Entitled Bystander

You just stand there and watch me leave.

You just stand there and watch it happen.

You just stand there watching the worst.

You just stand there watching people doing.

You just stand there because you can.

You’re standing there, standing for nothing.

Standing on the bridge they’re walking over.

You’re making it easy, easy to be.

Because you just stand there, can’t you see?

That feeling

It’s itching to come out. Prickling at every surface under your skin. You can feel it running up, then down your body, then up again. Trying to keep it in, you hold onto it. It’s until you notice the digging of your fingernail into your lip that it has found its way out.

the haze we see through

I’ll tell you what it’s all about.

As an adjective, casual is defined as: relaxed and unconcerned.

As a noun, it is defined as: a person who does something irregularly.

Comfy pant Saturday nights, drinking pumpkin beer on a cold fall day, festival hallucinogens, tie-die Fridays at work, hungover shower pees. It happens, casually.

Some human activities are meant to be casual. We can’t do everything in a concerned and tight manner, and people who have no irregularity are boring. But, keeping it chill translates into no strings attached which really is an excuse to live day by day which means that you really aren’t trying. Living casually is a way to get by. But when it comes to that part of the day when you find yourself alone, the ticking of the clock is the only song playing, you realize casual is what’s making your life hard. It’s keeping the goods at bay.  It’s too easy to be casual and to treat things as so. Causal feels good. Looks good. Intends to be good. But that moment when you treat what you want as casual, is the moment that you lose it. Because, some things should be treated with purpose and definition. Some things need to be grabbed by you with swagger and dignity. Because in the long run, casual can translate into indifference which can lead to carelessness, and all the while can let the things in your life that you could actually want slip right on through. It feels damn good acquiring something that you didn’t casually get.

Have casuals, but don’t live casually.

Live with purpose, and do casual things with people you enjoy…or by yourself. Act with pursuit, and casually boast about it.  Because it’s not about the things you did half assed and occasionally. When you’re old, you’re not going to remember what wasn’t important. You’re not going to remember the casual living. So, don’t let it consume your life. Don’t let it dictate your future. Don’t let the good things pass you by because they required more permanent and directive thinking.

Figure out what you want. Decide to get it. Feel it in your hands. Have it.

That’s what it’s all about.

 

 

 

Smudging up your life?

When you erase something on paper, a mark is left. A smudge–remnants of a word or thought that used to be and no longer is worthy. We all have smudges. Some are more apparent than others. Some we are able to write over without notice. Smudges shows that we made a decision–a change. That decision put forth a word, that formed a sentence, that created an organized thought. What we erase directs us to what we write. Smudges do not dictate, but reinforce the fact that under the story that was written there was another.

Paper is what our public lives are. We write, draw, and erase. The finished product is presented in the way that we want. But, that does not mean we write or draw the truth of our reality. No, life is made up of highs and lows. And it’s true, the highs are high, and the lows are damn low. But when we look at our life as a whole, we calculate the overall happiness that we’ve felt. Then, we recalculate according to how we want to feel about it all. So, we erase what we want, and we accentuate what we want. The only person who knows the truth about the smudges is the writer. So, as a writer, an artist, any living person really, it is our duty to ourselves to understand the differences between the smudges and that which we replace them with. Understanding what we don’t want is just as important as knowing what we do want. They go hand in hand and without the other we are just acting and reacting to a feeling, or an emotion really, that has no basis–no foundation. This is where the lost stay lost. This is the rut that we can’t seem to get out of. This is the bad mood we can’t swing.

Being true to yourself is what could propel you into the direction of the person you want to be. Or, at least a better version of yourself. Because one version isn’t enough. We deserve to be the best, and we often hinder ourselves ignoring why we created the smudges in our life. Some smudges are necessary and crucial for development, and understanding these smudges may be more imperative to our well being. Undeniably, what we write is what the world sees. What we know about ourselves can not only tell the world a better story, but a more detailed one. And isn’t that what life is all about? The details.

It comes down to the same ‘ol thing. Say what you want to say. Mean what you say. Know why you are saying it. I think this is one of those lessons that we consistently relearn and adapt to as we change and grow. And, I think it’s harder than it seems.

It’s the ducks!

We’re all a bunch of phonies. As Holden Caulfield might say.

It’s about this time of year that I re-read my favorite book, Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger.

I can’t really tell you why it’s my favorite. Maybe it’s my copy of the book, which is older than me and the print looks like it’s been stamped on. Its spine is all cracked and the pages have turned a bit golden. The book is kind of about nothing, but then everything at the same time. If you’ve read it, you know what I mean, and for some reason I’m compelled to pick it up every year.

