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Similar Deviations
and you'll never forget:

When you realized that everybody dies alone.


When you didn't take your eyeliner off one night, so in the morning
your eyes would look as hollow as you felt.


When you spent a year blacking out the sad endings in your books.
(When you wished that life could also work like that.)


When you learnt that "We need a break" means "I am going to break your heart."


When you fell in love with the stars, and the way he says "us."


When he told you, "More than just a long time."


The first time you hung up to the sound of your father laughing.


When you walked home from a party in January, and couldn't remember
if you were still breathing.


When you begged him to let you be sad, and he smiled and said, "No."


When you saw the irony of drawing trees on paper and how alive you've felt
after being sure you were dead.
"I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night."
- Galileo Galilei

For Conor (:iconpyrofiend324:) To early birthdays and every lovely thing you do. :heart:
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what I've learned:



    I still remember singing in my room when I was six, and having my mother come down the hall and slam the door so hard that the windows shook. Her nails hurt when she scraped the tears off my face. "It doesn't matter what you want," she'd always tell me. Like, when that drunk driver swerved and hit her car – I didn't want her to leave me, and it didn't matter.



    Once on vacation I bought a pair of fuzzy leather heels for two hundred dollars, and when I wore them to dinner, I found out that
      1. "Suede" is a fancy word for "fuzzy leather."
    And 2. Good things don't last: That night my cousin told me that she thought 135 pounds was a little too big for five foot eight. So I tore my tights up to the thigh and threw those new suede heels in the garbage. It felt good later, to know that they couldn't hate me more than I hate myself.



    My six-word story from ninth grade reads, "If I don't laugh, I'll cry." When I read that treating people like trash to gets them to need your approval, I finally understood Charlie, so I threw my Psych book at him on my way to math. All the way to the office I laughed louder than he could scream.



    Two things I'm still wondering:
      when will clear toasters be invented – and, what happens when there aren't enough stars out there for every broken heart?



    I think, the problem is, I tried getting older without growing up. I picked my eyelashes for wishes but never let them go. I say too much and think too little. I have what I don't need and need what I don't have and nobody really says where to start looking.



    If I ever learn how to lucid dream, I won't try to fly or fuck a celebrity – I'll find my elementary-school self and hug her and cry, because I've missed her so goddamn much these days.



    In the middle of the night, it would give me some relief to know that other people will never know what I'm truly feeling. Now I realize, nobody truly knows. Now I don't fall back asleep, either.



    And I know, 135 pounds for five foot eight isn't fat at all, but this perfect family, who hides me under big, dark words – and then has me in their Christmas photos like I'm supposed to belong – is not okay. It's just enough. (I have fucking had enough.)




    My grandmother's last words were, "I'm finally going to see Thomas again," who was my uncle that died in 1987. Her hand was limp in mine, but she didn't pass on until morning. And it was terrible, that she wasn't afraid. She didn't say, "I don't want to go," like they do in the movies. Because she told me once. She knew. We're all going.






From my eleventh grade English journal –

Day One: I dog-earred wedding catalogues.
Day Two: I'll never get married.

Day Three: The world smiled back a little.
Day Four: I'm nothing.

Today: I don't know how to end stories.
Tomorrow: Not all stories have to end.
What sixteen years of memory will teach you.

Also, my therapist says my family is a bad influence on me (as if I didn't know.)
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eight

    I told my brother I was going to be a fairy when I grew up. Or a bird, or sprite – something with wings so I could touch the clouds. I learned that fairies weren't real when I was six, after I tried to jump off a parking structure to see if I could fly. That day I also broke my leg in three places and saw an angel's face in the clouds. (And don't tell anybody, but sometimes I spend all day looking for him.)




seven

    My neighbors back in Denver had a son who was a schizophrenic. After he went off his meds for the third time, he painted the windows red and told his wife she had to abort their baby because it wasn't human. A year later, I heard that he was arrested after pointing a hunting rifle on his family. It was loaded, but he didn't pull the trigger because his mother said she trusted him. I guess love is kind of like that, too.




six

    Seattle didn't come until I was fifteen, in October. My family and I took a boat ride on Friday. We listened to the captain in the speakers telling us how he'd lost his daughter in an ocean storm. He said, "Sometimes when it rains, I'll add a little of my own water." After we docked, my father held my hand for the rest of that day. And, even if the rain on his face was by itself, it still breaks my heart.




