short-term memory.and you'll never forget:
When you realized that everybody dies alone.
When you didn't take your eyeliner off one night, so in the morning
your eyes would look as hollow as you felt.
When you spent a year blacking out the sad endings in your books.
(When you wished that life could also work like that.)
When you learnt that "We need a break" means "I am going to break your heart."
When you fell in love with the stars, and the way he says "us."
When he told you, "More than just a long time."
The first time you hung up to the sound of your father laughing.
When you walked home from a party in January, and couldn't remember
if you were still breathing.
When you begged him to let you be sad, and he smiled and said, "No."
When you saw the irony of drawing trees on paper – and how alive you've felt
after being sure you were dead.
eight things about growing up.eighteight things about growing up.3 years ago in Emotional More Like This
I told my brother I was going to be a fairy when I grew up. Or a bird, or sprite something with wings so I could touch the clouds.
I learned that fairies weren't real when I was six, after I tried to jump off a parking structure to see if I could fly.
That day I also broke my leg in three places and saw an angel's face in the clouds. (And don't tell anybody, but sometimes I spend all day looking for him.)
My neighbors back in Denver had a son who was a schizophrenic. After he went off his meds for the third time, he painted the windows red and told his wife she had to abort their baby because it wasn't human.
A year later, I heard that he was arrested after pointing a hunting rifle on his family. It was loaded, but he didn't pull the trigger because his mother said she trusted him.
I guess love is kind of like that, too.
Seattle didn't come until I was fifteen, in October.
My family and I took a boat ride on Friday. We listened to the captain
april 18th, 2012.therapy:april 18th, 2012.3 years ago in Emotional More Like This
"I'm not an artist. I'm just a kid with a keyboard."
“And, y'know, I’m probably not really sick.”
“I read a lot of books. I probably just act like this because I saw it somewhere on the Internet.”
“I just want to be more like my dad.”
“I’m really just a pathological crybaby who wants attention,” I tell you.
You say, “I think there are better ways to get attention than fake a mental disorder.”
“Maybe I’m doing it for fun.”
The problem isn’t that I need to see a therapist.
The problem is that I need to see a therapist because I dream about slamming your head into a tree.
Right after we broke up, you took me to the bike cage and promised me everything would be okay. Then you got together with that fifteen year old from Michigan and told our friends that I was a freak.
Slamming your head into a tree might be painful, but nothing will ever hurt more than kn
queen of nothing.what I've learned:queen of nothing.3 years ago in Emotional More Like This
I still remember singing in my room when I was six, and having my mother come down the hall and slam the door so hard that the windows shook.
Her nails hurt when she scraped the tears off my face. "It doesn't matter what you want," she'd always tell me.
Like, when that drunk driver swerved and hit her car I didn't want her to leave me, and it didn't matter.
Once on vacation I bought a pair of fuzzy leather heels for two hundred dollars, and when I wore them to dinner, I found out that
1. "Suede" is a fancy word for "fuzzy leather."
And 2. Good things don't last: That night my cousin told me that she thought 135 pounds was a little too big for five foot eight. So I tore my tights up to the thigh and threw those new suede heels in the garbage.
It felt good later, to know that they couldn't hate me more than I hate myself.
My six-word story from ninth grade reads, "If I don't laugh, I'll cry."
When I read that treating people like trash to gets them to nee
was it easy?i.was it easy?3 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
When I met you, I would only bring tragedies up to the rooftop, or down to the street corner, or to the bike cage. You asked me if any of them were true.
"You make the saddest stories so beautiful with that pen," you said, on the same day that we held hands for the first time and I found out you smoked.
It's all we are now, though. Just more depressing words from my pen. You loved my writing that much; and that was more than me, and it ruined us.
The January before you turned twenty-one, you told me you were afraid to become an adult. "I don't want to be somebody a child will hate."
You had always smelled like peppermint, cologne, and the truth, and it made me so sure when I told you, "You won't be. You're different."
And hey it wouldn't be the first time I was wrong.
We spent the summer talking about baby names and our house in Colorado. You wanted a daughter and I wanted four boys, and one of them had to be called James.
It was October when
numbering the steps.I'd like to count the number of times you fucked me over, but I only have ten fingers and toes.numbering the steps.3 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
I never mentioned this but I really should have.
Because it was so hard that you were blowing me off, especially after the third/fourth/fifth/fourteenth time.
Or in September, when your eyes could look everywhere but mine when I finally stopped telling you, because I knew you weren't listening.
Oh, and you killing yourself last April. There's that.
(Your note said: "Tell Scarlett I'm sorry." And oh God, Charlie, please believe me, I tried so hard to make it right, I did.)
Fourteen days, two hours, and fifty-nine minutes: how long it took for us to fall in love.
