Category: Uncategorized

Stagnancy

Originally written in 2016. As I am closing this year out, I am tracking the patterns of myself. Almost more than a year ago, all of these thoughts still apply.

I see myself as a billion pieces all scattered around. I see myself with my slumped shoulders – afraid of my own life. A time like this I feel confused whatever life holds. I’m sure that these feel good quotes will let me get through the night. I’m sure these nostalgic, early 2000s songs will make sure I rock myself back and forth into feeling calm. Maybe that word should be numb. Maybe that word should encompass the feeling of just alright.

I see myself into shards, fragments, and strings of incomplete sentences. Some days I worry whether I have what it takes to honestly make a decision. On most days, I feel like I’m trailing behind some kind of experience I should have known already. On most days, I feel needy and clingy for some sign I can ground myself. On some days, I wish I could relieve myself the way I did as a teenager where I could cry the sadness out.

I’m not sure who I am; spiritually, personally, romantically, and any other adjectives associated with maturity. Ok, I’m not sure whether I’ll be proud when I look back at this moment when it becomes the past. I’m not sure I’m proud of how of my uncertainty. I wish I knew how to get close to people, without the fear of getting too close or being too much. My immediate response is to pull away and retract from any contact of human vulnerability. I can’t say when things hurt, I can admit how isolated I feel at times for no reason at all. I can’t say I love you without biting craters into the sides of my mouth, or saying it in the tone of endearment of (just friends). I can’t admit how scared I am in realizing I’m not sure what I’ll do with my life. I can’t admit I’m shoveling myself into financial debt for this experience. I can’t admit my shame in not accomplishing childhood things like riding a book or learning how to swim.

I’m stacking all my defects and carrying them around with me. I wear my weaknesses, as if it’s the only way to show humility. I’m whispering to God in my thoughts and dreams how I don’t know how to come back – but I’m fasting and holding onto the memorized Arabic words.

I’m forgetting how to like myself, I’m forgetting to call my family. I’m fearing whether they can accept all of me for what I have become, and have always been. I am afraid of loving the people in my life, because I’m so caught up in doing right.

Advertisements

Attempted romance

I wrote love letters to women who didn’t exist.

Perhaps, they are for myself.

Perhaps, my unconscious cradles them,

and takes them to bed at night.

I wonder if one day,

I’ll lace my fingers together and go on a long walk-

One where I won’t return until years later.

I wonder if I’m prone to running away from things.

Am I collapsible?

Stress is the Cheapest Contour a College Student Can Buy

I checked off the white and black grid boxes, before sliding the paper into the metal rectangular crate. Each day, I stood in the a la carte line, ordering the same thing. Weekday to weekday, the waxy grease paper stained my hands with the anxieties of college.

“That’s all you’re going to eat.”

“There’s no need to be stressed.”

“How are you?” “I’m doing fine, thank you.”

On pilot mode, I steered myself from one side of the campus with my eyes blurring past the trees and rain-slicked pavement. The metal door handle, the white staircase brick walls, the heat lamp above the pizza, the scuffed marks on my black boots, and the forced conversations. I dove headfirst into feeling like I had time for nothing at all. I swam inside the hours connecting two a.m. and seven a.m. which I calculated how much time I had left to write a paper. A paper whose words came out chalky in my mouth, and tasted like plaque build-up.

Pennsylvania’s fall felt like a heat lamp, whose ambiance left the skin lukewarm. By noon, I wore a light jacket. By three p.m., I clutched the jacket close to my abdomen and power-walked to the next building. By six p.m., my coat felt bulky against my tote bag, but at least the wind only whipped my face.

Senior year in college equals the amount of stress in an entire year crammed into a day. Perpetual tumbling, uneasy somersaulting, and haphazard sprints; I challenge myself in staying with the idea in mind I am graduating.

Yet, I feel as though someone has dropped me in the middle of the forest. They have left me with enough time to peel the blindfold away and recall faintly how the bumps in the road are familiar.

I learned, hadn’t I? My high school diploma in my back pocket, I had made it to college halfway across from where my credits began. The transcript states I started at community college and worked full-time. The transcript states that I transferred to well-to-do liberal art college. The grades fluctuated with the times. The resume changed as I navigated inside my anxieties about the future.

