I hit someone in the face, once, and it felt good.
When I was young, I lived with my anger all over me, rubbed into my skin like sand.
I didn't know it was possible for me. I didn't understand that sometimes people don't live and then they live. The thing that was wrong, it flipped a switch and turned me off. I hid in the weeds, swatting at gnats and working a can opener, sitting on a railroad tie. I thought I was born to be something else. To be a creature with stones where my eyes should be.
I thought I wasn't meant to be a person. That's why none of this mattered. The girls who showed up under my porch light in the city, telling me they knew my boyfriend. The needle in my arm. The way my knuckles connected with his lips; they smeared sideways across porcelain. I cocked my arm and hit him again in the meat of his cheek. It felt like the only right thing I'd ever done. I wanted to do it some more.
He had stomped on my foot on the brake and snatched my keys away, throwing them in somebody's yard. Someday that didn't have anything to do with this. Somebody who didn't deserve to have the likes of me, wasted and boiling over, crawling around on my ripped skirts in their grass.
I believed that mostly, people should be left alone. They hated me and they didn't know me. It didn't matter. I didn't want them to know me.
I got scared, sometimes, though. Getting high all the time by myself, I started to feel like the edges of the world were burnt and peeling away. I got stuck in my dreams at night. I woke up to find that I'd sewn a dress or written a poem in my sleep. The lines all crooked and fraying.
I rented movies and watched them eight or nine times. I leaned against the cold wall of my apartment's living room, smoking cigarettes and staring at a flickering blue screen. There were sounds all around me. A couple lived above me. They fucked so loud in the evenings, I felt like I was a part of something. The boy who lived next to me was in the army. He was going away. I didn't have anything. I swore I would never have anything again.