Ghost

I scream your name in my nightmares.
I thought it was over.
So why is your ghost here knocking at the door?

You taught me to enjoy the now,
‘cause a forever is only made of ever so many of them.

Yes, you told me to forget forever,
‘cause we always knew we weren’t going to last.
You told me that neither a tsunami’s revolting aftermath nor its ephemerality can make its enormous, dangerous waves any less beautiful.

You gave me courage,
Yes, courage,
Or at least enough of it for me to look Past in the eye and tell it to go fuck itself,
Enough of it for me to look Future in the eye and say “yes, I’m ready for whatever you bring.”
Enough of it for me to look Present in the eye and say “I love you,”
Enough of it for me to embrace change.

Yes, you let me enjoy change,
with your beautiful smiling eyes, the color of which I never quite put my finger on, probably because they themselves were always changing.
How ironic that I don’t enjoy this status change to single.

Even thinking of you makes me dizzy, lightheaded, nauseous.
What has happened to my former sane self?

Crazy at a 2 a.m. on a Saturday, I can’t help wondering if you regret things too;
I can’t help thinking, hoping even, that you may be scribbling the same tropes in your house, maybe on a Tuesday night after you’re tired from that stupid-ass job you’d always hated even more than eating the cookie parts of an Oreo.

But no, I’m sure you’ve moved on.
Your ghost told me that you’re doing just fine;
Yes, he did,
in that same sexy motherfucking voice as the one I’ll always remember in that moment you told me everything was going to turn out just fine.

But maybe that’s just a surface impression.
‘Cause I’ve moved on too, on the surface at least.

Quit thinking. Shut your eyes. Sleep, I tell myself, but to no avail.
No, I don’t obey my own orders, no, not when your ghost is ready to burst in through the door with a laugh and a “You won’t believe what happened today.”

I never showed you the darkest parts of me,
No, not the most horrendous impulses,
No, never the horrific thoughts from the dried blood on the stitches in my heart.

But still I think you knew,
Yeah, you did.

And you weaned me from them,
Somehow,
You did it, with your perfect smile,
Yes, Demon, you did have the smile of a fucking Angel.

But it’s fine.
Yeah, it’s alright.
I’m only bleeding.

Silence: Type 1

1.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

Tock.

The clock ticked as half the class sat open-jawed. The whole room was enveloped in a hopeless silence, a silence unbreakable after the teacher yelled at Ashley that she was a “stupid, fat waste of space.”

My first reaction was panic, but then, all I wanted to do was slap that Mr. Jones. Ashley may be probably the stupidest kid in the class, but she was also by far the nicest. She gets picked on all the time, but the truth is that she’s just misunderstood and underappreciated.

Apparently, no teacher cares about how she went hungry for lunch one day after giving her own bagged lunch to a homeless person that she’s never even met before. No teacher cares about that type of thing. All they care about is the last test she flunked.

I wanted to say something, but I didn’t want to get myself into shit. So, I stayed silent.

And the class gaped and sat silent.

Silent.

Silent.

The clock ticked and tocked, until it hit the 3:45 mark. Slowly and solemnly, we all filed out of the classroom, some of us too angry to laugh or talk, others too scared of Mr. Jones to do so.

Silence

I was crying in the dark, taking care that my crying doesn’t turn into sobs, taking care that he doesn’t hear me, taking care that I at least appear strong on the surface.

Let’s just say that I failed miserably.

I was thinking about all the times that he manipulated me, like the other day when he threatened to leave with her, when he told me that he wouldn’t love me anymore if I told them, when he tied me to that chair, when two days later I was stupid enough to tell him that I still loved him.

I lay there without a sound, thinking to myself, rivers of tears flowing uncontrollably down my cheeks.

I turned over.

My hot tears had already cooled on my pillow, the result being that I was basically laying in a cold swamp of damp feathers and cloth. I know I had basically ruined my pillow, so I commanded myself to quit crying, but it just wouldn’t happen. It’s like the tears were alive with a mind of their own.

