Desperately he cried, “Baby, you’re scaring me. I just want to save you, but I’m giving you everything I have, everything. And I don’t know what else to give.”
I grabbed his head in my hands, concentrated on his furrowed brow, his rosy cheeks, his fierce gaze, and I shakily choked, “Please don’t feel like there’s anything more you can do. You’re giving me enough. You. Are. Enough.” (This is me being strong.)
But my real answer, what I longed to sob, was this:
It isn’t the blooming peonies, my favorite flower, that is enough to make me want my heart to beat. When my mother and my father look at me with warmth in their crow footed eyes, that is not enough either. My sister called me crying one December night, clinging to a bottle of sleeping pills like they were the elixir of bliss. She told me that she needed me, that she needed me to stay with her. That is not enough.
Once on this really cold winter day, the sun briefly emerged from the clouds, and for a spectacular and fleeting minute, I could feel the heat on my skin. For the first time in too long a time, my aliveness almost felt real, and hope almost felt tangible, but that is not enough.
There was this one Saturday afternoon where, upon hearing my broken gasps from the backseat, the taxi driver told me in French that everything would be all right. We had a simple conversation, and I thought about how even with my broken grasp of the language, he somehow felt like the only human in the world.
The other day at a party, a friend drunkenly told me that I was “a good girl”, that I was “a good, good, good human” and that I “should never change”.
Sometimes a really pretty song will play on the radio while I’m driving, and I’ll get goose bumps that actually hurt and a thumping heart and blurry eyes. There are no seconds or minutes or hours to infinity. Just there, I am just there, right there.
Every time I return home, I breathe in the smell of crisp pine trees and it burns my nose like hell and makes me sneeze. But this is my childhood, and I love it anyways.
A few months ago, my dying friend whispered to me that I had a breathtaking and fulfilling life ahead of me, that God had told her so. A couple nights later, I brushed the first tear I ever saw from her face as she bitterly cried that she would never get to have kids.
In rare moments, I dare to look at my eyes in the mirror. And I almost smile because my blue eyes are the ocean and the city skies on rainy days. My eyes are me and they are so beautiful.
But that is not enough. Never enough.