You thought that to keep it together,
you needed to keep it within you.
All that time you let the knots tighten at the core,
fray at the edges
(more) like you were.
Am I being dramatic
in this retelling
am I saying, being, feeling, doing something
that normal people don't do?
Well, did you ever want to be 'normal',
drugged, tempered, inured,
or to let the feelings flow through you?
So let it go,
let your cells melt into the sea,
let your love find its way back through you.
You would tell a friend it's okay to feel what they feel,
find their voice in the bubbles,
breathe easy till they find the shore,
"C'mon," Lance said, head tilted back against the bathroom door as he turned the maintenance lock, the metal giving a solid, satisfying click. Shiro leaned in, forearm pressed against the door beside Lance's head, brows drawn together as he furiously, silently reminded himself where he was and what he(more) was thinking about doing.
"May I remind you," Shiro said, voice strung tight with the last vestiges of his restraint, "I am at work. Matt is expecting me back soon."
"Matt's not the boss of you," Lance said, chewing on his lip and meeting Shiro's eyes with a sultry expression that he wore so, so well. Dammit.
"Actually, he is," Shiro said. Lance put his hand on Shiro's hip and guided him in closer. "His family owns this bar so yes, when I'm at work he /is/ the boss of me."
"Boring," Lance breathed. "Kiss me."
"I can't be doing this here," Shiro surfaced from the kiss breathing hard and fast. Lance grinned, his hand warm on Shiro's neck as he arched away from the wall.
"I can't," Shiro tried again, and made absolutely no effort to stop what he was doing, thigh between Lance's legs and hand down the back of his pants.
"You think about doing me on the bar," Lance said, reading Shiro like a book while his pants slid down slightly and Shiro puzzled out the logistics. "In front of everyone." He twirled his fingers in the loose end of Shiro's ponytail, thoughtful, /devious/. "That's not very sanitary, Shiro."
Lance let out a little delighted grunt when Shiro picked him up, bracing him against the wall. "In front of everyone," he repeated as he sank effortlessly onto Shiro's cock, legs tucking neatly over his hips.
"Lance, shut up," Shiro said, and when Lance smirked, kissed him again.(less)
In the jaws of the shark
there is just one thing
to focus on.
(more) None of that un(fully)convinced happiness
that leads you to question
why everything around you
is so damn good
and when it will all come crumbling.
In the thick of it,
you are there
in a way you never can
when you're alone
with nothing to fixate on.
This is why
people who have kept their heads straight
in war zones,
walked through fire,
built their worlds back from inundation,
are often plagued
by the slow crumble of thoughts
that trails in after.(less)
Broken promises still have merit. We need them more than we know. What we first find when analyzing them is the regret of a choice made and a goal unmet. We compare that outcome to the prospect of absolute success.
For example: we often perceive ourselves as being full of potential and failing to achieve. But think about it. The reverse is a lot more likely. Maybe we weren't meant for anything, and only our fear of failure tricks us into being better than we really are.
Somehow I feel better looking at the problem that way. Like maybe all the grinding and scraping isn't for nothing, after all.
I swore I wouldn't let feelings of powerlessness turn into apathy.
I try to weave right and wrong into my personal narrative, but I can't help thinking that all the joy and suffering I'll ever impart on the world exists in tiny bubble of time that collapses within a few measly decades of my death.
We build, and build, and build. Why?
What difference does it make whether or not it falls before or after the end of our lives? It falls. Always. Knowing that, I don't know why I go on building. But I do. Almost all of us do.
Pan out, and we are a green-brown flame, cold and low, burning across the surface of the earth.
Pan in, and individual lives start to take shape. But you can only hear them when you block out the din of a million other voices, each every bit as important as your own.
But that's what line-breaks are for. We can start again.
I swear I'll be more than I was. And who knows. Maybe I will be this time.
I know you don't know me, but I hate you and everything you represent. I see no reason to hide that.
