Thursday, November 25, 2010


Driving by all the homes already lit up with Christmas lights was uplifting. Doors were open, curtains wide, and families were gathered 'round tables, laughing and passing hoards of casseroles, biscuits and salt and pepper shakers. It is a warm time of year. Even men and women all alone in apartments and small rental houses seem a bit more cheerful--their canned cranberry sauce, small rotisserie turkeys and bottles of wine are their family. They sit close to the television set in the favorite chairs watching their favorite television programs. I would feel sorry for their time alone, but they may prefer it. Their stories are just as unknown to me as the other full houses I passed earlier.

No matter their stories; tonight, what matters is mine. It is my family for which I am thankful, and everything else with which I have been blessed. Through all the heartbreak and hardship, I would never think of trading them for another. Even when I am desperately trying to fight back the urge to stab one of them in the back of the hand--sometimes throat--with my fork--sometimes turkey prongs, depending on which is in my hand at the time. It is this time of the year where the decay of autumn is followed by the winds of new life, waiting to bloom in the months to come; bleeding colors of orange, red and yellow. The browning edges of leaves crippling beneath the lack of rain. All is calmer. The food is warmer when the air is not. The people are friendlier, particularly when they know who is feeding them.

I love this time of year, if it is not apparent. I am just thankful my loved ones and I are together to enjoy it.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Wild Fires

The air has been heavy for the past two days. The smell was from a thicket of woods undergoing some less supernatural form of spontaneous combustion. Despite the trees crumbling beneath the dry soil, the smoke is nothing like the smell of a campfire. It is agonizing. The trees' corpses breaking under the pressure of the flames. It smells of rough skin, not bark. At night, the aromas of autumn overcome us all, but in the morning I wake to not dew or a cool breeze, but itchy eyes and burning lungs. The smoke stretches for miles, and we all wonder when it will end.

Last night, riding in the passenger seat after a late night in a warm apartment, lights could be seen high above the road, and sirens pierced a second hole in my ears. The pitch was unbearable, and the lights were blinding. The ladder on the fire truck shook in a frenzy of crisis. There was yet another fire, not wild, but undeterred by a barbecue shack nearby.

"What's on fire?" Chelsea asked me later that night. I told her; she merely laughed. "I don't even know how that place is still in business, it's always catching on fire."

But I still consider it a conspiracy, selfishly. I should not have to wake to sirens because of careless managers. My retinas should not burn because wild fires and smoke were not enough to draw firemen to their positions. The words "you're amazing" ring in my head, and a wild fire grows inside me, too. It is more than coincidence--as I am burning from the inside-out, as is my world.

This should be a fantastically romanticized occurrence of events, but I just want to keep it to myself--this is one thing with which I do not want to infect the world. I believe in spreading the love, but a general love for and to the world. My love should be my own. I want to hold the fire in my hands and never let it spread wild. I want to keep it in a lantern and turn it on and off whenever I please--held up in a dark room for myself to enjoy. Instead, the rest of my world is burning to the ground, spiritually and physically, as I am romantically.

I could change my mind about surrealism and fall into a belief it is a natural reflection of my state of being. I am not sure if it is fair or rational to assume it, as if I believe myself the center of the world, though, within my own perspective, which I rather enjoy keeping, it is my world. The wild fires are spreading because of passion, passion they feel, same as I. The trees could be talking, whenever they witness what we share. You and I and everyone else, embracing and laughing and quite fanatically jumping for joy at every smiling word. The heat of every moment could be eating everything alive from the inside-out. And as such, the firemen are never without jobs, and I am without sleep. But I stay up thinking about what keeps my flame lit, while the rest of the world burns with me.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Bulletin Board

