Your first record
I used to say,
Let me be fragile
like an expensive set of hand-painted china receiving polishing before holiday dinners. Sat on linen cloth and plush towel for protection.
Let me be precious
like a new-born baby, pre-pandemic, carefully handed over from relative to relative with the room cooing as they breathe in the smell of milk and the sight of closed eyes and that fresh baby smell that sits atop their head.
Let me be shy
like someone small making a friend for the first time; hands held behind my their back, eyes to the ground, ears perked, heart racing, expectancy at its highest.
Let me be appreciated
like the first vinyl your father ever let you set and play. The one that made you associate sound with touch and see music as something to have and to hold.
Let me be weepy
like a red-eyed, sniffling, puffy faced pre-teen crying at a movie they do not yet understand but feel the weight of.
Let me be bracing
like how your chest feels when you recall the first time you recognized disappointment on your mother’s face from something you’d done.
Let me be angry
like the wasp that stung your sister behind her ear when you told her to stay put and not bother the wasps until you got back but when you got back your mother was more angry at you then she was the wasp.
Let me be tender
like how you were with the first twenty-dollars you earned and placed in your wallet planning what you’d spend it on.
I used to say these things, think these things. But these are basic human allowances and saying them, imploring them, reveals that I was only ever speaking with the wrong persons to begin with.
I don’t say these anymore.