Growing Up Loving


I grew up hearing stories. I grew up hearing stories from everyone around me. I used to live in an apartment complex, across the street from a little old lady named Cathy, under a 20-year-old called I-don’t-remember-her-name-so-I’ll-call-her-Jen, next to a guy named John and his dog Leslie.


“Fairies live inside our laughter,” said John, who always had mints and was never seen without Leslie.


“When loving gets too hard, you can’t turn back around,” said Jen, who’d always come home late from what she called meetings with boys, though I know they’re dates now.


“Tea can’t fix everything, but it fixes most things,” said Cathy, who was always knitting.


“All writers are pretentious,” said Jen, while she checked out romance novel after romance novel.


I grew up knowing these as fundamental truths, and as I got older, these people became stories. Tales of people who had once lived, still existent in the minds of the people that knew them. They became my stories to tell.


To say I grew up hearing stories is right, but I think it makes more sense this way: I was born hearing stories, and I grew up writing my own.


“When loving gets too hard, you can’t turn back around,” said Jen, and this still means everything to me today.


I was built to love, I think. These people raised me to love, or, I don’t know, maybe they didn’t. Maybe I am a lyrebird. Maybe I had seen Jen’s dilated pupils one too many times, maybe I had seen Leslie grow stiff with protection one too many times - maybe I am a lyrebird.


I was raised to love, I think, but maybe a little too much.

By Cath Lei

3 comments

  1. WOW WHY OMG. i'm actually in awe of how talented lithium members are.. this is just

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  2. this whole piece and that last line was perfect

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