I don’t want my life to be a novel anymore. A show. It’s beautiful because it’s sad, but it feels like it’s for other people to look at.

“Look how strong she’s been, look how hard she falls, look how passionate she is.”

They look but don’t touch. They admire but they won’t love.

I don’t want to be a pretty thing, I don’t want to be a jewel you examine to see if perhaps you want it, deliberate, ooh and ahh but ultimately decide to set it back down and leave the shop. I’m not a thing! I’m a soul that has been treated like a commodity. I’ve been used up and bartered, but I have not been loved, not for long, and never well.

And I’m wearing out. Tarnishing. A lovely thing turned black with fingerprints but never truly TOUCHED. Every time it gets a little harder to conceal the cracks, the dents and tears and scrapes others have left. It gets a bit more tiring each time to say, “No, no it’s okay, I understand, it’s my fault for being what I am.”

I believe it less each time. And what then? What when I have run out of meekness? What when I can no longer swallow my pride and hurt? Each time I feel it rising, a tide in me of suffering and outrage, an overwhelming question- WHY would you do this to me? But I know the answer. I swallow the answer like an ember every time it crawls up my throat and screams to be screamed.

This is the price of loving a person. Human beings are not tame. They are wild. They come with fangs and fears and cruelties. They come with ignorance and stubbornness. They come with cowardice and pride. And love is defeated in their eyes, every pair of eyes no matter how lovely or how sweet, over and over. I am made too differently to stand and fight against them, and so I have learned to fall because humans are addictive.

These people, these souls. They draw you in and you need their light, their complexity, suddenly you want to comfort them. They are so fragile and so vicious. So exquisite. And so fascinating- for each and every one, no matter how kind, does the same thing with power. They must test it. Touch it. Use it. Their nature begs them to be predators, and they fight it inside, so gorgeously! And they fail so spectacularly! And I fall, wounded, the sacrifice.

There are fangs in me as well, you know. There is venom. Some part of my soul has talons and demands blood. But it, as all vicious things seem to be, was man-made. I was not born with this in me. It rattles the bars of my ribcage but I rarely let it see the sun because it has grown from these moments. It has nourished itself on every cruelty I have ever endured.

It says, “See? They are evil inside. They are too selfish to love you. Why do you show them kindness? Why don’t you play the game, when you know I hold the power to crush them all? When you know I would win?”

I shush it with fear and with awe. It is not me. It is only what drags me up when I cry on the floor. It is merely what has brutally, violently kept me alive for all these years and I OWE it, I know I do. I owe it my life several times over now, and yet it is so savage. So cruel. It is the monster that has shown me how to be kind. It rages inside of me and I change its hate into tenderness, and it curses me for my weakness, and we move through this world like a burning ship, sinking and throwing off steam. Moments like this it demands its freedom.

It says, “Take like you’ve been taken from. Bleed this world dry.”

And I say, “I will love it. I will love it until I die of loving it.”

And it says, “Congratulations. You will.”

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Categories: Miscellany