A child, a mother, and a father are a family. The child, barely 4 years-old, can’t understand why their home is suddenly turned upside down, and shaken brutally like a snow globe. The white flakes covering each person. No one can walk comfortably or unscathed inside the bubble.
Tip. Toe. Eggshell.
There is sadness in their lives. It’s the water sustaining the globe. The clear part no one understands or sees. It’s the glass home holding everything in its perfectly stale, unmovable position. Can’t shake the tension falling recklessly. Hands won’t wipe off what has befallen the family.
A mother has retreated to a castle in her mind. She orders the windows to be opened, and points cannonballs outwardly toward an enemy. She doesn’t even know where the treachery begins or if the betrayal will ever end. A queen maddened by not being able to trust, not knowing who to trust. Can’t trust allies. Can’t trust 16 year-olds. Can’t trust 17 year-olds. Can’t trust her once beloved king, a knight now outfitted in plastic armor. She trusts only the prince, her son, born from her flesh, her strength, and from her wisdom to know something isn’t right.
Was it ever right? Probably not.
War is an ugly sport. With too much blood shed in our world, a family in the midst of daily battles decides to keep pointing arrows at the ones with the same surnames. The queen bestowed with a last name, only to have it soiled with cum-stained thoughts.
Kingdoms built on supposed eternities. Lifetimes with dreams.
The queen writes a letter sealed with her heart’s blood:
“You broke my fucking heart. I still love you. I don’t want to. I believed we’d grow old together. I don’t understand why we’ll never grow old in rocking chairs next to each other.
But when you are old, know one thing.
Know this with upmost honesty and reliability and absolute certainty.
A girl really loved you.
I was that girl.
All I ever wanted was to live by the sea with you, write some words people would print out and hang on their fridges, and laugh together with you.
I can’t have that dream anymore.
You stole it from me.
All the dreams I had for our future are now shattered.
Because you broke my fucking heart.”
There are no more dreams for the queen.
What is a life without a dream? Without hope?
Hope is the air we keep breathing, hoping it will find its way deep into our heart’s arteries. From this hope springs one more fucking chance. One more dream. One more shot at our failures. One more body to grab us tight and not shatter what is left of our heart. You can find hope in the most unlikely places.
On an airplane souring through the clouds, looking down at fog-pocketed valleys. Knowing your marriage has failed. You were never loved. Knowing all the things in your life will never turn out as planned. There you will see puffy white despair.
The queen adjusts her crown and sets her shoulders back. She orders confidently, “Vodka and cranberry juice, please.” She knows upon landing, she’ll pick up her bags, and get back on her feet. She knows hope is somewhere on the ground. It’s a stranger walking beside her not knowing who she is and what has happened to her. Just a bypassing moment where random smiles are exchanged, and every horrible, rotten, despicable memory is behind her. She left that baggage in West Virginia’s rolling hills.
She spends time in other realms far away from her childhood alleys and all the streets she calls home. Friends sit and laugh, and for a few days life is good. Pleasantly peaceful. She sleeps soundly. Her cheeks ache from smiling. Her belly is full of beer and rum. She has a bit of hope for a better future injected into her soul again.
Can’t runaway forever. She always has to come home.
We’re walking around alone, humanity.
We’re knowing we probably aren’t cared about or loved.
All we have is one.
Women are all queens in their own right. Each individual sparkling smile shining, glittering scepters stretched out amongst our arms. Legs carrying long robes tattered from keeping up with life’s cruelties. Our faces painted like jesters to hide our age. Hair coiffed into regal colors: blonde, brown, blue, purple, pink; highlighted around our faces. Breasts carrying jewels in the forms of necklaces. Fingers sparkling with rusted wedding bands, rotting away. Real queens don’t betray another’s three, the family. Real kings don’t betray his own blood. No matter how youthful or powerful another queen may seem.
Each queen has to reconcile with herself.
The snow globe falls to the floor and shatters. Shards of glass and pieces of a once happy kingdom gets tossed into the trash. They make new snow globes with new queens everyday. Younger queens, queens with smaller waists and bigger breasts. Queens whom some of us were simply not made to be.
Do we retreat?
We are queens.
Queens bow before no man. Queens hold another woman by the arm and walk side by side without judgement.
We reconcile we can command a kingdom without a king. We’re powerful warriors who earned our crowns long before men knew how to properly place jewels on their heads. We were taught to love and to nurture and to earn. We were taught to hustle and depend on our intuition and to pledge allegiance to ourselves and to each other, and to our family. We were to taught how to feed our families, and we know how to survive.
We’ve reconciled those facts.
I am no man’s queen. I own my sovereignty.