E. L. Konigsburg, author of beloved children’s titles The View from Saturday, A Proud Taste for Scarlet and Miniver, and, most famously, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, has died, at eighty-three.
“I wrote this on a rainy day last weekend after a conversation with my friend about the person who broke my heart. I told her that we haven’t spoken in almost 100 days now and she said to me, “Why do you like him anyway? You always knew he was a complete jerk.” And that’s when I figured it out. Who you fall in love with isn’t a choice. One day, your heart can belong to no one, and the next, it’s invested in somebody like you never imagined, and with it comes vulnerability. That person is now free to do whatever they want with it and you let them, because getting any fragment of attention from them is better than being ignored completely. There are certain people who you care about simply because you need to. This year, I stopped caring about a lot of stuff - fake friends, bad grades, being skinny - but it was really important for me to continue to care for him, because when you’re growing up, you learn to back away from the war that is life and just cling to all you’ve got, and when you’re young and what you have isn’t a lot, you stick to something that feels familiar, even if it’s wrong. And he’s familiar to me. But he’s trouble. He’s a mess. And he’s breaking my heart.”
Written by porcelain—bones
I honestly have yet to understand why I insist on putting myself through this sort of thing —and why, for once, I can’t make things easier for myself. I hate how it’s not wrong to know that life is “supposed to be” difficult during a certain period of time. I didn’t think it would last this long. I just want to get to the point where things smooth themselves out and I don’t have to dread sleeping and waking up. I want to start looking forward to things again. Let me.
The last time you came to see me
there were anchors in your eyes,
hardback books in your posture.
You were the five star general of sureness,
a crisp white tuxedo of a man.
I was fiddling with my worn coat pockets,
puffing false confidence ghosts in the cold January air.
My hands were shitty champagne flutes
brimming with cheap merlot.
I couldn’t touch you without ruining you,
so I didn’t touch you at all.
It’s when you’re on the brink of something
that you lose your balance.
You told me that once.
When I can’t bring myself to say what I need to,
my heart plays Russian Roulette with my throat.
I swear I fired that night, but, nothing.
Someday, I’ll show you the bullet I had for you,
after time has done the wash.
I’ll take it out of the jar of missed opportunities.
We’ll hold it up to the light.
You’ll roll it around your mouth like a fallen tooth.
You won’t forgive me exactly,
but we’ll laugh about how small it is.
We’ll wonder how such a little thing
could ever have meant so much.
I’VE HAD ENOUGH SELF. PULL YOURSELF TOGETHER. SLAP YOURSELF IN THE FACE.