There was an errant spot of ice cream on the tiled kitchen floor from the prior week spent laughing and drinking cheap wine around the kitchen island.
They had sat on the floor passing a spoon back and forth, an ordinary couple with ordinary scars and ordinary hearts beating close together. She watched as he raised the spoon to his mouth and a small teardrop of creamy sugar landed between his legs. The wine made him goofy and he dared her to write a poem about this moment.
“Write about how good being drunk feels and how for some reason, the kitchen floor is made for drunk asses,” he slurred, aiming the spoon down his throat. “A sonnet to the kitchen floor.” They laughed and nearly choked on all the ice cream. Soon they laid their heads on the tile, staring across at each other, the drip between them already drying.
“I like that you have tattoos because it proves you are tough. You’re artistic and driven and sexy and alive,” he breathed across to her, letting the words settle onto her collar bone.
“Stop it,” she said, picking the words off and sprinkling them back across his chest. He caught her wrist and held it tight against his neck.
“You are. And you always show the world exactly what’s inside. There’s nothing hidden with you. You’re point blank, bulletproof, made of eyeliner and rose petals.” He paused and his sleepy-drunk eyes were half smiling as he tried to pull her back into focus. “What do you want to do for your birthday next week? Have any plans in mind?”
She hadn’t planned at all; she knew where she would end up. That next week, she watched her black tears land on the ice cream drop and wake the moisture in it back up. The sobbing couldn’t stop, no matter if she scrunched her eyes shut, if she opened them wider and let the air snuff it out, if she tried to think of better moments on the kitchen floor.
But now, two hours into twenty three, already feeling the hangover pressing against the base of her spine, she spread herself alone against the cruel, cool, tile. She’s so afraid of being alone, so afraid of being called a fraud, so afraid of her hair dye and eyeliner flowing down the sink at the end of each night. She’s terrified her words will never help another sixteen year old girl who is thinking of ending it all just to have some damn peace. That everything that has hurt her and made her bleed from her kneecaps and her thighs and her nose are the only thing inside her. That every unkind word was right all along.
The kitchen floor is the best place for drunk people. It’s the perfect place for ice cream stains and for watching the delicious secrets of the world crumble around you like cookie dough with too much flour added. It’s the perfect place to pick yourself back up, tuck your own secrets away, and stumble into the bathtub.