Where I Am Now

My favorite days are like earth after rain, rich with soft soil smell, a little warm, a little damp. I make tea but forget to drink it, and the smell of it, heavy and sweet, fills the room. I spent a Saturday sobbing, once, and the Sunday after dying of laughter. It served as a good reminder: putting on clean jeans and making it outside, that’s heroic, sometimes. My heart is a silly thing, half-formed, still catalyzing, but it’s still my heart. I am no Achilles, no Alexander, but I don’t mourn it, this mortal that I am, these places where I am now.

On bad days, there isn’t a prophet alive who can help me out of the darkness, but my mother’s face, blurred almost beyond recognition by an Internet connection strung across the Atlantic, does the trick. When I look at her, I remember how she never cried the day I left home, and I now realize that was the greatest kindness she could ever have showed me. I’m realizing a lot of things, as of late, and they make me want to punch myself in the face and kiss a stranger, in equal measure.

My body, this year: the back of my ankles dry, the curve of my wrist warm, some parts of me like peeled oranges, yellowing wheat, husks of cinnamon, belly flab, short legs, acne on my chin; I should get more sleep, I should eat better. It’s hard, and getting harder; nobody ever told me that. Even for the stars in space, life is nothing but resisting inner pressure and external gravity, inward and outward forces. But I think life can’t be measured according to difficulty, along a spectrum of extremes. I am not better, I am not worse. What I am, where I am now: that has yet to be determined.

I am nineteen in two hours.


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