This is how it begins—two hours past 11:11, when I forgot to make my wish. I scribble letters to someone who is not watching, who’ll consider me too mundane to read them (I keep thinking that if I fake enough humility, they actually will, but faking defeats the purpose entirely).
When I was little, there was that scene in every movie where the protagonist refused the villain’s offer and went home, away from the magical land, and then there was a dog in the backyard and a sunny day, and I kept thinking,
But how will they return?
It’s quite possible that I’m selfish, because I’ve never been able to see 2.4 children and barbecues as anything other than polygamy, and maybe that’s why I like other selfish ones (villains like me). I know the pattern:
I will seek out the nicest person in the room and then I will wander away because they’re so damn boring (Can’t I have my kindergarten mind back?). And my conscience is posted on craigslist—you only have to pick it up—because I used to be so much happier without it.
I guess what I’m trying to say is I see the beauty in half asleep soccer moms, youth reeking with potential and promise and tarnished bikes from the joy of riding
But I’m not going to get there. Because they’re always saying ‘I can’t draw worth shit’, or ‘I’m not a runner’; I’ve honed my knowledge of Descartes to a fine edge, five fruits or vegetables every day and the correct lighting for the ambiance. I’m writing essay after essay so I can go somewhere, so I can be someone,
But in books, it’s always the character with the humility who wins, and that I’ve never been
I see you, my friend, and I don’t mean this condescendingly: I know that you value carpools, staying with family always, marry in a white dress on a clear sunny day
It looks lovely on you.
And I shouldn’t think, but how will they return?
So because I feel bad,
Because I’d rather watch gladiator fights than pick out birthday presents
Because the reason I drink so much coffee is so I can tell myself that interesting people don’t sleep, rather than just admitting that I can’t,
I’ll make you a deal.
And maybe I’m just trying to take back my movie opinions from when I was six (maybe I’m still waiting for false humility to bring me glory), but I swear to god that if you stick with me, when the villain offers me gold and power in a distant land, I’ll tell him not today,
And I’ll get you home.