I wear sunshine on my lips and stars on my nails. My hair is a garden of roses that blossoms in a different color every morning. I drink galaxies for breakfast and use ribbons of moonbeams sprinkled with comets as laces for my shoes. My eyelids are the wings of hummingbirds and my skin, the velvet blackness of night seasoned with stardust. My breath is the scent of wildflowers and magic. And I wear music as jewelry around my neck.
You’ve known me as the dreamer who lives within you and the creativity you lost as you grew up. I helped you discover your imaginary friends and whispered in your ear to create your own world. I replaced your ordinary eyes with kaleidoscopic diamonds and your nightmares with dreams of flying. You still see me in children: the five-year-olds who pray to the Easter bunny and the eight-year-olds who wear rose-colored contact lens, viewing the world as a big bundle of joy where everyone is happy. You wish I’d never left you when your parents fought and got a divorce or when your first love broke your heart into pieces. You think I faded inside you little by little every time your teacher said you’d never amount to anything in life or during those sleepless nights when you felt unloved and believed you no longer belonged anywhere.
You wish you could trade all your ‘growing up’ for just one more day of staying a child. To feel my soft fluttering kiss on your salty, world-weary cheeks as I lead you once again into the world you created and then abandoned. And to help you rediscover the pirate ships and treasure chests hidden in scudding masses of clouds. To just be a child again, nothing else.
You think you outgrew me when your turned thirteen when all your friends seemed more interested in their own bodies than your fairytale stories about flying imps and green-skinned witches. You let the world turn you angry, cynical and disappointed. You learnt that not all people are good and that rainbows don’t really lead to leprechauns’ pots of gold. Growing up had changed you and you blamed me for letting you down.
With every day of disbelieving, I was vanishing within you until one day I was nowhere to be found. Your head full of dreams wilted as real-life responsibilities mounted on your shoulders and left you on your knees. Soon, I became just another tattered memory you remembered occasionally on bus rides back home and sighed at.
But one evening, you stop to look at the moon. It is deliciously glowing and hangs crescent in the sky. You casually envision a Siamese kitten sitting on the inner curve of the moon with its kinky tail waving at the stars. And just like that, you hear me laugh. That laugh you hadn’t heard for years; that laugh that still rang with innocent delight and childlike wonder.
I say to you, “Remember, I’m the dreamer within you. The bottle of rainbows in an ocean under a rainstorm. The sweet clusters of dew in a field of parched grass. You’ll never lose me, you just have to find me. But I’m always there.”
You then realize you’ve been wrong this whole time. It wasn’t me who had let you down, but yourself.
Your God person puts an apple tree in the middle of a garden and says, do what you like guys, oh, but don’t eat the apple. Surprise surprise, they eat it and he leaps out from behind a bush shouting ‘Gotcha.’
She was drunk texts at 2:37 AM with no memory of them the next morning. When I kissed her she tasted like cough syrup, maybe that’s why her voice sounded so sweet when she would whisper false prayers in the pale moonlight on that cold night in the middle of August. She wore pale night gowns and ran into burning fields, laughing as the ash tickled her skin and fell on her like rain. She was calloused hands and chapped lips, all rough and worn but all too familiar. She would show up in wet clothes and ask to be taken to the hospital for a paper cut. In the summer she was peach tea, sickly sweet but just as refreshing as the previous sip. Her eyes were made of stardust and you could taste the galaxy in the sheer lies she wrapped herself in. In the fall you could find her in her grandmother’s bathroom doing coke off the mirrors and then helping bake cookies with a crooked smile. When she cried it was like a full moon gazing down upon you, leaving you cold, but in awe. She had a knack for gummy worms and deep dark secrets, greedily she gobbled them up just the same. Her ring finger was slightly crooked from the one time she jumped from the roof thinking she could fly and she says it’s a sign she’s no good for marriage. She was as loud as a raging fire and as soft as a newborn kitten, either way she still had her claws and her words stung. She wore a broken rosary and told me she didn’t know what was out there, but clutched it just the same, feeling the splinters digging into her palms. Her hair was made of silk and like the material, it was a slow burning red that threatened to consume her. She kissed cigarettes more than she kissed girls she would meet at parties. She wore red lipstick and would have the occasional hook-up with someone she shared a cab with, and nothing else. She said she could would fall in love if it tasted like vodka.