I absolutely adore parks. Be it a quaint and quiet patch of grass with a single welcoming bench, or an entire field overlooking a vast lake, I think parks are absolutely magical. Where else can you lay upon a fresh sea of green, separated only by a thin layer of fabric, while you trace the white trails in the sky? There are so many colors to be heard in the park, and it only takes a moment to realize this. In fact, you know what you need to do? You need to dig through all of those fading pictures and dusty suitcases in the back of your attic. Find that childhood bicycle with yellowing handlebars and groaning spokes. Strap on a backpack, any old backpack, filled with Hemingway and Wordsworth and Thoreau and Dickens, and just ride. Pedal until you’re completely out of breath and you can no longer feel your legs. Just make sure that you ride out to a park of sorts, so that you may collapse safely onto the grass and lay among the daisies as you catch your breath. Fish out your peanut butter sandwich or your raspberry salad, and spend the afternoon doing absolutely nothing. Write poetry on falling leaves, carve every emotion that wells and boils inside your chest into a nearby tree trunk, take photos of innocent labradors chasing after the big yellow frisbee in the sky. Relive your kindergarten years on the swings, and stretch your legs as far as they’ll go towards the sky, or feel the wind swirl within your lungs as you fall headfirst down a plastic slide. Don’t worry if you look silly whilst doing so, because moments like these are surely irreplaceable. Write a letter addressed to no one in particular, and fold it into the striking image of a little paper sailboat. Set it free upon the shimmering waves in the hopes that someone will kindly receive your words. And before you leave, make sure that you stand for just a moment, facing the park, and learn how to appreciate the simplicity and innocence a field of grass has to offer. Sure, perhaps the park itself isn’t the most magnificent piece of landscape in the world, but the wisdom it holds within it is invaluable, if one only takes a moment to acknowledge it.
Sometimes, I wonder why I wasn’t born on a leap day. Perhaps then, I could have avoided all of those birthday parties wasted on foolish desires. Why couldn’t we have played “Pin the Tail” like normal children? No, instead, we carried out science experiments on our own bodies-sex, drugs, and mismatched love. And even today, we live in a world of forced communication, where words fall right off the page and verb tenses don’t mean a thing anymore. We, as humans, walk on an earth infested with corporate graveyards and businessmen in ugly ties. We eagerly run down aisles of plastic flowers despite the fact that the inevitable possibility of separation awaits us at the end with a ring in a box. Why are we so desperate to fall in love? What ever happened to getting rough against library shelves and holding hands till it hurt? Arguments became complete silence, feelings became a contagious disease, and sex became way too easy. The world may be an ugly place, but the people who live in it will always be even uglier.
As much as I adore the June sun and how it watches me as I run barefoot across the grass on any given afternoon, I think I love weather like today’s even more. Its contradictory aspect makes it even more beautiful. Rain on a summer day is absolutely wonderful, in my opinion. Sure, it’s refreshing to go outside and lounge about in your SPF. But the song that taps upon your windowpane on days like today is a record that you wish would never stop playing. Granted, the effects aren’t quite the same during a whirring thunderstorm. But this, this is perfection. This is the kind of weather where you could run and twirl outside and not care in the slightest. You could bow down upon one knee and cup some of the sky into your palms. You could slosh about in the puddles with yellow boots. You could disturb the mirrors splashed upon the concrete, sail paper ships upon the lakes, and take a drink from the purest of reflections. The whispers of the rivers running through the street as cars spill them over into the gutters makes you wonder what corners of the world the water’s seen, and where they’ll go next. And that smell. The smell of wet pavement, of fresh rain, of calmness. And here I am, sitting cross-legged by the clouds’ light, reading my books with a big smile on my face, a box of cherries to my right, and the radio playing nostalgia behind me. Every so often, I look out my window at the big oak tree that sways gently in front of my eyes. He looks happy as he basks in nature’s tears. Every time the wind ruffles his leaves, it appears as though he’s waving at me. So I wave back. Perhaps I’m crazy for interacting with plants. But, then again, we live in a crazy world, don’t we? Maybe we should all take time off like this, to just enjoy the rain for once. Black coffee sears my tongue and drips down my throat as I outstretch a pallid finger to trace the rain that races down my glass house. The one on the left wins, and I smile again. It’s the little things. Draped in the gray overcast that peeps through my window, I resume my reading of Poe. The volume’s thick, but I’ve got all day. The rain’s not going anywhere, and neither am I.
