We go lightly into dark with the voracity of hospital patients etherized on tables. How often I've wanted to scream boldly into the night's light, to honor and repent the bright layers of ivory with music, to say "I'm here, I'm awake, you may devour me." We scrape by(more) like urchins swept by the tide of boredom and necessity. (less)
"Eek!" Jane squeals, leaping onto the maroon couch that squeaks under her weight. She drops her iPhone, which bounces on the carpet twice.
Carson looks up lazily from the bed, his fingers lightly grasping a blue ballpoint pen, an open textbook on his lap. "What is it?"
"Spit(more) it out."
"Spider!" she splutters. "A big brown one!" she points down at the ground, and her breaths shorten into gaspy, desperate wheezes.
Carson rises from his nest on the bed and grabs his textbook, begrudgingly stepping over to her. Lo and behold, on the ground, in the shadow of the coffee table, a spider the size of a cream puff, its long, spindly legs creeping across the ground. He raises his textbook in the air, then slams it down, flat on it with a loud THUMP on the rug.
"Oh, don't kill it!" Jane protests. She's settled on the couch, almost trying to sink into the cushions, her trembling fingers holding a pillow.
He inspects the back of his textbook and frowns to himself. "Too late. It's pretty dead."(less)
Stop with the video games. Where are they getting you? Do the journalling that you've always wanted to do. Write every day. If something takes less than 2 minutes, do it now. Time is the most precious nonrenewable resource that we have. It may not be regained, but putting(more) an end now to things that you've had a habit of doing your entire life is in essence regaining time that you would have lost in the future. So don't look back in sorrow, don't focus on the regret, just get angry enough at the time that you will potentially waste in the future to put an end to all of the bullshit that doesn't serve you now. Do something today that future you will thank you for. Plan for the future, now, by making one small change in your life that will echo throughout eternity. Nobody says you have to reinvent yourself all at once, but surely you can see one pattern that's haunted you, maybe that haunts you as you read, or as you write, that you're dying inside to change. Well, die to it. Die to the nonsense and be resurrected into a fuller expression of Youness. Future-you is waiting for you to regain all of that time you've lost by making one positive choice today. Don't be Sisyphus who rolls the stone up the hill every day to watch it roll back down at night. Roll that puppy over the top of the hill and watch it tumble down through the neighboring cities, where future generations will say, "See that line? That's where one person decided not to repeat their standard way of living ever again." The world will be changed, and you will be the one who was responsible for that change. Regain lost time now.(less)
There is no regaining lost time. You can try, like Proust, but your efforts will only bring forth a memorial of some kind, made of words, of pictures, of thoughts. Sands through the hourglass are gone, gone, gone. You can't step into the same river twice. And so on.
But, thanks(more) to the discovery of a certain natural phenomenon and the construction of a machine to exploit it, I have breached the walls that keep the past shut off from us.
It's the summer of 1984 again, and I've driven six hours to a boy's camp in North Carolina for the chance to see my eleven year old self enjoying one of the finest days of his life. On this day, if memory serves and sometimes it fails to, I have won an archery contest by planting three arrows dead center. They rewarded me with a jackknife big enough to gut a bear. I lost it, somehow, during a move years later. I wanted to hold it again, this symbol of my youth.
Over the phone I told the camp director that I was the boy's great Uncle, and that I wanted to have lunch with him. That I hadn't met him before seemed not to matter, people being more trusting then, and the director said that would be fine.
When I parked in the visitor's lot around noon, I heard the old bell ringing for lunch. I walked the gravel path to the dining hall very slowly, amazed at how much 1984 felt and looked just like, well, now.
I opened the screen door and walked inside, and a hundred and fifty boys turned to look at the stranger. I paused, looking at the floor briefly before mustering the courage to find myself in the crowd.
Memories of melodies. Of that shitty Taylor Swift song that played ad nausea on the hospital radio stations tuned to DJ's that sound more hungover than enthusiastic. The schizophrenic shaking his head side to side on each line. The patient who lived three lives singing off-tune and kilter to(more) lyrics she frequently forgot.
