Day 11: Something you always think “what if…” about.
what if I had swallowed
my nerves like cheap vodka
and answered the phone
for a job I didn’t really want, but really needed?
(I let glassdoor convince me
it wasn’t the right move for me.)
logic and cowardice wage a war in my brain,
and sometimes, many times, cowardice wins.
(what if I didn’t let it win?)
what if I had kissed you?
you stood to leave. just stood there
(like you were waiting for something
and I pretended not to know what you were waiting for
because I’m timid with the lights on.)
but I still think you would have texted her
when you got home.
what if I had screamed
before you had time to push me down
into the closet, the sticks, the water, the pillow?
(but girls scream and kids fight
and screaming had never helped me
what if I had walked away
the first time?
what if I hadn’t let you
(or anyone else, not my
mother, father, grandmother, friends,
teachers, coworkers, strangers
who look at me when I take too long
to find a seat on the bus)
convince me that I was too difficult
and that better
couldn’t exist for me?
Day 10: Write about something for which you feel strongly.
There are people who claim that animals are mindless creatures with no means of communicating or understanding. They believe animals have no personalities or preferences. (And yet, somehow, believe they are still capable of understanding spite and expressing it by vomiting in your shoes.)
These are the same sort of individual which believes people who do not speak their native language are dumb, lazy, and incompetent. They’re the individuals with every crazy ex girlfriend, ex roommate, bitch sister.
Some might say that’s quite a leap from A to Z, but I don’t think the gap is so wide. After all, they are insisting that anything that doesn’t communicate in their default preference can’t communicate at all. Meanwhile, they make no effort to learn how to communicate via someone else’s preferences. They don’t try to learn a couple key words to make their interaction with a person easier. Much like they attribute the vomit to spite, they attribute any criticism as lashing out.
Girls cry because they’re on their periods. Men snap off because they’re hungry. Children cry to annoy them. Girlfriends walk away for no reason.
It must be something wrong with them, they’ll say. I didn’t do anything!
Except buy a different food every week, upsetting the cat’s stomach. Come home at a different hour every night, confusing the dog. Refuse to play because they’re not in the mood and wonder why the dog chewed through their bed cushion. Forget to change the litter box and find piss and shit on the floor. Get scratched or bitten and dismiss the cat as crazy, the dog as aggressive, when a tail had been angrily thwapping on the floor for several minutes while the ears had been flat back on the head.
The animals are trying to communicate with you. Close your mouth, open your eyes, and pay attention.
Day 9: Post some words of wisdom that speak to you.
“Let people be wrong about you.”
“Have fun, even if it’s not the same kind of fun everyone else is having.” -C.S. Lewis
“Just remember that sometimes, the way you think about a person isn’t the way they actually are.” -John Green
“Stay close to anything that makes you glad that you’re alive.” -Hafiz
Day 8: Share something you struggle with.
My father used to tell me
not to waste time on anything
I wasn’t good at.
No one touched the first meal I cooked,
but devoured my brownies.
After two days of scraped ankles and banged up knees,
I retired my bike with one training wheel still attached.
My brother was better at drawing,
but I was better with words
so I was allowed to keep them.
I scribbled them on scraps of paper,
stashed them in drawers and under the mattress
in case someone tried to take them away.
“Choice” is a strong word.
My hobbies were decided based on trial-period results.
I learned to love my hobbies,
because productivity is our love currency.
(The more useful you are,
the more beloved.
I have never felt beloved.)
I never learned how to enjoy,
how to be bad at something,
how to be okay with being bad at something,
how to be okay with the possibility
that I might never be good at it,
how to forgive myself
how to do it anyway.
Day 7: List 10 songs that you’re in love with right now.
Edit: This apparently saved as a draft yesterday instead of publishing.
(In no particular order)
- Can I Be Him – James Arthur
- Congratulations – Dessa
- Keep You Warm – Kina Grannis, Sam Tsui
- The End – Silverstein
- 11 Blocks – Wrabel
- Worlds Away – Tonight Alive
- This is War – Marianas Trench
- Don’t Threaten Me With A Good Time – Panic! at the Disco
- Savior – Rise Against
- Young Volcano – Fallout Boy
Day 6: Five ways to win your heart
For my birthday,
give me a copy of your favorite book
and tell me to guess your favorite characters.
Highlight your favorite passages
and at the very end of the book,
include a letter about why it’s your favorite,
who recommended it to you,
why you still remember it,
why you’ll never let it go.
When a toddler hands you a toy,
get on your knees and play with him.
When a baby holds up their hands to you,
lift them up like an airplane.
Trust your ability to be gentle.
Invite me over to marathon your favorite show.
Pile the couch with pillows and blankets,
and crowd the coffee table with snacks and drinks
so we only have to get up for bathroom breaks.
I’m sorry that I’ll fall asleep,
but please don’t be mad at me.
In the morning, greet me with coffee mugs in hand:
one for you, and one for me.
We can pick up where we left off the night before.
Text me at one in the morning.
We’ll go to the diner and share stories
that always sound too silly, too personal
while the sun is still shining
and eat food that never tastes as good
in the morning.
When we’re in a crowd,
find my eyes when I’m not the one talking.
look for my reaction
(because I’ll be looking for yours).
When I move next to you,
put your arm around me
like reaching out for me is as natural as breathing.
Day 5: List five places you want to visit.
- United Kingdom (is this cheating?)