Hearts On Sleeves, Tequila, and Drunken Lips
Editor’s Note: Kaleigh Somers is a gem of a girl who blogs pretty much everywhere and rocks my world. Her words are beautiful, and her heart moreso. Her blog is rewritinglife.net and she also writes for HUGStronger.com. You can follow her on twitter: @kaleighsomers. – Lauren
She kept whispering the same haunting phrase, over and over, across a wide wooden restaurant booth.
“Drunken minds speak sober thoughts,” she said. Drunken minds speak sober thoughts.
Pretty soon I heard the two of them crying – not the wet eyelashes kind, either, but the snotty, sticky mess – about love that falls too short. About boys who stole too much from them. About marriage and living alone, forever, as unlovable women not worth the commitment.
My heart was breaking. Piece by piece cleaving off as I tried to focus on my own conversation with a girl who had run from the only boy who ever loved her.
“I don’t understand how people get married,” she said, whether in response to the two sobbing seniors sitting across from us, or just because she had wondered –we believed – this very thing for countless nights holed up in her room.
She has always been the girl who does not cry. The girl who holds herself inside, tucked beneath a bedroom floor filled with too many shirts and pants and unopened boxes of granola bars and textbooks she’s never read. The girl we do not know.
Later that night, when we arrived home, the drunken-words, sober-thoughts girl sat on the couch and began to cry again. Her whole body shaking. Voice wavering. Hands hugging a glass of water. Nose red.
Still, she tried to understand why anyone would hold all the bad inside until they had just a few more shots of tequila running through their veins. Why the world was full of broken people. Why boys sometimes stole hearts right from girls’ chests when they were too busy beautifying themselves for a date with him.
I repeated a mantra I’ve learned to be true: You are enough. You do enough. You try enough.
Out loud, I told her we can change the world. One person at a time.
She shook her head at that. Said she didn’t have the right words to heal girls who had been down that road. Too far down a road she didn’t know. A road where boys take what they want and do not say “please” or “thank you”.
Then, the non-crier, the girl who stacked her feelings up inside her chest and buried the rest beneath her bedroom floor, started dripping mascara down her pale cheeks.
“Does the ‘P’ in PMS stand for ‘pre’ or ‘post’?” she asked.
‘Pre’, we said.
“So this is compassion I’m feeling?”
And then she laughed. The girl with her heart hidden. The girl who tucked emotions into her pocket and put those pants through the dryer, hoping they might get taken like misfit socks sometimes do.
I have learned to carry my heart on my sleeve because I do not know how else to comfort the girls who lose too much too soon. I do not know how to stop them from feeling like less than enough unless I pick their sorrows up off the bedroom floor and pluck them down in my own heart.
And for me, that has always been more than okay. That has always been the only way to live in this messy, soggy, heart-broken world.
I am trying to teach, begging to reveal, to the girl who hides herself until she’s had a few drinks, that living with your heart in the palm of your hands is much better than never feeling anything at all. It’s much better than hoping the tequila shots kick in so that honesty can unfold itself from the crooks of her drunken lips.
I am hoping, this time, she is listening.
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