Poem? I guess
Hope is what it's like to breathe, the endless air filling you lungs propelling you forward, allowing your body to begin it's journey to move towards impossible goals. To dream is to be human, to want something mystical and outside yourself, to ask of god, "what if?" To beg of the cosmos "Why not? Who could I be?" To transform yourself in a way, personal and impersonal without ever truly leaving. To expect is greed. It's rooted, it refuses to ask "What if?" But yearns for whatever it craves with a hungry maw that refuses to show how grateful it is. To expect is to be cared for, to be loved by the selfless, to never voice your thankfulness to the universe whom provides.
Every post, every photo lost to history, you can't make my face out in a crowd. The memories we make now don't matter to you anymore, you shut me out with such quickness when you were so slow to let me in.
I touch two fingers gently to my screen, over the space where your smiling face beams at me and I hope you do the same, I ache, my heart soft and damaged, at the idea of being forgotten. I ask myself quietly, if I'm a villain in your story, If I am an extra with an unimportant role, with character flaws that make me endearing but no qualities to hold your attention. Most of all I ask myself if I'm thought of at all. Will you remember me when I'm gone? Will I be marked with scorn and forgotten? Is everything I do in futile hope that Someone remembers what I did before I up and leave?
Do I want to be remembered at all If It's a modified version of who I was?
Should I live in truth and risk not being remembered fondly?
She pinches the substance between her fingers and places it on her tongue, a wicked smile comes over the mouth of her friend sitting across from her. "I don't know about this hazel." She mumbles trying not to disturb the minerals. The girl just smiles "Don't you trust me?"
She nods, mutely, her pulse racing.
"Would I ever steer you wrong?"
She shakes her head stiffly back and forth, a strip of skin is exposed as Hazel reaches over and brushes the hair from her face, her heart is caught in her throat, she fears the other girl could hear it.
"Then it'll be fine, silly."
Heat floods her face, helplessly.
"Now close your eyes and relax."
She obeys, closing her eyes and focusing on the feeling of salt on her tongue, She feels faint, a giddy nervousness overcoming her as she hears Hazel shuffle through the room.
There are gentle hands on her shoulders, words are being spoken that she can't quite make out, the music that was playing is no longer distinguishable. She feels expansive, her body vibrating her giddy anxiousness expanding into something otherworldly.
She wakes to Hazel overdosed on the floor.
House of memories
My floorboards creak as they walk across me, I try to support them best I can but I'm of a time before their birth, I'll be there in the time after their death. The shuffling of feet across the carpet at three in the morning as nocturnal children come out to play, grabbing forbidden delicacies from the fridge, that never quite fit. In the morning, I am bathed in light serenely serenaded by birds, basking in the feeling of the rising sun, true peace.
Alas, it's not meant to be I hear what gets said over the breakfast table, I feel my drawers slammed just tight enough to make a statement you dare not utter. The feeling of shoes decisively stomping up the stairs, music blaring, shaking the house in revolt. I hear the sounds of keyboards clacking into the late hours, venting, trying to explain why laundry folding habits have a secret meaning. I Wish I could bring you back to the serene morning, wishing you could feel the warm rays and hear the bluejays bring you some semblance of peace, or Allowing you to stomp out the feelings that crush your frail human chest. I am Here.
Nobody talks to the dead. Laying inanimate on the table, their body filled with embalming fluids, stiff and silent, they never complain. Looking down upon the face of a pale woman, The mortician compartmentalizes. She takes a deep breath, mentally blowing out candles but the image stays the same. Her mother lays dead. She knew this would come, her mother requested it, she asked for her daughter to do what she did best but the sagging skin, the lack of blood, she looked as if someone had rung her out to dry. The girl pressed on, she pulled out her mother's makeup, running a hand along the plastic case, grounding herself. This was her element, She'd be her masterpiece.
So she began, rouge on the cheeks of her beloved, plucking eyebrow hairs and drawing on lipstick. Through the process tears would spring and bite at her eyes, she couldn't help but think back to her mother's life as she faced her death. Mom's beauty, her pain.
