The Ocean

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The Good

I feel weightless as my body drifts further away from shore. My toes stretch tall enough to keep my face up over the water. Breaths shorten. Waves start tickling up my lips. Snippets of us are flooding my mind. I am covered by water in all directions but it feels like you. The current is sending me deeper into your arms. I can make out the grooves of your face in the horizon. It’s sunset here in the Pacific.

We are standing side by side losing touch of reality in each other’s eyes. Our hands intertwined like pink ribbon. You whisper sweet things in my ear. Look down at me as if it’s  the last time. You’re scared to lose me because you know I don’t stay long in one place. We stand for a while. The cool breeze is fluffing my hair. Sends shivers up my nose. My heels cramp back up as I blink back the salty velvet blue. This ocean feels just like home and home feels just like you. Minutes later I’m met with another wave passing overhead.

Snippets of back then crash against my body. I’m running around a field of flora. Feet are waltzing through the grass in rapid pace. Faster than the mind could tell them where they’re going. My mom waits for me to finish up playing but time feels endless when you’re a young kid having fun. I catch glimpses of her smile following my body. I remember catching twelve flowers that day. I picked the yellow ones because they reminded me of color of the sun. Another wave is heading towards me. My mom yells out that it’s time to go home.

I lean my neck back onto the swaying tides. My face bakes golden brown against the sun. The world becomes still. My legs float up towards the surface and my chest pushes up off the water. I’m laying atop the ocean-on a bed in what seems like home. My eyelids are shut and everything is silent. I catch a glimpse of life free of thought. I missed the sunset turn to dark.

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Lust

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The Good

I love the way your skin makes me feel. Pressed against mine as our bodies tango. Your hand holds me tightly so I don’t fly into the wall as you spin me down the empty room. I forget to take a breath. The kitchen counter feels so cold against my naked back. Sends shivers up my neck. Next thing we’re waltzing into your bedroom. I haven’t seen these walls in years but the color is still familiar. The bed isn’t made like it used to be. The lights aren’t on like they once were. This thing is a secret between us that we must keep. I’d rather tiptoe down these halls than have to erase them from my memory.

My feet stay curled up as you trace back those moves that made me mad. I moan again but this time louder. We always had to watch ourselves in your basement because we never knew when your mom would come down to offer us more dessert. Those apple fritters. Now there was no one but you and I. groan until my lungs go numb. I want all of you even if it’s for this one last time.

The Meanest Person Alive

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The Ugly

Let me tell you about the meanest person alive. Who happens to also be the saddest because those two go hand in hand for good reason. We’ll call him Jim for the sake of embarrassing our offender. Jim stands at roughly six foot five and carries with him a  Southern accent thick as chocolate syrup. His trousers hit the floor as he stomps one foot down in front of the other. Jim’s got tunnel vision hurrying towards the expired coffees. Nothing else matters- not his fellow folk in uniforms, not the families coming in and out the door, nothing. Nothing but the opportunity to ridicule the poor individual who didn’t change his precious cargo out on time. The new boy in charge of the coffees barely keeps his jaw from chattering when he catches Jim rushing up for his attack. I can’t watch this for a second longer. I take the blame and storm to the coffee bar.

My back faces Jim as I don’t say a word.  This was supposed to be the last time I ever let his words get to me. The last time he touches me with his ubiquity. He left me with bitter sensations on my tongue. I am standing in a cold and naked haze. I shun myself for being so sensitive. He’s the meanest person alive for making me feel this way.

I later learn Jim’s got issues he’s hiding behind. Big issues like wanting to die and alcohol abuse and not being allowed to see his son. He brings me down with him. He brings others down with him. He tries to climb over our shoulders and reach his hands up high. He doesn’t want to sink yet fails to conceptualize the fact that climbing on top of an opponent will only bring them both down to the ground.

I always want to help people. I want to help Jim because I know he’s sad and he could use me. But he doesn’t want my help. For it’s easier to lash out than to feel vulnerable. He yells and belittles- that’s how he takes out his demons. The meanest people alive don’t heal their own scars. They cut at other people while their skin stays running red. It drowns them in a puddle of blood and then they die.