five

    Until I took my first year of Spanish, I would make two dozen paper cranes every August for my mother's birthday. Then my new professor found me folding the class syllabus on the second week of school. "Is this an art course?" she asked a question with no answer, pinching a paper wing between her fingers. When I told her it was for my mother, she tore it up and the pieces fell on my desk. She told me to throw them out, but I didn't. Instead I sat there, closing my eyes to tears, and waited for the punishment to end. I'm still waiting.




four

    My mother knew that something wasn't right long before my father. But as soon as she said my name with "hospital", he said hers with "neglect," and their shouting was the tattoo inside my head.   But they weren't the reason I stayed up for days. Because it's just that, sleeping is really hard when you can't stop crying.




three

    I grew up afraid I wouldn't know how to kiss. I thought that, if you fix a broken boy, then you wouldn't have to know because he'd teach you and love you. The first boy I kissed pushed me into a bike rack when I tried to ask him out. The first boy I fixed took one summer to forget I ever existed, after I was convinced we would marry. So instead of learning how to kiss, my father said in litany that I should be grateful for learning early that you can't trust everyone. All I learned was that there's more than one way to feel pain.




two

    We were maybe five or six, but they still hated me, maybe because I was new. Or blond with blue eyes. Or I tried too hard when they cornered me on the playground; when they told me to fight and I still got punched. Or maybe I just talked too much. Maybe, when talking wasn't enough and I had to scream, I shouldn't have. Maybe I shouldn't have tried, either. Actually – come to think of it, I really didn't. The nose splint and this memory still in my head say that I didn't try enough.




one

    And maybe. The truth is – I was only screaming because nobody ever listened.
If dA allowed longer titles, I also could have called this:
eight things about growing up that weren't so great.
eight things about growing up that could have easily ruined my childhood.
eight things about growing up that I wish never happened.
eight things about growing up that define me (I'm still trying to figure out if that's good or bad.


And yes, it's non-fiction. Be gentle.
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    When I was young, my virginity was sacred. Entire religions pray over it and my father bought a gun so long as it meant protecting it. We throw away half of our refrigerator each week – meanwhile, 24,000 people die of starvation every day. Hardest part is, sometimes wasting things can't be helped.





    At the bus stop, before I could drive, boys would ask for my phone number while I tugged up the neck of my shirt. Asked me how old I was while I crossed my legs under my skirt. I told them I had a boyfriend even when it wasn't true, because they'll always respect another man more than my disinterest.




    Hearing "I love you" for the first time is like getting hit by a train and only feeling the angel as they pull you up to Heaven.




    People who are manic can jump off roofs or sell their house to buyers who don't exist. For me, it was fucking six guys in four days and spending $150 in three. That wasn't good enough, though, so instead of help all I got was a smiley-face sticker and long, quiet car ride home.




    Whenever I drink before class in the library now, the librarian thinks I don't notice her watching. "Give her some room," she said last year, when I nearly passed out right before the bell. "I know these bipolar kids, caffeine can trigger them." I always liked that – "trigger." Like stress is a detonator. Loud noises are gunpowder. Coffee is a bullet and we're just too fucking nuts to realize that we're a gun. Meanwhile, I don't drink caffeine, or even coffee. I drink hot chocolate. And seeing her silent terror every morning would almost be funny if it didn't hurt so much.




    Todd stopped speaking to me when we turned seventeen. After I told him that I didn't want kids. I never told him that I loved kids. Or that I was bipolar. Or that I loved them enough to never give one a twenty-five percent chance of living with the same mistakes as I have.




    To that boy from tenth grade who held doors open for me: no, asking me to "go off lithium for a while" so you could fuck me is not gentlemanly.




    Last year in Poetry, for the final assessment we wrote down our biggest secrets, put them in a box, and buried them out on the school lawn. Most of it was drugs and sex and betrayal going into the ground like a bad soap opera. But mine wasn't. Mine was that I hated poetry. Life is confusing already without trying to figure out what red leaves mean, or why Robert Frost took the road less travelled (or, if I take it, if it's too late to make any difference at all.)




    An administrator at my high school used to offer to walk me to the cafeteria every day. He'd beg me to stay calm when the strawberry Pop-Tarts ran out, until I finally punched him in the face. Because helping me does not require an asterisk. My boyfriend loving me is not a fetish. My flaws don't make me beautiful – they just make me flawed. Being crazy isn't a fucking fashion statement.




    Also, maybe I don't hate poetry. These days I'm starting to appreciate those red leaves and Robert Frost. Because I've still got miles to go before I sleep.
My language gets saltier when lithium is around, apparently.