And there I sat, only a year ago now, scared out of my wits trying to lose myself in a study of Urban China huddled up in scrubs not quite my size. For all intents and purposes *I* looked the crazy one. I'd be lying if I said I didn't think about it every night before I fell asleep, if I didn't think about that same schizophrenic being pulled screaming by his arms and legs so he'd just stop fucking hurting himself for one minute.
Here I am a year later. Button down shirts, smile on my face, grew out a small goatee but I'm not sold on how I look with it yet. Published twice online, graduated with a bachelor's on time. No idea what the fuck I'm doing really, but do any of us?
I still worry about what I put people through, though it seems like most everyone either doesn't think about it or now it's so far away it ceased to matter. They're still far away too, but we're fixing that one month at a time. I think I'll head back this summer to stay. Maybe I can afford it, maybe I can't. Won't know until I just do it.
For now I'm just sitting back in my office pretending to look busy, fidgeting with my beard to decide if I like the coarseness of it, thinking about the gymnastics coach I have a date with Friday. A gymnastics coach. Imagine that. (less)
Compound interest. Uh-hmmm. I'm heartsick. The couple next to me discusses fees associated with early withdrawal. I'm trying to remember the melody, with no luck. Mom's going to India on Friday. They won't shut up, those two, about f(more)ees and penalties. I don't know what they're talking about. No, cancel that: I don't care.
The term the author used was "flatline" and applied to the way the sun appeared in the sky. NASDAQ.
Let me declare and reconcile my intentions with my principles before I face my opponent tomorrow at dawn. Red shield, Rothschild. IRA.
Fuck this shit. Chase Manhatten. Salmon chase.
I can't write today, distracted by the sound of overheard conversations and piped in music. Everything distracts me, though nothing is particularly interesting. This guy drones on about elementary principles of project management, methodologies of approach. He won't shut the fuck up. He looks Indian, American not Subcontinental. He sounds very earnest and uses his hands a lot as he talks to the blonde woman next to him, who says uh-hmmm. Talk like this fills me with despair, mostly because I don't understand it and so I feel like a drowning man when I hear it. Why is it so incomprehensible?
I've got the song at the tip of my tongue now. Don't you get tired of just doing shit? Mountains with snow. Great talking to you. They depart from each other. The Obijwa pick up stakes to move further west, away from the white man. A woman is sitting outside on her phone, her back pressed against the window glass. The cutout in her dress reveals a small area of skin on which I see a small mole. The temperature is 34 degrees,(less)
why do we open up so easy? i'm not accustomed to this level of honesty. it instills a warm feeling to know the truth all the time. but then, some truths bring pain and sadness. trust builds and breaks with ongoing honesty. it builds stronger, breaks harder.
(more) i want to know everything about you and your life and i'm scared you won't like what you see within mine. (less)
i was standing on the corner of main street and hawthorne when harrison reed's truck pulled up to the gas station, red paint peeling in the dim flatline of october's four o'clock sun and there, in the palm of his hand, was an open bottle(more) of beer that felt more like a slap in the face than anything.
"he doesn't drink anymore," patrick had said. "he stopped drinking three years ago."
harrison stopped drinking when his wife died. he started again when it was his daughter.
The last thing I remember is that shape in the alley. I'd finished my routine and I was having a cigarette outside by the exit. I was exhaling these big fat snowclouds for Margy's amusement, and just stamping my feet on the pavement, it was so fucking cold. She fini(more)shes her cigarette and goes back inside. I finish mine and wonder if I still had my toothbrush in the car. I almost started walking to it, then I thought I might have one in my locker. Toothbrushes. That's what I was thinking about when what that big pile of trash across the alley stood up just like a man and walked toward me. I froze.
When I woke up, I was on the ground, and I thought I must be drunk and that I pissed myself. But It was just some shizz water on the pavement that soaked through my dress. My head hurt bad, and that's when I realized I got clobbered. I could feel the lump above my ear. I probably need stitches but I can cover it up with a wig for now. That sonofabitch hit me. I didn't see him do it, but he knocked me out all right. I swear the guy was in some kind of costume made out of garbage bags and rags and pieces of crap, like those suits that hunters wear made out of fake leaves and branches. Only his was garbage.
