you can't buy happiness, but you can buy tea, and thats kind of the same thing. i've been told that i have a knot inside my chest,
like those of the inside of a tree truck, eternally circling and looping. thats kind of how it feels, heavy and unstoppable.
if i have a tree inside me, then maybe that could explain the shaking, its just the westerly winter winds blowing and
making my far too fragile limbs bend but never break. i soak the tea leaves into the roots that are deep within my
fleshy heart and hope the capillaries will carry to wherever the aches are most ingrained and unnatural.
mother told me three winters ago that she could read the leaves and tell me how my skin was going to grow
and how my head was going to think six summers from now. she told me that my precious head was ever tired
over nothing and my chests storm will ease after one final hurricane, that despite its best efforts will
not destroy me, simply leave my skin a little tougher and my muscles stronger and less susceptible to
quivering and breaking down in the middle of shopping malls or school hallways.
its only just flowers and water and some hot warming steam that can soak into your lungs and ease the burning of blood
that is far too heavy to be flowing through such delicate veins. they are all over your body and i wonder how they
haven't collapsed like the rest of me. all split and left my skin even paler and number than it already is.
there is a language in the spaces between sips and swallows that is all sighs and cupping of mugs tighter trying
to warm all of the skin and bones and muscles that are tangled and aching and colder than i can even begin to describe.
but after a few years i learned that mother was right. the tea had settled after a thousand cups and it filled that gap
that was inside my chest that was just resting, not expanding, but not lessening either. it just sat there letting everything
in and adding to the great big tangle inside my chest, that i sometimes feared had replaced my heart.
the warmth trickled through bones caves and pooled in the valleys, smoothing down the rough edges and
extinguishing all the flames. leaving my insides warm and cool and full of something other than a sickness
or a heaviness that left me doubled over and shaking from the inside out for so many nights that i swore
would break me in half and leave me for dead.
the oceans are mixed with oolong and subsided or rose and been whisked away with the steam and have left
my lungs light and easier to breathe again. the storm did pass, and my fingers are sore and my chest is still
tight from the shallow breathing for so long and my bones are weak and not able to carry my full weight yet,
but i can crawl.
she was so right. you can't buy happiness but you can buy tea, and that really is a kind of happiness.