An Analysis on a Historical Epic Poem.
I grew up in a community library. Book drives and donations, or the lost and found or someone waiting to forget brought in books during Late December and Early Summer, but mostly, it was just us; worn covers and hand-me-downs. Little spinal fractures and spirals twisting on the front covers.
From time to time, a book would watch daylight from the wooden oak. Some left and returned. Some disappeared without a trace. I sat somewhere in between the history sections and the poetry, such things we had signs for; romance, fantasy, biographies and recipes, big dictionaries that couldn't walk as well as the others and sat down with a heavier sigh each time they were used, older versions gradually disappearing into dust.
I listened to music from a small radio. Scanned newspapers from this angle. Watched boxes come in and out and in again. Watched piles of coffee cups take over the table.
I liked this. I didn't mind the sages to my left; stroking their beards and smoking pipes, or wearing rhinestone glasses, or wearing old army uniforms and kohl around their eyes. I didn't mind the worn, dusty blazers to my right, scarves drawn tight around the neck, black spectacles and ink stains on their calluses. I liked the consistent scent of coffee, the music from the radio, the rain beating through the windowpane, this big brown shelf with big brown and black and white books.
So, being shelved with the classics was an anomaly. There were less scarves, more necklaces, and elaborate dresses with skirts that could span the size of a walking path. Skirts that covered your legs or that ended at your knees, painted with watercolour, the vagueness of a grey-ish tone between the primary colours and rainy days. I looked at my own turquoise rhinestone glasses and patchy muslin scarf and my skirt, that ended at my knees, painted something like the sunlight before dawn. I made some friends.
It was as if a hummingbird knocked at my window. I clicked my ruby shoes thrice and ended up in two different places; I watched the coffee drain out of the pot from two angles and heard the rain hit atop my head instead of right beside me. I watched the librarian shelve and reshelve books, watched borrowers and books through a full century around the library and ended up home each time. I watched fiction books look at romance and chat over tea, and history books visit the philosophy section and stay for a few weeks. I heard the small click of heels on the wooden floor and sat on the table and grew up that way.
This is a short piece based on Pride Month: I won't get into anything heavy or serious or political, but on an emotional level, Pride Month is about acceptance and identity, personally. I use the labels aromantic and asexual, and I grew up in a family that didn't really acknowledge either; a brilliant family, but that expected me to find love and get married one day. Not really a possibility for me. Whoops. So, outside my family, I had friends and a community that could support me where they couldn't; I started believing I was less defective, like I could belong somewhere and be myself at the same time.
I fit in with the community I grew up in, more or less, but my own personal experience has seen me try on different labels, fitting my own needs to encompass myself - to be a person without having to compromise positive parts of me. It's not the best metaphor, but it's kind of how I think of it.
Not everyone's had this experience. Some people were shelved wrong entirely. Some were made with the wrong cover. It's complicated, but who we are, who we love, parts of ourself that we want to talk about: this community, especially as this level, shows that we are not alone. Who we are, how far we want to look and label ourselves; it us up to us. And there is support.
And I find that kind of beautiful.
I won't be offended if you don't agree with it. I know; it's different for everyone and sometimes difficult to understand. And, personally, I just don't really care if anyone's offended by the Pride community, as long as we treat each other with respect, right? If you are and you still read this, thank you.
Thanks for reading. Happy Pride, loves <3