Warning: Brevity is not her strong suit. But she will try because the word count demands it. Here is her attempt…
Warning: Will eat chocolate and there may be stains in places you didn’t think would be possible. True story: chocolate found it’s way behind her ear.
Warning: has an unpredictable laugh- it can start as a low bass thudding out a low “haha” to then sound like a piccolo, then possibly a wheezing windpipe and finally she might end in a snort… nobody knows (least of all her).
Warning: sings harmony to every goddamn song that comes on the radio even if she doesn’t know the words… she will find a way to sing.
Warning: is fiercely loyal. She may seem sweet, but she will protect her own. I will leave that up to your interpretation…
Warning: sometimes she feels so sad she doesn’t know why or where it comes from. Let her cry, she’ll release the excess and be okay :)
There once was a young male squatter
with dreams of becoming a potter
But his dreams lost all sense
As he was short of pence
and he lost his hands in a clobber.
Daddy had no intention of changing his lifestyle. Sixty years. He was in too deep. The dying sizzle of an oil-slicked pan made my stomach churn.
"I'm still a stroke waiting to happen," he mused. His newly lit Pall Mall was still smoking in the ashtray, waiting for him to finish guzzling the frosty splash of a Miller Lite washing along his crooked teeth. Only ninety-six calories, the bottle bragged. He was on his third one. It had been a lazy day.
Ketchup melts into the checkered red of the plastic tray. I swat at a fly insistent on landing on the condiments.
A housefly lives for twenty-eight days. What is sixty years stagnant compared to a month of rapid change?
My fingers linger
under my mattress
I feel so lonely
I hold the cotton
to my nose
and sniff his scent
who he was
and what he meant
why did he leave?
I still loved him
remembered his laugh
we would stroll
along our beach
and he would say
how much he loved me
of our lovemaking
of our words
of his body
and the day
when I wept
as the rich earth
over his casket
and he vanished
from my life
from my heart
Ignorance is bliss
I never wanted to know
when your friend told me
I walked away
to an ugly truth
I could not believe
I would not
let it soil
I wanted to live
in the world we built
where we loved
where we loved
Under the bed,
I find a
scrap of silk
I never owned.
frozen with grief
and turns to ash
in that moment
in a black plastic
all the other
I never wanted know.
That damn laundromat. Doesn’t anyone care anymore? Leaving their nasty undies in the dryer to mix with my cloths. Isn’t this the age of Covid? Shouldn’t someone have checked?
Now I have these washed and dried but still foreign red polka dotted sheer panties. God knows whose they are or what has been in them? It is difficult not to wonder about the person selecting these. I can see the fingers of my hands too clearly when I hold them up to the window. Sun spilling red polkadots on my kitchen vinyl. They were not meant to cover but reveal. My fingers moving within the delicate fibers. I lower my nose to sniff and smell only Downey. So clean now. I wonder who. I wonder if they are satisfied. I wonder why they came to me.
What is the thing to do with these? Take them back and put them in the Lost and found bin, or burn them and roast marshmallows for s’mores with them? I think I’ll burn them. Lucious, just thinking about it. Melted chocolate, puffy white mounds catching fire, charring quickly into flames...insides sticky too sweet and hot, so hot.
i find a bra under the bed
that doesn't belong to you
and it doesn't belong to me
lately you've been gone
so often it feels as if
i live alone.
you haven't been in
our (my) bedroom
i don't know where you're going
and i don't want to know.
but playing the guessing game is
my nerves are strung out,
i lash out at the walls
but i stay silent when you come home
because this pain i feel is a lonely sort of intimacy;
intimacy that i've never felt with you.
we've had our passionate nights,
but i obviously mean nothing to you.
so i'm trying to pretend
that you're not everything to me.
this pain i feel is a
and every day you leave again
i dance with the ghosts of my tears
and wait for you to come home.
once we were just girls,
"experimenting" they said
and now i wonder are you
i live alone
in this shell of a heart
that used to be full of you.
I was laying in my bed listening to the wake up call of my annoying alarm clock, urging me to get out of bed from somewhere deep in my closet where I had thrown it two seconds earlier. It was the weekend and I wanted to sleep in but clearly my alarm clock didn't know that.
