you & me

Shedding Adolescence: Don’t Forget the Days When Your Hands Shook.

 

The grime of living free of your mother’s wings has fermented into a scalding elixir, sweet and refined with a finish that burns.

It leaks from your pores and leaves you greased. It’s tantalizing. Your eyes became glazed when the independence that once bewildered you was blotted into normalcy, yet your arms grew strong and your hands steady from handling this immense power.

Don’t forget the days when they shook. Tears prick when you think of the child you once were. She was singed to the bone by the horrors of the world yet barely blinked for fear of missing a single second of its exhilaration. Her shoulders shook and she wept from elation and terror as she charged full force into your future.

That little soldier fought so valiantly against the broken parts of you and here you stand, stronger and brighter than she’d ever dreamed. Pay your due homage to that marvelous creature, who had such a glorious vision for your destiny.

You’ve spent the past seven years ingesting only the flavors, sounds and cigarettes of your choosing. Your body has rebuilt itself on this fodder. The baby fat has melted away and revealed bared teeth, a retching stomach, calloused knuckles dried from bleach and softened with coconut oil. How it must feel, to have done so much and to still be starving to do so much more.

You’re so potent that it leaks into everything you touch. The tattered, forgettable t-shirt that pools around your figure is no exception. It wears like a Versace gown. Your warm exuberance and steady confidence has given your seal of approval a high honor, bestowing it upon this meager piece of fabric has elevated it. It’s worn in like vintage and reeks of your essence.

You’ve swallowed it up and birthed it tasteful. Sacred.

When you were angel-soft and lovely, your small moments of unhinged ferocity proved that you were outgrowing this small girl and stretching into a woman. Now, you steel your eyes and snap that hinge closed with an ice-cold determination. You are an untouchable delight.

Pretty fingers twiddling around your coffee cup. Age hasn’t touched the flesh but they move more deftly. Still as vivacious as 18, but steadier. Your home is adorned with all they’ve created. All they’ve gathered. Possessions of quality, acquired sparingly, homemade and gifted. The bass booms from your abode as you tinker. You prioritize small divinities. Great coffee and great wine.

Perhaps you’re more apple pie than you give yourself credit for.

Your voice is deeper, stronger, calmer. People slow down and tune in when you speak. Your words are spoken with intent and the eyes of your enraptured listeners are a mark you never miss. You are fully in bloom. Forbidden fruit ever so tart on the pallet, firm, just at the peak of ripeness. You reek of tobacco and honeysuckle.

You rang in this birthday at a party with dear friends, set against the trappings of adulthood. In the low kitchen lighting, you celebrate with the chaos and elation of teenagers. Cocktails, and toasts, and gossip, and games. You weep at the joyous years gone by and salute all those to come. You’re ever rolling as a marble and you grasp this now. You don’t cling to the sidelines anymore. You’ve dove in. Cheers.

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Maddie Schuette is a novice Californian author in her early 20s. She’s also a waitress who genuinely loves her job. It gives her time to cook, to garden, to paint, and to follow her whims wherever they might lead her. She loves to write because shying away from vulnerability is easy — it kept her silent and isolated for longer than she cares to admit. She believes if her words can capture what she truly means to say, she can share any part of herself fearlessly. She hopes her stories inspire visions of feminine magic, resiliency, and growth..

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