This is Me

November 2, 2010
1998. Wind blowing. October; late evening. We sat on the couch, waiting. Waiting for something; waiting for nothing. A chair sits itself in the middle of the vast empty rooms. Floridian hurricanes threaten to blow our house down, but we know we’ll be okay. Our warmth is not from our smiles, but from our hearts, huddled close together. The tall windows show nothing but darkness, and the emptiness reminds us that someone’s no longer here.
1999. Sun shining. May; warm afternoon. Mother serves porridge, topping each bowl except for hers with a slice of cheese. Smiles and comments about rabbits outside float about the kitchen and dining room. Younger sister adds several more slices of cheeses. We tease her and call her mouse, she grins happily at the attention. Almost glows with life. While she is sweet, I am bitter. While she’s the sun, I’m the dark side of the moon. My mother is the moon herself, shining beautifully with all her kindness, guiding those in the dark their way home.
2000. Snow falling. January; noon. Warm, sunny Florida is now far away, now that we hide away in our little nest here in Queens, New York. No more space to run and hide, no more bunnies to try to chase, no more butterflies. Vast, bitter cold fills the skies, with nothing but more buildings to block out the sun. As the dark side of the moon, I turn darker, yet my sister, she shines all the more brighter, as if she were challenging the cold. And my mother, she continues to guide all the more.
2001. Colors flying. September; mid-afternoon. My life’s colors change like the leaves that fly with the wind. Turning, spinning, helpless, just going by nature’s way, they are unable to do anything against it. Then they get wet, stepped on, crushed, driven upon, collected, stored away, like these things people once said were my hopes and dreams and blind faith. The twin towers fell down, helpless against the power of those that crushed against them while causing them, too, to collapse. Down, down they fell. Down, down, I fell.
2003. Friendship. May; early afternoon. The four of us, we’re proud to be who we are as we walk down the corridors of the elementary school. Not yet seniors, but as fourth graders, we feel big and on top of the world. I learn that I should’ve started to wear what they call a bra. I wonder what else there is in the world, that I don’t know. I feel small, but hopeful.
2004. Loss. February; mid-afternoon. Friendships are quite the puzzle, aren’t they?
2007. Pacts will last; pacts will fade. Late May; later-afternoon. Sunsets are lovely when you’re with people you think are dear to you. Everyday, we meet at this very middle school courtyard, in Brooklyn, New York. Everything bad in our life melts away into the colors that stretch across the sky. We smack out all our emotions against the small blue ball that hits the ball and comes back for more. Handball is what held us together, it seems. My very first sport and I wanted to love it with all my heart. We lie against the hard floor of the courtyard, and we think of how we’re going to stay together forever. Friends, forever, better remember! However, unexpected things happen, though, and enemies turn into best of friends, while best of friends drift apart.
The years rush by, and I learn to smile to people, to say hi and to pretend that I am grateful for their presences in my life. I take up a job and an internship here and there. Along the way somewhere, I even picked up a paintbrush, and learned to pour my soul onto a sheet of canvas.
These days, though, I pick the dreams off of the withered tree in my heart and set them in a vase of false pretenses on my bedside table. When I come home, I show to myself that I can prove the world wrong, and I let those dreams grow and frame them on the wall.
We all have to cope with ourselves, one way or another.

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