The Well-Travelled World of a Confused Teen

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A short essay about a teen struggling to piece together the parts of herself.

Submitted: April 23, 2013

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Submitted: April 23, 2013




The color blue fringes on the edges of the sunset. It frames the tempestuous red and, even though it encompasses most of the sky, is largely ignored in face of the flaming descent of the sun. But I prefer the blue. As the sun fades into the distance and drains the bolder colors with it, the sky is left to encompass an awe-inspired silence with the gentler shades of blue. With every passing minute, the shade of this globe changes, becoming darker and deeper, and, impossibly, more beautiful. This gentlest time of day is the twilight, the soft quarter of an hour after the sunset when the world fades into night.

 My favorite blue used to be the blue of the sea. It mixes with green and foams forward, brushing the edges of the world with its waves. I used to think the waves caressed the shores. But now I think they push the shores away, tossing the sand aside and taking the place of those tiny grains that get stuck in your bathing suit on the car ride home. The sea is not inviting us in. It is not playing with the edges of our land-locked world. It is pushing us away. It is pushing worlds away.

The sea pushed my world away, though the sky is the one that took me away. I crossed the ocean easily as a cusp of wind. Physically moving is easy. Taking all of yourself with you, that’s the hard part. I have been taken from a city of beauty to a city where the rain never stops. From the tall greyness of the next to the green endlessness of its suburbs. A part of me crumbles and disintegrates in each house I live, forever lost in its soil. Each time I leave, I grow smaller. I always kiss the house goodbye.

I am always the one to leave. I leave behind people and places and buildings and things and colors and myself. I leave myself in so many places that I fear I will be nothing. I will be scattered along the wind, blown as the air through my long-remembered homes. These homes are listed on a sticky note on my computer. I have a list of seven addresses that have been mine in 16 years. I wish I could erase it, go back to the first one. But I cannot erase it now. I have left myself in too many parts. I would be destroyed.

What happens when I go back? I pick up parts of myself left behind. In one I buy new clothes, walk fast on the sidewalk and sidestep tourists in a grey sleet. In another I eat pancakes and sleep on couches. One changes my accent, back to my first accent. One changes my language, back to my first language.

What will happen when I leave here? This land of blue, of chaotic organization—what has it done to me? What will happen when I come to visit? Which of myself will I be? Will I peel the peperoni off my pizza to eat it first, or starve with a glass of champagne at the theater? Will I dance? I will dance. I always dance.

My neck hurts from leaning back to watch the sunset. The blue is changing slowly. It is lighter on the outside, where the sun still influences the ring of light around the world, but the centre darkens. It encompasses the world in all its differences and engulfs us in its beauty. Perhaps I can unite myself within it. Perhaps I can inhale blue in the air and breathe out myself. Perhaps I can be like the sky, like the blue, which now fades to black to showcase the stars.

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