Dec 25, 2007

Happy Christmas

I just wanted to wish everyone Merry Christmas, however late it might be. Today has been really rainy and dreary so I've cuddled up with a nice Christmas book bought by the lovely Dominique and have been staying dry and warm. This Christmas has been the most chill by far. I hope everyone else's Christmas has been as good. Or your Festivus, if that's what you celebrate.

What I'm really looking forward to is New Year's. That should be interesting.

Anyway, I hope your holiday is filled with bright lights, beautiful songs, presents, and fancy champagnes.

Dec 21, 2007

The Soothsayer of Doha

I was, by most accounts, a demon-child. I was avoided, taunted, and warded off by the pious and the superstitious daily. Had they but given me a chance, they would have realized what a sweet child I was. Or so my mother thought.
She had the sweetest hands. Sweet and brown like halvahs. And whenever she smoothed my unruly auburn hair, I would think of them and she would lead me into the kitchen where they were always fresh.

“It's hot,” my mother warned. I engulfed one anyway, relaxing as it melted in my mouth and released its sapid flavor.

“I wuv eze,” I said, mouth full and crumbs on my cheeks. I swallowed. “Oh! Guess what?”

“What,” she said, as she covered her coarse black hair with a khimar.

“I made a friend! There's a new girl in school from America and today when Asiya made fun of my eyes she said they were the prettiest she'd ever seen and that if Asiya had a problem she knew where to go.” My mother raised an eyebrow.

“Oh yeah? And where's that?”

“Uh. Nowhere, Umm.”

After that day there was no girl who had a more dear friend than I was to Simoni. She helped turn me from a people-shy bookworm into someone who would meet the eyes of others. Of course, that made things worse. The more people saw my eyes the more they thought I was witch.


Time passed, I hit puberty, and I began to have strange dreams that sent my social status plummeting. One night I had a dream that made me wonder if I really were a witch.

The moon hung full in the sky. I was lurking amongst shadowed green plants and peering into the window of my neighbor's house. Through the shiny glass I could see mahogany four post bed with rumpled silk sheets.

On the bed there were several packages of various shapes including a small semilunar bundle. Somehow I knew they were drugs and contraband goods. Harsh voices whispered inside the room and then there were gunshots. I fell back into the mud, feeling sick at the sound of their baby crying and the death rattle of one of the men.

I tumbled from bed, reaching for my phone. I paused briefly in the mirror, more out of praxis than anything else, and looked out of my window into my neighbor's bedroom. Everything looked as it had in my dream, down to the semilunar bundle. I called Simoni and recounted my dream.

“Wha?” Simoni mumbled.

“I said I think I'm having mantic dreams.”

“Manic? You're bi-polar? What?”

“No, mantic, like an oracle.”

“Why can't you use normal words? Look, we've talked about this before. Do you remember what happened last time you told people your dreams?”

“Yeah. They thought I made those bad things happen.”

“Right but it was just chance they came true. Hey, don't worry about it, okay? I'll come by later.”

I sighed knowing I'd gotten no better than a lick and a promise. But maybe Simoni was right. The dreams coming true could be a result of bad luck and serendipity. Still, I was uneasy until I had the idea.

By nightfall, I was standing at the window, armed with my phone. There were door slams and mens brusque voices wafted in the night. Soon I was talking with the police and crouching by the window as in my dream. Everything happened as in my dream: the gunshots, the crying, the sickness. But then the police arrived. Then more gunshots and the police slammed a man against the window. He looked into my eyes and screamed. I couldn't blame him, for I was bathed in moonlight but still inky dark, hair aflame, and eyes piercing blue.

I awoke early the next morning, the scent of halvahs fresh in the hair. I looked in the mirror, tied my hair in a knot and hurried into the kitchen. There Simoni was, smiling and scraping the confection from the pan.

“You were right. It's all over the news. I just wish there were a way to get your predictions to people without scaring them.”

Later Simoni blamed the zeitgeist of our age for the idea. Whatever the case, my “fortune halvahs” with predictions printed on them, gave me an unparalleled ataraxia and improved my relationship with the community. No longer shunned, my life was filled with grace. No longer hated, my life was filled with joy.

