Reflection

Things We Don’t Talk About

We don’t talk about the things we can no longer see, like what happens to the things that fall in between the stove and the kitchen counter or the things we sweep under the rug. We don’t speak of the lies we tell ourselves, the ones we hold onto to get to sleep at night, to go about our days the only way we know how. We don’t talk about the way we throw honesty to the wind when we can opt to protect ourselves instead. We don’t talk about how bogus it is that our parents die. We don’t talk about how we have no idea what we’re doing. We don’t talk about the pretending. We don’t talk about the little things we don’t understand, the jokes we laugh along to without getting the punch line. We don’t talk about how we nod our heads and repeat “oh, yeah…of course…mmmhmmm” when our friends talk about pop culture, politics, and movies we don’t keep up with and almost feel bad not being informed about. We don’t talk about how we care too much what people think of us because, well, we care way too much to actually talk about it.

We don’t talk about the times we stay up all night in a nervous panic after WebMD convinced us we would die if we went to sleep. We don’t tell each other how often we cry and how sometimes we wish wish we could cry just to break the pattern of the numbness, of the nothing feelings, of the incapability to feel. We don’t talk about the days we spend in the same clothes we slept in, the late night car rides where frustration drives us to smoke a cigarette, and sometimes another. We don’t talk about the way the smell lingers in the best way, of grandfathers and old boyfriends and summers we thought would be our own one day and disappointed us just like everything else MTV told us was simply a matter of birthdays crossed off of calendars. We don’t talk about the things we feel undeserving of. We don’t speak of the reaching and the unreciprocated.We don’t talk about loneliness and love when it’s gone.

We don’t call it love after it fails.

I want to talk to you about the love that was real even if you squashed it. I want to have the hard conversations. I want to talk about the things you believe and the things I believe and the not knowing any of it. I want to talk about the not-knowing, of the uncertainty.  I want to talk about being afraid to die and not pretend like living is always easy. I want to apologize and congratulate you and hit you and yell at you and forgive you and tell you I love you because sometimes your friends leave, because sometimes you leave, because sometimes you throw away years being too proud to make the phone call, and because I never want to have words left unsaid.

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