I Realize You Weren’t There After All

Because of the orange, I can stay.

I can feel myself unfolding from the tightened, origami confinement of the past. In a way, I’ve never felt this free, this controlled, so much myself. Exploding into color, rejecting the black and gray for purples, oranges, reds, blues, greens; the colors of the life of a rainbow.

I smile and dance, the air is anticipation and I’m captive to my burgeoning joy. Never let me go…

The pieces are finally coming together, I feel them click into place, like a puzzle of one thousand pieces, a glass masterpiece, shattered, only to re-converge into the most tear-inducing stained glass artwork.

It’s been five years.

Five years since standing on the bridge at the rushing water of the waterfall, the sign warning of danger and a gentle nudge to “Dial ###-####” if I was feeling the sweet caress of death in my shadow. She was closer than a lover, her dry fingers massaging my skull, fitting into my ears as she whispered to me of the eternal beyond.

One moment then nothing.

Five years since turning away, again, and again, and again. The pain of turning away like parting from one’s beloved, sour-tinged panic and nutmeg hope an odd drink to pass my lips.

Away from my eyes…

Five years of unspeakable pain, of cruel words and hidden veins of deception. Of being forced to see and hear and bear witness to a most foul subset of humanity, the envious and the proud.

The rocks venomously tossed into my soul, shattering the clear prism above to ripple the waters below and sink and thud at the bottom, stoning my heart into bloody pulp, searing words into my cerebral matter like a burning brand to claim my very soul and chain it to a special, unique hell of human design.

And that was the past.

2018 I awoke and swore I would not be a victim. That the chains would not hold me, that those words would not break me. That I would stand on my own two shaking feet and know that I am whole, that I am strong, that I am better than the shit.

We are in, but not of…

And it is now, here, after much work, that I can finally see a the corner turn, the bend of the arch, the bow of the rain in the sky, casting magic and lighting a way forward.

Shedding this skin, I flutter to life. And no prince was near to kiss these lips, so I licked them myself. Hauled myself out of that glass coffin and put on my stomping bitching shoes, with the heels and the studs, and strutted through the forest, weapon in hand, to slay my own fucking dragon.

I knew deep down, that I had to stand on my own. Mind over matter. Mind over desire. Mind over all.

A sacred blood oath, to be no one’s victim. A Valkyrie can kick ass all on her own. I just needed to fly with my own wings this time.

The fire of autumn ignites my flames, the red beckons to me and I embrace his hold, a mastery all my own. Sweeping up the forgotten mantle, I am my own master and my dominion remains.

Thanks to you, I have reached the threshold.

And stepped beyond.

Nothing can hold me. You failed to stop me. I am transcended.

It’s over.

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My Muse

I’m humming a tune that I can finally remember. I write it down. The words float to me easily, the melody plays in my ears, I am immersed in the sound of beauty. A few tweaks and I’m onto a masterpiece.

The ideas come freely, I am a-gaggle and a-goggle with giddy delight. I laugh and smile, a little less hollow now. I’m wrapped in words and the plot rolls before me like a river to chart my course to the path I had struggled to achieve and yet never quite approached.

I am watching romance films and I don’t know why but I find them charming rather than nauseating.

It’s like the bubbling in my chest, the joy of life, the crisp of autumn, all combine to make me alive. I want to be alive again, and my fingers and heart and soul are dancing a melody of something genuine and new, something unfolding from inside like a sheltered flower that finally bloomed.

This didn’t happen before and I don’t know what it means now that it is.

I just am.

I exist and for once, that’s okay.

Are you the one who unlocked my creative side? The side so still and cold I thought it maybe had died from neglect or… sadness.

With all this, I am feeling again, and that means that pain is on the way. Time to slaughter and slay and to forget all my names.

And yet I cradle it close, like a long lost lover. Captivated by it’s light and beauty. I am subdued by its power and it rules me. For a time, for a season. Will it fade away and leave me again with the gray?

Is this a love? Or is this pain disguised as pleasure?

