My bones are made of air and maybe that’s why nothing holds me down. I am empty on the inside, nothing anchoring me to earth and maybe that is why people tell me that I live in a different world from the rest of them, the real world, as they often remind me.
But they do not know about the wanderlust that devours me, an aching need at the base of my throat that wakes me up at 3 AM sometimes, making me cold to the tips of my toes. They do not know that there is a burning world inside me and it has consumed me completely, leaving no residue of my sanity behind. They do not know about the compass I have where my heart should have been, a compass with a broken needle that spins every which way, leaving me dizzy and exhausted.
“What are you looking for?” my mother once asked me when I walked into her room in the morning and rummaged through her drawers.
I opened my mouth to speak, but the air rushed down my throat and spun the needle on my broken compass, and I realized that I didn’t know and that I’d never known.
And my mother watched her teenage daughter crumble to the floor and cry for absolutely no reason.
She thinks I’m mad sometimes and some days, I’m not even sure that she’s wrong.
I have no clue what I am looking for, or why I am even looking, for that matter. I could be content with the little life I lead if only I tried a little harder, if only I could be bothered to hold on to something real.
My mother makes a face when I tell her this.
“Then why don’t you?” she asks. And I can not explain to her because there are no words for what I feel. Sometimes I wonder if maybe people are not meant to feel this way and maybe that is why it’s impossible to make them understand.
But the tides understand me as they reach for the moon because, dear God, sometimes it is just not enough to cover 71% of the planet.
“Some days, I am afraid that nothing will ever make you happy,” My mother trembles, and I put my arms around her, but I say nothing because I have nothing left to say.
I am scared, too.
I am scared because people are supposed to be full. They are supposed to be full of life. They are supposed to be full of love. They are supposed to be filled to the brim with their laughter and their happiness and their tears and their sorrow.
I am scared because people are not meant to be empty. And yet I am.
We all get addicted to something that takes away the pain.