I think it’s because of Holden, the main character. I like the way he talks. He’s real, you know? Like he sees things as they are. No bullshit. Just people, life, and ducks— A conversation about ducks I think is the most interesting thing in the book. And I’ll let you in on something, it’s not that interesting. Like at all. BUT. It makes you think. About, ducks. About, why ducks? And then, usually, the next thought you have is something profound. It’s weird. It’s a weird book. Real though.

And let’s be real, people need to be more real. I see it everywhere all the time—people putting on faces that aren’t theirs. Cover ups that aren’t covering up shit, only making it more obvious. Say what you mean. Mean what you say. Know what you’re saying. Original thought is often easily misplaced when having a conversation. We react how we think we should too often rather than how we really feel. We reply with “I’m good,” when asked how we are because, well hell, what else are we going to say? This is us. Phonies. Because we are never just “good.”

So, learn something from Holden. Go find out where the ducks go during the wintertime, maybe.

 

 

 

 

Hot Tamale

She sat there, staring at her newly painted wall. This color made her feel good, happy. The boldness of the color made her feel strong. Despite the murmurs from her mother about how it’s “too much,” she smiled, happy with her decision.

She got up from her bed, the wood floors were cool, the air heavy. Summer nights in this house were hot and humid. Old windows allowed little air flow. Only a breeze of chilled air whooshed out from her mother’s bedroom. The window air conditioning unit made the air smell cold.

Tired, she turned into the bathroom. It smelled of toothpaste and bathwater. The bath mat was damp on the ground. Her hair felt the humidity. She looked in the faded mirror, and splashed her face with cold water. It felt good, so she did it again. Eye closed, she grabbed for the towel hanging beside the sink—water dripped off her face onto the floor. She held the towel to her face for awhile, rubbed her eyes with it, and hung it back up. Her reflection showed a red spotty girl. Eyes puffy, skin shiny, she was ready for some sleep. Exhaling, she removed her contacts, a ritual that had become an annoying habitual bed time routine.

She walked back into her “hot tamale” red room. The room glowed like a quiet candle. Eyes blurry, she spotted the outline of her glasses on the dresser. Placing them on her dewy face, everything came into focus. Her room felt new. Now, opportunity is not a characteristic typically offered from a tiny cramped bedroom, but indeed, that is what she felt from it. The color. The god damn crazy hot tamale color—it was what she wanted. In that moment and in every moment after that she loved that color. 

She turned around and flicked the light switch off. She stood there for several seconds in the dark. Letting her eye adjust, she felt her way to her bed. Feeling the coolness of the sheets, she threw the covers to the floor. Throwing both legs onto the bed at once, she exhaled, laid her head back, and closed her eyes. For once, in a long time, she immediately drifted off into a dream. She could feel herself sinking into her bed, her pillow, as she drifted further. Darkness took over the colors of her awake mind. But soon new colors emerged as her reality slept.

Cutting Ties

Knot makers. This is what we are.

We loop and pull. We find ways to make sense of things. To feel like we’re not just flying in the air. We tie ourselves to people. To places. To things. Our knots ground us. Connect us. Secure us.

What we don’t realize is that these knots are made of string. They can be cut. Just because you twist yourself into something you don’t know how to untie doesn’t mean it’s permanent. Eventually this knot you created finds its ends in other hands. It gets pulled tighter and tighter by outside forces. So tight that it digs into your skin when you pinch it. It feels like it’s a part of you. But it’s not. It’s an extension of your life. A direction that’s been set. A choice.

One cut, one decision, can free you. You can leave that mess of a knot behind. Let yourself float in the wind a bit. Eventually you’ll catch onto something new. You can choose what to tie yourself to. You can choose what to cut yourself away from. You choose.

Finding the scissors, now that’s a whole other strength.

Lost in the clutter of your life, the desire for change can become misplaced. We find ourselves frustrated with what we have. We put blame on things we don’t understand. We become complacent in our own ignorance.

Until we look in the junk drawer. We stumble upon a tool, an idea, that can show us a craving we didn’t realize we had. The scissors you now hold in your hand empowers you. You see what it takes. One cut of a knot can change your view. Once you do, the world is below you. You can finally see what is around you––where you can tie a new knot. You have options.

 

 

The illusions we treasure.

People don’t say what they want to say.

People don’t say what they need to say.

People say what they think they should say, and people do what they think they should do.

So what does that make us?

Short answer. Delusional.

We live in a world where we are told we have total control, but do we really? Did you tell the person you just fell in love with, that you love them? No. Because who in their right mind could fall in love that fast? Better hide it wait for a more reasonable time to share your feelings. Saving face is what we live for. God forbid we respond to a text message in less than a minute. The person on the other end might actually think we care.

We’re all fucking crazy.

We live in a world where we feel more connected to–more empowered from– our phones than actual people. And even then, we use our phones as a crutch to lean on so we don’t have to expose our vulnerabilities.

