A Bundle of Insecurities
I want to write but I don't know-
I don't know what to write about;
I don't know if it's good enough;
I don't know if it's worth your time.
I want to write but I can't think-
I can't think of how to start;
I can't think where to take this;
I can't think of the words that must follow.
I want to write but I'm afraid-
I'm afraid no one will like it;
I'm afraid I will be judged;
I'm afraid it won't make sense to anyone.
You ask me to write without a plan,
(Heaven knows that's all I can ever manage)
But boy do I sometimes wish that
I could have a plan.
We are on the journey to our destination. Sometimes I feel I should enjoy this journey. I feel I should allow the pain to be felt, relish my sore feet. Enjoy the tiredness. Wipe off tears and sweat. We are making memories. Every second is unique. We are complex beings and what makes every moment different is emotions. Our emotions are memories.
I associate my memories i.e. emotions to smell, books, songs, movies. I remember I used to listen to blah blah song when blah blah happened. I am a sponge, absorbing every bit of my surroundings. Surprisingly, I am listening to a song while writing this. It’s Heather- Conan Gray. On top of it, I hear my fan making weird sounds adding a special effect to the music.
The smell of lavender candles flowing in my room mixed with fresh ink into my new diary. The smell of paper! Sunlight shines upon my ink, glittering and enhancing the beauty of the surroundings. I haven’t edited this piece. It’s raw and written at a shot but yet I feel peace while writing this.
faded tones before the sunset
counted in lost pebbles
gliding over the surface of the lake
memories of stars, sunk deep
treasures meant just for us
and only for us to see
the pebble sinks, it’s a promise
a touch to embrace
marks of crossed paths
just murmurs in the still night
stolen moments of a life
that never was
and breathed a million times and more
she gazes at the ripples on the water
a hand outstretched
count my life lines
they are endless with you
Oh gosh, What do you want???
Everytime someone Rings your doorbell and asks to see you;
I guess that’s nice.
Someone is here to see me.
Wait...to see me?
Am I in trouble?
Are you mad at me?
What did I do now?
Do you have something to say?
You wanna talk?
You want to send me away?
Send me to hell?
Want to play?
Put me in Prison?
Are you here to punish me?
Here to hurt me?
Argue with me?
Take me somewhere?
Show me someone?
Or show me something?
Waste my time?
You want to go for a walk?
Joke with me?
Write with me?
Make fun of me?
Do you want to cut me???
Do you want to...
TO KILL ME?
WHO ARE YOU!?
AND WHY ARE YOU HERE????
Them: I...I just wanted to say hi...
Changed title: The sun set, and it was beautiful
Some angels don’t have wings. Some devils don’t have horns, and sometimes Camille tries to forget she gave up believing in things a long time ago. She likes probability and certainty. Positivity only exists on a number line, and the one thing plaguing her mind is not rom-coms or sleepovers but her marketability as a student. Every A+ is a blip on the radar compared to her master plan. Graduate a valedictorian with three years of dual enrollment courses under her belt, Rhode’s Scholarship at nineteen, master’s degree by twenty-three, find a job that summer. Find a job with a hefty paycheck and a strict schedule. Camille thrives on schedules and timed tests, and she’s perfected the art of not eating for three days to study for a quiz because food will always be there; a GPA is forever.
Permanent records are forever, that’s why they’re permanent. While her classmate’s impulsive older brother is convincing everyone to go smoke in the boy’s bathroom, Camille is reading Agatha Christie in French and forgetting what crying feels like. She gave up writing in seventh grade after winning six essay contests because she told herself all the best writers were either sad, drunk, undiscovered or all three, and that’s not what she wants to be. She’s got open tabs on her Chromebook laying out scholarship opprotunities and recommendation letters saved in her sock drawer and a black briefcase tumbling over itself, filled to the brim with awards, certificates, blue ribbons, community service hours, representing every night sleep evaded her, every textbook weighing her conscience down, every almost missed opportunity.
Her life is a plethora of missed opportunities, but nobody around her sees. Her teachers see excellence, her parents see a golden ticket, her peers see their curve breaking classmate with purple eye bags and no date to homecoming, but she doesn’t care; she just wants blue ink instead of red, chipped minty blue nail polish, and the constant fear of drowning.
Camille wakes up at five thirty every day, a routine she’s mastered since fifth grade. She worries about cosine and trigonometric functions, but she’s never questioned whether six hours of sleep is irregular.
