I dress and tidy my hair, pulling it into a ponytail as usual. I can’t stand to deal with the unruly curls as I struggle with bills and taxes and chores and writing one more great paragraph. You ask me to leave it down more often, for you. You like it wild, wavy, brushed back. I see only a forehead that looms too large. You ask, and I cry.
I cannot give you even something so small. Because I am paralyzed by the feverish fears that persist from my childhood. I will never be carefree, and you exude it in abundance.
You joke so often, I sometimes cannot tell what’s genuine. There are moments and glimpses and raw truth beneath the laughter and sarcasm, but nothing concrete. I wish I could be braver, be less revealing of my own doubts. They only pain you. And that, in turn, pains me more than you will ever know.
You insist that I don’t love you as much as I say, that I can do better. I cannot tell if you believe me or genuinely do not see how I stare, simply in awe that a person who can meet me toe to toe without fear exists. That someone can be a bigger joker than I. That someone could be so generous and selfless in all the ways that matter most. I stare and wish you could know what I know, feel it as I feel it. I wish I knew your mind better, that you’d shake me when I’m hurting you unwittingly so I could reassure you and extricate my ankle from my esophagus.
Disappointing you’s getting me down.
Day 173: Ahead By A Century – The Tragically Hip