Incessant beeping and beeping–someone’s next to me. What was her name again? She’s putting shades over my eyes.

Oh, me? No, I’m not a nurse, but I want to be. This is just a shirt I got in high school. Oh, he’s distracting me. Why is everything so loud? It’s getting louder and louder and louder and louder…

I can’t see anything. Wasn’t there a light before? I can see this room from the outside. I can see my mom’s car from here. I can’t feel my hand. He must’ve struck a nerve with that needle.

I can’t keep my eyes open.

“You’re done,” I vaguely remember her saying as she pulled the oxygen tube from my nostrils. “Keep your eyes open for me.”

Who kept closing my eyes? Am I supposed to be this dizzy? Can I talk? I can’t feel my tongue.

“How do you feel?” she asked me.

“Dithy,” I felt like I said.

I liked to think I could just open my eyes and be okay. Drugs? Sedatives? What are those? They don’t work on me.

But I hardly remember anything. It’s been three hours? Holy hell.

They wheeled me into my mom’s car sometime in those three hours and now I’m awake on the couch at home like a babbling old woman who can’t help herself to the bathroom or to change out the bloody gauze pads.

What’s on my hand? Oh a gaping hole from the intravenous they put in me. And I have stickers all over my torso.

Everything hurt and everything still hurts, please make it stop…


    The Heart of Who I Am

    He’s a graying, older man. He is crazy, weird, temperamental, all the above. His methods are madness, but they have reason. He’s painfully old-fashioned–sticking to the flash on his DSLR to take pictures and pieces of paper to make reminders for himself and flip phones to text you. His emotions run wild more often than not, exploding with happiness and enthusiasm and sinking with dejection and displeasure.

    Seeing him weep in sorrow breaks your heart, bringing uncontrollable tears to your eyes to pair with the anchor chained to your heart at the thought of leaving his side, leaving his classroom, the place where you learned to become who you are meant to be and accept it.

    I miss the old fart.

    I never would have picked up a book again had he not inspired me to. Then I never would have tried out creative writing. And I certainly never would have dreamed of starting a blog–a blog about my personal thoughts and stories.

    He was the one person I had an easy time talking to in the most difficult times of my life.

    He let me express myself however I felt, no limits, no boundaries, nothing to stop me in or out of however far the eyes of my imagination could see.

    In my last week of his class, he wept almost uncontrollably in front of the entire class, admitting shamelessly that he would miss us all.

    And after walking across the stage that bittersweet 30th of May, he gave me a sincere hug and congratulated me, reducing me to tears of sorrow and grief.

    I love that old man.

    Say ‘When’

    You think about him sometimes and you remember how he drives you crazy, drives you completely insane, up the wall.

    You remember how idiotic he is sometimes.

    You remember the things he said that completely put you off.

    You remember his terrible habits and tendencies.

    You remember how he called all his other friends idiots so he only ever talked to you outside of camp in his free time because you’re “not an idiot. You’re smart.”

    And you remember how you thought he has no moral capabilities or ethical thinking.

    But then all of a sudden, he remembers the first time he ever tried to kiss you up on the theater catwalk in your high school, but you got so nervous and left before he even got a chance.

    And now he tells you he remembers the time when you sang and played your guitar for him before your spring concert.

    And he constantly reminds you that you’re on his mind.

    And when he misses you and you send him a picture every once in a while, he never fails to call you beautiful.

    And you’re the only person he really remembers from the time before he left for camp.

    And aside from being brainwashed almost completely, you’re the one thing he can remember, the one person he can recall memories and experiences about.

    And you hung out with him a couple weeks before he was off, realizing you’d kind of miss his company, his naive, but fun-loving company, because it helps you forget the multi-faceted, complicated world for a while.

    And now you’re looking forward to reuniting with him as you say goodbye to your teenage years over burgers and shakes that he’s completely forgotten about over the months he’s been gone.

    And he’s looking forward to it, too.

    His Dream

    Knocking on the stark white door, the sound echoed off the glass walls of the hall. The stairway and railings leading to the upper floors of the apartment building were silver and stainless, the steps seeming like floating slabs of marble stone. I pulled the black coat I wore snugly around me, feeling cool air emanate from the cold, futuristic, and calculated architecture.

    The door squeaked as a woman opened it. Her black sweater fit to her slightly heavy-set body just as her flared denim jeans did her legs. A broken smile played on her lips along with her sore, red eyes slightly wet with fresh tears. She didn’t speak.

    “Can I come in, ma’am?” I asked politely. The sorrowful woman stepped back and opened the door wider, nodding.

    I stepped into the living room which was just as futuristic and modern as the outside of her apartment. “I just wanted to know a little bit about your husband, if that’s okay with you, ma’am? We’re hoping it will help us find out who did this to him.”

