Saturday, June 26, 2010

Kinda, sorta, maybe.

I readjust my body on the couch. Sit for a beat, move my foot, fiddle my fingers.
I'm waiting. 

"I don't know," she says finally, and I exhale. Softly, hoping she doesn't hear.
" the general you, or do you not, like girls?"
She looks uncomfortable for a second, and creases her eye-brows.
"I guess," she says. "Maybe. I mean, they're cute. They smell nice. And they've got such-"
She stops, her cheeks turning red.
"No, no," I say. "Such what?"

A few seconds pass and her lips twist into a quirky little smile.
"Such soft lips."
I nod, agreeing. But really, really agreeing. And hope she catches on.

"So what about you?" she asks, completely oblivious. 
"I don't know," I mumble. 
She frowns and shakes her foot impassively. 
"No. You have to answer. In the general ballpark. Come on."

I fiddle my fingers, think of an answer -any answer- other than the answer that's just right there. 
"Truthfully," I say slowly. "I do."

She raises her eyebrows and smirks. "Oh?"
"Yeah. And...I think she might know too."
"She?" She cocks her eyebrows even higher, and I laugh.
"You look like a clown with your eyebrows that high..."
Making a face, she tries to get them even higher, until finally, she relaxes her entire face.

"So who is it?"
"Who's who?" I ask, giggling at the image of her in a clown's suit.
"Who's this girl you like?"

I watch a spark of something in her eye go off, flaring. Anger, maybe. Impatience. 
Beat, beat. Let the seconds go by, because I don't wanna answer! 
And finally, my mouth betrays me.
I let my guard down for a second and the word jumps out.


"Coincidentally," she says carefully. "I don't mind."
Relief washes over me in a snow-storm of words.
"Even...I kinda like it."

Friday, June 25, 2010

Summer Day

"When I look at you... I'm home," she says to me.

I laugh. "You stole that from Finding Nemo."

"Yeah, but it's true. I want to hug all the Disney writers because their lines always mean so much more than they're supposed to. Don't you think?" she asks, settling back into her Adirondack chair and closing her eyes.


I'm trying to understand exactly when I became a home to her, when I had the comfortable scent and overstuffed armchairs that let her be who she was inside. Two years ago she pushed me down the school stairs, screaming that I was a fucking bitch. Twenty months ago she became such a small, lost girl that I took her in my arms and let her sob quietly. Three weeks ago she kissed me.

"What's on your mind, babe?" Her hand finds mine across the wooden table and she squeezes.

"You," I say. "Always you."

She laughs this time, sunshine spreading from her deep blue eyes. "As it should be."

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


"I think it's cool," she mumbled. "How no one ever sees you."
The boy picked up a stick and started picking it apart, throwing the pieces onto the surrounding grass.
"Yeah," he said. "Sure is."
And then he was gone, because he didn't exist, because no one exists.

Phone Call


"Hi, it's Alex."

"Oh hi, Alex. What's up?"

"Um... I just, need to talk. I think. To you."

"Are you okay? What's wrong?"

"I'm... sorry."





The End.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Anything can be beautiful

Nova stands at the top of the hill, looking out over the long grassy fields below, ultimately leading into large, dark forests.
"It's beautiful," she says, disregarding all of the death and decay that has happened here over the past 100 years.
"If thousands of my ancestors hadn't died here...hadn't been slaughtered mercilessly...this would be a perfect place to cloud watch."

She sits down at the top of the hill for a moment, breathing in clean, clear air.
"Perfection," she says. "At it's very best."
Then she lays on her back and closes her eyes.
"Fuck death and decay," she thinks. "Any space can be beautiful. Any past can be reversed."

She starts humming to herself, a soft, bouncy melody, and smiles.
Anything can be beautiful. 

Thursday, June 17, 2010


"Hey," the girl says.
"Hi," the guy says.
But neither one really, really cares.
Neither one does, so why bother?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

On Death and Dying

If I'd known you were going to die, 
I would have done so many things differently. 
But I always knew you'd die eventually and 
I don't know why I let time pass between us 
so quickly.

Your funeral holds no comfort for my aching soul and the bleak casket only holds the shell of who you used to be. I can't find you here. You always told me you'd be in the clouds, looking down on me when I was happy and whispering by in the wind when I was sad. I'm listening but you're not here. I'm waiting but I can't feel you. 

