I Still Don’t Talk At Holiday Parties
In a dream, I invite my father over for dinner. In a dream, I speak with my hands. I press index and middle finger on each hand together, then fling what they’re holding away
/they’re holding nothing/
and I’m saying, I’m lost
In a dream I flourish both hands out to my right and push myself away, and my father loads the word abandoned into the barrel of a gun
I hold up 3 fingers on each hand and the light blushes at my innocence
I am speaking with my hands, but I don’t know most words, so in a dream I clear the table by pressing my face down into the dirty plates. I pull the table cloth out from under the dishes, and it’s actually a quilt, and the food crashes to the floor, and I suffocate on things I didn’t want, and I leave my bed to stop the crying that started in the closet
The ceiling is yellowed and the walls are suicidal, when I put two fingers to temple and close the thumb down to shoot
I don’t know how to speak with my hands, so in a dream I stare into my father’s eyes. I hope that when I cry, he swallows the tears and teaches me a new way to deal with the things that I locked up in the attic
/the attic is empty shadows/
But even in the dream he agrees with the word gun, and I hold up an amber alert so that he knows that what I meant by the milk carton was that this is where I learned how to fix things
I press a bullet into his palm and a pill into my own
I paint the scene in red, I swallow the scene in blue
to the girl at the back of the class
with stories in her eyes
and scars at her wrists-
I see you.
our shoulders brush
on the way out the door,
and my lips form your name-
but I am too damn shy to say it.
and I can hardly breathe around you
let alone talk
but at least I'm trying.
Trying, as I meet your eyes
and pick up your pencil when it clatters to the floor.
(are you all right?)
Still trying, as we smile at one another for the last time.
(I'm here if you need someone to listen.)
Remember that day?
We're soaked in night, splashed with streetlamps.
We stand there forever, talking,
laughs warming the cold midnight air.
And when it was over,
when you turned to go, (because I couldn't bring myself to)
did you see it in my eyes? What I couldn't say aloud;
what I wasn't allowed to say aloud?
This is nice, you're nice, I wish--
I think my own eyes would've cut me off there.
And later, much later, I knew you knew.
I must believe that somewhere in that soul
I know so well you must have figured it out.
Guessed. Because when the time came to
say goodbye, I failed.
I gave you a hug.
Remember that day? I clung to your smile.
I laughed and shook my head.
You meant everything to me. If I didn't have
you I would have had nothing. You kept me
I returned you to an armslength away.
from being alone.
I turned away like I didn't want to
You mean so much to me still.
hold on forever.
I'll miss you.
I walked away, and let the night swallow me.
He was sitting on an ugly green couch with cat hair all over it. He was lost, in this forest full of people that he was meandering through.
She pushed through the crowd. She knocked a stale bagel out of a woman's hand, she swept a lukewarm plastic cup that had once held coffee off of a gnarled table.
The couch came quicklier than she had expected. She collasped on it, before regaining her artificial elegance.
It was like sitting on cardboard, stiff, but trembling under her weight. She adjusted her black velvet skirt. It made her itchier than a million fleas would have, but it was the only dark artical of clothing she owned.
Any other person would have told him: "I'm so, so, sorry."
But other people didn't have souls.
He was too fragile.
She had a soul. She opened it up, threw open the curtains that guarded her inner self.
She took his shaking hand, looked deep into his broken eyes, and cried with him.
Talking With Myself
The break room seems much more empty now that World Cup is over.
Meh, ADHD is just ADD in higher definition.
Butterscotch schnapps are like maple syrup shots only harder to spell after taking 3 of them...
Irish movies are depressing. Funny, but depressing. No wonder they drink so much.
Halloween is coming and I live in a city where the ratio of dead to living is roughly 10 to 1 - score!
Please no more 11 hour workdays!
You're taking me to your optometrist to get new glasses together? Wow, love really is blind...
Is it sad that I've got Ponyo on in the background not because I have any interest in watching it but because the soundtrack puts me to sleep?
Great, I finally call home and my brother answers, then tells me how he plans to build a flamethrower using a Zippo, a Super-Soaker, & Bacardi 151.
GOD DAMMIT! Some asshole took our clothes out from the washers and just dumped them in the communal laundry carts when I got there just 5 min after they'd finished and there were TWO fuckin' washers open he could have used instead!!!! WTF?!?!?
Wait, I DO have brownie mix -
*GASP* First issue Amalgam Comics for fifty cents each!!
Just had an awful thought - what if they DON'T lay us off in May??
*cough hack cough* There's a cookie recipe on the back of my saltine cracker box??
You know you're in Michigan when you're driving a car with seat warmers but no emergency/parking break.
Please, oh appliance gods, let my ancient washer/dryer hookups work with the new machines today...I am running out of underwear and the children at the laundromat scare me...
Crap - my plant is still alive and now must be trans-potted. Well, this was amazing while it lasted.
Meatloaf baked into pie = proof that marrying into a French-Canadian family was a smart move.
Driverless cars...because we're so anti social we can't just invest in buses/trains?
Apparently drunk me really likes Pearl Jam.
