One Day

One day they will have accomplished their lives and lie next to each other 6 feet deep, lulled to sleep by the melody of Mother Earth, and drawn out of it by their Father into a brilliant world where they will stand, side by side, awash in white light. Luminescent.

Now, however, in this moment, right now: he whispers a final “goodnight”, teetering on a laugh as if something is funny. Maybe there is something funny. She never really knows, and probably never will.

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Artwork by Emiliano Bastita

Right now she presses her head against his chest to listen to his heartbeat and slow down her own, but one day she will be looking out to the sea, standing on the shores of Prince Edward Island. Continue reading “One Day”

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Holes In The Sky

Everyone dies someday.

“But not you!”

No. Even I will die, one day.

“But I don’t want you to die one day. Mommy and Baba might die one day, but you’re gonna live forever.”

Stars are just holes poked into the sky so the people who are behind it can look through and see who they left behind. [Click To Tweet!]

Do you really want that? Do you want me to live forever?

“Yeah. You can’t die, you’re gonna live forever.”

And what about you? Are you going to live forever, too?

“I don’t know. Yeah.”

You don’t sound too sure.

“I didn’t think about it ’til now.”

Okay, well think of it this way. Everyone dies one day, and they can go to heaven. We can all live in heaven together and be happy. Do you still want me to live forever, and not come to heaven, too? Do you want your sister to be lonely?

“Why do we have to go to heaven? Why can’t we just stay here?”

Do you know what heaven is?

“Where people go when they die.”

Well, yes. Do you know what heaven looks like?

“No. Do you? Have you been there before?”

I don’t know, maybe I have. Heaven looks different for everyone. To me, heaven is a garden where we can all play and be together.

“Really? We play soccer and lie next to each other at night when we wanna go to sleep?”

Yeah, totally. Actually, Mamani is there already, waiting for us to come join her one day.

“Mamani is in heaven?”

Oh, yeah. For sure. And guess what – she’s happy there.

“How do you know?”

She told me! I had a dream where Mamani and I were sitting together, and she was making tea like she always did. That’s how people in heaven talk to us sometimes, through dreams. When I asked her if she was happy, she said yes.

“Really? She said that?”

Yes, she said that. She says that heaven is on the other side of the sky. People who are gone like to keep an eye on us, and tell us which way to go when we’re lost.

“Where is she? Can I say hi to her?”

Of course you can. Just look up at your favourite star and wave. Stars are just holes poked into the sky so the people who are behind it can look through and see who they left behind.

“Behind the sky? Like space? So Mamani is an astronaut!”

You’re totally right, Mamani is an astronaut. She’s floating above earth in heaven and looks through the stars to say hi.

“Hi! I’m waving, Mamani! Can you see me?”

I’m sure she can.

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Artwork by heartsnmagic on Tumblr

Sugar Sweet

Poking his head out of his little gray room, he notices that her bed in the room across the hall is a mess. It’s also empty.

Fuck. 

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Artwork by Frederic Forest

He throws on a robe hanging on the bathroom door, heavy from the humidity of his hasty shower, and catches a glance of himself in the hallway mirror. He averts his gaze, and makes his way down to the kitchen.

Though he tries to go unnoticed by his better half, she turns her pretty head immediately and catches him descending the stairs. Her hair is too immaculate for the early hours of a Saturday, and the ring on her finger is glittering too harshly.

“Good morning, honey.”

Continue reading “Sugar Sweet”

Life Looks Gorgeous On You

When I sit on the train, I like to people watch. Their faces are like blank canvases to me. They stare with dead eyes at the advertisement that’s been plastered above a fellow transit passenger’s head, some pensive, some exhausted, others wearing a simply inscrutable expression.

To pass the time, I begin to familiarize myself with these strangers in my head.

I picture these strangers laughing. Crying. Sighing. Seeing a blue sky after a rainy week, the soft expression of surprise when they get an unexpected call from someone they haven’t spoken to in a while.

I imagine anger, how it colors some people red or blue or purple or white, how they might sob out of frustration, or assume a dead rocky silence in the face of giving up on someone after a fighting match.

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Blob Of The Day by Henrik Aa Uldalen

I envision hope. How these strangers might perk up at the sound of a loved one’s footsteps as they finally get home, or become shy when they see someone after they had gone out on their first date. How they might bite their lip as they open a much anticipated email, or grind their teeth when their team almost scores.

And what of the triumphant smirk that graces these strangers’ lips when they make several people laugh, or the shared pointed glare at fellow colleagues when the boss is being ridiculous again? Consider, the way they close their eyes and take a deep breath as they hug someone they missed, or the swell of pride in their chests when they begin to understand a complicated lesson and answer a question right.

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Life Studies, Emilio Villalba

I think about how gorgeous these strangers must look when they’re happy. How heart-broken I would be to see them sad. I think about how these people care for others, how they have dreams, aspirations, how absolute strangers can become the closest companions after relating about something or other, how they develop relationships that last entire lifetimes, all by accident.

I watch, almost with a hint of regret, when my fellow transit passengers, strangers who I’ve got to know so intimately in my mind, get off at their stop. I never see them again.

I will never get to see these strangers again, happy, sad, angry, hopeful, triumphant. I will never know them beyond the picture I drew of them, framed neatly in my mind until they blur, like the landscapes whizzing past outside my train window.