It's been 6 months, 3 days and 17 minutes Since you left me. Since you tore out the pages that made up your book and cut the future short. Red ink was all that remained when you left me, this puddle this void, I felt it. So I picked up a journal, little and blue, and I began to write. I started with a date, The day you said your first words to me. Then, I wrote your name, It felt so powerful to see it in dark ink, to look at the curves, the letters my very own hands drew up, It Breathed. That was just the beginning.
After I wrote your name, I started your story, everything you'd ever told me, fleshing out the little details, the snarky stories of your siblings, your strange relationship with your parents, the breakups, makeups and grungy little details. I found my solace in the writing, you were the best Muse I'd ever had. I kept going, page after page, With every word I felt your skin, the touch of your hand on my arm, the brush of invisible kisses on my temple as light as paper between my fingers as I turnt the page. With every word you came back to me and with every word I cling to the memory of you.
Until one day, one day I ran out of stories to tell, I felt you fading. My heart was filled with anguish there was nothing I could do. What could you do if words were not enough? If you'd run out. I searched for years for answers and found only one. To bring you back.
Now I stand, in my room, surrounded by a pillar, a table cloth with indecipherable symbols, I find myself chanting your name along with a string of latin, I'm shaking now, the power coursing through me, my heart palpitates, the wind picks up to match. I'm crying now, it feels like I've run a marathon.
When suddenly I hear it, For the first time in a long time, it's you.
"Hey," your voice is hoarse, your skin pure white and paper thin. "I got your letters."
She clung to me, her scent in my sheets, her hair in my fingers, the sun ever burning my retinas how could I possibly forget that? When I close my eyes an afterimage of her still lingers. I push her away, out of my mind. Bury myself in work.
The feeling of her warm skin against mine, her solid body a smooth perfectly fitting puzzle piece against my own, a comfort. Again I push it away, the ghost sensation that still haunts me.
I find myself, thinking about our inside jokes, they whisper and tug at me, I walk through the isles of the grocery store thinking about what you liked to eat, the little jokes you'd make. I swat the thoughts away like flies.
You still murmur in the back of my head, I lack clarity because of it, I go on dates, the hazy, uninterested smiles of attractive men can't compare to the way you used to look at me, your moonbeam face still watches me from the booths behind their heads.
I'm with someone new now, Your name still lingers on my tongue when I say theirs aloud, but I can't hear your laugh when they begin to giggle, I begin to forget.
The Walking Dead.
His heart hammered in his chest, beating frantically against his ribcage, running was never his strong suit. Gangly limbs pushed forward past the burning sensation in the muscles of his thighs. There was breath, hot and heavy on his neck, the open maw of glorified tainted meat behind him Or was that just anxiety?
Ahead was a shuttered building, a Bar! locked down in attempt to stop the inevitable maybe it would shelter him for just a second. He pressed forward, running full speed towards it, when he arrived, without hesitation he slammed his baseball bat into the front window, vinyl, glass and wooden boards splintered out helpless against his pure will. He was peppered in cuts after shimming through the glass but could feel nothing, adrenaline is one hell of a drug. Frantically he attempted to block the shattered window, he could feel it now, not the pain but the nausea. His body tremors helplessly, "F-Fuck.." He couldn't think about this now, he had to move. How long had it been? Two weeks? Four? Symptoms of withdrawal were starting to show.
There was a shuffling, unsure of itself, then the cocking of a gun. His eyes widened, he turned to face the sound, he dropped his bat, hands raised. "I'm not one of them!" There was no conviction in his voice
"I don't fucking care, you need to leave." A woman with long blonde hair, dark roots slowly strangling it. Her stance was wide and firm, rooted in place. "Every one of them in a 20 mile radius are going to be running here now because you!" She took a decisive step forward. Blood seeped from the man's sides, His blue collared shirt turning a dark brown, he smiled helplessly, it figured.