Your parents are standing a few feet away from me, holding onto each other as if they're the only thing holding the other up and if either moves, they'll both fall to pieces. I feel the same way, only there's no one to keep me whole. That was your job. You told me I'd find someone new, someone who could hold me the same way you did when the rain poured down outside my window and the thunder was too much for me to handle. I've been looking. Everyone's already paired up.

Your flowers are filling up the room, covering every surface and polluting the air with their unwanted sickly-sweet scent. They're pink, roses maybe, something you told me you never wanted to see again after that boy broke your heart and pretended to apologize with a bouquet. I wish I'd told your parents. They're oblivious to everything we went through. I wish I'd told them you weren't feeling well, or you weren't smiling that day, just so they could give you another happy day that I couldn't. I wish for a lot of things.

Your early death took my breath away and ever since I've been gasping on half-formed thoughts of where I'll go next. You were my everything. I'm lost without you. I have more to say. I have more love to give. You're not on the other end of my conversations, smiling while chewing on the inside of your lip. You're not here. You slipped away while I closed my eyes. 

Monday, June 14, 2010


"It's just a taste
Of pick-your-drug
It's a pat on the back
When you need a hug"

"For starters, black jack is a game of chance. Sometimes you win, sometimes you don't. But it's also strategy. You've got to know when you can take a hit, and when it's better off to stay."
Elise watched her daddy explain the game to his son, wide eyes when he glanced over to the  doorway she was hiding behind. 
"So I'm going to deal and we'll just play a round, the two of us, okay?" 
Ben nodded, sitting up a little straighter in the seat from anticipation. 

Their father dealt the cards, one down, one up, and placed the deck near himself. 
"Want me to hit you?" he asked. 
Ben set his face to confusion for a second, watching Elise shrink back behind the doorway a little farther. 
"I'll stay," he said.
Ben's father nodded, thinking. "But you're trying to get to 21, remember that?"
Ben nodded, giving is daddy the A-OK sign. 

Silently, Elise went back to her bedroom and turned the light on, watching the walls illuminate with a yellow glow. She sat down on her bed and picked up her teddy bear, Grayson, and hugging him tight.
"You can stay," she says. "I'll never, ever hit you."
She hugs Grayson tighter and lays down on her side, pulling the covers up tight, tight, tight as they can go.

Black Jack is a game a chance, and it really depends on the cards you get dealt. 

Sunday, June 13, 2010



The one time I changed in front of my classmates, they saw the lines and lines up and down crisscross my legs and arms. They didn't like my skin. They didn't like me anymore.
Now I am me, and they are them.
We're separate.
It was one of those silent promises they made when disgust burned in their eyes upon seeing me.

So it's my fault when I eat lunch alone, my fault when I do projects on my own, my fault when I have no plans on a Friday night, my fault when I sit on the bleachers in gym class, my fault when I'm alone.

The one time I changed in front of my class, I was thrown out of the pack.
Alienated. Disowned.

And four months in, it starts to get lonely.
It seems all I have are my crisscross legs to keep me company, but even they don't like me.

I scratchtearrip every day during class, sitting in the very back.
And no one seems to notice the razor blade in my hand.
No one seems to notice the blood through my sweater, through my shoes, through my shirt.

No one notices me anymore, because in their worlds, I'm not allowed to exist.

I am a ghost.
An alien.
I have bulgy green eyes and grey skin.
I am too thin, too red, and too light.

But it's FINE, because I don't deserve any better.

It's fine, because I hate myself just as much as they do.

Happy, Simple as That

"Do you ever fall in love with someone you've just met, like sitting on the bus or standing in line behind you?" she asks me.

"Like love at first sight?" I reply, distracted by the sunbeams falling down from the blue sky.

She squints, shielding her eyes with a hand so she can look at me. "No, I mean, just fall absolutely in love with this stranger. So much that your heart aches when they walk away, even if neither of you said anything to the other."

"Do you?" It's a stupid response, but I'm not sure what else to say to her. She seems so enthralled with the air out here that her words come out happy and I don't want to disturb that.

"Yeah," she says. "All the time. Every day."

I smile. "Do you ever fall in love with me?"

