H a n d s

Today I look at my old, wrinkled, shaky hands in disgust how I have chosen to use them in my life.

I agonize over how many times I had shoved someone aside in hurried ambivalence or flipped a stranger off.

For words I wrote intending to hurt someone, or scratching, hitting or punching someone who didn’t deserve it.

I look at the veins protruding out of my thin flesh like cold, icy rivers.

I ponder over how many times I had thrown my hands up in the air in defeat, and how many times they had cradled my head as I cried far into the night.

I look at them now, worn and frail and weak, wondering then how I had used them for good.

How many times had I lifted another person up, or shook someones hand in greeting or gratitude? Finally writing my mother a letter after all this time, or caressing someones cheek with one hand while wiping away a tear with the other?

I reflect on instances of opening a door for someone, or feeling coins jingle in my pocket as I approached a hungry homeless person, and deciding to give them a few dollars instead.

How many hands did I hold in mine, how many times did I use them to touch someone in re-assurance or passion or in simple human kindness?

I look at my wrinkled, shaky hands no more in disgust, but in appreciation. 

And wonder how I might use them to help someone else today.

-KC

You’re gonna want to watch this.

"A child taxidermist, an outsider in his small town, is entranced by a girl who finds his work beautiful. But just as their relationship begins to progress, he does something that drastically changes everything."

Arizona

My father pulled his cigarette from his lips, thoughtfully exhaling the smoke from his lungs, as he glanced at me in the backseat. My father said nothing, the hushed whisper of the hot air blowing though the open windows spoke for him. I stared out the window at the flat Arizona desert that stretched on farther than I could see, taking in the eternal plains, and the vast loneliness of it all. I felt the last of the red sun blazing through the window and onto my forehead and arms, as it melted into the skyline, setting the world on fire. I took in a deep breath and closed my eyes. The gentle lull of the engine, combined with the thick heat of the evening pulled me into the arms of sleep like the gentle embrace of a lover, and soon I was fast asleep in the arms of an Arizona desert.

NcRRq 4

I knew in my heart somehting was wrong with him. He looked like everyone else, talked like everyone else, but something was always… off.

I noticed that as he waited outside for me to gather my things, he was fiddling with his watch and whispering to himself a bit. I shook this off as simply first-date jitters, as I was quite nervous myself. 

On our first date, he was very polite. He opened doors for me, and pulled out chairs for me at every opportunity…  But then I accidentally spilled a glass of water halfway though the date. That was when things started to get a little strange. I was so embarrassed, that at the time, I almost didn’t notice him looking at me with such forced calmness, though I could see the muscles tighten in his jaw, and his clench on his fork constrict tighter. 

"I’m so sorry," I said laughing, trying desperately to bury my embarrassment. "I’ll just go get some towels—"

"No," He said so loudly, and suddenly, that some people at the surrounding tables glanced curiously at us for a moment. His jaw was still clenched so tightly, yet he still had a smile on his face. He lowered his voice, "Allow me." 

trying to be polite, I shook my head, and made a move to get up from the table, hoping to allow myself time away from him to recover from my embarrassment. As soon as I unraveled my legs to get up, in one swift movemnt, he had dropped the fork in his hand and pinned my arm to the table. 

"please," he said in a whisper, and he lifted himself from his seat and went to fetch a towel. 

Now this all happened quite fast, and I was trying to deflect the concerned/irritated glances by other diners with my best “everything-is-alright smile, while also reprimanding myself from being such a clumsy girl.

And that’s not even the worst part.

dad, me and my dead mom

It’s like this.

My mom is dead, and I can’t bring her back. I’ve pleaded with God, or whoever is running things up there, to bring her back. I even tried screaming, bets, negotiations, and even threats, but nothing has worked, and she’s not coming back. There’s nothing I can do or say about it, and even though it destroys me, there’s nothing I can do. 

I see my friends who complain about their moms when they ground them or make them upset or disappointed, and all I can think about is how much I wish I had a mother to complain about. All I can do is lay in my bed and try to remember her- her smile, her smell, her eyes, but it seems to be slipping away, like i’m losing her, and i can’t remember it as vividly. then I start to cry because I’m scared i’ll forget, and if I forget her, then maybe she’ll forget me.

Everything is blurry, and undistinguishable. my dad is so depressed he hardly leaves his bedroom except for work. He shuffles like a zombie out the door, managing to barely get dressed, and somehow makes it home, throws his keys onto the counter and locks himself away in his room until dinner. He hardly sleeps… sometimes at night I hear him sobbing all the way from my room, and often I wonder if he hears my cries as clearly as I do for him…

diary entries of a “psycho”

I remember when I first saw you. I was just coming out of the anesthesia and you were leaning over my bedside adjusting my blankets. I even remember the first words you spoke to me:

"Glad to see you’re awake. I’ll go get your mother, she’s just outside in the hall."

and then you smiled that smile. 

 I kept needing to come back to the hospital for broken bones and bleeding extremities, when in fact I had just become so madly in love with you, that I was willing to put myself in  excruciating physical pain just to see you.

I caused those injuries to happen, to put it simply.

Needless to say, I’m glad my mother has very good and flexible insurance, because those bills sure did add up.

Some might think I’m crazy.