When will you hurt me. Again.

Metal and edge, the beauty of a katana is not just in how it gleams in the light. But in its slash and cape of blood. Likewise, something this beautiful starts with joy and cuts to the quick in a sharp and incisive way. Needlepoint my heart. Cover my eyes, and make me love again.

It hurts, it’s love, it hurts.

It’s love.

It hurts.

It is raw and untethered, like grated nerves stretched for piano wire.

It cuts yet the sound is piercing.

Mocha #4: Snapshot of Yesterday

Written 6 months ago… through the lens of teenage angst…

Come.

I want to show you something.

Let’s go back -I want to take you back many years ago. We can travel together.

We stumbled on an old journal that I filled while I was in high school. I’d forgotten what that time was all about.

I was fighting the parents on a regular basis while -vainly- killing feelings on a first crush who -if I remember correctly- promptly started dating an acquaintance.

Ha! I haven’t thought about him in a minute…

He was a senior while I was a sophomore, we were both imprisoned in a christian private school with a racist, religion-ist principal, namely if you weren’t of his religion (or color), you were to be despised, hated, and expelled. He kept getting sued for his treatment of people from other religions and had a sign saying he’d shoot Jehovah Witnesses if they set foot on his property. And don’t get him started on non-Causasians! Long story of a pathetic man...

Don’t worry, fate is punishing him as we speak…. I have nothing to do with it, don’t look at me like that!! He ate himself into 2 quadruple bypasses-

I call that karma.

Anyway, that was a sidebar.

The guy I had a thing for was the “bad boy”, but honestly he wasn’t that bad. Yes, he rode a motorcycle, had the darkest eyes and raven hair to his shoulders, and was built like… okay, he had muscles. He played guitar and had a beautiful singing voice, with a slight southern twang when he said certain words.

He also had a tough home life. I don’t think his mom was in the picture, and his dad was a tough love, threatening type (skewed perspective, obviously, I don’t know much about his father).

He was the type to speak his mind, and he wasn’t intimidated by the religious faction that ruled our school. Which meant that the Principal delighted in making him a target for discipline and teachers would mark him for pink slips on the daily. No lie, I don’t think a day went by when he didn’t get a pink slip/detention for stuff that, in hindsight, was quite trifling.

Collar not straight? DETENTION!!!

No kidding.

I had a massive crush plus I had a deep admiration for him since he seemed very powerful and assertive during a time of my life when I was feeling angry, powerless, and attacked constantly at my home life.

School was my weird refuge -I could escape the house and my parents with their crazy pressure to make me a better christian (yeah that worked out SOOO well). #noreligion #agnosticAtheist (I don’t care if this isn’t a thing, I question sarcastically and believe nothing that demands that proof is stated by a book via referencing that book).

Ironically, back in high school, I was already over religion. But it was like I didn’t have a will of my own, I was constantly backed into corners due to my lack of will to seize power and control. And I was sorely tempted to kill myself but I realized that killing myself meant that they would win and that it wouldn’t save me. I would need to save myself.

And I did.

But that’s another story…

So, with the darkness closing in on my life, it was a lifeline to see someone who was rising above it all, despite all the shit and flack being thrown at him.

There were moments, when I was present and tongue-tied (yeah, I was very shy back then), that he would chat with a teacher who was the only nice and sweet one around and she would try to encourage him to see it through when it got so hard he’d be angry and in tears with fists clenched with that impotent rage that frequently visits the teenage soul.

Yeah, he got angry a lot.

He got in trouble -as defined by christians who would find fault with the sun in the sky- but he survived.

And graduated.

And walked away to a better life, last I heard.

I hope he’s still kicking ass and taking names.

Anyway, I had to put my journal down, because it was quite visceral and brought back a lot of anger and memories. Now, I understand why I’m still mad at my parents -not so much, but as I reread what I went through with them….

Yes, they changed, they changed very much for the better.

But at that time, during those years, they made my life HELL.

So, no, I will no longer feel guilty that I don’t really talk to my father, or that I have a simmering resentment towards my mother. Because they earned it.