I wanted to go to the bathroom. His arm was around me, so I knew I’d risk waking him up, but at that moment, I simply didn’t have any shits to give anymore.

So I gently got his arm off of me, got up, and looked back. Okay. Still clear: he still seemed sound asleep. I tried to walk to the bathroom, and nearly tripped in the darkness.

I sat on the toilet lid for a while, trying to calm myself down (to limited success).

Then I took an aspirin and went back to bed, this time without tears but with a bad case of hiccups.

I tried to think my life through: how in the actual fuck did I get involved in such a screwed-up, toxic relationship. And the answer…

I have no fucking clue whatsoever.

Maybe it’s just one of those relationships where we have this twisted love of each other.

It’s where I love him to death but there’s still a deep, wide gap between us, a dark abyss of unknowns to wade through before we actually get to know each other.

And both of us are too afraid to start, to break the silence.

Maybe it’s ‘cuz we both want to love, to be loved, to have the feeling that someone will actually give a shit if we died tomorrow.

And ‘cuz both of us know that our real personalities aren’t all that lovable.

Or that we just love this aura of mystery, of not knowing each other too well, of…

“Zing! Zing! Zing!”

My alarm went off.

I was laying on the bed in a confused mess when he came into the room. I asked him the time.

He said, “Honey, it’s 2 in the afternoon.”

I relaxed. I could finally see why the night seemed so long.

Two minutes later, I was brushing my teeth, the familiar feeling of his hand in my hair. My reason told me to shrug off that arm, get away from him as fast as possible, but I somehow simply couldn’t do any more than just theorize about leaving him.

Half an hour later, we were making love again.

 

Twinkling

It was 3 a.m.

My calculator read 12.35603. I hovered for a moment between truncating and rounding up. Just to be on the safe side, I wrote down 12.36.

Whew. Another subject done. Two to go…Science and History, right? Wait, or did I also have homework for French?

I logged onto Veracross, and checked what I still had to do for tomorrow. I crossed my fingers, hoping that I could go to sleep before 4 a.m.

The website loaded.

And it loaded.

And loaded…

And loaded…

Just fucking tell me what I have for homework tonight already, you asshole of a computer!

Loading…Loading…Loading…


Beach ball.

Oh, shit. The Beach Ball of death…again.

I shut all my windows and reopened them, all the while wishing that I were dead already.

I stretched a little, hoping that it would help my headache: my head was spinning with fatigue caused by a hopeless caffeine crash resulting from drinking three cups of coffee in four hours.

For about the twentieth time in a month, I broke down.

Does everyone’s life have to be so hard? No, I don’t think so. Then I remembered the words of Ryan Higa on the topic of FWP (First World Problems). JUST SUCK IT UP, I thought, the kids in Africa have it a helluva lot worseAt least I’m eating three meals a day.

The webpages slowly came back to life.

I clicked over to Calendar on Veracross to look at my assignments and possible tests and quizzes.

I blinked. I simply couldn’t believe it. My Science and History homework were all due next week, not tomorrow, not even this week. Whew. Three hours’ work saved for another night, or, should I say, another morning.

But I still had my French homework.

“#2 C’est à Toi, Traduction p. 20”

Okay. This is easy work. Unless if I’m an absolute bozo, this will go fast.

“C’est à Toi #2

  1. As-tu jamais lu le journal…”

I wrote down the answers, knowing that in my fatigue my handwriting was almost illegible. But I still kept going. After all, I simply couldn’t care about anything other than going to sleep.

4:00 a.m.


I raised my head from my desk and stretched, realizing that I’ve been in the same position for at least six hours.

I looked around, seeing the first hints of light pouring in through the cracks in the blinds.

I opened the blinds in my room.

I saw the quiet dawn outside.

The empty highway, that in less than three hours will become full of rush-hour traffic again.

The almost-invisible wisp of what you would call a cloud.

The green grass in a last gasp for life before everything turns yellow and dry.

The little sliver of what you would call a moon still holding on to the last moments of night before the day began anew.

