So long as I don't touch the ground

I notice the shift in the air as I move from room to room, the soles of my feet stick to the creaky floorboards and the sound of insects buzzing at night tell me summer is here. The humidity in the house warps my journal, its wavy pages become as soft and delicate as flower petals. Sometimes I sit on the bench at the edge of the bed and glance at the journal lying closed on top of the dresser, my mind racing or thinking of nothing in particular. I pick it up to hold it in my hands and feel comforted by its weight, as though the energy of my thoughts can be absorbed through touch. I do not open it, perhaps afraid of tearing the pages the way I was afraid to touch the wings of butterflies in fear of breaking them as a child. My childhood memories surface in little flashes of light.

On a walk at the harbor, I remembered those special weekends my mom and I took the train to the city. Where we walked and went shopping until our feet hurt, eating calzones and strawberry and chocolate frozen yogurt we were so excited about because it tasted like real ice cream. 

The wear and tear of time has drawn two wrinkle lines between my eyebrows that form a letter M on my forehead when I frown, like a cat.

I was sitting in a cafe, staring at the foam in my cappuccino, when this occurred to me. I've come to understand that I experience love like a wave, it comes over me all at once and leaves for days at a time. I pictured the low tide, a memory of walking on the exposed ocean floor. I walked into the horizon and met another young girl who was collecting seashells in a small plastic bucket, disturbing the tiny marine creatures who scurried in panic or lay lifeless on the wet sand. I remember walking further and further away from the shore and at some point, having not found the ocean, I began to feel scared and turned back. 

Which brings me to another memory, being scared of the unknown. I remember feeling the ground shake and climbing the wooden fence with my childhood friends, clinging to it for dear life. There were horses grazing in a neighboring field and we were afraid of them. I remember the anxious beating of my heart and holding on tightly to the fence, as if being up there would keep me safe so long as I don't touch the ground.

There was a period of time where I could not stand reading or watching films told from a child's or young adult's point of view. Revisiting the struggle of youths irritated me. In these past few months, seeing my shadow walking alongside me, I feel my silhouette has taken a childlike form. I wear my hair in a long braid and have grown a liking to wearing turtleneck sweaters, resembling the uniform of my younger self, back to a time when my heart shook violently as if it were trying to break free from my chest. 

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