I always do that. I’ll be having a secret meeting in my head and suddenly towards the end I’ll spit out a phrase like And there’s no way we ever live as much as we die and everyone will look at me like they’re about to take the next step and tie my hands behind my back, throw me in some inconspicuous van and put me in a room with a small window, padded walls, and no sharp objects.

       There’s a reduction in conversation I find a bit disgusting; relating on the most basic levels always leaves me feeling emptied. Or maybe like a bucket of concrete you forgot about and it hardened. Force me out and smash me into tiny anomalies onto the ground.

      There’s a forest behind our house. Me and my mom’s. It’s the one thing I can rely on to get lost in when everybody and everything seems so predictable. I am slowly getting better at finding my way around. Every pine tree acts like a landmark and every time I run through that cold jungle I’m getting to know the map of where I live a little better. Streaks of black are birthmarks scratched into the grey arms of trees and the blackbirds are sitting in their bleacher seat branches just like everybody else, squawking away at the things they can’t change, mainly the weather—

             “Goddamn rain is weighing my feathers down”
             “That sun is blinding when you try to fly facing it”
             “Who the hell thought moving to Washington was a good idea?”
             “We should get the hell out of here”

      And I wish I could chirp back at them and tell them about how I can totally relate to a bunch of grandpa-actin’ birds, but they always scatter when they see my face, a tan circle with a dark brown cape of hair and small black hole sending sound waves in their direction. There’s a languor I wait for when the branches stop vibrating from the lift off of those birds. It feels warm and cool at the same time. And I close my eyes and breath it in. It’s like the last fifteen seconds after the last song on a record finishes playing and the needle moves back to its resting place.

       They must have made record players solely for that feeling. There’s nothing really else to say about it.

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