I hope you guys find this creep cause I can really see this turning into some real horror movie shit. The guy was huge, six five, easy. I used to date a guy that tall, and this weirdo was every bit of that, maybe taller. Jesus, he could have killed me right there. Can I smoke in here?
"i'd like to hangout sometime," he says.
"do you want to hangout right now?!"
"hey, if it's too soon we can hang some other time."
"16 candles is on demand if that's any incentive."
"see ya soon!"
we watch 80s and 90s tv til 5 am.
"er, do you want to sleep on the couch or?"
"uhm, it's up to you. i don't mind either way."
"i'm gonna brush my teeth," he says.
"i should too. i, uh, carry this with me when i travel. oral hygiene and all that!"
i'd packed a toothbrush because I knew.
we stood in his dirty bathroom and brushed our teeth side by side.
the laughter rung out as we made eye contact.
"it just occurred to me how strange this is."
"i'm not even thinking about it," i said, spitting a tiny bit into his scummy sink.
he left the bathroom and i spit out the remaining gob of toothpaste.
i went into his room and made him look away when i changed into his pajamas. how old were we?
he kissed me with a soft urgency and kept asking me if he tasted like smokes. (less)
we got rained out in the winter. my skin thanked the warm, moist air and the tickling sun after rain shining through the glass.
pieces of stuff and things lay strewn around my room, dusty. why did I need all this stuff? no one can give any of this(more) shit meaning except for me. I should throw it all out. the dead can't appreciate the collection of this stuff. the future generations of me will less than appreciate it. I'm throwing it all out and replacing it with warn, moist air and tickling sunshine.(less)
When Hana opens the door, she's not expecting Terushima, who has a hood pulled over his head and his hands jammed in the pockets. He hasn't noticed her, and he's still sniffling.
His head flips up and his eyes widen. "Wh-you live here?"
"Wrong...wrong house. Sorry.(more)" He turns, but she grabs his wrist and pulls him into the house. "What's wrong?"
"Nothing!" he yelps back, sounding far too serious to make her feel easy. "Take that off," she demands, pointing at first his jacket and then his shoes. "Those, too. Socks."
"You'll get sick like that. And I'm still your manager."
Terushima nods dumbly, pulling off the hoodie and the shoes and socks. He's beginning to shiver, and Hana takes the clothes from him and puts them in the dryer before running to her room.
When she comes back, Terushima is standing where she'd left him, though he's looking around now. "Here." She gives him both a towel and the clothes. "Bathroom's down the hall."
When Terushima steps out, hoodie fitting him nicely but shorts just a little too small, he bows. "I'm sorry. I...home troubles."
Hana shakes her head. "Are you hungry?"
Terushima eats the leftovers with no complaint. In fact, he eats without saying a word. "Where are you going after this?"
"You can't," Hana says firmly. He looks up, ready to bite back a retort. "Look at how hard it's raining. Just stay here."
After she explains to her father, she and Terushima watch television on the couch. He's laid down beside her, curled underneath a heated blanket and breathing deeply in his sleep. Hana reaches down, fingers scratching at the soft undercut of his hair. Terushima grumbles something in his sleep and leans into the touch. Hana smiles. "It's okay."(less)
he wasn't ready for me. he met me at the cliff where reason eroded and dreams flew high. we rejoiced in sacred evenings crowded around a computer screen or gathered around a dying tealight at the dive by his house. i'd order a beer, he'd order a beer. i'd(more) swallow a drop and pass it off to him. i didn't need more beer.
escape artists. hiding away in pain but bringing it out in one another.
now my brow won't un-furrow. my hair feels like greasy rags. he's not ready for me.
"sometimes i don't want poetry," he said.
"i can't think in prose. there's a film over my brain again," my head.
"you're making me fall for you again. you're so beautiful, so strange, so lovely."
romance is short-lived. love is the answer. (less)
Comfortable at home, unwillingly
Though the clouds commune outside -
though the rain seems an oppressor in stilettos,
my desire is to caress danger and lick the verdant newness of
A blank slate
the will of the boyfriend
to stay warm
c(more)omfortable at home