I want to tell you a story I’ve never told anyone before.
I warm up slow and I burn out slow. I am slow, cautious, withdrawn. I keep myself to myself. After telling me his confusion over some of the #BLM events, my gym instructor asked me how living with people was going, “well, it also helps if you actually like people.” Fine then. It’s not as if I don’t like people, I just know people. I know you.
Ta-nehisi Coates, “The writer…must be wary of every Dream and every nation, even his own nation. Perhaps his own nation more than any other, precisely because it is his own.”
And so I am wary of you. I am wary of you coming and going, because you ruin my quiet. Because I have washed my feet already, and you are constantly asking me to walk across the dirt. Because I am alone before you and after you, and what you forget is that during you, I can close my eyes and look away and be alone again. It is not this.
We are not united.
More than a week ago, I walked 5 miles, and then I came to a dog beach because dogs are better than most people. You are alone together.
My boots made the ground sound hollow. The soft wooded pines and the rock cliffs and the puffy clouds just beyond the green, green trees made me smile fully, with my whole face. I kept that to myself you see, because there are so many times when I do not need you to be there. There is so much I don’t want you to see.
Between the world and me sits my ignorance, my doubt, my anxieties. Between the world and me, I try not to disappear.
You say the strangest things to me, yet I’m the strange one for not pretending to be normal.