Overnight: how long it took for you to fall out of it.
You loved me like a bomb loves a crowd. Like the boys mothers warn their little girls about, except you had softer hands and nicer eyes, so I never thought you could take everything when you left.
You wouldn't have come to me in January if our par
zero.5. I think I'm afraid of sex.zero.3 years ago in Emotional More Like This
It's terrifying that two people can fit together perfectly, without even really liking each other at all.
4. I'm afraid of the day I start replacing myself with somebody else in all of our pictures; of the day I'll see my reflection and wish I didn't have to.
3. I'm afraid of doctors, and medicine.
The first time I took lithium, I couldn't hold it down. So I locked the bathroom door and flushed the entire bottle.
The second time, I couldn't walk more than ten steps without falling.
Honestly, I'm just wondering why they use poison to purify me.
2. I'm afraid of the ocean.
I'm afraid of looking down one day, and not seeing the edges. Of there being nothing there.
I'm afraid of falling and having nothing to catch me.
There's already nobody. The ground is really all I have.
1. I'm afraid of breaking things.
Like, once, I broke my dad's trust in me.
Once I broke somebody's heart.
Once I broke my kindergarten teacher's favorite
red leaves and Robert Frost.When I was young, my virginity was sacred. Entire religions pray over it and my father bought a gun so long as it meant protecting it.red leaves and Robert Frost.3 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
We throw away half of our refrigerator each week meanwhile, 24,000 people die of starvation every day.
Hardest part is, sometimes wasting things can't be helped.
At the bus stop, before I could drive, boys would ask for my phone number while I tugged up the neck of my shirt. Asked me how old I was while I crossed my legs under my skirt.
I told them I had a boyfriend even when it wasn't true, because they'll always respect another man more than my disinterest.
Hearing "I love you" for the first time is like getting hit by a train and only feeling the angel as they pull you up to Heaven.
People who are manic can jump off roofs or sell their house to buyers who don't exist.
For me, it was fucking six guys in four days and spending $150 in three.
That wasn't good enough, though, so instead of help all I got was a smiley-face sticker and long, quiet c
infinite/opposite.being an adult means knowinginfinite/opposite.2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
that there are things much scarier
than spiders, or snakes, or clowns.
the ocean, for one.
losing your parents.
empty tequila bottles.
waking up, still reaching
for someone who left you
a long time ago.
i live like there’s an end for me
because there is.
plants will wilt.
forests will burn down.
eventually, even the stars will burn out.
people will come to us.
they will touch us. they will hurt us.
they may keep us. they may not.
but i never hold on too tight
because when it’s time, my time,
i’ll only be letting go.
the heart has valves
that constantly open and close
giving love, taking love.
and my best advice
is to be selfish.
know when you’ve had enough.
know when you deserve better.
close the valves and
keep some love for yourself.
know that you are perfect
even if you eat that second cheeseburger
because there’s magic in this world.
we’re proof of it.
is fear o
two-fifty an hour.let me save you the trouble:two-fifty an hour.2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
because what i'm trying to say is
i'm not a good person.
i don’t tell valerie about how i planned to rekindle
my friendship with charlie’s best friend last year
just so i could get to him and hurt him.
(i don’t tell her how, in the end, i ended up liking
his friend instead, and charlie dated another
fifteen year old
because shit happens and what was i doing,
expecting things to go my way?)
there are certain things she doesn’t need to know,
certain things i can’t say because
putting it into words what it was like waking up,
that sort of shame that came with it –
it was like – it was like looking into a window
and swearing there’s a monster behind it
before, slowly, i realized
it was a mirror.
what therapy promises me: love yourself, forgive but
never forget, tell us your past
then let it go.
what i learn in therapy: nobody has all the answers.
we certainly don’t.
adults.i.adults.2 years ago in Philosophical More Like This
The media doesn’t support a positive body image
because it’s not good for business.
They want us anxious and afraid
of seeing the numbers on a scale go up.
We’re not worth our weight in gold.
It’s what we don’t weigh
My first boyfriend, who panicked when I touched him
would say “I’m fat”
the way somebody says “I should have never been born.”
They want us spending our money
on designer jeans, instead of groceries,
on concealer and diet plans, instead of an education.
Please don’t starve yourself.
Believe me, I’ve tried
and your body will start to eat itself from the inside out and
if you let it
it’ll get to some valuable stuff.
they’ll only appreciate your body when it’s a corpse.
They won’t notice you
until there’s nothing to be noticed
they’ll mourn and wish for something
that is no longer
In the second grade, I learned that
and i have tried to make it right.i.and i have tried to make it right.2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
let me tell you a story
using six words.
their names become parts of statistics.
let me tell you a story
using six words.