I groaned and rolled out of bed, falling splat on the floor and feeling the cold wood push against my bare legs where my night gown had rolled up. Then being the natural human being I was, I crawled like a spider across the floor and into my closet to find the alarm clock and kill it.
Two minutes later, yes it took my sleepy brain that long to pinpoint the noise, I shut off my alarm clock and pushed to a standing position.
I started to push aside clothing on the rack, trying to find something I could wear, most of it had stains and rips from being human. I then came to a hot pink biker jacket that had never ever been in my closet. How I knew it wasn't mine you ask? Well first off I had never worn anything pink in my life, especially hot pink. Second It had no rips and stains like 99% of my outfits and last but not least it was stiff and tight looking, a very logical reason to why I was about to burn it.
I grabbed a bright yellow, loose dress that had minimum damage and walked into the bathroom. I stripped out of my nightgown and popped in the shower to wash my hair. The water felt good cascading down over my body and it was twenty minutes later I stepped out to dry off. I pulled the dress over my head and stood in front of the mirror, brushing my teeth and hair. Once I was done I grabbed the pink jacket from my closet and dashed downstairs.
I grabbed an apple and rushed out the door to my car and climbed in, throwing the jacket way in the back. I put the car into drive and pulled out of my driveway. I drove down the road to an abandoned parking lot I had found in the back of the woods a year ago.
I looked around then started piling wood in the middle of the parking lot, and then I lit a large fire. I walked over to the car to grab the jacket but I couldn't find it. I hissed, I must have only thought I brought it. I started walking back towards the fire when I heard another car pull up. I turned around to see a police car and a man getting out.
"What are you doing miss?" He asked walked over to me "You shouldn't be lighting fires in parking lots, much less this close to the woods, which are quite close to the woodworks."
I sighed then said "I had this..." I waved my hands wildly "I guess a jacket in my car that I was going to burn but now it is missing."
"And how could this jacket be missing if you put it in your car?" He stared at me buntly.
"I don't know!" I said my voice raising.
His hand went to his belt and he said "Why don't I take a look in your car, miss?"
He walked over to my car and opened the unlocked down and looked around. Then he strutted back over to me with, you guessed it, the pink jacket.
"This jacket?" He asked, holding it up.
I gapped at the jacket. "That wasn't there before!" I yelled, frustrated and annoyed as he pointed towards the police cruiser.
"Why don't you get in there and we can take a drive over to the station?"
"But I don't need to." I stated trying to keep calm.
"We can do this the easy way or the hard way?" He said. "I for one would prefer for this to be easy."
I sighed and climbed in the cruiser, he climbed in the front and locked the door. He backed the car up and then headed towards the station.
At the station I was quizzed and my fingerprints were taken. Having no reason to hold me they did let me go an hour later. I knew I wasn't crazy but I would need to figure out what that jacket meant.
TO BE CONTINUED
i picture it, soft, and i ache
The last dregs of sunset spill out through the drawn curtains, bathing the bedroom in the soft, dulcet gold of the lowering sun. The room is swathed in mellow light. As if recognizing how the evening’s beginning to settle, the aircon’s quieted to a dull hum.
Sha Yexing pushes her face petulantly into the bed’s sheets. It’s hot. Which, really, of course, would be better if she simply kicked the blankets off, but she’s tired. She is! And it’s not like it’s just laziness—an entire day of tennis matches would easily have incapacited anyone just the same. Seriously. Seriously!
Lu Jing hums obligingly in response, and she realizes she’s been mumbling these thoughts out loud. The bed sinks next to her. She cracks open an eye to watch her boyfriend settle himself, laying on his side, head pillowed on his arm, facing her.
“Hurts,” Sha Yexing complains, playing it up a little with a whine for her poor, piteous state. “Sore.”
Lu Jing gently brushes a damp strand of hair out of her face. “Did you stretch?”
Ah. Well. No, she technically didn’t. But Sha Yexing was beyond that! The aircon suddenly starts back up again. Some distant ambulance siren far outside blares, the sound waning and dulling as it drives away. Lu Jing lets out a small, amused breath at her lack of a response.
“Gege thinks so little of me,” she answers instead, fluttering her lashes as she uses the very small amount of energy she has to wriggle closer to him.
