Sunday, February 28, 2010

Decadence Avenue

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


The neon lights shone brightly on that strip of corruption as we gawked in half-stunned, half-amazed wonder.

Fake designer bags and large, yellow advertisement banners hung audaciously in the windows, argon signs smoking hot in the coldness of the night.
It was like a low-class version of Las Vegas.



We had gone out the previous night to walk on the beach behind the hotel. The sea was an infinite, rippling field as we stared into the pitch black, finding the feeling of freedom in the ocean when we had none.
We chased the flocks sleeping seagulls across the shoreline, our ragged Converses leaving imprints in the shiny, wet sand.

The beach didn't look the same as I had remembered.
Maybe I had forgotten about the row of consecutive hotels that lined the shore- miles upon miles of tall buildings of lit windows packed side-by-side like glowing bricks. Maybe I had forgotten how despondent the sight of the chains of vacancy signs looked, or how the plethora of junky tourist shops littered the city like the discarded cigarette butts on the street.
But I wasn't surprised by that.


It was the downtown strip that caught me off guard, the sight of such a contrived and cheap place on earth, reeking of hedonism and wasted life. We wandered up and down the street, surprised at how heavy a bustling and lively place could feel,
surprised at how much meaning we found in a place that had none.



But with each glowing pill we swallowed over the marble counters in the bathroom, the grimy lights of Decadence Avenue looked a little more lively. With every red sphere that slipped down our hungry throats, we blended in a little more with the corrupt city.

Running through the strange streets with the chilly air of the night soaking through our skin, we could taste youth. Back at the hotel, we danced the shackles off our feet in a darkened room, our bodies pounding with blurred colors and sounds.


---

On the other side of the metal chains of cars and the line of high-rising hotels, the innocent waves of the dark ocean swept the quietly sinking shore.


The full moon lit up the world that night.



Thursday, February 25, 2010

La danseuse sur la scene

*****************************************************

They all watched you from the wings
.......As your slender limbs
.............threw you into an untainted flight.


How many tries did it take you,
little girl,
To achieve that perfect arabesque,
That flawless grace preserved so daintily in your
White shoes and satin skirt,
..............................confined
in all its starry splendor in that rectangular picture frame?


How many hours did you spend in a hot, stuffy room,
sweat dripping down your leotard to mingle
with tears of frustration
as you stood among one hundred other girls,
pushing your twisted muscles and tired frame
to claw your way to that one
..................................................brief
..........................moment on stage?


Was it worth it, little dancer? Maybe for you,
it was enough to say you were not straining yourself
in Vain
like I am as I sit in this dimmed room,
wishing that the pile of books and papers I dance on
was, instead,
a polished, wooden stage.


Keep dancing, shining star, until your painted spotlight
fades
..........away
into dusk’s bleak eternity-

until we are reminded in our weary, walking graves that some
short
moments
are worth years of pain.



Wednesday, February 24, 2010

High Frequencies

The world is vibrating with high-frequency waves.
It's on fire, and I can't see it.

I'm sinking into a vortex
cushioned with old book pages, the yellow edges lulling me to a restless sleep while chains of numbers circle around my head.


My brains are draining slowly from my ears
a little more each day,
leaking out in a slow trickle in the form of salted dreams and peppered words.
The schools of thought have bolted its doors for such a weary mind. But where else can I go?

Is this it?

Take me away, my dear fickle friend. Somewhere I'll be able to sleep for a hundred years and more.
Throw me on a ship to the place where clocks don't tick,
a place of no time, a place of no space, a place of no people.

Show me new life, new love,
a new world without these sound waves at high frequencies that I can't hear. Show me what it's like to not live in the future, running forever towards some unattainable object
ahead
that I'm being told to grasp.



Show me that there's more to life. Or show me that there's nothing there at all-

that eternity is just dark, empty space.


Sunday, February 21, 2010

Crowded Rooms

Faces.
Colors.
Swirls of vibrant pleats and winter coats over a threadbare carpet.

"It's so nice to meet you!" I say with a Cheshire grin, shaking the hands of people I'm looking at, but not really seeing them, knowing I'll forget their names in about half an hour.

Silk.
Velvet.
Heels clicking loudly on polished linoleum in a monotonous drone.

I'm saying something, but I'm not sure what.
I feel like I'm yelling over the chattering roars in the room, still smiling, still spitting out things that don't mean anything.

Niceties.
Pleasantries.
Senseless vibrations of molecules in the air.

"Dr. Baird, your speech was so good," she says, her big, blue eyes wild with naive inquiries. She gives off a sweetness made sickly by her carefully masked over-confidence.
Disgusting.
Why should I lie like that? I won't spit out blatant falsities, even if it is for money.

I'm stuffed in a room with ambitious, successful people.