"Wanna order pizza and build Lego's?" has to be the most romantic date night I've ever had.
Improvisation: Realizing I bought the stir fry veggies without sauce and pouring steak sauce over the whole thing instead.
I have all of the material for the Addled Beer dual blades, yet the blacksmith still doesn't offer to craft them - what gives??
Cheeseburger Tacos: the meal that says "Yeah, I was too white for this, sorry."
Ten minutes of grooming and I still look like a lightning-blasted Hobbit...
Best bar night trivia group name ever overheard: Better Late Than Pregnant
I know I need to lose weight but every so often I feel the long-dead soul of a starving peasant in my heart going, "Yay! Body fat! It's so warm and jiggly! Gods be praised - let's eat more!"
Healthy peanut butter 'n chocolate cereal just tastes like disappointment and adulthood dusted with cocoa.
I think I relate more to DC comic characters because they feel like great people horribly trapped by greedy, idiotic corporate leadership - and I have been there, man.
A beautician could make a killing giving 10 min makeovers in the DMV waiting area. Just a thought.
Sprouts: Cause this salad didn't make me feel enough like a rabbit.
Okay, saw Wonder Woman finally and if I think of it as a fan fiction where Captain America is Thor's female cousin and he makes out with Agent Coulson, it's pretty good.
Blargh, I can't hold wine and my gaming controller at the same time...
It's not sacrilegious to use Challah bread for sloppy joe's if they're vegan, right?
Nothing like a trip to the dentist to remind you that you are a slowly decaying skeleton in a fleshy wrapper with no printed expiration date.
This coffee needs more Irish...
YES! God has finally answered my swears!
“When were you going to tell me you were pregnant Anna?” his voice in a hushed tone.
One of the men robbing the bank was courteous enough to let her lie on her back during the heist since she told him she was expecting.
Simon had no clue she was expecting. She knew he would never have a clue because she wasn't going to disclose that she wasn't keeping the little gift.
“Seriously?” her eyes disappear into her head.
“Well, will you marry–” his eyes heavy.
“Hey, lovebirds no talking during the heist!”
Simon raises his hands in cooperation his head placed firmly on the bank floor thinking about a name for the baby.
It would be three more hours of the heist and only one casualty.
The thing about neighbors
He sat on his roof pretending to look at the stars. I watched him from my window. Every once in a while, I’d see his head tilt down to look in my window. If I had minded, I would have closed the blinds, but I didn’t so I left them open, mostly because I wanted to look at him. Apparently, he didn’t take the open blinds as the ok to look in. So he kept peeking, and I kept staring.
*People watching: the act of watching people for their interesting habits and appearances; spying. Its a neighbor thing.*
I’d like to think that he’s handsome, but in the dark, I could only see his outline which was not much to go off of. I could tell he was skinny and by the way he kept inhaling granola bars, he must have a great metabolism too. I figure he probably wasn’t very good looking though because I never get good looking neighbors. It’s good for a person’s self esteem, but I think I’d much rather have someone cute or handsome to look at. Not my choice though I suppose.
He moved in with the neighbors today. My mom said they were expecting a foreign exchange student, so I figured that’s probably who he is. I would have gone over and said hello today, but my mom told me to stay out of the way for a bit so I don‘t scare him with my “energy.” I’ve been told it’s a little much at times.
I decided I wanted to talk to him now from my window, but I had a few little obstacles in the way of that. First, I was supposed to be sleeping, so making noise was kind of out of the question. Then I also didn’t know if he knew English which would have been a bigger problem without google translate, but I figured if he was coming to the US for school, he probably had learned English. Lastly, I didn’t want to scare him away. I mean, at least with a new neighbor, there’s a chance he could be good looking. I didn’t want to risk scaring away the only possibility of having a good looking neighbor I’ll ever have.
I decided to take the risk anyway. After digging around in my closet, I found a notebook and fat marker. I hoped he’d be able to see my writing, and better than just being able to see it but be able to read it. I have notoriously horrible handwriting; some have even taken to calling it earthquake chicken scratch. I don’t think it’s that bad, but I am also used to my handwriting. I still wanted him to be able to read it though, so I took more time to write out each letter with care.
I didn’t know how to format it. Letter style? MLA? Just a sentence? I figured I wasn’t about to write a freaking essay for this kid, so I wasn’t going to use MLA format if I didn’t need to. I don't think a letter is what you write to hold up to the window. I overthink everything it feels like. I settle for a couple sentences.
Hello ______. What’s your name? Are you a foreign exchange student? You can stare if you want to instead of peeking.
Now what do I use to fill in the blank. Fellow life form? Kid? Mister? I end up writing ‘Hello neighbor,’ but it feels kind of weird like it’s too formal and too informal at the same time. I’m not even sure how that’s possible. My couple of sentences were kinda dry too. Do I need to add a joke in there? I don’t know any good jokes, so I leave it be.
Hello neighbor. What’s your name? Are you a foreign exchange student? You can stare if you want to instead of peeking.
