Sometime about 3 years ago something in me was able to find all the right switches. She wandered around my mind, slightly skipping, maybe humming, and flicked all the ones she could find with blinking lights, steam seeping, and angry red cracked handles. She found all of them. She did too good a job I think. I shut down. Crying there while I typed about my dead child, wondering what the fuck I was going to do, fighting so hard not to just give up: that must have been when the part of me started to gather the blueprints.
She must have known. I must have known.
It was perfect. I did something right. I took precautionary measures.
For when the man I chose that night in September would scar me for life, and never apologize.
For when I decided to move to Nebraska with him anyway and had my heart break repeatedly with grief and homesickness for weeks and weeks while he sat stone cold next to me in disgust till finally, it stopped.
For when my friends gave up. For good reasons. But you know, I’m selfish.
For my parents fighting on the phone, for my mother sobbing into the receiver at 3am. Where is your father? He never comes home. God have I wasted my life? Please mom, I…. can’t.
For losing my grandma. And her beautiful smile. I was so far away.
I was fucking prepared. None of that shit hurt as bad as it would have 3 or so years ago. Are you fucking kidding me? What is this huh? Are you even trying anymore, universe?
Remember when you took everything? Ha! I remember. I have a thousand little reminders. I remember.
And this time motherfucker, I was fucking ready.
It’s why I when I heard her voice on the phone for the first time, I knew she would be a great boss. I could hear her kindness, I could hear her firmness, and I could hear her laugh and I liked it. I knew I wanted to work for her. And I did. I do.
It’s why I didn’t share, why I was strong enough to carry all of this. Why I could build relationships. Why I chose the second chance, the anonymity. It’s been so fucking wonderful. They smile into my face, they laugh with me, and they don’t pity me. They see my eyes, they hear my words, they judge me fairly. I gave myself this chance.
It’s why I was able to ask another into my car, and without fear.
It’s why I am so fucking successful here, FUCK I am doing awesome. Excelling.
It’s why I am finally who I really was all along.
I took the measures.
Its why every time you made me feel like a fool I stood firm, looked you right in the face and said you better fucking watch it. Or you will lose me. You will lose this. You will lose everything. I am everything. For once in my miserable life I am everything.
I was never so empowered.
I warned you. By god. I did everything right. I talked till I was hoarse, I tried not to cry. I made my points into special little understandable easy to digest pellets and shot them like buckshot from this articulate and aggressive mouth of mine.
I could only love you the way I knew how and expect the same back.
Too much to ask for?
Again, are you fucking kidding me? Almost in my thirties and having been through all the shit I have are you FUCKING kidding me sir.
I am smart, I have a beautiful smile, soft hips, thick hair, sharp wit, I sing too loud in the car but I know all the words to the songs you like, and I can teach you things. I love deeply, and I reach. I study, goddamnit I work like a fucking dog. A whirlwind of attention and energy. This is what the fuck you are losing.
No one has time to fight with somebody, beg somebody to love them.
Especially not me.
But I did. How sad. Ha! Oh jesus, I begged you to just let me in, just tell me why you don’t care as much as I do. Did. You sat across of me and said I don’t know where this is all coming from and I almost fucking laughed out loud. Holy shit. I haven’t had a feeling like that in such a long time. I just almost threw my head back and laughed.
Before I would have been a mess. Oh my god I’m so sorry it is all my fault I’m sorry don’t worry I will fix this.
Not this time. You had the misfortune of coming after the enlightenment. After one cheated, after one decided I was poison, after one sat across from me while I shook apart and held the screwdriver out like a knife. Are you ready? Did you call the cops? Let them come. Don’t make a fucking sound.
I took precautions. You see, I set rules. I did something right.
For the times you cringed when I would cry. For the time I tried to talk about the baby and you said let’s not do this. For the times I tried to talk about my little brother and you changed the subject. For you, erasing my past. Pretending it never happened. I used to be like you honey.
I’m not even really talking to anyone anymore.
I used to think giving all I had was something heroic.
I know now I was just a fucking idiot.
I was so fucking stupid.
But I know me better than anyone. I know what I need; I know what will fix this. I am so strong now it scares me. I am so fucking strong. I ask now, I look into a strangers eyes and say come get to know me. I ask the tough questions. I will always want to touch. I do touch. Spontaneous, I do more than just touch now. I take. I will from now on always want a part of the people I know. I am a different thing now. You took nothing from me.
And sadly, I am done with this chapter. You had your chance, baby.
I will take my cat. I will take what little possessions I have. I will take my heart. I am finished.