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i try real hard not to feel it. to always be three moves ahead. to fall asleep first. to come first. to lie to my cute face as i put my makeup on first. to become steel & bone first. to acquire a new lipstick & read poems aloud first. i have journals full of tricks just i don't have to feel it. but even my brown femme fortitude has limitations. & every now & then i find myself busted open at my seams.
tonight i teeter on that tender seam brink as i haul my not-so-small panda babe into the house, guiding them by their arm, hoping not to drop too many things. as i usher them into our depression-storm of a mess room, i urge them onto their side of the bed, "the corner, baby, scoot into your corner." i feel bad for not being tidier, & then i remind myself that we're alive, & that that counts. i think about writing these words down, & make myself a strawberry promise. i wonder if i will always strain to make a life outta shit circumstances, & tell myself, i hope not.
i count & recount the number of years i have been alone, & finally conclude that it really is nine. i think about how years ago i was simply giddy about being untethered, wanted nothing to do with it, was eager to brave being my own wild companion. but that was before all of the community fallouts & heart shatters, before the blood moon betrayals, back when i had a lover to fuck me so good i forgot my name, every wednesday morning, like clock work. i've since learned heartache makes the lonely years feel longer.
again & again, i try to find comfort in knowing that i'd rather be alone than with an asshole or someone who is harming me but calling it love. that i'd really rather cry myself to sleep & pray to the moon & talk to my grandmother's spirit than try to fall into slumber next to someone who can't see me or love me or let me in. though sometimes these comforts feel too small for my whale heart, & then i just wail. i cry & sob & bring down the house. i make sure to get the sorrow deep down in the guts & make sure all the gods & goddesses know that i am angry at being this alone. & then i curl up on my bed, sometimes holding myself sometimes not, & peel out that soft & lonely words, i still love you.
there are times when this is enough, & i can calm down enough to pick a show & binge on some episodes. or i call a friend & talk about these feels out loud. but there are also times when it isn't, & i'm afraid my heart will bleed out & i curse all the lovers who failed me, who cut me, who made me believe i was less than. i berate my tender heart for loving so many, for falling for so many, for being so goddamn open all the fucking time. i look at myself in the mirror & wonder what is wrong with me, then make myself mashed potatoes with lots of butter & listen to my sad playlists on relentless repeat. my only hope on these kinds of days is sleep. knock me out kinda sleep. fuck the world kind of sleep. thank god i don't have to stay in this world kinda sleep. the next morning i usually wake up with that glow that only comes from sobbing your face off, & the sensation of having no skin is thick. i make sure to hydrate more than usual, then go about my day. one breathe on front of the other.
i resent feeling lonely, that sometimes i have to say it, name it, grieve it, accept it. i also resent wanting the opposite of lonely, of wanting companionship, of wanting to be in some kinda --ship with someone who can love me in all the ways i do & in new ways i haven't yet. because i do, i want something more than this loneliness, to make love to something other than this loneliness, to feel something other than an echo in my body at night.
i'm not sure where this is going, if anywhere, or how to bring this to a close before i open a can of worms that requires me to cry all night my myself, but this is good enough. this fucking feels like one of the most vulnerable things i've ever written. this is who i am when no one is looking. who i am beneath the leo in venus charisma. who i am beneath the eyebrow that raises involuntarily. good night. & send me tender heart woo if you'd like to & can.