Trumpets and Blood Red Ribbons

I love music from the forties for the sole reason that it is heartbreakingly happy. Joyful. Reckless. Their words speak of tragedy, loss, and meaningless death. And parties! Trumpets, drums, high skirts, shaven legs, cigars, crisp white shirts – unstained by war, like it never happened. It never had to happen.

One can easily be fooled if they don’t listen carefully. It’s like a fight behind closed doors;- you can ignore it as long as you turn up the volume of your fizzy television high enough. It’s almost numbing, like the vodka shots they took to raise eyebrows at their enemies, like a bullet straight between the eyes, dazed and smiling. Pretending everything is hanky-dory as some girls with rouged cheeks and devil red lips scream about the injustice of it all.

You’d think it was indifference at first, but it’s really not, not most of the time. Everything is so sinister, that screaming and marching becomes redundant. Choir angels convey the same depression through their sugar sweet voices, after all. Everything is falling apart, they say as they sway through the goddamned day, but then at least, let it all fall with grace. Sing, party, do a jig. Who cares? We’re all gonna die someday, so make it a good one. Go out with one more explosive, whistling bang!

 

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Perspective of Love, Perspective of Hate

 

The prince is not a hero. I am half man, half beast. I navigate dim lit streets like a nocturnal creature, the eyes shimmering like rough cut diamonds as I float down the steps, farther and deeper into my own tangled mind. I find myself in a tight black box. I can’t breathe here, I can’t think here, I am forever trapped in eternal freefall here. I am secured only by the tethers of my own mistakes, their ropes wrapped around my throat. I can bite them away and swallow them whole, so they coil at the pit of my stomach like cobras. The enormous thorns which erupt from my chest are the color of night, the color of rot, the color of blood on snow. I am obscure, I am desperate. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, after all.

The prince is not a royal. I sit at a table with quiet countenance, the feast of my victims spread out before me; the flesh of myth, the drink of elderflower, a table shrouded in white cloth. I bite into people’s trust in me and keep it caged behind my teeth, so that my grin remains crooked. I am the fly in the ointment, the chink in the armor. I am an eyeball, bloody and shriveled but forever unblinking. I sit amongst the romantics. The gamers, the lovers. The goddamn haters. My lips are thin, drawn, and pale. My hair is sleek and twisted. My nose is curved like the beak of a predatory eagle. My brain is sheltered from the maggots whizzing around my head, but they are nothing compared to the monstrosities that I keep safe in a bomb shelter. My ribs are a cage to a wild hairy animal. It is savage, relentless, wicked. No one wiped my tears away except dead men. So I decided: a dead man I will be.

The prince is not a martyr. I did it because I could. Behind me there is only a jagged cliff, steep and sharp and insistent and appealing. My wrists smell faintly of iron, my breath reeks of red wine, and my tongue is sleek and smooth and silver. I direct bodies because they’re cargo, my sadistic nature is what renders me a double edged sword. My voice is baritone, deeper than the gashes in my torso, more piercing than the toxic knock off words I use to trick the shadows onto my side. I keep quiet and sneer instead, my dirty hands shake, my conviction wavers, my kneecaps knock together. The knock, knock, knock will haunt me forever, echoing in the ant hill of my mind: I am a coward, I am a coward, I am a coward. The ants eat me alive.

The prince is not lenient. I am a master of strings. I manipulate children and old men alike, and my grudges become tools I use to hack away at the ice that has enveloped my secrets for so long. I am paranoid, angry, deserving. I am determined to be the better one. I am determined to win this boxing match to the stabbing sound of the bell. I am determined to make sure that my grave is unmarked, that the memories that seep like ethereal pearls down my sallow cheeks are gifted. They are presented with the bravado I always sought.


He’s a silly little man. He lives freely in glittering caves infested with the roaches of desire, so he immunized himself from germs with a vodka shot of vengeance. He cracked open his rib bones between his fists and built a bridge across the universe to find an oasis of silence, of peace, of sleep. One can finally tell him that his enduring pain and his tarnished legacy is worth the glory he stole from the demon who murdered them.

