by Grace Houck, film still from Melancholia
you are sad and i am sorry. life is hard on everyone but it’s been extra rough with you. i don’t know every detail about you or your life but i do know that your heart has grown tired from past experiences that have caused you pain. i may not learn what those past experiences are however i will acknowledge that they exist. mental health issues have caused turmoil in my life as well. my tendency to get sad and cold has ripped me from those that i love. sometimes i think that the world would be fine without me, sometimes you can’t get out of bed, i get it. my vice is illegal substances; sometimes i feel that the best version of me is when i’m seeing double and my body feels like it’s on a cloud.
you’re no stranger to smoke, you inhale all that you can. your lungs are turning black and you have no worries about the repercussions you may face years from now. i worry about you, whether i’m sober or my head is drowning in dopamine. you are constantly sitting in the back of my mind; you’re quiet there, you don’t demand that i pay attention to you, you just sit there, you run your hands through your hair, you listen to music, you read, you do quiet activities.
things are different, i don’t know if you feel it but i do. the air surrounding me has grown cold and suddenly i’m too self-conscious to make eye contact with my peers. every time i see you my heart slams against my rib-cage, my lungs crumple, my head grows dizzy, and i feel my knees shake; you’re doing this to me again. this time around i am not feeling the butterflies, instead i feel my lips quiver and eyes drop.
when i first heard you speak i nearly clipped my headphones. my name rolled off your tongue, the act made my serotonin levels reach an all time high. the way that passion oozes through every word you speak makes my heart sway, even your snoring made me smile. you called me when your blood alcohol level was much higher than legally acceptable; i heard your laugh through the speaker of my phone. it was the same laugh you would use when we first met and you still thought i was cute. it was genuine and suddenly my vision tunneled. you made me weak. do i do the same for you?
right now weeds are sprouting from your garden and i will try my best to pull them. i will water the flowers that have lost their color, i will glue petals back where they belong. is that alright? may i stay the night? because all i want right now is to feel your exhale on my neck, you are the warmest blanket i have ever had. could i kiss you? could i hold your hand? we live in the same damn building yet we don’t speak. this campus is making me sick. if i had my car i’d drive down a road that is loosely paved roads and once i reached a dead end my fists would pound on the steering wheel. i’d drive to the beach and listen to the waves.
i felt closest to you the night we took my friend’s car to the ocean. we kissed at red lights and i glanced at you while you stared out the window. your features were soft then; you were soft that night. we looked at the stars on a beach that was freezing. you are so prominent in my mind; you are large and current but that night made me feel small. we were living in a movie, disconnected from reality and ignorant.
“darling, i have responsibilities. i cannot follow your reckless behavior.” well, why not? let’s throw caution to the wind! we are young and this world can be ours if only we demand it! we could stay in bed all day or we could go to the city and make something of ourselves! baby, we could be common household names if we wanted to! wait, why won’t you take my hand? my fingers have grown restless without you and i’ve started to sleep without socks. you’ve become a taboo subject.
i miss you. inside of my head i am screaming, my thoughts are so strong that they’re making my vocal cords hurt, my throat is dry, i want your tongue touching mine. i risk seeing you everywhere i go and that anxiety has gotten to my bones. you’re wonderful, did you know? you are everything good and more, i am honored to have even met you. i know that times are rough and you are trying to stay afloat but i will gladly buy all of the lifejackets and blow up rafts that are in stock at this sporting goods store; i will throw out floaty after floaty until you finally grab on. i want to knock out your demons and have a go at your negative thoughts, i want to whisper words of encouragement in your ears as you softly sleep next to me. i want to hammer home the idea that you are here and you are alive and i will always care for you. my heart is a bruised peach and you still gave it a shot.
today is the same as every other day, gloomy and weird; i don’t feel comfortable in my skin. i want to tear it off in front of you, i want you to see that i bleed too, my lungs are charred but my bones are strong. figure out my heart, figure out my mind. i’m going to wait around for you because i love heartbreak. my eyes are tired and all i want is a kiss. something tells me that you are worth the wait, i think that something could be wrong.
Grace Houck is 19 and originally from an island in Washington State. She now attends Wagner College in Staten Island, New York for English and Film Making. She likes to write.