I think about dying most days, about what I would say if these were my last words, brainstorming what I can do with my last actions, evaluating how others will possibly react. I consider the end indefinitely, running through my memories in search of something that will hold value to me, repeating the conversations and experiences in my head. No one is better off dead, that phrase is an oxymoron, an abomination, a desperate solution to the war waging within all humans. I am always better off living, struggling, embracing the irony. I am best served feisty, focused, and chasing a dream. Positivity does not come naturally to me, but contemplation seems to pour out of every bulging seam, oozing, flowing, existing in every seemingly broken piece of me. Thought is constantly emerging, pouring, overflowing, conflicting and provoking. I am prone to deceit with good intentions, taking in everything, missing nothing, considering all possible options. I am someone who deserves everything, and works for something, desperately, focused, determinedly. I was born for living, made for loving, molded for growing into the woman I always dreamed of being. I have the drive to live, the intelligence to match it, and the bravery to act. I am beautiful and gracious, inherently kind and easy to face, open and accepting. I have my weaknesses, repositioned as opportunities for learning, and accomplishments that I am already proud of sharing. I am anything but boring. I dare you to challenge me. I welcome every new opportunity. I will always be changing. I am the only one who can get the best of me. And I am lucky to be living. I will celebrate the day I was brought into existence, eternally thankful for this extravagant gift.
The irony of it is killing me, laughing at my defeat, driving home the twisted point of a knife right into my back, this joke is on me, making light of what I have been through, illuminating the truth, glaring at me like a gorilla in a cage, knowing intelligence should not be enslaved to the ungrateful, it was a moment of clarity, when I was accused and you were accusing, that I am not the friend you agreed to, nor the support that you were looking to recruit, I no longer seem to serve a purpose for you, from a distance it seemed like a good thing, promising, bound to be uplifting, but up close there are details that were never considered, traits that went previously ignored, and words that bring us both downward, spiraling into a trap of hate, knowing that compromise can resolve this state, but our stubborn tendencies will not allow it, defeat is something neither one of us wants to admit, so we continued the attack each other instead, we continue to throw the facts in each other’s faces, we speak in a blind haze of hate, misdirected in our aim, we should be aiming elsewhere, not at each other, we should be understanding and considerate, not angry and short lipped, we should be able to rise above this, not sink lower into separate pits of depression, I wanted to be honest, open, and patient, but you took that opportunity away, with the words that you threw at me out of frustration, you started this ugly debate, and I promise to finish it, I have no space for this kind of irrational derangement, no patience for this kind of abuse, no understanding left for being an object of use, the irony of it is that I wanted to be there for you, I tried to listen to your truths, I tried to apologize for my misdirected abuse, but you wanted someone to accuse, you wanted someone to make you feel justified, you wanted to win this fight, so I allowed it, I caved and admitted defeat, I was receptive to the truths you speak, but you did not want me to understand, you wanted to be angry, you wanted someone to be the object of so much misdirected frustration, you wanted someone else to take the fall, you didn’t want to be understood at all, I saw what you wanted, to be forgiven, and I did the best I can with the pain of your transgressions still lingering, unresolved and festering, I was as patient as I could be, as understanding as I am with children, and as open as I am in writing, but you wanted to hear nothing, you just wanted me to be there for you, ignoring the irony, supporting the faults that I was accused of, enduring the disrespect you claim only I am serving, but I feel disrespected, misdirected, and distracted, but you never took the time to ask, you pushed forward with accusing me, making me feel guilty, making me question what I am gaining from this relationship, we have been together for years, worked through many rounds of tears, faced many fears, and yet you still are missing the irony of what you are making me feel.
That was messy, angry, not thought through, and not what I meant to do. But this is not the first time that it’s happened. That was immature, uncalled for, and could have destroyed everything. But the shock is lost on me. That was the usual, the eruption of my natural tendencies, my frustration surfacing. That was the side of me I keep hidden. It is a side that I have not addressed appropriately, the side that I have denied, the side that only those I trust can see. I can be naturally mean, angry, and seek to kill with the words I speak. My aggression was cocked, aimed, and waiting to counteract your projecting. You are not my therapist, you are my friend, and you can never resolve the turmoil inside my head. I do not appreciate your attempts to heal me, you have no idea what you are stirring up, you will be in over your head if you continue asking me what’s wrong. Because I can’t be honest with you, I can’t say what I want to, because I will speak only the most vicious of truths. I will cut you down word by word, until you wish you never spoke up about what you have observed, until you are destroyed and distracted from your original point, until I am the one with the last hurtful comment. I want to end this, but my reaction is reflexive, and my words are pointed, when I attack from the defensive position. I want to avoid confrontation, but you are making me face it, and I will always win. I have been training for years, I know how to shut down any sign of tears, how to turn off my emotions when speaking, how to cut you down emotionally. It was a tactic of self-defense, something I have always practiced in my head, but is unrefined when I am forced to act on it. It was mean, angry, and wrong of me. But I could not help the words I spoke, I was forced into a corner, I was probed until I could take it no more. I felt victim to your judgement and attacks, caught off guard with my reaction, knowing I could have used better tactics. I appreciate your willingness to forgive me, but you also need to be forgiven, for attacking me from the defensive position. You claim to be the victim, but you are not listening. I will admit I made you subject to abuse, but only after I was the first to be accused.
