She cut me like a knife. I staggered back and felt the air fill the gash where skin used to be suspended. I slowly clenched a fist against my heart and wished it didn't sting as much as it stung.
I've never been scathed by something she'd said before. I'd been miffed and confused, maybe exceptionally irritated, but never scathed.
It was as if, for the first time in my life, my mother had dumped boiling water on me and then pushed me down a flight stairs to let the blisters bloom. I knew she didn't mean it, with each step I crashed past I knew it was just a mood she was in, but that didn't stop her words from ripping everything I've ever held in consolation from my fingers, every picture of hope off the walls.
He did it well enough, in high school. He showed me that love was a fragment of my own mind, something of my own make that would never be reciprocated and never reciprocated in the way I expected. Love would always fall short, and time and time again experience proved him to be right. He showed me the dark side to men--the dark side of everyone; the side that plays more into our prideful pompous hearts than leans into the thought that perhaps I'm doing wrong by someone else right now. Perhaps I'm crossing a line.
But the Barbie doll house didn't go up in flames until my mother had to tell me I was wrong. And as much as I knew she didn't mean it, as much as I knew it was frustration at a thousand other things and that was the thing she chose to vocalize about, it couldn't help but hurt when Mom said marriage was pointless. It couldn't help but hurt when I was so elated by the idea that someday-someday-I'll have that thing I reached for as a five year old, that thing I acted out with dolls, that thing I idealized with Disney cartoons: that someday I'll have love.
And she spat in my face.
My parents aren't getting divorced, I don't want people to think that my life is crumbling to pieces. It was a bad day on her part. But it's made every day since that much more worse for me, because suddenly I have this nagging fear at the back of my mind that I had quieted. This doubt that keeps rising that it's still just a construct of my mind, it's still just part of my imagination, and that love won't find me and that I won't find it, and that even when I do it doesn't matter.
Because it's pointless.
I wanted to say, If that was true, then why do so many people do it? If that was true then why has unity between man and wife withstood the test of time, why has that lasted? Why am I here if a procreation of love was pointless? Why would God let something so beautiful be pointless?
I know He wouldn't. He couldn't. But this dense tar of doubt clings to each glorified expression, growing stringier and needier with each desperate yank I make to rid myself of it.
I have optimism. I'm not saying I don't think anyone will ever find me attractive, or that anyone will ever be a kindred heart to mine, I'm just...
When you wake up as a teenager and you're awkward and your hair is greasy and you're chubby. And you have braces. And clothes make you look like a bloated box and you sound like a man and the only thing pretty about you is your eyelashes, but you fiddle with your eyelashes and pull at them because you've been doing it since you were a child and they're getting thinner and thinner... you start to doubt that any of those really cute boys that you keep talking about with your friends will ever actually look at you and remember who you are. And when that part of you dies, when that awkward phase ends and that part of you dies and you start to look the way you'd always hoped you did but acknowledged deep down you were terribly far from, you have to rebuild yourself and say that you weren't making things up when you were a kid and everyone was equally as ugly. That you just took a minute longer than everyone else to stop being hideous.
And you build yourself again.
And the last thing when you want when you're constructing yourself anew and establishing footing in a skin you didn't think you'd ever appreciate, is to hear that the thing you've been rooting for your entire life, that all encompassing goal, the end all of end all of everything, isn't as great as it's cracked up to be.