When I was eight years old, I was a ghost for Halloween.
But when I knocked on my neighbor’s door, she still noticed me and handed me a Snickers bar.
But you didn’t do the same.
You didn’t even notice my little black gloves to protect my hands from the cold night
Because maybe my hands were not the things that needed protection
Maybe I should have worried about my costume and its intentions
Because to you, I surely was a ghost
And to you, I surely was invisible.
It was okay for you to treat me as invisible for that one night
Because I might as well play the part
But what about after that night?
Did you forget that I’m not eight anymore?
Didn’t your iPhone calendar remind you that eight of my birthdays have passed since then?
Darn that forgetful technology, huh?
I heard the garage door’s familiar growl.
Your silver minivan crawled inside of its space as you stumbled out.
And I was waiting for you.
I sat at the dinner table
Tapping my cold fingers against the glass table
You walked past me as the wind of your movement brushed my hair against my cheek
I kept tapping my fingers
Thinking that maybe later
You may notice the new fingerprints on your prized glass table.
You threw your briefcase against the floor
As I watched the brown leather handle slip from your grasp.
A deep sigh released from your chest
As you pushed the hair away from your forehead.
Your phone rang
And you answered it almost immediately.
“Hello. Yes that would be great! I..”
Your conversation continued into an ongoing jumble of pointless words.
I started tapping my fingers again
Harder and harder each time
Until a slight tap turned into a large roar.
“For the love of God, someone stop that noise! Can’t you see that I’m busy?” you said.
I stopped tapping now knowing that you could hear me.
But then again
You meant so much to me
And yet to you
I was only a burden of loud sound.
So I’m sorry.
I’m sorry that I bothered you with my tapping.
I’m sorry that I chose to be a ghost for Halloween,
Because maybe that gave you the wrong idea.
I’m sorry that I’m never enough.
I’m sorry that my opinion is not as great as yours
Because you are the ocean and I am only a wave.
But I don’t want to be the ocean.
I don’t want to have to hold so much inside of me
Without seeping little bits of myself out.
I’m sorry that you are a message in a bottle
And for years I have been trying to open you up.
I’m sorry that I’m invisible.
But I can’t do it anymore.
I can’t be left unnoticed.
I wish that I could have collected
The amount of screams into my pillowcase
Or the gallons of tears fallen from my eyes
Or the hours I spent waiting to see your silver minivan pull into the garage
So then you could see that I was never invisible.
I’m sorry that I never had that “wow” factor to you
I’m sorry that I was never as shiny as your flask
I’m sorry that for every sip, you begin to lose who you are
And I’m sorry that for every sip, you begin to forget who I am.
I’m sorry that my words don’t taste as good as the chill of vodka as it slides down your throat.
I’m sorry that I can’t be enough for you
But that isn’t an excuse to forget my existence
I’m not a ghost anymore and I don’t know how much alcohol you have consumed to forget that fact
I’m sorry that when I was eight years old, I wore a ghost costume
Because never should I have given you the wrong idea.