Feb 10

Chapter 16: Risotto & Poetry


I am me; imagination, creativity, and big plans in an even bigger world. I am me; a girl with glasses and dreams and a restless feeling in my heart to be someone.

I’m clumsy and I laugh a lot, and sometimes I forget what I’m saying in the middle of a sentence. I’m short and think my nose would look better on a hawk. I only paint my nails when I want to be glamorous, then I peel off the polish because I don’t recognize my hands when I look at them. I don’t forgive people easily and I’m a professional at holding onto grudges.

I know lots of things. Newton’s First Law; how to make risotto; the plot of almost every young adult book ever written; how to address an envelope properly; how to make my younger brother laugh; how to write poems that are instantly published and banish a lack of self-confidence that I try to ignore; how to make friendship bracelets; how to comfort a friend in need; how to make a paper airplane; how to question everything I’ve ever been told; how to babysit other peoples’ children and become their parent for a few hours; how to let go of things long lost that will never return; how to say goodbye; how not to say goodbye; how to make a latte with the trendy swirl on top; how to send letters across the world and into a plastic mailbox; how to ignore texts until it’s obvious that I’m ignoring them; how to be a good (and bad) sister; how to write in cursive; how to love something or someone more than you think is possible.
These things are puttied into my brain, each resting in its own corner; hiding, whispering, shielded from light until I decide to take them out, counting each like slightly rusted pennies. I add my total and stare at them. With pride, maybe, and a little fear. I’ve been collecting for years, and I hope to never abandon my collection. What would I do the day I forgot how to make my brother laugh? How would I manage if I forgot how to say goodbye, or how not to? These matter more to me than common knowledge. I could easily survive without knowing how to make certain food and address envelopes. They’re good skills, but at the end of the day, I would much rather know how to be a good person than how to make a latte.

I don’t want to wear I’m “supposed” to; I want to go to thrift stores and reach into the furthest corner of the rack to find the most perfect leather jacket. I don’t want to let my sentences turn into “and I oop, totally cancelled, sksksksk, what a fit, so fire.” I want to be happy. I want to remain Iris, not a carbon copy of every other 16-year old girl in the world, and I’m pretty sure that will never change.