It feels as though I am always leaving the door open. I ask you over and over again to come in. In winter I have saved you a seat by the fire and made you a cup of tea. In summer I have turned on the air conditioning and saved you a rainbow popsicle. In rain I have offered to share my shelter with you. In sunshine I have offered you a place in my garden.
But instead you stand on the front porch of my heart and over and over again decline. You are forever just outside the door, as if to reassure yourself that if someone were to ask, you could say that you were there. But it is not enough just to be there, hovering outside the boundaries of love. It is not enough to stand beside me without knowing what’s happening inside. It is not enough to simply be invited in. You have to step through the threshold for it to count.
But you refuse. You stand outside my door and tell me how good the winter air is for your heart, how good the hot summer sun is for your head, how soothing the torrential rainfall is for the soul. You tell me I am foolish for not knowing that. You tell me I am not smart enough to understand. You tell me I am not worthy of your company.
Perhaps you are right.
After all, I am the foolish, stupid girl who keeps asking you to come in. I am the one who keeps making an extra cup of tea and saving an extra popsicle. I am the one sitting beside an empty chair. I am the one who keeps expecting things to change even though they never have, even though you have made it clear they never will. I am the one silly enough – or hopeful enough – to think I could someday live up to your expectations. I am the silly, foolish, hopeful one who keeps wishing you could live up to mine.
Meanwhile your popsicle is melting. Your tea is getting cold. My hope for us is fading.
You stand outside my window and scream that brilliance is a burden I am lucky not to have to bear. You think that you are explaining why it is difficult for you to come in, but all that I hear is that I am not invited out. Out into this world where you stand, among the brilliant and articulate and successful and accomplished.
And so I recede further away. I close the curtains. I ask you over and over again to just come in and sit with me for a while, tell me about your life, listen to me about mine. I plead with you. Come in. Sit. Talk. Listen. Forgive me. Love me. Please.
All you hear is weakness.
From the other room I hear your voice on the answering machine without even having to get up. “You don’t know a thing about poetry. Your writing would be better if you simplified it. Get to the point.”
So I stand up.
I walk to the door.
I turn the lock.
And for the first time, you are impressed by my succinct actions. For the first time, you see I can be as cold hearted and hot headed and poetically direct as you. You realize that we’re not so different. You realize that getting to know me might have been worthwhile. You understand that you should have come in.
You stand on the front porch of my heart, failing to realize, in all of your genius, that the invitations have stopped. The door has closed. The lock has been turned, and it’s already too late to tell me of your new brilliant discovery. It’s already too late for that to be enough.