20/10/2016

A year ago today,
you coloured my world with your laughter.
You painted my soul a vibrant shade of red.
You scribbled in smiles, penciled in genuine happiness.
A year ago today,
you changed my life.

A year ago today,
you stole my heart,
refusing to give it back.
Though in return,
you gave me your’s.
No returns, love.
A year ago today,
you gave me life.

A year ago today,
you reshaped my shattered pieces,
gave them human form.
You painstakingly washed the blood and tears away,
then meticulously slid them into place.
A year ago today,
you gave me hope.

A year ago today,
I found my one in seven billion.
I met a man who saw in me what others did not—potential.
Your words lift my spirits.
Your smile brightens my world.
Your presence keeps my heart beating.
A year ago today,
you saved my life.

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Thank You

Thank you for finding the strength in my weakness.
Where I can only hate myself,
you fight to reinforce my worth.

Thank you for struggling through my stubborn self-loathing.
When I can only make myself bleed,
you find bandages to bind the wounds.

Thank you for picking me up when I stumble and fall.
Where I fail to stand and move ahead,
you’re there to catch and nudge me forward.

Thank you for listening, even when I struggle to speak.
When I’ve lost my voice,
you sort through my tangled thoughts to find the message.

Thank you for being patient enough to out-stubborn me.
Where I refuse to speak,
you ask until you can drag it out of me…even when it takes hours.

Thank you for guiding me.
When others have left me in the dark,
you became my shining light.

Thank you for taking every fragmented piece of me for what it is.
Where others let the shards of my psyche fall away,
you stopped to pick them up.

Thank you for being you without falter.

Thank you for loving me unconditionally.

Ten Days

Sixty-one days ago,
there was an explosion of excitement.
It stretched clear across the Atlantic from the US to the Netherlands.
It hasn’t waned.

Now,
in just ten days,
there will be another explosion of excitement.
This time,
we will be face-to-face.

I still remember the first time I saw your eyes light up,
catch the glow of your monitors and sparkle with amusement.
You were far too pleased with yourself,
watching me blush as you took advantage of the inner foreign language nerd.
Bastard (I know, I know; not born out of wedlock).

I still remember the first time I saw you laugh at the squeak and following, “Fuck off.”
You almost died.
…Though you did, and still do, generally do it to make me happy,
don’t lie and say it isn’t for your own amusement, too.

I still remember the first time I watched you squeak and swear with a gentle murmur of your first name,
a snap comment,
and a shit-eating grin on my face.
Though I, too, do it mostly because I love you,
I admit I find it highly amusing.

…I still remember the first time I saw you look at yourself and tear yourself to pieces.
I still remember the literal pain I felt as you simultaneously tore me apart,
stripping away every one of your strengths,
leaving behind only imperfections.

I still remember the first time I saw you roll your eyes at me as I did the same—
parsing the strengths from flaws,
tossing the strengths aside,
the mountain of failures, and imperfections remaining.
I still remember the first time I actually watched you call me a hypocrite,
spitting back that goddamn psych fact on perception.

We’re still a couple of hypocrites,
for multiple reasons.

No screens this time.

In ten days,
I will physically touch you,
tackle you to the ground in the middle of a busy airport,
kiss you,
and laugh as D yells, “FIFTY SHADES OF GAAAY,” so loud your family hears it back home.

In ten days,
I will drag your jet-lagged ass back to the car,
hand you an energy drink,
and grin.
“Wake up, klootzak. GMT -5. Only 14:00. We have shit to do.”

In ten days,
your American adventures will begin.

Buckle up, bitch.
D and I are driving—
you’re in for one hell of a ride.

Ik hou heel veel han jou, beertje.
I’ll see you soon. 

Seventy-One Days

One week ago,
there was no countdown.
There was no excitement.
There was no talk of, “When you’re here…”
Now,
there is.