I’m not inviting back that rage or hate. But I am acknowledging that when you sow the seed, you reap the whirlwind.

Lucky for them, it’s more like a dust bowl.

They did crack my soul, but it didn’t break.

Thankfully, that didn’t poison my life. I am very happy now, I am a completely different person that who I was back then.

Back then I was miserable, angry and just making it one day at a time, hovering on the knife’s edge separating hope and death.

I’m glad I made it. To a different type of misery.

It’s so much better now.

It’s true that you forget what hasn’t been written.

P.S. Not stalking but curious, I googled him, and it looks like he got married earlier this year. Looks like he did make it. 🙂

 


Picture source

Among yet not With People

I pick up on that “among people” even if I am not “with people” vibe too, especially when I’m at Barnes & Nobles curled up with a comic or book or just writing in the knock-off Starbucks cafe section, watching people.

Some people are obviously on a date, others are doing homework in group study. Some are just chilling by themselves. In such an environment, one can just be, without being overwhelmed by maintaining conversation or putting up a front with someone else. In such moments, we are all aware of each other and accepting through our silence and lack of verbal interaction -aside from asking to share the power outlet or to watch someone’s stuff for them on a quick bathroom break.

The hum of dialogue is a soft and melodic bass, the excited voices of children a punctuation and the steadfast and plodding steps of the grandparents a slow, reliable rhythm anchoring the symphony as the coffee pot gurgles its steamy melody.

In the fall, the pumpkin spice latte accents the air, flitting around the sent of coffee and baked goods. The barista chuckles with her coworker as they argue the merits of one band’s lead singer over another. A familiar banter I hope to someday emulate with someone, someday, somewhere…

A sense of hopelessness washes over me, I turn back to the straightforward world of heroes, misunderstood and yet never alone, even when the knife of betrayal plunges into their soul over and over, they are never alone.

A sidekick, a partner, a lover, a brother, a friend, a colleague, an ally, enemy-of-my-enemy-

There is always someone…

I pull my hoodie around me, burrowing deeper into the slightly uncomfortable wooden chair perched in the window. Cars go by, there is something so hypnotic about the zoom of the vehicles from one side of the window to the other.

-Zip.

-Zap

-Zop.

We played the zip-zap-zop game in drama class, to prompt swift reaction time and to practice reacting off each others’ “energy” I guess. It was a rapid game, accompanied with a clap and slide of one palm over the other in the direction of someone else who caught the “Zip” and sent off a “Zap” to another who received and slided a “Zop” on to someone else.

Hesitate or delay, and you’re out of the game.

“Zip”     “Zap  “Zop”

“-Zip!” “-Zap!” “-Zop!”

Zip

Zap

Zop

Catch a turn of life, quickly return it to someone, somewhere else. Quickly move on before you sink and become bogged down by the intensity of the here and now.

Zip

Zap

Don’t fail to move along-

“-Zop”

Winner is all alone.

The king at the pinnacle of his throne desired a queen to sit with him. So he sent his brave knight to search the land for a woman worthy to become his queen. He waited for 30 days and 30 nights, and on the morning of the 31st day, word is brought that a queen of most noble carriage and unmatched beauty is on her way, accompanied by the king’s most courageous and loyal knight, to meet and wed the king.

How his heart burst to hear the news! His majesty could hardly contain himself. What to wear? What to do? How should he prepare to meet his most beloved queen?

The king was besides himself with joy. He commanded that the entire palace be cleaned from top to bottom, that the finest foods in the kingdom be brought and the most lauded chefs cook a banquet to honor his queen on their wedding day. All the nobles of the land were summoned to the wedding, and all the common folk brought gifts and homage to the palace, in honor of his queen.

When finally the queen-to-be arrives, the king raced forward to greet her. He noticed her delicate hands and melodic voice, her laughter and sparkling eyes. In all her raven haired beauty, none else in the kingdom could match her in beauty.

If he wasn’t in love before, his majesty was smitten by the mere sight of her.

