I was a young girl with a cut tongue. I had choked on my words for too long to speak without feeling the blistering pain of a thousand pent up emotions, like moon dust at the back of my throat. I clench my fists and squeeze my delicate eyes closed. No matter how hard I tried, I could not manage to let out the shrill scream that built up in my tiny air-tight chest.
Despite how hard I pulled on my dry strands of hair, I could not stand up for myself using the syllables I trace with my tongue over my frail teeth. I would retch and cry until my tears ran out like the last few drops of a faucet, but not once was I able to mimic the roaring sound of the rushing river in my veins.
And with my disappearing voice, so did my self-esteem. If I were a book, my pages were dry and cracked and growing dustier than my will. My entity had become a quiet creature with folded hands, sitting in the far dark corner. My eyes had grown too wide for their own sockets as they tried to take everything in, but too tired to process it to my decade-old-computer-equivalent of a brain.
The cruel kids were making fun of me. They were making fun of me. They won’t stop judging me. My knees, my nose, my dry sandpaper lips. My white laced shoes are too clean for their dirty minds. My dark eyebrows arched over my entire face like the horizon which mountains make in the distance. My ankles stuck out too much for their liking, so they kicked them in. My fingers were too long and stick-like for their taste, so they broke them in two more easily than my confidence to do anything. My rib cage must have been too compact, so they got a jackhammer and beat it from the inside out. Their words stung more than sulphuric acid, burnt more than a fluorine fire, were more toxic than too much oxygen in my blood stream.
My body tensed to the beat of their converse laden feet. My heart thumped to the rush of their jeering laughs. My fists clenched as they swaggered into my self-induced spotlight that shone harsher than any of their nicknames.
But I held on to one thing, as desperately as the last few moments my eye lids fight before finally succumbing to sleep. I was at a disadvantage. I am a disadvantage. However, fumes still escape my nostrils like a dragon’s breath in the cold. And if such a living beast is nestled between my lungs, then why can’t I coax it out?
My, my, my. My, my, my. My, my, my, my, my.
In my comparably short life there is one thing I have learned, if not a hundred things; if I am going to sit down and let people taunt me with words I do not understand, why not confuse them as much as they do my feelings? Why not twirl my pen between my broken fingers so fast, that they see planets and stars and galaxies?
What once were the blaring lights of rushing cars two inches from hitting me are now the distant houselights of a suburban community. What once scared me so much it sent me shaking to my bed sheets to quiver like a wounded animal, is now what rejuvenates me enough to pour my energy into a medium.
I used the crushed fragments of my past and the trembling notes of my future to paint a picture mirroring my dark and tangled mind. What was once the ash and dust building at the back of my throat is now the blow horn I use to call heroes lost in the foggy mist. What were once the jagged shards of anxiety that I crawled flat on to make a single opaque friend now hang from my ceiling, casting shadows that dance in lost space. I have mastered the art of blowing away people’s judgmental phrases mid-air and blowing them back into their hyena faces faster than they could possibly blink.
I am not healed. I will never be healed. My scars will remain with me forever, to remind myself of the hairy heart I once was, in order to become the shining beacon I am now. I will forever remember the ugly, rough stone I once was, only to be dug up from deep in the dark earth by myself and restored to its rosy glory.
My cheeks blossom and blush, my teeth grind and crush, and my voice is now louder than its usual hush. I sing at the top of my lungs with a shrill and cracked voice, despite the common mantra ‘Practice Makes Perfect.’
Forever I will be a metaphor of myself. Forever the only simile I will draw out of my pocket like a ready gun will be the struggle I went through as a growing human being.
Perfection is for the chasers. I am rooted. And I will continue to reach up to the speckled sky along with my fellow trees, as unrequited lovers to the stars.
If I ever doubted the unmistakable fire of the sun, then I have always doubted myself.