I’m moving to Massachusetts in 2 weeks and my childhood home (where I’ve been living with my mom for the year since I graduated college) is for sale, so I’ve been going through everything from my whole life to get rid of stuff and figure out what I still want. I found my writing notebooks from high school, including those from the last year of high school after I was raped over the summer on a vacation to the beach. I always thought I’d never addressed it in my writing, but I definitely did in many of my justwrites from that year, although I don’t know whether or not I was aware of it at the time. I’m starting the early processes of writing a conversation between me then and me now on my healing journey. This is the first stream of consciousness justwrite I wrote in my notebook after I was assaulted. July 7, 2008.
First steps into
arms opened like vines
that grow toward
touch and away
She plucks flowers from their safe shadows and throws them into the wind… Hiding in the closet from the monsters outside, I clutch my magic wand to my forehead to give myself a brain, or at least an oily potion so I can walk, with my joints set free and my braids swinging back and forth, brushing my neck to remind me that I am alive, like the time I fell on the stairs and didn’t expect it, and I watched the blood creep from beneath my skin, watched it curl into caterpillars crawling down my knees, their jaws against my skin, wishing I were a leaf or at least a tree that would grow leaves eventually. I told myself that story once, and she looked at the stairs, didn’t believe me because they were glass and would have cracked, but I didn’t tell her that I floated back then, that I was elegant and beautiful once and when I fell I didn’t fall at all. So she danced down the hall while I swept her footprints into my dustpan, let the sand they became fall into the carpet on my walls, and I didn’t realize then but now I see that there are vines growing from the shadows, and I open my arms to let them in my veins, to let them feed the caterpillars that I’ve only met once but are gnawing at my bones, are searching my soul for greenery but only find fear and wishes and a rusty doorknob into which my name is carved. If I open the door, we’ll all be free, but she won’t tell me if that’s what I want.