sometimes you just have to wait twenty-eight seconds or rub Buddha’s belly in a circular motion, clockwise, and with your right thumb, or call voicemail you know will pick up to taunt yourself with the recorded voice because it is so fake it becomes real or read the poem Alex wrote the morning his grandfather died and remember twisting the curls on his head around your pointer finger to make ringlets try to twist your own hair like that; waste fifteen minutes if that doesn’t work call someone a bitch and see what happens. eavesdrop. a lot. watch the rain. try to hold your breath for a full minute or hang upside down off the couch until your head is heavy. think about your grandfather’s funeral think about how embarrassing your first kiss was think about all the people you haven’t met everything is helpful but not everything has meaning you cannot control anything and if you realize that you may just have to wait which may involve sleeping which may involve dreaming, which sometimes helps, but you can’t control that either. you know not to consume most of a two-liter bottle of coke before bed but you do anyway. you know not to hit the brake on ice but you do anyway. you know to look to the white boundary on the right side of the road but you look straight into the headlights like a creature rivaling a moth or a deer you are blind you are caught in the light but you keep driving anyway. the bold yellow lines are just suggestions. time moves in relentless, even intervals and you can’t control that either.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.