fortune cookies

By: Amanda Pendley

Sometimes I go through days where I will buy a whole bag of fortune cookies from the Panda Express drive-thru 
and eat them all in one sitting, just so that someone can tell me something good. 

I know how to calm myself down.
My compulsions are often drowned out by sound
so the snap of breaking them open is much more productive than breaking bones or mirrors or hearts.

It may not be as satisfying as my need to throw a bowling ball at everything that wills to hurt me and hear it crash, 
but it is better than burying myself in the broken glass.
Most of my life consists of teaching myself to convert my rage into something manageable 
so that I don’t end up breaking myself again. 
And there is something to be said about the fact that I follow through with it.

I snap to count time when I feel panicked.
I use my typewriter to distract me from the screaming behind the door.
I hoard bubble-wrap to calm down my ticks.
I prefer shoes with a chunky heel so that I can focus on the noise when I walk.
I have learned to adapt, and that is proof
that I care about myself enough not to break my skin open, not to start the scratching, the peeling, the analyzation, not to turn myself inside out in attempt to understand: the thought that it’s not worth it to fall apart every time I feel like breaking something drastic.

So I break fortune cookies so that I can have someone tell me something good.
And it almost starts to feel like a conversation.
They read “good fortune lies ahead,” and I hope it does.
I hope I become rich in all of the things that make me feel.
 “Your warmth radiates upon those around you,” and I am learning to believe it.
I am learning to accept that I am worthy of love and light.
And it is a start. 
I should not equate my state of mind to a manufactured message in the folds of a fortune cookie, 
but it is a start.

I will start to write my own manifestations and turn my words into predestinations, and I will tell myself something good.
And continue to break open my bad moods and only remember the feeling as a nutshell of what I used to be, and will
inevitably be again. 
And my fortunes may come true, or they may not, but regardless I will still be here to write and fulfill them.
To hurt and to heal, 
to breakdown and sew myself together with a new needle to puncture through skin, 
to pierce the preconception,
and to finally get through to me that I made the right decision to destroy things other than myself.