As a kid,
I used to imagine that I would sit in a room with myself(s).
Older and wiser, they would take time
Out of their busy schedules
She nods and stays silent.
It isn’t over for her yet, either.
She is here the same as I,
They would file in,
And make themselves at home.
Filling the room with the same
Flowing from child to woman.
I only recognize pieces of each of them.
In comes Twelve.
She notices the two of us,
And launches into tales.
Tales of friends, and sleepovers,
And all things we never captured.
Each of them a subtle change,
Skin falling differently,
On the same bones.
Atop the flesh lay ever more complicated arrangements.
Starting with smeared on neon lipstick,
Then kohl rims and glitter,
Packed on till the eyes are red.
Thirteen and Fourteen enter together.
13 has never had it better.
14 has never had it worse.
Fifteen distances herself from both,
Unable to look back until the future.
The final woman enters.
She is Seventeen.
Shutting the door behind her,
In the frame I catch a glimpse of Eighteen.
17 turns to me.
She asks if she’s what I imagined.
In my chubby fingers,
I hold out my favourite doll to Seventeen.
Does she want to play with me?
I have had this idea kicking around in my head for awhile. The idea of “this to shall pass” has always affected me; I wanted to meet the versions of me for which it had passed. I want to physically see that over came the present.
When I was younger, I had what appeared to be childhood anxiety, but it continued on. I can remember being comforted by being told that it would all go away, that I felt this way because I was young. So, as I aged, I became increasingly more afraid as the stress would leave, only to back in a years time. Even now, as I am admittedly at the best state I’ve ever been, I always know it could return. The goal is to be ready when it does.
My intention with this piece was to give my childhood self what she wold have wanted. I’ve met all the versions that she had yet to meet, so I can describe them to her. The left side of the page is focused on imagination, of my young vision of playing dolls with myself(s). The right side is dedicated to how I truly was at the ages listed, in other words, reality. The paragraph dedicated to Seventeen and Eighteen is on the left because now it is still imagination, yet instead of a past vision, it is my current imagination taking over. It is the Seventeen looking at the Eight’s dream and responding. The last piece is centered, as it is the melding of the two, imagination and reality.
(I should also give credit to Liza Makarova, as I am borrowing her technique of switch sides while writing.)
Gif: We Heart It | Get lost in what you love, author unknown. “Animated Gif about Girl in Hair by Hotter than Hell.” We Heart It, 28 June 2018, weheartit.com/entry/290179841.