    “That’s fine,” her voice broke, clearly unused for a long while. She swiped her tears as soon as they fell, clearly trying to get a hold of herself.

    My chat with her felt uneasy at first, making slow progress, but I managed to get a few details about her husband’s workplace and the places he traveled for work out of town. Towards the end of our conversation, she seemed more open and relaxed.

    “Mommaaaaaa!” a tiny, little boy with dark hair just like his mom’s and tiny, little shoes to go with his tiny, little stature, came zooming through the living room, holding a toy robot high above his head, pretending it could fly through the air.

    “Hi, honey,” the woman cooed, “Why don’t you go to the kitchen? Momma will be there to make you a snack in a minute.”

    His toothy grin widened from ear to ear as he waddled his way to the kitchen across the hall.

    “He and I didn’t have our son when we first moved to this city,” the woman smiled softly, reminiscing. “He was still my fiance when we looking for an apartment here in downtown and he fell in love with the buildings.”

    “That’s very sweet,” I let myself indulge her momentarily.

    “He and I went to the rooftop of a parking lot one day and there was this big, unoccupied space right next to it,” she sniffled and paused before continuing. “He looked at me and said, ‘This spot has potential, babe. Don’t be surprised if, in the next five years, there’ll be a skyscraper.’ Becoming an architect was his biggest ambition, his biggest dream.” The sweet expression on her face made my heart unwillingly melt. I knew it was required of me to remain professional, but something about this woman broke down those walls.

    She looked at me for a moment as if waiting for me to say something. All that came out of me was a seemingly cold, “Well, thank you for your time, ma’am. I should get going then, my partner said he might have a lead,” as my phone lit up with a text from Sulley.

    “If there’s anything else you need, his belongings, anymore information,” the woman listed, “Don’t hesitate to ask.”

    “Thank you ma’am, your assistance is much appreciated,” I said as I stood up and made my way to the door. She followed me to open the front door and as I took a step outside, she leaned on the door frame, crossing her arms over her chest. “Did he build the skyscraper?” she asked. I turned around to look at her over the threshold. “By the parking lot on Commerce?”

    I racked my brain to remember which one she was referring to, then I saw it vividly in my mind, the silver and glass skyscraper looming high above, casting shadows over the surrounding buildings. “Yes, I believe he did, actually. They just finished it a few months ago.” I felt myself giving her a soft smile.

    And with that, the woman simply nodded and closed the door to her apartment.

    My Fire

    For all I know, you could be staring at unsent text messages.

    For all I know, you could be asking your friends if they’ve heard anything about me.

    For all I know, you could be completely disregarding the time gap between us.

    For all I know, you could be remembering the funny things we said to each other and chuckle to yourself.

    For all I know, you could be thinking about the one moment time froze and no one could move.

    For all I know, you could be trying to validate your confused emotions with your friends.

    For all I know, you could be hunting for affirmation.

    For all I know, you could be getting the shivers when remembering that real feeling you got one time.

    For all I know, you could be forgetting what you’re supposed to be doing because you get so helplessly lost in your mind.

    But for all I know, this all could just be me and my internal warfare, all of it just me thinking about you, me not sending messages to you, me helplessly falling and falling for you when I remember your face as you coquettishly narrow your eyes in a conversation with me. For all I know you might not even be real. And for all I know you could just be a figment of my wild imagination, one which I spent my entire life anticipating, but learning that, I am, in fact, on an everlasting search for what I was made to love. Made to love with a fire and eager flame. Because you have, in fact, not yet been found.

    Note to self

    17 December 2015

    ​There’s no easy way to get away from hard times. Actually, there’s no way at all. I know it sounds awful and I know it’s easier said than done, but take my word for it. You typed a 10 page research paper the day before it was due in 14 hours. You survived the seemingly endless number of band practices after school every day on top of a full schedule of classes (not to mention puberty). You lived through a terrible, terrible breakup built on spite and disbelief. I don’t know how, but you made it in Rome, one of Italy’s hottest cities, on one outfit, hotel soap, and broken Italian for three (technically four) days. You’ve been played, betrayed, and lied to by people who claim to have “good intentions.”

    You can do this.

    What am I talking about? I can do this.
    I may not have someone waiting for me with open arms and an endearing smile, knowing a hug is all I need after a stressful rush at work, or after my 8 hour Saturday class, or after I write a 6-10 page term paper, or a two page career analysis, or after I finish a 5 chapter lab test, or a two chapter lecture test, or after my life as an omnivore is threatened by unnecessarily violent documentaries, or after hours of doing research for a persuasive speech. But really, I have myself, right? I mean I’m already making notes to myself that it’s going to be okay. But why can’t you believe it? Why can’t I believe it?

    Every girl deserves flowers

    The two friends I took to dinner with me on my nineteenth birthday are fighters. They fight for their opinions, their ways, justify their madness. They stand up for themselves, for each other, for the ones they love, for everything they believe in.