Two beautiful stars, twinkling in the last dark before it became light again.

A Thought from a Rainy, Lonely Afternoon at Camp

Running, running, running,
away from the monster of a shadow that chases me.

Turning, turning, turning,
only to find the shadow to be no more than just a shade of myself.

Looking, looking, looking
around for a direction to escape, only to find none.

Screaming, screaming, screaming,
as the shadow enlarges and gets reflected across the walls that close in around me.

Crying, crying, crying,
for the confusion, the nausea, the thousands of nameless phobias that haunt me.

Shouting, shouting, shouting
for help, only to find myself alone with the shadow that grows bigger and more powerful with every new shout.

Collapsing, collapsing, collapsing,
as I find the world whirling in a merry-go-round, growing darker and more confusing with every second that passes.

Shutting, shutting, shutting
my eyes in the pitch dark, as the shadow blocks out the sole remnant sliver of light.

Trying, trying, trying
to open them again centuries later, only to find that my eyelids have become forever glued to my eyeballs.

Standing, standing, standing
up in my own perceived eternal darkness, while the world lights up around me.

Blundering, blundering, blundering
through my internal maze filled with an infinite number of walls, while the walls outside recede and dissolve into thin air.

Depth

“Let me go this time. I promise I won’t do it again! Please! Plea-”

He threw down the knife around my neck, but his hands were still choking me.

A couple of seconds later, he released his hands around my neck. I tried to breathe, and my lungs hurt as the cold air hit them in a gasp.

Then I felt a punch at my back.

I tottered on the edge of the building for a while, but I finally lost my balance. The night was too dark for me to see, but I could sense that it would be a long distance before I hit rock bottom.

I tried to scream, but nothing came out. I kept falling.

After a couple of minutes of panicky falling, I began wishing that I would just hit the bottom soon: the suspense was becoming unbearable, even more unbearable than the fear of pain and death.

After what felt like half an hour of weightlessness, I began feeling sure that I would not be hitting anything anytime soon.

A thought hit me: What if I were falling into some type of empty pit, falling down, down, down forever, and that I’ll grow old and die falling instead of after the fall?

Then it occurred to me that instead of being the end of my life, falling would be my life from now on. So I tried to enjoy it as much as I possibly can.

I calmed down and tried to dance in the air, flailing my arms in the pitch darkness that surrounded me. I also tried singing, but that worked out terribly, so I stopped to not kill my ears ahead of their time.

I was having a good time, and soon my fear and panic were ebbing out of me. But why did he push me over the edge of the building? Didn’t he care about me? What did I do? I told myself to quit thinking those thoughts: chances were that I would never see him again.

But tears were already flowing down my cheeks, two uncontrollable rivers gathering into an endless sea around my chin.

After some more crying and useless efforts at stemming the irrepressible flow of tears, I started to get hungry, realizing that I hadn’t eaten in at least a day and a half. But there was no food in the pitch dark.

I tried to sleep, to forget the fact that I was hungry with no prospect of food anytime soon. But my back pain from being suspended in basically the same position all the time thwarted any plans of shut-eye. Worse, I couldn’t keep my eyes open either.

I felt like I was on a constant roller coaster, going down, down, down, and my heart felt like it was going to pop out of my mouth anytime. At first, the feeling was a thrill, but then I began feeling lightheaded, and I wanted to puke.

Without anyone to talk to, But why did he push me over? Stop. Stop thinking those thoughts. You’re never seeing him again, remember?

Where was I? Oh, yeah, I didn’t have anyone to talk to. But that didn’t bother me too much: I needed some alone-time after the last couple of days. After all, I had basically lost all faith in humanity.

What is humanity anyway? Humane is just human with an e, but they are complete antonyms of each other, in my opinion.

People are always talking about unconditional, random acts of love and kindness, but I’ve learned the hard way that nothing in this world, I repeat, nothing, is unconditional.

For example, if you became crippled and stupid and difficult, who would stay by your bedside forever and actually give a shit? Sure, some parents do that, but otherwise, unless if it were to show off their own eternal righteousness or to reach some goal of their own, who would actually care for you?

