but who is taking care
i. the strap of her backpack where the silver teeth of staples peek out at the top. her cheeks are pink when she explains it. her hands are too weak to sow it back on now and her wallet is too thin. no room in a budget for a new place to store her memories in.
ii. the sheets where her sweat leaked cold over her skin. her mouth was pandora’s box and her jaw locked to keep the nightmares in. the linens were midnight blue and there was a slowly-growing tear in them from where the first woman you ever tasted sank her teeth in. the next girl you invited under the covers told you she can hear the last lover’s ghost. she asked you to throw out anything that had collected screams. she made it sound like a cleansing. you somehow never got around to it and when you finally spread apart her legs, your toes found the hole that was made by your ex.
iii. a dried flower in a small wine glass from the one night you tried to treat her like a princess. she choked on how fake it felt. you don’t remember much but that she begged you to stop pretending. she said that your pretense of love was entirely unconvincing. your compliments crawled like spiders on her skin. she blew out the three candles you had lit. she fucked you quietly in the darkness.
iv. her earrings you promised you would fix but somehow never got around to it.
v. a book she lent you a long time ago that you started but you never finished. she underlined things for you in the final chapters. you didn’t see them. they were all love confessions. you yelled at her because she kept asking you how far along you’d gotten. she saw it the other day crumpled beneath your laundry basket and you shrugged. she said she didn’t mind but she was oddly quiet afterwards.
vi. liquor bottles like gravesites from where you were too honest to be kind to her. the last time the two of you sat on your floor and drank, she asked you which of her friends you dreamed about kissing. you listed them off a little too easily. when you turned the question around and aimed it at her, she stood up. she said that she had never thought of kissing anyone else because she was honestly in love. she stopped the game and did shots until she was dangerously drunk.
vii. a house, a room, a bed
a heap of sentimental objects;
1. Who you are now is not who you will be in 10 years. It is okay to be somebody new 10 minutes from now. We are always learning. We are always growing. If you realized 10 seconds ago that you don’t like who you are, shed your skin, retry, replant yourself in good soil.
2. Cleaning is instant therapy. When your brain is muddy, take a shower, wash your hands, change your clothes. Spend 15 minutes straightening your living room. When you are angry, scrub things. I know it’s crazy but it works instantly.
3. Forgive someone’s debt if it’s under 50 dollars, forgive the small things, give a little time to yourself and forgive the big things too. Forgiveness isn’t about the other person, it’s about you. That being said - if someone ever hurts you in a way that would make me cry to know, you get out of there, my love. You just get up and go.
4. Gum karma is real and if you spit out a piece in public expect to find some on your shoe in the future. Same goes for insults and harsh judgement, too.
5. Do what you love and the money will follow.
6. Live your life with an open palm and give as much as you can and as often. At some point in your life, someone will lend you 50 bucks when you’re down on your luck. Remember how that feels. Remember to give that back.
7. Always wear clean underwear. You’ll thank me later.
8. There is a difference between being kind and being passive and there are those who cannot see that difference. They will try to walk all over you. Never bend your knees for those who do.
9. Have faith. Have faith in god or people or yourself or science or in luck or in all of the above. Faith is what keeps us going, faith is what keeps us strong.
10. Pay your bills on time whenever you can, although money is nothing. Remind yourself that.
11. Do not forget you were once ignorant of all you know now. Be patient of anyone who hasn’t had the education you have. Speak at the level of the person you are with - it’s not playing dumb, it’s being considerate. There’s no reason to make them feel uncomfortable. Plus then when someone starts going off about their superior IQ, you can cut them to pieces and watch their face when you do.
12. You are the best person in the room for one particular thing, and that’s confidence. You are the worst person in the room for another thing, and that’s humility. Use both carefully.
13. Never make fun of someone’s beliefs or superstitions, let your kid keep their imaginary friend and let your best buddy believe in knocking on wood. We all have security blankets. Don’t take away someone else’s.
14. Try to learn something new every day.
15. The worse you look, the more likely you are to run into someone you know so instead of feeling awkward, learn to be confident in sweats while talking to your friends.
16. Never go to bed angry, it will ruin your sleep and make tomorrow even harder. Find a way to relax. Don’t let today get to your head.
17. Think before you speak. When someone says something, mull over their words before answering. This is called listening, it is different than hearing.
18. What keeps love beautiful is that there’s risk involved. If he breaks your heart and it doesn’t hurt, it wasn’t love in the first place.
19. Never let someone else determine who you are or how happy. You are too strong to be torn apart.
20. I love you, even when we are fighting, even when I am fast asleep. Don’t doubt it for an instant. You are my everything.