Memories of melodies. Of that shitty Taylor Swift song that played ad nausea on the hospital radio stations tuned to DJ's that sound more hungover than enthusiastic. The schizophrenic shaking his head side to side on each line. The patient who lived three lives singing off-tune and kilter to(more) lyrics she frequently forgot.
And there I sat, only a year ago now, scared out of my wits trying to lose myself in a study of Urban China huddled up in scrubs not quite my size. For all intents and purposes *I* looked the crazy one. I'd be lying if I said I didn't think about it every night before I fell asleep, if I didn't think about that same schizophrenic being pulled screaming by his arms and legs so he'd just stop fucking hurting himself for one minute.
Here I am a year later. Button down shirts, smile on my face, grew out a small goatee but I'm not sold on how I look with it yet. Published twice online, graduated with a bachelor's on time. No idea what the fuck I'm doing really, but do any of us?
I still worry about what I put people through, though it seems like most everyone either doesn't think about it or now it's so far away it ceased to matter. They're still far away too, but we're fixing that one month at a time. I think I'll head back this summer to stay. Maybe I can afford it, maybe I can't. Won't know until I just do it.
For now I'm just sitting back in my office pretending to look busy, fidgeting with my beard to decide if I like the coarseness of it, thinking about the gymnastics coach I have a date with Friday. A gymnastics coach. Imagine that. (less)
Compound interest. Uh-hmmm. I'm heartsick. The couple next to me discusses fees associated with early withdrawal. I'm trying to remember the melody, with no luck. Mom's going to India on Friday. They won't shut up, those two, about f(more)ees and penalties. I don't know what they're talking about. No, cancel that: I don't care.
The term the author used was "flatline" and applied to the way the sun appeared in the sky. NASDAQ.
Let me declare and reconcile my intentions with my principles before I face my opponent tomorrow at dawn. Red shield, Rothschild. IRA.
Fuck this shit. Chase Manhatten. Salmon chase.
I can't write today, distracted by the sound of overheard conversations and piped in music. Everything distracts me, though nothing is particularly interesting. This guy drones on about elementary principles of project management, methodologies of approach. He won't shut the fuck up. He looks Indian, American not Subcontinental. He sounds very earnest and uses his hands a lot as he talks to the blonde woman next to him, who says uh-hmmm. Talk like this fills me with despair, mostly because I don't understand it and so I feel like a drowning man when I hear it. Why is it so incomprehensible?
I've got the song at the tip of my tongue now. Don't you get tired of just doing shit? Mountains with snow. Great talking to you. They depart from each other. The Obijwa pick up stakes to move further west, away from the white man. A woman is sitting outside on her phone, her back pressed against the window glass. The cutout in her dress reveals a small area of skin on which I see a small mole. The temperature is 34 degrees,(less)
why do we open up so easy? i'm not accustomed to this level of honesty. it instills a warm feeling to know the truth all the time. but then, some truths bring pain and sadness. trust builds and breaks with ongoing honesty. it builds stronger, breaks harder.
(more) i want to know everything about you and your life and i'm scared you won't like what you see within mine. (less)
i was standing on the corner of main street and hawthorne when harrison reed's truck pulled up to the gas station, red paint peeling in the dim flatline of october's four o'clock sun and there, in the palm of his hand, was an open bottle(more) of beer that felt more like a slap in the face than anything.
"he doesn't drink anymore," patrick had said. "he stopped drinking three years ago."
harrison stopped drinking when his wife died. he started again when it was his daughter.
The last thing I remember is that shape in the alley. I'd finished my routine and I was having a cigarette outside by the exit. I was exhaling these big fat snowclouds for Margy's amusement, and just stamping my feet on the pavement, it was so fucking cold. She fini(more)shes her cigarette and goes back inside. I finish mine and wonder if I still had my toothbrush in the car. I almost started walking to it, then I thought I might have one in my locker. Toothbrushes. That's what I was thinking about when what that big pile of trash across the alley stood up just like a man and walked toward me. I froze.
