I want to be empty.
Empty of envy. Envy of girls who are younger than me, prettier than me, with perkier breasts than mine. Envy of the teenage girls I will never be.
Empty of desire. Desire to win the approval of girls who are a lifetime younger than me, who look up to me because I’m older than they are and who I can see trying to impress me to win my approval, and yet whose approval I want so badly – and so absurdly – because I still wish I was one of the popular high school girls.
Empty of lust. Lust over every curve and every swell. Lusting after bodies I wish to press against my own, and after bodies I wish to be my own, all at once and together in a rush, ever-shifting.
Empty of guilt. Guilt that I didn’t start sooner, save more, do better, stand taller, act stronger, work more, support others better, give more of myself.
I can feel my insides fill with these seething emotions, oozing over my guts and caking my ribcage. They drip down the high walls of my legs, pool in my fingertips, and back up higher and higher into my core. At last, they fill me to bursting and something – a line in a book, the sound of a cat, an unbidden thought – pops me like a balloon.
My envy and desire and lust and guilt, my grief and sadness and despair, come pouring out the spigots of my eyes, slowly at first and then faster and faster until I choke on the intangible made tangible.
A magic trick, no? To take thoughts and feelings – most ephemeral – and allow them to stain my pillow.