After a night out, we were allowed to muck around at a friend’s house. It was my older brother, his two friends and I. Nice guys. Hours passed us by. Full of food and tongue-tied, we sat in a bedroom in each our own corners, thoroughly occupied. All lazy-eyed and sleep-deprived - best described as braindead. Back of my neck on the foot of the bed, solving a Rubik’s with tar in my head. We jump at the buzz from receiving a text, then I slump back down into my spot on the carpet. My brother gets up for the toilet.
Boy 1 on the bed lets out a smug chuckle. Boy 2 spins his gaming chair to ask him, what’ll we say? Just wait, Boy 1 says. All the while, they’re both on their phones, tapping away. They’re messing around on a group chat, I guess, but I want to find out what the jokes are about. I ask Boy 1. He grins, turning his phone around.
There’s a group chat with other boys from their grade and a picture of me where I sit, cupping my face. The cube hides behind a convenient bed frame. If my eyesight is right, Boy 1 has claimed that I am -what I can only describe as- erm... servicing them both for the night.
Boys can be stupid, right?
Well, I’m pleased to say that the only “service” Boy 1 got that day was a nice taste of Rubik’s cube straight to the face. After that, it was all fun and games; both boys said sorry and I had my way.
Some protests can be held without wasting air - with words, I wouldn't know where I'd begin. It was cool after that, though. Nobody cared. We were all back to normal when my brother came in.
the blinding darkness
when darknesss comes
I cannot see you
only my memories of you remain
as I bring you with me across my dreams
when light enters
I wake up to a nightmare
where you are not even here
the darkness blinds me once again . . .
Ode to the flames
Ode to all the flames. That's right. The flames, those that consume everything in its path and cause the strongest foundations to crumble, licking at the sides of people's hearts. Burning everything they touch. (Of course, they can be reduced to small cooking fires but where's the drama in that?)
The flames hiss and spark before my eyes, but my vision is focused all around me. I am soon to be enveloped in flames. Soon, they will rare, like a snake, poising to make its kill on a small mouse. I will be burnt to crisp. The dense smoke parches my throat and I think to myself, "What a way to die. A matchstick, a box of tissues, and hand-sanitizer." I can't stand it any more. Collapsing to the floor, all I can think of is your face, swimming in the smoke.
A strong smell of burnt chicken meets my nostrils. I feel strangely cool, despite all the flames around me. Hmm. I can finally breathe too. I look down, I recieve a shock. I am covered in head to toe in feathers, scarlet and gold feathers that glow like embers. I scream, but instead of a human voice, I hear a low, soft musical cry emitted from my mouth? Beak?
Ah. I get it now. All this born anew, rising from the ashes stuff. A phoenix, that's what I am. Destined to live in the flames, no longer recognisable by those whom I love. A momentary flame. Smoke, disappearing too fast before you can see me.
WARNING: FLAMMABLE SUBSTANCE. KEEP AWAY FROM FLAMES.
The clock strikes, and all that can be heard is silence. Slowly, glass shatters.
your smile would have saved precious lives if not altered into a frown,
when darkness comes
embrace it with open arms
for without darkness first
how can you appreciate the light?
i need you.
just stay here with me
until we both fall asleep.
Ah, memes - the Gen Z edition of conveying one’s sense of humor.
A great invention, I might say.
The image, coupled with a witty caption and/or reimagined context, provides an inside look into the mind of the creator by conveying their unique blend of visual and semantic associations to the masses. With the ongoing global pandemic, what better way is there to share jokes than through posting intricately-crafted memes?
Well, there’s the issue of genuine human connection, or lack thereof.
Quarantine has led me to me realize that relating to and laughing at memes only create the illusion that we are understood within the wider community, or in other words, it’s only a pseudo-connection.
A proper meme should contain a joke, often a remark regarding a photo or video. The text either embeds the joke in the frame of reference or strips the image of its context altogether. Regardless, a functional meme should provide sufficient context for the audience to grasp the creator’s comedic vision of the given scenario. Whether or not a meme caters to the viewer’s sense of humor, it was created with the intent of it being understood. So no, you aren’t special for getting the joke.
Unlike with a riddle told manually, the recipient of a meme, in most cases, is sat alone in their room, scrolling through social media at a time they probably shouldn’t be. Identifying with the creator and comments doesn’t mean you’re laughing with other people, it means you have a brain. Your brain works and you’ve just viewed something that people find funny. One can also compare this analogy to other forms of media and ask, So what’s the difference? Literature, film, theatre, etc. are bound to invoke richer discussion unlike most memes, which often invoke nothing more than a nose-huff of laughter and a double-tap at best. Memes are addicting, but are they worth our time?
Sharing memes with one another, however, is a different story. Similar to discussing common interests, the back-and-forth sending of memes has the potential to reinforce existing relationships and add a fresh dimension to both monotonous and prosperous ones alike.
Once in a while, I still allow myself to wallow in the cesspool of memes that is my Instagram feed - and by once in a while, I mean one hour maximum per day. Maybe.
With these revelations in mind, though, I have to remind myself that the resulting illusion of human connection may be preventing me from reaching out to people I know during quarantine. I’ve found that the healthiest way for me to devour memes as I please is to forward my favorites to a friend and start a conversation rather than scrolling past right away :)
D E A D C R U S H (my guy)
my guy fancies grub that work him jaw - open wide
for flamin’ hot sliders with dustbin buns an’ a gooey slice of manhole pie
my guy blabs with his trap filled, nose in the filthy bushes, won’t temme why.
like he’s debatin’ with critters of the juvenile kind
ask him why. all he say is
yu gotta see dem belly buttons flail
lak a rogue skirt on a windy-ass day
my guy loves to slink silent, hitched to them calves like a cabooze -
he press snooze.
goin’ down sticky toy tracks, see a green light an’ he up like a kite
love is the drug that we're all after.
you fill up my senses.
and i miss you,
you know i do.
sometimes i still miss what i wished we could be.
you own all of my thoughts and words.
the birds fall from the trees.
i have you,
breathing down my neck.
tell me do you wonder?
you are the reason i dream.
i'll take whatever comes with it as long as it's yours.
i don't know why this has happened but i probably deserve it.
what's your head done.
there's too much space between you and me.
i'm a fuck-up.
you never remember me.
i thought we hit rock bottom,
and then the floor gave out.
without your love i'm nothing more,
than skin and bones and hate.
what is that song you sing for the dead?
i would hate you if i could.
tell me how,
anybody thinks under these conditions.
shave my head and change the way i think.
do you let your mind slip away at night?
i don't want to hesitate.
give me your misery.
how are your lungs,
mine are in pain.
pain is never permanent,
but tonight it's killing me.
i wish i never met you.
summer nights are serene.
pretend that i'm the sky.
who are you?
but what about,
these feelings i've got?
they say distant is relative.
i saw you in a dream.
cursed by the love that i recieved.
i'm sweet for you.
this could be the very minute,
i'm aware that i'm alive.
all these places feel like home.
i don't know where to begin.
my arms are open wide.
baby do you think about the past,
if every stupid little thing has led us to this?
you don't have to run.
i don't want to fall asleep.
you light up the dark.
you want love?
i'm in love,
but i'm feeling alone.