i don't trust my best friend, and i know he doesn't trust me either. he knows which secrets he can let slip like an ice cube through his teeth and which secrets he needs to keep under his tongue. i watch him lie sometimes, and i know he's bad at it not because he can't lie but because he secretly wants everyone to know his true feelings. i think he's a little too good at hiding his scoffs and judgmental little subtexts, but he doesn't fool me when he mutters under his breath. my skin crawls a little when his lips catch on his front teeth and he smiles like he's posing for a camera. he tells me he likes people more than adjectives, but i know that the adjectives don't truly slip his mind. he thinks he can read other people; he thinks he can read me, but he might just be projecting the things he hates about himself onto others. my best friend says he wishes he could take care of me more, but he knows he's bad at comforting people and better at unintentionally patronizing them. i tell him it's alright, and that's all i say.
i tell my best friend that it's okay if the world is spinning too fast for her, but she tells me that it's just her that's walking too slow. she doesn't tell many people but she's envious and selfish and greedy and prideful and more of the seven, but she admits to me one night that she's all of these things because she has no dreams. sometimes i feel like she's walking into a black hole, but i can't bring myself to tell her to stop. she cares too much about things that don't matter and she cares too little about things that do. she won't tell me, but i know she hates herself sometimes, only that she's too ashamed to call it that. i also know that she likes herself too. she likes looking at her face in the mirror, and she thinks she looks good in collared shirts all the way buttoned even though her other friends tell her that it isn't fashionable. my best friend likes talking about herself, and i tell her that it's alright, but i don't tell her to not go too far.
my best friend exchanges strips of their skin for shred of poetic value. they know that they're a good writer and they like their own writing, but they need to prove that to themselves again every time they pick up a pen after awhile. i can see the way they copy others' styles because there's nothing they feel like they can't find inspiration in themselves. i know that when their lights go out, they'll stay up for hours more under the glare of the laptop screen, just trying to write about something they'll never have. they'll keep me up with them, explaining why they don't write about beautiful things like lovers or hipbones or mirages. they tell me that they feel too nostalgic to put into words, and i tell them that they're just mourning a memory. their writing means nothing really, just ordinary things like me and them. they pay a dime a definition, a dollar for making the meaningful meaningless. my best friend is a writer, but pride's a full cup and there's too much to drink without wasting all of it.
"how will we go from here?"
"which way is forward?"
"whichever direction my feet are pointing."
i really don't know if i love my best friend, only that i don't hate her. there are many things i wish i could say to her but don't. again, i tell her that it'll be alright, but i don't know if she believes me. i don't waste those words now; i throw my arms around her shoulders and tell her i'll stay for a very long time.
lackluster but alright. this was a bit of an experiment (it's the same person the entire piece) and i'll end this here for my own sake, just msg me if you're curious. also, i know i sound kind of self-deprecating here, but i promise i'm alright lol. i could go on, but i'll just end it here by saying that i'm grateful for this prompt for reasons that are too sappy to talk about. love you all, and rest assured i know who y'all are even if you don't know me lmao. may the next decision you make bring you happiness.