He smiles at her softly, eyebrow slightly raised. “I think you’re avoiding the question.”
“Xing-er would never,” Sha Yexing breathes out, going for a falsely accosted look. She thumps her head against his chest once she’s close enough. Breathes in the scent of pastries from his patterned sleep clothes. “Xing-er’s such a good girl.”
Lu Jing huffs out a quiet laugh again. “Does it still hurt?”
His hands gently find their way to her waist, then to her lower back. Sha Yexing sighs in contentment, wrapping an arm around him and finally nuzzling his chest in earnest. He pushes the fabric of her night shirt up, and she pulls back to look up at him mischievously. Lu Jing clicks his tongue, shaking his head at her, fond.
He gently kneads the tense knots there, calloused fingertips against her damp skin working at the tight muscles beneath. She gives a muffled groan as the aches begin to slowly bleed away.
“It really does hurt,” Sha Yexing whispers at some point, voice slurred with drowsiness. "’M not lying.”
“I know you’re not,” Lu Jing answers, soft. Indulgent. Always so indulgent. Some awful part of her subconscious wants to take his indulgence and see how much of the twisted greed inside her it could take. The more present part of her mind hushes this, and the thoughts are easily dispelled by sleepiness.
Even more gently, as if sensing her drooping eyelids, Lu Jing gently slides his hand to the back of her knee, then pulls it softly so her leg is hitched across his hip. The movement has Sha Yexing blinking awake, and she feels a wicked smile curl at the corner of her lips as he works at the sore muscles of her leg.
“Gege’s awfully bold today,” she croons, shifting her head from beneath his chin.
“Yexing,” Lu Jing says, blinking, sensing her mischief.
She presses a kiss to his clavicle, grinning against his skin when he jolts ever so slightly. “You took photos of my matches? Did gege like the color of the skirt I picked out?”
He’s quiet, as if considering and recalling. “It went nicely with your sun visor,” Lu Jing answers thoughtfully.
“So gege paid attention to it.” She pauses, thinking to poke her tongue out suddenly to feel him flinch again, but decides against it. “Xing-er can wear a different one that he likes more, next time.”
Lu Jing says, “You always look pretty in any outfit.”
Sha Yexing stills. Her devilish smile fades, mind halting with the genuine statement. She’s not sure how to respond when she stops the teasing, stops the play-fishing for compliments.
“Thank you,” she whispers, sounding confused. Then, firmer, “thank you.”
Lu Jing hums.
She holds him tighter, suddenly. The awful voice in her head starts up again, a choir of terrible chanting, stay, stay, stay, perfect, you’re beautiful, you’re too good, be mine, mine, mine.
Ignoring them, she says, “Lu Jing is...nice in...everything, too.” Sha Yexing cringes at how the words fail to come out right. How to tell someone that they’re too brilliant to describe? “And...thank you, gege.”
The sunset blankets them, warm. In the quiet song of their intertwined heartbeats, the stars begin to creep into the sky.
The train lurches forward as though it is exhausted, worn out by loud conversation and dirt stained shoes shuffling along its floors, by the stenches of alcohol and cigarette smoke that keep its passengers company and the texter marks scribbled on its walls and the old chewing gum plastered on the backs of its seats
A young university student gave up his place by the window for a middle aged lady who didn’t think to give just a single, “thank you,” or nod of acknowledgement and now he stands staring out at the last rays of sunlight reflected on the flashy tiles covering apartment buildings with tired eyes
The little boy trying to demonstrate his gaming skills on a phone with a cracked screen pesters “Mummy, Mummy,” in an effort to gain his distracted mother’s attention; the teenage girl nods her head to a beat only she can hear
The young woman with plump red lips and long fake lashes and tears inside her eyes just waiting to fall texts “I’m fine” to an internet boyfriend she’ll never meet
While the hippie with Love tattooed on both arms swears loudly at his tangled earplug chords, the woman with cut lip and a colourful bruise on her cheekbone laughs awkwardly while her loud friend makes jokes that only she believes are worth laughing at
And the man who is not so young anymore softly hums the tune to a song no one remembers; wondering why, amidst all the bustle, there dwells such a strange sense of quiet sadness
And how it has come to be that so many unconnected little worlds and broken dreams are riding together on that one crowded, lonely train.