When I was very young I like to whirl around in a fantastic blur of pink ribbons and yellow skirts. I liked to feel the rush and lift of the breeze around me, the force that pulled me into myself. I liked to feel alive, if only for a moment.
If you think about it, it’s not so different from love.
We take our bare hands and cover them in paint and smear it on the canvas, but it’s not enough, so we fill oceans with acrylics and go swimming in them, splashing the color up at the canvas and catching the sweet drops that fall back down on our tongues like snow.
It’s rather complicated. Sometimes I ask myself if there’s even a purpose to it.
He sang to me. “Live your life,” he said. I fell for him. How could I not? He was one of those rare people who have eyes that light up.
I was spinning faster and faster and faster, tasting that delicious honey-sweet pigment bursting over my tongue.
I mustered my strength.
I thought of sunflowers.
I love yellow. The way the brightness bursts with life, but it never works for me, being pale as the moon. I stick with the dark colors, the blues and the greens and the purples and grays and blacks.
I took his hand and we danced.
That was what I loved the most, the dancing. That was my favorite thing. There’s something so intimate about it.
I hate the memory of it.
It’s cruel to cause someone this much pain, to take their hand and pull them out into the open and knock all the wind out of them in one crushing blow, to not even realize what has happened.
A hollow space opened up in my heart that day.
I miss the feel of spinning, but it’s rivaled and maybe even surpassed by the feel of rain. That thrill I get in my lungs. My heart beats faster, my eyes light up, and I sing and I write, making it all up on the spot.
I’m getting better at it, I think. The spontaneous thinking. Acting too. That’s maybe why I can just spin lies from nothing and maybe that’s why I can keep a straight face while my whole entire self is being ripped apart, while my heart is dying and while I’m going completely numb.
Sometimes I get tired of home, the sameness of everyday life, but then I remember it’s all different. The truth is home is not a where, it’s a who. All that makes a home is a best friend, a million miles from where you live. That is the constancy of home, not being built on a solid foundation. Home is not a place; it’s not even the absence of a constant house. Home is a person who can fill the emptiness, someone who doesn’t make you feel like you have to hide your personality away like it’s something poisonous.
My paint ocean is a swirl of nothingness. It’s a void I just can’t escape. I thrash and attempt to reach the surface, but I have only enough time to gasp in a breath before the storm tosses me back under.
Pink satin ribbons in my hair. I hold a sunflower. (He loves me, he loves me not. It’s a cruel game where we pick away the flower’s life for our own entertainment.)
is the worst lie we tell ourselves. We like to pretend that there’s some slight bit of normal in our lives, that there’s some constant standard to compare it to, but there’s not. There’s only the canvas we make when we’re fighting to keep our heads above water.
I hold the long stem and twist it between my palms.
In the end life doesn’t just push you down. In the end things heal, people aren’t cold as a winter wind.
There are always ribbons and sunflowers to come home to. There’s always the sky up above and the endless canvas to paint and repaint and make snow angels in the muddy colors.
There are always memories of brighter days.
There are always new adventures to discover, new places to disappear to, new people to meet and love and hate and dance with.
And when you come home you’ll still be you.