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In high school,
I spent my weekends curled in a corner at
Cedars Sinai answering crisis phone calls at TEEN LINE
where kids, my own age,
would carefully hand over their
problems to me via telephone wire

In 3 years,
I was able to forge temporary relationships
with every person who called
Each one was their own wavering tower of cards
standing tall- all fragile and
easy to topple over at any gust of uncertainty

I became an unqualified love guru for
more relationships than I could count
I could rattle off Planned Parenthood and 12 step services
like they were a part of the dollar menu at McDonalds,
DCFS and their excuses were the source
of rage clenched in my fists,
and whenever someone would tell me
they wanted to kill themselves
I’d ask where was the part of them
that so desperately wanted to live
since they were the ones who
decided to call me

I became a wishing well of listening
Callers would throw their penny sorrows into my ears
and I never considered myself a magician
but I would always hope some of the pain
knotted in the pits of their stomach
had disappeared by the time the line clicked silent

That maybe they would realize growing up
is a fire we could easily let consume us -
the flames always licking at our ankles
I often times prayed my voice could be
the orchestra that allowed them to dance
in the ashes of their mistakes and
give them the bravery to rebuild

My classmates would ask
why I gave 1,000 hours of my time
without getting paid in return
I would tell them that in this life
I never want the value of my time
to be measured by money

My mother hated never seeing me come weekends
She would claim I was always more giving
than I should be with people who
could never return the favor
She’d say that I’d been screwed over
from loving people too deeply more times
than she could count on her two hands
I would say to her:
but I’ve saved more lives than I could count on my two hands

I have and will always be
merely a lighthouse beckoning
lost boats to find their way to shore
This is the reason my ribcage
chooses to expand with every inhale
And if giving that kind of loving is
what will destroy me
Then at least I will have died
from something made of pure honesty
At least I could leave this world
knowing the sky will see over 20 other kids
and their smiles make it to Monday morning

People always wonder what I took
away from the nights I cradled life,
and death in my hands
They treat me as if I was some sort
savior sometimes
But I just tell them
There is nothing that special in what I did
Too many people I know
pride themselves in how little
they choose to care
and I just happened to always
want to offer myself like Sunday communion
to anyone in need

But if I would have to choose one thing,
it would be that I realized my sole purpose
in this life is to embody nothing but
a quiet revolution of light
so that all the darkness in this world
would have to swallow me at the end of my days
and there would be none of it left

TEEN LINE- K. Wagner (via th3gr0wnupchild)
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