I don’t want to control my reactions. I’m not interested in controlling my emotions. I want to spew all over, like a deranged child, a nasty storm, a busted pipe. I want everything that I feel to make a mess to the fullest extent, to my greatest range. My tolerance, my patience, has been burnt to a crisp. Fried up and served up and crunched up to bits. The lines in my body sound the hum, “fuck off.” Paint the wall, douse the house, find the end.
I am supposed to prove myself to my coworkers, to my students. To get my paycheck with a smile and a wave, I have to put on my show. Look at what I know, watch me not feel. Hear me speak in even, measured tones. I put on the show for my friends, for my people. Here’s a reaction, even though I don’t feel it, truly. My sister sends me a text with a lot of emojis. I tell her, “I couldn’t care less about this.”
Once I got picked up from the airport. I was tired, jet-lagged, sad. In the car, the fellow passenger shared her surprise at my direct flight, “No layover! I can’t believe that!” I didn’t respond. The driver looked at me, incredulous, poked me for a response. Fine: “Oh, yeah, direct flight. I don’t know what else to tell you.”
Fuck me, I’m tired of your talk. I laugh because I’m exhausted.
I come home and crawl into bed, under the rays of the sun. I leave the blinds open to feel present. I don’t sleep. I lie in the quiet until I feel convinced that I am safe. I am free. I am home. And I can feel whatever the fuck I want to feel. Here I am me. An hour of quiet to recalibrate my brain. An hour to remind myself, where I’ve been and where I’m going. An hour to find the path again, after spending the day too busy to fight my urge– how tempted I am to run, to escape it all. To escape the constructs and the expectations and the constant policing. The policing of my body, my mind, my words, my space. The way I am in the world. To be free, always dangling, that fruit just out of reach. An impossible thing.
Where are you, what do you think, why did you say, what will you do, why did you do, where are we going, how do you know, who told you
I am the latchkey kid, coming home to the empty farmhouse, sitting down to do my homework because that is what I’ve been told to do. Alone, but not without purpose. Free, but not without obligation. Rewrite the narrative, Morales: “It’s enough just to make you feel crazy.”