"Fuck you smiling for!?" She searched his body "Did you get bit?!"
"No, I broke the window on the way in. It's just funny, is all." She furrowed her brow making a face of disgust "Its just I spent years trying to become numb, killing myself, the most pleasant way I knew how. Now I'm trying so hard- so fucking hard to live and it'll ultimately come down to you shooting me, or worse! Having a fucking seizure because I haven't had any liquid courage." He spread his arms out wide motioning towards the bottles of untouched liquor surrounding her, just behind the counter. His face was turning red, his chest tight as he angrily huffed out the words. Black spots began to cloud his vision, tears streamed down his face, and he put his hands down clenching and unclenching his fist.
He wheezed helplessly. "What's your name?" He voice became soft, sympathetic.
"Jamie Horton." He breathed
"Nice to meet you, Jamie, I'm Alyssa." She had started to cry too. Jamie lowered himself to the ground, slowly, the barstools and tables were pressed against the front door, nothing to help him down. He wrapped his arms around himself.
"Before this all started, I wasn't much of a prize." He began through labored breathing, "A terrible boyfriend, I could hardly pay my rent, the last time I saw my little sister I was locked outside my parent's house in the middle of the night." He shuddered, a sudden chill remembering it. "She was eight, she didn't deserve to see that, hear me curse them out." Alyssa lowered her gun, she reached down looking for a first aid kit.
"I thought I would get better, if i gave up cold turkey, I might somehow, win them back. My family, my friends." His face was pale, he was sweating profusely.
"Then this mess kicks up."
"I- I can't help you, Jamie." Alyssa whispered helplessly, A saccharine smile crossed Jamie's features.
"Just listen, love." She nodded obediently
"Can I get you a drink?" Her voice broke
He shook his head, "What's the point? I'd rather die like this than become one of them."
Alyssa went around the counter, The soft murmur of the undead a white noise in the background of her consciousness, she sat next to Jamie, and took his hand. Through labored breaths He told her his story, resting a head on her shoulder.
Twenty minutes later he started convulsing violently, his whole body shuddering and shutting down. She tried to give him chest compressions, keep him alive, but it was hopeless. Tears clouded her vision as the world around her fell into silence.
Moving in (Old Draft)
She was pressed against the edge of the breakfast bar, her hands ran through her hair, a nervous motion accompanied by an awkward smile, she laughed, breathless and anxious. “Well-” she paused to clear her throat and swallow, “Listen-” he began, but much like her he hesitated, she let out another breathless laugh “I- well, I think this is what’s best, J.” she said, her voice wobbled but she stood firm, he looked away, down at her hands, the matte black stools lining the bar, anywhere but her eyes. “Right.” he faltered, he felt himself caught, he longed to reach out to her, apologize, do something to make this right. He didn’t.
So that was how it ended, a year of her life wasted, memories came back in, they flooded the senses she stood grounded, she ran her sweaty palms along the formica edge of the breakfast bar, she sighed and tried to calm herself, tears pooled, thick and fresh and stiffling, they stream down her face, her chest constricted she felt as if her body was thrashing but she didn’t move, she stood there a storm contained, half of her walked out the door, not for the first time.
Laughter spills out of J’s mouth, he snorts obnoxious and uncontrollable, of course, this triggers a wheezing fit of giggles in her, “C-Jesus!” he struggled to form words, tears sprung to her eyes, auburn hair unattractively clouding her face, she covered it with her hands and slowly they died down, their cheeks hurt and His face had turned completely red. He picked his laptop back up, sitting on Her bed, they snuggled, pushed against the wall she moved her arm awkwardly proping herself up with a pillow. “You okay, Cam?” he gave her an amused look, she pushed her hair from her face, She grins and nods “Yeah, Push play.” she leans into him, comfortable
Cam walks now, she turns and faces the little cubby she dared to call a kitchen, she blubbered helplessly to herself, wallowing, she looked at the electric tea kettle, she found her reflection, the warped, red image of her was disturbing, she stared at it for a moment too long, her head was pounding.