But a part of me does, in theory, understand why you feel the need to twe(more)et your own legacy (all caps), and belittle anyone who would dare to suggest that there might be shades to the picture you paint.
It's really petty when someone interjects themselves into a situation they know nothing about, and hawks blatant falsehoods in an effort to undermine the efforts of someone whose political ideology differs from theirs. People who do things like that are really pitiful, aren't they?
Anyway, I understand why you feel the need to control the narrative. You have to believe that you've been held back, or else the minuscule, laughable, insignificant nonsense you've accomplished with all your time, wealth, and opportunities would be a pitiful joke. Right?
You have to tell yourself that brown people and gay people are degrading "our" values and holding "us" back. Because if (in some crazy alternate reality) it turned out that their values were actually more egalitarian and representative of public opinion than your own, you would come across as one of the most ignorant and ludicrously out of touch presidents in modern history. RIGHT???
Who knows. If you're really lucky, maybe you'll be out of office before you go to jail. One can only hope. But regardless, history will not be kind to you.
I know that doesn't ease the difficulties of the disenfranchised right now, but of that I am quite sure.
I just hope that deep down, a part of you knows that, if we ever manage to make progress in the coming decades, it's despite you, and not because. (less)
It was not until the early morning hours that I was able to fall asleep, my hands and face still stinging although I had cleaned them the best I could. I slept fitfully for a couple of hours and then woke early Friday morning. My skin felt raw everywhere,(more) and I threw off the covers and undressed as much as modesty would allow. I was hungry, and thirsty; but couldn’t decide whether I wanted something hot or cold.
I stood in the middle of the room for a very long time, staring out the window at the sun on the trees until a thump on the door motivated me to move. I cracked open the door and pulled in The Daily Oregonian, then fell into another stupor. A cloud moved across the sky, and the world outside my window changed from yellow to grey, and back to yellow. A gentle breeze set the leaves to twitching, and a crow passed but did not land.
When I eventually looked at the front page, I learned that a body had been found in a field on the flanks of Mt. Hood. An investigation was being conducted. Foul play was suspected.
My alarm clock began to ring and the noise was so jarring to my soul that my whole body shuddered. The ringing set my jaw and tightened my neck. It was a sound that I could no longer bear, today or tomorrow or ever again. I turned it off and closed my eyes, trying to undo the damage it had inflicted.
I contemplated dressing. I contemplated work. I contemplated the marks on my hands and wondered if similar marks were on my face. It was all a puzzle that I did not feel like piecing together right now.
It was a dusky Wednesday evening, and, Wednesday generally being my botany day, it dovetailed perfectly with my need to collect certain ingredients for the recipe I was preparing to try. My collaborator and I had travelled up to the foothills of Mt Hood to forage for some fresher(more) specimens than could be obtained in town. We had left directly from work mid afternoon, and the sun had been high in the sky; but now the light had become flat and smoky, and my initial sense of elation at the prospect of our endeavor taken a similar turn.
We wandered through the trees studying the ground for the cottony heads of the Taraxacum Officinale that the recipe called for, but I had soured on the idea of pursuing the project in tandem. If I was honest with myself, I did not want to share it. When I closed my eyes and pictured my laboratory space, I saw only myself in it.
I enjoyed discussing and debating the natural sciences with a group of enthusiasts with which I met weekly. However, I truly preferred pursuing my studies alone. I could choose to offer what I learned, or not to.
An eager voice called me back into the present, and my friend was crouched in a small field with his back to me. He was rummaging through his knapsack for his trowel and collection box. As I walked towards him, I observed the stones on the ground. I picked one up, and it seemed to fit my hand so perfectly; its heft so manageable, so useful.
As I walked closer, I felt a sense of clarity returning to me. I knew what I really wanted; what was best for me. I stood behind him and raised the stone high above my head.(less)
There's a trio of school girls sitting on the old weathered bench, the two on the ends both leaning into the one in the middle, all three with their attention locked on the cell phone. They're taking a selfie, in the cool fall twilight, waiting(more) for their ride home. Their excited chatter is loud enough that it reaches him down the road, where he's lingering by the tree - though he can't pick out the individual words. It doesn't really matter, what they're saying.
