Monologue written from the perspective of Adi,a character in a novel I'm working on.
I'm not shy. Everyone thinks I'm shy, but I'm not. I'm just quiet, I think a lot. But I'm not sure people see that. I want them to see me as this quiet person worth getting to know, worth drawing out. You know, like I'm butterfly in a cocoon and if you just have some patience, I'll emerge. Gosh, that sounds stupid. I was trying to sound literary and stuff, but that never works. You're the writer, not me.
You always say that everyone is an artist. I don't really think that's true but I'd like to think that. It would be nice if people look at me, me who doesn't say much and just assume I'm deep in artsy brilliant thoughts. I bet Van Gogh didn't talk much either. He spent a lot of his time in his room, too. And then think of Michelangelo, he spent years painting way up high in that Sistine Chapel. He probably wasn't social either. Maybe I'm like that, maybe I just need a lot of time alone so that I can get to my masterpieces. I guess it's wishful thinking, but it's sure nice to think maybe I can seem brilliant, or I don't know just special.
You know how I collect stuff? Like that bottle collection and all those random sticks? You call me a pack rat, but have you ever actually those sticks in my room? And then there's all the sea shells and sea glass I pick up. But none of it's sitting in my room. You once asked me about that. I didn't answer you. Well the truth is, well part of the truth is, I use it. I use it for art projects. It makes me feel like maybe I could be an artist. I know I'm not, but I could be.
I don't want to tell you what kind of art projects, it's a secret. That's another thing I collect, secrets. Remember when we used to share secrets, before I started collected, before I stopped sharing mine with you? But I guess I owe you at least one secret. I'll tell you one of mine but I can't show you it. I'll tell you what I use those things I collect for.
I'm building a village under my bed. I've been building it since I was 9. That's six years ago. I didn't even tell you about it back then. I've built little houses out of sticks and bark and broken tea cups, turned thimbles into buckets, glued moss to parts of the carpet. I make little yarn figures, place them on popsicle stick chairs. I even have twine hammocks hanging from the bed frame. There's a little pumpkin patch of orange marbles and fake plants. I've even painted the back of my wall with a sky of swirls and clouds and colors. My mom would kill me if she knew. I have a small clay gnome, you know I love gnomes. The village is my secret. No one has ever seen it.
I keep a lot of secrets. They make me feel safe, I don't know, maybe they give me power. I spend a lot of my time alone collecting them or building them. I don't bring you to the Spirt House with me because you wouldn't understand. You'd think I was snooping. I guess I am. But you snoop too, what do you think all your gossip is? I know you're going to judge me for this, but I guess I just like stories. And secrets are stories you know.
You'd be amazed what I've figured out. But I can't tell you. I just want you to know. Know that I have secrets. Then maybe I'll seem important. Maybe you will actually need me. I just want you to know I know things.
Because when people know you have secrets, they know you're important. And you know who have the most secrets? Artists. They steal them and they write them down. They don't just collect secrets, they paint them, they hide them in strokes and in the curves of sculptures. I want to do that. I want to be an artist. There I said it. I want to be an artist. Now, don't gloat.
But I don't know how. I know what you say, that everyone is an artist. But they're not. I'm not. I'm not an artist. Unless the village under my bed, the secrets I collect make me one. But it doesn't. It doesn't make me an artist. Because an artist has to be brilliant, to make beautiful things. Artists are people like you, people who can write amazing things and make people cry and still be elegant. That's what an artist is. And I'm not that. I'm just this quiet little girl with a head full of secrets. That's not an artist.