It’s the luck of the draw, I guess. Most kids get the kind of parents that’ll be missed after they die. The rest of us get the kind of parents who make better parents after they’re dead. The nicest thing my mother has ever done for me is die.
I wonder what kind of upbringing is worse for a human. The kind where you’re sheltered and loved to the point that you aren’t aware of how cruel the world can be until it’s too late to acquire the necessary coping skills, or the kind of household I grew up in. The ugliest version of a family, where coping is the only thing you learn.
Sometimes I believe personalities are shaped more by damage than kindness. Kindness doesn’t sink as deep into your skin as the damage does. The damage stains your soul so bad, you can’t scrub it off. It stays there forever, and I feel like people can see all my damage just by looking at me.
I feel like I just left home. Home still feels like a mythical place I’ve been searching for my whole life.
If clear had a smell, this would be it. I’m convinced I’ve never inhaled purer breaths than the ones I’m inhaling now. I close my eyes and breathe in as much of it as I can. There’s something about the saltiness of the air that feels forgiving as it mixes with the stale Kentucky air still clinging to the walls of my lungs.
Damaged people recognize other damaged people. It’s like a club you don’t want a membership to.
“We didn’t receive food stamps because my mother was never sober enough to make her appointments. We also didn’t have a car. There are children who grow up never having to worry about food, there are children whose families live off government assistance for various reasons, and then there are children like me. The ones who slip through all the cracks. The ones who learn to do whatever it takes to survive. The kind who grow up not giving a second thought to eating a slice of bread they pulled out of a discarded loaf on the deck of a ferry, because that’s normal. That’s dinner.”
The dog sniffs it for a second, and then begins eating it. I continue walking, angry now. I don’t understand humans sometimes. I hate it, because I find myself wishing that the entirety of humanity would suffer just a tiny amount more than they do. Maybe if everyone tasted a bit of what that dog has lived through, they would be more hesitant to be assholes.
“Because most of the time, the fun you have that leads to the pain is worth the pain.”
The wrong that stems from weakness and the wrong that stems from strength. You made that choice because you were strong and needed to survive. You didn’t make that choice because you were weak.”
You can fill your life with nice things, but nice things don’t fill the holes in your soul.” “What fills the holes in a soul?” Samson’s eyes scroll over my face for a few seconds. “Pieces of someone else’s soul.”
“Don’t worry. Hearts don’t have bones. They can’t actually break.”
“If there’s nothing inside a heart that can break, why does it feel like mine is going to snap in half when it’s time for me to move next month? Does your heart not feel like that?” Samson’s eyes scroll over my face for a moment. “Yeah,” he whispers. “It does. Maybe we both grew heart bones.