Writing stories that are half-true took a lot longer than I thought. But I really do hate poetry. Kind of.

I'm not sure what's more offensive to be honest.
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therapy:
"I'm not an artist. I'm just a kid with a keyboard."

“And, y'know, I’m probably not really sick.”

“I read a lot of books. I probably just act like this because I saw it somewhere on the Internet.”

“I just want to be more like my dad.”

“I’m really just a pathological crybaby who wants attention,” I tell you.



You say, “I think there are better ways to get attention than fake a mental disorder.”

“Maybe I’m doing it for fun.”



Charlie,
The problem isn’t that I need to see a therapist.
The problem is that I need to see a therapist because I dream about slamming your head into a tree.

Right after we broke up, you took me to the bike cage and promised me everything would be okay. Then you got together with that fifteen year old from Michigan and told our friends that I was a freak.

Slamming your head into a tree might be painful, but nothing will ever hurt more than knowing I did nothing wrong and I got hurt, anyways.


It’s been eleven months since then and I’m still in the exact same place.

I compared falling in love to somebody holding a gun to your head in an eighth grade English assignment, and I nearly got suspended for it.

But it’s not fair because falling in love with you put me in therapy.

People say I need to let go, but I will never let go. I will never try to move past this because then I’ll lose, to another boy, and the only person with a gun to my head will be me.


Dad,
The problem isn’t that you loved me.

The problem is that I found a broken boy sixteen years later who was just like you. And when he broke my heart, it was like every time I had to find you passed out on the couch.

It was worse.

It was worse because I did everything I could to make us better, and in the end I lost both of you, anyways.

The problem isn’t that you’re not dead.
The problem is that I think being dead hurts less.

The problem isn’t that I still love you.
The problem is that I hate myself so much that I let him break my heart even after you’d already done it for him.
(The difference is, when you said you were sorry, you meant it.)

The problem isn’t that people were telling me to blame you.
The problem is that people were telling me to blame you for everything that was wrong with my life. And I did – and I’m sorry, too.


Quietly, you say: “Are you having fun?”

I can't feel the tears until they're halfway down my face.

“No, I’m not.”
This is not a poem, because my pain is not beautiful. My suffering is not an art form. These are three letters I wrote to my therapist, to my father, and to my ex.

April 18th is the day Charlie broke up with me.
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i.

    When I met you, I would only bring tragedies up to the rooftop, or down to the street corner, or to the bike cage. You asked me if any of them were true. "You make the saddest stories so beautiful with that pen," you said, on the same day that we held hands for the first time and I found out you smoked. It's all we are now, though. Just more depressing words from my pen. You loved my writing that much; and that was more than me, and it ruined us.



-


iii.

    The January before you turned twenty-one, you told me you were afraid to become an adult. "I don't want to be somebody a child will hate." You had always smelled like peppermint, cologne, and the truth, and it made me so sure when I told you, "You won't be. You're different." And hey – it wouldn't be the first time I was wrong.



-


v.

    We spent the summer talking about baby names and our house in Colorado. You wanted a daughter and I wanted four boys, and one of them had to be called James. It was October when you asked me for your jacket back, and it was about two days after that you decided you didn't love me anymore. "I'm not leaving you," you told me. But you weren't staying. And, after you were gone, I decided to never have children because I really wanted a son named James, and he would make it impossible to forget.



-


iv.

    Sometimes I'd ask about your mother. I'd ask if she knew about prison camps in the Congo. Once you'd stopped talking about what she did when you were five/six/eleven/seventeen, you'd pull me closer and say, "Between her and those camps? There's no difference." But there is now. The difference is, you'd been lying to me about her. Me, I was the only one hurt, in the end.



-


vi.

    It took a few years, but I need caffeine now because of you, and we both stepped out of the same coffeehouse on the same Monday. "Tell me something," I said; and God, I tried not to cry, I really did. "Was any of it real?" And you just said no, and I never saw you again. (Your answer hadn't changed. But the way you said it, and the way you smelled, had. And it hurt, okay?)



-


ii.

    You told me your name was Drew. I lied and said mine was Victoria. It gets me sometimes – that you knew I used to crush mayflies under my thumbs because I wanted to feel big, but you never knew my name. Meanwhile, I knew yours, and I never understood you. Like how you fell off of your cousin's motorbike when you were young but you didn't break anything. Or, how you woke up that one day, and all of your feelings for me were just gone.



-


vii.

