Physics says: go to sleep. Of course
you’re tired. Every atom in you
has been dancing the shimmy in silver shoes
nonstop from mitosis to now.
Quit tapping your feet. They’ll dance
inside themselves without you. Go to sleep.
Geology says: it will be all right. Slow inch
by inch America is giving itself
to the ocean. Go to sleep. Let darkness
lap at your sides. Give darkness an inch.
You aren’t alone. All of the continents used to be
one body. You aren’t alone. Go to sleep.
Astronomy says: the sun will rise tomorrow,
Zoology says: on rainbow-fish and lithe gazelle,
Psychology says: but first it has to be night, so
Biology says: the body-clocks are stopped all over town
History says: here are the blankets, layer on layer, down and down.
To hell with them. Nothing hurts if you don’t let it.
By then I knew that everything good and bad left an emptiness when it stopped. But if it was bad, the emptiness filled up by itself. If it was good you could only fill it by finding something better.
Sometimes the sun shines and it still rains. The weather changes all the time. You can too.
- You are stronger than you realise.
- You are crueller than you realise.
- The smallest words will break your heart.
- You will change. You’re not the same person you were three years ago. You’re not even the same person you were three minutes ago and that’s okay. Especially if you don’t like the person you were three minutes ago.
- People come and go. Some are cigarette breaks, others are forest fires.
- You won’t like your name until you hear someone say it in their sleep.
- You’ll forget your email password but ten years from now you’ll still remember the number of steps up to his flat.
- You don’t have to open the curtains if you don’t want to.
- Never stop yourself texting someone. If you love them at 4 a.m., tell them. If you still love them at 9.30 a.m., tell them again.
- Make sure you have a safe place. Whether it’s the kitchen floor or the Travel section of a bookshop, just make sure you have a safe place.
- You will be scared of all kinds of things, of spiders and clowns and eating alone, but your biggest fear will be that people will see you the way you see yourself.
- Sometimes, looking at someone will be like looking into the sun. Sometimes someone will look at you like you are the sun. Wait for it.
- You will learn how to sleep alone, how to avoid the cold corners but still fill a bed.
- Always be friends with the broken people. They know how to survive.
- You can love someone and hate them, all at once. You can miss them so much you ache but still ignore your phone when they call.
- You are good at something, whether it’s making someone laugh or remembering their birthday. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that these things don’t matter.
- You will always be hungry for love. Always. Even when someone is asleep next to you you’ll envy the pillow touching their cheek and the sheet hiding their skin.
- Loneliness is nothing to do with how many people are around you but how many of them understand you.
- People say I love you all the time. Even when they say, ‘Why didn’t you call me back?’ or ‘He’s an asshole.’ Make sure you’re listening.
- You will be okay.
- You will be okay.