They can ask me where I think I won’t be,
Where I know I don’t want to be,
And it’s my immediate reaction to say ‘alone.’
My inability to let people in,
Pushing me towards a cold and lonely future.
I’m tempted to psychoanalyze myself.
What happened
And when.
Was a life of aloneness pre-destiny?
I’m tempted to list off ‘moments gone wrong,’
And I’m tempted to say ‘what if’
What if I had loved you more
What if I had cared about him less
What if I had kissed you more
What if I had cried about him less
I’m tempted to create an entire case study
On Me.
Futuristic lonely me
Who probably lives in an artsy loft
And who maybe has learned how to paint
Away her troubles and woes
I’m tempted to tell you a story of this girl
This unhappy, lonely, and nightmarish girl
And then I realize,
It’s bullshit.

I let people in as easy as the all-forgiving God,
Waiting at the gates.
And I haven’t held a paintbrush
Since fifth grade art class.
And I’d be lying if I said I think that life sounds bad.
In fact,
A life worthy of analysis sounds pretty good.
I can see this nightmarish life,
That life alone,
And I can know it won’t ever be mine.
And I can also know,
I wouldn’t even care if it was.
Because what I saw wasn’t the alone me,
But rather the banging on my loft door,
As someone kicks and hits,
Fighting physically, but also emotionally,
For Me.
And then I realize this isn’t a nightmare
This is a love story.
Because I’m not entirely sure I know how to see the bad
Without also seeing the good
Because if I’m writing my nightmare,
Am I also allowed to write the moment when I wake up?

What I fear isn’t being alone
And it isn’t being together
It isn’t getting pregnant and having babies
And it isn’t not getting pregnant and not having babies
I’m not afraid of having a horrible job
Because I can still go home to words.
And I’m not afraid of pain or heartache
Because even an empty pillow beside me
Can be filled with stories and love and a happy ending
Even if it isn’t mine
Because it’ll be someone’s.
A floating character somewhere can be given my ending
And that’s a dream, not a nightmare.
I am not a masochist
But instead a human being needing reminders I am
Because I don’t fear pain,
I fear a lack of.
A lack of pain and emotions and swirling visions of happiness mixed with sadness mixed with passion mixed with adrenaline mixed with imagination.
I fear a lack of imagination.

I am afraid of boring
Chicken nuggets and fries boring
The type of thing that might feel good in the moment,
But that will leave you hungry and unsatisfied
And wanting more
But of what?
I’m afraid I’ll have no idea.
I’m afraid I’ll have lost excitement.
And I’ll have no idea where to look for excitement.
I’m afraid I won’t even know that I’ve lost excitement.
I’m afraid of becoming well-adjusted
And settled
And happily complacent
I’m afraid of being 27 and thinking I have everything,
When 22-year-old me might argue that older me has nothing.

I don’t know how to imagine my life
Because my mind immediately jumps to fiction
And if you tell me to be truthful
I’ll argue the creative side of nonfiction
And if you ask me what I’m afraid of,
I will want to shout, but will instead choose to barely whisper,


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