They call it making friends, but it's just networking.
They call it socializing, but it's just self-advertising.
They call it playing games, but it's just competition. That same cold, cutting competition that makes the world go around.

So I take a deep breath and force myself to wrench the tired muscles on my face into a plastic smile, and turn around to my porcelain dishes and clinking silverware,
feigning an infinite, inexhaustible interest in everything and everyone around me.
"Hi! How are you doing?"


Because it's all white noise in a fake, bureaucratic world.


Friday, February 19, 2010

False Alarms

I imagine that of all the things that can provide quick and instantaneous comfort to a person, a false alarm is probably the best.

....That second right after the doctor tells you that what you thought was a malignant tumor is actually a harmless skin protrusion...
....When you get a call saying your house is on fire only to rush back and discover that the person called the wrong number...
....When your boyfriend is dying in a dark, candlelit room after being shot by a gang.... and then you wake up from your dream in a cold sweat...

Those feelings associated with a false alarm are good ones: happiness, gratitude, and extreme relief.


But there's another kind of false alarm.
The kind where you think at first that everything is going to be fine and everything is going to end up working out.
But then you find that it's not going to at all.
The kind where you fall to the floor after being chased hundreds of miles, relieved that it's finally over
only to look up and realize that you have a hundred more to go.

...When you think that you no longer have to spend days in despondent misery
and isolation and a helpless, hopeless loneliness.
When the weight of the ton of bricks that you've been carrying around is finally taken off your back,
that everything that has been going on for so long is over at last...


...only to find that it isn't. That the world isn't any warmer, that spring isn't coming, that God really doesn't care, that those bricks are still yours to haul.

That the people who gave birth to you still despise your existence,
That you're still oppressed and tracked and hated with every crime you didn't commit,
That you've still got bloody battles to fight,

That you're still very, very much on your own.


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Cutting Ropes

Yesterday was the last day those thick ropes held me to the ground.

You told me it wouldn't be for too long, and I didn't believe you. Screaming at you in my mind through the cracked pieces of my life that I tried not to let you see, I didn't believe you at all.
But you were right.

Time is my friend, and it helped untie me, slowly but surely, picking through the intricate knots with its delicate fingers.
Time was always my friend, and she didn't fail me this time either.

I had almost forgotten what it felt like to walk without gripping onto a crumbling wall, but yesterday, I walked away, leaving it to crumble by itself.


I'm tired now, but tired in a different way.
I'm tired of the constant rumination. I'm tired of being sad. I'm tired of feeling like my youth is slipping through the cracks of my fingers every second that I sit idly, staring at the blank spaces on my wall, wishing for gold dust in a sandy desert.


"Sadness is easier because it's surrender."
Who's surrendering here?
I've wrestled life for a year, and I've got the upper hand now. At least in this part of my life.


I am a butterfly, peering out of her freshly shed cocoon to see a new life.
I am the grass that sprouts from the cracks of the broken, dirty cements blocks of the sidewalk after being crushed underneath season after season.
I am a voyager setting out into space with a new mind and a backpack of old perspectives.
And now I'm shaking the frosty winter snow from my frozen branches under a newly emerging sun.



Hello, world.



Sunday, February 14, 2010

Frozen Water

That's what my house is made of.

Walls upon walls of solid, cold ice. Ice that can instantaneously freeze the hottest sun. Ice that can split a beating heart.
Ice so cold, it burns.

The February weather is nothing compared to the dimmed lights and chilled floorboards of this place. To the stale air and creaking staircases. To the bitter decadency that seeps through the fibers of the carpet and under the chipped wooden doors that I've tried to bolt shut.

*******

We never had great insulation in this house.

I could hear the crickets singing loudly every night during the summer. I could always hear the soccer games going on in the fields in the back of the neighborhood even from my room on the second story.
I could hear the neighbors' children come back from college, gossiping on the driveway every weekend. I could hear the television on in the bedrooms on the other side of the house.



I could hear your sharp and high-pitched, acerbic tones from the room downstairs as you spat out your cruel, unjustified words about me, day after day. Night after night.
Week after week.
Month after month.

With every insult that poured from your blackened tongue, I cranked my music up another notch and my heart beat a few beats slower as the night slowly swallowed my saline-drenched pillowcases.






*******

We tried to douse the house in flames. We tried so hard in vain and painful attempts.

We took turns holding the heavy grip of the hose, sweeping blue flames across the walls, trying to warm the place up. Trying to melt the ice.
Trying to laugh.

Sometimes it worked. Sometimes we torched the house to the ground into a warm, melted puddle.
Sometimes we had months and months before it froze up again.


But this winter has been colder than ever. Probably the coldest one yet.





********

I can see it in my father's eyes. I can see it in the tired lines that run across his forehead and into his graying hair.
I can hear it in his weary voice, those sorrowful tones dripping out of the lungs of a man who has not rested in years. Sorrowful tones that lace every sunny word he speaks.