I hold the page up to the window, and shine my phone’s flashlight on it, so he can see. When the light turns on, he turns his whole head to the window without just peeking. I can tell that he can read it because he laughs. I didn’t think about the one sidedness of the conversation beforehand, but now realize I‘m the only one with paper. Quickly, I went back to my notebook and wrote out another message.
I didn’t think about the fact that you can’t respond because you don't have a paper and marker or even a light. I’m not mute, but I have to be quiet because I’m supposed to be asleep right now.
I ran out of room on the page and held it up for him to read. After he was finished, he laughed again. He held up his phone and shone the flashlight on the window. I took that to mean he had a light and all he needed was a paper and marker. I rummaged around in my closet again and came out with another notebook and marker. I also found a plastic bag to put them in.
My windows are very squeaky when being opened, but after years of experimentation, I’ve figured out how to open them with the least noise possible. The houses are about 6 feet apart, a reasonable gap if you were to jump it, but my plan was just to toss the bag over, not jump over and hand it to him.
I tossed the bag, and it landed with a crinkled thud on the shingles behind him.
He took out the notebook and marker and started to write out his message. I felt like I was passing notes or something except the cooler version of notes. Of course, I’d want to think it was cooler because sixteen year olds don’t pass notes do they? I wouldn’t know. I don’t have many friends to pass notes to even if that were the cool thing to do. I waited patiently for him to finish his note. Or at least I thought I was being patient. After a long minute, of me braiding and unbraiding my hair, he held up the notebook and shined his phone’s flashlight over it.
Hello new neighbor. My name is Lee Young. I am a foreign exchange student, but how you knew that is beyond me. I don’t think you can see with the darkness that I’m asian, but I came from Seoul, South Korea. I will stare then since you said it was ok.
He put that page down when he thought I had finished reading and began writing again.
You know we both have phones... we could just text instead of using killed tree sheets. I know it’s called paper, I just think it’s fun to call them tree sheets. Don’t think I’m a dumb foreigner.
I had to hold myself back from laughing out loud for fear my parents would hear. I scribbled my phone number on a new page, but had to rewrite it because it looked too messy. I held it up and he did something on his phone that I’m pretty sure was making a new contact.
Ding! A text appeared on my screen: Hey, this is Lee Young... who is this?
I looked out the window to where he was watching me in the light of my phone screen. I realized I’d asked him a bunch of questions but didn’t tell him anything about myself.
My bad Lee, my name is Kira. Welcome to America! It’s rather shitty, but I hope I can be a good friend and make it less lonely so it doesn’t seem so bad.
Thanks Kira. Nice to know I already have a friend. I’ve got to go inside now though. You should come over tomorrow since we live 6 feet apart.
For some reason, this seems like the beginning chapter of a book except it’s real. I sneak a little laugh but make sure it’s silent so my parents don’t hear. I need to find out one more thing before I end my first ‘chapter.’ I send a quick text back before saying goodbye.
Hey, send a picture! I’ll send mine. It’s dark and I can’t see your face. It’s an odd request, I know.
A light turned on in the window accross from mine in the house next door. He posed in front of the window with his back to me.
Ding! A message popped up on my lock screen and I opened it quick to look at the picture he took.
With the side of my house in the background, me just a shadow with my phone glowing in my hand, he stood in the center of the screen smiling a wide perfect smile. Almost black eyes under his unruly, fluffy black hair went with his pointed nose and rosy cheeks. He was more cute than handsome, and definitely more good looking than any neighbor I’d ever had before... and I was his friend.
( •-•)/ ~hi
Beverlie’s Eyes Were Blue
Beverlie’s eyes were blue. That’s really all we knew.
She could hear and understand, but could not participate. The constant thought I had was how true it is that the eyes are windows to the soul. I could see through her eyes of baby blue.
Full of emotion with no hope of expression. One day melts into another. Days turn into weeks and months and then years, she remains stuck in her living shell, unable to move.
“God please take me home, why did you leave me this way”. She cannot say it, her heart cries out but her lips don’t speak. She’s stuck inside a body that betrays her.
She can hear life all around her and she lays in bed motionless except for a beating heart, breathing lungs and seeing eyes.
She can’t even tell you what she likes to eat. She can’t tell you if she’s too hot or too cold or that she has to go to the bathroom.
The hands on the clock continue ticking as they always do and life goes by for others as usual.
She is all alone inside this body that refuses to listen to her will and her hands freeze, nails digging into her skin and cannot cry out. It hurts and no one knows.
Her children visit and bring flowers that she can’t touch, longing to hug them and can’t.
Looking at the flowers, thinking about what a good mother she was to receive such a beautiful gift and again blue eyes well up, full of tears now sliding down her cheeks. Two daughters and a son, loving them, but unable to express it.
Simple things amused her, I loved her giggles, still able to smile her face would light up.
I knew her so briefly and I could see her reality. I spoke to her often and I could feel her through her blue eyes. She could both hear and understand, this was clear looking into her eyes. That was the sadness of it all.
I thought of her today. She had blue eyes. Beverly had blue eyes. ❤️
02 May 2019
Musings of a post menopausal insomniac mind