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Day #8 – A Book You Love, and a Book You Didn’t

I am currently reading A Parade’s End by Ford Maddox Ford. I am very much in love with it. But I’m not quite finished it, so I can’t quite give it the review it deserves. But Christopher Tietjens goes to the top of my list for the best male characters ever written. Even though he’s supposedly the last of them, he’s one of the best fictional gentleman to ever grace the leaves of a book. He gives a man like Mr. Darcy or Colonel Brandon a run for his money.

I absolutely detested Catcher in the Rye. Holden Caulfield was such a whiner, a complainer. He was just completely determined to find fault with everyone and everything and his own situation and refused to do anything about it. And everyone’s a phony, in the book, and so is he, but really what does that even mean? He said it so much the word lost its meaning by the end of the book. I just… I couldn’t. I understood it well enough to write about it for school but I can’t get behind a book with a character I don’t like. And I don’t mean villains. I love to hate characters, to find something redeemable in a completely detestable personality. But there was nothing worthwhile about reading that book. Why? Why do lit teachers salivate over having us read that book. Is that the point?

I love how I found more to write about a book I hated than a book I actually like, but give me some allowance that I haven’t finished Parade’s End.

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Day #3 – Your First Love & First Kiss; If Separate, Discuss Both

My First Kiss… It was a guy that had held interest in me before that night. I had a vague inkling that what we had together was heading in that direction. I was in high school. I let him do things I had let no other guy do to me before, hug me, lay his head on my shoulder, etc, and it was sweet. He always hung around when he saw me. Then there was the one time I had worn make up to school (something I almost never did because I didn’t have the time for heavy makeuping when there was studying to do and really my self-esteem was low enough that I just didn’t care to bother cause really what was the point?), he pulled back my bangs and stared at my eyes in amazement announcing “your eyes are so green.” It never even occurred to me that a guy could find interest in me that way up to that point. Before that I had always been one of the bros. I had a lot of guys in my life that were more like brothers than friends or anything else romantic or sexual. At least there were never any guys that would give me that kind of attention.

There were flutterings of something I couldn’t name yet and that I was confused about, but we weren’t quite of the same level. I’m a pragmatic person, not someone that will lie in order to make someone else feel better unless the situation really calls for it. So I won’t lie and say that he was of my level of intellectual intelligence and that didn’t bother me, but he would do embarrassing things… in social situations. Really he just needed to apply himself more, and any guy can be coaxed into stopping things like walking up walls and walking away before a girl could explain herself. My friends weren’t entirely positive what we had could be “something” and thought him weird. But at the time I couldn’t help thinking “well this is probably the best I can do right now,” and my mom thought he was handsome, so I started hanging out with him regularly. We had been seeing movies together. And it started with hand holding and then during school he would walk me to my classes and wouldn’t go to class until the very last second, right when the bell rings, and would come find me every period he could. Then one movie night – he negotiated most if not all of our hangouts pursued me really – he leans in to kiss me. I can feel myself pull back, my eyes widen and then I couldn’t help the next moment as I leaned down until I was under his chin into his shoulder, completely red faced with shyness? embarrassment? Stunned surprise? I couldn’t name it. I couldn’t help the realization “oh my god that was my first kiss,” ringing inside my head. He forced me to look back up at him with a nudge of the shoulder and knowingly announced “that was your first kiss wasn’t it?” And I nodded trying to hide my smile. He always, always teased me endlessly.

It didn’t last. I handled it all quite poorly, for my part of it. But so did he. People had been staring at us that night and I didn’t like the negative attention we got. Looking back on it now I sort of regret how it ended, that it had ended at all. I didn’t like the reactions I got from friends at school thinking we were making some sort of big stand against convention and telling me how beautiful our babies would look (it was an adorable thought but shocking. Excuse me, babies?!), teachers, my own grandmother. You see, he was black and I am white. And my grandmother (who owned the house we lived in) disapproved of my seeing him, and told me not to come home and live somewhere else if I dated him because no granddaughter of hers was going to be allowed to live under her roof that would let a black man touch her like that. She said it while she and I were alone and I would never cause fights of that magnitude in my house between her and my mother. My parents never had any idea. I only told them this after Nanny Audrey died. And the place where we saw the movie that night, it was an area frequented by black people and they were staring at me and him together. It was a lot to deal with and I didn’t know how to bring it all up to him. I wanted us to be together but not if it was going to agitate things and I didn’t know whether or not I liked enough to prod at that sleeping dog. It’s not the 60′s but that doesn’t mean this wouldn’t cause problems. Even if his family  liked me and my parents and brother liked him. So I told him that I just wasn’t interested, it was better than saying “I can’t go out with you because my grandmother would kick me out if we’re together.” I would rather he think badly of me, than hate my grandmother, a woman who tolerated black people, but hated black men when they got anywhere near me. But did I love him? I might have… if it had been given the chance it needed to, to grow. But he never asked me why. He just walked away. If he had asked why, I might have confessed it to him. My anxieties, my lack of self- esteem, my racist grandmother.

