Forget About It

Re-reading a letter I sent to one of my many penpals just six months ago, I realize how much I’ve changed, how much I’m growing into the adult I never hoped to become, in a mere six months. The things I rambled about may well have been from an entirely different person with different concerns, different ideations, a still hopeful but ignorant, different perspective.

I no longer take things lightly and I don’t know if it’s a blessing or a curse. Everything means so much more than it should, but something that shouldn’t weighs more on my shoulders than it ever needed to.

I guess that’s just what real life does to you.

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Now They Know Me

September 25, 2017

If they didn’t before, then they damn well should.

If they didn’t know my name, now it’s branded into their minds.

If they didn’t know my face, now they do.

It’s not wrong to love myself and to appreciate every aspect of me that I was born with—my awkward tendencies, my overexcited chatter, tripping over my own feet.

I thought for a second it bothered me, but quickly realized loving myself is too damn important to worry about why I shouldn’t wear my favorite five inch heels, why I shouldn’t spend time doing what I love, why I shouldn’t act like the youthful spirit I am and step out of my comfort zone sometimes.

And if they had nothing else to remember me by but the one time I didn’t hide in the shadows, then so be it.

While they stand by watching, I’ll bask in the limelight.

Palm Trees

September 24, 2017

Where I come from, if there’s perfect weather, it must be a good day. When the breezes are crisp, when the sun isn’t blazing hot, when there’s not a drop of water from the sky, that must be a good day.

I remember those palm trees, the ones planted in my neighbors’ yards, I remember when they were little stubs compared to the vast land they adorned. I remember getting whacked in the face by the growing fronds when I didn’t look while walking with my family or bike racing with my friends down the sidewalk.

I remember thinking the driveways were enormous and the street was too wide, so chasing after a basketball or soccer ball gone astray was always a chore. I remember hiding behind our neighbors’ bushes, crouching on their front porches when playing hide-and-seek at nine o’ clock at night, never being chastised for trespassing private property because we all knew each other.

I remember venturing off to the bayou behind my best friend’s house, the one that was bordered by giant metal gates that we, as small children, could easily climb under to take a seat on the downward slope of the hill to watch the Sun set behind the houses on the opposite side.

Somewhere near the bayou was my first elementary school. Somewhere beyond the bayou was the high school I would have gone to. Somewhere in the middle, I had best friends who never let me say the word “hate” because it was a curse word.

Sometimes I wonder what would’ve happened if I stayed.

Shaggy Chronicles: Square One

September 21, 2017

Would it be blasphemous to say that I actually look forward to seeing you now?

So many questions! So much to think about. Such unspoken yearning. How could I confess something without coming off with the wrong aura, if there’s even anything wrong to give off?

My young, naïve heart wants to regress to what it was during my freshman year in college. Not totally heartbroken and disdainful and wary of entrusting my heart to another person. Especially now that I feel like I can finally trust someone, I can trust you.

But the years have taught me more than I thought I could learn and now I’m confining myself to square one because taking a step out would be too daring, uncomfortable, and possibly painful or embarrassing to have to deal with.

It would be selfish of me though, to try to make you understand how I feel, because I’d be wasting your precious time and neither of us has any to spare. It would be totally ignorant of your time-sensitive needs, trying to make this thing work, all the while your life is unfolding around you.

But past square one, I know, I might discover happiness my life had never been enthralled, entertained with. I know something lies beyond the pain and heartache of discovery and I know it’s incredible, more so than I’ve ever lived through.

It’s just that I’m afraid to roll the dice.

Laugh It Off

September 20, 2017

That’s what you do when it gets stressful, right?

I mean no one’s perfect, nothing’s perfect, by any stretch of the imagination. No one’s a mind reader. Nothing’s exactly how you or I would imagine it; nothing’s predictable.

I shouldn’t be put down by it, right? That’s how the saying goes? Stuff happens, just laugh it off? But this isn’t something I can take lightly. It’s quite serious, in fact, playing with real emotions here, emotions like fire with a vengence. Emotions not like the ones I carelessly threw around before.