In seventy-one days,
I will pick your sleepy, jet-lagged ass up from the airport.
Here, only 22:30, 12/07/17.
There, already 06:30, 13/07/17.
I only get more excited as the days creep by.

In seventy-one days,
I will quite literally tackle you to the ground in the airport,
just settling in for the night,
and jolt it (and you) awake with the squeak of your name.
Your fellow passengers will likely look at me like I’m insane.
Fuck ’em.

In seventy-one days,
I will finally find myself locked in your embrace,
face buried in your chest,
(tall Dutch jackass),
and exhibit feminine, bitch-like behaviour involving tears of joy.

In seventy-one days,
after one-hundred-ninety-three days of unconditional love and support,
I will kiss you for the first time.
I will tell you to your face,
“Ik hou zo veel van jou…, mijn beertje,”
with a shit-eating grin on my face.
And I will love every second of it.

In seventy-one days,
I will sit in the back seat with you as you drift in and out of sleep,
speaking softly to you.
I will run my fingers through your hair,
a stupid grin on my face,
through the entire hour and a half car ride home.

In seventy-one days,
I will drag your tired ass inside,
put you to bed,
and shortly thereafter,
lay down beside you.

In seventy-one days,
I will drift off to sleep at your side,
in your arms,
and sleep peacefully…
for the first time in a long time.

Set Sailing By a Scotsman Singing Sea Shanties from Afar

Shoved onto the ship and pushed from the shore with only a foot and a shit-eating grin, they were swept away by the rough waves of the Atlantic Ocean. They laughed and shook their heads. “A joke,” the two agreed; however, the pair soon discovered there were neither lifeboats nor paddles. The ship lacked a captain, a crew, a steering wheel—they were the sole occupants of the free-floating vessel. The joke quickly faded, and soon, each found themselves ensnared within the other’s grasp.

She was baffled. He struck her like a bolt of lightning—jolted a blackened, long dead heart to bare even a weak pulse. How? And…he? She…wasn’t…She was dumbfounded, in shock. The thought hummed in her mind, growing, until she could hear only the screams of the emotions she tried to smother—an art she’d perfected over the years that had now failed her. She could only spit the words silently in hiding, where he would never find them. The screams dulled to a tolerable, growling mumble once more. She could think, sleep, breathe again, even if the secret scribblings of frustration and fear tugged at the back of her mind both in and out of consciousness. What she did say came off as she they had first agreed upon: a joke. Or rather, she thought. Those short weeks passed, and the screams returned, consuming her entire being. Each breath, each movement, each waking thought and remembered dream, those buried words moved closer and closer to the surface.

Their exchanges were no longer a jest, their tones no longer playful, their smiles no longer teasing. They were genuinely sailing together. They were far from the shore, long past seeing it even on the horizon as the sun set behind them. Many kilometers away, they had unknowingly drifted into deep, pitch black waters. Once standing on opposite sides of the ship, they came to stand face-to-face. And with one, particularly powerful wave, shaking the massive boat to its very core, she stumbled into his arms.

She lifted her eyes to meet his, reading a warmth in them meaning nothing more than, “The joke has long been over,” as a smile tugged at the corners of his lips. And slowly, she smiled back. Her eyes lit up, catching the flicker of the shining stars above. Her confusion had been ripped away by the recession of the powerful wave that had pushed her to him. Her mind had calmed. Complete silence. She only murmured a soft, short response:

I know.

You’re Worried?

You love one whose thoughts slither from a mass of tangled,frayed,
stripped,
severed,
bent,
and warped self-loathing;
one whose dreams dance around the idea of (and sometimes seek out) the allure of an eternal abyss long before one her age should,
as if it were normal that anyone should.
You’ve traveled through the recesses of her mind, only injuring yourself in the process.
Tch.
And you’re the one that’s worried?

