Are people like snowflakes
or are they more like raindrops?
Individual pieces of art
or identical replicas of nothingness
The beauty is in the eye of the beholder
but no one sees me anyway
so what does it matter
if I'm a snowflake or a raindrop
I'm invisible nonetheless
At their core, they're made of the same thing
but look at the differences
how can they be the same?
Have you noticed that
you never see both together
Snow and rain, never together
opposites, yet they're twins
How horrid is it
to have a part of you
that you'll never truly know?
Uniqueness is not always a good thing
some people would kill
to be a raindrop
rather than a snowflake
I know I would.
In the absence of fire, ice will suffice. Whether you die by melting or freezing makes no difference in the end—cause has no relevance here, all we care about is effect. And the effect must be your demise.
It's policy, you know. People aren't meant to understand the hidden world, you're meant to stay in your superficial bubble living your superficial lives. Your existence is trivial, but you aren't supposed to be aware of that. Live your lies.
Of course, an active mind tends to wander, and wandering is not a crime. Well, not one that we can persecute, anyway. It's not our job to delineate the permissible paths from the forbidden. That's up to the Department of Waywardness and Order.
What department are we? Pardon me, I thought you knew.
We are the Department of Secrecy. It's up to us to maintain the distance between humanity and the hidden world. All your great discoveries, your novel inventions, your groundbreaking progresses—they all come from our vault. Understanding the universe is a puzzle, and we decide when to send you a piece of that puzzle.
Why? Well, humans are our greatest experiment yet, though we admit that your proclivity toward destruction poses a concern about our experiment's durability. You're a truly fascinating lot. You're capable of such harm and devastation, yet simultaneously capable of such compassion and kindness.
What are we measuring? That's forbidden knowledge, I'm afraid. You'll be dead within the hour, but even so I can't let you take that knowledge anywhere, not even to the grave. It remains here, with the Department of Secrecy.
Why must we kill you? Again, it's policy. You know too much. You're a liability to the experiment. Death is the only method by which we can ensure silence, so death is the method we must utilize. Apologies, I can see your life meant a lot to you. I hope you know that you're very lucky. You enjoyed your life, you valued your friends and chose kindness wherever possible. Yet your penchant for asking questions led you astray, led you to question that life, led you to discover too much.
Alright, it's been decided—you will die by ice. Please take solace in the fact that your existence had a net positive effect on the world. We thank you for your cooperation, farewell.
stop for a minute,
let yourself think for a minute
without the sounds without the pressure
let it drown you, drown it,
feel it or kill it or embrace it or just get out of your head
as leaves do, as they sway
let them drift gently to the ground
and mind it
forget it and don't repeat
you're here now, you're nowhere, you're free, you're lost
so lost and so small and so
fell it closer now,
the breath on the back of your neck, the
sighs of the sky above as it watches you hide
disappointment is the color, i think
that you'd hide from everything ,
even your own blood it's too scary are you afraid?
why do you do these things who are you who are you who am i
so yeah let's just breathe a minute
let it sink for a minute
become a pen and a paper instead of a coward for a minute,
ever think about that ?
couldn't you be something couldn't you help someone couldn't you be there
how could i
if i never learned how to leave my own head
it's getting crowded, too many things i think, too many fears, i think
disappointment but i think it's all in myself i think
i guess i'm not just pen and paper
i guess i just need a minute
i guess i'll be back in a minute
and then i'll close my eyes
Is This The Proof Of Your Love?
The darkness closes in
It presses my sides in
WHERE ARE YOU??
I want to scream
Why is there no sound?
No sound crosses my lips
How could this happen?
You can’t find me
Not without my call...
You’re going to walk pass me
Please, no, sense my presence!
I cry with a broken heart
Is this to be my fate?
I harden myself from the pain
Is this to be my end?
I suddenly catch your gaze on me
Why aren’t you helping me?