When I woke up, I was on the ground, and I thought I must be drunk and that I pissed myself. But It was just some shizz water on the pavement that soaked through my dress. My head hurt bad, and that's when I realized I got clobbered. I could feel the lump above my ear. I probably need stitches but I can cover it up with a wig for now. That sonofabitch hit me. I didn't see him do it, but he knocked me out all right. I swear the guy was in some kind of costume made out of garbage bags and rags and pieces of crap, like those suits that hunters wear made out of fake leaves and branches. Only his was garbage.
I hope you guys find this creep cause I can really see this turning into some real horror movie shit. The guy was huge, six five, easy. I used to date a guy that tall, and this weirdo was every bit of that, maybe taller. Jesus, he could have killed me right there. Can I smoke in here?
"i'd like to hangout sometime," he says.
"do you want to hangout right now?!"
"hey, if it's too soon we can hang some other time."
"16 candles is on demand if that's any incentive."
"see ya soon!"
we watch 80s and 90s tv til 5 am.
"er, do you want to sleep on the couch or?"
"uhm, it's up to you. i don't mind either way."
"i'm gonna brush my teeth," he says.
"i should too. i, uh, carry this with me when i travel. oral hygiene and all that!"
i'd packed a toothbrush because I knew.
we stood in his dirty bathroom and brushed our teeth side by side.
the laughter rung out as we made eye contact.
"it just occurred to me how strange this is."
"i'm not even thinking about it," i said, spitting a tiny bit into his scummy sink.
he left the bathroom and i spit out the remaining gob of toothpaste.
i went into his room and made him look away when i changed into his pajamas. how old were we?
he kissed me with a soft urgency and kept asking me if he tasted like smokes. (less)
we got rained out in the winter. my skin thanked the warm, moist air and the tickling sun after rain shining through the glass.
pieces of stuff and things lay strewn around my room, dusty. why did I need all this stuff? no one can give any of this(more) shit meaning except for me. I should throw it all out. the dead can't appreciate the collection of this stuff. the future generations of me will less than appreciate it. I'm throwing it all out and replacing it with warn, moist air and tickling sunshine.(less)
When Hana opens the door, she's not expecting Terushima, who has a hood pulled over his head and his hands jammed in the pockets. He hasn't noticed her, and he's still sniffling.
His head flips up and his eyes widen. "Wh-you live here?"
"Wrong...wrong house. Sorry.(more)" He turns, but she grabs his wrist and pulls him into the house. "What's wrong?"
"Nothing!" he yelps back, sounding far too serious to make her feel easy. "Take that off," she demands, pointing at first his jacket and then his shoes. "Those, too. Socks."
"You'll get sick like that. And I'm still your manager."
Terushima nods dumbly, pulling off the hoodie and the shoes and socks. He's beginning to shiver, and Hana takes the clothes from him and puts them in the dryer before running to her room.
When she comes back, Terushima is standing where she'd left him, though he's looking around now. "Here." She gives him both a towel and the clothes. "Bathroom's down the hall."
When Terushima steps out, hoodie fitting him nicely but shorts just a little too small, he bows. "I'm sorry. I...home troubles."
Hana shakes her head. "Are you hungry?"
Terushima eats the leftovers with no complaint. In fact, he eats without saying a word. "Where are you going after this?"
"You can't," Hana says firmly. He looks up, ready to bite back a retort. "Look at how hard it's raining. Just stay here."
After she explains to her father, she and Terushima watch television on the couch. He's laid down beside her, curled underneath a heated blanket and breathing deeply in his sleep. Hana reaches down, fingers scratching at the soft undercut of his hair. Terushima grumbles something in his sleep and leans into the touch. Hana smiles. "It's okay."(less)
he wasn't ready for me. he met me at the cliff where reason eroded and dreams flew high. we rejoiced in sacred evenings crowded around a computer screen or gathered around a dying tealight at the dive by his house. i'd order a beer, he'd order a beer. i'd(more) swallow a drop and pass it off to him. i didn't need more beer.
escape artists. hiding away in pain but bringing it out in one another.
now my brow won't un-furrow. my hair feels like greasy rags. he's not ready for me.
"sometimes i don't want poetry," he said.
"i can't think in prose. there's a film over my brain again," my head.
"you're making me fall for you again. you're so beautiful, so strange, so lovely."
romance is short-lived. love is the answer. (less)
When you said my eyes were dead, it was in jest. The second time you said it, you kicked me out of your apartment in the dead of winter and you were dead serious.
