by Chelsea Poole
Find a girl who writes. Find a girl who has no idea where she is going in life because the only thing she understands about the world is that sometimes if you put one beautiful word beside another beautiful word you can create a beautiful sentence that melds into beautiful chapters of beautiful books that might change at least one person’s life. Find a girl who lives for that one person, the one person that will read her beautiful words and feel a sudden lightness on their shoulders. Find a girl who works at a job she hates so she can do the thing she loves. Find a girl who knows sacrifice.
Find a girl who makes it hard to love her Find a girl who demands the best because its all her romance-riddled mind can comprehend. Build her a castle in the sky, move a mountain for her, smile and nod when she tells you she wants to run away to find the wild places that still exist in the world. Take her hand and lead her. Lead her through deserts and cities and forests until she grows homesick for a place she never even called home. Watch her as she takes in a sunset. Watch her lips move and her brow furrow as she fails to find words to describe it. Wrap your arms around her from behind and whisper in her ear that maybe this once words have failed her and that’s OK. Let her cry into your jacket as she is overcome with the vastness of the world. Offer to drive home so she can stare out the window as the sound of her favorite indie band you’ve always found depressing rolls through the car. Give her space when you get home so she can lock herself away in a room, still trying to describe the sunset that will forever beat at the back of her brain, demanding beautiful words. Walk in to find her asleep at her desk. Clean up the paper that litters the floor and wash the ink stains from her fingers. Know that this will never pass. Accept that the sunset will never leave her and learn to be OK with it like she will have to.
Have her make a list of cliches she absolutely hates. Listen to her rant about the unoriginality of it all. Watch her hands move through the air in a fury as she tells you how kissing in the rain only leads to pneumonia and throwing rocks at someone’s window usually just brings broken glass. Go back through her writing trying to find one. Fail. She has never written one. And never will.
Kiss her in the rain. Throw rocks at her window. Send her a message in a bottle. Tell her you were a different man before you met her. Give her flowers on Valentine’s Day even if she tells you that the holiday was made up to sell greeting cards. Lie down in the middle of the street to look at the stars. Have a picnic at the park. Candlelit dinner. Win her a stuffed animal at the fair.
Watch her head cock to the side and her nose crinkle the way it does when she’s happy but doesn’t want to admit it. Watch her roll her eyes. Pretend to busy yourself with opening a champagne bottle but really take in her face. Watch her eyes roll over the scene as she tries to burn every detail into her brain. Watch her lips move and her brow furrow as she fails to find words to describe it. Wrap your arms around her from behind and whisper in her ear that maybe this once she has failed to find the words to paint the scene that has been painted over and over before.
Find a girl with a vocabulary. Find a girl that knows metaphor. Find a girl that tells you what you want to hear in a way you’ve never heard it before.
Accept that this girl will never forget an ex-boyfriend, or an old friend, or a childhood home, or a family pet, or the grief that stole her away once before and will not fail to take her away again. Accept that her heart forgets nothing and the only way she can soothe the ache is to bleed. Make sure paper is never scarce. Make sure pencils and pens litter the kitchen counters. Get used to the clicking of computer keys at 3am.
Build this girl a bookshelf. Build her another. And another. Build her bookshelves until she is too old to read the words of her favorite books then continue to build them. Stack these shelves with the things she has written. Fill the shelves with her published work then keep going. Track down every essay, every short story, every novel, every poem she has written. Find unfinished manuscripts she’s kept hidden in a box in the attic. Stumble upon story ideas on napkins. Fill the shelves with every beautiful word she has let bleed from her fingers to paper. Fill the shelves with her life and the lives of the people only she knows.
Lead her to this shelf. Tell her that she has done it. Tell her she has put together beautiful words to create beautiful sentences. Try to describe the feeling you get when you wake up next to her every morning. Try to explain what it is about her that you love. Struggle to find the words that have somehow gotten stuck in the empty spaces of your brain. Accept that for once, words have failed you, not matter how simple the words you use are. Settle for this simple you know so well. Tell her that there is a lightness on your shoulders. Tell her that her beautiful sentences have changed your life.