The Right Song

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The Bad

My hands are leaking onto the wheel as I sit there soaking in sweat. I haven’t heard this song since last summer. This song was the anthem of that summer. It played loud in my ears on my way to work, as I took off my shoes, those colder nights. It followed me like a shadow everywhere I went. It hid away from the world with me. It was fall now and I promised to never play the song again. When winter hit I had managed to forget some lyrics. It’s been a year without it but now it’s back. It found me racing fast down the highway on a Sunday night. It intruded without permission. The lyrics crawled into my body the way you had so many times. It tickled my bones with razor sharp nails.

You must remember that night it was just us in that house. I had played the song for you for the very first time. Twentieth re-run for myself that day. I felt those sharp nails on my bones  when you said you didn’t understand. When you told me that song was just gloomy words. Depressing instruments. To me it made all the most sense. It was beautiful.

I’ll never make out the right words like Del Rey has done. You never knew me but at least the song always did.

On Unreturned Love

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The Bad / Uncategorized

I walk down the same shore we went that one night you told me you didn’t love me. The birds are louder and the sun has traveled light years to touch my skin. This is the shore with the front row view of the city.

It was just us running through the lights. They lit up your face with my favorite angles. I was laughing so loud I couldn’t hear the car fly right past my hip. The city was your favorite place so I made it home. I’ve always hated the city.

You wouldn’t peel your eyes off the computer the night I told you to come here with me. I waited by the door long enough to remember the wait. I recall the crippling itches creeping up and down my face. I wanted to scratch away all my makeup but I had just put it on. You held my hand like it was the first time. I led you to the place that made me feel alive like the city had made you. You asked why it was so dark. I knew you weren’t talking about the lake.

I couldn’t hear a single bird. My skin was cold. We let go of each other’s hands like we had just become strangers or something. I need to dehumanize love sometimes- you felt like a stranger and that’s what I needed. The feeling was mutual but unlike me you didn’t like it. Things were always on your terms.

I close my eyes through the lights in fear of seeing angles of your face. In fear of my fingers crawling into your palm. I can still hear “I don’t love you” rolling off your tongue. I’ve always hated the city.

 

Life Of The Party

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The Ugly

The Outside

“Hold on guys, Grant’s calling.” Esther turns the music down and answers the call right away.
We all sit there, eyes gleaming towards one another as her ear sits pressed tight to the phone.
“Ok sounds like a plan. We’ll be there soon.”
End call.
Esther throws her phone back into her purse and turns the volume back up. We all look to her for a response, but she swings her body up out of the sunroof instead. The Hispanic hip hop thumping through the speakers barely drowns out her roaring screams. She’s got her hands up over her head and long blonde hair flying free. As free as I’m feeling sitting in the back seat of the Honda cooper with my sister right beside. She’s smiling at my failing attempts at rolling an ‘R’ as I smile back because hers is contagious. Marta belts out lyrics from the drivers seat, one hand stretched out through the window above us.
A boy of around five foot nine with red hair greets us outside the house. His eyes appear quite glassy when he moves his glare in our direction.
“The party’s here,” he runs over to Esther, twirling her around once in the air.
“Sure is,” she laughs looking back over at us.
We all laugh back.
The house smells like the picture I had in my head- one with beer and cigarettes. The banter of young adults and clinking of cans seems too familiar. There’s a case of beers in the corner of the kitchen kind of like that one house I was at years ago. I look down at  Marta pouring me beer into a cup. She slides it in my direction. I could feel my face getting hot as the drink bubbles down my throat.  Mali’s on her second and Marta just chased tequila with some salt and lime. The room shifts around just a smidge as a group of guys walk over to us. They seem about our age and have that aura of cologne that used to hold my attention. They’re all tall and lanky with a white complexion. My eyes move up to their youthful faces.  I’m keeping up with the second round of drinks.
We’ve all moved to the living room where Grant’s friend begins to set up a game of “King’s cup.” I’ve never played this one before so I turn to Marta and Esther.
“Quick, how does this game go?”
“Everyone goes around in a circle, drawing a card from the middle. Every card has an action to it. If you fail to do the action you have to drink. You can’t break the circle when removing a card. If you break the circle you have to chug the beer in the middle of the table and the games over.”
Marta was on my right and one of the boys on my left. I watched carefully as Esther’s friend, Grant, started off the game. It played out in front of me like a movie reel- all these actors picking up cards and folding them under the cap of the can in the middle. Music was playing in the background but I can’t recall what kind.
There was a boy sitting right by Grant- almost directly across from me. I didn’t get his name. But he was tall, lanky and white like the rest of them. His eyes were dilated- pupils large enough to match the gauges in his ears. They were tunnel gauges just like the ones I had. He kept looking over at me. I caught him every time I’d laugh or smile.
I moved through the game. with surprising ease. Even still, I ended up breaking the circle of cards and had to chug the beer in the middle. Once I delivered, the crowd went wild. After my moment of fame, the boy with the dilated eyes came over to me.
“What size are those?” he pointed at my ears.
I was alarmed at his attempt at conversation.
I hesitated- I didn’t know what size my gauges were.
“Mine are a double 00,” he continued.
“I don’t remember my size. But I want to go up to the ones you have,” I tapped at his ear lightly.
I don’t recall who ended the conversation, but I was now back at the corner of the kitchen with my friends where the beer had been. He was at the ping pong table with his.