You know something, though? Your eyes were dead the second I saw you. M(more)y dear love, we let things happen because even in certain death, there's a warm intensity that we are desperate to hold.(less)
Comfortable at home, unwillingly
Though the clouds commune outside -
though the rain seems an oppressor in stilettos,
my desire is to caress danger and lick the verdant newness of
A blank slate
the will of the boyfriend
to stay warm
c(more)omfortable at home
The protest is lost as she races in the blazing building, ducking through the gap of debris. Something crashes behind her, and when she turns, she only sees a fiery inferno behind her. Keep moving forward.
"Davidson!" she shouts. She covers her face with an elbow and blink(more)s away smoke, then turns, bounding up a flight of stairs. "Davidson!" She's on the second floor, a long and crumbling hallway before her. "Davidson!"
"Over here," she hears a faint call, something barely above the sirens, screams, and falling debris--then once again, louder, "Over here!"
She sources the sound to the boiler room, all the way down the hall, and sprints towards it. Inside, a man is bound to a pipe with a pair of handcuffs. He tugs at them, his efforts futile. His forehead glistens with sweat, and he wheezes smoke in his lungs. "Raina. It's good to see you," he rasps.
She presses a finger on her lips to tell him to save his breath, then pulls out a key and unlocks him. He breathes gratitude.
As they make their way out, suddenly, the ground crumbles beneath them. Her heart jumps out her chest. With shrieks they fall down, down to the first floor--and there, she lays, a satin, burning sofa on top of her. Before her, Davidson is unscathed, scrambling to his feet.
"Raina!" he says. "Don't worry, we'll get out."
"There's a window you can get out of, the Grand Room. Go on without me."
He shakes his head. "Doubtful."
"This place is about to blow!" she screams. "Go!"
The man looks fearful, and she thinks he won't do it, but he presses his lips against her temple, then sprints off.
She smiles lazily, and falls asleep to a blanket of fire and a deafening warning song.(less)
"would he have made it if i didn't do those things?"
we're fine, i'm fine, you're fine, she's fine.
if i didn't know him, would i be moving out?
(more) if i knew - if i knew more, would i have known him?
the pink over my eyes, seriously misleading my interpretation of everything. he wasn't what i thought. or was he exactly how he'd portrayed it?
monday was blessed but then tuesday he came home early and bought a bottle of wine with money he'd borrowed from me because his brother asked for my number at a parkdale dive two weeks before. i took it. he texted me. i replied. i deleted his number.
nothing ever happened. but it opened a can of worms for him. a big, fat can o' worms that he climbed into and let consume him. i barely hear a word from him.
sleeping, not eating, not living properly. not doing it right. so wrong. so wrong. things were going well. he couldn't let it be. he had to turn inward. he had to think too much, to the tipping point. and here we are. (less)
Souji dropped to one knee in front of Yosuke; for a moment, it was as though the fog had closed in and partitioned everything else away. The red and black tones of the other world's shopping district, Adachi's rapt stare, the Shadows that were surely lurking in the alleyways,(more) all of it had ceased to matter. For all that it mattered to Souji, he and Yosuke were the only people left, in this world and any other.
"Why are you so upset?" Souji asked, his chest tight with the thick air and his thicker emotions. "I... I thought you hated me."
Yosuke's eyes widened, obviously shocked. His mouth twitched, as though he didn't know what to say or how to say it or if he should say anything at all. "I hated /him,/" he said finally, with vitriol. "I hated what he did to you." Yosuke closed his eyes, turned his face away; Souji held his breath, afraid to move or speak. "I hated that I wasn't your friend anymore."
"What a precious heart to heart!" Adachi's voice sounded close, too close, and Souji quickly turned his head expecting Adachi to be standing right next to him, only to see he was still atop the roof. "But I'm not gonna wait all night, Souji-kun. This offer has an expiration date. Decide, fast, before I change my mind."
He turned back to Yosuke, the edges of his vision blurring with tears he couldn't afford to shed. Not yet. He reached out on impulse, gripping Yosuke by the shoulders, but gently, gently. "You are my friend," Souji whispered. He tried to ignore the pallor of Yosuke's skin, the bloody stain on his shirt, the pained look in his eyes. "And that's why I need you to go." (less)