It’s always been a love story.
When you wanted to cut yourself up. When you offered yourself up to doctors to fix. When you wondered, every minute of every day, how you were wrong and what could be done with you.
It’s always been headed towards love.
It’s always been headed towards running your hands over yourself, marveling at the plump heat, the quickly healing skin, the miles walked, the escapes executed, the visions held onto.
It’s always been headed towards strength. Every time you recognized a game being played for what it was, and you saw you weren’t born a patient to someone’s doctor, a project for someone’s master plan, a speech for someone’s fundraiser. They can look in mirrors to see if their masks are straight, you don’t need to be what they rescue.
It’s always been headed towards certain knowledge that damsels end up saving themselves, and then they share the tales of how they pulled it off, how they kept themselves whole, how they not only lived but created worlds too.
This isn’t a war story. You can leave behind the hymns to the rockets red glare. We learn when to turn away from a spectacle untethered to our futures. We learn if it’s Rome’s arena you’re entering you’re gonna end up dead at best or their clown at worst.
Life is not a battle over the truth. You are the judge and jury. Life is eating when hungry, crying when sad, laughing when happy, writing what you saw. See it, write it, you will receive no paychecks for editing services.
They come after you, they trail and they shout that you are writing it wrong, you are writing it irresponsibly, you must write the party line, you must think of the correct stories they want the media and the insurance companies and the government and their own hearts to believe.
But the more you wake up to sunlight, eat when hungry, cry when sad, write what you see the farther away their shouting seems. You can remember being so terrified of them ever shouting at you. You can remember picking your words so carefully. And now you wonder, who are you to shout at me? What relationship have you ever had to my well-being? What did you ever try to do for me besides scare me? When did you feed me, wipe my tears, give me shelter? This is a love story, pal. The scenes are going to be romantic. The stars are gonna twinkle, the breeze will be soft and smell like gardenias, got it? Shouters will exit stage left.
Here we are finally in love, and our conversations are miracles, and our ideas fascinating, and what we know so engrossing, and our jokes deep and hilarious, and wherever we took our bodies here they are, finally safe, finally loved beyond aesthetics, praised beyond uses, and we are free, because that’s how love stories always end, in freedom and a beloved beginning.