A Jigsaw Puzzle

I struggle to take this apart and put it back together to create a picture that makes more sense for fear of ruining what I have already arranged. Two years ago a hurricane ripped me off the wall, out of my pristine plastic wrapping, and I was left scrambled on the floor. I struggle to understand why I didn’t at least glue my pieces to each other.

Let’s take a better look at me.

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Gif by Audrey DeBruine for North by Northwestern

Here in one hand I hold a puzzle piece. In it, I can see my mothers fingers, outstretched to touch mine, still pink and stringy from being in the womb for too long before I grip hers like my new life depended on it. My eyes open for the first time.

In the other hand, I hold another piece where I can see the corner of his smile, the smile that I came home to after getting fired from a job I hated anyway, the smile I cried to like it was the first day I was born. His smile, however, stayed constant, the only constance I had left.

With wet eyes I let the pieces fall. Everything that fits in between them must be too varied, I fear it’s not all the same puzzle. Did I mix up boxes of different lives together by accident? Is this a trick puzzle, a 3D puzzle of Dracula? Or maybe this is a different game altogether. A game of monopoly, perhaps? Poker? Hungry Hungry Hippos?

I never knew I would be so mismatched. People talk about everything falling together perfectly, like a bubble being blown into existence by accident and flying up to be swallowed by a neon cyan sky. All I seem to have is a toddler’s take on a masterpiece, horrid and painful and juicy and colorful and blurry. None of it fits together, and it certainly cannot be framed – not in its entirety, at least.

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My knees throb from kneeling on the ground for too long, but I let my fingers trail across the mess, the low light making it all heap into a giant dark mass I could never differentiate for its parts.

This is the sort of jigsaw you don’t put together, but rather just appreciate for its individual pieces, good and bad, rough and smooth. Though the idea might be a little avant-garde, I make peace with the pieces nonetheless.

After all, at least I am a mess left over by a puzzle ravaged by a hurricane, and not, say, a game of Hungry Hungry Hippos.

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Crappy Poetry

The mind is too beautiful, too phenomenal, and too much of an utter enigma to become a cliche. The window to my mind is closed. The garden rooted in my amygdala has withered, the neurons unconcerned with typical metaphorical ideas. I don’t think, I just happen to exist (I swear I’m not trying to kiss Descartes’ ass), but I am not a slave to the precious aquarian trapped in my skull.

My brain, and therefore my mind (come at me, UofT Professor Vervaeke), is too complex, and I am tired of it becoming just a prefix for crappy poetry.

That being said… I feel like your mind and mine are one and a whole.

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I feel like you have held my mind in your own very two hands, and have tangibly tweaked with the dendrites and axons until they made drawbridges between me and the memory of your smile.

I feel like while my neurons are too lazy to spin serotonin into gold and relinquish too much control to the venus traps in my amygdala, they still get a rush just out of hearing your laugh.

I feel like while my precious dopamine has lost its way through my mesolimbic labyrinth and my old coping mechanisms have thus turned to dust, my whole brain still lights up when you say my name.

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don’t be fooled, this is actually brocolli

The mind is too beautiful, too phenomenal, and certainly too delicate to be handled like a cliche. My mind may have become black, cavities and caves of endless temptation, but you make it come to full potential again… but your mind is too singularly captivating to be rendered nothing more than a crutch to mine.

That being said…

You are too special just to become a prefix to my crappy poetry.

You Are The Sun, And I Am The Sea

The sun doesn’t cease its shining when it sets in the west. All it does is shine on somewhere else. Perhaps it throws light on the face of a child, breathing for the first time. Perhaps it shines on a patch of grass in a cemetery, smiling down on someone beyond this perceived dimension. Perhaps, still, it is simply brightening up a patch of the ocean, playing with the waves in mesmerizing synchronicity, ebbing, flowing.

You don’t stop existing when I turn the corner from your house. All you do is live on somewhere else. Perhaps you are taking a deep breath, about to dive into your next project, staring straight at a yellow light. Perhaps you are frowning, your forehead creasing in consideration of the bits and pieces of society that seem beyond advanced comprehension. Perhaps, still, you may simply be thinking of me. Existing with you in mesmerizing synchronicity. Ebbing. Flowing.

I put to you how strong I feel when your luminescence illuminates my complexion. The way I grip your wrist when I’m afraid of the worst – your neck, your hair. How patience is your constant companion, leaving the room with you for a while before bringing you back with a smile on your face. I put it all to you, how amazed I am when I see my own bemused expressions mirrored in yours.

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The sun shines anyway, not in spite of, but because of the constant implosions taking place within it. It bursts with particles of light and heat and brilliance, sputtering everything we, you and I, need to live on. It’s spilling over, engulfing us in its light. All so that we can live and breathe and fight and play and be. All for the sake of mesmerizing synchronicity.

Ebbing.

Flowing.

A Good Day

“Today was a good day, wasn’t it?”

Yeah. Would it be cliche to draw comparison to heaven, to euphoria, to escape? Or would that be too privileged of an answer to give?

“Fuck political correctness and tell me how you feel.”

It was heaven. Euphoria. Escape. Blankets aren’t as warm without your body heat and sleep isn’t as resting unless I can feel your breath tickling my ear. Your arms are like the ribbon tying me together. Does that make me a present?

“I mean…”

Okay. Let’s settle for special.

“You are special.”

Special is a funny word. Your tone implies a euphemism, a disguise, snark I don’t understand. Perhaps my own insecurity acts as a megaphone, altering your voice onto a loud, invasive creature licking my neck.

