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1. Was told by my Advanced Composition professor that it would be a waste of my time to complete the teaching prerequisite classes, and instead I should just take the CSET because we apparently need teachers “like me.”
2. Got a pentagram tattooed on my bicep
3. Made my first batch of pot brownies
Yes. I am ready to become a teacher.
I make myself crazy. I imagine and play make-believe. I tell myself what your life used to be like. I have a slim foundation upon which to build my pretend stages. Bright paint, winking lights, cherry wood. I met you around this time, this perfect time I’m imagining for you. I only saw you once, but I elaborate the rest for myself. You used to be animated and happy and invested and interested. You fell in love with girls and you played music with them. You yelled and stomped and poured your heart out to crowds of admirers. You had a gleam in your eye and a laugh on your lips. You gave your heart to one girl and even though she went on to pull it out of you, slowly, you kept giving it back. You were a thundercloud. You roved and adventured, your heart big and your sounds bigger.
I break myself on these thoughts, but I promise I try not to. I tell myself I’m only imagining these things in order to get the bigger picture of you. Really I’m afraid. That part of your life crumpled and less than two months later, there I was. I think, you were just grateful to have a pair of arms around you again. The gleam in your eye is gone. You’re going through the motions and I’m your momentum. I think, I can put that smile on your lips, I can put that gleam in your eye, but it doesn’t happen. I look through you to the previous version, the one that laughed and screamed. I look for him. He was happy. He was alive. I don’t know if I can hear your heart beating, now. I hold you in my hands, against my body, and I try to smooth your feathers, mend your bones. I breathe into your mouth and I put my ear onto your chest. I’m waiting for the flutter. I hold my breath and watch your wings, waiting for them to stir. I don’t blink. I just want you to fly.
Because when something ugly and violent is done to you, you won’t be the same
Because the people you trust will be gone
Because your definition of “painful” will be irrevocably altered
Because you’ll forget how to be around humans, or because keeping up the pretense will be exhausting
Because everything, your neighbor roughing up a drunk girl, your coworkers talking about assault like it’s a disease against which you can inoculate, some bro in a bar saying he totally got raped playing Call of Duty, everything will make you want to scream until you’re out of breath
Because you won’t scream
Because you’ll feel like he left a wall around you and you’re choosing to hide in it
Because you’ll feel like a pussy and a ghost
So the only thing left to you will be the words
So you’ll try to write them the right way
So you feel like you should paint, because you have this thing thrumming in your body and it doesn’t have a name but it is like excitement and patience and like laughing and crying and like rage and breathing. It is raining all around, through the gaps in the garage, and you make the perfect playlist for how this feels and for how the air should sound for painting, like a mix of sad soft voices and rain. You think about love and you feel love and you think it would be good to copy a poem by hand, and you dig through books for the perfect one and even though you always say you don’t care about poetry, e. e. cummings makes you cry and smile the more you keep reading, and Sylvia Plath and Stephen Vincent Benet and even fucking Robert Frost, kind of. This poem by Carl Sandburg feels right, because it isn’t for you, which is funny because the poem is called “For You.” You paint some shitty jar and try to make it like fireflies making light but this paint is cheap and your hands are too cold, everything is cold and a little damp, you live in a garage, idiot, and painting is hard but it makes you feel peaceful and also insanely vibrant, this weird mishmash of calm and so happy it’s almost supreme rage, no fucking name for it, like too much caffeine and smiling while you break something and all of that like meditating. And now you won’t sleep, you’ll lie there and you’ll feel like you are vibrating and glowing. Tomorrow you will be tired and shitty but tonight is good.
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