Maybe three or four people out of the 7 billion in the world are lucky enough to say with confidence that no, I disagree with you, someone actually would give a fuck about me. But they are the lucky few. They are the lucky few.

And maybe the only thing worse than not being able to believe that someone cares is the feeling of betrayal that is left after you thought that a certain special someone cared, but that special someone turned out to be not-so-special after all, and, as a result, didn’t actually give a shit.

These thoughts torture me.

I am hungry, tired, nauseous, disappointed, everything at once. I want to go home so badly right now that I would even meet him again if it were to bring me home. Well, I guess this is what I get for falling down a pit with the depth of infinity.

Aimless

2016 New Year’s Resolution:

1: Be a better child.

2: Keep getting straight A’s.

3: Make more friends.

4: Be responsible.

5: Do not get into any trouble.

“So I’ve got it all down pat,” I thought as I stuck the Post-It to my bedroom wall.

And as of Sunday, June 19th, 2016, I could say that I had achieved all of these goals.

This was worth celebrating, right?

Hard-headed logic and reason said “yes,” but a voice deep inside me cried out “NO!”

Because somehow, I didn’t feel happier. Nor did I feel more successful. I didn’t even feel proud of myself. And for some reason, I didn’t feel like the constant self-restraint for the last six months had yielded anything of importance. Somehow, I only felt deflated, worn out, empty.

Did I set the wrong goals? Maybe. So I went online and Googled “How to Set Good Goals.” I clicked on the first article I found. Towards the end, there were three examples of “good goals,” two of which I had put down as part of my New Year’s Resolution.

“So they were the right goals, after all,” I thought. “Am I supposed to feel like this?” I wondered. “Or do other people find pleasure in achieving these goals? Is it just me who feels as if I were being cooped up in a chicken pen, a DIY cage?”

I had no answer to my own questions.

I paced around, thinking hard. Then it started to get warm in the room.

I opened my window blinds.

I looked outside.

The night sky was beautiful. The skyscrapers, the lights, the parked cars in the street, the numerous pedestrians that packed the city night.

I opened the window. A gush of cold air hit me, even though it was already June.

Suddenly, I felt the urge to run out into the streets. I had no clue where I would go, what was the final destination, but I still couldn’t resist the urge to take a walk through the night. The coldness didn’t matter. It didn’t matter that I had already put back all of my cold-weather clothes. I just needed to get out of my apartment, to escape from my self-made chicken coop.

I put on the first clothes that I could find and rushed out.

At first, I paced around the entire block. I didn’t dare venture too far from my apartment, lest I get lost in the labyrinth of crooked streets, subway stations, cars parked following curious fashions in the queerest of places, and city skyscrapers.

I walked quickly, looking ahead and down to try to not bump into anything (or anyone) or trip myself over.

But as the minutes passed, I felt a sort of strange relaxation, and my pacing gradually slowed.

After an hour or so of pacing the same block, I began to look around.

I saw the buildings and the people and the cars and the lights and the beautiful, purple night sky.

As a child would, I sucked in every little detail of everything I saw.

And, for the first time, I saw the city where I’ve lived for my entire life. I saw the office buildings in all their vacant glory. I saw the moths hovering around the lights, knowing that they’ll be gone when morning comes. I saw the couple fighting down the street, the woman with dark mascara streaming down her face.

I looked around. This time when I looked, it was not the means to the ends of not falling over and finding my current location.

I kept walking. This time when I walked, it was not the means to the end of getting from Point A to Point B in the shortest time possible.

I began wandering, for the first time since my earliest childhood.

I wandered away from the block where I lived. Then, as if by habit, I suddenly asked myself, “Why am I still walking?” I was not flustered anymore; I was content. So I had reached my original goal. And I was wandering farther and farther away from my block, and by doing so considerably increasing my chances of getting lost with every step I take. And yet, the last thing in the world that I wanted was to turn back, to go home to a place where I was sure of everything. I was aimless, driven by impulse, yet somehow I felt peaceful, content.

