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I Am The Brick Wall MAG
My point of view comes from up quite high. Before I even wake up, up I go on the elevator to the penthouse. I hear the people's voices before I open my eyes. I am still tired but not daring to stay asleep. I'll miss too much, and with only 24 hours in a day, an extra five minutes of sleep is a lifetime. Words in my ears from the people, they go buzz. I want to yell but I put a hand to my mouth. A zipper, coarse metal, replaces my soft, full lips. I tug on the zipper and I scream with pain – no one can hear. I zip my mouth shut again.
People ask me questions: when will my book be published? When will I win Olympic gold? A Nobel Peace Prize? When, when, what will you do with your life? I feel like I have no life. It is only a constant routine of planned activities with no time to simply ….
Stop. Erase these thoughts from your head, or have someone else do it for you. Consult your dietician about your meal plan. Top shape for sports, brain as sharp as your pencil when you write those exams. Anything less than the best is unacceptable.
So to whom do I turn? I undress. My skin is dull, worn and torn, but flawless because of the skin-care routine forced upon me. I look at the bags holding a million worries below my eyes, no more eye juice left to blink. I shut my eyes – they roll to the back of my brain. Rest.
No. I dress, perfect myself before turning to the outside world. And then I take the elevator and go down, down, down to see my friends. Friends? What is a friend, when I am smart enough to know what they are doing to me?
I can see when they lie. I can hear it in the stories they tell me of first kisses (“Oh, you haven't had yours yet?”) and of the soccer team (“Coach tells me I'm the best player. And you're not!”) and I wonder if we are in grade two. Grade two, when we'd one-up each other more than we would laugh together, splash in puddles, smell the flowers, or create secret hideouts with blankets in the door hinges.
There is no time anymore. I listen to your lies and I let them break down the outer surface. I let you think that they affect me, that I really care if you get all the guys or if you have the perfect nose when mine will always be big and round, because I know that one day it won't matter. One day I will find someone who will love me even for the things that I hate.
That's what they tell me.
I ignore your lies and I forgive you because I know you are insecure – all of you, and not just the ones who are obvious. The ones who forget to tell me about the audition for fear of competition. The ones who won't tell Coach I'm sick so he'll think I'm skipping practice to watch re-runs of “Ellen.”
I will not let anyone get to me. I will not accept the praise or judgment of foolish people. I am not stuck-up; I simply know what I want.
And when I am done with all of it, I go back up the elevator, listening to the uneven hum and wondering what would happen if it were to break down. I'd let the elevator fall down, down, down. Past the people who lie and find satisfaction in it. Past the triumphs and the bathtubs full of green. I will fall and I will not push the large red button that says “Help” because I need no help. If I am to succeed or fail, I will do it on my own.
So up the elevator goes and then I see the fluffy white bed, and my body sinks for a moment when I hit it. My worries flood the pillow and I shut my eyes. I let them roll to the back of my head, where I can see all my dreams and reach them, but not with my fingertips. My dreams are attainable, and I run to them in person, only to be held back. And when you are speechless, a zipper on your mouth, you have no protests on your lips but rather in your head. Most of the time, you think, it makes no sense. Confusion is chaos under stress. So you watch me fight through it and think, Wow, she's going someplace.
It is because of this: I am not the elevator, or the contents of the building. I have no zippers on my face. I may not win the Nobel Peace Prize; I may not ever win any prize. I have not had a first kiss but I have built forts with rainbow blankets. I am not the liar or the makeup artist or the dietician. I am not the girl who is flawless and worn. Not the one who watches re-runs on television. I do not swim in a pool of money, and I do not push large red help buttons.
I am the brick wall that surrounds this place, and nothing can knock me down.