She whispers, "Every day. All the time."

I tilt my head away from her so I can see the gracious waves lapping at the sandy shore, mere feet away from where we're sitting on the calm wooden deck. Under the ocean, millions of tiny creatures are living their daily lives, eating plankton and swimming quickly past bigger creatures in hopes of surviving another day. We do it too, up here in the air. We rush past the dangers so we'll make it to tomorrow, so we can rush past more dangers and make it to another day of rushing and rushing and hiding.

"What are you thinking about, lovely?" she asks me with a grin on her sweet lips.

"I'm thinking fuck it. I'm tired of living safe so I can keep on living safe." I prop myself up on my elbows.


"Yeah. I don't want to walk on the sidewalk. I want to dance in the street. I want to spin in circles between the speeding cars. I want to sing at the top of my lungs!"

"Keep going," she prompts.

"I wanna love without caring about anything anyone else thinks! Just love and fuck, you know? Just be happy," I tell her. "I just want to be happy."

"Me too," she mumbles.

"So let's do it," I say.

"Yes," she says. "Let's be happy."

Saturday, June 12, 2010


"Where are you going?"

The question follows me as I wade into the water, breathing slowly as the cold creeps up my skin.
I'm going to freedom
I'm going to get away
I'm going to be happy
I'm going to escape! 
I let my feet scramble slowly and carefully over the rocks lining the bottom of the lake. The frigid cold jolts everything into a solid tune of thinking. One where all I can imagine is my purpleblue lips, like bruises, my cast-iron skin, and everything, everything, swollen.

Sink, sink, sink. Choke, choke, choke. 
I take these words into consideration as I slip under the water, grabbing hold of the first strong rock I touch at the bottom. Within a few seconds, my lungs start to ache. It feels like my eyes are burning.
Ache. Throb. Ache. Throb. Ache. Throb. 
I open my mouth under the water, trying to hold tighter on the rock as the temptation to find air increases. Suddenly, waterwaterwater rushes in, pushing the last bits of air from my lungs out in small, misshapen bubbles.
I watch them float to the top.
My head feels PRESSURE, and just that, like it's going to implode in on itself.
If I could, I would scream. BUT THIS IS SILENT SAFETY.


It's SCREAMING on the inside.
Everything just HURTS just ACHES and I just can't take it...

Suddenly something grabs me, arms wrapping around me. I see beautiful hair circle around the figure. Beautiful blonde hair, like a mermaid. The green murky water surrounding her glows, almost, in her presence. The green murky water that seemed so dark and lonely.
She drags me to the top, where noise explodes and my ears POP.
I sputter, sputter, choke.
Coughing, coughing, cough. 
"It's okay," she whispers, kissing my forehead. "It's okay. Just breathe."
I try to take a breath of air, but water clogs everything and I cough, cough, choke.
The noises of water wading in and out circles me, making me dizzy.
We're in the middle of the lake. Alone. She's holding me above the water.
Suddenly, she presses her lips to mine and breathes, pulling all the water from my lungs and replacing it with sweet, sugary air.
Her air.
"Thank-you," I sputter, coughing a bit. She holds me tighter, whispering, laughing almost, "She's alive."

A few seconds, and she presses her lips to mine again, just for a moment.

"I'm alive," I repeat.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Sweet Kisses

"So I've taken to wearing all black," I say to her as she eases herself down from the top of the chain-link fence and into the flower-covered field.

"I've noticed," she replies. She gathers all her blonde hair up in her hands and lets it fall at her neck. "It suits you somehow, like your colour shows when you strip away everything else."

After a quick glance over my shoulder to see if the security guards noticed our arrival, I lead her up and over a tiny hill until we're standing at the very beginning of the end of forever. Tiny purple dots of flowers stretch out before us, welcoming us with the sweet scent emanating from their soft petals. She whispers out a small gasp of excitement before taking off running through the field, that wild mane of hers soaring out behind her like rays of sunshine.

"Come on, girl of darkness. Come play with me," she giggles.

I follow her, grateful for the quiet breeze kissing my cheeks and bare legs as the black skirt of my sundress lifts up a little while I run. She reaches for both my hands and takes them in hers, suddenly spinning me around in circles so the whole world around us fades into a beautiful blur. All I see is her ivory face, the curious blue eyes, and a pair of plump pink lips that seem to be calling to me.