I suddenly noticed some extra light coming through the little gaps between the buildings.

Dawn was approaching.

I realized that I had never watched a sunrise before. I decided on the spot to do so right then, disregarding the facts that it was a weekday and that I hadn’t slept all night.

I looked around and found an empty park bench.

I sat there and watched as the day gradually got brighter. My legs and feet were sore from a whole night of walking, and both my hands and feet were freezing from the cold night, but somehow, the pain and the cold didn’t matter for once.

I noticed that there were only a couple of wisps of cloud in the sky. It was the perfect day to watch a sunrise.

So I sat on the bench, and I noticed the beauty of everything around me in the rising sun, now that they were not just obstacles, now that they were not just means to fictitious, empty ends.

I got a little sentimental, a little emotional.

I felt a tear rolling down my cheek. I was crying, for the first time in years.

I cried for all of my lost years before I had begun noticing. I cried for the two or three people that I held closest to my heart, knowing that it will be many years before they notice, knowing that they may never notice. I cried for the people that hurry every day, thinking that they are living well just by achieving something, just by fulfilling their misleading, fictitious goals.

I stopped crying after a while. I wanted to experience every moment of the wonderful sunrise to the fullest.

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So I sat on the bench and watched while the blacks and the blues of the night sky eventually gave way to the varying shades of red, pink, and orange of the dawning morn. As the two color palettes clashed, they drove away the last traces of the moon, and, with them, the last light of the stars.

But they also brought in the brighter light of the sun.

It was almost fully daytime now. The birds had begun chirping, and the city cars, as if on cue, became more numerous. Soon, the city was an infinite maze, full of constantly-honking cars headed in crazy directions and masses trying to squeeze into crowded subway stations. It was rush hour.

I stood up and stretched, my sunrise-observing session being over.

I leaned over and squinted, trying to make out the time marked on a large clock across the road.

6:31 a.m.

Great. I had more than two hours before my first class. Wait; was I free first period? What was the day again? Oh, right. Monday. I was free first period.

I looked for my wallet, and, luckily enough, I found it in the pocket of my windbreaker.

I hurried into the nearest subway station. I took out my MetroCard.

I took a ride back to my apartment to freshen myself up and pack my things for the day. It turned out to be a short ride home, lasting only about fifteen minutes: I hadn’t gone too far the previous night.

But that was enough for me to notice all the people in the subway station, headed towards their own destinations.

Some were talking. Some were reading. Others were asleep. Yet others were staring fixedly at the screens in their laps, be them smartphones or tablets or even laptops. But for the most part, the subway-riders were standing and staring straight ahead, at nothing in particular, and yet subconsciously watching the light on the subway map in the ceiling, in wait for it to shine on the station that they were to get off at.

And yet the one thing that united us all was the undivided attention that we gave to the voice in the speaker that announced the next station.

So I got off the subway train.

I walked to my apartment building, shielding my eyes from the sudden direct sunlight.

I unshielded my eyes and went up the stairs to my apartment.

I woke my thirteen-dollar Nokia dumbphone up. 3 Unread Messages. 2 Missed Calls. The digital clock on it read 6:58. I probably had time to answer them, but I simply didn’t want to.

So I clicked them away, at least for the time being.

I brushed my teeth.

I showered.

I got into new clothes.

I put on makeup.

I turned around, and I saw the six-month-old Post-It.

I contemplated what to do with it. I had planned to check everything on the list, because, after all, I had been a better child, I had ended my school year with flying colors, I had made new friends, I had been considered a more responsible person, and I hadn’t gotten into any trouble.

But suddenly, I felt the urge to tear the little piece of sticky paper up.

I felt an uncontrollable urge to destroy the little sheet that imprisoned me for six months, the little sticky note that haunted me with constant reminders of empty goals, meaningless ambitions.

I took one last look at my DIY jailer.

Then, I tore it up.

Continue reading “Aimless”