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.

emba4
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”

Advertisements

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. 

08931e9a5e28503074f6750a893d939f.jpg
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.

Image result for emilio villalba gallery
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)

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.

doves-pigeons-flock-flying-hipster-animated-gif.gif
(x)

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.

 

Let Them Paint Rainbows

rainbow

We’ve watched you for eons.

You’ve untied yourselves from our careless fingers long ago, but the new control has made you falter. We immortals know that you lead lives like mayflies, seeking little things to make your confusion more bearable.

We watch you try to handle the mess you’ve created. The society that once thrived now hangs by a single string of sinew. We observe in determined silence as you gas each other in the name of new Gods, beat one another to a pulp, and kiss the blood on your bruised knuckles. Children are empty and bloated, crying for justice.

Sometimes we like to discuss all this like stuffy movie critics in an abandoned theatre. The tunnel, for example.

“Wicked,” breathes Persephone, flowers escaping every crevice of her body. She means “wicked” in every sense of the word.

“They are,” mutters Aphrodite while examining her nails, the faint smell of saltwater still clinging to her skin.

“It’s called a rainbow,” I explain self-importantly, “How quaint. Even the name tells us something about their nature: as it rains grey and the sky rips itself apart, a small ribbon of sunlight pulls the entire thing together like a present. Thus, a rain-bow.”

“It’s just a silly metaphor, Athena” says Ares to me, his voice which used to scream battle cries now cracked from disuse.

“For what?” ventures a humming Muse from the stage. Her sisters sit around her languidly as they play with each other’s hair.

“Themselves,” he answers with gritted teeth, “they make things pretty to ignore the world falling around them.”

“We disagree,” the Muses harmonize, notes dangling dangerously in the air, “they paint, sing, dance, and create, all for the strength to continue.”

“’Continue’?” Ares drawls.

“They chant your name as they march into battle, don’t they?”

“’Battle’?” he scoffs softly, “there is no ‘battle’. Only destruction. I don’t stand for that.”

“They seek hope,” the Muses continue, strumming chords on their heart strings, “they create beauty to assure themselves they aren’t responsible for only… destruction.”

“Their creation doesn’t outweigh their destruction,” Ares growls.

“Oh, come off it. They’re hardly living in the Garden of Eden anymore,” I sigh.

“Yeah, they screwed that up almost instantly,” Hera snaps from her dusty throne.

“Listen, it’s about their own concern for happiness. Look at this tunnel. It exists because a boy from Norway thought it was depressing that no one ever looked up as they walked through the city; he gave them a reason to.”

“What the hell is Norway?”

“Oh, never mind. You’re hopeless.”

“They’re going too fast, and they know it,” Ares grumbles, pulling his helmet visor shut as he leans back, ready to doze some more, “they don’t want to accept reality, so they make things ‘pretty’ for the sake of having something pretty.”

“They’re trying, though,” I whisper, peering again between the cracks in the clouds, “Humans are flawed because we created them. Let them have hope, at least. Let them paint rainbows.”

[UNTITLED]

If your soul could be a sound, what sound would it be?

“Leonard E. Night, age 27, lives alone in a basement, works in a corporate office downtown… been missing for, what, two weeks? No one had a clue. Odd, isn’t it?”

They reach the door of a small bungalow, hidden deep in slightly malnourished suburbia. Broken tricycles and cigarette stubs litter the street like a wasteland of forgotten dreams: families made of mistakes and last minute weddings. My muse.

They knock on the door three times. There is a patter of footsteps echoed by shrill pleas, and chants of my name. Silence.

The door finally bursts open to a reveal a wiry, ill-tempered mother with a rather unpleasant baby in her arms.

“Can I help you?” she asks with a false, toothy smile. A little girl appears behind the woman’s legs, her eyes brimming.

“I’m Officer Peach with the North York Regional Police; this is my partner, Officer Payne. You called about a missing person?”

Continue reading “[UNTITLED]”