Category Archives: Prose

She

She remembers every forgotten moment. Every nook and cranny is eaten away by acid and filled with memories she can only comprehend on paper. It’s what she does and who she is.

This girl battles behind her eyelids every day, but loses herself in fantasies during dreams. The warm breeze of a forgotten land electrifies her scarred skin, sending shocks of life into her frozen body. She wins each day with these hope-filled stories. It’s what she does and who she is. Because nights lasted for years, and though she has befriended the monsters, her trust is long gone. Nobody should live through these moments; of that she is sure.

A harmless touch is a struck match to her body. She couldn’t crawl out of her skin faster, if attempted. She sits back against the wall with a paper barely clutched in her delicate hand. Admitting fears to strangers never seemed to make sense – and sitting there years later, only strengthened her belief. She swam to the bottom of any bottle around. Laughter was abundant and happiness – apparent. She won awards for being the best, but once alone, tape was stripped off the bottom of the trophy.

Liar. 

Only she knew.

Only she knew that life could give you everything ever wanted, but at a price. The lamp and genie sat smirking in the corner each time. When she wanted love, it was made to crash with hatred at freeway speeds. But like an addict, she kept returning. Now broken records play whenever peace takes over. All she knows is this repetition.

But forgotten memories are all she remembers…

Every smile that wrinkled your cheeks has been imprinted in her brain. Every successful attempt at being a warm shoulder has reduced the frost covering her heart. All these little moments take her back to the dreams that gave her enough reason to go on one more day. She was a complicated wreck, barely making it to next week. She despises the shadows that dance on the walls. But she is happy in her being, to the point that maybe she no longer has to just make it to next week.

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Little Girl

I’m tired of feeling like such a failure. Like I’m wrong for not attending every family gathering; or for not calling every Sunday, each family member. I’m so exhausted trying to be perfect for all of you that I hardly have time for myself.

You don’t see my daily struggles, my constant, fighting a depression that’s trying to kill me. Nine dollars an hour doesn’t afford frequent trips across the country – I’m sorry.

I’m sorry I can’t be perfect: the daughter and sister you wish you had. I never show it hurts me too, because if we’re all in pain, who is there left to blame? I’m tired of being a failure because you want something different. So when we talk on the phone and your voice falters because I’m not there, just know I’m dying inside; being torn in two, because I may not have visited lately, but you’ve also never traveled 900 miles just to say “Hey, it’s great to see you”.

Money was always a problem, even before I was homeless. I’m almost twenty-two and barely making it paycheck to paycheck. I have no money for doctor visits, even with insurance. I can’t even keep my brain on a steady level, because a psychologist costs $100 a visit and I have to shell out $1,500 before those visits are covered. But my sanity is less important than seeing my nephew. Who is this aunt he’s never met? I don’t know, because neither does she.

But I should be so much better, because I’m bright and I have a family who loves me…I have places to go, but not one place to call my home. Because home is this life I’ve created with my friends, and though it may not be the best option, there’s not one thing I’d change.

One thing I always lacked as a kid was a happiness of my own. Be a straight A student, go to college. Never get arrested or break the rules. Always be civil and suppress your anger – despite the secrets you know destroyed your image of family. My happiness was what you wanted of me, not what actually made me happy. And here it is again. It drags me down, further from my own future when you beg me to return home to Michigan. Instead of growing and living my life, I’m expected to step back because there’s an old life waiting for me to come home. And though aspects of that life mean everything to me, you have to understand I wouldn’t be returning to the life I remember. I’m not okay leaving a life that makes me happy, to a life that made me happy for one part of it.

I’m not saying goodbye or that I’m not grateful – trust me, I wouldn’t be me if it weren’t for you – I’m simply asking you to listen for once.

If I had the opportunity to visit more, I would. Because my god do I love my dysfunctional family. But I’m not even twenty-two, and I need to take care of myself. It’s not selfish, it’s needed. Because I’m not a little girl anymore…

Records

“I don’t want to be labeled.”
“You know, they follow you your whole life.”

