Sometimes, we look at ourselves in the mirror and we think ‘what happened to that beautiful little girl?’ I’ll tell you what happened, A) she’s a man, B) she’s old and not little, and C) she’s turned her beautiful years into lock boxes of drug and sex abuse leaving a dried out piece of fruit person that stares in the mirror and wonders further ‘will Botox bring my little girl back, will hyaluronic acid injections do it, the laser, the peels, the knife, how, how do I bring her back?!’ She is no longer. She is of memory. She is of other. ‘Who are you dried fruit face person and what have we become?’ we ask our dried fruit face.
We open our mouth to answer and say, “I’m still me, I’m still that sunny little girl I am.”
But the noise that comes out of our mouth sounds like: a hurt cat, a dying frog, a drowning bag of puppies, a deranged goat, and another goat but much more deranged than the first. We close our mouth. We remain tight lipped. It’s probably not a good time to speak… It’s now time to look down at our body, oh wait, bad idea, look back up, wait, that’s the mirror, please look away, okay, that’s better. Clothes, we’ll cover ourselves with clothes and then look again. Black slimming clothes. Play some music. This song reminds us of when we could really move. Try it, do that move where you spring forward onto your hands and then back again, and… oh fuck, you’re on the ground now. You look back at the mirror and see a collapsed pile of sad person and think ‘did I hear something snap?’ it may have been your mind. A sudden and apparent spiral into complete and utter insanity or a broken wrist, both may be true.
Sometimes, we call our friends to make ourselves feel better. The stories we tell them hold us in the highest regard and we are the heroes every time. Sometimes, we want pity and we call expecting our friends to empathize with each injustice we have faced. They begin to tell us about their day and after we yawn profusely, we politely tell them to stop and we’ll talk to them later about whatever it is they were saying. Sometimes, we call them right back because we forgot a funny event that happened to us that we need to quickly share. Our friends listen patiently and then begin to tell us a funny thing that happened to them and then sorry we really gotta go, we hang up quickly. ‘Where did all those friends go?’ we ask ourselves while trying to find somebody to call. It’s just work people in your phone now, people who are paid to speak with you, well, that’ll do.
One time, you go to the bar that you used to go to years ago. You don’t drink anymore. You don’t do coke anymore. You don’t dance anymore, well maybe a little, just not anything that will break your wrist again… You’ll run into someone you recognize. It’s dark, you can’t see very well, you’re being pushed, it’s too dark to see who’s pushing you, you’re wet, that’s beer, you now smell like half a beer but good thing you wore black. You see the most beautiful boy and think ‘I can go talk to him, I’ll say something funny, he’ll get a laugh and maybe he’s not as superficial as he looks, I’m gonna go talk to him.’
You walk over when this beautiful boy is not distracted by all the other pretty young things and say to him, “I used to be just like you, I went through whatever you’re going through, I know how things are going to turn out for you, I’m sure you think this time in your life is going to last forever, I had someone say the same things to me when I was your age…”
Before you finish talking, the boy pretends to waive at someone across the room, and they hurry away. ‘What a superficial jerk’ you think as you make your way to the restroom. You wash your face and look up to find water has been poured all over your dried fruit skin, maybe you should have moisturized more, it’s not your fault. Finally, you recognize a person. They look terrible. You don’t motion to them or waive hi but they come to you anyway.
“Wow, you look,” They pause, “wow, I haven’t seen you in years, I still come here for the drink specials,” they look around and seem uncomfortable, “it’s really nice to, uh, the music is still nice here,” they leave.
Other times, we wonder if we can just feel well without the confirmation of others. If we can just confirm ourselves, maybe those sad misconceptions of who we are won’t hurt so badly. If we can just feel good without a pill, without making someone else feel less, without forcing a disingenuous compliment, without spending every penny, and without feeling sad and crashing immediately after. Those other times exist. They are when we take a breath, realizing we are in the moment, and all we really are responsible for is breathing. Those other times exist when everything aligns for even a few moments to acknowledge how important we are, how instrumental, and how all the moments in your life may have existed for you to experience this one touch, this one laugh, this one anything, and it will happen again for you, yes, it will happen again.