Sometimes I Can't Stand The Things I Like


It was late and we were down by the beach drinking. He was playing guitar while I was lying on the picnic bench. We were singing songs that reminded me of other places. Music is haunting like that. Sometimes I just can’t listen to it because it’s too hard to be present and somewhere else at the same time. The stars helped though, they were out like it was their very first night out. I was tired. I said sometimes I like having my head stroked when I’m falling asleep, other times it feels horrible. Horrible? Yeah I said, like paper cuts touching brand new dollar bills, like stubbing your toe on a rock but not having any blood to prove how much it hurt, like burning your tongue on the very first bite.

I write lists to remind myself I’m doing okay as a person. I read over the things that make me feel good: deep breathing, stretching my hamstrings, drinking peppermint tea. I have four jars of oil in my room: olive, coconut, tea tree and grape seed. See, I’m into natural healing, this is something. I have terrible skin sometimes, in the winter it sends me mad. I wake up in the night and tear at it with my nails. Sometimes I’m terrified no one will ever love me because of this.

That’s a bit extreme, he said. I’m trying to be better. It’s why I use the oils. I’m always trying. We all think crazy things sometimes. Despite how nice it feels, sometimes I don’t want my head stroked. I just want to be left alone, to stay up and read things and to wake up in the morning not caring that the pillows are on the floor.

Can you just accept that? he asked, accept that this is how you are?

I’m working on a list of things I’d like to accept.