i’ll always love you ‘cause we grew up together and you helped make me who i am. i just wanted you to know there will be a piece of you in me always, and i’m grateful for that. whatever someone you become, and wherever you are in the world, i’m sending you love. you’re my friend to the end.
— her (2013)
I think I’ve been an atlas for far too long, in name and shape and sharpness, papercut edges and cut-corners creases, holding the world on my shoulders and pretending like I am strong enough to keep it all from dropping. my body has been a map for too few to find my heart, even though I have painted my veins with one-way signs that should lead back to home, but only lead to lonely. my arms only know how to ache.
when I thought I could not carry the weight any longer, I started to let the globe drop slowly and found it was dangling on a string tied around your left ring finger, looped back around your tender wrists, and knotted instead of bowed. I flexed my aching arms and rested them quietly around you, my paper thin skin rustling gently in the comfort of your steady breathing. you kissed a legend into my shoulder, a key to tell the laugh lines from the worried ones, and connected the dots to count the population of tears residing in each and every one of the freckles on my skin. you wrote a change into the way the river’s flow bends, no longer from my eyes, but from my mouth.
you held my hand with the same steady grip with which you were holding the world, slow and slightly turning, and you tapped out highway numbers with your lips upon my open upturned palm. I have never felt this safe before, never felt so relieved to know that I don’t have to carry this kind of weight alone anymore. with your hand in mine, I twined the world’s string around my right ring finger and raised it up to yours, to have and hold the whole world with you. my left hand hangs down to cup around your waist. my shoulders and arms no longer ache. my pages are joined to yours. I think I’ve been an atlas for far too long alone; now you map my skin with our paths. now we hold the whole world, in our hands."
the whole world, in our hands
"When I went through the process of becoming press secretary, one of the first things they told me was, ‘You’re not even to acknowledge the drone program. You’re not even to discuss that it exists.’"- Former White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, now an MSNBC contributor, on “Up with Chris Hayes” this morning. (via msnbc)
"- I want to be happy because I survived but somewhere along my emotions all died. /// r.i.d (via inkskinned)
Someone once told me that the saddest four words someone could string together were “I’m used to it,” but because the moment tasted too much like bicycle chains and not enough like laugh tracks, I made some offhand comment and everyone smiled.
I have been thinking about that since the moment it happened and how evolution has shaped the way we exist, how we are only the adaptions that our grandparents fought to handle for us, how my children might carry the same thick skin and frozen heart as the one that I do. I have been thinking about how many things we are used to and how many things we have had to grow used to throughout the ages, I have been thinking about the ways which I have adapted to fit into a jungle I never wanted to run in.
I have been thinking of what I am used to. In the back of a train when a man copped a feel I was as used to the grasp of his fingers as if I had always known the span of his palm. He was as familiar to me as a longterm lover and he whispered words in my ear with a kind of intimacy that I expect at weddings. I am used to it. I am used to every person who will take this body for granted. I am used to the expectation that my art gallery is open for the public or that to see it is to have to touch it.
I am used to it. I am used to how people will look at the scars and then glance quickly away as if they are made uncomfortable by the questions hanging in the air between us. I am used to how their eyes dart anywhere else as if they are expecting me to unzip at their feet if we exchange eye contact. I am used to the invisibility cloak I have painted onto my skin as if razorblades were just steel thread. I’m used to not being asked about it.
I am used to slurs, to being a joke, to requests for threesomes. For a little bit, I admit I even thought that statements like “that’s hot” in regards to my sexuality - I used to take these as compliments rather than blanks in a shotgun: I still flinch even if it doesn’t actually kill me because I know all it takes is for you to reload with the right ammunition. I am used to what I will hear if I try to explain myself to you. I have stopped trying.
I have thought about how we have adapted. I have thought about how girls have invented claws from keys, how sad teens can withstand long sleeves in high heat, how those of us who are different have long ago learned exactly what words to search for in a person’s speech so we know whether or not you’re going to be our friend or our bully. I have thought about how when I enter a new room, my shoulders rise up like skyscrapers as if I am expecting a knife through my jugular. I have thought about how when I am hurting, I never let all of the pain show because I’m afraid of letting other people see me vulnerable. I have thought about how last night all of my friends went to a party without me and even though I was asked after, I still didn’t go because I was terrified of the possibility of what could happen if I did show.
I have thought about our evolution, how I have my grandmother’s shaky hands and my mother’s sad brain and my father’s addiction. I have thought about dna and nature and how we have all shaped ourselves to survive in a hostile environment. I have thought about the kids who cannot conform or those of us who have lost ourselves while trying. I have thought of the things that have killed me.
I don’t know if it makes me sad. I think I’m just used to it, see?"
"Life is complex. Each one of us must make his own path through life. There are no self-help manuals, no formulas, no easy answers. The right road for one is the wrong road for another…The journey of life is not brightly lit, and it has no road signs. It is a rocky path through the wilderness."- M. Scott Peck (via purplebuddhaproject)