    And the one and only reason they ever fought with me was to make me believe that I’m so much more than I am. I don’t think they could ever actually argue with me–it’s not in them and it’s surely not in me. I love them to death.

    She inspired me to become a writer when she told me being a writer is all about making normal, boring things sound interesting, make it into a story. I have lived off of her quote since the day she said it last October when my first college English paper was due. She constantly reminds me that if ever I face times of adversity and rejection and neglect, it’s not because of me, it’s simply the people around me making misjudgments and wrongly conceptualizing and misconstruing my story.

    He told me that people really can be idiots and that I am my own unique person and if people don’t agree with me or what I believe in, they’re not in the right place. He constantly convinces me that my dreams are not stupid at all because he’s had some of the same crazy dreams I’ve had, much to my surprise.

    For my birthday, they made it very clear they didn’t want to make any decisions for me on “my day,” they called it. And they refused to let me pay for dinner, they told me they’ll all do whatever comes to my mind, they never let me hold a door for them. They told me a “pretty girl” like me should enjoy her birthday.

    And after stealing flowers from every single bush we passed, strolling around the center, they handed me a lovely arrangement of handpicked blooms, straight from mall property and straight from their hearts, meaning more than twelve stems from the grocer ever will.

    “Every girl deserves flowers,” they argued simply.

    Mortal Smile

    Her voice echoed, mellow and sweet, through the buzzing air of the lounge, silencing everyone at the first note. The fabric of her red chiffon dress curved and contoured to her tall, slender body and her long diamond earrings swayed with every slight movement of her head, twinkling like stars in the spotlight. Her hair was slicked back into a clean, black ponytail, showing off every inch of her dark, caramel skin.

    A lovely dream she was–what a lovely dream of a woman, a muse.

    Every person in the lounge sat, stupefied, stunned, staring and ogling at the dame in pure awe. The vibrations and fluttery inflections of her crisp voice sent shivers down everyone’s spines, over everyone’s skin. Her eyes remained squeezed shut in passion and hypnotism with the song she delivered.

    Her lyrics were expressive and mesmerizing, visions of love and a romance in the cold, dead of winter swirling and surrounding the heads of her listeners, all helpless to the tune of the song. The trumpeter complemented her as though the instrument was his own voice, serenading, proclaiming his love for her from the street up to her balcony for her to sway to and fro along with his melody.

    The only other sound in the expansive room was the occasional jingle on the door and the bead curtains clacking together every time someone came in from another room but never for a second did she lose focus.

    She stood so powerful, so confident and sure of every sound, every movement she made, an idol for everyone with or without dreams to be like her. She was a most beautiful being, almost goddess-like.

    And at the close of the number, her intimidating visage of unbeatable focus and concentration dropped, revealing a mortal side to her, her breaths catching, as a human smile stretched her tinted red lips into a charming grin of pure pleasure.

    Oh, Kansas City

    I had a dream.

    I had a dream you were telling me something.

    You were telling me all about where you live, where you’re from.

    You wanted me to send you letters every now and again, so you gave me the address to your apartment.

    I woke up with my heart throbbing, my head pounding, wishing I could remember exactly what you looked like so I could dream about you again and again.

    I’m really into you.

    And I miss you, every day. Every single day.

    How can I see you?

    We’re so far apart… And I don’t know how to find you.

    You made me feel like I wasn’t alone, I wasn’t just anyone–I was someone. To you and to everyone you knew, I was someone so special, someone you couldn’t ever dream of letting go.

    But now, I don’t know where you are. I’ve never felt so helpless, so painfully, painfully helpless. I’ve never felt more alone and empty.

    I had a dream where he brushed me off, but you didn’t. You made me… Whole. You picked up what he didn’t want and dusted it off and made me better.

    How do I convince myself you’re not completely gone from my life? How can I convince myself you weren’t just… Anyone I’d meet?

    There’s something important about you, otherwise… You wouldn’t have come into my life in the first place.

    I miss you. I hope fate is telling you I do. I would if I could…  I could just fly there and tell you. I’d write you letters and that would be on every envelope. I’d show it off like a tattoo on my arm. I’d tell you every night before we hang up the call.

    The world doesn’t need subtlties–ambiguity isn’t easy to understand. I wish I could scream it to the world and you could hear it all the way over there, where you are, where I want to be.

    I miss you. I miss you so much.

    My Sunshine

    I find it a little difficult to let you go, watch you leave.

    Not for forever, of course.

    Just for the night.

    Because I know that, soon, I’ll see you once again. But shrinking behind me, in the distance that grows more and more with each breath, along with you, is the brightness, the woo of your positivity and optimism–the sunshine of my day. I miss it sometimes. I think about it.

    I think about you. Quite often, actually.

    I wonder if I ever cross your beautiful mind.