Three days later, the wedding bells rung, and the King married his lawfully wedded Queen. The king was delighted, he achieved the pinnacle, and had at his side, the most divine of all feminine creatures. What more could he ask for?

…Loyalty

…Faithfulness

Devotion…

A month later, the king found himself in the smoldering ashes of his ambition. His most loyal knight, whom he had trusted above all others, held his blade to the King’s throat.

His queen stood by the knight’s side, her delicate hands clasped over her belly, almost 3 months pregnant.

Forced away from his kingdom, with neither queen nor support, the King of one turned to the forest with a broken heart. His army stolen, his love betrayed, he had nothing left but a hollow crown and empty arms.

Show… don’t tell…

Right.

Sometimes less is more.


Photo Source

Mocha #3: Minimizing the Past

History contains the word story.

Hi story.

History translates to experience which provides framework for the “if-then”. If you touch the stove, then you will be burned. If you get a cut, then it will heal and leave a scar.

Yet history can generate fear. If someone got burned once, and that results in a permanent fear of stoves, that memory can result in a crippling fear of stoves resulting in avoidance, painful recall of the memory, and other debilitating outcomes.

When the past links to a fear, the window of life can narrow.

I sometimes wonder how much control I have to speak of the past. Do I keep it inside and pretend that it never happened? Or do I tell everyone I meet about it, like that poor woman in the film who had a nervous-breakdown?

In the end, I veer towards being a private person.

I stopped writing here for a while. For a while, I didn’t think I’d come back. But here I am, almost a year later.

Last November was a time of change- Correction, it was a shit show.

  • My “closest and dearest friend” dumped me cuz they were just too busy
  • My “mentor” became an abusive boss.

November taught me not to reach out to friends when I’m feeling down or want to just talk. November taught me that spending time supporting someone else who won’t take the time to even say hello is a waste of time. November taught me that friendships that are a one-way street are really just user-ships.

Fuck that ship.

November taught me that people with unreasonable expectations should be left behind. That when the job becomes a prison instead of a workplace, get the fuck out. November taught me that the people I was relying on and looking to for support were nothing more than an IED waiting to blow me to smithereens.

I cried like a pussy that November. I cycled between grief and rage. I experienced the depths of denial, sadness, anger, apathy, and landed in cynicism.

Remember, remember, the lessons of November…

But November wasn’t all bad:

  • I took my “fuck you” savings and left the bad work environment.
  • I moved back to my parent’s house till I got back on my feet.
  • Got my awesome dream job.
  • Learned about minimalism.

I adapted minimalism as my creed: prioritize what is important, ignore the rest.

In November, I decided to choose me. To put myself first and flip off everything else that tried to hinder me or dissuade from progressing towards a better life. I decided that no job was worth being treated like shit, that money in a paycheck wasn’t enough to buy my soul.

And I was lucky because I burned a bridge behind me only to set foot in paradise.

2018 hasn’t been that bad. I’ve moved on to better and bigger things. I can look back with a certain affection.

How small that world is now… How vapid and uninteresting. How pathetic.

How far I’ve grown.

So I shut the window on November.

It’s June. The sun is shining, I’m blasting  The Gambler by Xzibit ft Anthony Hamilton. I’ve got my life right, my mind right, my money right.

And I’m not alone.

I got quality people at my back. I listen to my instincts. I don’t ignore when I see a situation go bad. Dare I say I am in touch with my higher self? Haha, if you believe that stuff about the higher you, then yeah that’s what you could call it.

I had abandoned my sovereignty,
Abandoned the reigns to follow strange kings and queens.
Now I’ve returned to my kingdom,
Only I have dominion -and I walk beside, not behind.
I’m the knight of my own castle,
And I save myself.

Now I smile when I remember,
Those eerie dark days
Of November.

Life, Happiness and other Common Complaints

Some day

The ongoing chant of life.

We’re all going to die.

The world is a fucked up place.

Death wanders among us, culling the herd, but not fast enough -too quickly!- it all ends.