He'd missed coming out last year; something had come up - and the year before that Masayoshi had been ill and the day passed unnoticed. It left a funny feeling in his chest that he could forget, now - that he could allow this day to just be another day and pass him by.
He felt guilty.
Masayoshi's arm brushed his, and he linked their arms automatically. "You all right?" Masayoshi asked - he'd stayed back as he'd promised but Gotou had stopped, hadn't approached the bus stop like he usually would.
The girls were taking another picture together, and there was a brief burst of light as the camera's flash triggered in the twilight.
/Squinting up at a tiny cell phone camera as she poked her finger into his cheek, trying to prod the expression out of him; "smile for me, Gocchin!"
"I am smiling!"
"Are you sure? I think you just have gas."/
Gotou looked over to Masayoshi, who was watching him quietly with a concerned expression on his face and he realized, suddenly, that this was the last time he would come here. He glanced back to the bus stop and smiled finally.
"Yeah," Gotou said, and patted Masayoshi's hand on his arm. "Yeah, I am. Let's go home."(less)
"I am NOT-" Lance hissed, his voice echoing despite his low tone, and he dropped it further as Shiro shut the door behind him, enclosing them both in the cramped space, "sharing a room with them, Shiro!"
"Would you rather sleep outside?" Shiro was unamused; he was running o(more)n even less sleep than Lance and wasn't in the mood to put up with anything that would keep him from passing out face-first in a musty motel pillow.
"In a word? YES."
"Lance, it's like 30 degrees outside."
"I have blubber." Lance folded his arms and scowled, as Shiro pushed a hand back through his hair. "She's a vampire, Shiro. She has Keith under her thrall."
At that, Shiro did hesitate finally. He mirrored Lance's pose subconsciously, folding his arms as he regarded his husband. "He's not under a thrall," Shiro said finally, and Lance let out a noise of disbelief, going to throw his arms wide but realizing he didn't really have the space. "I've seen her thrall, Lance. Keith is doing this of his own volition."
"Yeah, okay," Lance said. "I'm sleeping in the bathtub then, at least that door locks."
They were interrupted by a knock on the door, and Keith's voice, muffled and exhausted as Shiro's. "You two done in there? I gotta piss."
"Piss out the window," Lance yelled through the door as Shiro said, "one second, Keith."
They both glared at each other, and Shiro said, pointedly, "if Allura really wanted to hurt you, do you think the lock on this door would really stop her?"
"I'm not worried about /me/," Lance said. Shiro pulled Lance in so that he could kiss the top of his head.
"I love you," he said, "but I'm not sleeping on the floor while you sleep in the tub."(less)
Allura's skin had gone ashen in the flickering, reflected light of the old television. Keith had left the set on for background noise before he'd closed the door to the motel room behind him; it remained on the channel he'd set it on, replaying some ancient budget horror movie(more) from decades before he was born.
She lay silent in the bed, unmoving, still as death. Keith turned on the bedside lamp and flooded the room with fake yellow light - her skin tone looked no better illuminated, her cheeks sharply defined and eyes sunken behind their lids.
"Holy shit," Lance said, hovering just inside the door. "Is she dead?"
Keith sat carefully on the side of the bed, the mattress dipping with his weight. Very tenderly he brushed some of her lank white hair from her face and realized he couldn't remember if she breathed, if she had a pulse. Vampires were dead - but then again they weren't.
"No," Keith said, and rolled up the sleeve of his jacket. "I don't think she is."
He blanched in pain when he bit his wrist open, and Lance made a noise of genuine alarm, moving away from the door and toward Keith. Keith held out his uninjured hand palm-up toward Lance to stop him, and tilted his wrist over Allura's face, as fresh blood ran down his torn flesh and dripped slowly onto her mouth.
