The Red Balloon

I could keep running, running running ruining… ruining? Trust me, I could learn to stand still and be a wife and mother. I could learn to run standing still in an executive suite. I could carve grooves with my chair into a hardwood floor (all the good apartments in San Francisco have them you know) and I would feel like I found my groove too.


I could come home to you.

Were we ever even over our…

What was it?


The problem is, the truth rather, the truth is: we are not my parents. This is not a love story, I’m not the “one who got away”, you are never going to let me in, so there isn’t any point in writing me a letter on your rickety old typewriter.

I left laughing, but I forgot about the anchor around my ankle. You only left me a month’s worth of rope, enough so I could get far away, too little to not feel it when you tugged. We were never ever over our other. You tugged and I fell. You tugged and I felt. I flew half-way across the world and you held on because you have only loved a few people and I was one of them.

You can’t call me “the one who got away” because you’re still holding on really tightly to the possibility that things will be different in the future. You’re holding on to me like I’m a balloon, but we both know I’m just one in your balloon bouquet. We both know that every time one breaks free you watch it fly away with remorse, and you grip the remaining few more tightly. There will be a day when only one is left, and you will be too stubborn to pull it closer to you, and too afraid to let it go. I’d rather be tied to a child’s wrist than float above your head as you refuse to look up. I’d rather be stared at in wonder by that child who sees itself reflected in me. I told you I could stand still and be a wife and mother, just not yours.

Trust me, I know you a lot better than you think. We could both keep running, running running ruining. We could run so far and so fast that we’d smack straight into each other, that’s how far we’d go. So far that we’d run smack into each other.

But I never want to see you again.

So maybe you should stay still.

I’ll stay still too.

I’d like my anchor back now. I made it you know, out of fragments of my frustration all melded together in the heat of the moment. I carried that weight for a while, it was heavy. I thought I was free of it when I flew away. I didn’t realize I just left it with you. I’d like it back now please.

Actually, you keep it.

I think I’ll just cut myself free. I won’t run this time, you can trust me. I think I’ll just drift away like the other balloons. Hold on to someone else now. Write someone else letters on your rickety typewriter. Become their parents. I am not yours to hold.


One thought on “The Red Balloon

  1. Pingback: To publish or not to publish? « Getting Organized

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