It began again, the thoughts that pricked the insides of her head.
Please stop thinking them, she scolded herself. It was a constant compounding of worry after worry, twisting itself and thickening until it was a veil laid over her eyes, or a scope she put her iris to. It was the author of her view. Digging her thumb nails into the hardened skin just below the inside of her other fingernails, she conjured some imaginary force to will the pestering feelings away. Unfortunately she could not turn herself into a grand turbo fan and blow them to pieces.
She hated herself.
It wasn’t the kind of hate that dictates your every action. She was perfectly content with some of herself. But it lay in the shadows, revealing itself when she looked in the mirror, when she gazed to other people, when the words of her family bled into her thought stream. It darkened the atmosphere surrounding her, puncturing deep holes in the confidence she carried. She was weak, a physical disgrace, blabbered too many words into a sentence, laughed too hard and cried a little more than she should.
She knew perfectly well that nobody was perfect. Nobody could master the ‘norms’ that reigned as the true guidelines of the best possible version of a person. And that’s all it was: a version. Was it true? No. But she was capable of lying to herself at moments when the truth was most necessary. The girl constructed images of herself to replace who she saw in photographs and heard as she spoke. It wasn’t sufficient to completely block out the characteristics she could not change with a snap of her fingers.
There was one thing she could lose those images in. Strip them off. Push down into her core. There’s always something, you know. There’s always one thing you can’t possibly bring yourself to fake around. For her, it was a wooden instrument that fit perfectly in her arms. She could feel the vibrations of soft truths against her arms and chest. One sound–she could make it sound beautiful.
To create something is to give hope. To make something for someone else is to give love. Note after note becomes letter after letter to string together a deafening story of something, even if it is only a small echo of those thoughts.
Stop thinking them, she grilled over and over again, trying to singe the phrase permanently into her brain. She reached for the stringed body laying next to her, leveled it so it sat balanced on her knee, and brought one arm over the sound hole. She wielded a pick in her hand and poured herself into the note.
She began to play.