Some nights, like tonight, when I want to get away from it all, I’ll climb into my car and just go for a long drive. The sound of the motor as it sneaks out the back door and into the countryside blends in warmly with the last remains of the day’s heat, leaving a dry taste in the back of my throat that suffocates all the words I should have said and cannot be quenched by anything except for sharp inhales of the cold. I remember thinking just how warm it’s been lately, and maybe I should have paid more attention to the weather forecast, but I just couldn’t take my eyes off the reporter. She reminds me so much of my mother when I was younger, when she still put sandwiches sans crust in small brown bags instead of bottles of slurred words and half-remembered anger. How I miss those days when I didn’t have to worry about hands across the back of my head.
And I awake to see my left hand reaching over beside me out of memory, seeking to grasp another, only to find there’s no one there, and “Just Like Heaven” is faintly embedded into the back of my mind because that’s the only song my stereo ever seems to remember. And I’ll just drive and think and drive, trying not to succumb into my despair, but rather searching the streetlights for a distraction, away from this feeling of emptiness.There’s a nice little lookout some miles away, atop a hillside of golden wheat. During the day, there’s not much to it, but when I park there at night, my god, you can see the infinite stars stretching across the vast canvas of the night sky. The sight of downtown blurs against my fingers as I draw in breath after dying breath, letting the ashes bleed themselves out and drip onto the hood of my car before I snuff them out against my palm, leaving little galaxies of black holes against my skin. The view is absolutely breathtaking, and holding desperately onto a warm cup of coffee and watching the world as it turns makes me feel so wonderfully insignificant. From my little haven above, I wonder, sometimes for hours, what must be going on down there, what the story is of each individual who’s carrying out their lives at this very point in time, where all those city lights must come from. The comforting lamp of a small child about to fall asleep, whose parents love him very much even though he doesn’t quite understand it yet. The desk light of a college student, exhausted, unsatisfied, working deep into the hours and hoping this will all pay off someday. The flickering streetlight about to give way, the only source of warmth and love a gentleman on the park bench has left in this world.
There is no tunnel on the drive back, but it’s moments like these when we feel like Charlie, and it’s nice to have lots of these moments.
I only wish I had someone to take with me on these night adventures. Someone that also appreciates the broken air conditioner because that means feeling the breeze through the cracks in the window, someone who understands what 2am really means, someone to hold hands with as we watch the violent universe unfold before us in the form of empty highways. Someone to just talk with for hours about absolutely nothing.
By the time I park myself into the garage again, the night falls completely silent, and I find myself alone with an empty tank of gas, more unwanted thoughts than I had started out with, and no appetite for sleep anymore.
I think there’s nothing more I want than to be able to sit with someone on top of one of the buildings in downtown. There’s just something beautiful about being with a close friend on the rooftop at night, in silence, listening to police sirens in the distance and letting unsaid words linger in the air. We don’t have to talk, and maybe it’d be better that way. Just take time away from all of the pain that comes from going back out there. I want to smoke cigarettes with them, a bottle of stolen alcohol placed evenly between our hands, watching the ashes drip between our feet and onto the streets below, and each exhale melting into the constellations. I want it to be close to midnight, but not quite, so that the city is still set aflame with skyscraper lights, but it’s just late enough for our eyes to start feeling tired. I want to be able to sit with someone and have neither of us be tempted to want to jump, even if we’ve both known that feeling all too well our whole lives. But that night, we won’t need to jump just yet, because it would be comfortable and safe and warm, even if the night is bitter cold, and the world will continue to turn beneath us, but if we’re sitting up there on the rooftop, nothing else would even matter.
1. The wind that precedes a train.
2. The sound of eggs cracking, and sleepy voices at 6 am.
3. The way holding someone’s hand feels, especially if that person is hurting, and knowing that the gesture alone is the definition of comfort.
I’m swollen and bruised, but tonight, I think it’s okay, because I know that they come from trying to find my way home through the darkness. I don’t blame the streetlights for not wanting to illuminate the road. Not on nights like this, when my cigarette learns how to trace holes into my palms and my jeans and the sky. And I’ve grown into the habit of finding a different porch to sit on every night, and sometimes I wish that the driveway I choose to sit on tonight will be the home of someone as awake as I am, and they’ll come outside and we could talk and talk and talk until our words become swallowed up by the stars. And in the morning, they’ll scribble onto the front page of the newspaper their phone number, but I’ll forget to call, and they will have forgotten to write their name, so I could never look them up, but I think I’d be content anyways in knowing that someone out there knows my fears and secrets, the way my hand feels at 3 in the morning, and the fact that I live just down the block if they ever need to come and find me.
