Solitude is comfort. Sitting inside my heart, knowing it is just me to look out for, has a level of safety, of solace, of relief. I know my requirements and tend to them endlessly.
But now there’s you. you. You have a space carved out inside my heart, with flashes of your strong hands and soft eyes, every squeal of joy, the tightness in my cheeks, our supple hearts fleshed as one.
But it’s not just me anymore.
Many years of solitude have made rusted the spaces in my heart meant for another. I am habitually engulfed in a sense of seclusion. And for a moment I believe again that it is just me, as it always has been.
And then you press against my hearts’ walls, your presence juiced into my veins, coating every corner, and I remember you are here. you. In all your gentle glory, inside my head and by my side and in my heart, enveloping me.
It isn’t just me anymore. And what an honour it is that it’s you.
Does time work against you? Is it time that slowly devours your flesh, ages your skin, shrinks your brain? Is time the silent killer, the morbid pessimist, the reality check that you are far from indesctructible? Are you ok with that, an immovable force dictating you?
When death stretches your eyelids, so tight you don’t have time to rewind, to have tea with your demons, to repent and regret and relinquish yourself, they stay rigoured, a forced awakening of your last moments.
Only a life of sin would force your eyes open upon death, as if to say, “watch yourself burn.”
An afterlife of eternal unrest, reserved for the wicked.
I gave up all my childhood relics too early. I refused my dolls, my stuffed animals, my notebooks full of novel ideas, to swallow maturity instead.
I was sooner than ready ushered into adulthood, to wear the mark of maturity ripe on my flat chest. Every “you’re so mature” proclaimed from an adult singed it deeper into my flesh. The scar soothed my loss.
Yet, I was not welcome in adult spaces. I was hushed and spoken over, my emotions belittled, contrived in the twilight zone of being a child in years, but not in feeling.
Now, I am an adult in years only. In feeling, perhaps a quiet, old matriarch whose hands are calloused with past lives.
But I have danced for many years in the arms of apparent maturity, surely I should be a natural?
I am anything but. The dance is awkward and clumsy, and my teacher is absent. I traded the precious performance of childhood for adult approval.
I love women who are hard, who are calloused, whose fingertips are yellowed from cigarettes, who never divulges into their vulnerabilities until they give you little conversational snippets that you don’t dare pry into, who are aggresively maternal regardless of if they have children or not, who are rough and tactile and smart.