Do you see me?
Do you hear me?
I know you’re listening. But do you hear me?
Because I don’t know if you do.
I’m constantly on the verge of crumbling. My body does not feel like a place I am allowed to call home anymore. Of course, I’m okay. Okay as in mediocre, and mediocre as in enough for you, and enough for you as in I come to school and smile at you in the halls. Enough for you, as in I’m still talking and walking and breathing just fine. You don’t have to deal with me. You don’t have to hear me. You don’t have to let me know if you’re listening or not. You don’t have to hold the door open for me, because apparently, I have somehow convinced you that I can open it myself, and that the strength I am trying to give myself could somehow trump the strength you have been given for your entire life. You didn’t realize, however, that you let the door lock behind you on your way in. Or maybe you did.
I don’t just want to be listened to. I want to be heard. I want to see you squirm at the truth that I say, and take action. Help me. This system that you’ve been thriving in has been stripping us of who we are, and now, I have to say us, because it’s not just me. It’s him, and her, and them too. It’s Canada, it’s the United States, and it’s Pakistan. Your systems bury our happiness under semantics and logistics, but of course, at the top of the mountain of empty words is a layer of sequins and confetti. They glisten in the sunlight.
“Black lives matter”. “Truth and reconciliation”. “Love is love”. “I’m with her”.
But the sunlight comes and goes. It’s cold and dark outside. When it rains, it pours, and the catchy slogans don’t glisten anymore.
So please, just hold the door open for me.
Let me in.