In total, we spend a year of our entire lives looking for lost things. Lost keys, the other sock, that five dollars you swore you slipped into your pocket. But I don’t know how many times I’ve gone searching for love between the cushions of the sofa, the dusty dark beneath my bed. Don’t know how many times my fingers reach and stretch around air and the occasional iodized penny. More often than not I am consistently coming up with empty palms and an annoyance that has nothing and everything to do with the fact that I was just on all fours searching in vain for what is both rare and abundant in this life. “Retrace your steps. Where were you last?” This is my mantra for all of two minutes and then I’m off again, tearing apart my closet. But then. But then. Love isn’t what’s lost. It’s me. It’s us, all of us. Those who are lucky, those who know, take love and wrap it around their finger like a reminder to take that outfit to the dry cleaner’s on Tuesday. There are no missing objects. Just unsystematic searchers. I know we’re all eager. We’re starving. And yet. We’re probably looking right at it. Now see.
I told the girl that I like that I liked her, and she told me that she has fallen for and has kissed another boy. She told me that if she were sensible, she would fall for and date me. I don't know what to do. I'm lost, really. What should I do now? My heart is not broken, but slightly torn.
My advice? Run. Now. As fast as you can. If anyone EVER tells you anything along the lines of “if I were ____ then I would do this, this, and/or this with you. I would feel this way, do anything for you, be with you, blah blah blah.” It’s complete bullshit. Whenever anyone says that I just have to roll my eyes and shake my head because we’re fickle little things, humans, we really are. She wants to have her cake and eat it too. Lock her out. In my experience people only say that because they themselves are greedy and selfish. She acknowledges, at least, that you deserve to be liked and to be loved and to really be with someone but her words basically meant that she’s not the one who’s going to be doing the loving. While it does sound like she was trying to let you down easily that still seems like a rejection to me. Notice she said “if.” Clearly she’s not sensible. This does not sound eloquent at all, I know, but I don’t have time for true prose when a girl is trying to pull the sheet over your eyes. No.
Kristina, I have to see the girl whom broke my heart in six days, and I have not spoken to her in five months, and I have no idea how to go about it, or what to say, or to how to not cry when I see her. If you have any advice, that would be greatly appreciated. (I love you for all of your kind words and your advice. Thank you.)
Oh. Ah. The girl. There’s no recipe for this, you know. No mathematical equation for pretending like you’re okay when facing the person who figuratively reached her hand inside your chest and pulled your heart out by its roots. I’m not very good with this because I do tend to run in the opposite direction when the few old flames that I’ve had cross my path. And I find that it’s so much easier to look yourself in the eye in front of your mirror and repeat to yourself over and over again that “I am okay” than to actually stand in front of the person who did all the gardening in your chest and tell them that they left their tools behind and they’re beginning to rust. I know it won’t feel okay at all when you see her and your breath will get caught in your lungs and for a split second you’ll remember everything, like why you fell in love with her in the first place and maybe even why you think it could happen again. Pray for rain, Annie. If you feel tears, excuse yourself and let them come. But honestly, honestly, I think you should try to make peace with this ghost. Go up to her, talk with her, be cordial and polite and smile. Touch her arm if it’s not too painful, if you feel that it won’t set you back five steps. You are okay. You’re strong enough to do this. If you can survive alien fingers rummaging around in your chest cavity, then you can handle seeing her. The beautiful thing is that people don’t know what they’re really capable of until faced with a situation like that. But don’t put too much pressure on yourself. If you feel that you can’t talk to her, don’t. Write her a letter instead, when her perfume isn’t there to mess with your head. You don’t even have to mail it. Stick it in your sock drawer and forget about it until you’re thirty and wiser and madly in love with someone who fully deserves it. Just remember you have people who love you. It may not seem like anything sometimes, but it’s everything always. Love you, sweet pea. You can do this.
Fresh from the dryer,
I’ll fold up your pains
and tuck them into the laundry basket
between your lungs.
You don’t have to hang anything up,
not if you don’t want to.
Their words, your hurt.
Frayed shoelaces, the shirt you outgrew
that you keep anyway because
you can’t bear anyone else having it,
wearing it, stretching it.
You’ll want to tidy things up eventually—
pick through old clothing, hold the fabric
of your hurt up to your cheek, smell its
lavender perfume; feel how it’s still warm
from the dryer, even after all this time.
You’ll want to try things on.
But just as you get ready to slip
out of your best dress in favor of an old
shirt with a hole near the collar,
you’ll catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror.
You are not this frayed person anymore.
Your shoelaces are new— aglets shiny and intact
and you can’t find that old shirt anymore.
It’s back into the closet,
back into that cushy space,
back back back, all the way back
against the wall.
You fix your dress,
check your shoes for tied laces,
shake yourself loose from old skin,
Spring clean yourself out.
Every one should read Winterson. When you become a famous poet and are asked to speech at universities, tell them this. As a queer, I feel like most literature directed towards my demographic is cliche, and not full of flavour and breath and weight. But she makes my heart heavy, and it is delicious. Basically, thank you for recommending her to me. Thank you.
I’m going to post this because I love you and this made me smile like a fool okay.
Darling, how are you? I love you, I love you, I love you.
Posting because keeping because I love you. I am fine. Weird. I’m weird. Craving things like red velvet cake and there’s only pizza and strawberry jam and damn it all because I’ll probably have bites of both. Typical Friday night, you know. I want to put on a dress and sit around my house reading Anne Sexton and smoke a cigarette. How are you?