"What do you want in life?"
She would not look at him, focusing her eyes straight ahead. The darkness suited her then, the dim streetlamps barely illuminating the street above, shining dulling upon the hood of her car.
"Uhm, I don’t know. What do you want?"
It was cold. The air froze her toes, chilled her legs, made her want to shiver and breathe clouds onto the windshield. Stillness was all she could perform, however; her focus was on the curb directly beneath the flickering lamppost, where the light shone the brightest. To be still, to listen- it was in her blood, the defense mechanism that had for so long made her who she was and who she couldn’t be. She was the cold hunter, eyeing that bright spot on the curb as if it was about to run away; she was the rabbit in the brush, heart thumping and alive, but only moments away from death should she even breathe.
"Time. And money," she said, finally turning to him. She instinctively leaned back onto the door, the ice cold window freezing her skin through her hair. Her arms crossed her chest, fully aware that this was the position she fell into when she was trying to hide herself, to cover up the scars and the open wounds so that only a flawless mirror reflected what he wanted to see.
“Enough so that I don’t have to worry about anything. So I can wake up late and not stress about time being wasted, so I can buy something I want and do whatever I want to do without having to worry about anything happening further down the line.”
She watched for his reaction, a wry smile on her face. Such a selfish and materialistic desire, she thought. She watched as he turned away, that sheepish smile, those gentle eyes, always so kind, so loving.
She resumed her attention on the pool of light on the curb, once again the cold hunter, the tense prey. A girl and a boy sat in a car, all alone on a winter night, a pair with history and yet were like strangers meeting for the first time. There was only a lonely lamppost to keep them company.
I suppose I should be glad.
I’ve reached emotional stability
Am no longer bogged down by things that won’t matter
Am able to brush things
I suppose I should be happy.
I always am nowadays
Always able to laugh
Always able to
I feel glad.
I feel happy.
To the point where I feel numb
when I’ve achieved
Have you ever had
one of those days
you don’t want to move
you don’t want to think
you don’t want to see people
you don’t want to talk to them
but most importantly
you don’t want to BE?
Because the truth is
that’s how my day is.
All the time.
I don’t think you understand
what the word means to me
Still so far
yet within reach
it is sunsets at the beach, the waves playing at my feet
sunrises gone by with a pillow against my head
music playing with my hair, mingled with the laughter of friends
a time so luscious that it seems like it would never end
it is but a better hell
than this one.
It’s been a slow process, but I think I’m getting there.
Accepting that I will never become the person that I hope to be, that my ideals are too lofty for somebody like me, that any expectations are too many. While I now see how impossible achieving my aspirations is going to be, it’s still going to be a struggle for me to not despair about it, to not compare myself to others and to just be complacent. Since I now know that it’s impossible for me to be completely happy, my main fight would be to find middle ground. To just get through life, like another task on my checklist…although I haven’t even been doing well with checklists lately.
Life. I don’t know what to do with it. Laugh at it? Sneer? Hold it tenderly in the palm of my hand, trembling as I barely holding back the urge to squeeze tight and not let go until the last drop of it oozes from between my fingers?
What a chore. A burden. A struggle. And it’ll only end when I die of natural causes or some freak accident. It’s too much for me to even hope that I’ll die wondrously, saving someone from a fire or something heroic like that. How pathetic. I can’t even make my death turn out how I dream it to be. Cutting, bleeding out, hanging, taking pills, all of that usual stuff…I never understood the point of it. To say that I’ve thought of suicide is giving me too much credit. While the almost romantic idea of it tantalized me when I was younger, I know now that I’d never go through with it.
I just want to…I don’t even know. If I can’t be happy, then at least I wanted someone to see tragedy in my life, to just know. To know all the things that I’ve never told anyone and never should tell anyone, and to just tell me that I’m at least being…reasonable? Is that what I want? For these feelings to be justified, to be told that I’m not being naive, that I’m not wrong to have these moments of desolate emptiness?
To start over. Since day 1, that’s been the thought that’s been in my mind. I don’t want my life to end- if anything, I want it to be full and lustrous. But to just restart, to not have all of my mistakes, all of these thoughts and memories in my head, to be a different person. I was just a mistake. An error in the system. Nothing I do is right. Every time I’ve changed schools, from switching elementary schools to starting college, I’ve hoped that I’ll be able to start fresh. “I’m starting a blank page, I’ll do it right this time.” My first year hasn’t even ended and already I want to leave, to start new again. It’s hilarious- I couldn’t even do college right, the time of freedom, of trying new things, of having fun and finding out who I really am. All I’ve learned is that I’ve been deceiving myself into thinking that I’ll be able to be anything more, and that I’m not even capable of doing the simplest of things. I can’t be smart. I can’t be fun. I can’t be kind. I can’t be enduring. For fuck’s sake, I don’t even know how to talk to my best friend.
