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“So, you want to get to know me.” she said, then shook her thick head of red hair.

“Well then, what is it you want to know?”

She wondered if she told him how the thoughts cluttered her mind on days when the sun hid from sight, if he would understand. She wished sometimes that she could blurt out the things she did know, so that someone else could share the journey with her.

“I’m a firecracker,” she said after a moment of silence. “At least that’s what people say after they get to know me. People are funny though, don’t you think? I mean really they come up with the image they have of you in their minds before they really even get to know you. It doesn’t happen as easily online, because they don’t see you, judge you, and size you up before they even get to know you. Still it happens though.”

There it was, the thoughts that kept returning as of late. Those indescribable remnants of times lived when everyone decided what she was, and nobody knew. Invisible moments when the world she lived in was chaos and the characters who played their parts all seemed to have the same script, a script she had never been privy to.

“How well can you get to know someone?” she asked. “Unless you can climb into their soul, there’s little hope of getting to know a person well enough to understand them. Though I do think we get lucky from time to time, and find those people we can relate to so well it feels like two souls that have connected, that share some kind of Venn diagram existence… maybe they always have.”

She shifted in her seat, mimicking the uncomfortable feeling that moved through her.

“People want to fit in with a tribe, or clan. It seems to be almost as important to them as their sexual conquests. Both have a tendency to minimize their potential in a world of their creation. Too much focus on fitting in and their individual beauty, wonder, and natural uniqueness is tossed aside in order to accomplish the feat.”

She thought about the poem they passed around in school, and decided to share it.

“I was pretty young the first time I saw this poem. It said the things I couldn’t say, in words I understood, related to, and kept folded in my pocket in case I found someone else who might understand them too. Maybe you are that person. Somewhere along the pathway of this life, I figured out that I wasn’t meant to ‘fit in’, I’m not sure any of us are. There is a kind of magick in the understanding that different is okay, and as a writer, it is even better than okay, it is fantastic, but before I could understand that, I had to get past the feeling of emptiness that covered all hope, to get past the desire to fit in with the tribe I was a part of, but not in. Anyway, here’s the poem:”

May Your Skies Always Be Yellow

He always wanted to explain things
But no one cared
So he drew
Sometimes he would draw and it wasn’t anything
He wanted to carve it in stone
Or write it in the sky
He would lie out on the grass
And look up at the sky
And it would be only the sky and him and the thing that needed saying
And it was after that
He drew the picture
It was a beautiful picture
He kept it under his pillow
And would let no one see it
And he would look at it every night
And think about it
And when it was dark
And his eyes were closed
He could still see it
And it was all of him
And he loved it
When he started school he brought it with him
Not to show anyone but just to have it with him
Like a friend
It was funny about school
He sat in a square brown desk
Like all the other square brown desks
And he thought it should be red
And his room was a square brown room
Like all the other rooms
And it was tight and close
And stiff
He hated to hold the pencil and chalk
With his arms stiff and his feet flat on the floor
Stiff
With the teacher watching
And watching
The teacher came and smiled at him
She told him to wear a tie
Like all the other boys
He said he didn’t like them
And she said it didn’t matter
After that they drew
And he drew all yellow
And it was the way he felt about morning
And it was beautiful
The teacher came and smiled at him
“What’s this?” she said
“Why don’t you draw something like Ken’s drawing?”
“Isn’t that beautiful?”
After that his mother bought him a tie
And he always drew airplanes and rocket ships
Like everyone else
And he threw the old picture away
And when he lay out alone and looked out at the sky
It was big and blue and all of everything
But he wasn’t anymore
He was square inside and brown
And his hands were stiff
And he was like everyone else
And the things inside him that needed saying
Didn’t need it anymore
It had stopped pushing
It was crushed
Stiff
Like everything else.

She decided to leave things right there. She really wasn’t all that complicated, it was their own internal wiring that made it seem that way. She just thought, a lot, and deeply, about everything.

“Is it sad that I don’t trust people enough to let them love me? Love, what a word, I suppose I could do better than that with all the smithing that I do. Love means too many things, to too many people, to stand up to any one definition, and when I think about what it means to most people, I have to retract it from my vocabulary once again. Love to most people means “I need you,” or “If I promise this, you will give me that.” it’s a bargaining tool, or a possession of, which is a far cry from what my original thought about love was. Now I find it to be one of those words which has to be defined by both parties in order to even come close to understanding what it means… silly me.”

She wanted to keep talking, to keep sharing, but she knew she had said enough already. The clock reminded her that she had other things to do today, many other things to do today.

“Well, it looks like I better head out of here, I have a lot to accomplish in a short amount of time. Such is the life of a firecracker,” she laughed to herself, as she picked up and headed out the door.

“Have a great rest of the day!”

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