it’s easy to pretend like this is
normal. like sobbing every night before bed
because of yet another argument
it’s easy because it’s our only ritual.
we take turns,
switch off being the “better person”
of erasing any feelings and listening to the other.
it’s become so easy that i no longer
remember whose turn it is. i erase
my anger every morning. shut down. i wonder
how long until you do too.
two cups of coffee.
and the other is getting cold.
getting to the end of an amazing thing
is such a bittersweet feeling
but for that, it is also my favorite one
because getting to the end
comes with accomplishment
it comes with the sadness of saying goodbye
and the hope of knowing you can revisit
because all endings are followed by beginnings
and with beginnings, come possibilities
when that love, book, friendship, series or song
with it, comes
farewells and hellos
when something amazing ends,
there's nothing stopping you from
saying 'see you again' rather than
and that is why it is my favorite feeling.
Cancer by MCR
I wish I could love this song. Unfortunately, almost every person in my family that has died has done so from cancer. My sister is the biggest My Chemical Romance fan I knew, and growing up we shared a room. Naturally, I hated their music just because she loved them. I would listen to The Black Parade over and over for years never taking it in. Just after my uncle died, my sister got the words “Bury me in all my favorite colors” tattooed on her arm. She told my parents it was from the My Chemical Romance song, “Cancer” and it was for our Uncle Kevin. He died from cancer. And years before he had took my sister to her first MCR concert and said that he liked this song the best. Again, this did not mean much to me. I never bothered listening to the song.
A few years later, Kevin’s mother--my grandmother--was dying of cancer. In a twist of fate, Cancer by MCR came on my playlist. The piano chords struck me immeidately and I was stunned into listening. I heard “bury me in all my favorite colors” and cried in the middle of the library. I texted my sister about this moment, and I can now listen to the song but only with overwhelming thoughts of family, those here and those not.
Although a lot of this is my sister’s story, I believe it was important to share, because it affects me too, and it is just another invisible thread that keeps us together.
A Little Bit of Materialism
I’m about to give you a generic sentence on what generates the greatest feeling ever, and bear with it because perhaps I can convince you that my argument has merit and we’ll both be a little happier today.
The best feeling is being right.
Go ahead and raise your hand and answer me a question true. I’m not writing this response to gratify you, to augment your vanity and pride in your very own mass of brain cells. I care more about being right in the moment. I’m pointing out that feeling when you play that song or read that one beautiful piece of rhetoric. I’m pointing out that realization that, damn, I made a good choice in clicking on this or buying that. I’m pointing out rapping all the lyrics of Kendrick Lamar’s DNA, hitting the final move to your spontaneous dance routine at home alone so hard you want to sign up for hip hop classes ASAP, and getting that one run at the end of Panic! At the Disco’s Saturday Night right.
I’m underscoring the importance of comments that say, “I loved that part” or “Your story absolutely kills me in the best way”, letting me know that I don’t need to worry about that chapter I wrote in the middle of the night that I was uncertain about. I’m directing your attention to the feeling of short but intense work paying off because guess what? That A+ shows you did something right in that 2AM black coffee-fueled final paper-writing extravaganza (not the procrastination part, though--that part was utterly wrong). I’m reminding you about that time you spent with your little brother discussing his math homework instead of watching music videos.
All these little random choices and events are the ones that are bring an instant smile to your face, without being the results of long periods of work. The reason they count as you “being right” is this instant smile--the physical proof of making the right decision or just having done something right.
It’s a little frustrating trying to explain because there are so many instances. So I’ll leave you with a request: do something right today. Scream along time your favorite song and hit that high note. Watch that new movie in your favorite trilogy that just came out that you’ve postponed watching because you’re stressed from work. Call your mother and tell her you love her food, or at least that you miss it.
Make yourself smile--that’s the right thing to do.
Used To Be
It's too simple to say "I miss the way things used to be." But it's also too true to not say it. I used to go on adventures. There was an old sewage tunnel that went underneath my high school. I used to love going down there with friends. I used to have a relationship where we tried doing new things all the time. I used to write a lot (now have recently started again, so here I am). I used to enjoy driving, accelerating, taking turns maybe a little too fast. I used to enjoy playing music. I used to enjoy conversations with people that I didn't know.
Things have now changed. I don't know if it is a fact of getting older, but all of these things are gone now. No more adventures. No more new experiences. No more writing (but trying to start again!). No more joy rides. No more music. No more interesting people.
What has changed, other than my age? Sometimes, the drive is still there. Sometimes it isn't. I feel that everything has become too career-focused in this world. I have many coworkers who do their job, and then go home and think about their job, whether that's why they can do better, how much time off they'll get, how much money they make. There are so many other things in the world to focus on.
I miss how easy it was to have these exciting experiences. I am starting to renew my excitement with writing, which I picked up again just today. Hopefully some of these other excitements will come back, and will lead me back to the fun that I used to have before I was worried about if my alarm was set.
Just a pencil
I always broke pencils when I was younger, there were plenty there and I used the broken halves all the time, or taped them back together, it never seemed like a big deal to me.
Then two days ago, in the midst of sleep deprivation and stress, my fingers smoothed over the cheap mechanical pencil rolling on my desk. It started with my hands slowly bending it in half, then the plastic beginning to crack. Releasing the pressure, it returned to normal, white lines spidering like webs over the once flawless blue barrel.
As quick as I could, I snapped it in half, the lead broke with the rest of the plastic casing that was supposed to act as a guard and handle for its user. Now on my desk sat the broken pencil, something that I just couldn’t put back together. First aid was required, masking tape replaced bandages, wound and wound around the broken body. The plastic was stuck feasibly together, crooked but staying together. I slotted new lead into the pencil, but it wouldn’t fit. Once something is broken, it never really works the same way again.
The plastic fell apart, the pressure too much. So it was with black ink and a heavy sigh that wrote out the words upon paper, instead of grey, friendly and familiar lead.
i wish i could wish like i did back then
we can't see the stars anymore.
not when it's clouded with smog and ash, and in the clear light of our phones there is more truth than hope.
mallacoota is so red, so dark, you can barely see the people hiding.
if you don't look, it's like they're not even there at all.
teen activists are discarded - they're just emotional, you know how young people get about things they're passionate about, it'll all blow over in a few months. the naysayers choose to ignore the panel of scientists standing behind them, sitting beside them - facts are inscrutable. and while ignorance and indifference are two different things, neither move our country forward.
dozens are dying, even just from the air alone. pray for rain, say the foreigners, not knowing that the land we stand on would rather commit climate suicide to rid herself of the pests that dredged through her skin and bones looking for more resources to sell. our higher powers would rather kill a country to make a profit than do what's right.
i'm no natural-born leader. but these are no natural-born catastrophes. so maybe man-made courage is what we need right now. to bring a starry sky back. so we can hope again.