I will never know these strangers so deeply. I have to remind myself that even though I have known some people this way, a lot of them have faded out nonetheless. A once golden tapestry now dusty in the basement of my memory. What’s the point? Even I am a stranger to myself. Though I should arguably know myself better than anyone, I haven’t witnessed these imagined moments on my own face either. That’s up to others to enjoy.

I usually sigh and return my gaze to an advertisement plastered above a fellow transit passenger’s head with a pensive, exhausted, or inscrutable expression.

Life looks so gorgeous on you, I think. I might have never seen it, but trust me.

I can imagine.

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”

Jane Eyre

If strength means being unfeeling, I am weak.

Passionate. Emotions burst out of me unwarranted, words pour out of my mouth like a bazooka, and I? Tend? To invest myself in objects. Objects. The objects are made of muscle and sinew, a void missing the “chip” that “makes us human”. Are we ashamed to be human? is that the root issue? Do we wish to be the animals we document on TV, the unfeeling wolf who snatches at a baby doe without the sensitivity of a French savoir, without the delicacy of a marinated sauce simmered to perfection and drizzled over our amuse-bouche to disguise the baby animals we snatch as well?

 

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“‘British Birds: the King Fisher'” [Jane Eyre, 2011]
If strength means lacking human quality, I am weak.

Even a wolf has a family, a litter of doe-eyed pups looking to grow big and strong like their mama,to grow into “unfeeling” killing machines. Unfeeling? Please. I run barefoot and tear myself to shreds in the process, but I grow a thicker skin, I glow with hotter blood, I smile with a metal fuckin’ smile and I love it. I love it with all my intensity and without apology.

If strength means holding back, I am weak.

I cry over a sink a couple times a week and my eyes are puffy and pink, but hey, you know what else is puffy and pink? My hair. I laugh really loud and I talk a little shrill and I lose my mind with a kind of liberty I can never control, but hey, you know what else is loud and shrill and free? Songbirds.

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“I’m not in need of tea, thank you.” [Jane Eyre, 2011]
If strength means not caring, I am weak.

I sing with a broken voice and I fly with snapped wings, but I do it all anyway. I twirl and I twirl until I’m seeing stars and depending on how I’m feeling, I’ll either bump my head and cry a little, or start laughing really hard cause man, I can see my house from here! Space is wicked and I love it and I’m not even sorry.

If strength means keeping my head up, I am weak.

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“You would rather break my heart than break some human law?” [Jane Eyre, 2011]
I fall. I break. I lose hope. That happens, but don’t be fooled. It doesn’t scare me. Beyond rock bottom is hell and… I have a timeshare there. Eventually, the same passion that betrayed me and made me crash down like a meteor? It will lift me up again. I’ll lift me up again. Because without the capability to thirst for something better, without the emotions that chatter and tell me better, without the feelings that burst through my body and electrocute me in the heart to revive me for the better? I am a stone. I am a rock. I am an island. And those guys sure as hell don’t have the strength to get themselves out of a stagnant pace.

If I am weak, then fine. I am weak.

Because if that’s is what strength is supposed to be, I’d much rather be weak anyway.

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“Awaken then.” [Jane Eyre, 2011]

The Canary

I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will which I now exert to leave you. ― Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

A fat yellow canary stretches its wings with the intention of preparing for a moment that will never come: free flight. Liberty. Escape.

The bird’s human is shaky. Her shoulders shake and shake and shake. It’s rather troubling, isn’t it?

Never mind. The blonde human continues stuffing things into a canvas sack as the canary edges closer to the window. He listens to his shrieking kin outside, whizzing between the trees like fleas. Oh, how he wishes the human would quiet her sniffling so he could eavesdrop on their barbaric conversations!

The human is grabbing everything around her to take along. She doesn’t seem to consider the canary though. This is worrying to say the least, as this particular human is quite nice. Her significant other doesn’t pay nearly as much attention to the canary as he would like, but would rather stumble about the house with an empty bottle in hand, yelling obscenities at flower pots.

No, the canary prefers this human. She lets him out of the cage sometimes, to flit about the living room before she captures him again, to stuff back into depressing paradise.

She has stopped now. She steps towards the window, the canary’s window next to his gilded cage, his only link to the world that his pea brain sometimes doubts actually exists.

She pushes open the window and breathes in. The world outside is immersed in a wash of turquoise and bulbs of yellow luminosity. The canary shudders when he hears a cat meow. His kin are suddenly silent.

She sighs, before looking at her pet.

“You are intelligent, chéri,” she cooes, stroking the cage, “but I must… escape this life. Je suis fatigué… je suis fatigué.”

She wears a drained expression, her dark eyebrows pulled together.

He chirps. Her puckered mouth shapes itself into a lopsided smile, before she opens the door of his cage. She then turns, grabs her bag from the floor, and flees the room. She’ll continue to flee until she returns to her own kin, in a distant land.

The canary regards the open cage door. Fear rocks his chubby body. His paper thin wings are suddenly heavy, and he wonders if he can ever really leave this wonderful, miserable haven. But the wilderness… it’s irresistible.

With this, he propels himself from the cage and out the window, the lace curtains shifting silently in his wake.

His fear is overcome by the ecstasy of freedom. Liberty. Escape.

He hears that cat meow again, and he knows that he will not survive for long. The turquoise world beyond will give way to lilac then navy then black, and he’ll not live to see the white brilliance of a new sun.

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However… he will have lived a life. He couldn’t have stayed back there, wondering, regretting what could have been.

This is free flight. Liberty.

Escape.