Dear Five-Year-Old Self
Mom’s a liar, but she means well. Daddy will never be around, and those toys aren’t worth the fight. Everything gets thrown away—and remember to write down when and where you lost your heart because we’re seventeen now, and I can’t find it anymore.
Michael’s turning thirty and I think we’re dying (but I’m not really sure)—Henry will never really like us and Tom loves you more than himself, please remember. Bi walked away and he’ll never come back: computer pieces the only parts of his heart he’ll ever give us, but it’s okay. He loves dogs, and you’ll always be a cat person.
Kiss a boy, because if you don’t we’ll always regret how we never. It doesn’t have to be perfect, because it always just is.
Ugly’s a state of mind, and listen to yourself: one day we’ll be beautiful soon.
No amount of money in the world is ever worth Daddy’s time, and he can never hug you enough. Mom’s lipstick will always smell nice, but you taste like vanilla.
When it starts again, cover your ears—you’ll be safe under the bed sheets and it’s okay to cry. The sound of breaking glass will always be our eternal lullaby. You’re cold now, and that’s fine.
You’ll meet a girl, and her name is Chelsea, and remember she’ll love you more than anybody we’ve ever met. Blood isn’t thicker than money, so don’t ever listen to what anyone says.
Hedgepeth says we’ll always be alone, but I promise we’ll never be lonely, and somewhere inside of us we’ve always eaten babies.
Write about the books you’ve read, because our memory sucks and I’m fading. If you can’t remember anything else—if you can’t remember yourself—remember Daddy, and everything he’s ever said. Remember it’s okay to cry, and remember to always forget how to open the Clorox bottle—remember to always be short enough to never reach the knives, and remember that sadness is infinite and happiness is only temporary.
Remember that you’re funny, remember that you’ll meet boys who’ll tell you you’re beautiful, but it doesn’t matter. Save your heart, don’t be a prude: you’ll be okay.
It doesn’t get easier, but we’re nominated homecoming queen.
Everybody lied: we made it.