I love watching the pretty young things. I remember when I was them and how real that all felt. All eyes on ya but you never felt it so you had to let the light flash out in strobes, blinding , stunning, slamming into the wall two inches above every head. All of the nuances of who I really was lost in the explosive need to be seen. If the edges were blurry and undefined, that was unknown and beyond the young lady me. As long as I was seen. And now with the edges set in place and the softness existing within it’s borders, safer and softer still, I get to watch you girls. And I love you for it. Your arching faces, bodies in impossible poses that will go on to give you arthritis and aches in every muscle but you are pretty now and that is all that should and could possibly matter. Truth is, the aches come regardless so go ahead. The pain comes regardless, so go ahead. Reach! It makes every one of our lives better to be near you when you do. Even if it isn’t my direction that you’re reaching for. It reminds me of what I was and how lovely it all had been. It reminds me that being young is mostly brutal, awkward, unrewarding and that you pay diamonds for dog shit day in and day out. But in youth the diamonds rise from the dog shit always, the jewels around our necks flash just enough to hide the dirt. It reminds me that I’ve earned my throne and because of the you that used to be me, I can truly sink in the cushion of my kingdom with no regret or debt owed. What you accrue now in interest you pay for in skin and bone regardless, there is no harm because there is no foul. And in the afternoon of your womanly life there is only gentle strides, no more herky-jerky stabbing of limbs in to the unknown brightness of bleached limelight. And if it’s scary for the pretty young thing, and you all are pretty young things, that is as it should be. It has to be, don’t you see? That is our hero’s journey. Because there is no literal leaving of the den to slaughter or be slaughtered for sake of meat and substance when you are a girl. We are born without stone set grace and spend the time it takes to get there doing what it takes to get there. The young me/you/her makes her way to grace by fighting herself in the dark, seeking the love of others to find the true love of self. A wolf to slay and a pelt to carry home to the village who waits. Every exposed angle of her body bleeding for the effort. And that is why I love watching the pretty young things.

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