Sunday Morning ‘Word Vomit’

I come with a warning.

I feel everything so powerfully and so intensely and I understand that not everyone else does. I get it. I over-analyze the shit out of every interaction and conversation I have with other people. I obsess over body language and small changes in the way someone speaks to me. I can sense when things are changing or when things are going wrong – sometimes even before the other person notices. It’s been a blessing in the sense that I always get a warning. I always have time to step back and take cover – but, unfortunately for me, I’m not the type who can sit back and watch the world burn. So, typically, being ultra-sensitive turns into a curse.

I wouldn’t change who I am for anyone. I won’t. I can’t. I can only attempt to change for me. I’ve been in positions in the past where I felt like I should change for other people and I’m never happy with the results. I’m also incapable of hiding what I’m feeling. Whether you ask or not, you’ll likely find out.

This is who I am.

I’m awkward. I laugh at everything. I’m nervous. I’m passionate. I’m determined. I’m ambitious. I’m independent. I’m loyal. I get lost in my imagination. I’m hot-tempered (sometimes). I’m impulsive (sometimes). I’m strong. I’m complicated. I exhibit confidence even when, internally, I am in utter chaos. I’m a planner. I’m resilient. I’m an open book. I forgive. I forget. I seek connections of the mind and kindred spirits. I am a lover, but I am also, fiercely, a fighter.

I can’t hide.

2/13/17

whisps of smoke meander
through the fabric of my sweatshirt
i’ve had more drinks
than i care to count
and the cigarettes smell nice –
like memories

i remember kissing.
that marriage of beer and stale smoke
was my favorite taste
but i hated the way his beard
felt like sandpaper against my skin
and i never felt like i could lose myself
in the softness of his lips
because there was nothing soft about him

i think i was trying to convince myself
as much as anyone else
that i liked how it felt

…i never knew what to do with my hands

awkward, clumsy
his tongue would find mine
and i’d think about how nice it felt
to feel wanted

how nice it felt to feel warm

but now i understand.
physiologically,
the booze fools you
when the blood vessels closest
to the surface of your skin dilate
and leave you feeling flushed

while, at your core, you are colder

and that’s what i was trying to ignore

 

and i remember drinking a bottle of shitty red wine
and staring at myself, half naked,
in the mirror
unable to say out loud
what i already knew
because i didn’t want to know

i didn’t want to hear the truth as it poured out of my mouth

how could i know ecstasy
when i’d never felt it before?

how could i fathom the taste of passion
when i’d never even had a sip?

girls have the softest lips

and now i always know exactly
what to do with my hands

2/11/17

my heart is always open
i’ve learned that i prefer to live this way.
dust off your feet at my door,
but leave your footprints wherever you’d like.
i constantly leave myself vulnerable
but the reward
is always better than the risk.

i don’t fear hurting any longer –
i’ve seen and felt too much
(i know what it’s like to crawl along rock bottom
and pray for relief)

love changed me.
loving and being loved in return…
it changed me.
but falling in love with myself
did more for me than anyone else ever has.
no matter who stays and who goes –
i know –
i will survive

i guess i’m trying to say –
and listen closely –
love me.
or leave me.

i will not accept an inch of love
less
than the amount i give myself
than the amount i give to you
than the amount i give to everyone

i don’t need someone to tell me
i am worthy
or
i have something to offer
i know.

and if you’re paying attention –
you know too

2/6/17

Women are spectacularly,
wonderfully,
beautifully,
a gift

We carry the earth
upon our shoulders
We rip apart convention with
our teeth

Let’s acquaint
your hands
with the curves
of my body –

while I
memorize
the outline
of your lips.

I’ll entangle
your words
into the strands
of my hair

(your voice
is the overture
the sunrise
the beginning of time)

I long
to rest
my head on
your shoulder

and indulge
in the honey
that accompanies
your laughter

 

2/2/17

via Daily Prompt: Clean

I am walking along an unfamiliar trail. The air is crisp and cool and the sounds of busy highways are muffled by innumerable trees. A trio of deer leap through the wood and birds flitter effortlessly among branches and limbs. Leaves crunch and crumble under my feet. I move with purpose, but I lack a sense of direction. The sun caresses my face and arms and legs with its pleasant rays intermittently and then it disappears behind the trees again.

