She craves control


Emma Zawacki

one of the many pictures I took during my trip to Heidi’s

Scribbled letters sprawled across tan skin in large, loopy handwriting depict her busy evening. There is no disconnect—the letters work together to form words that she can comprehend and read later as a reminder to herself of what needs to be accomplished before she can rest her eyes.

Yet, there is still a disconnect.

It’s in the leaves of autumn, as they break free from their familiar trunk filled with their peers and slowly spiral towards the ground. They understand the fact that they must break away, yet are reluctant to do so—they’re scared of this new change happening within them. 

The colors of them change as the seasons do. They quickly change from a soothing green to an angry red as the time the sun spends shinning begins to dwindle, till it only barely peaks above the horizon as she eats an evening meal. 

It’s said that spring is a time of new beginnings and rebirths. The flowers bloom as do new personas; yet, they’re wrong. As we approach summer, everything is at a standstill. No new construction happens in this concrete compound she’s built—her solace is in everything staying the same. She’s sweat too much over the construction of her walls for them to be torn down now.

She tries too hard to remain in control of things happening in her head and the world around her.

She’s pleaded for the earth to stop spinning, if only for a second. Maybe, just maybe, if the world stopped moving, she’d be able to regain her footing and stop herself from tripping over every pebble in her path. 

The world may not have stopped, but they’ve slowed down to a manageable pace—she’s learning to breathe again. She not only takes pictures to remember memories but to use them as a visual for stories like this, a story where she depicts the thoughts she once had in her head and her need to control a majority of her life.

They understand the fact that they must break away, yet are reluctant to do so—they’re scared of this new change happening within them. ”

Like a bird learning to leave the nest, she begs for you to let go even a centimeter. Please stop smothering her in a bundle of twigs and motherly love; she wants nothing more in this world than to feel the air ruffle her feathers and to be someone on this floating rock. 

Please let her be—she is learning the difference between empathy and sympathy and needs room to do so. 

She will continue to scribble loopy letters across her skin not only as an act of defiance but because it’s her only system to remember everything she must accomplish before moving on in life and adapting to this ever-changing planet.