It is the beginning of a new week and a new month has likewise commenced. People gather around the bulletin board to refresh the announcements and cries of help by the university's departments and fellow students. The posters depicting abusive and obsessive partners and the signs to look for in a possibly bad relationship are gradually being pulled off the cork--much to my amusement. Typically, awareness posters give me the giggles rather than do their job. Study abroad programs for the followings semesters are posted. I will never be able to afford such a thing. However, part of me is content with this fact: I would rather not spend $5,000 to go to Ireland, only to stare at rocks and analyze the cleavage of Ireland's most famous rolling hills. Students in need of someone to pay half of their rent, will advertise for anyone. I am rather cautious of letting complete strangers into my dwelling. I am even more cautious of walking into a stranger's dwelling in hopes of taking up residence with them. Living in a dorm with someone I do not know is enough. I would rather not invite myself into the same situation and pay $500 a month for whatever lessons I might learn in why not to rip off a small tab of information from random flyers.

"Would you want to split a house with me and Christina next year?" Eric asked.

I declined; I would rather not share the rent with a couple. Not only would I be stuck trying to sleep through a few not-so-silent and awfully awkward nights, but the future is often times bleak and unpredictable. If I get slammed with more rent than the agreement because of some unfortunately timed argument, I would rather not be found huddled in a dark corner of the house during all the screaming, cuddling my tattered wallet and reassuring it therapy will come soon. I may seem picky, but when it comes to finding a play to stay, and I do mean "stay," I would like to find something more suitably stable. These times are hard enough without having the floor ripped out from underneath me at any moment.

"There they go again," a passing student said, staring down the dark end of the hall.

A swarm of students came up to the board, ripping off their old flyers and putting up new ones, with florescent colors and large font. The blonde holding the bright pink sheets of paper blinded me. The paper did not have any constructive information on it, much to my injured eyes' dismay. More useless sheets of paper with people trying to sell textbooks for lunch money, and new programs not pertaining to the English department, though it is the English hall. I can honestly say I hate these days. While these students and teachers do not seem to be advertising for anything too important, they still have something to say, whereas, I am sitting on a bench, watching them all pass by without so much as a remark to be made.

There are days when I feel as if I am just spending my time and money sitting on a bench, going from class-to-class, zoning in and out of lectures, walking several miles-worth up and down the pedestrian mall. There are only so many times throughout the week I feel as if I am doing anything which can be, even in the slightest bit, and possibly with the assistance of a microscope, construed as productive. And in those times I wonder: What am I doing here? I know what my goals are, but fighting for them every week seems like more than its worth at times. Maybe I should post a bulletin up one day: "Girl in search of motivation." I have inspiration, I just do not have the will power to use it, like I know I should.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

I and Love and You

The Avett Brothers are best known for their song "I and Love and You." The song itself moves at a slow pace, reflective of the morose tone of its words. The line in the chorus that reads, "Three words that became hard to say: I and love and you," says it all. We live in a world of cynics. Passion is not reflected in our work or in the way we treat the ones we love anymore. Even those who claim they want to change the world or "spread the love" are so cynical about the current shape of things they find it hard to even start anywhere, and simply glide down the sidewalks, head down, just like the rest, with an undeserving sense of self-worth. I do not know if the world truly is as evil as others try to make it look. I find it hard to not find love where I am.

It is love that helps me go to sleep at night with a sense of hope for tomorrow; love that makes me laugh until I cry, and cry until the tears have run dry. It is with love I hug my friends and family. It is with love their arms will hug me back. These people--and even animals, because I cannot fairly exclude the three dogs I have at home who love me unconditionally--would do anything for me, and I for them. I strive to make them proud. My art and my passion for life run off of the power I get from the ones I love. I may be unbearably too positive at times, but without such an annoying trait, I would not be who I am.

How could I ever ignore the love I have in my life, when in every corner there is a new embrace and new face mouthing the same words back to me. And even in a small apartment there is a man who says it with so much care, I would not dare believe it to be a lie. And it is there I am most careful to say it and mean it. Because while some may believe "I love you" to be but empty words, I mean them more than I have meant anything else in my life.