Lately, thinking about death gives me anxiety. Today, I was contemplating whether a leaf on a tree lives uniquely, then dies at the close of the season, or whether the plant was the only unique being, and leaves, like fingernails, are simply extra components without “life”. I hope leaves aren’t “alive”, for their lives will end at the whims of weather, accident and just cuz.

If I bend a leaf and it dies, have I killed a unique being? And how long did it live? A day, 5 days?

SO SHORT A TIME.

Are animals also unique creatures? When our cat dies, will he never come back? Will he be reborn again, or is he gone forever?

FOREVER…

When I’m not in the throes of an existential crisis, anxiety cranks up faster than I can scroll through my Facebook feed.

Another Day

In my social circles there’s a common “joke” floating around that once the “baby-boomers” die, the world will be a better place. That’s both interesting and fucked up when you think about it.

It tends to be a reaction to the parent/grandparent generation who think – “well, the world is pretty fucked up. Good thing my kids will live on and fix it!”. Or, those other parents/grandparents who rage against the millennials.

You know the ones.

So between the chants of -“damn those lazy kids”- and -“let the kids fix it”, it really becomes amusing.

…no? Okay, another angle.

Let’s say you’re in line to inherit a valuable legacy -say a silver mine. Your grandparents passed it to your parents who will one day pass it on to you. You’ve been raised in a reasonable lifestyle: food, clothing, shelter, etc..

The mine, however, has some issues. The exploited workers don’t get health care, waste management is nonexistent, the mine has displaced several villages and caused untold damage to the environment, plus, your mine and company have been in a legal property feud since… forever, it seems.

Now, you are nearing legal age to start helping the business, and the more you learn about the various facets the more horrified you become at the numerous issues that are apparent. You might want to make changes to modify or redirect some of the former processes; but of course, you don’t really have authority yet because your parents are still alive, the Board of Directors really run things and you don’t even have a single company stock to your name.

Even more disturbing, you realize that your parents figure that it’s no big deal. When you try to talk about the “company direction” and the long-term effects, they shrug and respond that it’s not really their problem. They just need to continue making a profit.

Of course, when they retire, you can run things how you want, but in the meantime -hell no, there won’t be any changes!

And why can’t you do more to help anyway instead of making more work for everyone? Lazy and ungrateful, that’s what you are, ungrateful of this legacy that has fed and clothed you since you were a mere embryonic cell.

Or whatever.

So you continue to perpetuate the cycle because you can’t change it and you gotta eat. Maybe when they die, you can finally…

And then your co-inheriting cousin shows up. He doesn’t see a problem with any of it, and of course your parents like him more.

Before you know it, you don’t have a dog in this race!

So, you get shunted aside, your opinion doesn’t matter, and none of the problems will be solved.

But the Best Moments

Are when you don’t think so deeply. Smile at the geese in the road. Accelerate and leave the past behind.

Ignore the warnings.

Carve out small moments of “it’s okay”, even when it’s a lie.

Don’t care so much.

And someday it will end.

Mocha #2: It’s Official, I Guess… [I Know but Cannot Say]

It’s Official I Guess…

Is there a right way to talk about preferred names and pronouns in the workforce? Is it even anyone’s business? 

As of a few days ago, my work world has been informed of my preferred name and pronouns -different from the legal ones.

I’m not sure what to do with that.

It was kind of involuntary. My new job segments into 2 sets of peer groups. I’d informed one peer group since I’d felt okay sharing and it was my first time saying it OUT LOUD to work colleagues and having them call me by my preferred name was… the best feeling ever!

I just started working with the second peer group and was more occupied with bare necessities, like office space, where to eat, where to park, who do I work with, etc.. I hadn’t really gotten around to notifying this peer group and set of supervisors about this information.

But the peer groups chat with each other, and before I even thought through how I’d approach a conversation around my pref. name and such with the second group, I got a text asking me about it.  I briefly explained, impromptu, while resisting the urge to apologize (knee-jerk reaction is to apologize for nothing).

