We are all heroes, when we are young.
We are all convinced that we can save the world.
I really thought I could save him. I thought that so hard that I tried to save him from this world. I thought that so hard that I tried to save him from me.
I tried so hard. My world is dark, sometimes. It gets so sad. I didn’t want him to have to be sad with me.
Where do we get the idea that sadness is something to be ashamed of? Something that hurts people.
All the things I never wanted him to have to see. This body that is a scar of all the graves I have dug, all the friends who I have buried. I never wanted him to have to touch me.
That is not to say I did not want him to touch me. Only, I subscribed to the notion of heroism that says saving someone and dying for them are the exact same thing.
I don’t want to die. And I can live without him. If I had to. I could, but broken. Irreparably.
I don’t know how love works for other people. I only know how love works for me.
This love of mine, it’s messy. I say cruel things. Maybe unforgivable things. I tell my story to the wall built over his heart. I sing my story to the man inside the glass coffin. I think maybe he wanted to be my Prince Charming. I wanted to be his knight in shining armor, too.
The only thing I could think of that he might need saving from was me. So typical paternalistic lordling that I am, I went to work.
I have been saving him from my entire life, I think. Saving me from his rejection. Saving him from my poisonous dreams of a poisonous mother. I thought he would be happy and I would die in peace.
I don’t want to die in peace.
I don’t want to live alone.
What changed? I realized in a flash of blinding light, the kind that only comes around once a lifetime. I realized I was hurting him, by pushing him away.
There is such a thing as loving someone too much. So much that you take away their agency. And me..
I tried to apologize. But I did not want him back. Because I wanted him to be happy. I thought I would prove it by cutting my own heart out and leaving it at his doorstep. But he did not get the message.
Love like that is older than time. Deeper than the sea. All the words are cliche and hyperbole. I asked him to be quiet, once. Not so I could eat. But because some things are deeper than words.
I was right. I do hate him, a little. For being someone who could die, who could be hurt.
Even if he marries someone else, and I figure he will. Still. He better not die before me.
I hate all the girls he ever touched. It’s not jealousy. It’s ownership. I don’t deserve it. It is not impulse to punish. Only, you know. How could he?
I gave up my own heart at such a young age. I thought he would want it that way, if he understood. I thought I was holding on to someone else’s dream.
I knew there would be a cost. I did not think he would pay it.
I am so lonely it tugs at my belly. Makes my hair flame. He changed everything.
Sometimes it just is that way.
These stories we tell ourselves, or are told. That time I wet the bed or flashed my second grade class or went crazy or was homeless or ran around Melbourne looking for a bathroom and learned, I learned, my body was untrustworthy. That my body was disgusting.
I forgot to tell him that his body is beautiful. That it is my favorite body. To smell or taste or touch. That I never once wished that it was different. I forgot to tell him he doesn’t have to be perfect to be perfect for me. To be flawless in my eyes. However flawed he might be. In my heart he was always mine, and mine completely.
I have a tattoo on my knee that says ohana. Mildly appropriative but there’s a story, the island herself gave me permission. Family means no one gets left behind so I kept trying to reach him. Because that’s what do when you love somebody.
Even I know that. Unloved I might be, but the instinct to love is innate. The impulse never leaves.
I would not have left him. Or kicked him out or chosen someone else over him. Not in the history of ever.
I cannot cut away the shame of making him think otherwise.
There is a hallway where lonely girls go. Find me find me where I am hiding, won’t you?