For Those Who Want to be Inspirational

The year I realized people could leave while you were sleeping was the year I started collecting things I was afraid of losing. I remember spending hours after school hiding away rocks from my backyard I deemed too fragile for violent hands in cracks of Earth no one dared explore.

Half burnt candles,

Unraveling shoe laces,

Old prescription glasses that hardly even fit at the time of being prescribed; soda stained movie stubs, nights my mom took her time raking out yesterdays and weaving tomorrows into my hair-

my God, I wish I remembered to collect those too. I’d have entire dresser fulls if I could.

They say after heartbreak, a haircut is like a clean slate for every mistake one’s ever made but I remember in the fifth grade caulking my trust into the cracks of a criminal who had no intentions of ever being mended and,

my God, I’ve cut my hair four times every year since then.

Thirty six damn times now and some days it seems as if  I have no more hair left for cutting and even less soul to be erased.

I guess I’ve kind of always been afraid; hesitant. Even in photos of me when I was small and unworldly, I could see the resistance; almost like I could call it by my own name.

Almost like I was more of a semicolon and less of an exclamation point.

Sometimes, I am afraid.

Sometimes, I am angry.

Sometimes, I am morning black coffee. A carpenter, a preacher- a halfway house savior; breaker of dollar menu buns and boxed red wine seals.

I am not always stable.

Sometimes I am caught white-knuckled between the hands of my angry god gasping for air.

I am red-light running meter, pawn shops and barred windows; second-rate security system and neon district lights. I am fleeing.

Fleeting.

Freeing.

I am underground.

I will draw you into my nine-to-five traffic; oncoming, you jump in front of slow-moving cars. You are convinced you can paint streets, burst veins. Bumpers paint you purple, paint you blue,

Paint you black.

I will knock you down like recession.

I am plywood anchored windows; two-tap needle sans dope.

Some mornings, I feel like a menagerie of outcries. The acts of defiance published on my flesh will outnumber the words in every failed actor’s this-will-be-my-big-break manuscript.

Take time to read me.

Decode me.

Run hands across the braille that brands the back of my palms.

I am fragile.

Sometimes I find myself trembling for no real reason.

This does not make me less than.

With all that I am, I want to be a hurricane of unmatched force. I want to be a tidal wave hammering at the very epicenter of the earth. I’ve never been okay with being mediocre; with being a small breeze that pulls at hats and scarves and is more of an annoyance than anything else. I want to be a tornado.

A typhoon.

An earthquake.

I am made of blood and ashes and passion and I am not a force to be reckoned with.

However, some days, I am hide and seek.

I want to be kind and gentle even when I lose things I wish would stay. I want to be strong and the right kind of violent even when I need help rebuilding. I want to be innocent and pure no matter whose dirty hands I’ve held.

However, some days, I am bulletins with tear-away numbers.

Dialed payphones and spare change.

Warped paper and hot glue.

Sometimes, I am afraid.

Sometimes, I am angry.

But I suppose that’s okay. Because we don’t make impacts based on how triumphant our lives are but,

rather,

how triumphant our journeys were.

The year I realized people could leave while you were sleeping was the year I started collecting things I was afraid of losing.

 

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