    I think they expected me to get upset when I found out about your wife and daughter. They expected me to rush right over to the morgue, where they told me you were weeping in front of a pane of glass and asking for me. But I was your second option before – and you'd never once cried for me, not like I did – so I all said was, "Please don't." I haven't put the battery back in my phone. Also, they all expect me to pick up my pen, so I won't.



-




      You gave up on us and me, I just gave up.
saying all that cute stuff and then just walking away like it was nothing?

Sometimes I think, if I could, I would be a heartbreaker. I'd be the biggest, meanest bitch around.

Because hurting people is so much easier than being the one hurt.
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they called you beautiful

with porcelain eyes about to crack
and cigarette skin crumbling
away, a knotted spine and
jagged smile:

you were never gracious.

you're slipping underneath, this
virulent smog masks a paper sky that
never allowed a dream and

you're afraid because it's soaking in
your pores again, unattainable and unoriginal;
the meaning of life never meant enough-

you were never hopeful.

there's a getaway map on the underside
of your pillow, and a lifetime of secrets
on the underside of your bones

you're a walking travesty:
your chest ticks, dull
your wrist beats, dying
time is keeping you but

you were never patient.

you lie large enough to make us believe you
don't entertain nightmares, but what if
no one could hear you scream?

remarkable, it seems
caged birds really know how
to sing out

(you were always beautiful)
Ever notice how some of the strongest people break the easiest?
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being an adult means knowing
that there are things much scarier
than spiders, or snakes, or clowns.

the ocean, for one.
losing your parents.

empty tequila bottles.
unanswered questions.

waking up, still reaching
for someone who left you
a long time ago.


--


i live like there’s an end for me
because there is.

look,
plants will wilt.
forests will burn down.
eventually, even the stars will burn out.

people will come to us.
they will touch us. they will hurt us.
they may keep us. they may not.

but i never hold on too tight
because when it’s time, my time,
i’ll only be letting go.


--


the heart has valves
that constantly open and close
giving love, taking love.
and my best advice
is to be selfish.

know when you’ve had enough.
know when you deserve better.
close the valves and
keep some love for yourself.

know that you are perfect
even if you eat that second cheeseburger
because there’s magic in this world.

we’re proof of it.


--


apeirophobia
is fear of the infinite.

i suppose my fear is the exact opposite
because i cannot put into words how terrifying it is
to think that, at one point, i could see somebody i loved
and realize that there’s nothing left for them
inside of me.

not even hatred.

i don’t fear the unknown.
i fear what is already known:
that love – love that can stretch for miles,
love that can overcome cities and seas and continents


can, one day, vanish.
athazagoraphobia: the fear of being replaced, ignored, or forgotten.

I feel like so many people are afraid to die. I used to be one of them, until I realized that we're here for a reason. When people come to us, it's for a reason. When people love us, it's for a reason. When people hurt us, it's for a reason. When people leave us, it's for a reason - and, even if they're gone, their memory will never be erased. And we will always be blessed, with the time we'd had with them.

One more to go.
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      I'd like to count the number of times you fucked me over, but I only have ten fingers and toes.



-


    I never mentioned this but I really should have. Because it was so hard that you were blowing me off, especially after the third/fourth/fifth/fourteenth time. Or in September, when your eyes could look everywhere but mine – when I finally stopped telling you, because I knew you weren't listening. Oh, and you killing yourself last April. There's that. (Your note said: "Tell Scarlett I'm sorry." And oh God, Charlie, please believe me, I tried so hard to make it right, I did.)



-


    Fourteen days, two hours, and fifty-nine minutes: how long it took for us to fall in love. Overnight: how long it took for you to fall out of it. You loved me like a bomb loves a crowd. Like the boys mothers warn their little girls about, except you had softer hands and nicer eyes, so I never thought you could take everything when you left.



-


    You wouldn't have come to me in January if our parents weren't such good friends; but they were, and they also didn't know, so you finally consoled me per their request. "Come on, Scarlett. Everybody's really worried about you." "But you're not." You tried to set your jaw, because you only had twenty-eight teeth and sometimes they didn't sit right. "…Sure." "Sure," I mocked, and slammed the door in your face. I shut you out, Charlie. Just like you did to me.



-


    I didn't cry when you finally walked away. By then, I was already so used to pain that I just closed my eyes, counted down from ten, and let you go.



