, images of the past superimpose themselves over reality. She stands at my side again. Swearing she loves me, spewing hot breath and empty promises like smoke.
I stand long enough to miss the bus before I realize I'm still dreaming and spit out the toothpaste. The icy water bites in the aftermath of mint, and now I see myself trying adult toothpaste for the first time, sputtering and scrunching up my nose against the burn as my father smiles. Stepping outside, I push the memory away.
The drive is drowned out in music and daydream, and much of the day follows suit. I spend hours wading through hypothetical situations and fictional worlds, pushing reality aside until I choke on it. Nothing is interesting enough to hold my attention for long.
When will I feel something real again? Will I ever?
Bad days are spent sprawled across the cold tile of my bedroom floor, unseeing eyes trained on the popcorn ceiling. I puzzle through years worth of mistakes, failed relationships, details missed in the moment. Maybe if I would have tried harder. Maybe if I could have been a better daughter, a better person, a better friend.
I smile through the burn of unshed tears, because at least that feels like something real. When they fall, searing hot against my cheeks, I think back to all those nights curled up in the dark, terror coursing through every inch of me like a virus, like something infectious and foreign. It trembles through my tiny fingers like an earthquake.
Sometimes, a flicker of light will catch my eye. I'll find a bird perched on the windowsill, or familliar faces caught in the golden light, or warm hands wrapped around my own. Becoming lost in the tumble of regret and the need to understand is easy, but I find myself eager to push through and smile at the little things, to draw myself back.
Maybe I will never reach the constellations, but I can always choose to enjoy the view.