Half Orange


Photo courtesy of Lopez.

Bek Lopez, Managing Editor

This previously ran in our April 2022 print issue.

I’ve often tried to explain what writing is to me, and the words are lost. Ironic, I know, but there’s simply no word for the euphoria that shines through my fingertips as I type each letter. Writing is my language. I live and breathe the drying ink on a fresh piece of parchment. My whole world has narrowed down to the soft curves of letters. It’s as simple as that, I swear. 

I’ve always known I would be some sort of writer. It’s the only talent I’ve ever had in my life. I’m not super smart or athletic, I have no artistic skill, and I’m pretty sure I’m too shy for acting. I got categorized as shy as soon as I became anxious to ask to go to the bathroom. That’s the threshold right there. If you’re nervous to ask to go to the bathroom because you don’t want to inconvenience anybody, boy do I have news for you. Well, I don’t think I’m shy, but I also think it’s normal not to talk to people for months on end. I’m going to let you know right away that if you ask me to do something social, I will 100% be sick when the time comes. It’s nothing against you personally, I just hate social events. It’s taken me a long time to understand there’s nothing wrong with me, that’s it’s okay that some people have different comfort levels and hobbies. What can I say? I’ve still got much to learn. 

I don’t like a lot of noise either. Sometimes I can handle it, but most of the time it’s just overwhelming. You can always tell I’m overwhelmed when I stop talking. You’ll also notice that I talk more when I’m comfortable, and that’s why I don’t think I’m shy, because I’m always comfortable when I’m by myself. Silence is a blessing, too. I love a good quiet workspace. I love working and having a nice warm mug of tea in one hand. 

I yearn to be alone because I know my own limits; I know what makes me most comfortable. There is so much noise in daily life. You can’t go two seconds without hearing conversation, the sound of the radiator, cars on the road, or even the sounds of life. Sometimes life can be too much. 

Imagine the scene: here I am sitting at lunch, amidst a crowd of people whose voices overlap each other so it just makes noise– a bunch of muffled, distorted conversations. I’m shaking for who knows what reason, trying to force my lunch down because otherwise I’ll pass out in Spanish class. I don’t want to be here; I want to be home in my room, sitting on my bed and drinking warm tea.

I don’t want to be here. 

I have my music, which helps a little bit. It provides a barrier between me and the rest of the world– buffering the noise I can’t control with noise that I can. At times like this, I feel like I have no control. It’s scary, not having power over the noise, the utter chaos of the world. It’s hard to learn to dance in the rain when each droplet of water sparks lightning across your skin. It’s okay, though. It’s fine. I can endure the storm until later. I can endure until I get home to my warm bed with my tea. I made a promise to myself that I would never just endure, that I would always live. It’s hard to live all the time, and rarely can a person go a week, let alone their whole life, without tripping. 

Today I tripped and I’m on the ground. The storm pours above me, and the water weighs me down. The lightning taunts me above and the thunder chants its triumph to the sky. Today I’m on the ground, my cheek pressed to the mud, and I know I can’t lay here forever. I have to get up eventually, but right now, it’s okay that I’m here at the bottom. Tomorrow I’ll be back on my feet and dancing in the rain like I never stopped. I can’t always be happy, I know that. I can’t control the storm, so why try to? I say let it rain, even if sometimes I slip. Let it rain, and I’ll dance in it tomorrow.