If I have nothing interesting to say, will I melt away? Is the only thing tethering me to this earth the things that I can do, or make, like a half-burnt scrambled egg or a grilled cheese that never melted all the way through? They tell me to write but I don’t think that I know how words fit together the way that other people do, it’s always gets knotted together like a child tying their shoestrings and their fingers get tangled and they call for their mother but she has run out to the grocery store and she might as well be never coming back. I watch tutorials on TikTok on how to make my hair look nice, but it never comes out the way that I want it to. Maybe it’s my hairbrush, maybe it’s my shampoo, maybe it’s the time of day, but please God it’s not me is it? You still tell me that it looks nice, but I think that maybe you are looking at my eyes, it’s an easy mistake as they are the same color, and I’m wearing contacts today which makes them look a little suffocated and some people enjoy that, who am I to judge? I like to feel suffocated too and that’s why I stay in bed when the sun is out. There is nothing that the sun needs from me, the fresh air doesn’t need my stale tea breath—I’m not a real tea drinker anyway, I don’t time my brews, I use bags riddled with plastic, I greedily gulp without contemplating much beyond the stains along the rim of the mug. It’s about time, not experience. I don’t think we experience much of time at all, except for the time that isn’t here and maybe doesn’t exist at all. It stains our skin black and blue and whispers in our ears at night, but not everyone can afford therapy to figure it all out. I can, and I still haven’t figured it all out, but I do know why I’m scared of anger, and I do know that staring at a screen has rotted something to my core. I’m staring at a screen right now, and that’s why my scrambled eggs are burning.
Lauren Zazzara is a writer, editor, and aspiring social worker living in Buffalo, New York. When she isn’t tucked into a book, (loudly) tapping away at her keyboard, or napping, she is likely fawning over her cat, Margaret. Lauren holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from St. Bonaventure University and has been published in Five Minutes, Serotonin Poetry, 3 Moon Magazine, Nymphs, No Boundaries magazine, and Words Unbound Studio’s Heroic Care anthology.