Say this, Okay?

During each finale of Rupaul’s Drag Race, the contestants are faced with the daring question “What would you say to your childhood self?” Here is my version of that.

You belong to yourself. Like the beads of chalk that mark up your rough asphalt, you’re way more. And your weight is supplementary. You’re seventy-five percent pediasure and mourned love. Those leaky eyes don’t create perennial farewells, they’ll be your flotation device someday. And those that tread on water don’t always get in the way. Bathing won’t kill you. But if you lather yourself in words that deprave you, you’ll wrinkle up in hate. The dried up tar on your skin is called your complexion. It’s also infectious but it is never a fetish for white men. Don’t feed from a hand you can’t recognize. Good food is a sparse indulgence and people can’t sympathize for a calamity they don’t know of. Speak up. You charge your lungs with hidden words and read books to forget the worst in you. One day those books will be written by you. And you’ll read them out loud. Your mother won’t last long, so don’t think you’re too old to sleep in the same bed as mommy. Lay there and tell her sickness to vanish like the memories you won’t recall. Do it all right now, so she can tell you she’s proud of you - right now. Drift off into the storybook version of who you want to be and live in your own setting. Go outside and play pretend with the boundless beauty that transmits into your surroundings. Build a mountain with it. And lounge at the very peak.

Jade Brown