“I like your shoes,” the girl diagonal from her compliments her blue Mary Janes, and Camille’s mind races. It stutters over itself at a rapid pace, questioning the ratio of received to given compliments, measuring the distance between the classmate and her own shoes, wonders if she just respond with a smile or a thank you, considers the former since class has started, and talking isn’t allowed.
She settles her pounding thoughts with a thin smile, reminiscent of the ones her mother shot her when she was younger, cheeks carving lips into daggers designed to destroy and eyes loosely pretending to care, “Thanks.”
It’s not that she means to be rude. No, not at all. It’s just that she has better things to do than entertain other people with mindless chatter. It’s just that she knows the other girl has a short attention span and will flutter from sparkly thing to pretty ponytail and back without registering either fully. It’s just that she knows nobody really cares about her shoes because they’re so enveloped in their own mediocrity to truly notice anyone else. It’s simply that Camille knows the other girl has made others melt into icicle-like tears with just a statement, and today it will not be her that falls victim to that kind of abuse. She really hates girls.
She used to talk too much, but now she keeps her statements to a minimum. Teachers prefer it that way, and she’s never really had anything worth saying out loud, so it never matters if she does or doesn’t speak. Besides, no one will remember if she makes a peep or not. Again, too self-centered and always revolving around their own mistakes and inadequacies to care.
There’s a rhythm to what she does, of course, like there is to everything. Receive material, take notes, absorb information, more notes, study once or twice before assessment, pass with flying colors, and remain blissfully aloof to the unwanted questions like “How’d you do it?” or “Will you tutor me next time?” The short answer is no, but the long answer requires significantly more explanation regarding her long and dreadful experience with coaching others, how it never really works out on her end because either they fail and blame her teachings or she throws herself into it for about two weeks until they ultimately quit, deeming themselves brighter than she, and never paying the agreed upon amount. Oh well.
Some angels don’t have wings. Some devils don’t have horns, and sometimes Alaska forgets she can be both at the same time. She believes in people. Optimism is her favorite word. Sunsets. Alaska likes sunsets more than she likes herself. Except anytime she grows to love something more than herself, it’s already disappeared. Maybe that’s why she likes them so much: they’ll always be there tomorrow. She also likes daisies, but they wilt come August, and the winter rain carries them away like paper dolls, reminding her of how fragile life is, how much we take it for granted, how sometimes we might not wake up tomorrow, gone with the winter rain...and maybe she doesn’t like daisies so much after all. Alaska likes sunsets so much she always contemplates staying alive just to see the next one. If it weren’t for sunsets, all she would have is the mural on Main Street to keep her blood pumping. It’s the mural she’s painting that keeps her going really, because she hates leaving things unfinished, especially conversations. That’s why, in third period, the blow-off history course that’s basically nap class to most, Camille starts talking again, and Alaska learns to love someone more than herself.
Coca-cola and capitalism, that’s the aesthetic, Alaska hums, sketching something new. It’s vague at first, maybe a six pack of glass Mexicaine Cola that’ll be a Coke float in the right hands. Maybe it’s a child’s sticky fingers, reaching for some morbid ghost of a dead mother. Maybe it’s Joseph Stalin himself, all gruff and straight off the thirtieth power point slide Mr G is showing at the front of the room, but that would make it obvious she’d been paying attention. “Enjoy Capitalism” she scrawls in her best penmanship at the bottom in blue fine-tipped Sharpie, a tad lopsided and an all around disaster, a middle finger to everyone who can actually make cursive look less like a chicken’s claw scratched a blackboard, recorded it, and turned it into a pdf file.
Anyway, the point is, Camille’s sitting in the second row today, not by choice. A new kid decided to test the waters and inadvertently took her unofficially assigned seat. She doesn’t fume or lividly demand her spot back: she’s too mature for that. Too good for that. Nothing gold can stay, Alaska ponders listlessly, mouthing movie quotes and tearing scraps of paper like daisy petals.
Camille’s shoulder blades poke through her white blouse like rose petals, Alaska hums, and soon capitalism is scratched out to become Camille, and the bottles become hands caressing young white rose buds. Alaska wants to peek up one last time to assure herself the perspective is correct before shading the final thorn but debates it because that would make it obvious she’d been paying attention.