I am alone. I enjoy the solitude. I find myself craving this feeling from time to time. My mind is clear – my thoughts ebb and flow but nothing torments me. This is how I define my peace.

The trail turns into three and I pause for a moment. On my right, the trail leads to an open field of straw-colored grass. It is late afternoon and the sun casts its subtle warmth over the terrain. The perimeter is surrounded by trees, devoid of their leaves, and further ahead there is a fairly steep hill with a low, dark stone wall built into the earth. The trail that leads left looks similar to the trail that continues onward – all trees and silence. I continue forward.

The earth is soft and spongy from the snow that melted away earlier in the day. I slip every now and then and have to regain my balance. My breathing is steady and calm. Rocks line the trail floor and I am careful not to trip. I am inherently clumsy – both in words and movement – and I envision myself falling, bleeding, limping back to the trail entrance, laughing quietly at my blunder all the while.

I feel safe here. No one is on the trail with me and yet the isolation does not feel lonely or confining. I admire the beauty of winter and imagine how serene the landscape will look again in the fall with masses of firey orange, brick red, and sunshine yellow leaves. In the summer, the wood will exist as a sea of green. The earth will remain cool and I will welcome the feeling of rain during an afternoon shower. In the spring, I will walk along this trail and the pollen floating through the air will make me sneeze and my eyes will water and my nose will run, but I will still feel this indescribable lightness.

I finally hear the sound I’ve been waiting for as I approach a bend in the trail. Now to my left, there is a hill that rises a couple hundred feet in the air. To my right, water moves in cadences along the floor of the creek that is now within my view. I listen to the sweet, clean sound that compares only to the melody of rain or waves breaking along a shoreline. If I could breathe in a sound, commit it to my brain and lungs and veins, this is the one I’d choose.

I follow the trail along the edge of the creek until I have the option to turn away and head up the hill. Roots protrude wildly from the ground and I am, again, careful not to misstep as I ascend. My legs burn as I continue climbing, but I do not slow down.

I reach the very top of the hill and gaze at the distance I’ve created between where I now stand and where I started. Several trees around me have a multitude of initials and names carved into their trunks. None of the engravings look new and I wonder if all of the mysterious couples still love each other as much as they did the moment they decided to create a permanent mark on the trees. I wonder if they still speak. I wonder if they remember how content they were in the moment. I wonder if they’ve remained friends.

I continue following the trail. I am still directionless – I just know I want to keep moving. I climb over fallen trees and jump over brambles and bushes that have crept onto the path.

Eventually, I come across the trail’s fork again that allows me to head toward the open field. Sunset is hastily approaching and the warmth from earlier is quickly disappearing. The silhouette of the trees rests calmly against the powder blue sky. I walk until I reach the low wall and lean on the cold, rough stone. I take it all in. The breeze, the setting sun, the way the world seems to have stopped spinning so I could experience this moment. I turn my face toward the sky and smile.

2/3/17

via Daily Prompt: Overwhelming

Am I numb?

Wouldn’t anyone else walking this sometimes treacherous path in my old, worn shoes feel a bit of the pressure? Wouldn’t they be crying out, outraged by the unfairness of it all?

I feel nothing.

I am overstating. I do feel. The number of emotions and thoughts whizzing around my mind at any given moment make me dizzy and nauseate me slightly. However, I can’t seem to focus on any of them so I simply focus on nothing.

Does that make me numb?

That first week, I cried every day. I cried on the way to work, I cried in the shower, I cried while I was cooking dinner, I cried myself to sleep, I cried in the nourishment room while I grabbed my patients apple juice or apple sauce or whatever the hell it was they wanted. I cried the first time someone asked me if I was okay (because the answer was a resounding, overwhelming no). I yelled at God and asked him, Why is this happening? – although I knew the answer. I yelled at her, I ignored her, I hugged her, I kissed her, I told her I don’t need her and I meant it.

