Learning to Live

March 6, 2012
By Michelle Maina BRONZE, Atlanta, Georgia
Michelle Maina BRONZE, Atlanta, Georgia
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

I woke up in a strange place. Limbo. Tied between country concerts and incarceration, I’m not sure if I like either. These days’ waking up is a task, so I lean towards the latter. Never wanting to stare at the island shaped finger-painted scars up and down my legs. This reflection is broken. So I look the other way, on good days, when I muster enough courage to stare, she speaks to me. Willing me to believe that “this life ain’t everything it’s chalked up to be.” The glory fades with the limelight, and it’s never bright for long. Rustic lipstick slashed across her left cheek distracts me. Just for a spell. Distractions keep me from being swallowed by the anxiety, so I welcome them. Openly. The misplaced color makes me wonder about the odds and ends of her night. The girl struggles to relax and I wish I was like her, I wish I was her.

I wake, dazed and dress the way I think they want me to, knowing that the innocence the girl once possessed, is never going to be there again. Karma stole it. All that is left is the f***ed and the f*** you. Today I seem to have both. I find myself on a train; that’s been happening frequently. My subconscious wants to take me somewhere else. Somewhere happy. Somewhere safe. A man told me my right cheek was dotted with the same rustic lipstick, “Let me get it for you” he offered. “No. I’m learning to walk half alive, I’m learning to be like her.” But all I could think about was the time I wanted to be myself, it’s a dream they instill in you that you never reach. One day I realized, I could be anyone I want to be, so why would I pick me?

"This depression is in your mind" the girl told me, "but you're not imagining it." I’m nothing close to self-pitting, it’s not dignified. But I've have grown apathetic, this case of blues is wearing me down. I find myself at a small church, fifth pew. Wondering if the girl knew this place once and forgot how to get her. I find it hard to concentrate on the now, but I have to. Palm pressed, I pray for life. I could pray about the life I should have never experienced, but I don’t. Never forgetting to remember that despite my disposition, I am fortunate. Knowing that I never deserved anything, I’m not entitled to perfection. I pray for the girl. I pray that she finds her slice of peace; I’m searching for God in the ripples of the wind, the waves in the rain. Wishing I could remember what his voice sounded like. Hoping that one day I will gather enough of him to carry around. If the girl finds the dead love she once threw away, then I will always believe. But I’m getting to a place where I’ll believe despite how broken the girl in my reflection gets sometimes. When I get there, to the place my subconscious wants me, I’m hoping he'll believe in me too.

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