So was he my first First Love? I don’t think so… But he has the distinction of being the first person I ever kissed.

My First Love… I don’t believe I’ve ever had a first love, at least not one that’s been requited. I’ve had deep resounding friendships where I’ve felt such a deep affection for them, deeper than anything else in my life. Thinking that they weren’t a girl, or gay, this could have been something. Then there’s this guy… I wasn’t planning on meeting him. I was just planning on having a night with my friend and meeting his friends. I had needed a new group of friends to add to my friend circle. I had been alone as a kid until the 7th grade, and found myself alone again in college. I was sorely lacking of friends that weren’t connected to this abusive friend that I don’t talk to anymore. So Brian was friendly, someone I knew from high school but couldn’t hang out with until I had been free of my other friend who until then had policed my friendships. I clung and he offered to have me come over to his place to play magic. His friends played and I had played with my brother (though that hadn’t ended well). They would reteach me the game that night. I wasn’t expecting him to walk in that night. I was told all the guys that would be there were either taken or nothing interesting. Then the door opened and Brian announced that this guy was there. It was like a scene out of an 80′s movie. He came into the house and the edges of my vision fuzzed, the conversations around me muted and all I saw was him. Unfortunately he had just been broken up with and it had been a serious relationship. This is what I’ve always lacked. Timing. All the other guys I’ve liked before, either as soon as I told them it went away, or the guy I would like would end up being an asshole. They were all fleeting things. This is one of the first guys I’ve ever met where everything just clicked for me except for this one thing. He can’t seem to move passed her. Or at least, can’t seem to move passed the pain. Maybe it’s something else on his part I don’t understand. But to me that just makes him more attractive in a Gothic sense. But I’m a romantic and I love a sad tale like this even if it’s my own. This group of friends we’re always around is my family. We make a unit that just functions excellently. And quite honestly, right or wrong, I would rather stick around him and show him my constancy even if he doesn’t notice. Prove to him my constancy. If there’s a guy that can change my mind, I haven’t found him yet. And even if I did, I would probably still think about him. I’m like Fanny Price, Anne Elliot, or Jane Eyre. I’m not overly attached, just lingering and I can’t help the flutters I get when I look at him, when he laughs at my jokes, when he says the perfect thing while we’re talking. Even if he and I were friends and he could confide in me I would rather that than nothing at all. I’m not someone that finds this sort of feeling to come easily to me. Even if my feelings aren’t returned. In answer to your question, yes I’m always like this.

But then I have to ask myself, if I were in a relationship ever, would I know what the hell to do with it?

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Day #2 – Your Earliest Memory

This is actually quite vivid. One of the little memories I have from very early childhood. I am old enough to remember but young enough to still be in a crib. But I know that I can lower the bars by myself. [My mother was always horrified that I could get my fingers caught in the crib’s catch, but she was always horrified of all the dangers that surrounded me.] They’re easy to figure out once I observe my parents raising, lowering, and locking the crib’s bars into place several times a day since I was old enough to have this memory.

I had been sleeping, it’s early morning. I rise from sleep, to this memory. I look to my parents, both are in bed. My father in crutches for his leg. Even from this tender age of infancy, I held concern for my father’s health. I look to my mother, her head a riot of familiar curls. I’m looking to the ceiling fan, the shadows thrown by the rising sun. The quiet of the room, the snores of my father, and the chatter of the morning labors of the sparrows gently wake me. I was always a quiet child, and enjoy that time. Until my brother sneaks into the room, his small fingers worming their way into the bars of the crib, smiling to me adoringly as he talks to me. I can’t recall if he was speaking yet, but I am told that he was able to speak our children’s language to me. His noisy entrance is enough to alert my parents and I spring to standing before my mother’s dresser where I am entertained by my own reflection in the mirror. I can’t tell you what I thought I looked like. My mirrored image is a fuzzy television screen, even to my own memory. It wasn’t long until my mother picked me up and put me into bed with my father. Dusty smells of sleep, sweat, and my father welcomed me as he tickled me. I gave way to giggles and quietly raucous morning playtime. Distracting me long enough to allow my mother the space to wash and dress before we started our day. A day just like every other day, for many days to come.

