She butted into a conversation to say how nice it was to hear me laugh,
Told me she felt like being social, and sat at the other table,
And sounds like me when I talk.
She’s the worst combination for my personality,
Self-confident and incompetent.
She changed the spreadsheet without permission,
Calls her fiancé her partner.
My partner this. My partner that.
I have thought it out. And now I know.
Exactly why I don’t like her.
I tore up the paintings I was making for my brother for Christmas,
After my mom called to tell me grandma was going into hospice.
I told him what happened and that I’d make him more.
He nodded and forgot, I’m sure.
I finally finished them, just now in April.
I told him they’re coming.
He sent his address.
And now I have the uphill battle to make it to the post office.
I went on a terrible awful date, where I said more to the waiter than the dinner partner.
And yet, I want him to call me, and message me too much.
Is it so I can decide how I really feel about him?
Maybe I want everyone to love me, just because I want options,
Or choices. Or it’s something evolutionary?
Am I so reactionary, I can’t go get what I want?
I have to react to how you feel.
Think about it forever.
Even if I didn’t like you,
I want you to think I’m great.
External validation from the opposite sex, I guess. Confirmation that my worst fears aren’t true,
That I’m not unlovable, socially awkward, unattractive, mean.
Somehow them wanting to see me again, spend time with me again,
Is proof I’m worthy of living, loving.
I live with a very critical woman,
And I’m worried it’s rubbing off on me.
Not allowed to misspeak,
Not allowed to leave unscrutinized.
Or you’ll get teased, or it’ll get brought up again,
Or they’ll remember.
She waits for me to fail, so she can feel better about herself,
But I’m too competitive to let her win, get away with it.
And there’s a tension, and I can never relax.
I’m worried I’m making other people feel the way she makes me feel.
All I want to say to the whole world is leave me alone.
Let me make mistakes in private.
I felt like the whole lining of my uterus fell out.
And I uttered a quiet, annoyed oh my god.
I wanted to tell my boss, I need to work the rest of the day from home,
Or I will spend 1/8th of my day walking to and from the bathroom.
Taking pain pills and head-down on my desk.
But I didn’t because somehow,
Women are supposed to be quiet about this massive pain
If we’re at work,
It’s not supposed to exist,
I’m not supposed to wince if I’m in a meeting, and I get a muscle cramp hard enough to leave me on the floor.
I’m supposed to be proper, and whisper the gross words I say instead.
My sister confided in me, over tea and a Pakistani food truck,
She looks for mother figures, but hates that she looks for mother figures,
Angry, because she thinks our mom didn’t do a good enough job.
But I don’t care.
My mother has been a person to me for a long time.
What can I tell her when she looks at me like she wants me to be angry too.
She wants me to stop seeing our step-dad in solidarity with her.
But being threatened with being hit,
Doesn’t scare me.
I’m tougher than she is in a lot of ways.
And there’s a strength in that I didn’t realize I had.
I’m painting triangles,
Not well, skillfully or with meaning,
But because it makes me happy,
And I’ve been excited to come home with something to do for the past three days.
My mother told me,
I think you should have a baby, so you can center yourself,
And have something to live for,
You could get one of those people to do it for you,
I think it would be good for you.
You’d make such a good mom.
It’s the exact opposite of what I’ve been telling myself,
To be okay alone.
To be solid here, right here, and live here, and not tomorrow.
And now I don’t know which one’s right.
I miss the days before I realized I am my body,
If souls don’t exist,
Before I realized I can’t say,
My body wants this, my body wants that,
Instead of I want. I need.
I miss the days when I thought I could escape the skin I wear,
When I didn’t realize I have to live in this forever,
Be trapped here forever,
When I get sick,
When it fails me,
And when I finish dying.