Closed Eyes, 2019-2022

Monica Lewinsky influenced my life; haven’t we all fallen in love with someone we weren’t supposed to? I think of how her hurt made my love feel more valid—made space for a growing heart. I’ve fallen in love on the ride home from work, looking at the person sitting across from me. Our eyes meet, and in a moment I feel years of sweet nothings, and sunlit Sunday mornings; they glance down at their phone.

I remember watching Martha after school. Entrenched in a world of effortlessly flipped omelettes and refinished painted porches. It was so easy to imagine myself in a world that existed so comfortably in the infrathin of reality and make believe. Sitting in the backyard by our koi pond, I’d day dream looking over an acreage—easily ignoring the metal shed and cracked paving blocks. I lost my pet painted turtle in that pond.

Reminiscing on the countless unanswered letters I wrote to Martha during that time. I realize that I never truly expected to receive a response. As hopeful as I was, I always knew those letters would land upon closed eyes.

Waiting on the door mat when I got home for lunch, the turtle came back the next summer.