I’m not your dream girl.
In social situations I won’t flow sweetly over the crowd like even, golden honey.
I’m not charismatic and engaging like you, all small talk and light humour.
I can’t arrest a crowd with a joke and I don’t want to.
I will never be the life of the party. You will never find me surrounded by a semi circle of your closest friends, leading them to hysterical laughter with the climax of my perfect anecdote. I love that you do that. But you need to know that while you’re doing that, I’ll be off befriending the introverts, the quiet thinkers, the socially awkward ones with the self-deprecating humour. And one-on-one, we will find a sunken backyard couch, a rooftop, a concrete slab on the side of the road. You’ll find us sharing a cigarette or a chipped mug of warm rum talking hometowns, aliens, music, car crashes, the universe, messes and mistakes, and ideas after ideas after ideas. I don’t connect by half-measures, you see. I go in deep or not at all.
I’m not your dream girl. Oh, I’ll rub your back when you get home and give you a kiss so deep and promising it raises the hair on the back of your neck. I’ll ask about your day and I’ll mean it. But if you want to enjoy light company and put down your brain until you have pick it up in time for tomorrow’s work day… you have picked the wrong woman. I am addicted to feeling my way across the million textures of the minds of those I care for and I usually can’t rest until every stone of discovery has been unturned.
I’m not your dream girl. I didn’t ride in on a white horse to be everything you ever hoped and dreamed. I’m not here to save you, to replace your vices or make you see the light. I’m not your mother, not your counsellor, not your saviour or your Saint. If you decide to go down into hell one night I’m not going to give you a curfew. I might even jump in the passenger seat beside you and read you the directions from a worn out, weathered road map, our fingers linked across your lap. I’m smarter than romanticizing disaster but I also understand life is a balance between the light and the dark. And I want to understand your shame and your shadows, so I can love you properly and wholly.
I’m not your dream girl. Truth be told I’ve been in love with someone else my whole life, and will be until the day I die. He’s walked beside me forever, you see. He knows me better than I know myself. He’s pulled me through some dark times and sometimes when the universe swings in my favour he’s the one I’ll want to celebrate with first. Sometimes I’ll reach for you in the dark, yes, but sometimes I’ll reach for him. This other lover is a pen and paper and the words in my head and whenever he calls for me I must listen to him. Sometimes at three in the morning. If you want me, there needs to be room in our bed for him as well. You, me, and my obsessive compulsion to write.
In turn I promise there is always space in our lives for the things that keep you awake at night, the passions that speed up your pulse and get your dopamine receptors firing. Because I know in this life that our passions are just as necessary as food and water.
I am not your dream girl. I’m not a vision. I am made of more substance than a fantasy. Just like the Sarah Kay poem- I am woman, skin and bones, veins and nerves, hair and sweat. I am mistakes and muscle and messes. I don’t want us to worship each other. By putting each other on pedestals we set up an expectation of perfection that neither of us can uphold. There’s nowhere to go from there. Let’s run together in the dirt instead, scrape our knees, crash into each other with as much force as the universe imploding. Show me your shadows and your shame and I’ll show you mine and just like the ancient Chinese fixed broken China with melted gold, we can fill our cracks with mutual, soul-deep understanding.
I’m not your dream girl. But promise you, run with me and our lives will be fucking magic.