-


    The funny thing is, they were asking me the same questions I was asking myself. But whatever happened to "I never wanted to hurt you", whatever happened to every promise you couldn't keep, I didn't know. "They're dead," I finally told my brother, after the third week. And his face, it just broke. He wanted so hard to understand and so did I. Thus I never told him that your promises didn't die with you; they just didn't exist.



-


    On exactly six different occasions, I would argue, "But you said…" Even if you'd said so much – even if none of it was ever true and they were just words. "I can't," was the only thing you were saying, after a while. Exactly once, I asked you, to please tell me, please? But you just kept falling back, and back, each step I took – seven – until there were tears in my eyes and absolutely nothing in yours. "Please," I whispered, one last time. And it wasn't a question. I already knew the answer.



-



    I like butter on both sides of toast, the smell of new books, and learning about model cars. And I never thought I'd meet somebody who not only knew how to put every Revell kit together, but who also knew how to hide tears in your pockets, and how to stop counting because life was too short for that. You taught me how to enjoy the moment while it lasted, because every good thing had to come to an end, even ours. Especially ours.



-



      P.S. I'm sorry, too.
because I can't fall that hard ever again.

The last time I fell down, it was a hardwood floor, and both of my knees turned red, then purple, then me-coloured.

I wish it was that easy: red, then purple, then normal. Rinse and repeat.
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    i.


The media doesn’t support a positive body image
because it’s not good for business.

They want us anxious and afraid
of seeing the numbers on a scale go up.
We’re not worth our weight in gold.
It’s what we don’t weigh
that matters.

My first boyfriend, who panicked when I touched him
would say “I’m fat”
the way somebody says “I should have never been born.”

They want us spending our money
on designer jeans, instead of groceries,
on concealer and diet plans, instead of an education.

Please don’t starve yourself.
Believe me, I’ve tried
and your body will start to eat itself from the inside out and
if you let it
it’ll get to some valuable stuff.

See,
they’ll only appreciate your body when it’s a corpse.

They won’t notice you
until there’s nothing to be noticed
they’ll mourn and wish for something
that is no longer
there.


    ii.


In the second grade, I learned that
semi-colons
mark where a sentence could have ended, but didn’t.

If I could,
I’d draw them all over my body -
my wrists, because I could have taken my life last year
but didn’t;
my thighs, because I could have lost my virginity to a stranger
but didn’t;
my eyes, for every day I could have cried
but didn’t.

The only place I can’t mark
is my heart
because I could have lost it to you, and all the love in it

And I did.


    iii.


See,
I think we need to pay that $50 to risk our lives on roller coasters,
because somewhere along the way
we betrayed ourselves, by assuming we know what’s coming next
at each bend in the road.

I can’t count off of both hands and feet how many times a teacher has asked me
“How are you feeling?”
with a book braced to their chest
like I’m rigged to explode.

I made the mistake of letting it slip that I’m bipolar -
and it terrifies them, because I go
where they can never follow.

I’m not part of the plan

and isn’t that kind of the point?


    iv.


No,
you don’t have to love your parents because they gave you life
just like a dog should have to love its owners because they kept it alive.

What they gave you was food and a roof over your head,
but growing up
you always felt like something was missing.

Because parenting, it’s a tough job
and some parents
mess up
and it’s okay to be angry
even if it isn’t their fault.

Don’t let anybody ever tell you
you’re wrong
because all those rebellious teenagers
you see
on TV and in books

the ones the audience hate
even if some of the things
those boys and girl do and say
actually make a little sense
(not that you'd ever say that)

They’re the ones
modeled after you
modeled after the side of themselves
the adults hid
long ago
because somebody told them it wasn't "normal"
to try and be selfish
even if nobody cares
even if being selfish
was the right thing to do.

Those boys and girls,
they "rebel"
because they know what it’s like
to be
hurt.


    v.


In high school I knew a girl who wore a piercing in her nose
and an engagement ring
from her 22 year old boyfriend
and fucked the hot Russian boy from math class for a year
so he would fall in love with her.

In high school I knew a boy who didn’t wear a shirt in Phys Ed
or a condom
if he got the chance
and knocked up that freshman with Down Syndrome, Annie,
because he lost a bet.

I’ve spent my entire life being controlled by my emotions
and it scares me
that there are people out there
worse than me
who don’t have

any.
Wrote this ages ago, as part of an experiment. Every day for five days (a school week,) I would make an observation and write a little vignette about it.

This is the result.

Edit: Thank you everybody who reviewed - especially those who pointed out the mistake I made in III. Gah, I thought I'd really nailed the editing in this one. :shakefish:
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