your eyes are the size of the moon
In this world full of people, there’s one killing me
I like to think that every night, as soon as I close my eyes and drift off to sleep, the flowers on my bedsheets bloom until I am sleeping upon a field of daisies. The pieces of furniture shrink and slip into my closet, as the posters grow feathered wings and fly off the walls. These newborn doves coo softly until the window flies open and all the stars come trickling in. They surround me and tug at my thoughts, urging them to come out and dance. And so they dance—to waltzes and symphonies and jazzy tunes all through the night. A gala of music heard by no one in particular, to disappear when morning comes and return when night reappears.
Why? Why do you do this to me? I’m not a punching bag. I have emotions too, you know. I can’t deal with people letting their anger out on me all the time. I did nothing wrong. And yet I can’t help but feel so degraded. You’re not seeing me as a person. You’re looking at me and seeing me as an object that you can easily release your frustrations upon. I don’t appreciate being spoken to as if I were an idiot. I know I’m not stupid. But you sure do make me feel like a fucking dumbass.
If you’re going to love her, love her fully. Be there when she’s lonely. Hold her when she cries. Give her your full attention. Take notice when she dresses up for you—compliment her. Spend lazy afternoons with her not doing anything. Take her out for cheap lunch dates and fancy dinners. Have patience when she shuts you out for a couple seconds—sometimes she does that; it’s just how she is. Support her decisions and actions. Don’t ever make her feel stupid. Take her to the beach when she misses the ocean. Set her free when she’s tired of her bird cage.
She was always different from the rest of us. We followed each other down the paved road while she dug out her own trail and took the more scenic route. But you—you crash landed like a meteorite right in the middle of her path. You stood up, brushed the dirt off your pants, and held your hand out to her. She took it and allowed you to lead her wherever you pleased.
So if you’re going to love her, love her fully. Don’t argue against her nature. Don’t try to change her. Listen to her. Compromise.
And if, one day, you decide to leave, be sure to take all your things. She’ll always hold a piece of you in a small corner of her heart, but be sure to take everything else. Pack it all up—in trunks, in suitcases, in backpacks and duffel bags. She might even help you load it all into the car. When you’re done, hold her for the last time, give her a kiss goodbye, then go. Don’t look back. She’ll be okay.
This is how to run a stick of Chapstick
down the black boxes on your scantron
so the grading machine skips the wrong
answers. This is how to honor roll. Hell,
this is how to National Honor Society.
This is being voted “Most Likely to Marry
for Money” or “Talks the Most, Says the
Least” for senior superlatives. This is
stepping around the kids having panic
attacks in the hallway. This is being the
kid having a panic attack in the hallway.
This is making the A with purple moons
stamped under both eyes. We had to try.
This is telling the ACT supervisor you have
ADHD to get extra time. Today, the average
high school student has the same anxiety
levels as the average 1950’s psychiatric
patient. We know the Pythagorean theorem
by heart, but short-circuit when asked
“How are you?” We don’t know. We don’t
know. That wasn’t on the study guide.
We usually know the answer, but rarely
I’m never treated with any fucking respect in this house.
I miss the fresh air. The breezes. The rustling of the trees. The humming of the insects. The mountains. The grass. But most of all, I miss being able to look up to see a million stars every night.
Sorry I’m difficult.