They should offer people a manual. I would read it. I would keep it under my pillow and bring its well-thumbed, hi-lighted pages out from under when I needed it.
Like, when the person you love is hurting and shuts you out of that hurt because it’s the same old song, really — what should you do?
And, when he holds your hand and suddenly you are 13 again and you don’t know what it means — what should you do?
Or, when you are sad and afraid and feeling alone and are faced with demons you welcomed 40 years ago — what should you do?
If I had a manual, I would keep it safe. I would pet it. I think I would tell people about it. But, you know, people don’t really want your answers. They want to find their own way. That’s okay, isn’t it? Everyone is in their own separate bubble world, hundreds of thousands and billions of bubbles gently bumping up against other bubbles, and no one knowing what to do or what to say, but the bubbles muffle the sound slightly so you always feel like you are just talking to yourself, just sending words out into the atmosphere, mute mouths moving and no one ever hearing.
I feel like that sometimes.
A manual would tell me what to do when I feel like that.
A manual would also tell me what to do when I remember that I am scared to leave the house, scared to go out and touch my bubble to the bubbles that belong to other people, scared to make a mistake, scared to not make a mistake, scared I will always be in this house, scared I won’t remember the way home. A manual would tell me that.
A manual would tell me what to say so no one ever doesn’t like what I say. I would always know the perfect thing. I would always be smiling, at least in my mind, and the air would always have that pink-gold tinge it gets just before sunset in the summer.
A manual would tell me what I should remember: things like I always have magic inside me, or that I am way more powerful than I think, or that no one really means to hurt me, or that life isn’t as scary as I think it is in my mind.
A manual would tell me where my mind stops and where the world begins.
They really should give out manuals. I wonder if I lost mine.