I’m scared now, terrified of another downfall in the history of my life. I’m cautious in every next step I take. I have been since last year, never feeling like I’ve given my heart in its entirety for a long, long time. I’m wary of giving it away again, my heart, my peace of mind, my stability, my sanity. It’s not an easy feat. I did it once or twice before, both ending in destruction of my trust and self-esteem.

But I had a peaceful moment where my heart was on my sleeve, just a breath away from the hands of another, someone I deeply trust will take it gingerly and care for it.

I could simply forget about it ever happening to me, like another disappointment in my life. But this one means a lot to me, for some reason. They say you shouldn’t have high expectations and the less you expect, the happier you’ll be. But shouldn’t you expect something when they tell you to dream, too?

I don’t know. Maybe I’m just rambling because I’m still flustered about my painfully short exchange I was hoping would turn into an ear-bending, heartfelt tête-à-tête.

Or maybe my dreams are much too good for someone as mediocre and totally ordinary as myself.

My Girl

September 19, 2017

It’s strange and charmingly unexpected, the places you can find comfort, the company you can find comfort in. Despite all that you feared and dreaded, your heavy heart had become impossibly lighter, freer—with a little help from The Temptations and two-versus-one ping pong with a near stranger, but it lightened nonetheless. Watching people bounce their heads in tempo, or clap and cheer on dancing spectators brings an interesting sense of unanticipated togetherness.

And even if only a fraction of dread dissipated, it became a milestone, a benchmark, for your progress toward better things, an ounce less of weight upon your weary shoulders that you can be grateful for having eradicated.

Four Pennies

September 18, 2017

I don’t think I’ll ever forget the selfless, kind woman who emptied her pockets to pay for me to send a letter.

Or the sweet smiles exchanged between the clerks and customers.

Or the habitual but meaningful walks to the parking lot with my classmates, griping about our mutual disdain for busywork.

Or the class’s uneasy laughter and comic relief.

Or the casual conversations about post office boxes and nothing else in particular.

Or the momentary fluttering of my heart at the thought of my future.

It was another darn good day.

Shaggy Chronicles: Demolition Day

September 16, 2017

I have taken an irreversible turn into the darkest downward spiral of natural human existence.

Tumbling, crumbling down come the walls against the immensely powerful force of human nature.

Sometimes, I’m okay with it. On days when it doesn’t apply to me or anyone I know, I’m okay with it. When I don’t have to worry about getting hurt or losing someone, I’m okay with it. If it happens to someone else, I’m okay with it. I’m totally fine with it.

But all of a sudden, when I’m at the forefront of the storm, I’m not okay with it. The wavering uncertainty and raging, tempestuous currents, I’m not okay with. I’m not okay with what awaits me after the crashing down of this petrifiying fate of mine upon my feeble, unrepaired walls. I’m not okay with it because I don’t know. I don’t know what it is, what to expect, if I should even expect anything. I’m not okay with wondering if this is really my fate and not knowing if I should flee for my life from this tsunami, this natural human disaster, to where I can find mundane safety and comfort.

I’m traumatized. I’ve been flooded with thoughts before; this isn’t new to me. Oceans have washed over me before. Tsunamis have made me doubt all that I am, my fortitude, my courage. But the fear, the possibilities, the variability is not new to me, yet, every time, it feels as though I’d never felt it before, the paling, petrifying trepidation.

I fear for my life from so potent a weapon that natural human disaster yields, to which every knee bends, and that which brings tears to eyes and races hearts.

But nothing can stop nature from taking its course.

I fell for him even harder when he wasn’t there

February 23, 2016 (Short Story)

It was just his family talking about him; maybe a mother really is everyone’s greatest fan because she made him sound like a great catch then.

She had asked a favor of me a week prior, some house chore she couldn’t do by herself but her husband was at work so he wouldn’t have been able to help. I naturally accepted and on the drive there, I didn’t give her son a second thought.

