Sometimes, when I’m driving, I think about spinning the wheel and striking a tree or breaking the guard rail or plunging into the filthy manmade lake.
Intrusive thoughts are normal. They occur, they are dismissed. I would never actually drive myself into a tree, and the lake is fucking disgusting. They come unbidden, these little whispers in my ear, these odd urges.
I was returning nail polish to the shelf today, a sleek little bottle of varnish, bright purple with some ridiculous name like “Play Date.” I took three steps before deciding I wanted to smash it into the tile floor and grind the glass beneath my heel. I wanted to hurl all of the bottle, splatter paint at its most destructive. One sharp flick of my wrist would be all it required.
I set the polish on the rack on walked away. Hours later, and my skin still itches from the inside out. I feel tempestuous. I’ve never used that word before: tempestuous. I’ve never felt strongly enough to name myself so recklessly. Tonight, I like it. I wear it like silk and I relish the cool fabric of it on my skin.
It feels the way certain words taste: edgy and dangerous. Hollow. Light as candy floss and thick as storm clouds. It matches the whirlwind raging beneath my skin. Sometimes I feel a girl trapped in a hurricane; others, like a hurricane trapped in a girl. I hear the storm in the tenor of my voice, see it in the curl of my hair. I walk out into the misty night and feel at home, force of nature to force of nature, willing another storm to come to me.
I tend my darkness like a garden of orchids, black and blooming beautiful. I’ve always felt at home in cemeteries. Perhaps its the outer peace I can’t obtain in my racing blood. Over the years, I’ve learned to pass. Most don’t like my hazy edges, the darkness seeping through the cracks between my teeth when I smile.
Sometimes I wonder if they can see the storm, too.
Sometimes I wonder how I contain it.
Sometimes I imagine myself coming undone, breaking at the seams, all loose thread and broken-doll joints. Occasionally, the storms subsides, remains dormant. We enjoy a momentary sense of calm. Cloudless skies, clear nights filled with stars and moonlight.
It waits, ghosting between my lips in tiny gasps. They burrow into my skin and set off the alarms. I itch from the inside out, the hurricane crashing through my ribs, my heart constricted. Today, I smiled and let my edges go hazy.
Tonight, I howl.
Tonight, I rage.