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I am who I am, but only for this moment.
I am Me, Myself, and I, but I will never be Her again. Like that moment as a child when you first realized the constellations had moved while you slept, I am an ever revolving map of inconsistencies.
I am fire. I am earth. I am the river sweeping you off your feet and the wind blowing you dry.
Come with me, my love. Change with me. We will grow together and learn a million ways to love.
Let us run together.
Will you keep up with me?
I want to suffocate you. To push a pillow over your face and kill you. Softly, painlessly, but I want to kill you.
And when your hands have stopped grabbing at my arms, when your feet have stopped kicking, I will take away the pillow, look into your sightless, bloodshot eyes, and kiss you. And when your lips have gone cold, I will pull the blanket up to your chin and sleep against your empty chest.
Do you see what I've done, my love? Don't you see the genius? I've saved you, darling. No more heartbreak.
I saved you.
I know you.
I know your smell, the texture of your skin. I know the direction your lips curl when you smile and when you frown. I know the bitter taste of your sorrow, the nectar of your joy, the spice of your lust.
I know what it is like to look into your eyes and feel as if I'm perched on the edge of an abyss. May I come in? May I fall into you, drown myself in your soul, in your mind, in that deep and overwhelming sense of
Will you let me in?
The earth is dry here, withered and cracked--mud that doesn't remember how to be dirt. The trees are dropping their branches towards the streets like a drunken college student with her face on the toilet seat. In the same way the desert balks at the idea of snow, this place does not understand drought.
I miss the Old Man of the desert with his high grasses and sharp, bristled power. The magic here is too tame, too delicate. It does not delight in wilderness. It merely sits, quietly allowing men to bind it with streets and and houses. Domesticated.
There is a tingle in my skin when I am around you. A tugging at my mind. I can feel our essences reaching towards each other like lovers gone too long without a touch. Before our lips meet, before our breath mingles, I feel you, have touched you.
Fate may never have looked our way. Destiny may have been too busy to weave us together. But our souls have stolen the yarn from their hands and tied us to each other, inexplicably and indestructibly bound.
Don't you see, my love, that silken thread sewn to your heart?
Your eyes roll around in your head like a mad man's. I'm scared. I can feel the way your thoughts are broken. They send out cracks and cuts that pierce my own and make the world seem unsteady.
I need to sit? Can I sit? I don't feel so good.
I press my palms against the ground, trying to soak up the earth's calm, but your put your hand on my shoulder, and I shatter again.
I'm going to be sick.
"Can you see it?" you ask. "There's a monkey in that tree."
Your drugs are too much for me.
It's a bit like ridding a bike, yes. But the last time I tried to ride a bike again I forgot how to use the brake and landed in the dirt. Not comfortably, mind, but with a bloody knee and a very bruised ego.
I have forgotten how to write. Not entirely, perhaps, but my skill is terribly rusted. That comes with neglecting the trade for five months, I suppose. In my defense, there was a lot going on during those months, and internet access was iffy.
To catch us all up: I took that bus ride.
Like a white flag waving in the air begging for mercy or rescue or, for god's sake, just a little bit of attention, she sat a teddy on her windowsill and waited for him to see it.
The teddy bear itself seemed perfectly satisfied in his new role as window watcher. His little silken vest was a trifle crooked, perhaps, and one pant leg was longer than the other, but overall, he thought he appeared almost noble. A lion guarding his pride. A gargoyle perched at the edge of his chapel.
Just a man doing his job.
I knew it wouldn't last, of course. But maybe that's why I did it--as a desperate blow against time, against fate, against the inevitable permanence that my future had become. This was something certain to fail. Something undoubtedly doubtful.
So I took the risk.
In that one night, I taught him all my secrets--a stranger who could never understand them. I showed him my every weakness, and let him use them against me. He made me moan that night. Moan and tremble and cry. And I? I crushed him in the grey light of dawn.
Restless. Agitated. I want to join the storm outside. I want to be shaken and beaten by the thunder, to drown in the rain. I want fight the wind and let it tear apart my screams.
I want to run, run, run, but I'm too tired to move. A hostage in my own body.
If it were not for this exhaustion, this cruel and unrelenting puppet-master of my limbs, I would be gone already. I would be on the streets, pouring my jittery vibrations into the air like a disease.
I want to infect the world.
It was sunset. The air cool and clean after the rain, the sky painted a brighter orange than it had been in months. The first flocks of birds were beginning to fly south.
That night, there were a thousand dragonflies flitting from one direction to the other, a swarm of them. More than I had ever seen in one place. Big black ones with shimmering wings.
