Sep 26

THAT ONE SUMMER


   


I get to be lazy in the summer
I sleep in, eat fresh fruit for breakfast,
Watch TV alone at my house.
My family is gone until mid afternoon
So the sun watches over me.
I am alone, and I am okay. 

I clean up the kitchen 
And am singing along to Taylor Swift when they pull in the driveway. 
My sister shouts in delight at the sheer joy of summer camp
My brother scowls and grunts at me
In a slightly staged air of grumpiness,
And mom comes in, tired but smiling, full of enthusiasm for our school. 

We settle into our routine
We talk, we work and play, we relax
We eat dinner together at the table
And then my sister is ushered off to her bath and then bed.

When she is asleep, we eat ice cream and watch sitcoms until 11:00
We talk to dad on the phone
He’s gone for the week, working on a movie in New York
I always picture him talking to us from a street corner, next to a Baskin Robbins 
His smile beaming into the jumbled street. 
We say goodnight, and I head downstairs. 

In my room, I put on headphones and try to straighten up the mess of clothes 
That is the result of my morning fashion show. 
I change my clothes and put away the headphones.
I turn off the lights 
And the silence begins to seep in
Through the cracks under my door and window 
Up from the mess under my bed
Out from the chaos in my closet.
It is coming for me. 

It finds my and burrows into the deepest pit in my soul 
Suffocating me
Crushing me from the inside. 
I want to cry and scream and run
I want to collapse on the gravel
And feel it dig into my palms and my knees
I want to run into the ocean and never come back. 
I want to climb up way, way too high
And look over the edge and look up at the sky and close my eyes and jump.

But I can’t do any of that. 
So I sit in silence until I finally fall asleep 
From sheer exhaustion.
I dream of ice cream and gravel and oceans and falling. 
And the cycle begins all over again. 
I am alone, and I am not okay. 

I can’t stop it, so I fake it. 
I smile
And smile and smile and smile
I text my friends and act like thats all I need to feel better.
On the worst days I lie in bed with a pounding headache
Watch romantic movies until my eyes stop watering. 
My brain gets so foggy that I stop writing poetry
I don’t go on sunset walks anymore
Even though it just might make me feel better. 
I stop trying to be happy.

And then one day I wake up as usual
I go upstairs, and instead of sitting on the couch and watching TV
I take a shower. 
I go on a walk, and the light breeze dries my clean hair
At home, I clean the kitchen
And the living room, and both bathrooms.
 I make plans to meet up with friends 
And sign up for a summer job.
I smile the whole time
And somehow I’m not faking anymore.

I’ve decided that I will no longer be alone. 
And now I am really okay.