But when I arrived, his absence, his being away for school, seemed to make him the topic of conversation the whole night through the spaghetti dinner she insisted I stay for in return for helping out. He sounded like some business whiz, a real wunderkind in the manipulative world of finance and entrepreneurship. He sounded like a down-to-earth, kind-hearted gentleman, especially when his mother suddenly told me I’m in a collage of his close friends and family that hangs up in his dormitory. She said she saw it the last time she visited him at school a drive away. He never struck me as the sentimental type (especially one who remembers me on purpose), so it certainly came as a fresh breath of air with his formerly polarizing personality.

The thing is, that wouldn’t have been considered the first time I fell for him, or even the last time. You know that feeling you get when you see someone every so often, your attraction to them dies when they’re not around, but when you do see them or talk about them, you end up finding another compelling reason to be magnetized to them?

Seeing as I’ve known him for so long, I remember at a young, cooties-fearing age, I thought he was absolutely repulsive. Everything he did disgusted me, no matter what it was, talking, joking, the way he dressed, simply existing. I remember when we were still in junior high school, he pretended he had a supermodel high school girlfriend who fawned over him, showering him in gifts and kisses and I nearly hurled in his face. What crazy girl would like this guy?

But as we aged, I firmly believed it was mortal sin for him to actually become handsome, still rejecting such an artifact.

It got to a point where I’d grown out of such ideas and learned to appreciate him for his handsome personality, his genuinely kind, selfless heart.

It still hasn’t been a week, so I might just be having another one of those climactic moments before the attraction dies again, with the forces of reality and stress acting upon it this time.

But for now, I’ll indulge the illusion.

Oh, My God

September 9, 2017

I must be going crazy. I should give it a week, right? Before I make any drastic decisions? Before I confess anything to myself?

But you’ve been filling my mind because you’re everything I’ve dreamt of in a person! After a week, you’ll still be the same person, but I just wonder if I’ll still think of you the way I have been…

I want to tell you, I so want to tell you something. But I have to wait a week. Usually these spells wear off after a week. I can wait a week.

Or maybe I can’t. I don’t know. I don’t want to wait. They say when you like someone, you should tell them, don’t waste time, don’t over-think it. I don’t want to wait either, but I also do.

I suppose it’d be best to wait a week before accepting this as a real feeling; uncomfortable and awkward, sometimes painful, situations come from rash decisions.

My brother and I had ventured to your house one time, trying to fiddle with the telescope so we could catch a glimpse of the Moon’s rocky surface. We weren’t sure if it worked, but when it began calibrating, we all leapt around in excitement, then you grabbed me in a quick, tight hug but immediately let me go when you realized what you were doing.

I brought you a red velvet and cream cheese cake one time. Because I remembered you liked it and I hoped to bring a smile to your face. I highly doubt you remember it. I highly doubt you even knew I brought it for you.

When we were still in high school, I remember calling you out of nowhere to rant about my life and get advice about marching band, blabbing for two hours or so. I spoke more than I listened but it didn’t seem to bother you one bit. I felt so relieved afterward. At least, I think I did.

And I remember one time, I visited your house and took up your mother’s offer for dinner with her and your grandmother while your father was occupied at the office and you were far, far away for school. I think I fell for you then, too. But I eventually got over it.

And another time, while helping clean your house, your mother was overjoyed about how I didn’t trash her precious photo album collections that were ruined in the great flood; I told her I didn’t have the heart to.

I’ve known you for a very, very long time, but I don’t want to lose you, lose your lovely company simply at the mercy of my yearning, floaty heart. I want to hug you, wrap my arms around your chest and forget about the awful reality around me.

You surround me with comfort and safety, with a certainty unlike any other I’ve experienced. From you, I know I’ll feel the devotion, the gravity of selfless deeds that laymen may undermine or disregard.

You remember the little things, the minute details of memories, the inside jokes, the anecdotes. It makes my heart all giddy knowing you remember them, too.

I see highly of you. I don’t know how I’d possibly scale the wall to reach something more than the lovely pleasure of knowing you on a quarterly-reunion basis. It’s intimidating, it’s daunting. I don’t know if I’d even make it halfway. There are so many opportunities for failure, too much risk for repercussions. I’ll never know until I try, right? Hell, I’m just too afraid to try!

But so long as I was able to impress you and potentially bring a smile to your face, maybe even an endearing chuckle, then I can live happily another day.