If the puzzle piece doesn't fit, I'll make it fit. I'll make the clothes fit, the overly tight ones that abuse my waist but make my chest look immaculate. I'll make my fingers fit the spaces between theirs, even if my sweaty palms won't approve. I'll make my lines fit, take my would-be free verse and affix it to their iambic pentameters. I'll make the lyrics fit, sacrifice my epic rock ballads for their TOP 40 hits. I'll make myself fit the role of “girl” in the latest romantic-comedy brought to you by my so-called life.
Maybe then I'll get to win Best Performance of an Actress in a Leading Role. Maybe then they'll fit me in films with kissing scenes under the slow tap, tap, tap of the rain. Maybe then I'll play the girl who wears ribbons in her hair and smells like shorelines and Sunday mornings. Maybe then everything will go movie-magic slow. Maybe then indie love songs will swell up as he delivers his award-winning monologue, that perpetual rehash of a love confession that still manages to garner applause.
But then again, all I ever really won in my life was Best Cinematography - for my montage of transformations, from cliché to cliché. Girl Next Door. Damsel in Distress. Lovable Klutz. Ingenue. Here I am auditioning for roles, trying to target the one with the widest appeal, with the broader audience. Here I am in a relentless beta test, trying to produce yet another version two-point-oh. Here I am in a constant state of alteration, modification, and revision. Here I am courting attention, courting affection. Here I am on a silver platter.
Here I am wondering why it's so easy to give yourself away.
They say there are many fish in the sea. But when I go fishing, why am I the one who gets hooked? From the moment I write down the inimitable, ever-changing “him” on my wrist, he appears everywhere – on the nape of my neck, on my arms, on my shoulder blades, on the inside of my thighs. And although the official transcript will he say he took up all the space – all of me – The truth will remain: He did not take, I gave it to him.
Let me tell you what he was always from the start: a waste of space, and a waste of ink. The only silver lining is that the marker wasn't permanent.
I wanted that ever-popular four-letter word so badly. I wanted someone I could feel like a warm energy wave from my legs to the tips of my fingers. I wanted to tremble like my whole body was an unstable mass of Jell-O. I wanted to experience how winks could turn into smiles and then into kisses.
Now, gun to your mouth and at the risk of an AK-47 surprise – tell me you love me.
And so I played the numbers game again and again and again and again. And then one more time. I carved into my skin until finally, I realized the marks weren't wounds - but battle scars.
They say there are many fish in the sea. But I don't want to go fishing. Not anymore. I just want to lie down on the sand and let the waves lap up against my feet.