I hope they come and find me.
Someone comfortable. Someone who likes art just as much as I do. Someone who stays up at night to talk to lonely people. Someone who’ll hold my hand when I’ve had the worst day. Someone who likes to read. Someone who doesn’t mind spending an entire day with me talking about music over coffee. Someone who laughs often. Someone who finds beauty in everyone and everything. Someone who’ll steal my jacket to wear just because they can. Someone who likes breakfast, random notes, stupid movies, running in the morning, and fighting over who pays for dinner. Someone who’s a best friend first, and a lover second.
The sky looks fragmented this morning. There are cracks within the cracks of the clouds, and the ceiling is an undescribable shade of blue that no paintbrush could ever hope to replicate. And I find this to be both wonderful and sad, because I can only ever enjoy it from behind the glass of a second story window.
I wish I didn’t have to go to class today. I feel like I could learn so much more just from tracing jet trails across the horizon.
It’s 6:02 in the morning. And I have not slept for who knows how many years. But perhaps I don’t deserve to, because sleeping means forgetting, and I don’t think I’m quite ready to learn how to forget just yet. Or perhaps, I’ve forgotten how to, in which case, my entire life revolves around a paradox.
It’s 6:04 in the morning. Most people would be just getting up. Perhaps preparing a nice little breakfast of coffee and three eggs. I wish my life were that simple. I wish I didn’t have to rely on sitting at my desk for hours, fully dressed, as if refusing to change will, in fact, initiate just that. I wish I had someone to scramble eggs for.
It’s 6:05 in the morning. I still haven’t done my homework, despite the fact that I’ve had all night to think about it.
It’s 6:17 in the morning. My hands smell like smoke and cement. And then I remember that I did leave my desk once, a couple hundred of minutes ago, to walk outside. I only made it to the end of the street, but that’s farther than last time. Maybe one day, I’ll have the courage to keep going.
It’s 6:42 in the morning. Maybe I better go.
It’s 6:43 in the morning. And then I remember that I have nowhere to go to.
My bed feels so much nicer when I’m crawing into it at one in the morning after a grueling night of term papers. The sheets are cooler, the night is quieter, and sleep comes easier. It’s just late enough to call it staying up, and early enough to still have time to rest. The world is silent and the streetlights cast spotlights that illuminate a corner of my room. The rest of my bed is splashed with shadows of the moon as it wanes through the sky. Every so often, the warmth of a passing car will dance through the blinds, temporarily disturbing the blackness before disappearing into the world again. That’s when I close my eyes, satisfied, content, and with stars still floating around my eyes.
I’ll have to be up in a few hours, so I suppose this is goodnight, my friends.
There’s nothing nicer than sneaking into the swing bar late at night to have a glass of wine and watch old couples slow-dancing to the jazz band. There’s just something so warming about watching people still so happily in love years after they first met. I hope I find something like that one day.
This morning, I stood outside in the summer cold,
my hands folded neatly around the inside of my pockets, eyes
fixated, the wind growing roots around my ankles,
balled and chained into the concrete earth
my sweet October in the middle of July; but I think
it’s the first time I’ve felt the wind all summer.
The scent of houses burning wafted gently across the 7 AM
and I remembered it exactly as how I remembered you
the day I cried on my front porch two seasons ago,
chasing after your ‘91 Chevy
and begging for you to stay,
my words lost in the dust you left behind,
and ever since then, I’ve just been so sensitive to the weather.
Every day, I wish for the sun
but all I ever seem to get is the rain.
We lay there like a pair of parenthesis,
facing each other with the slightest semicolon between us,
not a single comma or period to separate the spaces in our fingers,
only young question marks hanging above our heads.
You smelled of day-old cologne,
and I could feel you figuring it all out
as you leaned in to give me the shortest kiss of my life,
the heartbeats of young lovers echoing,
breathing, into the sheets still sticky with honeycombs
from four nights ago, when
all of my drunken love had gone to waste.
Less than strangers, no more than friends,
the linen no longer as white as the moon,
we ran out of words for the remainder of the night,
so I just turned to watch you,
and through the phone booth, the reception crystal
cIear, I breathed I love you thirty-two times
and I wondered if you heard even a single one in your dreams.
I hope one day you’ll wake up and change,
but until then, I’m satisfied with watching you sleep.