He always held the hose the most. He spent sleepless nights spraying the fire over the walls so we wouldn't be so cold.

But he's tired now. Maybe if I didn't exist, there would be fewer furrowed lines on his face. Maybe if I didn't exist, he wouldn't be so tired.


But maybe if you didn't exist,
we wouldn't have to try so hard to melt this cage of ice.



********

Perhaps the warmth of spring will melt the tension that hangs from the ceilings in sheets of rubber that we're forced to walk through.

Maybe Dad will finally be able to sleep.

Or maybe you'll sit there polishing your shiny knives, biding your time.
And then maybe you'll continue using them to chisel away every slick coating of paint on our young bodies until all that's left is our dry, powdery insides,
a lackluster youth,
broken smiles and deep furrows,
infinite potential that has been wasted away, not by lethargy and dispassionate volition,

but because our blooming minds and cheerful ambitions have been crushed, maimed, and beaten to death by your haughty pride and grudging bitterness.




********

We've all become used to treading on the frozen water you've laid down.
If we walk lightly, we can slide across. If we let a foot slip, we'll break the thin layer and be pulled down to our icy deaths.

If you still have any heart, please don't do this anymore. You don't have to do it for me. Do it for my dear sister, who still has years of untainted life ahead of her. Do it for my brother, who's still young enough to not remember the nights he spent drawing crayon pictures to tape on my sunken walls.

Do it for Dad. Because his life doesn't have to be as cold as yours is.

Just do it for Dad until I'm able to build him a sturdy raft to sleep on.



Friday, February 12, 2010

February Snow

********

It snowed about 6 inches. We went crazy.

I had never seen snow look like that. Glowing serenely with the orangey sheen of the lamplights. There were no cars on the road. There was no road. There was only a soft, clean powder, blanketing the fields, blanketing the benches and trees, crunching distinctly under each step of our boots as they sunk into the ground leaving our lonely tracks in the linen paths.

We slid down the small dunes on the side of the road on pieces of cardboard. It was the closest I had ever come to sledding. We skipped snowballs across the pond.
In that quiet, serene, sugared world of white, I wasn't alone.
Buried under those white sheets of snow, I was numbed into ecstasy.

*******

I loved that song. Grapevine Fires. It had been one of my favorites for so long.
I sat on one of those metal chairs on the side, singing out loud while you spun her in circles.
I wish I had danced more with you.



I sat there smiling and singing.
But I was really scoring lines in my own chest with a silver knife.

*******

The music was blaring. People were dancing and bobbing up and down with the heavy beats pumping violently out of the stereo by my ear.
K, I wish you were there. You would have danced with me. We could've danced our heavy hearts out of our bodies, danced until they didn't beat anymore or weigh our ribcages down. But you weren't there.

I sat in front of my computer, staring at the screen, trying to find some form of productivity in me to get my work done, but I was too distracted.
Funnily enough, it wasn't the loud music that was distracting me.


********

The building was lit brightly, partly from the white relections of the snow, partly from the white lights that glowed on the ceilings of the halls. I never thought this academic prison could look beautiful, but it did today. It looked like a palace.

It was quiet outside. All the snowball fights and snowmen-building had ended. The snow lay in tossed misshapen piles on the lawn as the new flurries falling from the gray sky covered them again.

I drew my name in the snow in giant block letters by walking through the lawn, step after step. I stepped all the weight off of mind, crushing it into a melted slush under my boots.

********

And the firemen worked in double shifts
With prayers for rain on their lips,
And they knew it was only a matter of time.

********

I didn't plan to break your heart
but I surely didn't plan to break mine either.



Tuesday, February 9, 2010

A Blog about Blogs

You want a psychology lesson?

Read a blog.
There's no better way to get a tunneled view into someone's mind. There's no need to study insecurity or basis of fear or obscure influences of the subconscious. Pavlov, Jung and Freud? Screw them. Just log onto a blogsite and you've got a whole harvest of very complex psyches right at your fingertips.

I've been completely addicted to reading blogs since I've started my own. Which is absolutely fabulous.... Just what I need, right? Another addictive distraction to hack off more of my already limited and very precious time. But I'm very glad I did, because, apart from the obvious purpose of providing another artistic release for my congested brain stems, I can now revel comfortingly in the fact that no matter what sort of godforsaken crap is going on in my life, I am very, very far from being alone.

I've been sifting through probably hundreds of blogs by now, and I've been able to see and examine a lot of different types of people, though I won't pretend I understand half of them.

There are those who blog for honesty, to dump out all the truth they've accumulated onto a screen. There are those who blog for fun, to sieve out the rest of their beautiful personalities and traits, whether it's humor or incredible randomness. There are those who blog to vent, to relieve their hearts of anything, from a good day to a bad breakup.
There are those who blog for help, reaching desperately out to anyone in the web who will listen.