This selfie says, “I’m doing great! Actually, I ‘m more than great. I’m doing better than you, and look how awesome my face looks today!” That’s what we want people to see–to think. That we are fine, when in fact, fine is the word keeping others at bay from us. Don’t get too close, under the bullshit is a whole lot of ugly that we don’t like looking at. So we give it a new face. One that shows only what we want others to see, what we think they want to see. And what’s really messed up about it is…it’s easy.

We keep our phones on the table during dinner. We stare at our screens when we are in a room full of people. We are sitting right across from each other, but we might as well be miles away because we can still ‘like’ each others pictures–each others lives. We look at our views through, a pretty decent, cell phone camera. Our phones have literally become the middle man of our life. When did we become complacent with shit like this? When did we find more enjoyment in posting on social media, than we actually do taking the goddamn picture.

I can’t preach like I’m any different though. I use Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat more than I should. I feel the connection to the world that exists in the imaginary cloud. I feel the urgency to share the good moments of my life. I contribute to the illusion. But that doesn’t mean I’m not sick of it all. Because really, who the fuck cares what I had for lunch? Short answer. Not even me.

It’s stupid the amount of pictures of food I have on my Instagram. It’s stupid the amount of selfies I have of myself–like just me, close up, blurry background.  Honestly, who the fuck cares about what I look like today. Short answer. Not even me.

So why do we do it? Why do we let this imaginary world be our reality?

Maybe because it is easier to face than the truths of our lives. Definitely.

It’s easier to click a share button than to actually go do the adventure written in the article. It’s easier to read about how your relationship might be fucked, than actually LOOKING at it. Hell, it’s easier to end a relationship because of what you read, than actually reading into the person you’re sharing the damn bed with.

People are real. The warmth from our bodies is real. The words we say are the result of our thoughts so why don’t we make them mean something. We are limited in the ways we are able to connect with this world, and express ourselves to others. What we say and do is all we have. But these days we don’t say or do anything.

Except click an imaginary button, that who really cares about? Short answer. Nobody.

 

Does it have to make sense?

Three months. It has taken me three months to feel like the bed I’m sleeping in, is in fact, mine. The realism of being away from my everything–my family, friends, and familiarity is sinking in like falling in quicksand. My foot got stuck in the mud–well, more purposefully than stuck–and sooner than I thought I was knee deep. Standing there, looking at my surroundings, I can see how I could call this new place my home. But, before I get myself to feel absolutely good about it, my head is under the dirt. Just in the moments before, I found myself questioning things–ok, everything. I am in the ground sucking for the air I once knew.

On the less dramatic side, you could say that moving to a different state hits ya surprisingly. Surely, I thought I would be a wreck being away from everything.  But, moving wasn’t the hard part. Getting a job wasn’t the hard part. Being on unfamiliar ground wasn’t the hard part. The hard part was finding out three months in, that I may not be in as good emotional shape as I thought. Sure, I’m a strong gal. And, life is great. I am blessed and I am grateful. But life is different. Life is tough, and sometimes life hurts. Being all on my own? Body and mind… It’s something. Something. Something. It’s something I know I wanted, and something I know I needed. Need.

Learning things about yourself, that’s where it happens. That’s where you realize that you may have done the right thing for yourself.

What really got me is realizing that every day doesn’t have to be a good day, and you don’t have to feel good all the time.

But uhhhh that’s all I’ve been trying to do!–making the most out of my days. Running away from the sadder feelings that are in me somewhere, and I run fast…

But all good must come to an end. I guess. Sometimes.

And you know what? When I did confront those flitterings of sad feelings, I felt sad. As I should. But what was surprising is that it also felt good.

Realizing how you really feel about things feels good. Embracing it, that feels even better. Running away from the inner workings of myself left me confused, about everything. And truth be told, I am still confused about the whole shit of it all. But it feels good to know that I am on the same page with myself. At least as much as I can be at the moment.

And isn’t that enough?

After I pull myself out of the quicksand called life, this new air feels…great.

 

The girl who wakes up

Once there was this girl. She sat up all night because her mind would not stop minding. Minding about what, she didn’t even know. But, she knew enough to know it felt good. Good to be there. Right there.

Zooming and looming, her thoughts laid across her face. Sprawled in carelessness. Who is to judge her, she didn’t care.

Wild, she felt. Uneasy, she felt. Electric, she felt.

Steadily, she will eventually fall into sleep. Content with her last thought; enough to let herself go. Just for the moments where she can lightly dance on top of her reality.

The morning chiming hums her to life. She gets up, and heavily walks to open her door. The outside breeze wraps around her. Her warm, safe, and lonely ebode gets wooshed up and twirled around.