A Letter of Resentment for My Future

This is a letter to my Future.

This might sound bitter, but I just need to be real. I can’t bear the thought of a sour ending anymore. I need my happy ending, because I’d die without it.

To be frank, Future, there was a time I didn’t even care if you’d exist. I didn’t want you to exist because I had given up on you completely. Then, I accepted you’d exist but I didn’t care if it was in poverty. I didn’t care if you became dirty, bruised, cracked, or replaceable. I figured the universe doesn’t care about me, or you, my Future. I figured no one is going to remember me anyway, so why on earth should I even try?

It went to my head, okay? I thought not caring about you would give me a resolve to carry on, but it did the opposite.

Future, I met people who have changed my mind. I’ve been guided towards the universe like a child with her hand outstretched. I touched it for the first time. The fabric was there, it was material, and all the time I lost fretting seemed to replace itself with a new kind of power. I can’t say I don’t care, because I do. I care so much, and that’s the universe’s fault. The universe took me in her arms, so now I have to face you again. She made me promise. So here we are.

Future, I wish I could tell you to leave me alone like everything else in my life. I wish I could tell you how scared I am of you without my voice quavering. “Do me a favor. Go on a bender. Just leave me alone.” I can’t say that to you, not again. I was kidding myself when I did.

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Artwork by Masha Lifenova

Future, I want to take care of you, I just don’t know how. I’m trying, slowly. I’m picking up the pieces you left behind when you ran away, like a trail leading to your hiding place. Pick up the phone, call me back. I need you, even though I was too stupid to realize it before.

It went to my head, okay? I thought not caring about you would give me a resolve to carry on, but it did the opposite. Then I cared too much, I got too clingy, and you left me behind in a cloud of dust. Please, take me back. I promise to take care of you this time. I promise to protect you. I made that promise to the universe, and now I’m making it to you.

Future, I love you. As much as I hate it, I do. I want you to beam, to gleam, to glitter. I want you to be shiny and new. I want you to live fully, completely, healthy.

Come back, Future. Let’s make it work. I’m a different person now, and I think we can do it, together.

Hey, Future. I’m sorry shit turned out this way. I hope we can work it out.

Love,

My Past.

 

 

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Norma

“Do you want to see me become her?”

The question had an inevitable answer. It was instinctual.

Men prefer blondes. Maybe it’s the whiff of peroxide that makes their ears perk and sniff the air. Like babies that fall asleep to heartbeats, men follow the rhythm of her hips when she walks. Hollywood follows not far from behind.

Hollywood scares Norma.

She is in disguise – or rather, out of disguise. The woman Hollywood drools over is non existent, she’s a fake out, she’s an imposter – The woman who carries Marilyn on her shoulder is Norma.

Norma is being haunted. She’s being haunted by something much more sinister than herself, bigger and darker. Once upon a time it was a hole in her chest, one that made her feel hollow, hungry, powerless. Now it takes the form of Hollywood. She was no songbird, not much to look at, but maybe it was that shattered quality that followed her through life was what drew the cameras.

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Norma shed her skin and became Marilyn, the woman with a name that rolls off the tongue like cigarette smoke. Norma exposes the sheen of her bones and the hypnotic contrast of blood on flab to call Hollywood to her heels. Hollywood likes to bite and that’s what terrifies her. Marilyn isn’t afraid at all, and that’s the point.

Marilyn follows Norma around. She looms over her, hides in the closet like a bogeyman. She possesses her body and turns her into something immaterial, “romantic”, sultry. Tap, tap, tap, her heels blend in with the sound of the city that never sleeps. Norma’s steps are even, paced. Marilyn floats behind her.

Norma can’t figure out if Marilyn is meant to protect her from Hollywood, or if she uses Norma as bait. Norma, Marilyn, and Hollywood are in a fighting ring. Is Marilyn the referee, the coach, or a third opponent? Norma never knows.

“Do you want to see me become her?”

Continue reading “Norma”