The Inside

Stepping foot into that college house felt like walking into an abandoned building. I had recognized its walls but everything inside seemed empty. I hadn’t been to a house full of college students since the February of last year. Let alone a party. This gathering tonight wasn’t a big one- maybe 15 kids in total. But walking up the stairs to two girls in heels and cocktail dresses was a gut-wrenching wave of discomfort. Roaming by groups of frat boys holding beers was a sight that had me feeling like a ghost.
Marta was pouring my beer into a cup. I could see its frothy bubbles creeping off the edges. I had almost hoped it would flow out of the cup and onto the floor. But it didn’t. It was full as it slid in my direction. I could instantly sense the sadness in my head clouding over me like a coastal front.
Not a sip had entered my throat when  I already began to taste those nights of last February. My feet unsteady, I held the cup to my lips and took a swig. I was waiting for the sensation to hit- for that familiar desire to run. I was waiting for the feeling to commence- the one I had right before slitting my wrists in that L.A hotel bathroom.
I was a stranger standing by my best friends. Forcing conversation physically pained and escaping only seemed like running into closed arms. I was now sitting around a table of King’s Cup. Everyone knew how to play this game but me. I should have just taken that middle beer and chugged because I was already the loser. But no, I had to wait until after the game.
One of the boys sitting across the table kept looking at me. This was the first time since my ex that I recognized someone else. I had forgotten what it felt like- for a boy to eye me from up close. I looked back at him for a second and then right back to my feet. It made me think of Jimmie and my heart dropped.
I was slowly reverting back to my old intoxicated self. I was remembering my body sitting there on the toilet with bloody arms stretched out in front. The complimentary hotel razor laying on the floor.
Mali, Marta, and Esther were having the best time. They were laughing and talking to all the boys. I was along for the ride, smiling through the conversation. I fit right in. They’d have no idea.
Morgan is sitting on the carpet beside me, wads of toilet paper on her lap. Her hands are moving quickly. The trash had overflowed, and the pieces are now scattered across the floor. She is crying with me. 911 is pulled up on her phone. She wants to protect my privacy but also knows she has to do what’s right to keep me safe. Morgan leaves the phone untouched as she holds me. She held me for a long time that night. For hours.
My laughing hadn’t disappeared as we all continued to play the game. My smile showed up in every photo. The night was long. I’m not sure what part of me stayed sitting there at the table. What I was sure of was that another part of me had ran away at the first sight of life in that house. The girls with the heels and cocktail dresses.

For My Future Love

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The Bad

If I could tell you one thing and one thing only it would be that I never thought you would happen. I’d tell you that not even my dreams would predict you. I was never a girl to have dreams about boys. Not at nighttime at least. I dreamt about killers decapitating my friends and a monster chasing me through the woods. But I’ve never dreamt about you.

I will doubt you more often than not. And stay up hours finessing reasons to not trust you. No matter how pure your heart I’ll still find things. And you’ll be woken up in the middle of the night to cries about those doubts of mine. They’ll physically hurt you but I won’t see it because I’ll feel like my pain is always stronger. Don’t carry my fragility on your back.

