I cannot be alone anymore. I surround myself with bodies that fill like packing peanuts the empty spaces of my emotions. I layer the voices of distant acquaintances like wallpaper over the weak spots in my infrastructure. I build levees out of hellos on busy streets until I no longer remember the insecurities that once flooded my basement and my hallways and my staircase and my bed. I reach my hands out to strangers with the same urgency with which I once ran from them into the intersection the coffee shop the treadmill glancing side-eyed at no one my hair damp and my flyaways weighed down with sweat.
I was flimsy then but I am flimsy now, still on the lam from all the uncertainties that hang over my head like a mobile at night. You might say I am happier, heavier, better, but maybe I’m really just an artist of avoidance, using relationships like elaborate mechanisms of distraction to assure myself that someday I’ll have bridesmaids at my wedding. I am constructed of glass and I don’t want to get broken like my seven housemates broke three French presses in succession. I carry myself with caution on the backs of anonymous company because I don’t want to get broken, I don’t want to shatter mirrors, and I cannot be alone anymore.
About the author:
Hannah White graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2014. She is currently a contributing writer at Adios Barbie, the Kelly Writers House Junior Fellow, and an MFA student at Temple University, where she edits TINGE Magazine. Her work has appeared in Word Riot, Cleaver Magazine, Gadfly Online, Thickjam, and Apiary Online, among others.