I like art that reaches down my throat and
squeezes my breath with commanding fingers. I like writing
that makes my chest pound, my face flush. I like being nervous
about what people will see when they read my work.
I like confidence like smooth, white
eggshells. I am the girl who does not care what other people
think, who will go on being because it is who I have become; I
am also the girl who is so insecure that I imagine people
discarding me like a dirty sock because of something I said.
I like the cool metal of a friendship that
is like a reliable car. I will check the tires every other
week and try to never let the gas get below a quarter of a
tank. I'm willing to get messy and change the oil myself if I
know that it won't break down on me when I'm halfway to Tahoe
with no stations in sight.
I like the salty dew of exhaustion on my
skin. I like running until my breath is sweet and my legs are
floating and I finally feel how I wish I looked. When I was
eighteen, I ran faster than everybody else I knew, and had
clanging medals lining the wall above my desk. My body was
wiry, strong, and impervious to injury. I spent afternoons
eating generic Lucky Charms and reading newspaper articles
predicting my win. The day came, raging with rain and hail
storms, and something thundered in my body, cracked open. No
one is ever impressed with second place.
I like the chisel of disappointment that
forces me to keep recreating myself. I like knowing that
something so important to me will mean nothing to most
I like starting fresh.
I like the white heat of stage lights. A
solo I once recorded won a national award that meant something
to me but was forgotten by everyone else within days. Now I
play guitar badly just so I can sing along. In another life
I'd be a screaming blues singer who could burn up a fretboard
like Stevie Ray Vaughan.
I like cities that are underrated, that
surprise me with their quiet caress. I prefer Oakland to San
Francisco, Minneapolis to Chicago. I like knowing the secrets
that are still being kept.
I like the kind of truth that breaks skin,
but not bone. I am not thick-skinned – but then, is anybody?
I like feeling life completely, even if it means enduring pain
that threatens to tear vital organs and splinter teeth. I like
to think that being able to hurt that deeply means I can love
that deeply too.
I like the almost-sticky texture of lipstick
that is just a little bold, that keeps me rubbing my lips
together. I like being the girl who dances in heels because
it's sexier. I like the danger of falling. I like knowing that
I am being watched, but I'm the happiest when the one who is
watching is already mine.
I like being one of the girls, but I also
like being one of the guys. I like pizza and beer and yelling
at the opposing team. I like getting my heart broken over a
I like the uncooked texture of being real,
but I also hate it. Real love, the kind that won't walk away
when you're a bitch, requires squeezing fingers through
emotions like ground meat. I hate being open and then having
my soul scraped raw by disregard. Still, I do it every time.
I like bodies hovering, dripping sweat,
refusing surrender just a moment longer than I can stand it. I
like the kind of sex that makes me think of prayer. I like
feeling poured out, washed clean, touched by more than
fingers, kissed by spirit. I like knowing that someone is