Long seconds ticked by, before Allura's tongue darted out and cleaned the blood from her lips. Keith exhaled in relief when suddenly Allura lunged forward and latched onto his wrist, dragging his arm down to her face greedily.
"Hell," Lance yelped as Allura, with fangs extended, yanked Keith bodily onto the bed, rolling on top of him in a flurry of bedding. "Sleeping Beauty she ain't!"(less)
"Be good," Shiro had said firmly, the motel door clicking closed behind him. He hadn't addressed the directive to either of them in particular, but his words still hung in the air for a few moments before Keith let out a small scoffing noise and shifted his weight, glaring(more) at Lance on the bed.
"Hey, don't look at me," Lance said. "I wasn't the one who let an ancient unrelenting horror loose on a small town because I didn't feel like asking for help."
"Allura's not an unrelenting horror," Keith said, arms folded and shoulders pulled in tight. Lance tilted his head and gave Keith a measured look, then put his hands on his leg and /grinned/ in a way that sent every one of Keith's hackles up.
"I wasn't talking about Allura, but way to throw your girlfriend under the bus there, Keith."
"Yeah, yeah," Lance slid off the center of the bed, his feet hitting the floor. Unfolding like that Keith realized again that Lance was naked, save for the coat he wore over his shoulders like a cloak - despite having being fished out of the ocean with its owner, the jacket didn't even appear damp. "Allura's not your girlfriend, you just let her suck you off."
Keith flushed angrily. "/Feed/," he hissed at Lance. "I let her /feed/ on me."
"And then you fuck her."
Lance shrugged loosely. "I don't give a shit who you stick your dick into as long as it's not my husband. Besides, we got bigger fish to fry at the moment." Lance had his hand on the doorknob before Keith realized what he intended.
"You're naked! Where the hell do you think you're going?"
"I'm not naked," Lance said sagely. "I've got my jacket on. You coming?"
It was late on a Thursday night, and, Thursday night being my alchemy night, I was deep in my supply room gathering tools and materials to begin working on a recipe that I had just gotten from the Voynich Manuscript. Although, I hesitate to overstate: I could not afford(more) the entire manuscript on my meager salary; but only a portion of it, and only in partnership with another enthusiast. One page. Page 98.
Collecting the materials had proven challenging, as the author was very specific about the results depending heavily on using only organic, whole grain, free-range ingredients; and in this day and age (1899) everything is so processed. It took perseverance, and some foraging in the field, but eventually I had what I needed.
As I began integrating the ingredients over my bunsen burner my anticipation was almost uncontrollable. The voices in my head were clamoring for me to turn it up, to hurry it up; but one voice quietly told me to be patient. Let the process work itself through. Allow the results to unfold at their own pace.
And unfold they did. A purple vapour began to issue from the glass, and I watched in fascination as it curled in the air before me. I was mesmerized by its color and beauty, but also becoming drowsy as the haze thickened around me. I thought I heard a knocking on the front door upstairs, but it seemed so late and so far away; and in the end I could not rouse myself to answer it.
I was brought back by the shattering of glass, and shards hitting me in the face and on my hands. The liquid must have all simmered away as I dozed. How long? I wondered. I shut off the gas and stepped back bewildered.(less)
I'm melting. So fat at the edges I'm like a grilled cheese oozing out of its bread. Breathless with distaste whenever I see myself by accident. Heart skips a beat when I think about how lost I am, how far I have to go to even be normal. I(more) know that men don't want to even fuck me, and women won't love me so long as I look like their walking, breathing nightmare.
Yet for some reason I hold my chin up higher than ever. I feel better than ever. Isolation feels clean as polished glass.
My skin is perfect. So what. Hair and eyebrows, perfect. So what. My heart is a sinking ship, beating fast and crazy like rats trying to escape a doomed ferry.
But I feel fine. I feel equal to shoving aside whatever gets in my way. I can push over bullies and sociopaths. I don't need anybody, and I grow bigger and bigger to prove my certainty, my bravery. (less)