“Learn to light a candle in the darkest moments of someone’s life. Be the light that helps others see; it is what gives life its deepest significance.” – Roy T. Bennet

Archive for September, 2012

Take Oceans With You

take oceans with you

so you don’t run dry

paper all around you

fold and fly

don’t waste the world

don’t change the sky

 

brother wake life has begun

and go to sleep with one eye shut

you don’t want to miss a

single thing

 

take pictures with you

so you don’t lose touch

daydreams are better

but that’s enough

don’t waste the sights

don’t change the lights

 

brother wake life has begun

don’t you want to see it all?

you’ve never walked upon this earth

you shouldn’t waste a

second more

That Broken Harmony

People.
Have you ever noticed how different we all are? Even people that are similar have differences. We dress different, give our bodies our own flair. Celebrities try to be each other, we try to be them, and yet we cannot. Do you know why? Because we can never be the same as someone else. We are not clones cut from the same mold or the same exact ingredients. Even children are different from those who made them. There are changes in personality, changes in the way they walk, differences in what they prefer to eat. Twins, the people who are the closest to each other, are different. None of us is like another.

Still we try.
We shape our bodies and our faces to be like people we know. Mass groups are changing themselves, compromising their images to be false. Why do we do it? What have we to gain? We have so much to gain from being unique. From each person we can learn. We all have thoughts and words ready to break forth out of our lips. Our ways are our signatures, the signatures that we leave behind when we walk out of a building. They leave people wondering, wanting to know more about us. Our differences hold the interest of those we meet. They are what make friends and enemies and rumors and job offers. Without these, life is lifeless, colorless.

Can you see the sparks?
Leaping off our faces and out our eyes, surrounding our sighs with light and laughter.  Those are our desires and feelings. Those are me, drinking  my coffee without any sugar. Those are you, drinking your coffee with several spoonfuls. Those are the world, preferring one movie over another, one fabric over another, one topping over another.  Those are also the pain that each of us feels. The reason a father hurts his family and the reason a friend betrays a brother.

Without.
Without.  We are purposeless, gray matter amidst rainbows. Nothing we do can change that we are not alike. Hello, you. It’s me, a person. I am not you. You are not me. Now let us be friends in that broken harmony. 

Something

Ghosts that I try to bury, but they disappear when I reach for them. They are tricky and fast, too fast for my clumsy hands. Every waking hour is spent in decline, in a bubble of voices only I can understand. Hear me now: I am not alone, but I wish I were.

As a child I was different. Not different as in I knew more than others, or less than others, or that I came from a cult, or was delivered by a stork. I was different as the wind is different from the sea, and yet they live in harmony. I lived in harmony. Other kids connected with me well. They would tease me and joke around with me and play with me on the swings. I wasn’t an outcast, by any means. I simply was there, biding my time, because…perhaps I did know more. Perhaps I knew something I shouldn’t.

As I drag myself up the stairs, my body nearly decayed as the dirt, I look three times my age. Knowledge ages you, I suppose, paired with apparitions and whispers than nobody else notices. Those age you more than cigarettes.

I grew up in a steady way. Born in a hospital; raised in a small house with a brother and a mother and a father.  I went to school  and I learned at a normal pace. But do you know what made me different? What made me different was the fact that my eyes and ears could hear and see more. I never said anything about the fingers that grabbed at the hair of my classmates, or the footsteps that echoed through the halls. At first I thought it was only at school, but the rattling in my kitchen changed that thought.  Sometimes the water would run unnoticed by my family. Sometimes I would run, unnoticed by my family. Running was my safe haven. While life was going past my sight fast, I couldn’t see the things that weren’t supposed to be there, and all I could hear was the whistling of wind in my ears. Running meant freedom.

I remember when I lost it. When my head  couldn’t take it anymore and I cried out to the first person I could reach. I grew angry, yelling at them, “Why can’t you see? Why can’t you see?” I was alone in the way that it matters to be alone.

When I blew I was in class. The things that I saw were going and going, around and around, all over the room. Dust was flying, dust that only I could see. I wanted to brush it away, off their sleeves and their desks, but it landed, layer by layer. Their lips moved in a fish-like motion. I couldn’t concentrate with the grit at their noses and mouths. The teacher was sucking it in like a vacuum, each word breathing in a cloud. I stood and I spoke and they looked at me as they should have: as though I was a freak, a mistake, a blip in the average human DNA. I ran.

The fear I remember. When I think of it, it consumes me. I see spots and I shake and I jump at the slightest noise. Are they coming? Have they found me after all this time? I am a stranger in the eyes of the beholder. Nobody knows me. Nobody cares to know me.

I was eighteen. I was energy, unstoppable in my descent to ruin. The city found me, with its lights and signs drawing me in like a moth.  That is where I stayed, moving only to keep from being detected as an abnormality.  Friendly spirits tried to guide me, but they ruined my mind, so how could I let them? Somebody knew.  As I resided in a park and I spoke to the trees, I was watched. She came out of nowhere. The bushes I consider to be nowhere.  Just a pale face, staring with uncertainty. I had frightened her, with my hand motions and my exasperation with the demons. She saw me look at her, and she bolted like a deer on a highway. I listened to her agitated ramblings for a while, leaning back on the bench. Eventually, though, two more forms appeared, unwittingly stumbling into an invisible web as they crashed through the foliage, demanding to know my problems, my secrets. They didn’t even notice the spider.