“suicide is the easy way out.”
let me tell you a story
using six words
that will never be told.
pain is not a fucking
do you still pray,
knowing there will be no answer?
see, i cannot speak for those
who have no voice to give
but, sincerely, these are the six words
i respond with:
i wish i could save you.
we live our lives being told that
there is always a safety net -
that there are people designed to protect us.
i’m going to use six words because,
the saddest stories
take the fewest words to tell.
for them, there was never anyone.
blades can cut wrists but
here are six words:
blades can cut stories short, too.
i have approximately 250,000 words
to choose from
to try and describe to you what suicide is
but i don’t
and then, you changed.For years, you used to ask me what you were to me.and then, you changed.3 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
And I would always say, "Nothing," until you finally understood that there was nothing you could do that could ever hurt me.
When we were children, there were no monsters under your bed. Just dead frogs and lizards from the pond on your doorstep.
You asked your sister, "Why do things die?"
"Because death is a part of life," she told you with a loving hand in your hair and a calming hug waiting for you later. But her eyes pinned me over your shoulder.
She never told you it was because Erik wouldn't stop killing them.
Flowers die, too. So I flattened them in your schoolbooks for you to find.
And you thought it was romantic. You showed them to your friends and told your sister you had a secret admirer.
I often wondered how you would've felt if you saw their ashes blow away with the wind, when I later burned them out on the deck.
It took you two years. You left a note in my locker junior year asking if I wanted to go out
if i could.1.if i could.2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
i’ll be honest with you;
there is a certain authority to being
somebody said once that writers struggle with reality
because we spend all of our time
constructing our own.
the truth is, life may be impermanent
but the details are not.
time has one direction
the past cannot be revisited
and history cannot be redone
with a red pen.
what happens, happens.
we are walking permanent records
that can never be expunged.
no matter how many orphans we pull from fires
no matter how many dying children we sing to
we still made our mother cry once
we still let our little brothers find us passed out
on the front porch when we were nineteen.
imagination is our primary retreat
because there, that boy does fall in love with us
and our first kiss is not spit on our chins
or misses landing on our nose
(maybe there are waves crashing in the background)
and we say everything right.
there, we have crafted a version of ourselves
that lives perfectly.
“if i could,” someon
caterpillars will become butterflies.You called it a whole other world.caterpillars will become butterflies.3 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
"It's a fortress," you tell me when we sit at the bay window, thrown wide open.
The spider webs would cut thousands of crystal strokes under my windowsill in between rainy seasons, and each morning we'd sit out in the yard and I'd watch you sketch the dewdrops ebbed in the tiny satin tightropes. Your father hated them, but you wouldn't let him touch them.
"Everything so geometric and miniature. It's amazing."
The structure of my bones became geometric and miniature, too, so you could trace every line sitting in that window, with the curtains billowing like butterfly wings.
But I never noticed that you never noticed the butterflies.
You called me your little fairy girl.
"Little fairy girl," you tell me in the kitchen. My mother has just wed your father and I already like you. "Little fairy girl, so small and fragile."
Couldn't you see it, Jeremy? Couldn't you see how I followed you like a moth would to flame? You plucked me from the vine an
now it's just dirt under my fingernails.Novak carried an umbrella with her everywhere for nine years. And when he asked her why, she told him, "Ever since my dad died, sometimes it feels like the sky is falling."now it's just dirt under my fingernails.3 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
That was six months ago, and he still catches himself checking for cracks between the clouds when it rains.
He likes to remember her eyes. The left was blue and the right was brown, like two people in one, and faded, like old photographs.
But then he remembers that old photographs are the only things she exists in now, and his office will get so small that he needs to go outside to breathe.
He wanted to be gentle, even if he couldn't think of a way how. But things were already ruined between them, and he knew that long before he ever sat her down in his parlor.
"If you have to hate me, I want you to," he said. Her face was deadened by the weight of her pain. "As long as you feel anything for me, I want you to."
She shook her head. And she kept shaking it when he followed her, his bare feet
Drinking in The AfterlifeFor someone who had killed herself, she was awfully cheerful. She was sitting at a small, one-person table in the corner of the pub, twiddling her hair and giggling. There was a bottle of beer on the tabletop. If I hadn't known that it was untouched, I would have thought she was drunk.Drinking in The Afterlife3 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
"Something amusing?" I asked, having walked up to her.
She jumped and looked towards me, her eyes finding mine. She smiled somewhat sheepishly. She was such a pretty girl. Why she'd killed herself, I couldn't imagine.
"I just can't believe this," she said. "Who'd have thought there'd be pubs in the afterlife?"
I nodded in understanding. "Indeed."
She tucked a strand of hair behind her ear, then reached out and touched her beer. She picked it up, then set it back down. "I was worried there for a while," she mused. "Suicide being a mortal sin and all. Thought I'd end up in a lake of fire or something."
