Nobody ever tells you how lonely it is to grow up. Dreams become what may have been and the friendships you swore would last forever have dribbled into coffee dates once every three years. All the passion for adventure is tempered by the reality of responsibility until years have flown by and that spring break banger never happened. You exchange tequila for rosé and the woos over loud bass for a gentle conversation to soft jazz. It all looks so glamorous to those who aren’t yet there, but you can’t go back once the longing sets in. Everything just gets lost in the noise. I am becoming lost in the noise.
I lay here wondering what I dreamed for my life as a little girl–surely not this. We were going to change the world. My partner would be kind, gentle, and fun as well as handsome and charming. I wonder when I let the fairytales go. A part of me still yearns for it, but the realist in me stomps at the coals of the fire in a desperate attempt to stop being disappointed. Love is such a loaded word, meant to stave off the loneliness, yet it seems like all it does is dress it up in that pretty mask of noise.
I spent the week away pondering.
You. Me. Life.
It’s heard to breathe when I am caught in the hurricane of you, let alone understand that I was drowning. This time I understood it wasn’t my fault that you were forcing me under, but it was my fault that I had stopped fighting. You fight for me, but not with me because you would rather just walk out the door. Next time I wont stop you, because the ache in my heart when you leave is growing dimmer with every piece of blame you’ve piled on.
I deserve more. I spent the week away, learning how not to miss you.
I’ll still be that sweet girl you love, but it’s time you learned how to coax the syrup from a lady rather than drinking her dry. In an age of easy loving, I led you to believe I did not need to be wooed. I got too used to picking myself the flowers I love so much. Never could I imagine the dull ache a droopy set of wildflowers could eventually bring. Now the chill of fall allows us to recess into our lonely households to wait out the winter with mediocre love until the passion of summer can awaken our fires again.
But for now, I’m tired, so learn to love me right or leave me alone.
The more I say those three words, the more I mean it.
Little girl, little girl come out to play. I see that you crept under the bed last night to hide from the monster that came. It’s dark and quiet and peaceful under all of those layers, but, my sweet girl, you will grow lonely there away from the world. Even the princess in her stately mansion longs for the sunshine.
Little girl, little girl listen to the night. There are fireflies and gentle rains to lift your tired soul. Never mind what the world calls for from you and melt into dreamless sleep. My darling, I know how fast dreams turn to nightmares and how your mind is plagued by the unknown. Find comfort in the arms of elders and friends and be at peace.
Little girl, little girl never forget what you are. You were born under signs of fire with passion filling those little veins. Made stronger with every step off the floor where he put you yet, you my love, remain a kind and gentle soul. You are never weaker alone.
Little girl you are a lion walking among house cats that have forgotten their size. Remember yours.
Everyone finds something to make the world stop for a second. For some, it’s drugs or booze, but mine would be you. That feeling of having you this close makes it hard to believe there is a world outside turning. Every single motion is in slow motion, and I can feel you on a plane beyond the physical. I can feel your soul touch mine in the way you look at me with those wise chocolate eyes.
My god those eyes.
Breathing in and out with you has become a sensual experience. You can’t seem to hide how much you feel for me despite all that trying. I don’t believe I’ve ever seen so much in one pair of eyes. I think I could love those eyes as well as the boy they accompany more deeply than you could imagine.
There is no urgency about this thing we have going which makes it perfection. A steady hunger for your presence always draws me back–I crave the light you bring to my eyes. Here in the summer heat of this apartment with the upstairs neighbors rap music thumping the ceiling, I feel my heart give way. Please fall with me because, my dear, it’s terrifying and wonderful. Your face in my fingertips and your eyes on mine crumble every one of my defenses. I’m yours.
I took a stroll today back through the town I know better than I should, past the house of the boy that I first kissed, the one I thought I loved, the one that I thought loved me, and place after place my heart took more than I ever thought it could handle.
Everything smelled the same, looked the same–the only difference was the person I have become, not so free or as innocent as I once had been. A tempered version of the fiery youth I was walks past the tree blooming like it did that spring when night wanderings were a way of life. Your perfume is the melody that takes me back no matter where I go, and I smile. It makes me think of my partner in crime and the way the cool, wet grass felt against my skin in the heat of summer night air as we talked about everything. I never guessed that one day were would be strangers again.
All of them seemed so permanent. Those moments are so special to me–some shared under moonlight, some under the sun–but now it is as if someone else lived that life. Seeing each other in passing down the isle at the grocers doesn’t spark a “hello.”
Instead it’s fear.
Perhaps we are afraid that the reminiscing ruins the memory, or perhaps we truly are strangers. New people whose pasts are nothing but a dream to help shape this perception of reality and who we have become. My dream is fading too now of the dawn of my life, but I still remember. The sweet, stolen wine and hot tubs filled to the brim with laughing bodies and the prayer the sun would never rise are once again awakened through the haze by sitting under these blooms in the blanket of twilight air. Even if it has to just be me alone from now on, remembering has never felt so good.
It was the end of the party, and the wild thumping of the bass had died to a steady heartbeat. I’ve never been afraid of the night and the solitude it brings as I wait for the car to come around. A group of rowdy boys burst from the back door laughing as a wild one runs loose through the sandy courtyard. Such inhibition lost, it makes me giggle at that kind of freedom. Like a lost lamb, the wild one spots me at the curb and begins his descent with a piece of stale pizza dangling from his drunken clutch.
“You are the prettiest person I have ever set eyes on. Come inside out of the night with me,” he slurs through a drunken smirk.
I shake my head and smile like a mother does at her children after they walk in the door covered in mud. The rest of the pack catches up to you to join in howls of self congratulations as they crowd around me to sniff out their chances with me. A smaller, shy one with strawberry blonde curls and freckles speckled over his face looks silently at me. I walked slowly toward you and you pulled me into a one armed embrace to whisper in my ear apologies on behalf of the brute squad. I smiled at your gentle kindness, so rare and beautiful.
The wild one pulls me towards him.
“I need to see you again. Sunday? Wednesday? I just need to see you!”
The desperation in his clutch and the pain in his eyes under that cheeky smile, moved something in me. I reached my hand up to his face to ever so gently stroke the rogue hair from his forehead.
“I’ll make a deal. Not tonight, but if I see you again, I’ll go out with you, no questions asked and my treat. Standing here under the stars is magic, but if they see fit to have us meet again, we will know it’s more than the song of the night that makes you want me.”
As I say this I catch the eye of the redhead. Headlights catch my attention as my taxi arrives, but I leave the wild one for one last embrace by you. I meant those words to you as well, speckled darling.
I’ll let the stars be my guide, and let’s let fate take us on an adventure.
Laying here as the sun kisses my bare body and the breeze blows lilac kisses across the yard has to be the best feeling in the entire world. It is as if I can feel the calm pulse of the earth as it smiles today.
A small sigh of pure pleasure escapes my moist lips as a bead of sweet tea dribbles down my chin only to be caught by a pink tongue and a smile. The finch family living in the bush at the corner of the yard sing to me the sweetest song full of more joy than I can remember. Clothing seems to only hinder this connection as the sun wraps me in a gentle warmth, and a calm breeze provides a periodic respite. Time doesn’t exist right now, and for all I know I am the only person alive to witness this day of perfection.
After so many weeks, my restless soul stills to take every minute of this in. Alone, but not lonely; exposed, but not vulnerable. I have been waiting for a moment like this, where everything was just perfect for a little while.