Once Upon a Time
Once upon a time back when Kurt Cobain was still alive. Back when I adored Courtney Love, Garbage, Sleeper, Echobelly. Back when Smashing Pumpkins was still together. Back when I liked both Blur and Oasis. Back when I wanted to wear socks with a pair of shiny heels, but did not dare to. Back when I had a pair of red 501s and wore it with a cropped white tee. Back when I wore a tank top and was jeered by the entire student body of my best friend’s uni. Back when I was both sure and also insecure of the choices that I make. Back when people called me names. And back when I finally did not care anymore.
I found solace in nothing. Because everything was temporary. And days flew by like heavy cigarette smoke floating above the dancing heads within the city’s most notorious club, like speech bubbles written in a language you cannot understand, like a dragon’s breath you keep chasing, like pills that move from your hand to your red lips.
But the trees, they talked to me. On the midnight drives, I saw them speeding by from my window. They are young, yet their souls are ancient. The mother of their seeds, the mother of their mother’s seeds, the mother of their mother’s mother’s seeds. Carried from a nursery in trucks, they know what this city can do to them. They have seen what human beings do in their vehicles, and of course, on the pavements their leaves have sheltered for many days and nights. And they know what this city can do to the humans, especially in between shadows.
Today, I am crying behind my daughter’s back. I have tried to learn to hide my tears from her, although I have not always succeeded. Now she is watching My Little Pony on the floor so I have the advantage. But if she turns her head now, I know exactly what she would do, as she had always done. Calm down, Mama. It’s okay, Mama. And she would hug me.
That would be more than enough for to me to hang in there.
And the trees do not talk to me no more.