You haver, but then silence yourself and skulk away
Is this the proof of your love for me...?
and drinking water
as the salt burns my lips.
with a million other things i can do,
i sit here at my computer and eat.
i seem to have accidentally
pulled all of the chocolate chips
out of my nut mix
even though i wasn't
so now i'm
left with salt
still burning my lips
still drinking my water
still procrastinating on
an end that should have come
a long time ago.
The demons have been locked away...
It's too much
Too heavy, too soon
I cannot be with someone
Who stresses me
Mentally and emotionally
Someone who makes me think
Someone that makes me deviate from logic
I just got out of it
That dark dark place
Deep deep deep
In my broken broken darker mind
I just got away from that choking feeling
Worked that huge lump down my throat
Digested it in my stomach
I just got away
From that need to clutch at every part of me
Cut some parts off, drown some in acid
And just take a perpetual time off
I just walked away from that habit I couldn't help
Of crying into the morning
Shedding tears for forgotten reasons
Wishing I could just fade away
And then going to bed
with an empty heart and head
When I should be waking up
shutting my eyes
No plans and no aspirations
As if it's certain that I won't wake up
I just locked my demons in a cage
And I can't let them out
I'm not strong enough
I won't make it
So I'm sorry
I can't be with you.
Pen to the Paper 10
“HAPPY FAT HER’S DAY!” I yelled into the mic, running onto stage. The crowd gasped, and Maya ran onto stage.
“Caleb, we talked about this. Out of context, that joke is just terrible.”
“Fine, fine. I won’t say it.”
“You just did.”
“Alrighty, folks. Maya over here thinks that that joke is bad. Clearly, she doesn’t know what comedy is,” I said with a dumb smirk.
Maya punched me in the eye, and I screamed like a little girl. A screech erupted through the speakers as the microphone hit the ground, followed quickly by me.
Maya picked up the microphone. “Sorry for his dumb behavior. Don’t know what’s gotten into him lately. Y’all know what time it is: Pen to the Paper 10 is out now, folks!”
“Where are you?”
Static noise came from the other end.
I smiled brightly through my teeth “Do come to the market soon, won’t you?”. The static was deafening. “Oh you’re not free?” I said as I frowned. The person next to me checked their watch and looked up at me through the glass.
I frowned more “I really wish you could come. We could have bought marshmallows together!” I started to look for change in my purse as I looked out through the other side of the glass. It was a marvellous lake. “I would have loved to spend time with you by the lake”. The static kept building and building. The orange of the sun fell through the glass onto my face. I giggled “Of course I would spend time with you I’m not going to ditch you!” I heard the change roll inside the slot like a marble and continued talking.
The person looked up once more and appeared impatient. I decided to finally end the call. “Well it’s been nice talking with you but I really wish you would come! I miss you! By-”
“Who are you?”
I stopped. My body froze despite the warm air. Everything seemed to stop.
“Who are you?” The voice repeated. “Stop. You need to stop”
My mouth couldn’t open. Wouldn’t open.
“Who – are – you?”.
I looked outside. The person had left. I was alone. The sun started to set it. It was getting dark.
“You need to stop. I don’t exist. Stop this. Stop”
“I….. I don’t understand” I choked out “Who are you?”
“You know who I am. You’ve always known. You call me every time. You need to stop this.”
“But nobody knows this. Nobody is supposed to know this. You don’t know this. You can’t possibly know this.”
There was mumbling. Or static. Or noise. Or whispering.
“Hello?” I fumbled for change in my pocket and hurriedly put it inside the slot.
“Why are you wasting time with that?” A voice whispered.
I shivered. “I couldn’t hear you”
“You shouldn’t hear me. You’re doing this to yourself. Look at yourself. Look at the phone. Look at where you are”
“Stop! Stop telling me what to do!” I shouted
“I’m – not - real. All of this isn’t real. You’re talking to no one” The voice was scary. I didn’t like this. I pushed the receiver down onto the stand and my hand fell through
I looked up. I wasn’t holding a receiver. I wasn’t holding anything.
