These are things I will never do.
I will never wear my hair up in a sock bun. It gives me a headache.
I will never wear bright pink nail polish on my fingers or my toes.
I will never arrange my life to appeal to a Pinterest board, or try to make some bullshit crafts or place daisies in a Mason jar simply because that’s what the internet is telling me to do.
I will never be the girl who brings a bunch of homemade food to a gathering. It’s not that I can’t cook, but that I’m just not interested in it at all. If I were, I would make piles of food.
I will never stop driving barefoot, kicking my shoes to the side and opening the windows and screaming along with the radio. It hasn’t gotten old in the ten years I’ve been behind the wheel and I don’t think it ever will.
I will never stop wishing my hair were darker, or lighter, than it is at any given time. Wishing my thighs were smaller, my skin better, my teeth straighter and whiter, my lips fuller. I will never stop faking it. A whole lot hinges on a smile and a swish of your hips.
I will never not leave stains on everything: makeup smears on the bath towels, raspberries on my brand new skirt, lipstick smudges on the lapel of your suit. Little blonde hairs all over the place. Black treasure maps of mascara on pillowcases. Perfume blasted in the fabric of your favorite shirt to remember me by. Like you’d forget.
I will never be less than barefoot at the gas station, shy when I shouldn’t be, robust when I should be shy. I will never fully say what I’m thinking or let go in a text message. Whenever I do, it backfires and ruins my holidays.
I will never stop loving gas station hot dogs, soap operas, true crime novels and their TV counterparts with love and death condensed into a half hour. Cheap dresses and bouquets of red lipstick, tragic heroines and unsophisticated beer with a country music soundtrack. I will never apologize for the things I love.
I will never sleep soundly, even with you next to me. I’ll spend the night tossing, turning, worrying and wondering. I’ll watch you sleep, or spend the darkest hours painstakingly replicating the feeling of you next to me in my brain so I can reach for that memory when I feel sad. When I start to get too melancholy nowadays, I try to go to sleep. I got a little help in a Ziploc baggie, and it soothes me into rest instead of rocketing me awake at 4 AM.
I will never tell you you made a mistake. I think you know it on your own terms.
I will never forget things: the sound of my grandma’s voice and the feel of her carpet under my feet, the crunch of a pink peppermint in my teeth. The thud of cheerleader sneakers on shiny gym floor. My first cup of coffee watered down with sugar and cake, my first alcohol burning and sweet with my best friends sitting prettily around me, the first time I smoked weed and saw stars all night and all summer thereafter. The way he cried on my couch while George Jones moaned and cried on the radio. The way you made me come harder that last night than you ever had before. The smell of sweetgrass in the North Dakota sun. Driving in a blind of tears, or the way the sun cast glitter all over the highway the day John and I drove to the lake and spent two days together that summer before everything went haywire.
I will never stop being jealous of that girl. Just a little bit jealous. That girl you replaced me with, that girl you will replace me with, the one who makes you laugh more than I did and puts those big sparkly stars in your eyes. Whatever she is, it’s better than whatever I am and so I’ll never like her, I’ll always hate her. Even if I’ve moved on – and time is such a lovely thing that I know I have – I’ll still be jealous.