It really doesn’t get much better than this.
I’m in such a good mood right now and the sun is setting and the leaves are falling and the wind is blowing and the tea is boiling and the coffee is brewing and the birds are chirping and the pies are baking and Bon Iver is playing. It’s the bluest shade of sky that I’ve seen in a long, long time, and the streams of white the jet planes leave make me feel small and safe. Our world is not just black and white, y’know. There are all sorts of colors to be heard, if one just takes a step back to listen. And the sun is still setting and the leaves are still falling and the wind is still blowing and the world is still spinning and I’m finally reminded that I’m still alive.
I wish I had someone to take with me to the beach. Far away from everything, just you and me. Far away from the buses and the cars and the noise and the constant disappointment.
I remember in elementary school being all excited and thinking about all of the things I could grow up to be. And then I think of the fact that I never became any of those things.
You know, there is honestly no kind of disappointment more crushing than self-inflicted deprecation.
But someday, I’ll take someone with me to the beach. And we’ll just get lost, tumbling in the sand and salt, building forts and watching the seagulls fly into the wind. We can stand together against the sunset, holding hands, and in that moment, all of life’s disappointments will just…vanish for a while. It’ll be innocent, like fifth grade all over again.
Whatever happens, someday, I’ll take someone to the beach.
You know, sometimes, I think it’s nice to be known as the unknown. That one forgotten person that sort of blends into the background, who no one really pays any attention to. Normally, I’d view it with such spite, and go about complaining how lonely it feels. But now, I consider it as a sort of unrequited blessing, if you will. I see that I have a kind of special privilege, because I can slip in and out of social situations and no one would take any notice. I can come, get what I need to get, and go, and no one would acknowledge my existence. And you know what? That’s okay with me, because I would much rather spend my lunches up in the trees, egg salad sandwich in one hand and binoculars in the other, than have to live through all that noise. Call me pathetically isolated. I don’t care, because honestly, it’s a gift to me, to have the ability to just stand up and leave, and have no one ask why. To be able to concentrate on your work in peace, surrounded by echoing music and nothing else. How many people can confidently say that they have the same privileges? Don’t get me wrong, it is nice to converse with what few friends I have. But, at the end of the day, loneliness is inevitable for us all, and maybe I’m just well-rehearsed for whenever those moments arise. I have no reason to resent this. Books make fine company, you know.
Yeah. I think I like being a nobody.
I think everyone should just take some time away from the flow of life, away from all the cliques and the pressured expectations, and let go of everything they know, for just a few moments a day. I believe that there’s a certain kind of understanding of people that you come to realize when you’re isolated amongst nature, and if everyone spent just an hour of their day sitting alone atop a rock or a tree, well, then maybe we’d all get along just a little bit better.
I burst into tears at the most inconvenient of times. When I’m at the grocery store shopping, I randomly start to cry. When I’m at the cash register paying for my goods, and the clerk at the cash register asks me if I have 18 cents more, I randomly start to cry. When I’m trying to ask someone a simple, simple question, I randomly start to cry. When someone in turn asks me what’s wrong, I have no choice but to shamefully walk away, and so it looks like I really don’t care. When I look at someone, and watch as the fluids swim through their eyes, I remember how painfully insignificant I feel on a daily basis. And, yep. I randomly start to cry.
But when my parents are screaming nonsense at me, both completely drowning in their own tears, I just sit there, all pathetic-like, my arms hastily crossed over my chest and a cold expression on my face. I don’t cry. I don’t flinch. I don’t fear. And when they’re done spitting in my ear, I just get up and walk away. No apologies. No words. No tears. I just leave.
And when I’m alone, sitting in silence, no matter how much I think, I simply cannot let it out. I just can’t do it.
Holy shit. What’s wrong with me.