I can’t say anything to him. He’s the number one person that I should be able to talk to, but I can’t say anything. I wish I could do something- be mad at him for not asking me things, for not seeing through my poor act. I want to scream at him, to break down in front of him, to throw things and just lose it, just so this one person will know…but that’s not fair for him. We say that we’re best friends, and he almost always shares his life with me, but this part of myself…I don’t want him to know how damaged I perceive myself to be. How could I do that to him, to this boy with such a kind and open heart to have taken me in, how could I hand off my burden of a life to him? The best comparison that I can think to my mentality towards life is if I were raped. I would never tell anybody. Society and the media tells rape victims to say something, so that the perpetrator can be brought to justice and to get closure, but I would never tell. I don’t want people to look at me and see a rape victim. I want them to see someone happy, strong, intelligent. Someone who, if not already put together, at least figuring it out.
Ignorance is truly bliss. To not be aware of the extent of my failures, for him to not know what a fragile being he has taken into his life, thinking that we’ll be able to support each other when I can barely even hold myself together. Daniel, if you ever come across this, which I hope you never will until after I’m finally dotted the i’s and crossed the t’s of my existence, I want you to know that I love you. I don’t even know what type of love it is- familial, platonic, romantic…to say that I hadn’t considered the latter would be a lie, but I understand that it would never be an option for either of us. But I love you. For the late night talks, the idle chatter and the distraction from my problems with your own. For your warm embrace, your ridiculous laugh, your adorkable awkwardness, your ability to make me smile with just your presence. For introducing me to your family who have kinder to me than I had ever thought possible, for including me in the Group from the very beginning, for even calling me your best friend.
I used to look at people, my friends, people I’ve met, and be jealous of them. Their beauty, their brains, their just general livelihood. But now, I don’t think I feel jealous anymore. I feel…elated. They’re living their lives well. They’re doing it right. I’m so happy for them. “Good for you, Glen Coco,” I want to say. I want to laugh hysterically at how the ridiculous things I say seem to sound so joyous and hilarious to others, when on the inside I’m falling to my knees, unable to stand any longer.
To let life pass me by…people make it sound like such a crime, such a waste. I would love for life to just go on without me, to not keep pushing me to keep up and taunt me with words of encouragement. I’m so tired. So tired of competing only to stumble at the finish line, of trying to fit in with people who only see what they want to see, of trying to pass off as something else so people won’t ask questions. Of trying, of failing, of sleeping, of not sleeping, of thinking, of trying to push my thoughts away.
Lines across lines, white and cracked. Dry flakes peeling up, little triangles rough to the touch. A pinch here, a scratch there, a slightly bruised finger crushed during a task. Splashed with chemicals, seared with burns, no time to care for the line awaits. Day in and day out, lifting and scrubbing, all to the beat of “Thank you” and “Have a nice day”.
Scarred and dry, cracked and old, such are the hands of a working gal.
It’s kind of expected, you know. To know that I’m going to hell.
I have it all. They’re all a part of me, perhaps in varying degrees at different times of the day, but they’re always there.
Perhaps it’s a comfort to know that I’m not the only one sinning every day of my life, that in every person I meet, every person I see, they have the same sins as I do. We’re all connected this way, which is bizarre, but it makes me feel a little less alone in the world.
And so I say, Hello, Satan, take me to where I need to be, to wherever you are, because you are me and I am you for we are one and the same. Hell, oh hell, I am living in one now, so how much different could the next one be?
It’s kind of fascinating, you know. To know that you’re going to hell.
I wonder what type of delicious delights I’ll meet down there. Since I’m going down there, hell must be the place to be for people like me. The lustful, the greedy, oh so scrumptious. The smell of our sweat and grime, all mixing together as we burn in close proximity…I almost can’t wait.
You would think that hell would be a punishment to a person like me, but then why do I get so excited (in more ways than one) thinking about it? It won’t be like here, where there are restraints and laws and dire consequences for the thoughts in my mind, but once I’m there, it’s not like there can be any worse punishment awaiting me.
As a matter of fact, I might as well live my life up, devouring the precious smell of skin and flesh, of ecstasy and love, giving myself up to my longing and desire. I mean, I’m going to hell anyways.
I am feeling gray today.
Yes, that is how I feel.
Not a color, but a world
Of only shadows and light,
Although more of the former than the latter.
No distinction or definition,
No lines or barriers,
Just shades of shades
All melding into one.
No time to play,
No place to stay,
When asked, “How do you do?”
I respond, “Very gray, and you?”
I am feeling gray today.
Won’t you color me in for a change?
It’s kind of annoying, you know. To know that you’re going to hell.
Yes, I loved my food. The sugary delights, the scrumptious steak with the sticky A1 sauce, the leafy greens of a salad built into a wonderful house of veggies and fruit…why let it go to waste? You could say that I was doing society a favor, eating what others didn’t want and appreciating all foods of all sizes and flavors. I was promoting non-discrimination.
Hey, if I’m going to hell, at least I’ll burn and roast into a delectable piece of meat.