"Time to move on," the breeze whispered as it slipped through our car window.
"Time to change directions," the dragonflies buzzed.
"Time to find a new home," clapped the wings of the birds.
It brings back the saddest memories. It reminds me of things I've tried not to think about.
I remember that once, once upon a naive and confused time, I loved you. I remember you were sweet and wonderful. I remember you curled and miserable on the bed that day I left.
"I don't understand," you said, and neither did I.
I didn't understand how we had turned on each other so quickly. I didn't understand why we broke so thoroughly. I didn't understand how we had thought we would ever make it in the first place.
Let me forget.
I was raised in the rice patties of south Arkansas, under the clouds of mosquitoes and the pale, pale blue sky. I knew the color of my blood and everybody else's from the smears against our arms where we had slapped, slapped, slapped at our bug bites. I knew the texture of mud between my toes, the hot blanket of humidity against my skin, the burn of asphalt when I fell off my bike. In that tired and burdened town, I knew everything.
All that knowledge I'd stored in those rice fields disappeared the day we moved away.
The world without you is not worth living in.
Where have I heard that before? It has the taste of a dusty and dull romance novel. I must have read it somewhere, and now it surfaces, eager to drop from the tip of my tongue like a cheesy and meaningless pick-up line. I swallow it back. I won't say it. Subtlety. Such things should be subtle. They should be said without words. They should be hidden in the back of my eyes, writing themselves on your cheek as I look at you.
I will not be without you.
This was the look of a man in the deepest of pain--eyes shut tight, that hard and painful gulp that chokes him as it goes down. This is a man who has shut out his last glimpse of hope and is surrendering himself to harsh, grim reality.
I have destroyed men before. I have broken them without warning, without the smallest hint of attack. But this is a thing I have never done. This is an ache I don't know how to handle. This is too much my fault, too much my anguish.
What do I do?
What do I want?
I want to stay. I want to be suffocated by humidity and family. I want a room of my own. I want a steady supply of food. I want the comfort of a quiet and familiar neighborhood. I want to be surrounded by people I know.
I want you to be happy. I want you to be proud of yourself, to see what I see in you. I want you to reach out and touch that magic of the western sun.
Either way, I will hurt someone. Either way, I hurt. I don't want this choice.
I thought I found you. I thought I recognized your words, that unique way you twist and twirl your syntax, those little surprises you throw into your paragraphs that no one else can mimic. But perhaps you aren't as individual as I thought--it wasn't you, wasn't yours, wasn't worth the disappointment.
It's lonely without that window into your mind. I hope you're happy, my little fairy. I hope you've flown off into that fantasy I always imagined for myself, and I hope you know I don't begrudge you your own story.
I wish I could come along.
I itch inside--bound up by skin too tight. The world is pressing in on me, examining me from every angle, and I don't think it likes what it sees.
"No, no, no," it tsks, "she's still too much. Grind her down. Yes, this edge here."
Caged and tamed. The demons inside me are screaming for release. They claw at my resolve, demand for a chance to break us free.
I want to run--from all choices, all responsibility. Away from the good and evil warring inside me.
Are you ready, baby glow-bird? Let's give them a little surprise.
I am not ambitious (apathetic). I am motivated only by things that interest me and only as long as they continue to interest me (lazy). I'm terribly curious (nosy) and terrible at sticking to one topic (inattentive). I start things I never plan to finish (feckless), my self-control is weaker than northern tea (easily tempted), and I run from responsibility (unreliable).
Who could love such a flawed creature? Why would they even try?
Well, honey, I hate to break it to you, but there ain't a person in the world without a flaw or two. So pick your poison.
My virus protection warned me.
DING! DING! Malware has been blocked! DING! DING! Malicious URL is... DING! DING! DING!
I, of course, wiped my computer before any harm could befall it... right? No. I figured, well, hey, it says it blocked the virus, so I don't have to do anything. Yay for virus protection!
My computer is dead. Gone. It crashed right in the middle of today's (seven days ago) entry. I'd pretend that the entry was a work of art, but it wasn't. It was probably as enlightening as this one and quite a bit less entertaining.
Goodbye, darling computer.
Made of tin, brass, and nickle, we are clockwork people. Just like you, we shuffle through our streets with heads hanging heavy and shoulders slumped low. Our 75 watt sun forgets to turn on sometimes, and it's hard to believe the maintenance crew can fix it again.
Inside our chests, behind dusty windows we keep bolted shut, burns a flame we call our soul. Some burn low, barely flickering to stay alight. Others fill our breasts with light that pierces the dust and illuminates the way home.
