Missed opportunities will rot your mind and break your heart,
so I hope for goodness sake that you leave room for art.
Without some form of outlet, without a knot to tie,
a pillow case to scream in - you’ll search rules to defy.
It’s easy to be reckless with reckless souls unkind,
but you can break the barrier with your beautiful mind.
—  Grazia Curcuru
I grew up being told that if you owe someone, you must pay them back.
I’m sure this was intended to inspire manners and customs. The result was not as kind as you thought this advice would make me. I understood mathematics, like basic addition - that if someone continuously did me favors, I’d owe them an increasingly larger sum. That two odds will make us even. I never let people do me favors because there’s no such thing in this world.
We treat others kindly: open doors, buy them food and gifts, take them places… all because we know that any good person will match our efforts. I’m not afraid of kindness, of generosity. I’m afraid of the things people will make me do in return for these circumstances we refer to as “favors.” I’ve paid, at least my way, for every date I’ve been on. Every gift, beyond a normal occasion to exchange, I have compensated with the price slipped into the pocket of whoever refused my payment.
It’s hard to look at a sister of mine and see how easily, how blindly she accepts the bribes of a meal in exchange for memories that may not heal. There’s a chance I'm overstepping kindness, but I cannot tolerate being used.
I grew up being told that if you owe someone, you must pay them back, and I’d much rather pay them back with the money they spent than leave my body up for grabs.
—  “Always even,” by Grazia Curcuru