He argues there has to be a point. She smiles, placating, that’s what they want you to think. A cat walks in their midst, having jumped onto the table, long tail towering over their heads and swaying gently side to side. Meow, the cat says, silencing them both.
Kitty swipes at his King and sends it toppling to the floor; Kitty swipes at her Bishop, which hits her Knight and her Queen, and sends all three pieces falling to her lap. Kitty walks in circles and settles on their chess board for another nap. Together they reach for the cat’s fur and scratch until they hear the purr of contentment; quietly he marvels at his triumph and she marvels at the wonder of his words ever being true.
We need to iron our clothes though. You will iron our clothes, right?
No, why should we iron our clothes, we both burn through them.
Well I burned my uniforms twice. So.
Is it so wrong that for once – just once, goddammit – I want to be put first, that other people will work something around me instead of me making time for them, that when I ask they say yes without ‘but first we do this’, that someone will do for me what I have been doing for everybody else, that I will come first and matter more than anyone or anything, is that too much, is that so bad, is it so selfish to ask that, is it so wrong to ask that they make me feel like I actually matter to them
A week ago I was okay, but now I am writing like a lovelorn, love-struck idiot. Somebody please save me from myself, I feel dumb
After a while you learn the subtle difference
between holding a hand and chaining a soul
and you learn love doesn’t mean leaning
and company doesn’t always mean security.
And you begin to learn that kisses aren’t contracts
and presents aren’t always promises
and you begin to accept your defeats
with your head up and and your eyes ahead
with the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child.
And you learn to build all your roads on today
because tomorrow’s ground is too uncertain for plans
and futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight.
After a while you learn that even sunshine burns if you get too much
So you plant your own garden and decorate your own soul
instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers
And you learn that you really can endure,
that you really are strong
and you really do have worth and you learn
and you learn
with every good-bye
—Veronica Shoffstall, After A While
It’s hard to imagine I’d be right back where I began. Two years ago I had committed myself to the laborious job of forgetting everything that has to do with writing and art. It was a phase, I suppose, that I swore I’d never get past, and I’ve never been more wrong. This place is home, and yet not home at all. It’s a black hole that swallows you up and clamps on to you if you get too close. And while I truly adore these people and love them to bits, there’s a looming destructive force that surrounds every second I’m with them that just frightens me. They’ve all changed, and grown, and I’m the rear guard and…