It’s been a while.
*deviously winks and sips non-specific beverage with great aplomb*
I hope that when you think of me,
a million tiny memories start bobbing up
to the surface of your memory,
and I hope you wish that you could erase them
even though they’re your favorite thing
to play on the back of your eyelids
while you sleep, like a movie
that you can’t stop watching even though
it’s making you cry.
I hope that the thought of me feels
like a laceration right across your skull.
I hope that you want to tattoo my name
up and down your arms
because you can’t stop thinking about me
and because you hope that putting me
into something as tangible and corporeal as a single word
will turn me from the phantom haunting your thoughts
into something that you can hold in your hands.
I hope that when your head hits the pillow at night,
all you can think about is
how many times you looked at me that day,
and how many times I was looking back at you.
And I hope it kills you
when you look at me not looking at you,
And I hope it kills you
when you look at me looking at someone else.
I hope that when you try to clear your heart out
to make room for someone new,
you find that you can’t,
because I am a permanent resident—
a tenant who has not paid rent for months,
but you can’t bring yourself to kick out.
I hope that when you try to look at every single star
in the night sky,
you think of how I would be be doing the same exact thing,
and I hope that makes you sad.
And when a song I told you about
pops up on Pandora,
I hope that makes you sad, too.
I hope that you go to sleep thinking about me
and I hope you wake up thinking about me
and I hope you go insane
because all you can do is
Because that’s exactly what you did to me.
We are the generation of the selfie and of self-induced sadness,
born in the same year that three of my idols would commit suicide.
Most poets die with the lights on,
but we all plan on drowning. We are the generation of grounding
lightning into coffee beans, of pulling strings from the hems of our dresses until we unravel,
of leaving footprints in the gravel on the way to the edge of the world. I am a computer girl,
and I was born in the year of the boar. Maybe that’s why I’m a whore,
and my best friends are all pigs,
and I dig my own grave every time I open my mouth.
We are the generation of meaningless trophies, it’s true.
My parents like to tell me: “you
think that you deserve everything.” But we are a generation of scraping,
watching our parents cry over housing prices
and dying white clothes black to blend in.
We are children of the wind, born to land wherever freedom settles us
and we take our parent’s debt with us everywhere.
We are a generation of change and of chains, and mostly
I think we deserve any fame we can get:
thirty people hitting “like” on a status.
Girls posting photos of themselves naked have earned every moment of bliss
they receive from finding themselves beautiful in their own skin.
We are a generation of women airbrushed to perfection
and daughters taking pills to feel pretty again.
And mostly, I don’t like to make sweeping generalizations about my friends
but I think it’s okay
if at the end of some days we feel like relaxing,
taking a photo of our dinner,
telling two hundred near-strangers how lucky we feel
to be existing anywhere at all.
Everybody has one, if not more.
Our demons haunt us. They are the things that always linger in the recesses of our minds. They are the things we wrestle with—our fatal flaws. They are poised, ready to flick our heel and make us crumble at a moment’s notice. They are the things that make us feel alone in the night.
Most are like dragons. They are beastly, huge. Impossible. They aim to destroy the ones they afflict. They wreak havoc like clockwork. But to defeat these demons, one needs only irrational courage. These are demons that are real, tangible, present. You can grasp them and wrench them into oblivion.
The worst demons are those that are not so much demons at all. They are too familiar to be evil. They are like a blanket that you draw around yourself and huddle into, comforted. It is not until too late that you realize that it is suffocating you—or rather, that you have suffocated yourself. These demons are quiet. They stick around for years and years, convincing you that they are merely a part of your routine, or worse—a part of yourself. They set up shop inside your head and work their way into your core, slowly. So. Slowly. So slowly that you do not realize that day after day, you are giving up infinitesimal bits of yourself.
These demons are the worst, because to kill them is to kill yourself.
Or so it feels.
I am haunted by the demon of complacency. It is the most evil of all the blanket demons, simply because it is not diabolical. It is not detestable, repulsive, or hideous. It is pleasant. It is easy to give in to. It is so comforting to be content with where I am and who I am, right here, right now. Things are good. Why would I need anything more?
I am lost. I am stuck in the indeterminate space between failure and greatness. And I am the reason that I am here. It is a private hell, one in which I am screaming, but there is no sound. I could rescue myself, but I don’t want to. I am my own worst enemy.
I almost wish I had a dragon demon. I almost wish I had to fight the same cliche battles as everyone else—depression, addictions, etc. I could kill those demons.
I can’t kill my demon because I am okay with it.
And yet, it is killing me.