All of this commotion in my head, but the silence bumps into the isolation outside of my lips. I open my mouth – ready to kiss, to scream, to lick, to feel, to whisper - out rolls a tiny bee – wet with saliva – look how beautiful it glistens on its wings. It pollinates my soul, and allows my being to flower, or maybe de-flower. Like a plant waiting for the reciprocal importance of carbon and oxygen giving and taking, I wait for that hand to pull me off the ground, and throw me back on that soapbox of which I dream about. It’s mad tall – high as the clouds, or at least taller than you, and you, and you, and you.
Ripped from the pages of that conformity nothing, family and friend oriented, and creative comic book my character is born. Dusty five-pocket jeans with that red belt that doesn’t quite hold the waist above the top of my privacy, and those paint splatter high-top Chucks that are just raggedy enough to be hot as ever to every fine thing that walks past me; the red in my cap pulling on the color of my eyes, begging the browns to shine through the sadness.
I bang that confidence out, even if meekly, or weakly, or in bad taste as I cuss…shit, fuck, damn…or wear the fashion oh-no(!) when I wear that rad black a-line with that beat-up belt, because I didn’t start on this journey simply to get hijacked by a wolf in a puppy costume.
It’s interesting how when climbing the mountain we are jazzed as hell to have that fanny pack around our waists – filled with life’s most precious items: a Band-Aid to fix, a picture of special someone’s; a mint, just in case we get lucky, and a swig of ginger tea so that we can smooth the cobwebs in our throats and scream at the top of our lungs when need be – and we have those argyle wool socks, a stick to support us, and a flashlight and map to guide us through the winding difficulties. And then, just when we get comfortable with the heat on the back of the neck, and the cold running across nighttime faces, we arrive at the clearing.
Oh snap!! Look at that view; it’s glorious. We worked up to this point, where panting and breathing our eyes lock and I feel so filled. So beautiful, so loved, and it doesn’t matter whether it’s a boy t-shirt or a young woman’s teeny bopper tiger-striped tank top that I have strewn across the floor right before I stared at that forgiving and accepting face and allowed the tears to roll down my cheeks. Like a garden hose dripping on the rose buses. I can still taste that rubbery, metallic aroma on my palette – it scares me to remember, and it is impossible to forget.
Then the climax of the hike, the berry-picking, bear-lookout, cashew-chomping adventure is over. Sweet and salty. What else is there to crave if I am standing here with only my heart to comfort me on the top of this mountain where half of my hand is covered in fog? But like a ghost’s shadow, I feel the eyes of something staring me down – waiting to swoop down like an eagle to a mouse. Fight it! My journey is so far from being over; I turn around only to see an endless mountain chain waiting to be explored. This is just a hill.