Can we hold each other in silent secrecy, completely stripped of emotional bearings that hold us down, so that our bare skin may dance and touch? So that the only thing left on is the faint static of the radio in the distance, the background soundtrack that plays on and on while you wrap yourself around me. I’ll ruffle fond memories into your hair, dragging delicate fingertips across every crease and fold, memorizing every perfect imperfection. We can stare into each other’s spotted eyes, searching for answers to questions not yet asked, until a smiles cracks the silence and we break down in laughter. Would you fall in love with me for the night? Would you become my favorite feeling? Would you tumble through the sheets and dive into a pool of passion with your hand in mine? We can watch the curtains cast into the breeze and hear the falling of leaves, each touching down onto the earth, floating through the air as sheets of music torn from forgotten libraries. I’ll pocket the sunshine and cast it upon you when life grows weary. I’ll encircle your compass and build you a house made of pillows, a Keep Out sign neatly nailed to the front and an army of stuffed soldiers lined up to ensure that you feel safe tonight. We don’t have to talk. We can just lay upon the clouds for hours on end if you want, caught in a satisfactory silence, dandelion seeds blowing gently into the wind as we wonder where the rest of the world will end up. As long as I have you spread out alongside me, everything else will be forgotten. It’ll be just you, me, and endless possibilities.
It finally feels right, this method of slowly severing the umbilical cord of social connection. To throw caution, and dried eyed tears, mind you, into the wind. To cut off all interaction with every single human being that crawls on two legs. One by one, I’ve picked them off the cherry tree, without either one of us knowing it. The conversations began to dwindle as I continue to find excuses in secluding myself, insisting I spend lunches in hiding, hard at work in order to avoid eye contact and restricting my intake of both physical substance and hurtful words. All of those whom I used to brand my acquintances, well they aren’t called those anymore. Now? Now they’re simply known as strangers. It’s been months since I’ve upheld a single conversation of effort, because I cannot seem to bring myself to pay much attention to the words that pour from their noses, nor can they seem to understand my naturally pessimistic and cynical outlook on life. Even I don’t understand it. I just want to be alone, and I just want to get out. I’ve never really had any friends, and I know for a fact that I won’t ever find any. Who’d want a bastard such as myself? I guess I’m just done. There’s no point in saying goodbye if no one cares anyways. I could write a million eulogies in my own blood, build my own grave from scratch and stone, commit a full-scale apoptosis in front of my entire school, and still nothing would be noticed, the way no one notices the way I silently slip away into tiny holes during class or slowly but surely sew my mouth shut with barbed wires a little more each day. But it’s okay. I’ve got literature that needs to be read, work that needs to be done, thoughts that need to be scribbled down and flesh that needs to be mutilated. I need to be punished. Perhaps I complain too much as well, and so this is why no one bothers to genuinely say hello anymore.
I attend a psychiatric ward in disguise, illuminated by expensive fluorescent lighting. I stumble through the hallways, half-awake and disillusioned. Surrounded by voices, and I cannot tell if they’re the buzz emanating from the animals that prowl the lockers and slam my cold body into the walls, or if it’s the childish voices pricking at my ears again. I’m practically dead, and no one knows it. No one gives a second glance. I spend every waking moment lost in my head, trying to keep the claws from grinding out my eyes. I’ve replaced lecture notes with suicide letters. I have a whole notebook full of them, don’t doubt me on that. I skip classes just so I can avoid interaction with the disgusting beasts that slither along the waxed floors. Everywhere I turn, I see them. Tall and slender, creeping along, whispering to themselves that there’s just gotta be something wrong with me. They all resemble the same thing. No face, just total blackness, and when I reopen my lenses, I find myself on the opposite side of wherever I may be, with no recall of how I ended up in such a predicament. Every time I turn my gaze upwards, I see ghosts hanging by their throats from the rafters, dripping hot fluids onto the floor and staining them with hateful words. There’s nothing I’d like more than to join them. Oh, how I wish I were blind. To slip into a permanent, self-induced comatose. To deteriorate my only visual connection with the world, to jab and jam every sharp object into my pupils and dig them out, one by one, until my face leaks and all my thoughts seep out of my newfound eyeholes. And while we’re at it, why not take a stab at the ears too? Let’s screw in a TV dial to the side of my head and have the volume turned to an even number (because it always