Dec 13, 2007

Another Death

"And there was a Great Cry in Egypt" by Arthur Hacker

We were standing on the pale pavement by the stairs to the porch, brown plastic bags in hand. She sat on the topmost stair, copper coiled hair in a short ponytail, phone to her ear. Her face was blank almost, but with a residue of sadness. Her white teeth were veiled by rose lips. I said, "Are you okay?" And she said, "Yeah," but we both knew it was a lie. I passed on, gently rubbing her shoulder, hoping the the gentle touch from an acquaintance wouldn't be uncomfortable.

Lured in by the laughter of men and the smells of food, I found myself in the kitchen. A paper plate, white sushi rice, sweet and spicy curry. I offered to adopt the cook who was finishing his plate. He just smiled.

Stepping out in the the hallway, I looked out the the front door. I could see his figure slightly hunched over her. I turned away and wandered into his room. He came in after me saying, "Her friend just died." Another one?, I thought, thinking of a mother's death in January. I looked at him and he understood. Needlessly I said, "Go talk to her." I heard the loud laughter in the kitchen again and thought how odd it must be to hear it while in so much pain. I shook my head, another death.

Nov 29, 2007

A Story Told in Pictures

Why is Ariel standing by the door?

(gasp!) Ariel didn't create a post for today. For shame!

No, she and Dominique are running off to get his eyes checked and later...books!

Hmm. A box full of books, eh? If only. . .

Oh well. Puppies make everything better.

Isn't she cute?

Nov 24, 2007

Misspent Youth (86)

(My ears don't really stick out like that, it's just the headdress.)

You know, at first I didn't really want to write this. I suppose because I feel/felt it is too personal or might come off as some sort of sob story. I think I'm a much happier person now than I was when I was younger and they do say the more you talk about something, the more it gets off your chest, and the lighter you feel.

I spent a lot of my youth doing what I thought was expected of me, what I "should" do and very little of what I needed to do. I was too quiet about some things. This lead to all sorts of problems as time went on. I learned first hand how keeping things in could be a problem.

Of course all teenagers have their angst, their periods of ups and downs (and I guess I'm still in it, being 19) but sometimes things that you write off like that go deeper. I'm not going to say that I was abused but I did live in an emotional environment where I felt that my thoughts and feelings didn't matter. Couple that with my idealistic nature and you end up with a very sensitive girl who tries her damndest to be perfect to be worthy of love. I still struggle with those feelings, those "why doesn't he love me?" feelings.

But after the summer before my freshman year of college I realized that no matter if I did what I should, it really wasn't gonna please anyone, or at least not those who mattered to me. That summer was filled with angry phone calls, old paper work, lawyers, betrayal. . .In a way it seemed like a soap opera to me. Someone else's life. Something I would watch on tv. How could someone who loved me rip the earth from under my feet? I was in a position where I would have to succumb entirely to Should in order to be loved or go off in the opposite direction, towards what I needed and see what happened.

I abandoned Should. It wasn't doing me a lick of good. After years of Should I realized I had come no further than when I had set out. In fact, I'd gone back a few paces. It has been an uphill battle, addressing my wants and my needs, speaking up when I'm so used to falling silent. And while I can't say that opening my mouth has caused me no pain, I do think it's for the best. It's been thrilling. I guess I'm living my teen years now (to my mother's mortification.)

Still I look back at those days in middle school and in high school and I think, If only I had spoken up about how I felt--- But I'm learning to let it go. I did my best. I really did do my best.


Molly Rapp
Photo by Molly Rapp

A car is abandoned on the side of the road. Its body is crunched like a soda can against an unbending tree. Grass licks its tires and leaves brush against its root. The keys still jingle in the ignition and it is still hot from a long drive.

Dark wings thrust her from the car, pushing her out the window. She claws onto the door frame. Blood and broken glass. Her face tilts upwards toward the evening's burning storm clouds. Closed eyes, wings dodging lightning, her nose leading the way, she is searching.

He is searching too. He has abandoned the car, stripping himself of brown seatbelt, letting his black wings bloom anew, forcing himself from the moving vehicle. He searches for her.

His wings lift him up to the sky to see her form dot the horizon then disappear behind a bleeding cloud. Wings aflame, he urges himself closer, nearer.

She hovers over a deep and shimmering ocean. The wind cools her wings, chills her body, and whips her hair across her face. But even blinded she sees its offer. Its waves beckon. She desires its ice. And so she relaxes her wings, swan dives, flips and slips into the water. Splashless. She is absorbed.

He sees her allow herself to be consumed by the void and although he moves quickly, reaching out for her slender foot, he feels only the wake of air.