He’s a naïve man. He loved with all his heart. His spirit is a delicate doe, skipping ahead over icy lakes and tilted mountains that stretch around him, encompassing him like the arms of the companion he never had the chance to cherish.

He’s a poor man. He is bruised black and blue by the fists of a pure blooded father, he has scars left over by the screams of his mother that drilled into his head like five inch screws; and yet, he tries. He lost the path in a big bad forest, just a child himself, pink faced and innocent and alone, preyed on by a pack of unrelenting wolves. He became a feral child. He didn’t mean to become a grey miser, a fool with an irrevocably stubborn heart.

He is a lonely man. He is the sad sod sitting on a city park bench at two in the morning, twiddling his thumbs and watching yellow and orange passersby, hoping someone, anyone, would approach and understand the weight of his red sacrifices that shine in the endless pits of his eyes. He’s a trained monkey, a neglected member of the A-team, an undeniably sharp mind rusted by his exposure to doomed destiny. The yolk of his innate being spilled out the multiple rough cut holes in his body, which were poked and ripped by the pins and needles he stuck into his once sun kissed skin, hoping it would be enough.

He’s a fighting man. He’s a sympathiser for the clueless and the loveless, the wide eyed and the grappling; he was one of them. And yet, he sees light in the potential in those he detests, and he spins misfortune into gold with skilled craftsmanship. He knows that under layers and layers of security protocols and brick walls fortified by steel, he cares. He cares. He cares.

Make your magic, pretty man. Smell the incense of funeral candles, embrace the comforting freeze of wintery cold that trails you in your wake, and feel the harsh wind of your broken promises ravaging your face until you ascend clean faced and ready. Baptise yourself in the purity of mercy, and immerse yourself in the smothering aroma of lily flowers that are melted in the hot spring running through your veins.

Hera

She is a deity, queen of all and temptress of nothing. She is as hollow as a sere pine tree, rooted in her traditionalism and stultified by the careless cataclysms induced by an unfaithful, obsolete husband. She watches warily as her peacocks of vanity mimic her now deceased grandeur in a moving dance of shiny feathers. She coaxes her heart, which once burned bright with internalized rage, into a cold fractured stone of severe heartbreak. Her youth is withered and her sorrow holds her in a chokehold,  as she is ravaged by a black hurricane of indifference.

But beware, because underneath the arid depression she wears like a cracked mask is her true self: a brilliant quasar, made up of everything she ever tucked away. Her thin voice calls out into the misty mess of humanity.  Her ravenous hunger for truth is bursting through her galactic force of will, which she forged in the dying embers of her ancient heart. Don’t let her childish stubbornness fool you: her rage thrives at the center of her ‘hollow’ existence, more destructive than any weak myths that swirl around the obstinate idea of her. She will do anything – and everything – to achieve her own happy ending… even if it means ripping herself apart in the process.

A Speech on Fear

Everyone, every single person in this room, has felt fear. It is a debilitating state of being, which can grab you from the back at any given time. We have evolved into a machines, which spit out products obviously born of terror. Why else do we put bright attention signs on wet floors, carry pepper spray for the late night route, or hang fire extinguishers in every room, in every building? Why would we, as a species of masterminds, be influenced so heavily by something as trivial as fear? Continue reading “A Speech on Fear”

One of Those Days

Today I was definitely in one of those “don’t mess with me or I will rip out your uvula” moods.

I’m a sympathetic person. If you’re telling me about your problems, like how your mum is on your back or you have a heavy workload or you’re too nervous to talk to your crush or whatever, I will listen and nod along because that’s just what people need sometimes… even if I don’t necessarily give a flying butt about the problem. I know the feel, and there’s nothing more upsetting than feeling ignored.

But today- it was just one of those days, man. Continue reading “One of Those Days”