I kinda feel mixed about it, because it was outside of my control and it was an involuntary conversation rather than a proactive one. And I feel awkward. And such.

And, I hadn’t even figured out if this was something I even wanted to do -work and personal life are separate, right?

I’m a planner. I want to really think things through before making a decision about anything. Especially this sort of thing which would impact every facet of life. I don’t need extra -isms: I’m already on the docket for racism, sexism, sexuality-ism, personality-ism, religionism, wrong-place-wrong-time-ism,  etc. etc..

Now, I get to add genderism, awkward-ism, underlying prejudice, extra levels of difficulty and how will this impact my job role?

I don’t want to be the “new curiosity in aisle 3” so to speak. I just don’t want extra attention when I want to live my life. I hope this doesn’t become a thing where it’s the queer elephant in the room during conversations.

Joy…

 

I Know, but Cannot Say

I stick to poetry much of the time lately because I’ve been struggling to write the stuff in my mind. Why?

Because it’s not like anyone is going to read it.

Because the big data collection peoples/companies will simply scoop up my brain to analyze my likelihood to buy [insert-product-here].

Because it’s a control thing?

Maybe.

If  I could, I’d talk about my old job, how much it killed parts of me that I didn’t even know I had, or that I took for granted. Nothing like the first job fresh from uni to kill your soul. How I can’t get that enthusiastic about anything anymore since I’m still waiting for the other shoe to drop and for someone to start screaming and calling me shit. Waiting for the shunning and isolation, for everything to be insufficient and for promises to be broken.

I guess I’d talk about the isolation of being in a culture that isn’t supportive of me. Breaking away from the structure of religion, and going back to my parents’ house every once and awhile with them staring at me with these eyes of “you’re going to hell”.

Like I don’t catch every time they say “god willing” or “May the lord bless you” or “may the lord be with you” -fuck that! I don’t need a lord. I don’t need a god.

No one’s there for me, I don’t need anyone like that.

I just need a good friend. But those are nearly as hard to find as an honest politician. Unicorn.

I’ve pursued that unicorn, that dark horse with a conical sword on its forehead. I wanted to be its passenger, so bad. I couldn’t chase it, couldn’t lasso it down. A fucking mockery.

Often times, I’d catch a rhino instead. Ungainly, endangered, and ultimately someone else’s property.

If I ever do catch that unicorn, I feel like I’d need to break its legs to keep it mine. Then it wouldn’t be a unicorn. But it would be mine.

Hi. I’m worth more.

I’d talk about how the theme so far is to crumple oneself to fit in or get used to being alone. I pay for my individuality with company. Cause I’m too much, not enough, inappropriate, or something.

I stand in conversations, silent, and staring at the people around me like “who are you?”, “why are you faking it”, “why are you asking so many questions, I’m not that interesting”. It’s like mentally stepping back to the corner of the room, just watching and observing and analyzing.

Imagine being at a party. You go in, you don’t know many people. You grab a drink, smile, and embed yourself into a conversation or two or twelve. Plastic crinkles in the background and you realize almost suddenly, that the whole room is filled with mannequins. Mannequins you have nothing in common with, that are impossible to connect with, that speak another language as part of a foreign species.

Nothing to do except leave.

But I can’t leave my life.

I’d talk about how life feels like hostage negotiation. Picking and choosing battles, except the battles are life and death. I could die walking out my front door just because of who I am. Being okay with that.

I’d talk about how we are all tadpoles in the boiling pot and we’re close to 100 degrees Celsius, and 212 degrees Fahrenheit. No one’s going to jump out, or say anything. So we’ll all die together. Goodbye planet earth – we’re going to be sun 2.

I’d talk about life being the structure of our own unique cage. You’re born in one, then you build one for yourself. With your style and aesthetic, one that you can stand to live in. The bars are habit, the ceiling is you saying “I can’t”, the walls are your perceived limitations, the floor is the core of your spirit.

Build it right, it can be a prison or a home.

