I am not bitter, but I am cautious. Not an invitation; my happiness is a warning. I shall not gamble with my laughter, for the dice are always loaded, and the house always wins. I return with empty hands and an empty heart—defeated utterly only for the promise of more. When I get home now, I immediately close the door. I make up my mind for a life like this—bulwarked and protected—but something in me leaves the door ajar, almost for a hand to slide in to push it open. Even at my most careful, a tiny opening, a crack or two, lets you see within. We can paint over it as if putting on a disguise, but if there is hope in us, it shall leak and drip and make itself known. Hope does not know to hide. It only knows to open doors.
But what do I hope for in my furtive, almost cloaked manner? Beauty in all things. I leave the door open for beauty to arrive in all forms. I want to read words that take me by surprise and stab me in the gut, to read something beautiful enough that it kills something in me. I want to look at art, find a corner in my heart I did not know existed and be left alone to fend for myself until I find my way out. Music, pictures, and films should be so beautiful they decimate me from within. And love, I hope for love. I hope for a bolt of thunder hitting me point blank and somehow, magically, not killing me instantly or at all. I wait for a love that feels like a cloudburst in the middle of summer. You see, the very thing I protect myself from is the same thing I crave—a love so beautiful that all the flowers around me pale in comparison once again. True beauty exists to destroy you. It should make you shiver. We feared the skies before we worshipped them.
I tread cautiously, not so I am not crushed, but only so I can steer clear of banal beauty and lukewarm love. Beauty is a trial of courage, and hope is the oldest gamble; but some of us have the unique persistence to continue playing, to keep rolling. I should know; I am one of them. I want to experience beauty and passion. I have no interest in the tepid; I want to be scared out of my wits and let it all invade me. If nothing else, I want to die trying.