i am displaced. my skin stretches over hollow bones; birdlike, impossibly heavy. the world is a foreign place, full of blackened eyes and tender possibilities. even my words do not come so easily anymore.
this is the stretch between incomparable pain and emotional numbness, a dichotomy of twisted proportions. i wonder if I was really truly healed, or if it was a veneer, something to gloss over the impossible sadness. but no, this cannot be not grief. sadness is a result of tragedy and my life is not tragic—unless if you count all of the times I tried and could not do it. I just simply could not do it.
I see reflections in people. nostalgia is the shadow of happiness. there are so many things that I remember but there are so many things I try not to forget. they slip from me, through translucent fingers. I have always wrapped myself in my aloneness. I bore it beautifully, slept with it at night while it soothed my heart. it curled within me. it protected me. but it no longer alleviates this alien familiarity. I am like no one. I am like everyone. happiness is not something you feel but something that you remember, and I can recall it, but the pleasure is gone. how can happiness be strung with so much pain?
drift through the days. we are all so miserable and we hide it desperately, positive that we are singular, that we are the only ones. this is not stupidity, it is not selfishness. it is our inability to connect, it is our inspiring capacity to smile while everywhere around us hearts break sweetly, quietly. isolation cannot absolve our sins and I know this now.
I am not an old soul. i am floundering and afraid and I cannot breathe. the weight is heavy on my back and I am too small to bear it. when I want to cry I think about alaska and ireland and an apartment in shanghai. escape is an illusion but that doesn’t stop me. some people drink and some people dream.
self pity is unattractive, I know. no wonder we swallow it down. no wonder we fling ourselves into temporary distraction. no wonder we can’t fathom anything different. I draw my hands across my eyes. the sun looks the same. existence is not grey. it is me, not them, and I am afraid, having lived 21 years of my life in stories and books and not in the world. who can blame me? but you can’t eat stories. stories cannot protect you and poetry cannot love you. and when you look out the world seems so beautiful, at first. but then you see all the people. there are bad ones and there are good ones and I am neither.
i am all in pieces. when I think of this, I think of you. it is like holding something warm to my stomach. my breathing slows. my eyes blink. yours are winter dark and mine are light. you are the best thing I have ever known. and I’m sorry.
maybe I can bear it. maybe I can’t. above is the slow burn of stars and beneath us there is nothing.