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Feb 2020
I'm sitting in a cramped chair, throwing popcorn at the screen.
"I don't know what to say" - he says, and I'm laughing.
"It's okay," I tell him, and I'm about to spill over.
It's so close he can see it in the reflection of my eyes.
"I know what we are-
and I know what we are not."
I can't bare a sequel to this awful film. I can't stand to look at it any longer.
Are you making her promises you can't keep?
He's running his hands through his hair, trying to find something interesting to say,
to bend the will of someone else and knock her over just to catch her.
Did you rehearse these lines at all?
It hurts the way that love isn't supposed to, and it reminds me of when my mother told me: always be the first to leave.
Cut to:
I'm standing in the shower, washing him off of me.
He sticks to me like blood, and it stains the water red as it circles the drain.
It's a scene I haven't played before, and I'm trembling because the cameras are following me like a raincloud.
I was the bird, and I know that much.
And I gave myself to him softly, as gently as I could.
I gave him a suitcase full of bad memories and said, "here. hold this."
And maybe that's selfish, but its okay because
I'm not the main character of this story. I don't think I ever was.
I think that this story is about you.
Lets go back, shall we?
The cast resets, the cameras pan to the first time I walked past.
Boy meets girl, and he wants everything he can get his hands on.
He's hungry for experiences, things that he can only dream of doing while other people do them.
He wants to be a person who does something- anything, so he falls in love without looking at me.
Without seeing me.
Is it love if you're dangling the telephone cord over my head?
What about wrapping it around my throat?
He wants to be the kind of person who writes about love, so he tries to be everything that he thinks love should be.
I'm standing in a spinning room and I hear someone yell,
The cameras turn off, and I can't see the way his face contorts into something unrecognizable.
But he bites his tongue so hard it bleeds and calls it poetry for you.
Whats the difference between bleeding out of agony and bleeding out of love?
Cut to:
Us, sitting on the floor, and he's trying to wrap his arms around me so completely that I fade into the outline of his sweater.
But it doesn't feel like comfort, it feels like choking.
And I can't breathe in the space that is left in between us.
Are you trying to close the gap, or are you trying to suffocate me
So I stop making noise?
The reviews are in:
Girl Falls for the Same Trap Over and Over Again.
A tragedy,
they're saying.
A real shame that its not what it could've been.
I scribble out "my love" and write his name at the beginning of an apology note I don't finish.
I don't have anything to be sorry for,
But my love is laying open on the pavement.
He's staring at it saying,
"We can fix this."
But he won't touch it.
And I wonder what is so disgusting about me that makes him turn his head away, makes him flinch.
I wonder if I can pinpoint the moment he decided I wasn't good enough, if I could go back and say my lines better.
Give me another chance to be what you were projecting onto me.
I can be a blank screen, you can use me to watch your own highlight reel.
Its a good scene, so I cry the way that an audience is supposed to.
I clasp my hands to my chest and try to will air into my lungs
For days.
I can't play this role, I can't fill these shoes for you. I don't even know who they belong to.
"Is this how you see me?" He's asking,
And I can't tell if the pain in his voice is recited from memory.
The audience laughs, because its funny, the way
The girl gave him a bird and watched it die in his palms.
I was the bird, and I know that much.
Everyone's eyes well with tears as the credits roll,
Or maybe its just mine.
Thank you for keeping up the act for so long.
Written by
scully  indiana
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