Fig Leaves

Don’t try this at home.

Don’t. You run across a kindred soul like yours in virtual space. You recognize them because it takes one to know one and you’re just that. You play with words, pour your heart’s contents for them but only in metaphors. You’re careful. You remind yourself always: self preservation first and foremost. But you’re also an adrenaline junkie. Not the kind to jump off a cliff; the kind to reach out for the sun when your wings are all wax and plastered feathers. You flirt with thoughts of self-annihilation: the type where your heart beats all the faster, not altogether stop. Because fact is, you never really want to burn. You only want the sweat.

Don’t. You see the humanity in those who are godly; then you look closer, and you see God in their humanity. You think you want to embrace both as something of your own, a souvenir of authenticity and rawness. You let yourself be fascinated because you’re past all delusions of perfection, and now the subtlest curve of her body is a cosmic miracle; and the way he zips up his jeans is an erotic dream. And you, you are more than yourself.

Don’t. You breathe new air and thank your lucky stars for being where you are now. Everything that has ever happened has happened for a reason, ended for a reason, brought you here. You don’t want to rationalize it; you only appreciate it: the changes, the passage, their good and their evil. All is forgiven. You’re forgiven. You’re strong and mighty and full to the rim with the world. Experiences are your drug of choice. You collect the memories and write them down so you won’t ever again forget. And you kiss the tips of her fingers and chase his eyes across the room. You hide behind a wall and fuck each other’s demons, make peace, smoke a cigarette.

Don’t. You’re the best thing that ever happened to you. You snort another line and get a pat on the head. You smile, you tear up, awareness courses through your blood, you join hands with warmth and wrap arms around her waist. It’s almost midnight and Cinderella has to rush home minus one missing custom-fit glass shoe. You secretly hope they have lost something of theirs among something of yours too, that, somewhere along the way, they’ll come knocking: the prince, the godmother, the fantasy. Maybe. Maybe once every blue moon, maybe never. You don’t worry. Good things will happen when they happen as long as you keep on moving. Your door remains ajar.

Don’t stay where you are.


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