Why I didn’t run then, I do not know. I was tired, I guess. But I was examined, and by all accounts I was completely honest during the examination. I told them what I saw, what I heard. They looked at me with pity and a small amount of anger, for some odd reason. They entrapped me in a white jacket, even though I had never harmed myself or anyone else in my life. My parents were frantic when I was found, and even more frantic when they had to send me away to “a safer place.” I know the truth. I am not crazy.

It was my apparition that got me out of there. This particular apparition was a favorite of mine. We never raised our voices at each other, and he never appeared when I was busy.  In many ways he was me: calm, friendly, curious, self-reliant. He came to my rescue after several months of torture. The torture wasn’t meant to be torture, but that is what it was, nonetheless. He came with his hands and a key. The key. And so I took off in the night, with fresh scars and newly acquired static electricity as my friend.  Needless to say, the last torture session didn’t come with any miraculous breakthroughs.

Now I live in the middle of nowhere, a crippled body after my veins began to reject the poisons they had pumped into me. There was no cure; there is no cure. I see what I see and that is all I can see. There was a dark shadow looming over me in a field that night. It meant a place to rest my head and hide away from the world. I survive on nothing but rain and the animals that nest here with me. I will never be found, and they will never know. Do you want to?

My ghosts are the thing that I shouldn’t know. Nobody should know about life after death, the ultimate secret. My secret.

Shh…

The Half-Naked Stampede of Black Men

The Setting: Night, a dying bonfire, nairy a soul but two girls talking, trees all around and the whole world asleep…or was it?
The Surprise: As we laid there on a green blanket, reveling in our ingeniousness of camping out while everyone slept on dusty, dirty mattresses inside, there was a noise. The voice of a man. 
“Ruth, did you hear that? There’s someone over there!” I whispered.
We looked to the trees, and there was a single, shirtless man standing on the edge of them. 
“Rachelle, get down!”
We flattened ourselves on the blanket, breathing heavily and trying to slow our racing hearts. Suddenly, all hell broke loose.
The trees exploded with men. Men with naked torsos, their shirts wrapped around their heads and faces like ninjas or sheiks.  Men with dark skin that blended into the night, their white shirts shining out like beacons. All silently running toward us brandishing half-filled bottles of Coca-Cola and Sprite and water. We lay there, our mouths wide open in shock, hardly believing our eyes. 
They did not stop at us. They kept running, jumping over our bodies as though we were only obstacles in the way of their grand scheme. One man slowed, but only to put a finger to his lips and say, “Shh.”
They stopped at the dorms where all the other girls were sleeping with the vented windows as their targets. They aimed straight and true, soda and water splashing through onto the beds inside. As soon as they came, they went.
They streaked back to the trees like a thousand bolts of lightning, jumping over us again, our bodies now rolling around in laughter and disbelief. They disappeared, and yet, even with the intensity of their attack, no one woke. The lights remained unlit, the sleeping souls remained unstirred. 
And so with that, we knew they would return. And they did. With hoses and buckets, this time going to the side of the building where most of the windows lay, and most of the beds. They turned it on at full capacity, leaving just as quickly as before.
The screams. Oh, the screams. They echoed into the night and into our minds, softly at first, but then growing as the owners of them became more aware of their circumstances. Their beds, their bags, their bodies: drenched.  
The rebuttal was slow in coming, the plan was incomplete. They smeared their faces in toothpaste, white cheeks glowing in the dark. They passed us, not noticing us as we stood there watching the excitement and revenge in their furious eyes.
They crept of the stairs to their prey, not realizing that their prey was really the predator, and it was lying in wait. Hostages were taking, the rest of the army turning tail and running back to safety. We were joined by two others, Evangeline and Ann. We hid in the shadows, having done nothing and hesitant to have something done to us. The girls went by and came back shrieking with a horde behind them. The horde then saw us crouching there.
We, the original two, hid inside a hollow building. We saw our compatriots surrounded and splashed. One took off bellowing after a cowardly male, and the other was too tired to do anything but stand there as she was covered head to toe in toilet paper. We were curled in a corner, hoping they wouldn’t see us through the empty window. 
One did, causing us to panic. We moved to a different corner to avoid being soaked near the window. Ann the bellower entered. We took a chance as we were forgotten by the horde, and ran to another hiding place where we had stashed the  green blanket in the heat of the battle. 
As soon as it all began, it was halted. Leaders came pouring out of the doors, awakened by the cries in the night. They ushered us girls inside, and then back outside, where we did push-ups until someone dropped. Then we did jumping jacks until someone dropped. Then sit-ups until someone dropped. Then we ran in circles until finally they told us to stop, and made sure we had learned our lesson about breaking curfew. It was five in the morning. Ruth and I had been awake the entire night, having been up talking until the war started. They woke us at six. All in all, I had thirty minutes of sleep, Ruth beating me by fifteen minutes.

They never punished the men. 

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