If I could tell you one thing it would be to ignore me sometimes. Don’t wallow in the shit I say. I recognize that it’s not fair for me to have those accommodations. But please. Please understand that my impulsive confessions have sent so many people running. Sometimes I think I should just not talk anymore. Silence has broken less hearts than words have. When I keep you up at night over everything I wish you were, believe me that those aren’t your weaknesses. They’re mine.

Don’t let me go  because you can’t gulp down that feeling I give you. Of not being enough.. You’re more than enough and I’m just inevitably damaged and a monster chasing me through the woods seemed to me more believable than the idea that I’d ever fall deep in love.

I Get Called a Hippie

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I get called a nature freak and/or hippie quite often these days. The thing about name-calling- it’s mostly used by those who don’t know you past your surface. Those who scroll through your photos without recognizing the locations. The ones who have yet to see you outside paved streets where the nature really lies.

Don’t get me wrong- call me what you will. You’re not hurting anybody. But before you chuck a name at my direction pull up the map. For it’ll show you that those streets written in grey all lead to homes that look the same. You can point a finger at the house my body sleeps in but that’s not where I truly live. It sure locks in my residence but my real home lies beyond that spec on the street.

The “home is where you heart is” spiel isn’t hippie nonsense. It’s been passed from generation to generation. That pretty much means it’s fact right? My heart lies in the spot by the water that I’d sit those days I didn’t want to be alive. And the woods I’d walk through when I wasn’t looking to be found. My heart lies in the stream passing by my favorite city. And those rocks by the lake I rest on with my friends.

So call me a nature freak. Call me a hippie. But you’ll have to find me first.

Electric Lines

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The Bad

I live a few blocks away from a field of electric power lines. I’d take the long way home from work every day so that I could see it out my window. I’d pass by the same strip of houses all made of red brick. My foot remembered the grooves of that road as they led to the canvas of uncut grass. I’d spin my steering wheel towards the mouth of the field cautious of the life below the tires. My hand would graze over the gear onto ‘park’ as my neck creaked up towards the electric wires above.

I remember how delicate all the wiring looked. All perfectly stitched together. I could watch them for hours. I remember exploring the sky with my eyes- mapping the depth of  the field with my finger. I listened to the birds fall asleep to the setting sun and the stalks of grass waving goodnight.

We used to fall asleep together. I’d turn on one of my favorite songs and lay there. Sometimes I’d write. We’d stare at each other until it got too dark to see.

I recall the day like it was last night’s dream.  I drove to the field on my way back from work…but this time was different. The village had closed off the territory. The edge of the field had been invaded by bright orange cones. I was no longer welcome there.

I don’t take the long way home anymore but I do still remember the grooves of the road.

 

 

 

 

 

The Breakup

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1:30 A.M
Saturday
April 20, 2017

I’ll go ahead and say it on here because I’ve learned that you’d rather me text than have a face to face conversation but I’ve been thinking about things and truthfully I don’t think we’re the right people for each other. I have certain things I’ve been wanting from you that I just haven’t been getting. And I just don’t feel completely happy. I know you must be feeling mad and sad and confused and hurt but please just hear me out. I’ve been putting this off because I hate the idea of not waking up to a conversation with you every morning and seeing your face and just being there for each other and all of it. But I respect myself enough to know that there’s things I haven’t been getting that I know I deserve. I know that makes you mad because you really did put the most you could into the relationship. And I respect you enough to not keep leading you on with something that I’m not completely content with. You and I both know we’re really different…almost as different as it gets. Different interests and just different expectations. I don’t want to fight anymore, or make you feel like you’re not doing enough. When it comes to the long run, I can’t be with someone that refuses to talk through things in person, or not show up to my grandma’s funeral, or not want to take me out after starting a higher paying job. Those are just a few things I personally can’t overlook. I don’t feel comfortable putting emphasis on stuff like this because I don’t feel like I can rationally communicate with you. There’s so much I really did start to love about you and I care about you as much as this seems heartless. I want to end on a good note. I want to explain myself in this text but I don’t want to start a back and fourth argument because it won’t solve anything. I guess that’s it. It hurts so much to do this but I think it truly is what’s best for us both. Bye.

Talia