This week's prompt is "Truth," and I actually wrote the piece a few days ago, when I was, um, substantially more emo than I am currently... There are a lot of my real life issues in it, though, so you can comment with "What an emokid!", but please don't say "The girl is stupid," because that would make me sad. XD
It's a bit of a downer, so... have a picture of a bunny? XD Or how about my brother's cat? XD
Thanks very much to eltea for editing work. And generally just for being an amazingly wonderful human being. x)
The one bit is from "Song of Myself," by Walt Whitman, and it's verse-stanza-thing 51. Those lines just stuck in my head last year and decided to stay. XD
The truth reared its hideously misshapen head while we were in the back of his ’89 Volvo station wagon, in the middle of nowhere, and I, at least, in the middle of nobody.
It was one of those mountain roads that doesn’t seem to know quite where it’s going, but neither did we, so that sounded about fair.
The trees laced their leaves above the steel roof like children playing
We should have been doing something sketchy to merit the location, but we were mostly just lying there, half-twined, being independently self-centered at the same time.
“What do you want?” he asked.
I breathed a few times. “From what?”
“Life,” he answered. “The world. Me. Us.”
“I don’t know,” I said.
“You should figure it out,” he decided, equably enough.
“Is there a deadline?”
He smiled. “Should there be?”
“You know how I am with deadlines,” I muttered.
Dead line, as it were; like a laundry cord trailing across the yard, fallen fabric slumping wetly on largely unsympathetic blades of grass.
Do I contradict myself?
Very well then I contradict myself,
(I am large, I contain multitudes.)
“Bad?” he hazarded.
“Heinous,” I corrected. “Criminal.”
He watched the trees bow, deferentially.
“You really don’t know?” he prompted. “Or you do, and you don’t want to say?”
He had a habit of asking questions he didn’t want to know the answers to, and that I didn’t want to answer.
Old habits die hard, and bad habits die harder.
“You’re really not helping,” I told him, which wasn’t either.
“I don’t know what to say.”
Then don’t say anything.
“I’m sorry,” I murmured.
“Why are you sorry for a thing like that?”
Questions, questions, questions. Bring a bit more curled-and-dotted uncertainty into the world.
I watched the window. “It’s something to say,” I pointed out.
Quiet, then. The leaves whispered, rustling against fading compatriots, presumably starting a betting pool on how much longer we were going to last, talking like this.
Two minutes, probably. I wondered if I could walk all the way home without starving to death en route.
I thought in sounds for a while after that. I superimposed his soft breathing on the gossiping of the foliage and tossed in the measured crinkle-flip of a book’s pages for percussion. At intervals I added the jingling shower of just under two dollars in quarters and dimes as they met the stiff carpeting on the floor of the car, because I’d forgotten about the change in my back pocket until it was too late. Various permutations of breaths, choked on and caught, hitching, halting, half-sighed. The futility of raindrops that couldn’t reach us as they splattered themselves against the windshield; the towering pride that held back tears that could.
What did I want?
I wasn’t sure how to articulate what I wanted, or the various whats and nots and nothings that I thought I did—if articulation was even possible. I wasn’t entirely sure what I wanted to do, though it seemed to be something along the laughably impossible lines of going back and erasing things.
Not everything. Just some things. Just the things that made me cringe and close my eyes and thank the Powers That Be that mind-reading tends to stay on television. Just the stuff that made me wish I’d somehow, somewhere learned to stand up for myself and stuck with it. Just the parts that were good at the time and only put my soul through the cheese grater after I’d gone home and looked at myself with the lights on.
I only wanted to get rid of those things.
Which, of course, could never be done, because the whole daisy-chain-reaction would fall to petals and pieces if you tried to remove one link, or a couple, or a lot. It’s all or nothing. Do not pass Go and whatnot.
So I lay there and admired the dimples in the cushioned plastic that lined the inside of the roof, and I hoped that he’d forget we’d ever had this conversation.
Which he wouldn’t. But a girl could dream.