Camille’s always read about people feeling a person’s gaze in their spines, but nobody’s ever stared at her, really, so she wouldn’t know. The way Alaska’s pencils curves reminds her of when she writes her own name. It also confuses her that the other student’s attention is not fixed on the projector’s slideshow but Camille’s back. She also notices Alaska’s jaw is tightened in concentration, nose pinched with focus, eyes dancing like The Sugar Plum Fairy, and if she hadn’t given up writing in seventh grade, she would dedicate her life to depicting her figure in metaphors. And all she really wants is to know how platinum blonde hair feels running through her own fingers. She finds it dificult to remember how much she hates girls.
The mural on Main Street has more definition now, a muse to call its own. Alaska has more things to live for, more days to look forward to instead of glancing back. Camille’s color coded sticky notes have hearts around the punctuation now. The mural has a halo. The faded red ladder Alaska borrowed from her uncle’s construction is slanted and leaning one day when Camille drives by. Any other street, any other specific spot, she would’ve gone right by, but this time, she stops. A magnetic force pulls her eyes straight to the blonde curling her ankles around a red ladder like a graceful leopard, a paintbrush in her nimble fingers and the faint outline of surprise gracing her features as the same magnetic force pulls her eyes to Camille.
Finally, Camille gets a view of the finished mural. Green trees swaying silently, captured beautifully. Red speckled amidst the waning yellow sun. It’s all bright orange and vivid pink dotting the lavender fields below, a white figure casting a dark shadow across the landscape. Gold encircles her tawny locks, glowing eyes widening just as Camille’s do when the semi-truck barrels into her. Her final glimpse of reality before she slips under is of fine letters, spelling her own name. She registers it in fragments like shattered pieces of a mirror, curved and swirly letters reminding her of chocolate vanilla mix ice cream. Her name is in bright red. Or maybe it’s stained in blood.
The wreckage avoids striking the painting, but just barely. Good thing too, then the winter storm would have destroyed everything Alaska loved, including Alaska. Well...it still swept her under the current too.
The only color missing from the painting is deep azure. Blue like Camille’s eyes, blue like the void Hades pushed Persephone down, that’s Camille’s favorite love story, blue like bedroom curtains and sorrow, blue like the deep abyss that both girls fell down and never, never crawled back out of.
Late-night musings about stars and people and things
I had this thought earlier while walking out under the brilliant night sky. From down here on our home planet, the stars and planets look like simple pinpricks of light up in a dark blank canvas, but of course that’s not what they really are. Fly a lot closer and we see that the stars look just a bit different from a closer vantage point. A lot bigger, vastly more detailed and utterly unique. But we would never know that if we had never created telescopes and space ships and crossed the void of space to satisfy our curiosity.
Are there deeper real-world parallels to that concept that I’m getting at? Well, yes. I guess you could just put that fact out there and leave it at that, but I’m kind of fond of drawing parallels and life lessons where possible. So here goes.
A lot of people look like faraway stars from a distance or at first glance. Not literally, of course. But they look beautiful or mysterious or maybe perfect or sparkly or maybe even boring and a lot of sameness. Not that stars are boring or all the same. But when you look at the sky for a while you start to notice that stars and planets basically appear the same: dots of light against the night sky. Nothing ordinary about them, but the thing that makes them especially unique and alluring is the patterns they are arranged in and the orbits they follow, rather than their individuality.
So maybe in life we look at people, and they all start to look the same. Beautiful and flashy, yes; mysterious and interesting, yes. Arranged in groups and cultures and colonies and communities that make them a bit more intriguing. But maybe we start to take them for granted, and after a while we kind of glaze over them with the overwhelming feeling that you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all. Or have you?
Maybe that’s the case...until you get a little closer and start to get to know them individually, one by one. Then, suddenly, not everyone looks the same anymore. Some are expressive, well-rounded characters, others might be elusive and remote. Some are warm and tantalizing or even sweltering; others are frigid and ice-crusted across every peak and valley. Some are dry, vaporous, or barely breathable in their atmosphere. Others are moist and nearly suffocating in their embrace. Some are colorful and ringed with a vast social network; others are lone survivors in their pale solitary existence. All are suspended in an orbit or pathway as unpredictable as the bowels of deep space.
What started out as a smattering of faint illumination in an otherwise dark and lonely universe expands to become a series of sun-drenched luminaries, each one as bright and complex and meaningful in its own world as the noonday light of summer.
Yeah, I know the comparison between starts/planets and humans starts to break down if you think about it for too long. And goodness knows I’m not trying to be scientifically accurate here. But just, you know, humor me for a bit.
We’re all so similar, yet diametrically opposed. From a distance, we’re not so unique. Just humans, part of Earth’s inhabitants. But close-up, we are variegated, multi-faceted, brilliant beings, startling in our differences. You just have to take the time to come a little closer and get to know us as individuals. Try it--you might be surprised at the results.
