A Letter of Resentment for My Future

This is a letter to my Future.

This might sound bitter, but I just need to be real. I can’t bear the thought of a sour ending anymore. I need my happy ending, because I’d die without it.

To be frank, Future, there was a time I didn’t even care if you’d exist. I didn’t want you to exist because I had given up on you completely. Then, I accepted you’d exist but I didn’t care if it was in poverty. I didn’t care if you became dirty, bruised, cracked, or replaceable. I figured the universe doesn’t care about me, or you, my Future. I figured no one is going to remember me anyway, so why on earth should I even try?

It went to my head, okay? I thought not caring about you would give me a resolve to carry on, but it did the opposite.

Future, I met people who have changed my mind. I’ve been guided towards the universe like a child with her hand outstretched. I touched it for the first time. The fabric was there, it was material, and all the time I lost fretting seemed to replace itself with a new kind of power. I can’t say I don’t care, because I do. I care so much, and that’s the universe’s fault. The universe took me in her arms, so now I have to face you again. She made me promise. So here we are.

Future, I wish I could tell you to leave me alone like everything else in my life. I wish I could tell you how scared I am of you without my voice quavering. “Do me a favor. Go on a bender. Just leave me alone.” I can’t say that to you, not again. I was kidding myself when I did.

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Artwork by Masha Lifenova

Future, I want to take care of you, I just don’t know how. I’m trying, slowly. I’m picking up the pieces you left behind when you ran away, like a trail leading to your hiding place. Pick up the phone, call me back. I need you, even though I was too stupid to realize it before.

It went to my head, okay? I thought not caring about you would give me a resolve to carry on, but it did the opposite. Then I cared too much, I got too clingy, and you left me behind in a cloud of dust. Please, take me back. I promise to take care of you this time. I promise to protect you. I made that promise to the universe, and now I’m making it to you.

Future, I love you. As much as I hate it, I do. I want you to beam, to gleam, to glitter. I want you to be shiny and new. I want you to live fully, completely, healthy.

Come back, Future. Let’s make it work. I’m a different person now, and I think we can do it, together.

Hey, Future. I’m sorry shit turned out this way. I hope we can work it out.

Love,

My Past.

 

 

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Norma

“Do you want to see me become her?”

The question had an inevitable answer. It was instinctual.

Men prefer blondes. Maybe it’s the whiff of peroxide that makes their ears perk and sniff the air. Like babies that fall asleep to heartbeats, men follow the rhythm of her hips when she walks. Hollywood follows not far from behind.

Hollywood scares Norma.

She is in disguise – or rather, out of disguise. The woman Hollywood drools over is non existent, she’s a fake out, she’s an imposter – The woman who carries Marilyn on her shoulder is Norma.

Norma is being haunted. She’s being haunted by something much more sinister than herself, bigger and darker. Once upon a time it was a hole in her chest, one that made her feel hollow, hungry, powerless. Now it takes the form of Hollywood. She was no songbird, not much to look at, but maybe it was that shattered quality that followed her through life was what drew the cameras.

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from x

Norma shed her skin and became Marilyn, the woman with a name that rolls off the tongue like cigarette smoke. Norma exposes the sheen of her bones and the hypnotic contrast of blood on flab to call Hollywood to her heels. Hollywood likes to bite and that’s what terrifies her. Marilyn isn’t afraid at all, and that’s the point.

Marilyn follows Norma around. She looms over her, hides in the closet like a bogeyman. She possesses her body and turns her into something immaterial, “romantic”, sultry. Tap, tap, tap, her heels blend in with the sound of the city that never sleeps. Norma’s steps are even, paced. Marilyn floats behind her.

Norma can’t figure out if Marilyn is meant to protect her from Hollywood, or if she uses Norma as bait. Norma, Marilyn, and Hollywood are in a fighting ring. Is Marilyn the referee, the coach, or a third opponent? Norma never knows.

“Do you want to see me become her?”

Continue reading “Norma”

Break Up 1, Scene 3

Sometimes she is powerless in the execution of control over her own inhibitions. She feels her emotions too strongly and her heart warms with terrifying sensation, quickening to the pace of her thoughts as they begin to run wild. She peeks behind the curtain of his iris, and sees a thousand million trillion neurons, connecting, dazzling, snapping at her senses as her medulla works into overdrive to make this moment end fast, cut short, be gone.

In a single moment time will become irrelevant. All that exists is the space between their two bodies, the overwhelming awareness of their breathing, and the weight of the words that they both know in an instant would fall off her tongue too easily for comfort. The jolting sound of a spotlight igniting makes their chests contract, as does the silence of a million eyes watching, the ghosts of a past that dwindled to nothing.  

