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If You Were A Tasmanian Devil photo

Today is your birthday and somewhere in this country you are turning 33 and somewhere in my heart I am changing my mind about you. You’re not the scary heartthrob behemoth you once were. My skin cells that once knew your skin cells are at least twice removed and regenerated and the ones I have now hold my husband as we talk in bed every night. You are no longer a liability to my future.

Tonight I was listening to a podcast while I brushed my teeth and I learned that Tasmanian devils (yes they are real animals) give birth to about 40 babies at a time but they only have four teats and so what that means is that the first four babies that make it to those four teats are the only ones that survive and do you know what happens next? The rest, the ones that couldn’t make it to a teat, are eaten by their mother, that’s what.

After we broke up for the last time, and there were plenty of times before the last time, I slept with three different guys in quick succession trying to rid my body of its memory of you and you eventually made a disgrace all around town, your mug shot showing up in newspapers because you were robbing local pizza shops so you could pay for the drugs that you’d gotten your new girlfriend (my best friend, but that’s another story, as they say) hooked on. You went to prison, and years later, I heard about how you were a snitch and agreed to some deal where if you implicated other people, you’d serve less time, and honestly that sounded just like you, always manipulating the situation in your favor, always twisting and turning for your own gain, like wisteria around a tree trunk.

Tomorrow I’ll wake up and I’ll stretch and meditate and do my goddamn writing practice (remember how you used to insist on reading every word of my journals? what a missed red flag) and I’ll kiss my husband and we’ll marvel together at the window about the charming cloudy weather, the romantic gray skies and we’ll crack stupid jokes and keep each other warm and awake and motivated and if I even think of you at all, I’ll think about how if you were a Tasmanian devil your mom would have definitely eaten you.


image: Dorothy Chan