Friday, August 20, 2010

things I will tell my daughter: of teenage boys and a girl's heart

Beware of the boys who are traps, their faces sun-bronze and beautiful, their hands reaching for your hand. These are the boys who will spin the planet madly until you are wobbling free and flying off the earth's crust into the deepest velvet of space. They aren't bad boys necessarily, but they hunger for the frenzy of love spun free in the void.

These are the sensitive boys. The misunderstood boys. The boys who want nothing more than to whisper quietly in the dark until their words find your waiting ear, your hair in a chaos of tangles. These are the boys wearing torn jeans; disaffected, unaffected, a sneer on the lip and a scribbled pocket of poetry.

Beware of the boys who are traps. Their black sneakers and flannel shirts are deeply scented with leaves and the vinyl of their car. They know how to sit still and watch you in the dark.

These are the Lost Boys who took the bus back from Neverland, the ones who refused to learn how to fly. But they talk a good game. They will tell you about spanning the midnight sky and touching the stars. They will breathe on your cheeks until you burn.

The boys who are traps know how to use the knife's edge of a qualifier. They say never and always and only to snip your life's attachments from you like balloon strings until you stand bare and alone in a universe of two.

These are the boys who come along once in a million, once in a lifetime, once upon a time in a twisted fairytale choked with gnarled tree roots. These boys want to keep you for your brightness, for your innocence, for the light you shine in the dark.

If you meet a boy who is a trap, he will carry his own gravity. He will seem dense and inescapable. He has a sticky center, dark as molasses and just as heavy and sweet. It will hold you there as you kick and struggle for the freedom to move.

In his company, this boy who is a trap, you will hope for peace but find none. You will look for safety but find none. You will seek for his salvation but find none. This is when you will want to change him, want to help him, want to heal him. But the boy who is a trap is a desert. He drinks your intentions in deep greedy gulps. He asks for more and offers nothing in return.

The boy who is a trap will sing a siren's song and leave you shipwrecked and broken on a foreign shore. He will catalog your face with the others who gather in his atmosphere as he sails the sea.

The boys who are traps--- they change us, they scar us, they can suck us dry and leave us gasping for air and light and water. They will take something from us if we don't kick free and come back to our senses. Beware the boys who are traps, from one who broke free and didn't look back.


Sibley Saga .... said...

I've met one or two of those boys and it also seems like they change the way you look at time. For in my case, my life can be divided into chunks of pre-'boy' and post-'boy'. Much like a.d. and b.c, hmm?

stephanie said...

Oh Whimsy. You are my hero. Seriously. I am printing this out to keep in my bean's keepsake drawer.

This is such a powerful and important message. Beautifully conveyed, as always, by you.

I love your writing so SO much. Thank you.

Beths said...

This is just beautiful.

You know what is always perplexing to me? That some (a lot of) women never get away from these traps, that they don't seem to learn that they're traps, that they keep seeking them out and being unhappy all their lives. I don't understand it.

serenity now said...

As others have already said, this is so beautiful, so elegantly-stated. And so true. Can I print this off and share it with my girls too?

Megan said...

I wish I would have known long ago about the Traps, where were you when I needed you! :) It took me over 10 years to figure that out...finally kicked free a few years ago. Loved this!!

emily said...

wow ... so true ... so eloquent ... real ... and raw ... and i pray my girls kick and claw away from boy traps like this ...