On being considered shy

«People tell me that I’m shy. And I immediately want to grab them by the shoulders and shake them hard, say No I’m not shy, I’m just so full of everything and all these feelings are threatening to spill over and out between my ribs. I want to tell them, I’m quiet even though I have so much to say; I just don’t know how to say it.

Some days I feel as if the moon lives inside my skin. There’s all this luminescence, this brilliance inside of me struggling to get out. And my skin is just splitting at the seams all the time, stretching and tearing and breaking, but the moon can never get out. My heart is just a satellite traveling on a constant orbit around and around the cage of my bones and every night all I want is for it to run out of gas and crash so that all the feelings will spill out like fuel. The moon is there and it’s burning white-hot like a cigarette, it’s made of molecules and blood and it’s consuming me like a fire. I want to grab a complete stranger’s body in my hands and kiss their mouth till we both turn numb, look into their eyes and see their soul.

I’m not shy; I just sit down at the dinner table and forget what to say. I can pass the mashed potatoes or the butter but I can’t put my feelings on a platter and pass them to my father, and I can’t ask for my mother’s in return. I can ride a bike and take a photograph and write a poem, but I can’t look someone in the face and say, I love you. I always have and always will, and I am so in love with you I can barely speak. And I can play the violin and run through the streets at midnight without caring who sees me, but I can’t tear apart my soul like an orange and rip all the layers off or expose all the tendons and muscles beneath the skin.

My teachers tell my parents I could benefit from raising my hand more in class. I want to tell my teachers they could benefit more from trying to get to know me. Ask me who I am and I’ll be yours forever. Hook your arm around my neck and bring your mouth to mine and if you kiss me a paragraph I’ll reply with a novel. I speak in touches and quick glances and smiles, not words.

My heart’s on an elevator and it doesn’t know what floor to get off on. My heart’s locked up in a cage and someone’s thrown away the key. My heart’s a willow tree that sobs gently in the rain until the birds move amongst its branches.

Sometimes I want to get drunk and there’s vodka in the cupboard and whiskey too, and I want a gin without ice and a scotch on the rocks but there are plates in the cupboard too and I want to smash them, I want to throw every single one against the wall until they shatter. I want to shatter too. I want to disappear.

I catch snow in my mouth in winter and try to braid snowflakes in my hair. I want to run until I’m out of breath. All these things I can do, but I can’t speak to you.

I’m not shy; I just don’t know how to tell you that I am so full I might burst. And I am not shy; I just have more feelings than there are languages in the world.»

Skrevet av writingsforwinter.


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