And there are those who blog for all of the above.

I've also realized that the most frequently read blogs are the ones with people who have or have had severe problems in life. Personal tragedy, severe health problems, major mental crises... you name it. Maybe it's because there's something about chaos that people soak up like sponges or maybe it's because chaos makes a person a better writer.
Granted, my existence is far from perfect, but if my life has to be that bad to be as amazing of a writer as some that I've seen, then I'll take what I have and I won't ask for more.

The blogosphere is an amazing and mysterious place to explore. When I'm on here, I don't feel like I'm wasting time. I just feel like I'm learning, and I've learned so much about people already in the short weeks that I've resided in this world. I can only hope that my views and the things that I write and will write will one day impact others as much as I've been impacted.



So with a grateful heart, I wish a happy blogging to you all, and I'd like to thank everyone who has written anything that I've read. You've given me a front-row view of your life, and even more importantly, your mind. It's a really big thing to give someone.

And if you're reading this, I'd like to thank you for helping me achieve my goal as well.

Monday, February 8, 2010

I Dreamt I Dwelt in Marble Halls







and you loved me still the same.



[Yes, these are my pictures. Taken with a crappy digital camera. Oh, what I wouldn't do for a real, long-lensed camera.....]

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Painting Smiles.

*******

I woke up in the morning to the cold sun shining dark rays through my grime-coated blinds.
The tops of the dead trees were like metal rakes, combing softly through the quickly moving clouds overhead.

I fumbled my way to the speckled mirror to gaze at a cracked reflection,
segmented and unaligned. Bizarre, perplexing, twisted, tired.

A masterpiece of Picasso.

Was it my own? It looked to strange to be mine.

My paintbrushes and paints were lined up in a row. Red, yellow, green, blue, black.
Bright eyes and a rosy smile, I painted on with the careful strokes of a pointed brush.

one stroke
For my dignity.
two strokes
For regret.
three strokes
You had your arm around her.
four strokes
I had to remind myself
five


that sometimes all I can do is paint my way through the day
before I wash it off again at night so I can start over tomorrow.

So I'll wake up every morning
and paint smiles on the cardboard walls. I'll paint the sun; I'll paint the sky, blending my own shades of sadness into something beautiful until I find the right shade of happiness
someday.

But right now, I'll just paint. I'll paint until I fill in every crack and cover every shade of grey.





Some hearts were meant to be broken.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Run.

one, two, three, four...

The rubber soles of my shoes hit the wet pavement as I throw myself rhythmically against the quiet rain and the frigid cold that is only a few degrees away from freezing.

I can feel my muscles catching fire, my blood pulsing hot through my icy skin. I can feel my heart pounding its way from my stomach to my head. I can feel the mist of water on my face, and I'm no longer sure whether it's the rain or sweat or tears.
It doesn't matter anyways. Not at this time of night.

I pick up my pace, not knowing where I'm going and trusting my body to mechanically find it's way through the foggy darkness, where the headlights of passing cars are the only source of light. I wonder vaguely if the people in those cars think I'm insane.
They probably do.
They're not wrong.

I don't notice the sharp pain in my side anymore, or the heaving of my lungs as they try to absorb the deathly cold air seeping into my veins, intoxicating me slowly. I don't notice that my muscles aren't burning anymore, a sensation slowly being replaced by a numbness creeping up my body.

I no longer feel you in my consciousness.
I no longer feel me in my consciousness.


But somehow through my numbness, I can feel the night enveloping me, embracing me, running its cold, steely fingers down my spine. I can feel myself moving further and further away from a fluorescently lit concrete prison, away from the bright glow of a staticky screen in a dark, stuffy room, away from a pile of humans who have been pulped and then molded into cheery androids. Away from a lifeless life.

Away from you. Away from me.


Some people run to exercise.
Some people run for fun.
Some people run to clear out their minds, to release whatever bottled weight is preventing them from facing the adversity they have in front of them.

But not me. At least not this time.



I'm running to escape.




Monday, February 1, 2010

Maybe.

Maybe I made a rash decision. Maybe I was blind. Maybe I blinded myself. Or maybe everything just looks better from far away. Maybe I just didn't try stepping up closer. Maybe I don't appreciate what I have until I don't have it anymore. Maybe it's not having it that just makes me want it more. Maybe I'm far more fickle than I had thought. Maybe I screwed things up. Maybe I didn't give a chance to something that maybe could have been the best thing for me right now......maybe. Maybe making that mistake was the best thing anyways. Because maybe it's not always about what I want. Maybe it's much better, even if maybe it's not me who's better. Maybe I'll learn this time; maybe it's fate's lesson for me. Or maybe I'll be bitter because maybe it's God who's spiting me. Maybe it's time for me to leave. Maybe it was all my fault.


Maybe I really regret it now.



And maybe it's definitely
too late.