I think of Paul Varjack writing out Holly Golightly’s story in Breakfast at Tiffany’s and I was going to write your story out just like that. I was going to open my laptop and start typing and imagine the words would just come, describing you: mysterious, dangerous, broken, breaking you. And I couldn’t do it.
A story about you becomes a story about the uncertainties and unfairness of life. A story about you is a story about forgiveness and second chances and the question, who deserves a second chance, and why do they deserve one? A story about you is the story about people who have done gravely terrible things but had a gravely terrible life. A story about you is a story about me, backwards. A story about you is the story about the only time I’ve actually cried over someone, not because they left me, but because I knew I had to leave them and I didn’t know how, nor did I think it fair, nor did I want to but I knew no one else in my life would ever see it that way.
A story about you is a story that’s not painted by other people who told stories about you as the scum bag, the asshole, the psycho, the violent son-of-a-bitch, the stupid lowlife kid. That’s not the story I know, and I want to write another one. Why do I want to write another one? Why!? It scares me that I even opened my laptop to write this at all. But do I feel that way because I feel that way, or do I feel that way because other people have told me to feel that way?
A story about you is the old cliche story about fixing the bird with the broken wings. A story about you is a story about when I was 9 and I saw a bird wedged between barbed wire and fence boards struggling for dear life right across the street from that house I went to every day after school and feeling so horribly, sorrowfully wrong for the poor creature. A story about you is watching that bird slowly die and rot over the course of the year, its corpse being flea-bitten and worm-eaten over the course of a long hot summer, the summer before I was finally free, when it was finally nothing but stringy remnants that no longer resembled the trapped sparrow that I had seen months prior.
I can’t write your story just now. My fingers are burning like fuses and it’s because I know I’m playing with fire.