For you, I’d bleed myself dry


How do you describe the essence of beauty?

The kindred souls you surround yourself with, the kind that fills your heart with happiness, are the kind I crave to get down on paper.

Begging to fulfill my need to capture beautiful things with my graphite writing utensil but always seeming to fall short.

Beauty seems to speak to me in late-night conversations and boosts of serotonin, oddly enough, but that doesn’t even begin to describe it.

How do I begin to explain the beauty of debating the existence of islands at 3 am? My harmonious giggles as you attempt to save yourself from full blown embarrassment are some of my most treasured memories; I wouldn’t trade anything short of the universe for them, for they always seem to stop my melancholic spirals.

It’d be 3 am, dark as can be out, the glow of my computer screen would illuminate my bed sheets and sting my tired irises, but my stomach would hurt from laughing to the point of tears leaking from my eyes, and I’m not willing to give that up for all the sleep in the world.

I’m sure the encounters will leave me with dreaded smile lines in my future, but I can’t wait for a physical reminder of our unmeasured nights.

How do I begin to explain the numerous hours piecing together evidence on when One Direction will get back together and how it makes me inherently happy?

The thousands of TikTok notifications I seem to wake up with are never an unwelcome sight. The Twitter feeds I have screenshotted fill my camera roll, but there is no universe in which I can delete them—even when I get the notification that my iCloud drive is full. What if the band gets back together?

Our starlit conspiracy chats are probably full of conversations that make sense only to us, but these screenshots just remind me that our theories aren’t just fever dreams, even if the facts we piece together come off as delusional to anyone but us.

Or the green and yellow friendship that we have had since your mother introduced us in the first grade, the friendship so heavily influenced by a book series we hold near and dear—we just happen to have different favorites.

Our birthday tradition of eating a mini chocolate cake and a full bottle of sparkling grape juice while watching the movies about the “boy who lived” gives me something to hold on to. When I feel myself become overwhelmed by waves of sadness, I think of your smile that never leaves your face during our multitudes of virtual concerts.

How do I get down on paper the way our staircase sliding adventures still manage to make me laugh as I picture you somersaulting down the carpeted steps to hit the hardwood floor?

I still smile when I think about that night we had your house to ourselves before we even knew how to solve parabolas and had no idea what significant figures were, and we ate our weight in mac and cheese and brownie batter.

I’m sure the encounters will leave me with dreaded smile lines in my future, but I can’t wait for a physical reminder of our unmeasured nights.

Or the weekend we spent chasing thrills at the roller coaster capital of the midwest. We spent our nights cramped on an air mattress in the middle of a hotel room floor and our days shuffling through lines and squished into coaster carts.

I still think of our lime-bubly fueled adventures with Frankie the husky by our side when I’ve had a particularly tough day. I sit, and breathe, and picture our faces as the wind blew our Uno cards off the boat and into the lake.

The picture of sixth grade us screaming as we drop from the hill on my all time favorite ride is still taped to my mirror—the scariest thing we thought we’d ever encounter, but we were far from right.

As our world expanded and our memories grew, the beauty I crave to capture became far and few between, but the three kindred souls I’ve surrounded myself with always manage to create more of it when I need them to, without hesitation.

Sleepless nights for me often turn into sleepless nights for them as they piece me back together, and even after seeing me at my worst, they work tirelessly to help me return to my less-broken state, and if that isn’t beautiful, I don’t know what is; for them, I’d bleed myself dry.