What This Is


It’s a blank word processor document, that rhythmically winking line coaxing you to start something new.

It’s the peeling paint on the garage from no primer, the peeling skin on your feet from no shoes.

It’s laying in your driveway with nothing to do.

It’s your first concussion, your first stitches, breaks, bruises.

It’s watching Scooby Doo because you want to.

It’s hating your parents’ music.

It’s having faith in everything and everyone having faith in you.

It’s that rush of adrenaline after an inhaler puff before a basketball game.

It’s the first running nose of every winter and the first sunburn of every summer.

It’s counting on that.

It’s counting on every December and June and the jump and drop in between. The up and the down.  The Spring and the Fall.

It’s making a shiny new friend with everything in the world to talk about.

It’s every smell reminding you of something happy.

It’s looking at yourself in the mirror, really looking, and wondering when you got there. Or when you checked out.

It’s the feeling of a loose tooth, tender gum underneath, penny blood lining the border.

It’s elevators transforming from something fun and scary to just another adult placeholder. Here to there and nothing else.

It’s jokes wearing out and being forgotten, left in stale lockers and lunch boxes.

It’s being tired, really. Really tired.

It’s crying every time you hear a Garth Brooks song because you hear your dad. And your dad isn’t singing along.

It’s nobody ever reading these things and kind of liking it better that way.

It’s struggling to make conversation with old, dusty brick walls.

It’s always having something to occupy your time.

It’s those old stitches and breaks and bruises turning into aches and pains and scars.

It’s watching Scooby Doo, not because you want to, but because you need to.

It’s every smell reminding you of something sad that once was happy. Or maybe it can be both but at the same time.

It’s all of the boundaries becoming misty and the fog rolling in.

It’s the realization of all of your teachers one day dying. The same with the mailman, the ice cream truck driver, Jack Nicholson, Wheel of Fortune.

It’s suddenly clear that you can identify with more than happy and sad. Blinding Anxiety. Throbbing hurt. Stifling Stress.

It’s a full word processor document.  Same rhythmically winking line, but the page is all dirty, no longer new. Covered in scattered words and thoughts.

It’s weaved with a kind of sticky sadness. It doesn’t end with hope, because hope is the idea that it will never end.

It’s saving your progress. Leaving it behind. Coming back to check on it once in a while.

It’s one day clicking the “new” button and being coaxed into that neat, white page. And it’s kind of feeling guilty about it at first.

It’s then that it is understood that you’ve probably done this before, filling up folders and folders of your dwellings.

It’s that rhythmically winking line telling you it’s okay to move on.

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image – [F]oxymoron