Advice to a Stranger

Dear stranger, 

    It’s nice to have shampoo that smells like fruit. 

            If you must, you may stab yourself in the heart 
            If only to let a few of the contents drain out. 

    You should wear more jewelry. 

    Go to the gym to watch your favorite TV show. 

        One day you will find yourself 
        On the floor searching through 
        What spilled from your heart. 

    Sometimes all you need is a shower. 

    Glasses are cooler than contacts. 

        When you do find yourself on the floor, 
        Stand up and dust off your knees. 

    Drink a mug of tea every morning. 

    Never be on time. 
        Stretch a little and look ahead, 
        Because what is before you is better, 
        What’s next to you is stronger, 
        What’s behind you will catch you when you fall. 

    Go somewhere you don’t speak the language, 
    Drink foreign words like a sharp wine. 

        You have nowhere to go, now, but up. 

    Apricot, I’ve found, is a good scent for hair.

Helen Armstrong is a junior Print Communications major. When she grows up she wants to be either Willow from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, or a writer, whichever comes first. She's currently brainstorming a gay book about the afterlife, and her dream is to write fiction that is a) entertaining, b) refreshing, and c) not heteronormative. She's editor in chief at and tweets a mix of weird stuff and political rants @helenkarmstrong.