I call it love.

the truth.

i gave you hope

you gave me nothing

i drove you to suicide

and you told me to pull the trigger

i took back what i said

you took back what was yours 

you took away my freedom

I took away your soul

i burned our little house down

you spent our entire savings

i called you a liar

you called me a lunatic

i wanted to destroy

you wanted to build

i gave you fire

you gave me a concussion

consumed

 I could feel it in the air like a heavy fog that clogs your lungs and slowly suffocates you. You feel as though you have swallowed a wet towel and it is eternally lodged in your throat, and it never leaves.

you melt away down the slimy drains of greasy back alleyways and hand yourself over to the sudsy hands of cold, rotten men who tear you apart peice by peaice then leave you vulnerable and lost and shattered- when you are finally sober enough to see straight, you stumble down steamy corridors and across nappy lawns, like an escaped convict.

guilt-driven people wordlessly drop quarters at your feet like tokens of their regrets, and attach to those coins pieces of their remorse and discontent, not for your life- but for theirs.

you wander for days seeing mirages of the past and feel your life start to sway and tilt before it all topples over like an unstable house built on a sandy foundation in a high tide.

everything is washed out to sea and left there to drown and fade and corrode, the memories losing their grip and relevance, until those final moments where you finally just let the tears fall, instead of trying to wipe them back and hold them hostage in the tear ducts of your soul. you step closer to the edge of the eternal fiery pit of your life that seems to lack an end, and wonder out loud:  ”how will I ever get though this?” 

You tell yourself the options, the easy way outs, but somewhere in the deep crevices of insanity that ovetook your brain long ago, a small glimmer of hope shines like a speck of gold paint on a vast black asphalt. 

you cling to it, like the mast of a sailboat in a hurricane, and you close your eyes and take a step forward, launching yourself into the “afterwards”; slowly inching your way into the relief that comes after surviving a nightmare of a freakish life.

Even just being able to close your eyes at night starts to come as a relief and you can feel yourself again. It all comes back, slowly and painfully, but it does come back, and you will survive this.

close your eyes, you say, survive this moment, you say after every moment, and you grip to the truth.

A Grey Life

Everyday, millions of people are born. They are pushed out onto the stage of life against their will like understudies without their lines, and expected to act. They are forced to endure this life and the pains that come with it. Sometimes they find moments of happiness, but for the most part, they are unhappy, cold and alone. Some make the best of this cruel world, and try their best to find joy, belonging and hope, but some choose to destroy their fragile life with drugs, self harm, or even, in some cases, suicide. This is not the story of a man who did either one of those two things. he found no joy in the life he lived, nor found the need to destroy it. He was simply a man who did not live up to his dreams. He never reached any of his goals, he never felt success, he never won anything, never saw himself as anything special in the least. He was, like some people seem to be, a loser, a waste of air, and the worst of all, a failure.

From the moment he was old enough to form thoughts in his head, he became aware of his condition. He knew he would never amount to anything, and that his life would lead no-where. He tried to amount to something— anything, but all efforts were to no avail, and he just ended up feeling empty and tired and worthless. So he gave up, lived day to day without much of any change. A grey life.

Call Me Never

It was a rainy day.

The wind forced the little drops of water onto the window, and I watched the droplets as they chased each other down the glass, collecting at the bottom. I thought about everything, and yet nothing at the same time. I thought about the past week’s events and felt the goosebumps rise up on my arms. The week’s therapy had helped. I was finally starting to live again. But no amount of therapy could have ever prepared me for what happened in that one moment.

The phone rang.

my sister peeled her eyes away from the chattering t.v. and looked at me. She put the T.V. on mute, then slowly stood up from the couch and made her way to the phone. She picked it up and put it to her ear.

"Hello?" she said casually, examining her nails.

then after a moment her eyes widened. I immediately felt a sense of panic and fear in the air. and I knew- even though she glanced at me for a fraction of a second- I knew who it was. It was him.

My heart began to race, as her conversation turned hushed, urgent and argumentative. My breathing became staggered and I felt as if my lungs were full of lead. Finally, she slowly turned to me with the phone in her hands, reached out to me. I forced myself to take the phone. I felt as if I had just signed away my life, and I could feel the lump in my throat forming.

I held the phone in my hand for a moment and hesitated. I could see my sister looking at me, her eyes wide and severely concerned. She nodded at me quickly, and tried to smile assuringly, but it looked more like a pained grimace. I looked down at the phone then raised it to my ear. 

"Hello?" Said the voice on the other end, muffled and worried. "Hello? Violet?"

The sound of his voice.

My lips began to shake.  Tears began to well up in my eyes and I couldn’t hold back anymore. My hands began to tremble, and soon my whole body was shuddering with sobs.

I could hear the stunned, excruciating silence on the other end of the line, as my body convulsed and crumbled. 

"Violet…Violet please, I- I’m so sorry, Violet, please, please, talk to me-" 

I could bear it no more. The phone fell from my fingers and I could hear his last words echo though the ear-piece as it landed on the floor: “I love you.”

But it didn’t matter. My face fell into my hands and the emotions overtook me. My sister swooped in and snached the phone off the floor.

"Don’t call again." She hissed into the phone. I heard her slam of the phone, and then her hurried footsteps as they shuffled toward me, then she wrapped her ever-caring arms around my shoulders. 

She said nothing, just sat in silence holding my shuddering body and waited- waited for what she was always waiting for: the rain to stop.