Don’t forget that distance is as obscuring as closeness is revealing. Either way, you both lose and gain something. Enjoy the stars from a distance, but don’t discount the fact that up close they transform into something unique and jaw-dropping. Beauty can be found anywhere, even--or especially--in extremes. What about a happy middling? Well, that’s fine, but don’t stay there too long. Might get a little boring.
Anyway, this is just one of the many random thoughts that flit through my head. Does it make any sense? I’m not sure, considering that I’m writing this at a much-too-late/early hour of the night. Ask me again in the morning when I’ve had time to wake up and think clearly for a while. Should I even post this? Well, at least I’ll have an excuse in case this turns out really terrible. I’ll just blame it on the subpar state of my brain at three in the morning. Regardless, I hope you got something useful out of my brain wanderings.
a lifetime of mistreatment
and reinforced fragility.
an unending onslaught of others’ intentions
invaded your identity.
which have recently been shattered
and are more like dust than anything else
get in your eyes each time the wind blows
who can reconstitute you?
are you in need of change?
where is your willingness?
what are your goals?
You killed it
I killed it
When we hung up the
You were rose tea
Sweet with honey
A comfort when life
It’s cold now
But there is no
Only a hazy black
Now, coffee grinds
But not by me
You are not my tea
And I am not—
What was I to begin with?
Just someone who needed
Just someone you didn’t
Just someone who cries for
But mostly for you.
And now, you and I,
We killed it,
We filled the kettle
With glass shards
Filled the flowery mugs
With snake skins.
And the house
With sticky honey
So the ants will come
And like me,
Sink and die
In the sugar tar pit
On the carpet.
I was yours
You weren’t mine.
still keep the tea leaves and mug that you
And wait for the rumble of your car as
Drive up. I wish that maybe you
Think of me.
As I think, weep, and wait
We killed it
Will fix it
We make it new?
Under the Lights (part one)
RJ just stood there. His mouth was dropped; his legs were shaking; his
heart was hammering inside of him like a carpenter. He had never been
on the other side of the ropes before. He had never had anyone else
strap on his gloves. The same question kept blocking his focus. It
rattled inside his brain and stole his attention completely. The question
was, “do I belong here.” The bell rang with a stinging wave that echoed throughout the building, but he never even heard it. Everything swirled around him, as he
stumbled and fell against the outside of the ring.
“ Hey RJ, your up.”
Eight weeks before, RJ had once again signed up for the Florida 14-16
Duo Martial Arts season. He only signed up because his best friend
Thompson Banks needed a partner to qualify. The deal was that
Thompson would start the first four of eight rounds and win the fight
before RJ ever had to take his turn. This was really not that
improbable, because Thompson was by far the greatest fighter that the
league had ever seen. He was the reason they started buffing up on their
protective head gear. The year before this had been easy, Thompson
had made his way through the season almost untouched and won the
championship in the second round. Every thing should have been the
same this year, but something was different. Travis Field, that is what
was different. He hadn’t taken many belongings to Florida, but he
brought plenty of trouble. He was the only fighter anybody in town had
ever seen that could go toe to toe with Thompson, and last four rounds.
Travis had his little brother as a partner, and he was almost just as
good. Jackson had been fighting all his life! When the final fight, the
league championship came around, Thompson needed to win, and fast!
Unfortunately, that just didn’t happen. The first round had dragged on,
and Thompson had taken a beating. The second round was better, but
Thompson still lost points. In the third round, Thompson had hung on
for dear life, and had tied his opponent in that round, but he was still
down an overwhelming amount of points. In the fourth round, the old
champion made an incredible comeback. It was a sell out worthy
performance. The crowd had gone wild as he tore the new kid to
pieces. It wasn’t enough though. Right before the knockout blow, the
bell sounded. Thompson was forced out of the ring despite his constant
begging for another round. Now everything rested on RJ’s shoulders,
which were already sagging from fear and weakness. It is true, RJ had
wanted to be a fighter all of his life. He had trained hard, and even though he lacked natural hormones from birth and would never grow to full strength without them, his heart still burned for this moment. Unfortunately, when it finally came, the lights burned
harder. He stepped out onto the ring, and watched the arrogant younger
brother strut around the ring, clearly begging for attention.
This was the moment of victory that he had always wanted, but did
victory want him?
* ten likes and I will publish part two.