She was holding back because she was afraid if she let herself out she would explode. It wasn’t anger at all. It was overabundance. She knew she could like letting go too much and not be able to stop so she stopped first and it made her feel like she might just spill out someday.
Young girls have always studied the emotional forces of the world and they have decided whether or not those forces are on their side. Sort of like how a young boy will decide if a mud puddle is lonely or not.
She didn’t know why she was always going somewhere, but maybe she wasn’t, maybe she was waiting in motion. She would say to herself, “I was just going around to places. I was just missing too many places.”
According to her mother, she had too much guff. She would give her mother an excuse and her mother would say, “Don’t give me any of your guff.” And then her mother would fuss over something in the kitchen and leave her alone. Because, of course, her mother remembered feeling like she was going to explode and she didn’t want to feel like that anymore just because her daughter was.
Eventually the young girl told her girlfriends that she was wondering how boys were put together. This was an interesting problem for the girls to solve. She was nervous. She had those twirlies, like with her finger in the ends of her hair, and giggles and sighs bubbling up inside of her even after the girlfriends went away.
It wasn’t innocent. It wasn’t innocent at all.
That night she dreamed about a bowl of eyes and a fence made out of children’s bones. She dreamed about a bird that could fly backwards. She thought about herself in the dream. She watched herself doing that and she watched herself watching herself. What to do now?
Because by now a couple of boys could see in her eyes what she wanted, but they didn’t believe what they saw. They hadn’t seen it before.
Perhaps crying in the rain is redundant, but that’s what her mother was doing. She remembered wanting what she couldn’t have. Because now she had had it and she didn’t want it and she didn’t know what else she wanted.
She didn’t want her daughter to find what she had found.
“Shut the story’s door, but don’t lock it,” she said. “I wanted to cut myself, but I burned instead.”
Rich Ives is the author of Tunneling to the Moon: A Psychological Gardener’s Book of Days currently being published in serial @ Silenced Press everyday in 2014 and forthcoming in paperback. Begin from the beginning, catch up, read daily. Just refer to the Burrow Guide.