“What are you going to do after college?”

“I just hope you find someone nice.”

A friend, a coworker, my family, and my conscious all stood on my shoulders – as if God came down with a pen and paper wanting to know how much I wasted time.

It’s Thursday, the desk I sit in during Travel Writing has a gap between the floor under one peg. I awkwardly rock back and forth, creating offbeat counts when I press my pen to paper.

Today, I am living with myself and dismantling the fictitious dream I began at twelve.

9:12 pm. The dentist told me to stay away from sweets, and I’m sitting here chowing down on an oreo candy bar weighing my life options, in a dim lit room.

 

Her name in my mouth

Please remind me where I met you

copper-blushed girl.

Perforated brown leaves

coloring your eyes –

The black satin strands

falling down on your shoulders.

How do I carve your name out

of the forests, I’ve grown inside myself?

Joan of arc, sword-drawn activist

how do I cup your worth,

and show it to you?

 

 

 

 

 

Worry-stitched sleeping

I never sleep before midnight anymore.

Find me, curled in a C shape –

balled in a worry I won’t undo

until morning.

A morning where half the sky

slices the baby blue curtains

away from night’s navy nightgown.

If I weighed my worries in a grocer’s scale,

the store might overcharge me

for pounds I had last time.

My burdens fit me elegantly,

a form fitting piece –

I wear for any occasion.

Please, if you see me sleep,

don’t fear the strings

tightening and loosening.

These mere things orchestrate

my dreams.

 

 

Luna

Under the coolness of night, the insomniac insects fly frantically under the lamp post. Neon white orbs poking circles throughout the campus, I pass the posts one by one unafraid. Perhaps I am silly for not having fear on an all-woman campus. Perhaps I am allowed to quiet my breath, as I loop through the cycles of my frenzied thoughts. Out there, my mind flies in and out of the light like those by the lamp post.

Pouring back into the street, my friend’s scarlet red car pulled away from the diner two hours earlier. Through the car window, I sighed “the moon is my wife.”

Perched highly away from the world, and a face contoured with the light reflecting the sun – I admire her from a distance. I love best from afar I think. With the blare of punk rock, I sometimes fool myself in believing that I’ve already met my love. She is high – weaving dreams under other people’s pillows. She is high – with NASA’s expensive telescopes admiring the pock marks on her face.

Beginning with Pity

I felt it nearly a week later.

Hunkered down in my bedroom, I laid there with my legs strewn over one side of the air mattress. The whir of the plastic fan – which no longer turns in many directions – gave me my favorite white noise.

It doesn’t really matter.

In the other room, my father’s droopy eyelids fight with themselves on how long they can stay open. Usually, they fall back down within five minutes. Sleeping off the drunk haze, I sometimes wonder if he even dreams then.

The sunlight creates long, thin rectangular lines on the opposite side of my room. Hung over the blinds, I have a tapestry with two binder clips attached to either side. Laying there, I grovel in how much the past year flew by. The amount of heartache I self-inflicted with myself encourages me that I shouldn’t open up to people anymore. I won’t tell as many people that I love them. Each time, I trekked through the woods with spray painted tree trunks, hobbled in my converse sneakers through a small stream, and felt the warmth of a fire in the middle of an abandoned building – I missed a part of myself.

It doesn’t really begin how you think it does.

This daunting act of finding myself starts whether haphazardly. Whenever, I spend time alone – it can happen one or two ways. By definition, I am an introvert who succumbs to a hermit lifestyle. I have a phone, a notebook, food (mostly bread and snack things), and music. I’m set, right? Yet, other times I lay curled onto my bed with the frustration that the soreness in my back will not leave. Enacting the U-curl pattern of a caterpillar, I can’t seem to sit with myself.

I don’t want anyone to get me anything.

Six days and a few hours, I felt the tremendous weight of how alone I felt. It’s an invisible pain I suppress that resurfaces when I’ve buried my true self so far into the ground.

In the other room, my mother would lay outstretched on the living room couch. Half listening (and mostly sleeping), she enveloped herself in the biblical history YouTube videos. Our house would make the only sounds of two different TVs on either side of the apartment, the whir of my fan, and the tremendous amount of sorrow I felt on my birthday.