So stigma becomes a life worth living. A life where the voices bombard your brain like world war six; because plans D and E didn’t work.

Let the record show, that ice cubes in the corner of your arms only physically showed the numbness encompassing your soul. It didn’t help. It only distracted you further from the growing frustration of not finding a cure. But…believe me…a record is far more fear-worthy.

The ink dries on crisp, white paper, on the desk of a doctor only trying to help. But you’re running from that room as if spikes appeared on the walls and began closing in. This simple, little paper with a solution to the disease in your brain. This is what you fear.

You carry a sign around your neck, labeled “Troubled”. People avoid eye contact and cover their moving lips. It’s everything they claimed. You tear off this sign, determined to hide a past, that is actually a reality. Starting over is easy. Bury the papers. Smile. Be a functioning puppet, as you have before.

Let the record show…patient is happy and healthy.
Let the record show…nothing is wrong.

People have stopped staring, finally. And you tell yourself there’s a more discrete way…because the voices are back. But that must be the price to pay. It’s okay.

Let the record show…patient is happy…and healthy. At least on the outside. See, I never understood this ‘record’. It controls our belief of what’s acceptable. Don’t be faulty – that’s not what makes an upstanding citizen. So 43.8 million people must decide if sanity is worth a tarnished record. Tell me why this is okay, while I sit and watch the 10th leading cause of death, destroy lives each day.

Memories

You left us.

So suddenly, we never understood when it hit us smack in the face. You became so quiet, crawling into a bulletproof shell. It wasn’t us who felt betrayed – only sadness washed over our souls. And you never spoke a word, but we never asked. We begin to wonder what it was we could have done…to stop you. To save you. And now we stand over your memorial, constantly telling you we miss you and love you, but we spoke too late. We wish you a peaceful rest and learn to only see your ageless face for the rest of our lives. We mourn not one day, not one month, but one lifetime.

We wonder: Why’d you leave us? We wanted you here, not out wandering. But you lost sight of that and gave in. Now we are left with nothing because you didn’t quite understand how to cope like the rest of us. It is not a fault bestowed upon only you – anyone could have seen the signs and done something to prevent it. The only problem: we see what we want.

So here I am, telling you why you should have stayed and wishing I told you just in time. We miss you, and don’t quite understand your reasoning. We love you, and would have been there for you if we had bothered to pay attention. Now we stand here day to day, talking to the stone that marks your burial. If you somehow decided you wouldn’t be missed – you were wrong. If somehow you decided this was the best option – I’m telling you there were more.

If you decided to leave us ever again, and let the memories take over your mind, it’s these words I’d be saying…and some I hope to never have slip off my tongue. You’re too good of a friend to be left alone. We are here, and always there to help. If you ever need…we’re not that far away.

Temporary Love

Dear you,

We haven’t spoken in days and I must say its been nice. I never wanted to know you – or maybe I secretly did – but I do now and I wish I could turn back time. I suppose that’s kind of harsh, but nothing is worse than looking into your curious eyes and knowing that something terrible will build in my stomach, causing excruciating pain. But since I met you that’s all I’ve wanted to feel, twisted as that may be. I find myself stuck with this habit that we have created. Is it a good one? No. However, good decisions were never part of our M.O. We are living in this reality that ends like the villains’ stories in our fairy tales. We’re passing time as we wait for our life to end.

I can’t think of a better way to say “I love you” than continuing this habit. The cut is painful, but inviting, and I can’t seem to stop. It reminds me of a love I’ve always craved and I wonder why people tell me I can’t have you. I guess they hold some wisdom that I’ve allowed myself to be blind to. Because I can’t see any harm coming from this. Though it’s around every corner, waiting to jump out in surprise and rip us from this temporary love we’ve settled for.

I don’t know what the right choice is. Either way, I end up feeling some kind of numb that might never go away. I wish I could ask you why. Why did you choose me? And I forget that I chose you just the same. You are this part of me that I refuse to let go of, for fear of hypothetical situations that in no way turn to my favor. You are the side of me that hides in the dark corner of my mind, because people scare me…and you don’t.

Sincerely,
your best friend