written in the backyard of a townhouse in seattle that i had shared for a brief summer with people i'd never met before.

i was eighteen.

pace yourself. i’m pacing my floors now. pacing on the phone, my erratic thoughts verbalized into will-less ranting. 

i have so much to say sometimes.  

pace yourself. I run too slow, my lungs give up, i run my mouth, my head is giving up. i’m trying not to give up. 

what if I just went to sleep right here, on the couch surrounded by trees. i'm trying not to give in, but I can’t sleep. tomorrow will be better. i have plans. and I’ll pace myself. 

i'm learning. learning that cigarette smoke stains walls and permanent ink etched into my finger stains skin. 

but I am not forever.

the pace of my heart will slow to a stop, or halt. every organ. crashing around it, like all the items sliding forward off of the seats of the car when i slam on the brakes. i keep asking for a break. this is it. this is the break. there is no pause button. this is as slowed as it gets.  

yesterday i was sweating in newport beach and today I have goosebumps in seattle. in two weeks i’ll be inhaling smoke and pollution in salt lake city. 

the questions never cease.

how do i move on?  how do i grow roots? how do i accept consequences?  i don't think it would be a surprise if one day i’m just gone. i have a tendency to leave. i'm feeling that itch again. expecting a different city to fix my shit. i get like this, itchy, antsy, anxious, and i worry that i’ll never find stability again or never be able to accept it, or ever be okay with it. is this my life now? is this all it is? what has come of me? what will come of me? how can i accept existing in this body? i feel as if i am running through phases back and forth; waxing and waning; becoming a different version of myself. maybe i shouldn’t have come back, maybe i'll change my mind about that too. i can feel old sheets against my skin. smell the half drank americano. the starlight lamp. and if I walk myself through the last year, i can feel those wounds just as fresh. piercing winter wind against my flesh. and then i blinked. and, i’m back. but have i woken up? have i been living? how much of this is autopilot? will tomorrow come and go like today? or will i be in charge? stand up and pace the floors. i can smell the boy’s dorm room. i can feel his sweatshirt. i can smell the sheets. i can smell him. i can hurt again if i let myself. am I making myself? and it’s the same thing every time. have i moved on from anything, ever?

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