has to be an even number), to drown out the alters that are calling me to abuse myself again. But even if I make an attempt to dull every sense I possess, there is no escape. The nightmares will continue to follow my scent. I’m vulnerable, and everything I do only amplifies the pulses. I snap back somewhat into this alternate universe (some know it as reality), but already I’ve begun fading again. I’m sitting, I think, head slammed down on the mahogany desk in who knows what class. My mind draws a blank, as every warm being feels muffled to the touch, and the only thought registering is how loud the voices sound today, how tightly they’ve closed their lifeless fingers upon my throat this afternoon. Oh dear. It seems I’ve forgotten how to walk again. The only discernible objects within staring distance are these emaciated hands, shaking quite violently and turning a beautiful shade of violet. I need to try and withhold some sort of restraint, lest I refrain from choking the creature that settles beside me. I need to hurt again. I have to gently peel back pieces of flesh and tendon, cut out origami cranes from the delicate network of veins that intertwine around my scalp, crotchet kitty cat patterns out of every single cell that I dissect and separate from this surface epidermis, before I ultimately fall apart at the fragile knees. The painful flashbacks, they dance in the blackness, wrapping themselves around a pole to the blare of cackling groans, just for me to feast upon in ravenous, passionate hunger. Why do they tease me at a time like this? How carnal of them. They’re conspiring against me again, criticizing my every move and attaching puppet strings onto my arms, applying splotches of ink to cover up my permanent scowl, and readying me for tonight’s matinee show. Mass destruction wells up inside of me, prone to drip out in starburst flames. Anxiety, paranoia, unconsciousness, and again I collapse. Nerves begin to break down and die, and the phantoms creep on over with a needle to sew my eyes shut again. Another episode has gone and passed, like a midnight rerun of some dusty television show that everyone’s forgotten. I’ve slipped into a phase of incomprehension yet again, so don’t bother conversing with me anymore. I know this stage isn’t dissipating anytime soon, so you know what? Save us both the trouble and don’t bother communication with me ever again. Leave me be with these ventriloquists as my only friends.
You know those days when you can just fold both hands tightly together and prop them behind your head, and kick your feet up on any dusty old school desk, and just say piss off to every demon invading your mind?
Yeah. Today was one of those days.
It was quite refreshing. I spent every waking moment with music talking into my ears, and the wind running fingers through my greasy hair. I was completely drunk up on literature, and there were no assbaskets around to bother me with their insufferable remarks. I filled my internal gas tank with nothing but sweet coffee as I rolled around on the stale grass that tends to grow around here, sunshine caked on my fingernails and slightly charring a good portion of my aching body. I stood atop a mountain of glazed rocks, the breeze shaking hands with my chewed up arms. I amassed a picnic with no food, held conversations with no one in particular, and gazed longingly into the distance with no end in sight. I got lost in the world today, and not a single damn was given. I paid no attention in any class or to anyone, because today, no one needed it. I forgot all about my problems for a split second every time I leaped and bounded across a sidewalk, my bony hands jammed deep into the depths of my lint-filled pockets. Today, I stood a little bit straighter than I usually do. Today, I ran a little bit faster even though no one chased me. Today was my bitch.
The weatherman came on the news this morning and said that today would be sunny with a chance of perfection.
And for once, he was actually right.
I managed to keep my mind a bit more firmly screwed in, bolts and all. The hallucinations took a vacation, and I have yet to miss them. And you know what? I think I even dared to let a few genuine laughs pass through my teeth today.
Sigh. Temporary bliss.
Fuck people. I don’t need social interaction.
Why go through all the awkward pain of strained conversation and meaningless eye contact, when books can be your sole lover, when theological colloquy can be your closest confidant, and when the moon can be the single bearer of all your secrets. Deceased authors won’t ever judge you. Newborn flowers won’t grow tired of your company. The forest will always be faithful to you, and handwritten letters will always be eternal.
Intertwined in emotion, we may laugh silently, enriching our misfortunes with sheer irony. The wind will listen to every story we may have to share. Fiction will always be a close companion. They’ll keep you in good company, even if just for a short time. We may fight and argue to the point of implosion, we’ll tire of each other constantly and break up, as all lovers do. But in the end, only words will come back when everyone else has given up.
Literature has become my only friend.