Flying low, his fingers trail in the obsidian liquid. The sky is an empty black. He drifts over the surface, waiting for her to come back to him. Lost to him, she is in a place he can never reach. He lifts his head to the heavens and wails.

Nov 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

I want to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving and many more! This Thanksgiving I am thankful for all the food I'll be eating (ham, actually. Not turkey) and for the roof over my head, for the clothes on my body and for having the ability to experience life fully. Most of all, I'm thankful for all the people who love me.

Nov 18, 2007

I Carry (#85)

Everyday I leave the house with a stone on my chest and bags in my hand. It's a funny way to go places, with stones on your chest and bags in your hands. Heavy. But I don't mind it too much. Sometimes I feel as if the weight defines me. Weight lets you know that you're there, that you're alive. I need to feel alive.

The stone wasn't always there. It's a recent accoutrement from the most fashionable store in Paris-- Not really. But that's what people think when they see the mist in my eye. Oh she's a poet. That one's deep.

I'm not really.

It seems as if we spend our whole lives playing dodgeball. Only, the balls we're playing with are stones that stick to your chest and knock the wind straight out of you. They blindside you. This one blindsided me.

You know, I've always wanted my father's necklace. It was a necklace he never took off and that I saw him wear daily, ever since I can remember. It's a simple cross made of brown metal or maybe wood, hanging by leather cords. It's different though. It has three bars instead of just one, and the bottom bar is small and slanty.

I never got that cross. He gave me a stone instead.

Nov 16, 2007

Writer's Block

Sometimes I feel so uninspired. I suppose because I often feel as if my life is uninspiring. This is the hang up of many people who would otherwise be creative. I think it's important though, to be able to take an otherwise boring life and spice it up with things from within your own head. To not sink into normalcy simply because that's what surrounds you.

What really got me started on this vein of thought was the movie Cry Baby. It's a great movie to watch when you feel down in the dumps and generally so bored with life you're willing to sink in and be monotone. It's a silly movie, as many parodies are but it's more than that. The main character, Cry Baby leads a group of juvenile delinquents. These are people who love to have fun, who aren't afraid to be "wild". They are essentially rebelling against a society that forces people to be tame but the awesome thing about them is that don't take themselves seriously. They have fun with it. I adore the movie for that. Johnny Depp helps too. (laughs)

At any rate, there are some things to do when you're feeling crappy:

  • Immerse yourself in things that inspire you, for me it's an autumn day and some good music.
  • Surround yourself with things that make you happy. It could be a stuffed animal or a favorite book.
  • Most importantly, try to challenge yourself. Strive to reinvent yourself everyday so that your outside matches your inside and so that the things you do match who you are. Create!
And now I am off to take my own advice!

Nov 13, 2007

Age of Decay

Aimee Koch, click the image for more.
Black eyes are still heavy with sleep and tears.
As I press evercool fingers against my eyes I feel the pools of exhaustion settling beneath them. My face feels tight as animal skin stretched over wood.
It is a drum.
I am a skeleton and these eyes are uncrying unceasingly burning pits of pain. Exhaustion weighs on my body till my skin drags and slides off.
I am exposed.
But as a zombie I must keep going, I must keep moving, I must keep searching, and I must keep pulling up my skin. And where have my suspenders gone?
There is only rest and reprieve in sleep. But these eyes can never close. This zombie must stay alert.
And I am not the only zombie in this age of decay.

Nov 10, 2007

Last Temptation

I shine.
I am the cure for your pain. A cure that glitters but is not gold; a perpetuation of the problem.
I am the tool for the addictive self-hate that lives in us all.
I am so beautiful,
So coy and almost innocuous. . .
But when you see me you know what I am.
My true purpose.
Watch me glisten as I perch up on the counter top, lay on the couch, radiant for you.
You can't resist me.
So seductive you can't help but gasp as I kiss your flesh,
red rising in lines, symbols, and words.
You love me. You hate me.
You promise, you abstain, you distract yourself.
But I am patient.
I know.
I wait.
I am always here for you when you need me.
You always come crawling back, out of your depth and out of your mind. You always come back. You always come back to use me.
Abuse me.
And after all that is done, all that is left is a fine white line or a symbol or a word.
I am:
A devil's mark. A sign. A contract. A memory. Another reason for you to hate yourself.
I am the cure for your pain, a cure that glitters but it not gold. A perpetuation of your problems.
I'm your Last Temptation.


Nov 5, 2007

She Awakens.

Hello world.