When Maureen comes to visit, she doesn't knock, she bursts through the doors making her presence known. Her clothes are always bright, her hair and makeup perfect. She comes it and immediately you can feel her, she's warm, confident, beautiful, full of life, happy. So happy it makes you forget that there was ever any sadness. She radiates sunshine, flowers, and every happy memory you have. She is the first warm spring day after a long hard winter. She comes through the house opening all the curtains, to let the light in. She says in the sweetest way that the house needs some fresh air. When she paints she uses the brightest most vivid colors. When she is here, we eat. We eat so much we forget that hunger even exists. When she is here all of our work is done, our house is in pristine condition, our homework done well, not late, not half assed. Effort, time and the desire to do it all is there. Friends visit more, we go out more, we enjoy our days and we laugh until tears are running down our cheeks. We are better friends, better lovers, better sisters, we are just better people when she is here. Sometimes Maureen talks too fast, she says it's like her thoughts are bees searching the give for the queen and can't get them out fast enough. She laughs and changes thoughts again. Maureen doesn't like rules, Maureen doesn't like to listen, follow directions. Maureen says rules are meant to be broken, Maureen says taking our own path is better than following others. Maureen says it's okay to do bad things sometimes. Otherwise we waste our forgiveness. Maureen takes on a lot, and always wants more to do. Maureen talks to men who are emotionally unavailable because she believes she is the exception to all the rules and to all men. And besides, who doesn't like a little one night fun. Maureen makes life fun and exciting again.
But she can't stay forever.
We know when it's tome for her to go. She starts to snap at us when we say hello. She becomes irritated over the smallest things and has a hard time not yelling or fighting. Maureen says it's time for her to go, because it's time for Lucia to come.
I hate when Lucia comes.
Lucia opens the door to the house, says we take up too much space. Asks when we got so fat, when we got so ugly.
Lucia shuts the curtains and windows and says we shouldn't let people in.
Lucia doesn't eat.
Lucia lays in bed for days. Not sleeping, but staring into the ceiling as though it has all the answers.
Lucia doesn't shower, brush her teeth. Lucia wears outfits so baggy it's hard to tell there is a person under there.
Lucia ignores everyone. The messages on our phone go unread or simply ignored.
Lucia says it's better to be alone than to get hurt yet again.
Lucia flips through photo albums of events and memories none of us want to remember.
Lucia says men only use us and if it wasn't for Maureen, no man would ever look at us.
Lucia is everything that Maureen is not.
Lucia knows pain. Lucia cries all day everyday over every thing.
Lucia lets the pain overcome her until she can no longer cry, can no longer feel. Lucia sucks all evidence that Maureen or any kind of happy has ever been in this house.
Lucia lies and says this house is disgusting, Lucia won't work, Lucia says that work doesn't matter because we all die anyway.
Lucia is in a relationship with death. One that she will never fully commit to, nor one that she can walk away from. Lucia says life is better without us. I just think life is better without her.
Lucia always stays longer than Maureen. Each visit from Lucia makes me hate her even more. Each visit makes me long for Maureen. Each time I know she is coming I fight for her to leave. I lock the doors, close the windows, change the locks, yet somehow Lucia always finds her way in. She will stop at nothing. She will break windows, pick locks, she will do whatever it takes to come back. And as much as I beg, plead, pray, and cry for her never to come back she laughs and says I will always come back. Lucia and Maureen can never be in the house at the same time, no house could handle them both at once.
Lucia and Maureen take up space in my life that I never had to begin with. They weasled their way in and have become apart of this house I call my mind. They are the ugly furniture your family passed down to you that you just can’t part with. Lucia and Maureen are my depression and my mania. This is what it’s like to live in a house with both of them.
But lately more often than not I don’t see them anymore. Except for brief glimpses in the reflection of the mirror because as much as I wish they didn’t exist, they too are apart of me. I am now in control of the house, left to clean up their messes and to decorate how I wish to. To live as Ashlee.