Sometime I like to just think of myself as a skeleton. Just some bones putting my blinker on to make this left turn. Some bones shifting in my chair at work because I ache. Some bones leaning my skull onto the skull of my cat as I have no lips to kiss. Just some bones.
I feel somewhat paranoid over facebook profile pictures. Another picture obviously taken of myself in the poorly lit house belonging to my parents. I am sure these photos are being evaluated next to the photos of friends together. Waist length shots with no arms stretching out to document themselves. It feels like everyone knows.
When I was younger I stayed away from flowers. I didn’t like that they were expected of me because I was a girl. I didn’t want to be a girl. Girl things were not things that I had any talent for. I was not pretty or small or motherly. And I hated women for being so limited. But now I crave flowers. I want to kiss their petals. I am sorry that I have averted my eyes for so long.
I do not let Whitman outside. Because I live in a bad neighborhood and people are cruel and there are more roads than grass and I am afraid he will get hurt. When I mow the lawn he sniffs the grass on my legs, he sticks his nose in the corner of the door to smell the air and he watches outside the window like he’s in a cage. I feel awful.
I have been trying to go out more. I have planned a concert and little outings with people. But it’s not working. I feel so aggravated all the time. I don’t even like these people. I just want to feel less alone. I am beginning to really be afraid that I am the problem all the time.
I’ve been painting for people again. It feels desperate. Little requests not to be forgotten. Little offerings to relationships I don’t know how to keep. It feels like goodbyes.
There is this weight in my chest. This unshakable feeling that I have something worthwhile. That I am not a waste. That I still have stories in me and paintings and words. That someone might really love me someday. I do not speak it often because it seems foolish and fragile and maybe like I have tricked myself into believing I am more than I am. I feel like I am stumbling over this poorly kept secret of the human condition. That we survive on the hope that we are valuable. I am afraid of looking to closely at this. I so rarely feel like I am doing anything of value.