All I Really Wanna Know is Who Can Love Me in the Dark.


Photography by Sean Salcido

I looked this way throughout most of 2020 and well into 2021. Hair in a knot, a haphazard combination of clothing, always involving a kimono, or nothing at all, sensible shoes. I’m looking out a window at a bush or a bird, or the sky, silent and fat with curiosity, wonder, despair. Asking something, anything, to whisper to me a few sentiments that feel comprehensible, that will pull what is real into view.

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I still look this way. Now. Only now, I’m back working, so I look this way while staring at an email I read ten times over before it saturates. My mind in scattered places. Physical places. Timelines-past-future-present. In news headlines. In different cities where people dear to me are spread wide. What was once important has become unimportant and what was once unimportant has become of obvious importance. I’ve spent 16 months standing on my head. Blood now rushing back and I am asked to walk on legs that do not understand their function.

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I have never been equipped for compartmentalization. My feelings come with me to every station of my moments. They pull at the hem until the thing comes unraveled and I can hold each component in my hands. To understand. Never to make them fit back together snuggly. What does it mean to live a good life now? I can’t un-know the vital organs that make a life sustainable - the messages downloaded in the body over months of stillness. What is allowing myself to be the human animal that I am? My filter is sliding. All the play books swept into the flood, ink gone. Now and then I catch a letter but they feel foreign. This lonely part of exiting a period of time we collectively entered might be the most confusing part yet. What we choose to take with us. What we choose to leave behind.

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All I really want to know is who can love me when I’m not doing anything society deems impressive. Who wouldn’t find it strange that I just audibly apologized to a plant. Who can laugh with me in the dark.

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