Poetry Friday: Doubt

I recently found this post in my old drafts. I don’t remember why I wrote it, but I like it.

Doubt

It depends on the day how I feel about us; about you. There are so many secret complications, internal struggles, that it’s enough to make it all not worth it.

Can I trust you? Can you trust me?

Can I trust that the future will be better than today?

If I need to vent or cry or worry, will my words reach your heart? I have darkness inside me, you know, black and heaving and hungry and cold. Maybe I will never lose it.

Can you love the darkness in me? Can you love my sadness and my pain? Can you accept the ugliness, or when I feel ugly? Can you accept my beauty, even when I see it clearer than you?

My mind is a mess of mistrust. I know what you want me to feel but you have to understand, lots of times I can’t or won’t. This is reality. This is me right now. I can see so much of myself that you will never understand or appreciate, not the way things are right now.

I bottle my emotions. I splatter my emotions across the pavement, bright and wide and red enough for helicopters to see.

I am tame, quiet, so soft and meek. I am wild, annoying, prickly and harsh.

I doubt you can handle me.

I don’t know if I will keep you.

President Drumpf

I didn’t want Drumpf to win but he did.

That night it felt like someone had died. I have received that news late at night before, and it felt similar. About all I could do was get into bed and hope that it was a bad dream.

It wasn’t.

But I’ve been lucky. I’ve been able to hide in our apartment for the most part. Kinda readjusting to this world. Facebook has fifty thousand opinions on how I should be feeling or behaving, but none of them really fit my current internal reality. So I don’t listen to any of the advice.

God has blessed me with an illness for the past few days, so I’ve been distracted by feeling physically miserable and tired. It’s better than thinking hard about disappointment, acceptance, action. “Drink liquids, Maney,” I tell myself. “Get rest. The election results aren’t as immediate and critical as your physical health.”

So that’s been nice.

For those of you who are happy about the results, that is awesome. For those are you who are sad about the results, that sucks. I’m in the sad group. I was really excited to have a female president as cool as Hillary Clinton. :/

The most important thing is for you to take care of yourself. I feel like a lot of my readers are in the mental illness club. There are plus sides of course, like increased empathy, but the down sides can include terrible things like depression and suicide.

I love you all and I want all of you to be safe. Take care of yourself if you are having a hard time right now, whether or not it is related to the election. Talk to someone. Take a break from reality. Eat a PB&J sandwich. Whatever you need to do to feel safe and loved, do it. And if you don’t feel safe and loved, I’m so sorry. Just know that I love you.

Peace, love, etc.

A Short Story: Be Happy

 

Be Happy

I wrote a quick note and posted it by the kitchen light switch.

“Be happy.”

I rolled my eyes as I imagined friends and loved ones puzzling over that choice of last words for years after I was gone. Was I being sincere, like I was commanding them to be happy now that I had rid them of myself? Was it a sardonic tribute to the many times people had told me to just get over my hopelessness and “be happy”? Were my best intentions in mind?

I scoffed. It didn’t matter now. I was halfway down the block and headed for the bus stop.

Nothing mattered anymore.

I stood in the chill autumn air wearing multiple layers to hide me from the cold—and from any familiar faces. I didn’t want to deal with small talk on my way to my predetermined death.

The bus came screeching and rumbling to a halt in front of me and I paid for the ride in cash. No need to give away my whereabouts by using my bus pass.

As I shuffled to the back of the bus and seated myself across from a grizzled, smoky fellow, I shook my head at my unobservant girlfriend for not realizing what was so blatantly obvious to me. I had been pulling away for some time, not just from her, but from life; from this mess we stumble through and pretend we understand or care about.

I smiled despite myself. That had been what had attracted me to her in the first place: the wide-eyed belief that life is sacred and meaningful and joyous. And at first, I had believed her.

“Can’t do nothin’ right,” the old man coughed, distracting me.

But, like all my relationships, it began to fade in grandeur. We moved in together a few months ago in an unspoken attempt to ignite it once again. And I will admit that for a while, seeing her get dressed in the morning and falling asleep together after long work days was more than pleasant. The problem was never her; no. I know that. Not my sweet, vanilla girlfriend.

It was me.

After all, I’m the one with the shadows dancing against my eyelids. The one with dark memories and faithless approach to the future. The one who, despite deceiving my trusting lover into thinking I was going to buy us some ice cream to watch a movie in our apartment, still marveled at her gullibility.

She would be worried when I didn’t come home, true, but I couldn’t get too worked up about it because she’s the type of person that everyone loves. People want to be around her, unlike me. When we get invited to parties, I know deep down that it is for Vicky and guest. She would make it through losing me, easy.

I surprised myself with a sudden, lopsided smile. How did I ever end up with someone named Vicky?

The bus made a sharp turn and the tire connected loudly with a curb. I glanced out the window—the darkness was swallowed completely by advertisements, headlights, street lamps, and store fronts. I recognized the road. If I had borrowed her car, I’d be approaching the grocery store in a matter of blocks.

Something twisted inside me, a rare jolt of emotion after so many weeks and months of pain and anger, always masking it with a smile or a shrug because I had to placate Vicky—protect her from my reality of inexplicable rage and relentless sorrow.

