color key — green: self-reflection; red: assault. contrast of light and dark correlates with bright and somber tones of voice.

What You Are

What You Are

What You Are

What You Are

cw: sexual assault. Do you know what you are? There is a difference between asking "who" and "what" you are, I think. Saying "who" instead of "what" already gives you a platform. "Who" makes you a person, makes you human. "Who" gives you a mind; it gives you wavy pathways that cross each other and work in the blink of an eye to form thoughts and ideas. "Who" gives you that muscle that constricts and expands in your chest to keep you alive. "Who" gives you a purpose, a reason, an explanation.

"What," on the other hand, is vague. It allows you to question your existence on this ticking clock we call home. "What" gives you the freedom to answer in a plethora of ways. "What" asks questions like "what do you do," "what do you like," "what do you think?"

"What" is anything and everything — the word we throw into the world in hopes of getting reasonable answers in response. Do you know what you are?

If you’re unsure, let me enlighten you.

You are the smell of gasoline that sometimes wafts unexpectedly into the air and raises heads in alarm of where you’re coming from.

You are the taste of pure ginger that unwelcomely washed over my taste buds and subdued my mouth into a coma of disgust.

You are the hair-raising sound that skids into a hot classroom when the dull end of a dusty stick of chalk meets the cold face of a black chalkboard.

You are the annoying view of dropping your phone down the sliver of blackness between the driver’s seat and the console.

You are the heart-wrenching feeling that overwhelms all of your given senses when you watch someone you love cry.

Well, you were all those things in that unspoken moment, so now you forever will be.

You were unexpected.

You were unwelcome.

You were hair-raising.

You were annoying.

You were overwhelming.

You are the man — the boy that looked at me and saw me for what I was, not who I was. You saw me as a good time, a moment of pleasure, a something to take even when I made it clear I was a someone who was too scared to say no. To say stop.

So, that is how I see you. Not a "who" but a "what." For now. Forever.

You are every bad thing my senses can experience.

That is what you are.  

© Midnight Woman 2021