Guy’s Review of Right Guard Deodorant Ends Unexpectedly
This is GOLD
whenever i see someone else with scars like this
out in public
i always get this weird pressure inside of me like
a bird has taken flight suddenly
like i’m not sure whether i want to rush over and
hug them until they cannot breathe or even
just make eye contact to show that i know
what it feels like to think nobody knows
you’re dying, i always am trapped between doing nothing
and saying something like “you are loved
because i know nothing of your story but
you and i, we ache in such bloody ways,”
“we have never met before
but your soul cries out in the same way that mine has,”
“please, i am hoping you recover and you’re in my thoughts”
but see the thing is so much of this instinct
is a protective one,
one that says “i don’t want you to hurt the way
i have, my love”
but see the thing is
my scars are under sleeves and shorts and makeup
so nobody can see them
maybe it’s because i’m afraid one day a girl on the train
will say “i am you and you are me, and my love for you
is the boundless sky”
because then i’d be forced to admit
i might have a problem
i don’t know. i have never ended up
saying anything. i remember every person i’ve seen
with wilting hearts and heavy hands and eyes they keep
downcast and i just hope they’re doing well
because i couldn’t decide if it would be nice for a stranger
to try and save me
or it would just be
1. When he starts distancing himself from you, do not restring bridges with your own sinew. You will find yourself two months later coming unraveled, coming undone. You will find he has left you in the places he has visited and in the hair of the girls he has imagined kissing. You will find yourself splatterpainted on the walls where while drunk he confessed all of your secrets to his college friends. You will be crying on the floor, surrounded by the parts of you he has stepped on, and he will look you in the eyes and ask you to clean up the mess.
2. When she cannot get through the words “I love you” without her eyes flicking to the side or her tongue slurring or her mouth pressing in at the edges: do not assume it is your fault. Do not think that you have yet again pushed away someone amazing. You have not. Sometimes people knock on their bones and find themselves hollow. You were the only way they felt momentarily whole, do not empty yourself to fill up their soul. Do not shatter into pieces trying to perfect yourself. You do not need to be glass to turn light into rainbows. You are a person, not their prism.
3. Do not let them hold you against their body if you know they do not cherish every second they are in contact with your skin. I know it feels as if you are breaking your own spine, but tear yourself away from them. Know that the something beautiful you had was already fading. Know that in the end you did the only thing you could. Sometimes people grow apart. Even trees do it.
4. Cry. Want them back.
5. Cry. Do not take them back.
6. In the following months, you will rediscover what it means to be alone. You will sit and stare at a ceiling and hate yourself and hate the world and cry about everything because everything hurts. You will wonder if it could have gotten better if you’d just been a little different, if the timing had worked out, if if if. Do not worry about this. Nothing would have changed the reality that the person you were in love with had stopped loving you somewhere along the line, whether it was in the middle of a conversation or while driving under a bridge or when they made eye contact with someone new and wonderful. It doesn’t matter. Stop wasting your time on them. You don’t need to stop your story just because they are no longer a main character. Do not take back what has already poisoned you. Instead start healing and start healing soon.
7. Take yourself back. Bring out the mop, the broom, the magic wand. Glue where needs to be glued, put up new paint, turn off the lights in places that are too hot to touch. Touch your toes. Touch your hair. Touch a dog. Touch the grass, touch the telephone, do not call him. Touch base with your mom. Touch another person with no love in your heart, touch another person and mean every second of it. Believe in yourself even if you don’t believe in love. It’s okay. There is nothing wrong with being alone. You are the best company you’ll ever know. It’s okay. It’s okay. You’re gonna be okay and none of this was ever your fault. Sometimes people just fall out of love. It’s okay. It’s okay. You’ll one day discover you didn’t need them anyway.
Stage One: You only trust others in the way small animals trust humans: you take flight as often as you can and leave them with the taste of feathers in their mouths. You do not bring people to where the nest of your heart is, others do not get access to where the broken eggshells of your soul lay scattered around. Instead you are bright white smiles and laughter and a wit so sharp a lover could cut themselves on it. This is a mask so well-fit that recently one of your friends said, “You’re like the happiest person I know,” and you didn’t even flinch.
Stage Two: They somehow stay around long enough that they notice your wings are clipped and you limp when you walk. They ask and you give answers that sashay away: “It was a long time ago,” “Don’t worry about it,” “You should see the other guy.” They can smell the blood but they don’t know where it’s leaking from. You are learning to let them in but goddamn it’s dark in here and you know better than to turn on the lights so they stand on your front porch and knock at your door and you pretend you’re not home. You say to yourself “they just think I’m broken and they’re looking for someone to fix they have no idea how bad it is.”
Stage Three: in the back of class or before a movie or in the middle of the woods, you slip up and they see it. it’s always something different. sometimes they catch the way your eyes turn dead when you think nobody is looking, sometimes it’s your sleeves riding up, sometimes it’s the untouched lunch. they bring it up or maybe they don’t but it kills you that they know. a lot of them ask if you’re okay and you say “yeah, of course” and then that’s the last you talk of it.
Stage Four: for some reason, they stick around even though your presence is poison and slowly staining them. they become your lighthouse, your breadcrumbs, your way home. you think maybe it’s time to open up but when you do, invariably you’re drunk or high or dead tired because even though you love them you would never be in your right mind to admit to the demons. you spill out of your outline, just a little at a time. they learn you, they watch you, they keep you sane, and then in the late night, you finally make that mistake and fill their ears with your story from start to finish and have to deal with the look that crosses their faces.
Stage Five: I actually don’t know what it’s like to be with someone who knows all of you and yet doesn’t leave. If you find out, please get back to me.