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Day #1 – Five Problems with Social Media

Where do I even begin?

1) Oblivion. People try their damnedest to acquire the most followers, vie for the most attention (even me) but in the end what will be left of us? Nothing but star stuff.

2) Void. Everyone just shouts into the void, noisy and obsequious. Worse is that they expect the void to answer back. (So guilty of this even now.)

3) Vernacular. Fleek, On Point, Fierce, LOL, Ballin’, Swag. The nonsensical perversion of our language. I don’t believe in bad language, or bad words but the worst thing is listening to these things becoming common to the dictionary. I can’t keep up with it all.

4) Anonymity. The Anonymity of Trolls, Haters, and Meanies. Gotta ignore the trolls. Sure, that’s easy enough to do, most of the time. But some people can be really hateful. It’s easy to say really rude, obnoxiously rash things to people over the internet when you believe you’re only talking to a picture. When people feel the need to correct, tease, or bully others because the bigness of the internet allows you to feel big enough to tear others down.

5) Anesthetic. The Anesthetic Effect of Horror. The fact that we view such horrible, disgusting, shocking things that are around us in this world, and that these things somehow become less shocking. That these things become so minute on our radar that they almost become nonexistent.

[Bonus: My obsession with it. Everyone’s obsession with it. Make a note, a promise: Take a step back, go outside, breathe.]

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30 Day Writing Challenge

Let’s do this!

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I think I’ll give this a try! And I’m already behind… that’s alright.

If you want to join me please do!

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Scarred – 3/19/2016

Cover me in sin,
Honey thick and sweet with desire.
Scratch it into my skin.
Leave marks.
Marks that will last for hours,
For days, for months, for years,
Forever.
Bruise me until it hurts.
Brand me.
Leave scars.
A calling card,
A signature that can never be erased.
So deep,
Your love will fill my pores,
Burn my blood,
Fill the gaping pockets inside the marrow of my bones.
Every inhale will be glorious pain.
Ecstatic blazes that will scorch and seer,
into white hot pleasure.
Every exhale will be my relief,
A gasping sigh filled with my cindered, smoldering love.
Let your devotion,
your constancy,
Seep into these ravaged layers,
Lying here just for you,
As indelible as ink stains on fingertips.
Leave scars that will remain,
Through the rest of time,
So that not even the Earth that swallows me,
Could ever dream to forget,
The love scars you left behind.

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Beggar’s Hands

Forgive me if I beg of you the gift of your soul
With beggar man’s hands that are rank and shaking
Please do not look upon my weaknesses
For they are ugly and unclean
Do not lay upon me your love
For I am a selfish creature
and will consume until my gluttonous thirst is quenched
You are too good to give me all
As I will devour you undaunted by sin or conscience
I will have everything and make no apologies
For this, I now see why you should purge
And leave me abandoned and waiting
But if I turn to you,
beggar’s hands open, my soul longing
Would your own soul answer mine?

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Kintsugi 金継ぎ

Image

I am a vase
I want you to break me
Tear my soul into smaller pieces
Flay me with your anger
Show me the evidence
Give me proof
That I am not worthy of you
Acknowledge what I know to be true
But do not abandon me
As I lay before your feet
Shattered, torn apart
Please end my torture thus
I will know what I did
It is only through you
As you breathe me in
And replace old with new
That I shall begin to heal
Fit my mangled corpse
Back together
A new form
Perfection as defined by your desire
And melt the finest love
Into my deformed, ugly crevices
It will harden and make me whole
So I might be someone you can love
Again.

I am a vase
I want you to love me.

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Catharsis

Some poems come and go
Some poems whisper
They whisper across my brain
Like wind blowing across waves of the ocean
Over the shore
Upon my face
I can taste and savor the words
Like drops of salt water hanging in the air
And just like a blink,
they’ve vanished.
A moment of time
And never again
Some poems, they’re more persistent
Even if I wanted to forget them
They return
They bang on the door to my brain
Rude. Needy. Obstinate.
The words become molasses
Sticking into every crevice, every nook and cranny.
Until they are written out.
Exorcised.
Now if you’ll excuse
It’s time to exorcise another demon.

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‎”Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.”

– William Wordsworth

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