It’s strange to think of our parents as children. Climbing trees or skipping class to smoke cigarettes behind the gym. Getting drunk with their friends and doing copious amounts of drugs in bizarre places with abnormal people.
We’re all abnormal. We’re all children.
It’s strange to think of our parents as heart broken people. Crying underneath pillows and blankets that resemble Kevlar vests, thinking love’s bullets won’t cut them down as long as they stay hidden and locked away within walls they call their home.
Some people say, “Parents just don’t understand”.
Maybe they do though. Maybe they see you cowering inside your head, moving the food around on your plate, sympathetic only to see it getting cold and rough under the tongs of your fork. Maybe they see your tears staining your cheeks. Maybe they see the ashes of all the love letters you burned in your garbage can, small pieces of signatures and lipstick marks old with age still sticking fast to each page.
Maybe the reason they keep to themselves during your desperate time of need is because their scars rest fresh in their own minds. You are their flesh and blood. Their most prized achievement in life.
You are their time machine. A trip back to days when it hurt so bad the heart was ready to die. To days when razors and bottles brimming with sleeping pills stood like gravestones in the medicine cabinet. To days when it finally stopped hurting so bad and just became a dull ache in the stomach and a faded memory resting in smells and certain songs.
It’s strange to think of our parents as children. Just as scared as we all are. Just as fragile. Just as malleable to the symptoms of life.
I try not to think of my own pain as much as I think about theirs. Watching and reliving is a worse fate than any I can fathom. I do not want to hold these memories for them.
I hide my tears now. I keep my damaged heart locked in a box in my bedroom closet under old clothes and forgotten suitcases. I make believe that the whole world is at my fingertips.
My mask is my own and I wear it with pride. I hope to never really let them inside. – We are most alive in dreams