There’s so much I could talk about. But it’s not like anyone wants to hear it.

I have so much love to give. But it’s not like anyone wants it.

The beauty of the future is that it can change. I’m not waiting for it to change. I’m growing me to become a evolved self. The core of me is alive and real and won’t ever die.

The only thing that dies is my faith in humanity. In love. In friendship and brotherhood.

Maybe I’m in the wrong part of the world for humanity.

 

Mocha #1: I still [miss] Remember You…

I declutter.

Facebook was finally on the chopping block.

Time to leave all the pages I never visit, the people I’d forgotten I’d followed, the groups I graduated past.

And then I found a page I was still following. And I remembered why.

So, this is for you.


I remember your smile and humor.

The ginger child on the bus when we carpooled to the christian (xian) private school in the middle of farmland. I still remember your smile and laugh, how silly you were. The pranks, the jokes, the silly faces and bubbly personality.

How you drove your brother crazy sometimes.

You were the funny one, he was the serious one. The Ginger Brothers. He wore glasses, you did not.

I always thought of you as part of two. Two peas in a pod, even though you were the younger brother.

I remember joking with you during the long bus rides. I was pleasant to everyone and in a casual way, our interactions had gradually extended to that gray place between acquaintance and friend.

Then again, I was in high school and you were in middle school. I couldn’t say that I took you seriously, but any gap in age was bridged by humor. I could be silly sometimes and you made me smile too. And I learned that your humor belied a deep intelligence I hadn’t encountered in many of my peers.

It was such a gray time. And a ginger ray of sunshine was a welcome gift.

I remember the day you gave me your necklace. I think I commented on how cool it was. You had two, and you gave me one. I was surprised, people rarely gave me gifts. I thought you were joking.

But you weren’t.

I was concerned, a bit, that it might have been some sort of gesture. In my limited experience, guys give gifts with strings. So I was on guard for the next few days, but nothing changed.

You were silly and charming as always and didn’t give me moon eyes. Thank goodness!

We could be friends.

Thank goodness, it was nothing more than a kindness; not even a motive, just selfless and almost thoughtless giving. The innocence of children.

I wore that necklace for a time. A gray string connected to spikes shaped into a cross. It was the perfect mix of gothy and xian that I could get away with wearing it and it was the perfect example of my style.

Time flew by so fast…

I left.

I barely remembered.

I went to college.

Two years later you were dead.

Like a pebble of ice, I could not define the sense of loss. Unlike the sense of not seeing someone during the day to day, how do you fill that sense with the knowledge that you can’t even remember the last time you saw someone? Someone you will never see again?

The why was a mystery. It was sudden, quick, and hopefully painless.

Rumors -stupid and vicious- were thankfully silenced. A funeral was held. Memorial passed.

But I was over 300 miles away, and completely off the radar. Frozen, I mourned from afar.

A distant sadness. Regret. It was a selfish grief. Resolving the smile of potential with the cold clasp of the grave. Realizing that the ginger peas were now a ginger pea, I would flip back through the fuzzy memories and try to remember.

But it was like grasping space or embracing a galaxy. Futile, impossible, and vaguely insulting.

If I had known how short the time would be…

I found the necklace again. Somehow, it has survived several moves and stayed with me. I took it as a sign.

A way I could remember you.

For over a year, every morning, I’d look in the mirror, see the necklace, and remember. It wasn’t a prominent display, but it was enough.

The only time someone commented on it was during warmer weather when an observant professor noticed. I’d been in his office hours for years, trying to understand some difficult classes that he taught, and during that time, I had never worn jewelry. I explained, haltingly, that I was remembering you.

But I didn’t say that your memory was drifting farther and farther away from me.

Over time, the necklace seemed to get heavier and heavier. I experienced neck pain and migraines, but it was a small price to pay. No longer a memory, the piece had become more like penance.

I could barely remember your smile. I was chasing a phantom and the memories faded like mist in the summer heat.

All I had left was the memory of your smile and that twinkle in your eye.

And then the necklace broke.