Shut the fuck up with your upper to middle class bullshit. Stop and look where you are. You are surrounded by nice things, but what did you do to go about earning them? Shut your mouth before you claim to be struggling. How much have you already had to eat? And who made you this feast? Have you ever been threatened to spend a night on the street? Your tent is used for camping, not living. Your closet is full of clothing for fashion, not necessity. Your dumpsters are used for trash, not scavenging. You have the support of family. You have money. At times you don’t have to work for a living. This is luxury. Change the tone of how you speak. The step towards poverty is shorter than you think. There is less that separates you from the homeless population. All it takes is one addiction. One step in the wrong direction. One downfall of your reputation. Stumble and you might fall with the best of them. Refuse to stay humble and you might lose your chance at working. Nothing is beneath you when you haven’t eaten. Nothing is too difficult when you don’t have a bed to sleep in. Nothing is too far fetched when you have the luxury of dreaming. This is reality. This is why I continue working. This is why I turn down no opportunity. This is why I have to do work that is beneath me. There is no slack. There is no back up. There is only survival. Since poverty can so easily destroy all of my progress. I can so easily lose it. So shut the fuck up with your claims and complaints. And be thankful you are enough rich today to have middle class complaints.
Yesterday I wore the red heels. I stunned and impressed and was dressed for it appropriately, reviving a hibernating side of my personality, the side that operates confidently. I was dressed for the interview, I had my notes, my questions, and my conversation cues organized and ready to use. I was properly caffeinated, perfectly primped, and ready for this conversation. I was the picture of experience, work ethic, and mindful openness. I had this. The questions flowed and my answers were perfect. I deserved this. The man was impressed and interested. But half way through the interview, I realized I don’t want this. I don’t want to have the perfect answers. I don’t want to have to dress like this. I love these heels, but they were meant for a stage. I love this dress, but I did not want to iron it. I love the way I look, but it can be put to better use. I could be dancing or writing. I could be exploring. I could be living boldly. I am dressed to the nines for a nine to five. I am forcing a habit to seem alive. I am checking off points that I was told hold value, when I could be doing even more. I thought I wanted this. I thought I had this. I thought this was my opportunity, but my goals are changing. I want to live freely. I have to be paid money to live, but I am willing to change what I do to get it. I am looking to switch everything up. I want to throw out my closet and begin again. I wanted this interview to end, so that I could go back to living bohemian. No cubicle was meant for me. No office can support my individuality. No memo can summarize my dreams. I am changing. What I prepared half my life for now is no longer relevant. I could have never anticipated this. I should have changed my focus. I should have admitted that what I wanted out of life was different. I should have seen it. There was so much time I missed, when doing what others expected. But today I end it. Today I will turn down another success. Today I will continue searching for what I’ve always wanted. Today I will wear the read heels and never look back.
I am tired of the (I don’t know)s and the (woe is me)s I have am exhausted by my own nega(tivity) I am resisting the (counting on me)s and (I can do)ings They now have a hol(low) ring I am no longer listening to (me) There is the saying (you’re only as good) as your weakness making me excel at a you (can)t do this mentality I am tired of the words (I think) and (I’m trying) There is a phrase I keep rep(eat)ing I am not (worth)y or was it I am not (pick)y I must admit I was not (listen)ing Since these words and phrases are (grat)ing and I am still (wait)ing for some random k(night) to come and save me I want these solutions handed over or I will continue (to have and to hold) my own mind for ransom I will (dive deep) into a pool of sarcasm dripping (down the road) I have chosen to travel along (Rolling like a stone) I will prove to love no one and no(thing) I am building a foundation on (nega)tivity seeing how far it might (get me) I am (exhaust)ed with d(r)ead I am dragged down by depen(dance) I am (seeing red) Grabbing the (bull)shit by the horns I will (take it) no more This is my (chance) I lean in to g(r)asp another breath.
This was the second one of the evening,
wandering in on my shift,
looking so sure of themselves,
yet incredibly distant,
walking with a confidence that says they are used to being looked at.
It was more in the way they moved,
that tipped me off as to what work they do,
there was a look of abuse,
lingering in their eyes and resounding in their words,
tainting the beauty of their natural curves.
It was their soft spoken way with men,
countered by an aggressive connection with other women,
they opened up to me unknowingly,
describing why they came in to buy weed,
due to back pain and sore knees,
but that was obvious to see.
I know what line of work can inflict this kind of pain,
and what they were avoiding saying,
how they earned the money that I was now being paid,
I could see it in their face.
It was the dead look in their eyes,
which their heavy makeup only emphasized,
paired with the strength of their thighs,
and hunched over shoulders,
showing the pain of spinning around a pole.
It was the words that went unsaid,
and the singles I was paid in,
that confirmed what I was thinking.
And that’s when it hit me,
that I could be one of these women,
I could be paid for dancing,
I could be using my body to earn a living,
I could be dead inside while being told I’m sexy.
There is not much that separates me from them,
we are all women,
we are all working,
we are all struggling.
I once joked about stripping for a living,
but once I encountered the real thing,
it is something to be taken seriously,
because I am certain it would kill me.