“…Gross.”

Right? But I trust you. I trust you more than to think you mean it to be absolutely hilarious. I trust you to make such jabs at my insecurities, to make me laugh and forget about them all together. Am I special? Who cares!

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“Yeah! Fight the power!”

You are the power. I fight you the way a shadow fights with light. It’s a play fight, a game of hide and seek. I hide in plain sight because I want you to find me, to catch me, to tickle me until I’m breathless. I’m breathless around you. When we first met did you go to bed and think of me, like I did you? Was there a shiver hiking up your spine, slowly, debilitatingly, devastatingly, gorgeously? Hey, gorgeous.

“What?”

Continue reading “A Good Day”

Strut

5. Look at me. Why? Because you insist on straight lines, north and souths, lefts and rights - directions always become a mess! Look at me. Stop strutting and stand in the middle of a straight line. Dare to make it go off course. It won’t, you see? Its direction is embedded into my skin now. It cannot go off course. You did this to yourselves, you’ve denied yourselves. This is it. It’s coming closer. It’s coming closer now. It’s going to hit you. Don’t move. Don't move. Don't -“Evolution has made us into machines,” you say. “We do not turn our heads at the scent of blood. We dare to stare boldfaced at the Sun and see a ball of gas instead of our Mother. She is a a scientific wonder we want to touch instead of a force of destruction that will burn us if we touch Her. What’s more, we hear sirens and crane our necks in the hope of catching a glimpse of a gasping victim. We turn our televisions off and listen to the traffic instead, wondering if other little heads are as mechanic as our own – ”

Oh, please. You are not a machine, child. You are flesh and blood. You are breakable, sometimes irreparable. Doesn’t the melody of the sirens prove that, in and of itself? Continue reading “Strut”

The Best Revenge

The mouth of the deep dark cave I kept returning to with the hope of finding remnants of an old treasure is gone. Shining, glittering, and swallowed up by the sea. The tide was rising for ages, engulfing me inch by inch. It was rising so much I titled my head up for air, hoping for a miracle written in the stars above me. How long can a drowning victim survive standing on the tips of their toes? According to the time stamp of my phone, exactly 24 days. But guess what? it only took 24 hours for me to climb out of there and watch paradise disappear underneath the cool mirror surface, as the sun moved out from behind the moon and everything burst into color. All that was left was my rippling reflection. And that’s how I knew I’m all that’s worth saving.

Every temptation, every reminder, every trace of this is gone. Words, Smile, Name. Everything:

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The Words were knock offs anyway – if I want authenticity, I’ll buy it for myself. The Words I speak now are authentic, high-end, genuine, real.

The Smile was too soft anyway – I am hard and smooth as a stone, my smile comes easy but my disdain comes easier. The Smile I wear now is worn, carved into my stone face with the intricacy that was lacking here.

The Names you tickled out of me were too impersonal anyway – when I am called, I expect the vowels of my name to be laced with personality, with a story, with an unusual tilt in the end that always ends in a pretty little package of a question.

The cover is blown, shut, banished; it is gone. I’ve deleted the unoccupied, M-shaped space in my life already – actions speak louder than words, love. I’m doing myself the favor, the favor of getting over this wasted paradise, of letting go of your Capital Letters, of being my Best. I’m doing it before you can even snap your head in my direction long enough to declare death upon the gasping poor thing on the ground between us. We all know it’s dead, idiot. Sometimes denial just makes it harder to declare.

Every desire that I could count off on my fingers is gone now. One day I will be the best version of myself. I will be successful. Surrounded. I will have a foundation of love, first for myself, and second for those who love me back. I’m gonna lead a life unstolen from anyone else, and any hesitation I experience until then just tells me I still have work to do. But when all that work has paid off and I am healthy and happy and hella fuckin’ loaded? Then honey…

Oh, dear.

I won’t even remember your name.

Two hundred and forty three bucks

Here it is. I owe you about that much. Yes, owe. For dinner. And the dress. And the abundance of flowers.

No, take it. Seriously, I’m not fucking around. Just take it. Take it.

Listen to me. Understand something cause it’s very important. No, don’t purse your lips ’cause you hate these conversations and find my feelings, my passion to be awkward, to be Too Much.

Listen. I don’t want your money. I don’t want the fancy dinners. I don’t want cars or penthouse apartments, I don’t want a pretty thing for my birthday. I don’t want any of that, honey, I want you.

I want you.

‘Cause I’ll tell you what. One text message. Just saying… I miss you. I’m thinking of you. That’s it, no initiation for conversation, no elaboration, just a simple “hey, I like you, I haven’t forgotten you, I miss you.”

That is worth a million dinners to me, because I want you, baby. I want you.

And honestly? That is such a miniscule amount of effort. Beyond that? I can only wish.

I can get myself pretty things. I work hard, I’m ambitious, I’m independent, and I love doing that. I love doing my thing, living my life, building my career. I NEED that.

And I know you get it cause you’re like that too. And I love that about you. I love that you work hard, you’re ambitious, you’re independent, and you love doing that. I admire you for it. I understand you for it.

But something is wrong when I think, “I’d be so incredibly happy if you just sent me a birthday message.” A birthday message. Even if it’s just “happy bday :)”.

How fucked is that?

Take the money and understand me as you do. I don’t want your bucks. I don’t want you to spoil me because it’s been ages since we’ve talked so you gotta compensate somehow, no. 

I want you.

Just you.