She is getting out of the car. It is raining, soft and cool. The streetlights are reflected blue and white on the hood of her car like starlight, at least that is what she expected the night sky to look like since the actual stars are hidden above electric cities like her’s. Her keys rest warmly in her hand; her feet scrape against the asphalt of the wet, blue-black parking lot. Coming home. Long shift. Beer for dinner. TV and bed.
And maybe it is the sheer, unwavering ordinariness of it all that gets her thinking, or maybe it is a thought she always has inching around the corners of her mind, but she all at once feels everything. She can taste the air. The back catalog of human interaction and internal life spills like an overturned filing cabinet. Every dry drag of hot loneliness she has sucked in with each passing season, each touch that felt like a life raft, each nagging hope that pushed her out into the confused everyday, all together in a pile, screaming “Deal with it!” To have realized (or perhaps always known?), the acute desire to be loved (beloved!) and adored broadly, consistently—maybe a feeling widely experienced by most people, but in that moment, as the cicadas frantically called in the night, a feeling she was sure burned hottest inside her. Maybe it was because she grew up with the lacking individualized attention found in a large family, but it seemed a cop-out answer. Was she just a diva? A big voice in a soft, sound - proofed body?
Her inner life bloomed, resounded, exploded, with color and bombast that never seemed to make it outside of her own head. Her skull, she ponders, clanged with emotional vibrance and thoughts that felt too big to be confined.
She sits with her dinner sweating in her hand. A wandering eye searching for some kind of instrument. How to express?
“Sometimes,” she writes, “I wonder if my ribs will crack open from the frantic rhythms of my heart.” The words last for a beat and she crumples them in her palm. She feels no less than a stuffed woman. All saints and sinners, all the ambrosia and bile, shoved into one person.
“I am great and dreadful.”
She looks around at the yellow kitchen light, the dirty laundry.
“And yet, it so often seems, all on my own.” Such pettiness and insecurity there, she knows. Her one-ness, her big-ness at the same time so small. So scared.
“I wonder will they see? Do they know?” More words crumple in her fist…so much to say and can’t. So much to be, so many impossibilities to live. The goddess of her heart shrieks and bruises her chest in anger; the goddessess’s confinement so unjust, so permanent, so necessary. No room for such a thing in the world. Not anymore. The wildness of bursting fruit and raking claws pressed into one organ. Madness lit and consumed. She finishes her beer and climbs the stairs slowly as if towards a gallows. She let’s herself burn. She will burn so bright, she will dance and laugh for the agony, for the bliss. She is Nobody. She is Queen. She walks cat-like in the dark to the bed and lies beside him, who is fast asleep. She whispers, “Love me. Worship.”