Hug Everything (and Make it Awkward)

I cut my teeth on Choose-your-own Adventure stories.
I always cheated.
My books filled with sticky notes and warnings.
“Turn back,” in an eleven-year-old scrawl,
“or you’ll go over a waterfall!”
I loved those dire consequences, but
I couldn’t bear an unhappy ending.
Those other tragic endings were meant for
kids that were resigned to failure–
children that give up on trying again.
My then-best friend only called me dishonest.
Maybe she wasn’t wrong.

I can’t accept hopelessness.
I’ve drug myself through fire storms
and come out bloodied and transformed
and have still managed to smile.
I have to. No one else will.

I am not my favorite person.
I want to rip apart the world.
I want to dissect beautiful, sad people.
I want to run my hand over the sky
and kiss all its intimate parts;
run my tongue against tree bark
and put my face into the fur of a dog.
I want to blow kisses at strangers
and help old ladies with their groceries.
I want to tell that kid sitting on the bench
that his mom will be right back.
I want to smile at bus drivers.

I need to run in a cold rain;
sleep naked under the stars.
I need to lay in the arms of some one
I don’t know very well… but should.
I need to tell my family that I love them every day.
I need to scream during lightning storms–
eat food that’s bad for me–
dream of things that will never exist.

I shiver in the dark.
I drink too much.
I don’t write enough.
I don’t post-it note everything anymore.
I don’t want to regret what I did for him.
I’m scared I’ll fall out of love with the world one day.
Everyone else seems to have fallen out…
So why haven’t I?

I love all these dire consequences.
Let some one in and they can destroy you.
Push too much and you can destroy someone else.
You can do your best and it can all amount to nothing.

You could fall in love.
You could find your purpose.
You could realize your dreams.
You could forgive someone who doesn’t deserve it.

I can’t bear the thought of an unhappy ending.
Those tragic endings are meant for
people that are content to be miserable…
But I have not given up
trying over and over again.
Neither should you.

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Lay an Egg

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