In the third grade we were told to memorize our times tables.
Off of the top of my head I can tell you that 6* 4 is 24 and 11*3 is 33,
But hell sometimes I still forget what 9*6 is.
What I will never forget is the way that it feels
To lie at the bottom of a bathroom tub
In the middle of a shower
And feel the hot water droplets hit my skin as if they were responding to the SOS written on my soul.
To feel the urgency to stop the pain and wonder if this would be the night that my heart would stop beating.
If this would be the night that I would drown out the pain
But what if they found my body,
Lying there in the bathroom,
Naked and wet,
Covered with battle scars from the war of life.
Would they sympathize and somehow understand that life is hard
And pain is the only thing coursing through my veins.
Or would they judge, and call me selfish,
I stopped myself every time,
Because I have always had a fear of drowning.
I will always remember the way
The burning scent of sterilization
That filled my nostrils
Every time I climbed into the hospital bed
That caged my mother
And strung her like a marionette
To the IV bag and monitors.
That beeped in tune with her heart,
I swear I could hear her heart break every time visiting hours were over
And the click of the hospital room door
Left her alone with the fact that she was dying
And there was nothing she could do about it.
I will always remember
The sound of a metal spoon crashing with the sides of a tea cup
Filling the silence as I sat across from my mother at the dining room table
Like mother like daughter, night owls for sure
And the look of defeat the fell across her face as she broke down
And told her eight year old daughter
The song she wanted me to play at her funeral
And each cup of tea I have poured since has been a cup of regret
Because Phil Collins never made an appearance
Like I promised he would
That was the first promise I ever broke.
I will always remember the way a
45 year old man hand felt hitting my ass
as I turned to walk away
I was only 13.
Thanksgiving has never been the same
And the only thing I am thankful for
Is the fact that you didn’t decide to do anything more.
I will always remember the night
I drank hard alcohol for the first time
Tequila to be exact-the perfect collegiate drink.
The way that the liquid warmed my throat
And made me fear the person I would be if I were drunk
Because surely I would spill the beans about all the secrets my heart contains
And people would run
Because they would see that the smile that’s on the face is hiding
Someone who is scared of the dark
For there will always be monsters under my bed.
But all I really want out of life is someone who
Will be there when the lights are out.
Thankfully, the monsters didn’t seem so scary that night
Because on the ride home he held my hand
He doesn’t know,
But he held my heart that night
And crushed it the next day
Because he was too drunk to remember what happened.
I have forgotten how to tell the truth
The words “I’m fine, thank you” catch in the back of my throat
Every time my state of being comes into question.
These words hold the pieces of my heart together
Just enough to keep it beating.
And maybe just maybe, if I lie to myself enough
My words will become my reality
And surely someday I’ll really be fine.