I looked at the glass noticing the big “Out of order” Sign. The man. He was supposed to fix this. What am I doing here?
“What am I doing here?”
“What are you doing here?”
I nodded to myself as I stopped talking and closed my eyes to darkness.
I was gone.
The static continued. A voice crackled out of the receiver.
“Your call has ended. Please deposit change.”
Coming back to conversations, loosely related: her upbeat tone into the psychiatric ward's payphone: I need to invest in healthy relationships.
Seeing the Instagram post of her sister-in-law's wedding. I wasn't invited. When the sister-in-law had asked me how I was doing, back when you could meet for a friendly brunch and ha ha mimosas all around, I stared at her engagement ring, smiling like a savage promise and that I would never have that happiness, and told her I was doing, just great, thanks so much for asking. No exclamation point. It's beside the point.
When I had told Stephanie I was going to get better in the hospital, there was some pause on the other end of the line, like a polite grasp at what I could possibly mean. It couldn't be true. It also didn't seem true, just hours later, when she showed up with her fiance, at the psych ward, to see me. I sat in glasses and pajamas, the pity obvious, as it always is and will be, behind their pretending eyes. How are you, she asked. I don't know, I said. There's someone here who thinks God watches us and will ask him to be the second Jesus.
If you're getting confused as to who the fiances and sister-and-laws are in this story, that should be fine. It's great, even. My little regard, at least back before Covid, for engaged and married "young" people was rife. I interchanged all of them in my mind, a little merry-go-round of Perfect People And Their Perfect Relationships. Cause for vomiting. When Stephanie had tried on her wedding dress, I stood in the photos, wearing sneakers and a baggy flannel shirt. I looked chubby.
Shortly after these photos, I stood in my room, having been dumped by - shocker - a guy I really, really liked. I took out a blade. Am I not good enough? Why? Is something wrong with me?
But of course there was, is. Something unfixable, and very, very wrong.
His name was not Jared, but that's what I'll call him. When he told me he was seeing someone else, in a coffee shop that I thought had been just another date, I stared at him for so long that I could see his face fall. I have never before or since seen the realization so slowly cross someone's face, or perhaps it was in slow-motion, that the ending the conversation was not going as planned, and there was no way out but to stumble upon some extremely sorry, bullshit conclusion.
I went to Urgent Care and asked for bandaids. They called the cops, and I sat in a sterile room, with emotions far from that, explaining that work has been overwhelming, you know the feeling? They did, and they told me to take care of myself.
I haven't, before or since.
At the end of the day, I wasn't invited to that wedding posted on Instagram. I will always be the girl, with a greasy face in glasses, being wrong, about everything and everyone. I will forever be estranged from my sister Stephanie, who told me that I am not my disease. However, this is far from true, and always will be. I have not been hospitalized for the last time. I will go again, and again, to the ward of second Jesus'.
While all the girl's of the world try on their wedding dresses, I am in a white hospital gown, a virgin to romance.
LAX to O’Hare, Flight 191-
I remember what I read about the plane ride.
It wasn't plucked from the air midflight,
Not struck by lighting or something.
They didn't even make it halfway to O'Hare.
Imagine the screams, jaws unhinged to express utter disbelief
That they were going to die.
The attendants... what did they do?
Lie, to make the passengers 'safe'?
Lie to themselves?
Smile, or scream with the others,
Begging to be saved?
Pleas to put all of their sins behind them,
And move forward, granted more days?
The captain, sweat dripping down his brow,
Did he give up?
Or did he try to fight until the end?
Did his knowledge give him reason to stop trying?
Did he cry, the one with all of the power at his fingertips?
The mothers, the fathers, the sweet children,
Screaming, holding each other close.
Is it protection, or something else?
Is it a will not to die alone so strong,
That they press their children to their chest?
The unsuspecting faltered
As flight 191 took off.