"If you don't mind my asking," I said, "why did you take your own life? If memory serves me right, you ha
i only asked for the end of the world"i found shadows in the sun again,"i only asked for the end of the world3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
i looked at her
with a gleam of sarcasm in my eyes,
as she looked down with wind in her hair.
the night looked lovely on her.
the purple of post-nebula progression
it made her eyes look electric blue
though they were a soft green.
"i said, i found shadows on the sun again."
she'd never look up unless
she couldn't breathe and needed
to pull a sigh out of her butterfly winged lungs.
and that bothered me;
- she'd refuse to breathe
only because the air seemed
she'd give up so easily sometimes.
i run out of pretty things to say
but she looks at me expectantly,
hoping i'll find my muse
within the corner of he
listen:1.listen:2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
People will let you down.
You’ll love them, anyways.
Don’t let anyone romanticize
It won’t be beautiful
when somebody breaks your heart
the first time
or the second
or the eighteenth.
Pain is not beautiful.
Maybe on paper
but not inside of you
not in numbers.
A million people
but you’re still here,
and that's important.
You're doing something
My father told me
“Be selfish –
if you don’t take care of you
I liked to think
that this is the reason
he ignored me
I don’t have good advice
on this one.
Because the people who let you down,
are the ones promised to save you.
Are the ones promised to love you
and protect you
and I’ll tell you,
nothing quite hurts
like waking up in the morning
to the police in your doorway.
Nothing quite hurts
like being eleven
and hearing a cop say
“Poor girl had to live wi
history remembers.i.history remembers.2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
history repeats itself.
i realize this the fourth time i find myself on a couch
with the head of a boy i don’t know
between my stiff, nonresponding legs.
i realize this on the third sip of alcohol. on the fourth.
the fifth. the eleventh. the first time i black out. the eighth.
history repeats itself
and i am napoleon marching across russia
and i only pretend the water is poisoned.
i only pretend the earth is burned to ground.
i pretend that destruction is inevitable
and that help is not an option.
we got close, him and i.
sometimes you get so close to a person
you can feel their lips stiffen
when you try to kiss them.
sometimes you get close to a person,
under them, between damp sheets.
they never stop believing
that you are beneath them.
“help me,” he says. i say okay.
he tells me to sleep with him later
so i say the wrong name in bed,
but so does he;
he means it,
i say it because it’s the only way i can
boys that want you, boys that love you.1.boys that want you, boys that love you.2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
there are four kinds of love.
the first is honest.
the first is messy.
it’s smeared makeup.
it’s tears over a martini.
it’s people dancing alone.
it’s off-key singing, at the top
of your lungs.
it’s unmade beds.
it’s the hickey on your neck.
it’s the gasp he gave
when he first saw you,
how he missed your lips
when he tried to kiss you.
after he made you cry.
the second kind is what you feel
for the boy lying next to you.
there’s cigarettes in the ashtray,
panties on the floor,
a lump in your throat,
and he does not love you back.
the third kind is when you'll meet
and that little moment will stretch
into something huge and permanent,
into a month/six months/a year
of a million glances that you'd thought
it’s when you'll say nothing
and neither will he
because there will be no need
because he'll very nearly smile
and you'll know.
you never knew.Every summer in Munich the rain used to fall in buckets tepid, luminescent rain, like crystal slices, sluicing through the green trees leaves and loosening the earth around the mountains so much that the smaller towns had to evacuate. It slicked the city streets and made the sky as gray as them. I went out every day while the adults sat indoors around fireplaces to complain about the wet weather, and lied and said it was only because I liked to watch. My mother would shake her finger every time I dripped warm rainwater into the house and my brother would warn me in whisper that if I stayed out too long, I could drown.you never knew.3 years ago in Emotional More Like This
I only half-lied. I loved to watch, watch from under the loose flooring of the porch as the rain came down. But Sam loved the rain more, and that was part of why I loved to watch. Loved to watch him watch. As we got older, more and more he would venture out, and sit in the grass as the rain fell around him, his face turned to the white sky. Sam liked the peace and
FeverI like pretending I mean something to the ghostsFever3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
who wreak havoc on my bones-
impaling these masochistic butterfly wings
on railroad spikes
between heartbeats and bedsheets,
I got a heart in New Orleans,
palms engraving names like
Juliet, Alexandria, & Christine
on the seats of greyhound buses.
& I'm offering up 102 degrees of skin to a godless moon
as I breathe in her night scent.
I dreamt of a flood and you were the waterLight bulb eyes,I dreamt of a flood and you were the water3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
burning through me like
crash into me
as I dream,
your ocean spits me out
through seaweed teeth,
and I love you,
but you blink light
and breathe water,
so not only am I blind,
I am drowning.