Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Hallow's Eve

Hallow's Eve is the night where we are all empty.
The night we dress up in costumes and masks because we're too afraid to face the world. This year, I'm going to be a Skeleton among Wizards and Ghosts.
I'll be even more empty than everyone.
I'll be the bones my skin is supposed to cover.
I'll be great.


"I wasn't afraid of myself until you were."

"I'm not afraid of you. Just of what you do to yourself."

Scowling, I rub my knuckles along the rough pavement until the skin rubs off completely. The sting of raw, bloody flesh barely touches me so I keep going, keep wrecking my hands. If I can rub them down until they're just stumps at the end of my arms, maybe I'll stop destroying everything I touch. 

"I fell in love once."


"He died."


"Jumped in front of a subway. Away from me. Said I'd killed him already."

A small shard of glass glints from the asphalt at my feet and I pick it up, examining its sharp edges. It's so clear I can see right through it, but I'm afraid to look in case I catch a glimpse of my own reflection by accident. Monsters have always scared me. The glass fits perfectly between my fingers, draws perfect lines into my skin, and opens up the seams of this costume I've been dying under. Only no blood falls out, just ash. 

"I'm a murderer."


"Everyone who gets close to me shrivels up inside."

"That's not death."

"They're dehydrated memories and then they crumble. Soon after, the body gives up too."

You reach over to console me, to put your hand on my shoulder in an empathetic gesture, but you fall right through me and your skin smacks loudly against the pavement. I was right when I told you two parts of the same person can't exist outside of each other. Maybe we should stitch ourselves back together again. 

Oh wait.

You're already running away. 

Never mind. Go be free. 

Monday, September 27, 2010

Matter, matter honey.

The fact was, they were talented. Fin played the guitar, sang with a hushed, melodic voice, and had the sweetest laugh. Jamie was the writer, who's words fit perfectly in Fin's mouth on stage, and sat quietly in her journals off.
They were golden.
Together, they were golden.
Jamie waited in the park every Friday on the grass (or when it snowed, on a bench), and wrote words that she dragged from her head, muttering under their breaths angrily. She scribbled them on the paper in neat block script, and when Fin walked up with his case over his back, she closed it quickly. She'd move over even when there was more than enough room for Fin already, and together they'd go through her pieces and put music to them.
Everyone was jealous of her words and his voice.
But Fin and Jamie couldn't be fucked, because it was the only thing that kept them sane. Without it, they would definitely be somewhere else. Somewhere possibly dark.
Occasionally the words would be louder and louder, almost angry, almost upset when Fin sang from the bottom of his lungs. He strummed the guitar, banging the side as he went for a beat. Those were the times when Jamie kept her book closed for minutes longer than usual. When her smile faded as he read through the lined pages.
But more frequently the words were quiet. Shielded just enough so you had to look under the shelter to understand. To pull the cover back just another inch.
Jamie never had to voice her words because Fin was her voice. But behind his voice, or rather, in front of, stood Fin, singing his heart out to desperately understand Jamie. She scared him.
Sometimes her words hurt him, dug claws into his spine and pulled. He knew something was terribly wrong, but he never questioned the meaning behind them, just the emotion. That was enough.
He figured if he sang for her, if he let out the pain she was feeling for her, then maybe he might understand, and maybe he might help.
Jamie was always in the audience or backstage. She watched his heart go out, lights, eyes, on his skin.
She listened to him, to herself. She loved his voice.
She loved it as if it were her own, as if he were her own, she loved him.

The last Friday they met in the park, Fin hugged Jamie, in tears. He hadn't any guitar case on his back, and Jamie held her journal tight in between them.
But it doesn't matter what was said, what happened. In the end their lives were as insignificant as any other.
Just as yours is, just as mine.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

What else

Emily Marxson watched her father pack his business suitcase much fuller than usual from the dim hallway, hugging the door-frame to his bedroom. Don't go, she begged silently. Please don't go.
Outside the window, into the cold night air, the city was holding on as usual, put-putting along just fine without much trouble. Slight Emily couldn't help but wonder what life would be like had they moved to the country. The country, a place her father couldn't run away from easily.
No, the city she loathed so dearly could barely hold him, flinging his bags into a taxi with a sigh of relief, breathing in the dirty exhaust, and tears running down her cheeks. She knew that he could be gone for a very long time, and she should be calling her mother to make the arrangements, but Emily stood in the door-way, her silhouette a dark shadow in her father's life.
Things took a turn for the darkness when her father started going away every weekend. But darkness wasn't real, anyway, and Emily Marxson was very aware of that. She knew just as well as anything that darkness was simply the absence of light, just as death was the absence of life. But neither hurt any less, felt any farther from home, no.
"How long will you be gone?" she asked, playing her role in the script ever-so-carelessly.
Her father didn't look up. "Not too long."

She was older now, a full fifteen years of age, but the frame of the door hugged her body just the same. The smooth blue paint felt just as cold and stiff as it did when she was five, when she was six, when she was seven. Years had passed, but the scene remained the same, as it must, in order for everything to stay together.

Her father's gruff voice always said the same sentence, the same way. All emotion missing, all loving, caring, tenderness lost in the grey city rush. Emily hated the city with everything she had, but she needed it to hold on, too.

The silence that passed through the room was amplified, buzzing in both their ears with cars honking down the streets, racing past their noses, pushing them back onto the side-walk before they got hit. As fog was on rainy days, neither spoke when her father walked out of the room, hoisting his heavy bag just to his waist.
"I love you," he spoke, no meaning behind the words. Emily nodded.
"I'll see you in a week, maybe."
Then he left, the front door shutting with a quiet click, a noise not audible if you weren't listening.
Emily stared at the door. Her eyes caught the way the light faded slowly. By the time it was night, new shadows had formed from the city noise, and she stared motionless for hours until the phone rang.
Such a noise one was accustomed to in this house, as the phone rang nearly every minute of weekdays. Her father would spend hours on the house phone, the business phone, his cell phone. It was almost hard to recognize him without it plastered to his ear.
For this reason, Emily had her own cell phone, one she loathed just as much as her own family. Her own blood meant nothing.

Her younger brother, clean flesh, laundry-smelling, car-noise of a child. He loved green shirts, and racing. Emily couldn't look him in the eyes.
Her mother, a woman who lived to cook and work, being the perfect balance of mother and job-hoe, Emily spoke to with clipped words and no warmth.
Even her friends, her encounters, her teachers... Emily couldn't stand any of them. But she must. She did, because the city was based off of who you knew, and what you did.

Emily was the perfect teenager.
She got A's, and nothing less. She played sports every day and ate the right foods. She went to the right parties, drank the right drinks, and knew the right people.

But inside, Emily was a monster who hung around in her little brother's closet, coming out at night with sharp teeth and claws. At night, Emily watched her mother from the backyard, the window opened, but the lights always off.
While her father was away, Emily tormented her family from the comfort of her deserted house.

Having killed herself at the age of fourteen, everyone in her family had their methods of coping. But her father lived in the city rush, constantly in motion, so her angry ghost couldn't keep up, couldn't break him apart.

She was loved, was she?
But no one knew enough to show it.