I have beautiful notebooks. The have specialty papers on the outside, are often hand stitched with a variety of intricate bindings, and are filled with paper that can handle my pen or my paintbrush. One notebook in particular has seen the range of my emotional pendulum over the last six months. It has a thick brown cover reminiscent of bark grown over a wounded tree gash. I have been pouring myself into, into concentrated growth rings, every mark transcribed.
“I wish you would share stuff like that with me,” he said not too long ago.
I handed over my expression. I shared what would be open portraits of my nakedness. I revealed hopeless cries with poetic lilt. The pages were dense and painful and true. “Please understand that some of this may be difficult to see,” I added for his comfort. I am always adding some for of calming agent to my words for the comfort of others.
He will realize that I have drawn myself a lot, and that there is evident pain in how I present my body to the pages. He may wonder why I write so much about my lack of safety. It will likely come as a surprise to him despite my daily battle with being terrified. He will worry that some of the writing is darker and more hopelessly colored than makes people comfortable.
Or, this is actually the reality: he will forget to read it. He will put the book on his desk, then move it to a drawer when it is in the way. He will lose it entirely in the lists of things to do in a day. It will sit there, waiting to be seen, for a week, until I take it back. He will be mad at me later that I don’t share “enough.” He will write his own narrative in his own notebook. He will then be hopelessly fill with indignation when I don’t want to crack the spine to give it its open faced exposure to the air.
The notebook is mine. The expression is mine. I am not reserved about sharing it.
Fuck you for asking to see, so that you could make a demonstration of dismissing its beauty. I will sooner show an internet rando a completely nude photo of my body. I will smile straight into that camera and lift my eyes up like a good girl. Let anyone see through my eyes and into my cleavage…over my freckles and noting my scars…
How many will have the sense not to overlook the notebook?
Or are there more that will just set it aside and not look at the gift that is me….