It felt like an unplanned performance. I gently grasped your shoulders as we met in the middle, the taste of you so sweet against me. My hands slowly made their way down, tracing the curve of your hips. I wanted to feel every inch of you pressed into me, and I wanted to get to know you through bare touch of skin on skin alone. The moment felt ripe and fresh as I guided you down, holding closely onto you as we both fell downwards into a sea of linen. A split second of shared gaze before both eyes and lips shattered together again in a scorching embrace. I could feel you craving, spilling whispers and melting your chest into my arms. We augmented, and my heart began to give way as the nerves set themselves ablaze. I kept my pupils shut tight, but I could sense you arch your back as you wordlessly gasped. The insides of my ears tickled and the nape of my neck began to shiver and stand as you sighed, moaned, laughed. It was tremendously real, every urge, every rhythm that crescendoed into pulsing waves. I longed to map you out, to explore every mountain and crevice that makes up your entire being. I wanted to discover you, your poisonous skin, your luscious tongue, as you slowly made your way towards the pillowcase, only to fall headfirst swimming into the blankets and back to me. The graceful movement of your body ebbed and flowed, and it reminded me of the way the delicate tide gives way into the coast as it carelessly seeps into its sides. My quivering fingers aimlessly half-gliding through your unruly hair, I slowly kissed your naked flesh on my way down, pulling you closer towards me, until the familiar warmth enveloped me and wrapped itself around my tongue. I could feel you climaxing in euphoric bliss, encasing your exposed skin in a smooth, sensual pleasure until beads of sweat dripped slowly onto your thighs and every cry that you let escape from your glistening lips grew increasingly heavy with carnal delight. You sighed lustfully, bathed in pleasure. I moved into you softly one final time, swallowing every emotion, and I could feel you giving way into me as you erupted, exhaling a resounding breath of fiery passion and pure, uncensored joy.
I just want to fall in love through a cafe window and take someone special home to an apartment with twenty-eight floors and race them all the way up the stairs and sweep them through the front door with the windows open and the lights off and hold their hand while we read aloud to each other in an empty bathtub while sharing inexpensive wine and listening to good music and the scent of baked goods in the oven filling the room and kisses in bed and warm legs and cold toes and light hearts and a puppy at our feet and late nights and fresh linen sheets and all of our problems dissolving away is that really too much to ask?
On Monday morning, my heart began to ache to see you not there
I got up to set the table for two
forks, spoons, butter, and toast
and bacon in the frying pan
then went into the shower to drown in the 9 AM
you always liked to let the water run,
and we would always find ways to make love
until steam ran in wisps underneath the bathroom door.
But this morning, my bare body felt more naked than ever
without your spotted arms to caress me in clothes.
So I just stood there
letting the water cascade over me
in ear-splitting waterfalls
and I thought
until my fingers became wrinkled like shriveled up grapes
and I remember thinking how I wanted to grow old with you.
On Tuesday morning, I stood outside to read the mail
looked at the water bill,
and just sighed.
Reminiscing upon the past brought back those nights heavily loaded with martinis and glass, the slivers of moon boring papercuts into my sides. We sat together on the porch, watching God steal the sun out of the sky and cracking eggshells into the horizon. My eyes sank deep into the coffee mug, staring at my lukewarm reflection grimacing back at me. It was still and quiet, regrets of the night before still hanging thick above our heads and refusing to dissipate away. Maybe if we had drank a little more, talked a little faster, waited a little longer, things would have been different. You cradled your head in your hands, and as I looked over, I remember thinking how I barely knew you. How long could we remain like this, deliberate and fragile, enraged at the bitterness the world has come to display towards us? And yet we continue to sprint in the opposite direction whenever help comes dashing to our aid. Why do we deny the things we deserve, inconsolable or not? It’s at times like this where the most unrecognizable faces become our own. I’ve searched in all the wrong places for all the right words, so it’s without a doubt that the landscapes that I’ve torn apart in sheer agony have yet to grow back and produce any fruits worth bearing. There’s no one left to tend to them. The rest of the world has fled the apocalypse. I watched the wind ruffle your hair, and the sweet smell of cherry cigarettes stung my eyes. But it could’ve just been the tears. We were long past the point where a simple apology would suffice. No infinite combination of twenty-six simplistic characters could ever compose a eulogy meaningful enough to express just how much my candle needs your flame. Vast cities of imagination used to be the inevitable possibility, but now, we’re lucky if we ever get ten more goddamn minutes of silence in bed. From one broken soul to another, I only wish I had the raw courage to speak the truth. I wish I were brave enough, strong enough, to fight for you. I should’ve spoken up, told you right then and there just how much you meant to me. But I stood up instead, to pack, to bring the suitcases to the door and the gun to my head, in a desperate attempt to recapture your attention. It was a showcase in vain, however, for you had already rushed out onto the porch, refusing to ever look back. I looked up in time to hear you call back with the promise to return.
But it’s been two years, and I haven’t seen you since.