I held the broken string in one hand and the cross pendant in the other. It couldn’t be fixed, I didn’t have a chain to put the pendant on.

And I swore I heard the wind whisper that it was time to move on.

Even if my cynical mind denied it; -sign or not- the necklace could no longer be worn.

You were more than a piece of metal and string. I might have forgotten so much, but you never slipped far from my mind.

The irony of memories is that you always remember someone being the same as the last time you saw them. 

You could have finished college and started a career by now. You could have married the girl of your dreams and had your own ginger child.

So much that could have been.

Like a story forever incomplete -or prematurely ended.

If a “being” or “god” is responsible for your demise, I’d like to know why “THEY” thought you needed to go. I’m still angry and sad about that.

I’m sorry.

I miss you.

I still remember…

Squandered

Picture credit: https://mentalnote8.wordpress.com/tag/betrayal/

The thought slammed into my brain moments ago. A cumulation of rumination, you could say. Friends fade and fall away like the petals of a dying flower in the fall. We were never ready to commit, that or I had committed too soon. To stay. To patch your pieces, to hold you down, to back you up, to slay your dragons and watch your back.

I was the only one who whispered forever when you called us best friends. An incomplete vow of one-sided loyalty. You would abandon me to the fall, let the dragons surround me, let my enemies tear me asunder, and leave me alone on the battlefield of your intention. Like a fool, I rushed to your side when the enemy encompassed you, threw myself between you and disaster, nursed you back to health by feeding you broth from my very bones. But I would be alone in my darkest hour when the cold clasp of defeat would chain me. My summons for aid would be ignored. I would be left in the cold. You would replace me at your table with another; I would be your forgotten knight who no longer served a purpose.

You would fail me in my time of need.

I have learned these lessons well. Trust none, guard your heart, keep the armor wrapped tighter than skin. Await betrayal with expectation.

Loyalty… An abused principle, meaningless in the face of self-preservation. A slaughter of lies -tell me again that I am nothing but a ghost who refuses to see the truth.

We were never friends. I was just your shield, your sword, an arrow in your quiver. Just a tool for you to use then discard.

My life is not a cloth, to be used then tossed away when it pleases you. I am not your toy that you can bring out then put back again. I am not an orchard, to be hacked down and shredded when it seems good to you. I am not yesterday’s fashion to be donated and tossed into the past.

I would have given so much in exchange for a solid shred of loyalty. It is frightening the currency I would pay to secure such a bounty. As such, it can never be purchased, only earned and won.

I’ve learned to hold back. You. Taught. Me: to wrap my intentions tightly to my soul and give nothing away; to house every innocent thought in the banks of Switzerland, and hold my very soul on a distant, unreachable planet; to entrust my virtue to a tower of solitude and my honor to the depths of Atlantis.

You taught me to erase my face. To collect the masks that emote beyond what I could ever hope to express. To abide in shadows and feed on the dregs to soothe my pain. To shy away at a touch, a word, a breath on my skin. You taught me to stain my teeth in my own blood for your sake. To strip away muscle and sinew, tendon and veins, and grind my bones to dust.

You taught me that I was nothing. I heard you when you said that I was worthless. Read your lips when they spat at me with venomed fervor. I witnessed when you took my hand in yours and nailed it to your wall of trophies. I felt the knives go in, felt them slip through my skin, glance off bone and punch through my organs. I swam in the lake of my blood, a carcass stripped of every useful component.

I know your kind. You’re no friend of mine.

Even after I have long since departed, why do you imagine my shadow in every crevice? I would never return, not for all the gold possessed by the Vatican.

You can be the sun and burn yourself to nothing. I care not. I have resigned as your messenger. This whipping boy is on indefinite furlough.

The fire immolates the empty frame of what was. A hollow mockery chortling on the back burner of our past. I only like the scars that remain, for they remind me not to play the fool twice. The story tattooed on my skin spell the tale, a lesson learned without remorse. I do not mind the pain when the moral is taught.

I only regret putting a face to the name

Betrayer.