The Monster Within.
That's all I can focus on as I clutch my middle, slightly hunched while standing on the train.
Heat comes in waves and my eyes nearly roll back. I grip the pole tighter, but my slick palm finds no purchase.
A moan nearly escapes me, but I manage to stifle it. The car is quiet, everyone politely plugged into their phones, minding their own business.
At once I am terrified to attract notice, but also secretly desperate for a kind stranger to discover my plight.
I'm only one stop away, yet the two-minute train ride feels like hours. At last the train slows and I stagger to the door. Suddenly, an elderly woman insolently cuts in front of me and I nearly lose it; can't she see my condition?
I rush out the doors, nearly toppling the old biddy in my haste.
I fear for my life, my sanity. Each step is one closer to sanctuary, but I have no hope for salvation.
All I can hear now is a panting, rasping breathing I'm horrified to discover my own. The change is near.
This isn't the first time and I doubt it will be my last. Yet I continue to hope for a cure one day.
My apartment is within view and the sight, rather than tame the beast, only intensifies its rage.
Three flights and five doors down.
The end is near and the monster within knows it. I feel it clawing from my insides, attempting to escape the confines of my body, but along with a sob and plea for clemency, I reach my door in time.
I relaxed too soon.
The 2nd Law of Thermodynamics
Without problems, we would fall into entropy.
It is easier to go with the flow, to just go through the motions - the monotony of every day life.
We're walking up a down escalator and we don't even know it.
But that thing...
That overdue bill
An obnoxious coworker
Your spilt morning coffee
Divorce after twelve years of marriage
That thing that's keeping you awake at night? Making you chew your nails, complain to your friends, order just one more drink?
That's a reminder that you're still alive.
Exert some effort to overcome your obstacles - run, don't walk.
Every issue is another degree hotter in the refiner's fire, you piece of coal.
Embrace the opposition else you stagnate in your room, ever gathering dust.
Minutes from a Meeting of Monsters
How do we make them scream this year? (witch starts with a cackle)
All those unsuspecting kids (vampire rubs his hands together eagerly)
Light them on fire! (mummy rewraps his arm carefully)
Lunge at their throats! (werewolf shadow boxes in the corner)
Or... (ghost floats hesitantly)
We can be nice this year
Eat their candy rather than
Eviscerating the poor dears (a short pause, then -)
Nah! (motion denied)
un corazón sin cero [a heart without zero]
tu vives in mi corazón
un corazón sin cero
con mi familia
esos años incontables
y mis amigos
las largas horas de juegos
y mis profesores
sus consejos sin final
y por supuesto - mi soledad
cuando solo estoy yo
nunca estará vacío
mi corazón sincero
te doy mi gratitud
you live in my heart
a heart without zero
with my family
those numberless years
and my friends
the long hours of games
and my teachers
their limitless advice
and of course - my solitude
when i'm alone
but with you
never will my heart
you have my gratitude
I remember you in the fall
I swore to myself I’d forget you.
It’s been nearly a decade, after all.
But even now, your dirty blond hair and hazel eyes are clear in my mind.
Your presence was a deep, forest green, as comforting as that faded black sweater you always wore.
Green didn’t used to be my favorite color.
Sometimes I see you in strangers.
The same nose. Or chin. Eyebrows. Pearly white smile. That damn smirk.
And I freeze for a moment, my heart stuttering until I get a second look and confirm that it’s not you.
I’m disappointed it’s not you.
I glance outside the large office windows. It’s that purple time of day and at least three other people remark about the transition from amethyst to ochre. We all stop and stare.
Somehow, I’m reminded of you.
Even though we’re half a world apart and haven’t talked in years.
It’s only a moment, then back to work.
I still think of you in those moments between wake and sleep.
I stare at the gray and black and pinpricks of ever color in my dark room. Sometimes, like tonight, I feel a bit blue as I listen to the rain drops. My throat tightens and my chest feels heavy. My stomach is in knots.
I’m not sure why.
It’s not like we kissed in the rain or anything.
Most of the time I’ve gotten over you. But the taste of black coffee, a whiff of a spicy cologne, and the biting chill of fall bring back memories of you.
I’ll probably miss you harder in November, when my steps crunch the burnt orange leaves on the ground.
I wish I could forget you.
Sitting down at the counter, I'm overwhelmed by all the colors.
Tentatively, I sample dark green, stark white, and bright orange, dipped in near jet.
It is soft and smooth, the colors familiar yet new in this setting.
More colors are delivered in a neverending carousel.
I take a transluscent white with the barest hint of silver.
It is firm and flavorful.
Next is a dark pink, nearly red.
Hmm, not a fan.
Another transluscent white, this time with a streak if crimson on the side.
This might be my favorite yet.
Even with the surprising discovery of light green inside that sends a sting up my nose and waters my eyes.
Another bright orange but with the top layer burnt to a pumice and flecks of black.
A dollop of ivory tops the buttery treat.
Okay, that might be my favorite.
A cheerful daffodil passes by, and so do small droplets of shiny red-orange.
I barely glance at mauve.
I take a thin, opaque yellow to cleanse my palette, a sip of moss green, and reach for a striped cream and tangerine.
Another old face, but definitely a welcome one.
Thus ends my first journey to kaitenzushi.