I do not dislike November as much as I used to, though I think I’ll always be wary of her. She’s a heartbreaker. Never fully trust someone who wears combat boots with such grace. They are far too aware of, and at ease with the damage they can inflict. Besides, for all I know, she has a switchblade in her back pocket.
Beginnings are always different, but they always crunch under my teeth and explode — like cherry tomatoes, like pomegranate seeds, like grapes — red and bright and, possibly maybe, sweet and deadly. We are not meant to be locked away.
I’ve been eating a lot of pomegranates these past few weeks. And every time I sit and take the seeds out, let them drop into the small bowl, bright blood-red against stark white, my thoughts turn to Persephone.
I like to think she ran away. I like to think Hades did not kidnap her, but that she begged him, seduced him, anything, all for him to take her away. How she was tired of the blue skies of Spring, and the heady smells of flowers, the birds fluttering around her, and her mother, always, in every part of everything around her.
I like to think she craved shadows and dark-lit hallways, or just something different, something wild and untamed, and not as brilliant. I like to think she stood there, in the underworld, listening to the moans of the dead, pondering. She would have held the three pomegranate seeds in the palm of her hand. The last three seeds of the fruit. All others squashed between her fingers, her hands red with juices as if she had bathed them in blood. And then, as the dim light of the world touched her skin, and the shadows she thought she might learn to love danced across her cheeks, she would have brought the seeds to her mouth, and decidedly squashed them under her tongue, sealing, choosing, her fate.
sometimes, sometimes I imagine what it would be like without you, here, with me. I don’t know why I do it. It’s silly really, because it always makes me so sad, and yet I lay on my back and look at the ceiling and imagine life without you in it. I think, I think I want to convince myself that I could go on without you, if you were to leave. To leave me alone, here, without you. Here, without you. It’s such a strange and terrifying prospect. And I want to know that I have that strength. I probably do, I mean, we are always stronger than we think, right? We are always braver than we think, and wiser too, and I guess life is just that, sometimes, one fall after another. We keep thinking we are made of glass or porcelain or fine china, but really I think we might be made of steel, and bones, and bricks, and heavy blocks of cement. It’s not as pretty granted, but who fucking cares. We think fragility is pretty, because we think it’s ephemeral, like life. But I don’t think so. I don’t think life, love, is like that, even though it is fragile, in a way, it also is the heavy-weight champion of wrestling and boxing and it sends you to the carpet so many times, you might as well live with a permanent concussion. Hence the steel and bricks and the fucking huge blocks of cement. It’s evolution.
So yeah, I think that maybe I could be strong enough. But life would be fucking bleak and light would not fall in the same way through the kitchen window, and I don’t know. It’s scary okay. The more you love something the more scared you become of losing it and you know it’s going to be more painful when, if, you lose it. Still. Still. I’ll love you with everything I have, and then some, and I’ll love things and places and other people too. I don’t know. I don’t know why I imagine these things, because I can’t think of something more painful then being here without you. But really, does it matter? When I wake up tomorrow morning, an empty space beside me, still warm from your body, reaching for my phone to text you good morning, I will still find myself loving you more than I do today.
things you should not do on a grey rainy day
when you’ve tried to write, and you’ve yelled at your screen and you’ve maybe cried a bit, just to see how it feels, just to empty yourself a little:
- drink too much wine
- (re)read Crush, by Richard Siken
- listen to happy songs that makes you want to punch walls
you better just (re)watch your favourite episodes of your favourite show and imagine what it would be like to make out with the lead actor — it’s much safer that way.
Sometimes I have this fleeting thought of ‘I am good enough for this’. Then it slips between my fingers, not quite merging with my skin, like water and oil, leaving only its faint scent under my fingernails, in the creases of my pillow.
One day, I’ll find its freezing point, flash freeze it before it gets away and swallow it whole. Then it can melt inside my chest where it won’t get away.
Then I’ll think it and think it and think it, on and on
and I’ll believe it, too.
It’s in the way we move our fingers when we talk, the dance they create in the air we share. You offer me your thumb to grab, and I do, in my too-small hands, like a child’s, and it means something, to you and to me. I see it in you eyes, and the way the corner of your mouth twitch, the way your head does that thing where it moves slightly to the side, as if you were pondering a question, except you’re only looking at me from a slightly different angle to see how I look this way.
We quote books and movies at each other. My favourite is our constant comforting using lines from Winnie-the-Pooh. It’s not hard to do this, they flow from our lips even though someone else has written the words, but we make them our own and to hell with what they were suppose to mean in the first place. I love having this whole lexicon that only you can understand.
You’ll grab my sides and I’ll giggle and lick your glasses, just to hear that frustrated groan in the back of your throat. It’s in the way you twisted my name to make it into a nickname and it’s better than all the darlings, honeys, and babes in the world. You send me links to youtube videos of songs that make you think of me. And in the morning I’ll kiss your shoulder and the edges of your spine and you’ll mumble something incomprehensible under your breath and I’ll smile and say me too me too.
The covers on the bed are cool, and almost damp with the humidity of the air coming through the opened windows. It smells like rain, wet leaves and grass. There are squirrels fighting on the roof of my house. And cicadas singing in the distance.
I am tired and sleep-deprived, but I don’t mind because I woke up curled against his body.
Today is: editing stories, Sarah Slean and a bowl of cherries.
it does not suffice
to tuck yourself
in a suitcase
(and get your hair caught in the zipper and
chafe your skin against the leather and squeeze
your toes between
the socks and ugly underwear, and block
your ears, so they don’t hear
the sharp, clear sound of the locks as they
close, with finality,
to carry it
People ask what kind of stories do you want to tell? And I never know how to answer really, because it’s irrelevant, I think. A children’s book, a short story, a weird magical realism novel, a young adult trilogy, a fantasy epic, a love story, it doesn’t matter to me in the end. Not really.
Maybe…maybe I just want to write something devastatingly honest, but never, ever cruel.
You know, there isn’t much comfort in knowing that the bed sheets have been cleaned and smell like sunshine and soap, if I cannot hold your hand and kiss your shoulder while we lay between them. Dirty sheets at least have the advantage of smelling of you.
crab meat & garlic buttered-fingers ; the waves crashing, crashing crashing ; breaking every resolves ; the moon is too bright ; words are meaningless ; I don’t know anything ; I will always love him ; I forgot how to spell her name ; lighthouses are the perfect houses ; the sea is unforgiving ; seagulls never give a fuck about anything ; reading is better than almost anything except maybe living ; drifting is a state I like to be in ; keep notes tucked in my shoes ; I always drink too much wine ; I don’t like my name.
Found a new lover today. He came out of the sea on his hands and knees and bled red over the dark grey rocks. His eyes were dark and wild.
He was made of salt and mist.
I looked at him while he let himself dry under the sun.
I didn’t blush.
I never do.
I think about stories a lot. I think about telling stories. I think about how they are everywhere and all-powerful. I think about how they flood me and leave me for dead, and how they teach me how to breathe underwater when I think I am sinking, when I think I have hit the bottom of the ocean.
And then I think about telling stories some more. And I think about how difficult it is. And I think that it shouldn’t be so difficult, that it shouldn’t be like climbing a mountain while naked in the middle of winter with no food and only a small rusted knife to fend for yourself, the North Wind cackling over you. Mocking.
And then I think that it’s not the stories that are difficult. It’s the words. Stories are always around and they are small or big, tangible and insubstantial at the same time. But ever-present and ever-growing and ever-there.
But words, words. They bloody hurt.