And then there was one, they say, who blazed so hot she melted.
I have to take this new pill every night for... well, a very long time. I haven't yet counted how long. It tastes exactly how it smells--like dog breath and rotting dirt. No, that isn't doing it justice.
This pill--this horror--has a terrible, mind-numbing taste. It is an invasive taste, able to pervade every corner of the tongue within a millisecond of entering the mouth. It is the asshole bully of tastes, the one all taste-buds would, just to escape its notice, leap willing into a trashcan and roll in the muck screaming, "SAVE US!"
So what if everything we imagined was real?
What if those creatures shaped from tree stumps and mailboxes and shadows are watching over us? What if the tingle in my fingertips is the surge of magic through my skin? What if I am split, fractured, broken? What if the world actually works by the rules we only understand while our minds are dizzy and thrumming on drugs?
What then? Do we take the risk and take the leap and break the boundaries of society? Do we close our eyes, cross our fingers, and wish it all away?
What's your choice?
I knew her for only a few brief days. A tiny raisin of a woman with a puff of curly white hair, her smile lit up the room and made everyone giggle.
"Groovy," she'd say.
I adored her. She was wise and silly and wonderful. She was the mentor I'd always wanted (albeit without the dreadlocks and southern accent). She made me want to tell her everything and to listen to everything she said.
But there was a warning deep inside my heart. She wouldn't be my teacher. She couldn't help me. I would have to learn on my own.
I never knew a hotter fire than what burns inside me at your touch. I have known the hands of other men, yes. I have tasted their lips and experienced their passion. But none, not a single one, has ever made me want them the way I want you.
In the past, I remained aloof. I went through the motions of pleasure and desire without feeling. I only wanted to see them helpless and lost in yearning for
. Simply, though I played the role of innocent and seduced, I was the master.
But you... you could make me beg.
"You will love me," she told him. "I will make you love me."
And he knew she was right. Knew by the way the shadows pulsed in her eyes. Knew by the way blood pooled at her feet. Knew by the light blazing on her hair and skin.
"What have you done?"
She laughed--threw back her head and laughed with something that sounded more like pain than mirth.
"You will see, my love. In one life, in a thousand, you will see."
He stepped into the circle. Grabbed her shoulders. Shook her. "What did you do?!"
"I claimed you."
The ringing has started again. Even though I know the sound only exists inside my head, it sounds as if it's coming from just behind me. It pulls at my eardrum like little hands--skeletal and dark--and I can almost hear the tiny voices begging for attention. I resist the urge to look around, to find the source of the sound.
Nothing good ever happens when the ringing starts. Nothing.
I know what I'll see if I look. I know that if I look, I will lose my tenuous grip on reality. I will not look. I will not.
Once, in the stairwell, with my backpack slung over and bruising my left shoulder, and the heat of you close behind me, I considered it. A moment of recklessness.
"Why not?" shrugged my brain.
"I've warned you about this sort of behavior," my heart scolded as it picked up its step anxiously. "You aren't ready."
(My head and heart never assumed the roles they were supposed to.)
So I turned to you, nervously licked my lips, let my eyes sweep across you. Your body knew before you did. Your pupils dilated. Your breath caught in your throat.
Yes, why not?
The Old Man was no stranger to killing. He was wild and vicious, and drank blood with as much pleasure as he did the summer rains. No, he was not tame; he was not merciful, but he was not evil.
There was another desert though. The one who drew his power from the oily black pain that leaked from the city and soaked into his soil. He cloaked himself with curses, bled his slaves without reason, and took the witch-women of the mountains to his bed.
"Come," he had called to me once. "See what I can give you."
Souls are slippery things
--bath soap bubbles--
slick with potential and missed chances.
I ate one once.
It tasted like the tip of a icicle
and melted even faster.
I think it cut my tongue
because then I tasted blood.
Rusty falling-off-the-swing sort of blood.
My brother put his in the sand box
and left it there.
I think the cat dug it up.
We found it in the litter box
three days later.
Mine is stuck in a tree
with the kite
and the shoes
and Momma's favorite sweater.
Daddy says he'll cut it down
and feed it to the wood chopper,
maybe next week.
Jesus christ, you're amazing.
Well, sometimes. I mean, everyone has off days, right? But... god, you're a genius. A poet. A mastermind.
I read your entries, and I want to get to know you. I want to open your mouth and pull out whole ribbons of words. Words and words and more of your twisted, lovely words. I want them. I want to make a nest out of them. I want to weave them into a towel to wrap around me and always keep me dry.
Oh my darling. My dearest. My favorite!
I might just have to stalk you.
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