I could rewrite history, take back this choice. Buy the stupid ice cream and go home to my waiting girlfriend. Watch Invasion of the Body Snatchers because, according to her, “It’s a classic.”

He started coughing again, wheezing out, “Nothin’! Nothin’!”

The other passengers and I pretended we couldn’t hear him, but his words pounded in my ears. Nothing. Nothing. I reached for the cord and the buzzer rang out. The bus decelerated violently and I was almost thrown to the floor until I grabbed a handle to steady myself.

In ten minutes I was out by the bus stop again, shivering, a carton of vanilla ice cream cradled in my arms. I cursed myself for moving through self-checkout so fast I forgot a bag.

Soon I found myself climbing into another bus—What’s going on in your head, Alex?—and heading back toward our apartment. My brain ached as I tried to rationalize this behavior. It doesn’t make sense.

Nothing. Nothing. Did I want nothing more than pain and sadness and Vicky?

I shook my head. No, it was never about wanting. It was an escape from an uglier reality—the greater of two evils. And even if everything came down to chemical reactions in my brain, and life and death were never mine to choose, I was headed home now.

I ran up the staircase and opened the door to a delicate squeal.

“You scared me!” she scolded me. “What took you so long?”

“I decided to take the bus and save some gas money,” I said, smiling sheepishly. I amazed myself with my ease at lying to her face.

She walked over and folded me in her arms.

“You’re freezing,” she announced, releasing me and taking the carton from my hand. “Vanilla? You know I like more flavor than that. Something nutty or fruity.”

“Or something a little of both?” I said, smiling.

She laughed at my joke. “Yeah, I guess you’re right. Okay, I’m going to go put on pajamas. Will you pop some popcorn?”

“Sure,” I said.

She left the room and I remembered my note by the door.

“Be happy,” it told me.

I pulled it down, crumpled it up.

“I’ll try,” I said.

“What?” Vicky called from the bedroom.

“Nothing.”

Fewer than 10 fingers

I can count on my fingers how many days I have left until I get married.

Questions everyone always asks us:

  1. Are you excited?
  2. When’s the big day?
  3. Where are you going on your honeymoon?
  4. How did you meet?

Answers for you, my Readers.

  1. Yes of course we’re excited
  2. Fewer than 10 fingers away
  3. South
  4. Junior high

I’m sorry I haven’t been writing you all for a long time. I have spent much time this summer delving into the new and exciting world of Netflix. My roommate let us all share her Netflix account, but in my new post-wedding apartment we won’t have a TV! Hm… that probably indicates an eventual rise in the frequency of blog posts. We shall see.

I am not watching the Olympics, but I am aware that it is going on.

I am trying to pick a career but I get bats in my stomach every time I imagine myself as a real adult living the day-in, day-out work life. After I graduated from school, and now that the wedding is almost here, I feel a little purposeless. *sigh*

I have a cold, I think, and I’m trying to squelch it before I get married. Honey and lemon water, anyone?

Anyway, hi. I remember you. I miss you. I don’t know where I am in my life or what my future blogging patterns will be, but please know that you guys have a place in my heart. Wish me luck on my new marriage adventure, eh?

“The List” or “I’d Like to Gnaw My Leg Off”

The engaged girl’s eyelids droop with black goo, a flat smile taped on her mouth. She leans against her boy and determinedly suppresses her building scream of frustration as well-meaning women’s words entrap her in a room of polite, civilized people.

Conclusion: The only thing worse than a wedding shower is planning one.

#ohlookmylegnomnomnom

Poetry Friday: Late Night Poetry

Late Night Poetry

Late night poetry
up with the full moon

quite house, quiet girl
so self-absorbed
so lost in worries

lonely lover,
little girl with a lover
far away

one room lit in a dark house
wide eye stares in the night
window to a soul
heavy with life

little girl lies in darkness,
the eye closing for good

Something Worth Waiting For

I didn’t cry when he proposed to me, but I’m crying now. Looking at the pictures of the proposal, his perfect face glowing with happiness, fills me with an emotion so deep I didn’t even know it existed. I don’t know if it has a name. It involves the knowledge of how unbearable life has been in the past, and seeing how far I have come–how far God has carried me. I am so overcome with gratitude and awe that he, the best, most kind, sincere, and loving human I know, not only loves me, but wants to spend eternity with me.

Depression can suffocate all hope of a happy future, as I know it has done for me. But I urge you to hold on. Please. After all these years, now my tears are of gratitude for my blessed life; of faith in a bright and beautiful future. The darkness, isolation, and hopelessness of my past are quieted by the joy I receive from my relationship with this man. I have felt like there was no more happiness possible for me in life, and now I am the happiest woman on earth.

* * *

“Photograph” by Ed Sheeran

Loving can heal, loving can mend your soul
And it’s the only thing that I know,
I swear it will get easier,
Remember that with every piece of you
And it’s the only thing we take with us when we die

We keep this love in this photograph
We made these memories for ourselves
Where our eyes are never closing
Hearts were never broken
And time’s forever frozen still