living in this box

And as I write this, I realize what a box I live in. And maybe Fargo is a box, maybe my friends are my box. My box of familiar that welcomes dysfunction and absence of decency and ‘normalcy’. My box that makes it impossible for someone to actually be interested in the person that I am. My box that pushes away anyone or anything that might challenge what’s inside.

Picture with me right now a large glass box with me inside, looking out one of the sides, pressed up against the glass looking to see if anyone is interested in what’s inside my box. And then he walks by and sees me in my box, comes over and puts his hands where mine are and we smile at each other for a while. Suddenly his face lights up and he points at himself and then past me, inside my box.

At first I’m confused, and he does it again, smiling and nodding. And it dawns on me. He wants in. At first, I’m excited, and then I realize what this means. I turn to look behind me. Because inside my box is a curtain and behind that curtain is everything about me that I don’t want anyone else to know about. The broken bottles and dirt and razors and dust and pills and garabage from the past. It’s where I keep my past luggage in their torn and tattered state.

In the middle, on a table, is a jar. And in the jar is where I put the pieces of my broken heart. I had to rummage through the garbage to find this jar because next to the table are the shards from the broken jar from the last boy. Who dropped the jar, who promised to fix the pieces of my heart. Who came in and saw behind my curtain, who got a tour of the filth I hide from everyone. With my pretty curtain.

I look back at him, and he’s still smiling. Nodding. I take a step back from the glass. I look around me. Everywhere else in my box is mostly clean, mostly organized. So I make a choice. I decide to leave my box for a little bit. He takes me to where his box is. Except it’s not a box. It’s a fence. With a gate. So he takes me inside his fence and shows me around a bit, but all I can think is ‘where is his curtain?’. All I see is a chest in the corner. But I don’t dare look at too long, a brief glance is all I need. Everything else is strewn around in no particular order. No real rhyme or reason to his organization. So we leave his fence and we begin to walk towards my box and now I realize that I must reciprocate. Every step closer to my box, the pit in my stomach grows and grows.

We get to my box and I let him through the door, ever unwillingly. I show him some of my things and then he asks ‘what’s behind the curtain?’.

‘oh,’ I reply. ‘Nothing really.’

‘Can I look?’ he asks.

‘Umm. Not right now. It’s not very clean back there,’ I reply.

He takes one last look and is satisfied with that answer. For now. He says that he must go for now. He kisses me goodbye and lets himself out of my box. I run to the glass and watch him disappear in the crowd. And when I can’t see him anymore, I figure I won’t see him again.

Until he comes back the next day. This time I’m sitting, though hoping he’ll come back. I see him as he walks by, but he doesn’t notice me. On his way back, though, I see him again and smile. He sees me this time and comes to my door. Waits with his hand on the doorknob. I hesitate for a long minute and then let him back in. This time he takes my hand and we walk around my box for a little bit.

Suddenly I let go of his hand and I walk over to my curtain. His eyes follow me, expectantly. I put my hand on the edge, pause for a moment, and slowly open it just a few inches for a few seconds. I drop the edge. I refuse to look at him until he takes my hand again and makes me look at him.

‘it’s ok’ he tells me. He tries to take hold of the curtain to open it again and I shove him away from it. Even though I want to show him. I’m too afraid. I want him to see. I want to trust him. I want to believe in him. But lying on the floor behind my curtain is that shattered jar, mocking me.


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