jellyfish & W1L 025: Write one leaf about the last day of the month.

On the morning that I wore this outfit, I was almost late to class because I was reading The Shoebox Project.

Jacket: mother's, H&M. Polo shirt: brother's, American Eagle. Shorts: mother's + scissors. Tights: gift. Black and white oxfords: Miz Mooz. Rings: Rapunzelsgold on etsy and Forever21.

Yes, I am that kind of Harry Potter fan.*

And I am going to openly admit that
  1. I have read a horrific amount of fanfiction in my time, and

  2. a lot of fanfiction is horrifically bad (one needs only to be aware of the existence of the pairing that is Dumbledore/Giant Squid), and

  3. it's kind of unfortunate that (in my experience) most well-written fanfiction is slashy (e. g. Shoebox (although admittedly it seems like the majority of HP fanfiction is slash, and it seems natural that the largest faction of the fandom would churn out the most quality fics)), but only because

  4. slash fanfiction has a Reputation, but anyway, the point is that

  5. reading SBP provided me with an official headcanon for young!James and young!Lily and it is beautiful and full of really sad funerals and jellyfish. I REJECT YOUR REALITY AND SUBSTITUTE MY OWN.
(*Actually, if I were that kind of Harry Potter fan, it wouldn't have been my first time reading Shoebox. Although, hey, I've read all 2605 pages of Maya's fanfiction, so JUDGE ME I DARE YOU.)

W1L 025: Write one leaf about the last day of the month.

This is an unedited version of my original response to this prompt. I am still dissatisfied with this.

In my advanced algebra class four years ago, I found out that D’s birthday falls on the last day of this month, because he was a statistic used to demonstrate that there was a 73% chance of two people in our class having the same birthday. His birthday twin was P, about whom, unfortunately, I remember very little except that one time I pretended I didn’t see him walking around with a binder strategically held in front of his crotch. Puberty is awkward.

A few days ago, D humored my demand to eat lunch with him. It was surprisingly unremarkable and, I suppose, only as awkward as I chose to make it. He left me with a book and this overwhelming sensation of being crushed under his thumb by the weight of being indebted to him.

The introduction to the book includes the following Rumi passage, which doesn’t count as part of this One Leaf:

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture.

Still treat each guest honorably,
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

As I was reading it, I began to cry. I think I was weeping. Not at the profundity. But having been in a struggle long in proportion to my age to find an understanding of spirituality that I could accept without compromise, I gave up seeking my revelation in organized religion a while ago. Especially in reading about it.

And it was incredible to me that this little space that I had made for myself, where I had chosen to place myself spiritually, was a place where other people chose to live as well. And it was so strange to me to think that I had found my way here jaded and alone, only to discover that there was a whole world blooming before me, inhabited by a mass of individuals who, having faced death, suffering, terminal illness, pain, were only determined to fight harder to live with intention.

I don’t believe in everything the author philosophizes about. But there is a deep, deep relief in finally seeing these translated words that look like they have been pulled from my insides like a golden thread of light. It’s like an angel sighing. Or, you know, like a giant hand coming down from the sky and scooping me up and holding me in the palm of his hand.

Musical references aside, a while ago, after her first heartbreak, V was laugh-sobbing over a cup of hot tea at the simple fact that at sixteen, prancing around on the stage of a huge theater, consuming poison, trapping our souls in umbrellas, and hiding ripped seams in our funeral dresses with masking tape, we already knew this. “People come and go in our lives,” said the boy whom I thought would shatter if I landed on him too hard in Scene 5. “Don’t forget the value of the present.”

And the girl wearing a lampshade on her head had said, “Fate will put you on the right track. You just have to be ready for the ride and aware of your surroundings.”
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