(A free write for T.N.)

There were exactly twelve things that I told myself not to
tell you. Twelve things. They were small and didn’t mean much but I didn’t want
you to think less of me because of them. Twelve things. When I wake up
sometimes I can’t remember which room I’m in and sometimes I can’t remember
what the ceiling of my bedroom is supposed to look like and all I want is to
stay in one place so that I’m never not under the same roof. I can curl my
tongue into five different shapes and they each have silly names which don’t
quite do justice to what I’m doing—the four leaf clover or the wave. I collect
skeleton keys because I found one once buried near some stone steps that jutted
out of the forest and lead nowhere and I all I really ever wanted to believe was
that I’d find some lock, any lock, to open. My favorite kind of candy are violet
pastilles because they taste like they belong in fairy tales and they make me remember
cough syrup made from flower petals and the scent of clean sheets and sleeping
when I used to be able to sleep well. I listen to my favorite songs over and
over until I can’t help but hum them and it feels like the music is actually a
part of me and is flowing out of me. I used to want to be a singer but I kept
forgetting how to sing.  I like the color
of your eyes because they make me think of something I can’t name but have
never forgotten, some story that I wanted to retell to children but could never
quite remember right. My favorite game is Hearts and I’ve shot the moon on a
hold hand and I like to shuffle cards because it’s the most soothing feeling I’ve
ever experienced and I like to do magic tricks and make all the queens in a
deck disappear. I sleep mostly on my side, I sleep the best when it’s cool out.
Sometimes I hear waves crashing on a lake even when I’m in the middle of a
field. I used to be afraid of flying kites, I thought that holding on to
anything meant something I wasn’t ready for. I’m already thinking that I’ll let go
of you too and so I miss you even though you’re here. There are exactly twelve
things I should probably have told you before this.


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