Tag Archives: prose

Fight Your Instincts

You want some advice? Okay, I’ll give it to you.

Never fall in love.

Despite what the movies tell you, what books tell you, what art and music and all of that other shit tells you, never fall in love.

Do you see me? I’m half of what I used to be. The man that I was is nothing compared to the man who I am today. Love will make you better, they say. Bigger. What they mean is that love inflates you, fills you with the air of false promises and disillusion. And when love goes away, all that air escapes. You don’t shrink back to your pre-love size, no. You become crumpled, stretched out, like a condom that’s been used and carelessly thrown away.

She took half of me, maybe more. Some days, it feels like it was all of me.

The day our love ended, it felt like she plunged her hands into my chest and ripped open my ribcage, like some hack-job autopsy. Ribs broken and shattered, shrapnels of bone splintering my veins. One by one, she took my organs. My liver, my spleen, one of my kidneys. I watched helplessly, waiting for her to pull out my heart and end it all. Moments passed and my eyes – as I could not speak – asked her what she was waiting for.

She smiled and shook her head. I’m not taking your heart, she said.

I want you to remember this.

She sewed me up without a single care about the neatness of her stitches. I looked down at my chest, ruined and permanently scarred. She left me my heart so I could remember this. This pain.

So don’t do it. Fight your instincts pal. Don’t fall in love.

Well, I Never…

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Whatever.

I didn’t quite know how to fix us.

Maybe it was because I didn’t know what was broken. How could I go about finding a solution when I didn’t even know what the problem was? The egg had to come before the chicken. Or vice versa. Whatever.

I’d look at you, sitting across from me. Your eyes were turned to whatever Netflix selection we had settled on for the night, but I knew you weren’t really watching. It was hard to do anything in this place that we called home. Our days were tension-filled, moved along by civility and a shared sense of mutual disdain. Or love. Or disappointment. Whatever.

I felt like I should fix us. But I knew that I needed your help. When we would chew on our bacon and make small talk about our days, I wanted to stop you, stop the charade, and tell you that I needed you. I could not do this without you. To plead for you to help me.

I never did though.

Maybe I was selfish? I wanted to be your hero, to save us both from the fall. Instead, I followed you blindly, as you took my hand and walked us closer and closer to the edge. I could have stopped in my tracks, jerked you back towards me and done what I needed to do. What I was too afraid to do. Yea, heroic.

We fell. That night, I lay in bed. You stepped out from the bathroom and paused in the door way. You looked down then up to meet my eyes. You told me you loved me but that wasn’t enough anymore. So you were going to leave. I thought to ask again for your help, although there had never been a first request. I was selfish. I didn’t want your help. I would let my pride destroy the best thing I had.

I fell from that cliff, not bothering to look back to see if you were still standing there. Ambivalence could not be helped. Whatever.

I Am a Rock

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Something

I’m looking for something, she told you. You watched her move between the racks of clothing, her fingers running softly over each piece of item. Marking them, subtly, as hers, whether she would leave the store with them or not.

Well, what’s something? you asked.

She stepped forward so you took a step, too, eager to keep up with her and to demonstrate something that you could not yet name.

Something… that is me, she replied.

You chuckled. Well, who are you then?

She turned and looked at you over her shoulder. Her stare did not go through you, no. It stopped, right at your heart like shrapnel, and exploded into smaller pieces, ricocheting through your body. Through your blood.

I’m yours, she said.

Mine?

Yes.

Simple, easy, no fuss. A declaration and nothing more. You closed the distance between you, as walls had been scaled and guards disposed of. She picked up a black dress and held it up to you.

What about this?

The Clothes (May) Make the (Wo)man

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An Offer I Couldn’t Refuse

The way that things happened here, I was not accustomed to. People did as they pleased, went where they desired, without a thought about time or logistics or preparation. I had no place in this world yet I was here and without a choice to leave; the irony of it all slapped me around constantly.

But then she showed up. While I drank my coffee and ate my eggs, she sat down and told me that she had been waiting for me.

‘For me?,’ I asked. My curiosity was peaked.

‘Yes,’ she said smoothly. I don’t know how it was possible but her voice delighted me, like the human embodiment of a cat’s purr. I wanted her to speak more. Instead she looked at me expectantly.

‘Well, what can I do for you?,’ I asked uneasily. Where was this going? I twirled my fork around nervously. Her eyes were a dark forest green and her stare was penetrating. Writers always said that – [____]’s look was penetrating – and I never really understood, until this moment, what they meant. I felt invaded; I wanted to be conquered.

‘Now, now, don’t act like you don’t know,’ she purred. ‘You’ve been wanting to get away for sometime.’

I nodded. I had regressed to a love struck schoolboy, a robot.

‘I’ll take you away from here, to a place that’s just for you. Truly, it’s an offer that you can’t refuse.’

Race the Clock

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Jackson

Dear You,

You were right about grad school. I have no time. Yesterday, I sat down and was surprised that I had managed to eat AND do laundry that day. Usually, it was just the eating but I excelled and did both yesterday. You would be proud.

I barely go out. I’m not sure how you managed to have a social life at all. I don’t know how you made time for me. I think I appreciate you even more now, despite being thousands of miles away. Despite the fact that we haven’t talked in a few weeks, which will surely become months. You’ve always been too busy. I too, am too busy.

I miss you, if you can’t tell. Although we’ve left the strange purgatory that was our relationship, I miss you. And us. Whether it was watching Netflix in the comfort of your studio, or watching the game with a couple of beers, I miss that. I’ve never really liked starting over and considering I don’t have the time to, yea, I miss you.

Anyways, I need to run off to the library to study. Despite the feeling that I am always teetering off the side of a cliff, I love it here. The school, the city, the people. As you can imagine, I am still adjusting to the cold. Yesterday, it snowed for the first time. I ran outside like a little girl and felt magical as the snowflakes found their final resting place of my body. Then I quickly ran back inside since I had forgotten a coat. Although I love it here and have no regrets, I miss you.

Until next time.

Audience of One

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“Maybe deeper. Maybe in our bones.”

He spoke to me about things that I didn’t understand. Perhaps, ‘understand’ was not the right word. I understood, at the surface level; after all, I was smart, a college graduate, well-read. I understood but there was no dept to my comprehension. He dove and swam in the deepest part of the pool while I waddled in the shallow end.

I lacked all the extra schooling and education and degrees he possessed. His knowledge was refined and polished, complex and intricate. All those words and more. I lacked that. At times like these, when our talks moved from simple everyday pleasantries to theories about society and the dismantling of a capitalistic world, I found myself shrinking into a shell and wondering how I had ended up here, ended up with you.

Did I really believe you were too good for me? Too smart? Shouldn’t you be with someone who was just as accomplished, someone who also was called Dr. So-and-So?

“Maybe deeper. Maybe in our bones,” he said. He looked at me then, his eyes smoldering with the universe behind them.

“It’s got to be something, right?” I asked.

I’ve got to be something right, to have you.

Connect the Dots
White Teeth x Zadie Smith

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Bliss

I never thought I’d love anyone as much as I loved you.

I found myself scribbling your name all over my notebooks. You could do no wrong in my eyes and I ignored all whom dared to question what they already knew would fall apart. Perhaps, maybe I knew too – deep down.

But I was reckless – we were reckless – and all I ever wanted to know was the ecstasy, the bliss of your love.

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