"You look almost like you've fallen in love," she jokes, but our spinning slowly comes to a stop and we sink to the ground in unison.

"Maybe I have," I say.

There's a question in her blue eyes now, but it isn't asking me who I love. She's leaning in, her forehead resting on mine before she presses her lips into my own and we kiss. The tiny purple flowers begin to sing and I smile, still kissing this girl as she kisses back.


Fractured sunlight tumbles down between the clouds that fill the lightly bruised sky,
and underneath two small girls say their most meaningful hello,
while the world around them whispers a fading goodbye.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

But tomorrow...

"I'm happy," I tell the stranger next to me on the bus. 
"I'm happy today, and I'm eating. But tonight I'm going to fall asleep crying. And tomorrow I'm going to scar up my leg. And the next day I'm going to stop eating. And after that I'll start hating myself again."
"I'm happy," I say. "But I'm only happy for a little while. And then I am very, very sad."

The stranger on the bus scowls and gets up to move seats. 
"That's fine," I tell them. "I'd run from me to."

Only, there was never any stranger on the bus, because these are the words I hide so desperately to myself. 

Lonely Girl

"Here's me," she says, pointing to a non-existent spot on the brick wall that's supposedly become our map, "and here," she emphasizes, stretching her arm across ten bricks, "is you. All alone. All lonely."

"No, but I'm right..." I pause, frowning at the burnt red bricks until my eyes water and the vision in front of me begins to blur. "I'm right here," I whisper. "Here."

My finger pushes into the soft skin of my chest that's barely visible above our regulated white button-down blouse. Like most girls at this school, I'm wearing mine two buttons undone at the top so I don't choke myself with an over-starched uniform. I'm sure my grey plaid kilt is scuffed from the asphalt by now, but I don't move in fear of this girl in front of me with the startling violet eyes.

"You were never here," she mutters with frustration.

"Was too," I say.

She shakes her head. "Nuh-uh. You've always been on that fucking brick and I'll be damned if I let you tell me otherwise. You're like, on this island, and you're kind of all by yourself."

"Well I am an island," I joke, "and you're drowning in my vicious ocean."

This is rewarded with a dark scowl. "No one gets to drown me. No one gets to fucking drown me, and I am not going to sit here and take this bullshit. I'm moving my here to over there." She jabs her arm across my face, motioning in the direction of the parking lot.

Oh well, I think. You're the one who thought I was alone in the first place. Make my day and leave me.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Ode to Dishabillophobia

In gym class, Alex climbs the stairs to the changing room.
"Fuck it," she says. "I'm not doing gym."

She untangles the earphones from her hair and pulls it back into a dark ponytail with a blue elastic band from her wrist. As she walks back down the stairs, her phone vibrates, sending shivers up her spine.

"What, no show for me today?" it reads.
She erases the message, pretending it never sent in the first place. Pretending she never read it. Then she pulls a think layered mask across her face, consisting of solely a slight, quaint smile.
"Fuck you," she says out loud. "Fuck everything you've done to me."
With that, Alex hurries into the gymnasium and sits on the bench. Tick one, tick two, tick three, tick four.
She runs her fingers along the bench wood in a straight line, tick, ticking her way until class is over.

"Alex," she hears from behind her.
She turns, and it's her gym teacher.
"See me after school. You're running laps."

Alex doesn't move her smile, but instead lets it sit there, in all it's wrongness.
Running, Alex thinks. Is an excellent way to improve your body. 
It tones your leg muscles and, if you do it long enough, helps your lungs improve their breathing capability, just in case you ever need to run away. 
She nods in the direction of her instructor, then almost lets a real smile break her mask away.

But that would mean breaking it forever. 
And one real smile is not worth the millions of fake ones she's perfected. 

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

On the Edge

"You do this... You stand on ledges, waiting for someone to talk you down. Well I can't do it anymore! I can't beg... and plead... and cry... I won't do this. Not again. 

"Do it. Take that step off the ledge. See if I care. Because I'm done... with this. With you. I can't. I've had enough. You know my reasons for wanting you alive. It makes no difference, fine. Jump then. Die. But stop killing me."

She jumps.