The Tin Man
… As if it taught me something great, when it only taught me that you break your own heart by listening to it all the time.
As if I can live under the shade of that dream forever.
I tell myself all the time, ‘I’m the tequila not the lime’. But I lie awake some nights to picture the world swirling when he said I want to see you at your worst now.
His boots as they beat the floor to flee.
I think a lot about not being as special as my first impression.
I think even more about all the best friends I let go of when the time came for me to open up and I couldn’t do it.
I’m the tin man and I never could do it.
I think a lot about the stories I would write someday and the fact that I’m scared of what would happen if you left me, like my words have.
And I think about all the hurt I could have avoided if I had just stood up to people in time.
Even the bravest ones are not brave enough for themselves.
When I was younger I always felt so trapped.
Like something inside me wanted release and now I think nothing can hold me.
There’s something so sad about freedom that comes as a consequence of standing in the empty with only you and the decisions you have made.
I feel like I’m haunting the yellow brick road.
I’m not going home.
I’m rethinking and rebuilding what I believed was home,
And now, now, now,
Without the brains, the heart and the courage for it.’ .
Note: The Tin Man was originally published in the 2018 Oziana issue under the name ‘The Brains, the Heart, the Courage and Home’ for the International Wizard of Oz Writing Competition.