You bear the scars of chemical burns,
evidence of the chemical combustion of her mind spitting acid in her words.
You wear your own wounds of the past,
of which she has,
though unintentionally,
dug her claws into and made bleed further,
causing you unnecessary heartache—
unnecessary pain.
And though she is sorry,
she questions your forgiveness.
She does not deserve it.
And you’re the one that’s worried?

She cringes at silly things,
flinches at uncontrollable human reflexes,
withdraws,
hyperventilates,
trembles,
freezes,
and in the past,
even cried,
at the most basic of human needs,
desires.
Yet here you remain beside her,
refusing to leave.
And you’re the one that’s worried?

The majority of her heart is dead,
smothered and beaten,
abused,
neglected.
What little remains is shoddy,
spotty in functionality.
“Condition: mediocre at best.”
She can be cold,
far away in her own mind,
unfeeling.
She fails to find words,
to give meaning to the emotions smoldering in her thoughts.
Only short,
repetitive syllables.
Nothing intelligible.
And you’re the one that’s worried?

She’s worried.
More than you can imagine.
She never knows when that last admitted thought of the end,
that last injury to you,
that last chemical burn,
that last bloody talon torn out of past wounds,
that last shutdown,
that last cold,
unfeeling night,
will drive you away.

She’s worried,
above all else,
that you will one day disappear,
but she will understand.

And you’re the one that’s worried?

Again and Again

When you first said,
“You make me happy.”,
my gut reaction,
my initial response was,
“Why?”

Why,
how,
could some pessimistic,
worrisome,
neurotic,
clusterfucked,
disorganized,
self-loathing,
son of a bitch like me make you happy?

I ask why,
remembering every time you tried to be optimistic,
tried to tell me,
“It’s going to be okay.”,
keep me from losing it,
only to be shut down—
remembering each time looking in the mirror,
seeing the jagged,
gnarled,
wounds that have only physically scarred,
thinking of how it will pain you to see those for the first time.

And yet here you sit,
sighing to yourself though with the same jovial lilt in your tone,
still saying,
“You make me happy.”,
again and again.

When you first said,
“I’m the lucky one.”,
my gut reaction,
my initial response was once more,
“Why?”

Why,
how,
are you the lucky one?
You put up with the tangled,
frayed,
fucked up little ball of crazy that is me.
You put up with the breakdowns,
the ASI,
the PSI,
the mood cycling,
the periods of unresponsiveness,
because I just… shut down.

I ask why,
remembering every night of silence,
every morning of sleepless panic,
every tear I’ve shed,
every tear you’ve shed at my own fault,
every medication rollercoaster,
every manic high,
every depressive low,
every mental break,
every frantic call,
every anxious question.
So tell me,
why are you the lucky one?

And yet here you sit,
chuckling a “For fuck’s sake” under your breath,
still saying,
“I’m the lucky one.”,
again and again.

When you first said,
“I love you.”,
my gut reaction,
my initial response was still,
“Why?”

Why,
how,
could anyone love… this?
A broken,
angry,
tired,
empty,
scarred husk of a… human being.
Am I human?
Who am I?
What am I?

I ask why,
seeing every character flaw,
looking at every physical imperfection,
remembering every shitty thing I’ve ever said,
ever done,
to you especially.

And yet here you sit,
shushing my protests,
still saying,
“I love you.”
again and again.

However,
you can’t shush me permanently,
Schat.

So, no
You make me happy.
Before you,
genuine smiles and true laughter…
Those were but long faded memories.

So, no.
I’m the lucky one.
Before you,
I hadn’t known what love was,
or what it was to be loved.

So, no.
I love you more.
Before you,
I was a lifeless,
shell of a creature,
merely going through the motions—
but you were a jolt of electricity,
striking a cold,
dead,
black heart.
You did the impossible:
you got a pulse.
You showed me that I am,
in fact,
still human.

You make me extraordinarily happy.
I am the luckiest person alive.
I love you very much.
Please don’t ever forget that.

~Little Bird