She would say “Sarah, stop crying” and I would. It wasn’t a plea based in her worry – she was irritated by my display of emotion. I stopped crying altogether.

She’d tell me to come to bed and she would try to hold me and sometimes I would push her away and the space between us felt like miles – but it wasn’t enough. Sometimes I couldn’t get close enough – but I never forgot about the walls she built between us.

I made plans to move as far away as I could as quickly as possible. The weeks went by ever so slowly. Was time doing this on purpose? However, when I would look back at the amount of time that passed since the day it ended, I was in awe. Has it really been a month? Two months? Three? Where does the time go?

Everything has changed for me and nothing has changed for her other than the newness of my absence. I gave up my job, my apartment, my friends, my cat, and my city (among other things). I packed up everything I could fit into my car and I finally, after months of waiting, left. The act of leaving didn’t bring me the sense of finality and closure and peace I was hoping for.

I thought it would.

I am not overwhelmed and I guess I am trying to understand why. I’m trying to define my new normal. To define is to limit, I say to myself over and over again.

But how do I live inside all of this uncertainty? I feel like I’m floating, but not in a bubbly, effervescent sort of way. Just floating, directionless, through time. I cling to the things and people that make me exude emotions I recognize. Sometimes they don’t cling back.

I think I am happy. I feel free. I still long for a few things I can’t quite name. For someone who is always certain of exactly what she wants, I am certainly clueless. I think pieces of me are still missing but I’m not sure where I can find them; will they return to me on their own? Will I find or create new pieces to take their place?

I don’t want anyone to fix me. I am not sure that I need fixing. Perhaps I just need love and time. I need someone I trust to just play with my hair (and maybe hold my cold, clammy hands once in a while) as I figure myself out. I need someone who will buy me french fries at any time of day, who won’t be offended when I am angry and cruel for no immediately apparent reason, who will laugh at my stupid jokes, who will love me despite my missing pieces.

 

I want her to want me too.

Scent

via Daily Prompt: Scent

I inhale and there you are, although I am alone. The scent clings to my nose and works its way around my throat and, for a moment, I cannot breathe. Every moment, every memory, every word we ever spoke rushes through my mind at an unfathomable pace. The warmth of your body, the smell of your breath in the morning, the way my skin felt like gentle flames when you touched me, the chill that overcame me when you left me standing outside our apartment as you drove away from everything.

I return to the present and return to my work: the endless chore of unpacking all of my things and placing them neatly into organized piles and into drawers. The process, much like packing, is tedious… and yet it is cathartic. It is symbolic of the number of changes I’ve made to preserve myself over the past several months. Each drawer I fill and close gives me a greater sense of freedom from you and all that you tried to destroy within me.

The scent caught me off guard. A moment of weakness, I say, as I search for the culprit. My fingers find your t-shirt. Old. Unwashed. Wrinkled. It smells strongly, sweetly of you. And for a moment, again, I forget. I forget all of the bad and I want to live inside the good. I want the bliss, I want the ignorance, I want to unlearn everything that I know. I want to transport myself back in time to beach days and endless laughter and wrapping my body around yours while your fingers run through my tangled hair and dancing pantless in the living room and knowing, undoubtedly, that I would spend the rest of my life waking up to you.

I breathe in your scent again. I remember everything. I cannot live inside the good, I can only live inside what is real. I believe in goodness and light and love and forgiveness, but I also believe wholeheartedly in truth, in trust, and in loyalty. I am unwavering and my hands are steady.

I bury the t-shirt in the bottom of a pile of dirty clothes. Your scent will find me again some day, I am sure. The nostalgia it will bring will taste smoothly of fine wine, or bitterly of poison… or perhaps both. I will have my moment – but then I will let it go.

I’ve let you go.