He watches her lips formulate the first syllable as if his eyelids had been pinned to his forehead. It was like torture out of a novel scene, forced to watch something die in front of you so that it is memorialized in your brain. His cerebral cortex is abuzz with fresh blood as she moves on to the next consonant, zapped to life out of a slumber so that he feels like he has just brutally woken up to a horrifying reality he thought was just a dream. 

It’s happening. He can’t believe this is happening. The sound of her voice is oddly flat. Impassive. Final.

“This is stage fright. It’s a physical reaction to shock. The consequences of heartbreak hasn’t set in quite yet.” [Click To Tweet!]

She knows he asks questions if the answer is already plain, otherwise he wouldn’t dare. He’s just too much of a coward to say it himself. She thinks she knows. Even in this moment, she thinks she has him all figured out, like with the crescendo in the sound of his footsteps as he came home from work, or the heaviness of his shoulders when he was focusing on a task. If she hadn’t figured him out then she wouldn’t be playing this game with him in the first place. She wouldn’t say what she is in the middle of saying right now. In this moment. Irretrievably.

It took him a second to realize that she is finished. He blinks. 

She said it. 

Now he won’t have to. 

Bitter relief mixed in with adrenaline, racing through his veins with a barely contained excitement – not the kind of excitement he had felt ages ago when she smiled at him for the first time, or let certain I, L, Y letter words sneak out from between her lips. This was the kind of excitement that came right after driving into a ditch and realizing you had survived. This is stage fright. It’s a physical reaction to shock. The consequences of heartbreak hasn’t set in quite yet. 

“Good.” He is in the middle of blurting this out when she finally looks away and their cord of communion breaks. He has a notion that he will take to bleeding inwardly. She however, he is sure, would forget him. 

“Good.” She doesn’t put her vocals into traction when she ghosts his own speech, instead letting the word echo and fall into the space between them, filling the void with something mutually acceptable to both of them. It is the first time they are agreeing on anything. Or at least, in this moment, this irretrievable moment, they do. 

It does not matter that in the matter of weeks, they will close that gap again and continue on renewed, rejoiced, and heavy. It does not matter that this moment will chatter before suddenly falling quiet. On a snowy white night in Dresden eleven years from now this moment will claw itself back out from the depths of their hippocampuses. By then, crescendos will not matter. 

For now, they breathe. The hot light dims. The curtain falls. They are thrown into the dark, and walk off the stage in opposite directions.

On to the next scene. 

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”

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.

blob of the day by henrik aa uldalen
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.

1M&1

“Hold my hand,” he said to me.

“Be the granite foundation on which I can lie and stare at the sparkled sky,

The dark lines like ribbons across my thighs that give me such release.

Be the return of a distraction from a life spent under the thistly wing of a vampire bat.”

We are standing in the flickering gas lights on a park path, chilled by the green moonlight which mask him like the desolate Phantom.

“Hold my hand,” he told me.

“Engulf me like the dead sea

Salt, cling to my skin like the desperate claws of a child

Suffocate me in the hydrogen peroxide of your breath.”

I am twelve, a couple months. He, sixteen and light years ahead with long hairs on his forearms and dark freckles that splash like acid across his wolfish, effeminate complexion.

“Take my hand,” he demanded.

“Tell me you will devote every particle of your essence to my philosophies,

And carry me home tonight when I become the full bottle of whisky I had drained;

Trade saliva with me for the first time like the burning kiss of the alcohol which has left me so goddamn empty.”

I can smell his spit from here, I can trace the hazy outline of his ginger stubble from here, I can breathe in the sharp smell of his cologne so that it splices my unquenched throat, so pieces of glass pile at the bottom of my gut.

“Take my hand, take my hand, just take my hand, just take it!” he snarled,

“Or my eyes will ooze something like that of the man who makes up a half of you.

You’ll smell the ozone electrodes of my desire for your purified body

Like you could sense a storm rolling over the hills. Looming, bristling.”

I am trembling, my knees knocking, my teeth chattering, whispering words that this is a true man, this is the only man, he’s all I will ever have and he loves me too.

I am wearing nothing much more than knee high socks and plaid dress, ribbons in my hair caught in the naked branches of the pine trees that guard him on either side.

In determined silence, I take his hand,

My lips are sealed, sticky with the grey honey of his words

And in this instant, this moment which dictates the most horrible of first,

I don’t know

That the zeal of his tongue picking out my teeth isn’t a justice, a privilege granted onto me, the grateful citizen of his metaphysical propaganda

But rather

It is the taste

The taste

The taste

The taste of a million girls before me.

Their shrill screams and defeated grunts and silent pleas –

As they all hold each other, linked at the pinkies, quivering,

Dragging Lucifer out from the pit

A million young girls, a million Eves, a million brown dotted does, sacrificed to his cause.

A million girls.

A million girls and one.

(x)