J mixes a pot of water that had just begun boiling “well don’t be completely useless!” he teases Cam, she leans over and gives him a chaste kiss “that’s still not helping… maybe one more?” she kissed him again, lingering a little, smiling wide, he tasted of wine and stolen ingredients. She broke away when the timer on her phone went off, “Now go chop those veggies, ’kay babe?” she hopped off the counter and walked away from the culinary experiment they were preparing. It was always like this when they cooked, it was nice, she sat on counters and he talked her ear off, or they played music and she’d come up behind him, wrap her arms around his waist, trail her hands up his stomach press herself into his back and just breathe in, deep and soft, leaving an imprint of him in her memory, the feeling of his stupid T-shirts, the smell of him, sandlewood and cinnamon, musk and citronilla but she loved it, she curled into it, retreating into a hazy feeling, happiness.
Cam huffs, she wipes her face, still sullen but better, like some balance was struck between herself and the universe, she straightened out and headed towards her shower. Her bones ached a dull psychological pain that hadn’t been there before, something horrible, lodged deep beneath her skin, her chest was filled with it, this imaginary pain. She stepped inside of the bathtub and lowered herself down, she sat, fully clothed, the tile was shockingly cold. What is it that draws people to their bathroom in times of distress? She slides down, sinking further and further, her head swirled with I could stay here forever. Who would know? Who would miss me? I guess I live alone now. I live alone. Now. She hadn’t lived alone her whole life.
“Okay, so what about this one?” J sat on Cams bed in the blocky little apartment she shared “nah, the kitchens too small for the price of rent.” he murmured, leaning over to look at her screen, her roommate padded into the room, light denim jeans flooded their vision as she came over to the couch they were lounging on, her hair was a tangled mop she slowly brushed through water splattered with every stroke. “I don’t know why you’re apartment hunting now, honestly you have a good gig livin’ with your parents, Jasper.” he sneered at her “you’ve never lived with them, you have no clue, it’s horrible.” he near groaned “well, what about this one?” Camilla forced a phone back into his face, He sighed loudly “I think I’m gonna have to look into finding a roommate.”
“But you don’t have any friends.” Camilla teased “’cept Allie but I doubt she counts as a friend, she’s more your tormentor.” Allison leaned over dramatically whipping her hair forward and brushing it from back to front, Jasper whipped Cam’s phone with his long sleeved shirt, irritated. “I’m sure I could put an ad out “looking for a roommate, no serial killers Please”.” he mused
“Doesn’t sound very promising…”
“It’s just as good as your Idea.” Cam shot Allie a look
“And what was her idea?” he didn’t even look up from her phone, she’d remember that.
“Why don’t you just move in with us? We’ll have the same roommate rules of course but it’d be more cost effective, and we definitely have the room to spare….”
“But we’d totally understand if you don’t want to make that decision was not an option for you right now or if you didn’t want to, you know like that’s a big leap in our relationship and we do live on a kind bad part of town and it’d be kinda far from your job…”
Allison gave her a weird look, and Jasper turned to face her, the same expression spreading across his face, confusion at this sudden spike of anxiety. Do you not want me to live here? Words left unspoken. “I just don’t want to force you into it.” whispers more than words, Allison wandered back a little, pretending to ignore the conversation she had started, quiet as possible she started fidgeting, tediously brushing the same part of her hair over and over again, looking askance. Cam sat up a little straighter, got her bearings and looked into Jasper’s pretty brown eyes “It’s not that I don’t want you to move in, it was my idea, matter of fact but, I don’t want you to be forced to do it, I don’t want you to be.. Pressured.” He placed his hands on top of her knees, and looked her clear in the face, she flushed but didn’t break eye contact, he was just a murmur to her “If you don’t want to do this, love, tell me now.” The words died on her tongue. Two weeks later the relationship followed.
Sweat, Sticky, Humid.
It clings to everything good
A Pool of regret.
- A take on Georgia weather