on a tuesday evening: a self-portrait

Bitten down, chipped teal nails, shaking slightly (always) against the keys, against the Spotify app, against the mug of cocoa. (with the big marshmallows)

A set of long Muppet-arms, patchy and dry, because I do not fucking understand how to appropriately moisturize.

(A foul mouth, apparently. Fuck. Fucking fucking fuck. It’s just a satisfying angry string of consonants, okay?)

(A foul mouth, precisely, damp with the aforementioned cocoa. I made it with milk, because I am not so far gone yet. The marshmallow catches on my upper lip and fuck.)

Two wobbly blue-grey eyes, eternally set off by fetching purple circles. I look like a damn Tim Burton character. Tonight: highlighted by red. Dry, wrung out.

Sigh. Fuck, sure, okay: two breasts. Bigger than I’d like, not that I like them at all. Fucking hanging beneath this pajama top, which is some persnickety bullshit, if you ask me. I do my best to mush them away during the day, but it’s just us at night, so why fight?

A stomach that bears ample evidence of that time I was accused of “eye fucking all the pastries at Trader Joe’s.” There are fresh stretchmarks there, sort of red-violet stripes. It isn’t that I gave up. That isn’t how bellies grow. That isn’t how anything works.

A face. Those tired, worried eyes. A huge mouth. (I cannot shut it ever. You know that.) Some fresh acne, which I hope is the testosterone working, but maybe I’m just an oily mess.

The legs of which I think I am finally proud. They have carried me to the London Zoo, to the Museum of Natural History, to countless bus stops and interviews and auditions and afternoons walking around the park. They have carried me across stages. They have quaked and trembled while I told the world. While I told them everything.

(I will always tell you everything. I don’t know how to stop, but maybe I don’t want to stop? Maybe I don’t want to get “better,” because if I’m not a needy ball of guts, if I stand on my own, maybe your work here will be done and I already miss you, don’t you see?)

This heart. This heart that feels bigger than my ribs. This heart that feels like it is seeping out of me, leaking out of its container and dripping on to the kitchen floor like that time in middle school when Carman and I tried to make homemade bath bombs but substituted corn syrup for corn starch THEY ARE NOT THE SAME THING.

I listened to too many sad songs tonight and this is how I have arrived here. I was fine until I was sobbing and I suppose that’s just how it goes sometimes.

For unless they see the sky
But they can’t and that is why
They know not if it’s dark outside or light

I cannot see the sky tonight, Sir Elton, Mr. Bernie. Forgive me.

I thank the Lord for the people I have found

And so I do. From the bottom of my leaky, ruined heart.

Published by Dani

I like breakfast, marine mammals, Star Wars, comedy, the song "Dead Man's Party," and Halloween musical revues at theme parks. Let's be friends!

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