it’s not that i don’t do small talk, it’s that I can’t do small talk. i’m the girl that they ask, “how are you?” & i am like: “missing everyone i ever loved, constantly hurt by the callousness of a world that reduces me to a body, and mourning the loss of everything i could have been — how about you?” i don’t know how to function in a world that believes in strangers. i need everyone’s help for directions: both on how to get where i am going and on how to process heartbreak. heartbreak not from a person, not as a moment, but as a condition, from the world. i am messy, inconsistent, naive, earnest, too much. or rather i am honest in a world that lies. i don’t know how to compartmentalize myself, give digestible narratives, don’t know how to play pretend. i am difficult to chew on, so most people just spit me out. i think every person i meet could be my best friend. it’s not that i didn’t grow up it’s that I realized that growing up was a sham. i believe in the power of temper tantrums and slumber parties. i love everyone and everything so much that it tears me apart, because most of the time it is unreciprocated. when they ask me how are you? i want to say “UNRECIPROCATED!” and it’s not your fault but i don’t know who to blame. how do you incriminate a condition? i experience past, present, future at the same time. i wore Velcro sneakers until like 13 because i couldn’t learn how to tie my shoes. i don’t know how to make decisions alone — the last coat i bought i texted 15 friends to ask if it was “me,” maybe it’s because “i” only exist because of “you” which is why i cannot do small talk. because i need your help to be. because i need to ask you how we got “here,” and by here i mean everyone going home alone at night, and by here i mean, privatized intimacy, a subscription you have to pay for. and by here i mean “this,” this wanting to know you but settling instead to know the words you say about yourself, as if language is all that we are. i believe that we are more than language. i believe that we are related beyond blood. I believe that i need you and therefore i love you. i need you, and therefore i love you.

support the author