Insecure | Teen Ink


October 9, 2015
By chessi.maria PLATINUM, Brooksville, Maine
chessi.maria PLATINUM, Brooksville, Maine
28 articles 7 photos 14 comments

I think
I am wandering.
Grass heads are tickling my knees,
the tawny yellow of goldenrod is dull
under sunlight muffled
by a blanket of clouds,
and tall, dry weeds curve
under their own weight
as a billow of fog
creeps past me in waves of cool moisture,
and I wander, tiptoeing carefully,
frightened of what I know will happen—
frightened of disturbing my peaceful daydream
and catapulting back
into the turbulence
of my mind.


I take these departures,
I am on the subway,
or in a pristine waiting room,
between ravaging waves of ennui,
I am suddenly wandering about a meadow,
or sitting in a concert hall
filled with suits and dresses and sound.
I think
that once in awhile,
another person notices.
Two or three odd glances
are sent my way,
but no one ever says a word.


I think,
increasingly often,
that I want to call you.
Once, my hands even caught up the phone
before laying it down.
When I hear your name
called after wayward children
or spoken
into a subway passenger’s cell phone,
I never fail to start and glance around.
This was supposed to be about my mind,
my imperfections,
not about you.
But you’re still such a part of me
that I feel you creeping in anyway.


I was waiting impatiently,
my fingers drumming
on the scuffed bar,
the first time I saw you.
Music spilled everywhere,
like reckless
white-water rapids.
Your hair was swaying at your waist,
ridiculously long,
and between moments,
my friend, chatting with the bartender,
was forgotten.
However, I will try to return
to the subject of me.


I’ve ruined many friendships
in the way
that I’m sure you remember.
The first days after I meet people
are always the best.
We exchange numbers,
and they call before I can.
One woman lasted
almost as long as you.
She didn’t mind my drinking,
the drinking that you hated.
She didn’t care about my forgetfulness
regardless of how often
her sentences flew from my mind
within minutes.
Spent with her, my days were beautiful.


As we grew closer,
I could see this more clearly every day:
our lives were intertwining.
I pushed her from my side later
than most girlfriends.
I was beating back the fear that raged,
threatening to engulf me.
I thought I could keep it away;
thought I could keep her
the way
I hoped I could keep you.
Both times, I was immensely wrong.


I think my mind just stepped away,
only a moment ago.
I hardly realized it was happening.
The room was dim.
A large screen filled the wall
down the center aisle.
Sound thudded at my eardrums,
two children
were squabbling, their father shushing them,
and the smell of buttered popcorn
pervaded the theater.
I crossed my legs, leaning back
to enjoy the show.
But, between moments, I blinked back
to reality.


what would I have done
if you’d never entered my life?
How will I live now
without your swaying hair,
your smart mouth,
and all the quirks and hills and dips
of your beautiful mind?
Josephine, I think
I will go insane
with regret over pushing you away,
over abandoning you.
But I think I always knew
my leaving was the only end
that could have come
to you and I.


After everything,
and past all the doomed friendships
and romances
that I hopefully start—
after everything,
I am only an insecure man,
frightened and stumbling
within the confines
of my own mind,
scared beyond a sane imagination
to let another person
see this mind
and share the treacherously uncertain path
of my life.


My mind
is laid before your feet,
and I am humbled
by the weaknesses, the fears,
the imperfections
I see more clearly than ever.
My burning fear
of letting you share my life is,
I believe,
the worst of them all.


Could I ever,
without sounding ridiculous, ask you
to forgive me for breaking your heart?
Dear Josephine,
only because I know
that I’ll never pen this letter
can my promise be made that,
after it’s reached you,
I will ask for your forgiveness.
I think
that, beneath my wandering mind,
under its scars and constant frustrations,
there is just a man.
After everything, I am only
an insecure man.

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