You finish what really is the only fun part of your life at twelve, when whatever imagination you have built up has to be hidden, squashed, killed: when your body no longer takes notice of what you tell it.
You begin feeling left out, left in, left behind.
You start feeling the headaches in high school: melancholy, maybe—ennui, perhaps; you pronounce it en-you-eye.
You walk around a university, and all those blank stares of learning makes your voice scream inside your head.
You leave the ground of your city, stomach lurching as you enter empty air, but you feel, otherwise, absolutely nothing.
You step into the blasting cold air and a dusty, foreign smell, and think, this is the new me.
You widen your legs just a bit and he takes it, obviously, as some sort of signal and then you’re in the back of a hostel bus getting your bare skin get caught on cheap plastic that really looks nothing like leather.
You fold his photo so many times that it falls to pieces in your pocket.
You find yourself in a temp job, up north, in a grey office booking domestic flights for incompetent men who make twelve times more money than you ever will.
You find out that he’s shacked up with a Korean exchange student somewhere in the outer suburbs, suppressing his natural fear of the other for some shameful, transactional sex.
You take up gardening, half-heartedly but intensely, spending hours in misty half-formed nursery worlds.
You talk about children, in that roundabout way, and start watching Disney films again, the ones before computers.
You end up in a museum, somehow, working with dead things in drawers, opening and closing that one tiny window you have because it never gets cool or warm enough.
You let your hair turn to wire, a hard helmet you leave all to fate and a unisex one-price salon.