i collect them, like i would marbles. i pile them on my dresser. they roll onto one side, in a puddle. i like to look at them once in a while-run them through my fingers, feel their smoothness, see them shine. the red marble is for when i am feeling mad. the blue one to make me calm. the psychedelic purple and yellow one sends me into a fit of violent giggles because i remember the carnival game we played when i won it.

which is your favorite, they ask. but i can't decide. i like them all. i like to keep them all, just in case i get in a mood. the best is when i forget one exists and then i find it on the floor, dug deep into my tan carpet, peeking its shiny head a me, grinning as if to say, you dummy i was here all along. i'm yours. pick me up and twirl me around in your hand. it says, i want you.

and i tell it, oh, i want you too, i do. but it slips through my fingers and i see the other marbles, which are just as pretty in their own lovely way. oh sometimes i think i'm obsessed. i grab them all and see how many i can hold in the palm of my hand. i wrap my fingers around them and feel them sliding out. one at a time. be kind.

i need to be kind to the marbles, but they are mine. they are my toys, and sometimes i like to play them. oh that was unintentional. i like to play with them. but play them, yes i do that too.

it's not always nice, i know that. but do i have to be so damn nice, jesus. can i for once be the one in charge who does whatever the hell she wants with no regard whatsoever for anyone else? thank you. i deserve that.

so i play with them. i hoard them. all of them. because i can.

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