A Jigsaw Puzzle

I struggle to take this apart and put it back together to create a picture that makes more sense for fear of ruining what I have already arranged. Two years ago a hurricane ripped me off the wall, out of my pristine plastic wrapping, and I was left scrambled on the floor. I struggle to understand why I didn’t at least glue my pieces to each other.

Let’s take a better look at me.

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Gif by Audrey DeBruine for North by Northwestern

Here in one hand I hold a puzzle piece. In it, I can see my mothers fingers, outstretched to touch mine, still pink and stringy from being in the womb for too long before I grip hers like my new life depended on it. My eyes open for the first time.

In the other hand, I hold another piece where I can see the corner of his smile, the smile that I came home to after getting fired from a job I hated anyway, the smile I cried to like it was the first day I was born. His smile, however, stayed constant, the only constance I had left.

With wet eyes I let the pieces fall. Everything that fits in between them must be too varied, I fear it’s not all the same puzzle. Did I mix up boxes of different lives together by accident? Is this a trick puzzle, a 3D puzzle of Dracula? Or maybe this is a different game altogether. A game of monopoly, perhaps? Poker? Hungry Hungry Hippos?

I never knew I would be so mismatched. People talk about everything falling together perfectly, like a bubble being blown into existence by accident and flying up to be swallowed by a neon cyan sky. All I seem to have is a toddler’s take on a masterpiece, horrid and painful and juicy and colorful and blurry. None of it fits together, and it certainly cannot be framed – not in its entirety, at least.

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My knees throb from kneeling on the ground for too long, but I let my fingers trail across the mess, the low light making it all heap into a giant dark mass I could never differentiate for its parts.

This is the sort of jigsaw you don’t put together, but rather just appreciate for its individual pieces, good and bad, rough and smooth. Though the idea might be a little avant-garde, I make peace with the pieces nonetheless.

After all, at least I am a mess left over by a puzzle ravaged by a hurricane, and not, say, a game of Hungry Hungry Hippos.

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Jane Eyre

If strength means being unfeeling, I am weak.

Passionate. Emotions burst out of me unwarranted, words pour out of my mouth like a bazooka, and I? Tend? To invest myself in objects. Objects. The objects are made of muscle and sinew, a void missing the “chip” that “makes us human”. Are we ashamed to be human? is that the root issue? Do we wish to be the animals we document on TV, the unfeeling wolf who snatches at a baby doe without the sensitivity of a French savoir, without the delicacy of a marinated sauce simmered to perfection and drizzled over our amuse-bouche to disguise the baby animals we snatch as well?

 

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“‘British Birds: the King Fisher'” [Jane Eyre, 2011]
If strength means lacking human quality, I am weak.

Even a wolf has a family, a litter of doe-eyed pups looking to grow big and strong like their mama,to grow into “unfeeling” killing machines. Unfeeling? Please. I run barefoot and tear myself to shreds in the process, but I grow a thicker skin, I glow with hotter blood, I smile with a metal fuckin’ smile and I love it. I love it with all my intensity and without apology.

If strength means holding back, I am weak.

I cry over a sink a couple times a week and my eyes are puffy and pink, but hey, you know what else is puffy and pink? My hair. I laugh really loud and I talk a little shrill and I lose my mind with a kind of liberty I can never control, but hey, you know what else is loud and shrill and free? Songbirds.

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“I’m not in need of tea, thank you.” [Jane Eyre, 2011]
If strength means not caring, I am weak.

I sing with a broken voice and I fly with snapped wings, but I do it all anyway. I twirl and I twirl until I’m seeing stars and depending on how I’m feeling, I’ll either bump my head and cry a little, or start laughing really hard cause man, I can see my house from here! Space is wicked and I love it and I’m not even sorry.

If strength means keeping my head up, I am weak.

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“You would rather break my heart than break some human law?” [Jane Eyre, 2011]
I fall. I break. I lose hope. That happens, but don’t be fooled. It doesn’t scare me. Beyond rock bottom is hell and… I have a timeshare there. Eventually, the same passion that betrayed me and made me crash down like a meteor? It will lift me up again. I’ll lift me up again. Because without the capability to thirst for something better, without the emotions that chatter and tell me better, without the feelings that burst through my body and electrocute me in the heart to revive me for the better? I am a stone. I am a rock. I am an island. And those guys sure as hell don’t have the strength to get themselves out of a stagnant pace.

If I am weak, then fine. I am weak.

Because if that’s is what strength is supposed to be, I’d much rather be weak anyway.

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“Awaken then.” [Jane Eyre, 2011]

Here It Is

I feel ache-y, and just a tad stupid. As a fairly passionate person with a little too much inside her – too many words, too much devotion – I get carried away with how good and bad I am at handling just about anything. I don’t mean to be self-contradictory, but there it is? I guess?

Image result for head melt gifWhen I pour – like cement out of a porcelain cream cup – it’s hard to put a lid on it. I’m an either/or person, an all-or-nothing. I don’t understand going halfway, I fear mediocrity (mediocrity burns and sits at the bottom of my stomach like vodka – not very tasteful, to say the least). I reach out and I reach out and I reach out and my hand is still grasping out of a hole in the wall. I wouldn’t take it either, to be sure. Just so I’m clear. But it doesn’t stop me, in the heat of the moment. When the moment is raving and hot as the driest desert on a far off planet, my head kind of melts and I just become a scrambling mess of hands, stemming like a devil’s trap from a knot of brass, grasping for an answer. Very Dr Who, but there it is… I guess?

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And sure, we’ll never be royals, but listen, it’s not about majesty. I’m no majestic thing, I’m really just an object of passion. That passion gets the better of me sometimes. Brass boils hot and separates into all its parts, all its alchemic elements to inspect under a telescope (telescope because even though I bare my parts for everyone I seem to be irrevocably far away – far from reason, see?) just to have shoulders shrugged at me and saying “I don’t know mate, nothing much to fix but your head, but that seems to have melted.” I’m not given many other words to my ensuing question except another cursory shrug and a “maybe Walmart”, but there it is. I guess?

Who am I to decide it really. I know I dove into ice, I know I am a dove a little too trifled for greater society. I can’t help myself if I feel like something might pay off in something better than mediocrity, because I’m too much of a romantic and way to ambitious. I’m too artistic, I try to make masterpieces out of everything, everything, everything. My expectations breathe and sweat like I do. My self-contradiction plays jump rope on my back and the shrugs flap and follow me about everywhere. I know, I know. I know.

But there it is, I guess.

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