MOON FLOWER

Everything after kissing Bricks on the cheek, stepping out of the truck, & closing the door, is all slow-motion — from the front steps, through the kitchen, up the stairs to my room, & through the door — after that, & the very instant I swung into what was usually my safest space — everything in the world exploded into the first truly terrifying moment I've faced. 

You know that split-second feeling of horror when you think you catch a shadow or dark figure in the corner of a room? Or you pass a mirror & think you see someone or something behind you, only to realize nothing is there? Well, imagine that momentary sinking fear, the falling in the pit of your stomach lasting forever, as you realize slowly that it’s not a figment of your imagination & there really is a dark figure in the corner of your room. I’m just glad I didn’t ruin my pants.

“Hello, Moon Flower.”

“Nope, no, no, no, no, you are not real, this isn’t real, I’m dreaming again. crap, how do you wake up from a dream?!”

“You are not dreaming. I am here. Linnaeus.”

“You are not real, you are not anywhere, you are a figment my imagination, oh my god, I’m talking to it.”

I wasn’t moving because I thought it best to just stand still when seemingly face to face with a being I could not describe to you in a way that would make sense, but radiated a power & a calm that let you know you should probably stand still.

“Are you not happy? Have I not ended it? Your suffering.”

You are not real!”

Technically, you're correct, no, I am not real. To be real, I would need to be bound by reality. Bound by this universe & its laws. Yet I am bound by nothing… & neither are you now, Moon Flower.”

Jane, thank you... if we’re going full blown crazy here, at least call me by my real name.”

“You are no longer bound by the real as you perceive it to be. You are now a vessel, the vessel. It is all held in you now. Can you feel it?”

Feel what?

“I know you can. I can feel you feel it, in a continuous series of waves, each longer, & larger & more encompassing than the last.”

“Okay, that’s totally creepy, & oh my god why am I still talking to you?!”

“Your time is nearly up. The full moon approaches & you’ve yet to reap your first.”

Reap my first? What is going on?!”

“Your soul has blossomed. You are the Moon Flower. You are the arbiter of souls. Guardian death for all who's color you see.”

“The what now?”

“Every new moon, if you’ve yet to reap, if you’ve yet to release a soul, you will die.”

“Okay, yep, you’re crazy! I’m crazy! I need to wake myself up, I need to wake myself up right now.

For the first time ever, I wished that I was dreaming… but it should come as no surprise to you, given your doubtless foresight, I was very much awake.

COMIC TIMING

Are you anxious?

“Of course I’m anxious, Jane! My girlfriend hasn’t called me back since we… you know…that’s gotta be bad, right?”

“Not… necessarily…”

Yeah, that was probably pretty bad, but it wasn’t completely unusual for Meg for disappear for a few days. That was just… Meg.

“Look Steve, I would just find her in homeroom tomorrow & ask her directly, okay? Just be honest.”

Look at me, giving out advice.

“Thanks Pen—“

Jane! Don’t make me regret it… plus, you owe me some comics, don’t think I’ve forgot!”

“Oh, yeah, I need to tell you, my Dad opened up a new shop. They’ve got an exclusive comic called Great & Terrible. Check it out…”

“To the max! How do I get?”

“Go to Patreon! Ask for A. R. OLIVIERI — he’ll give them to you.”

Why did this sound like some shady drug deal?

“When should I go?”

“Every Friday! Don’t worry, just give him $1.”

Yep, definitely some shady drug deal.

“Gotta go! See ya Just Jane.”

Maybe Steve wasn’t so bad after all.

STICK TO IT

“Hey babe, you in trouble or something?”

“What? Oh! No, no I was just telling Ms. Fry I wanted to help Meg with Algebra after school.”

“Whoa, really? Who are you?”

“Hey! Why is everyone so surprised that I can be helpful?”

“I’m not surprised babe, it’s just, I don’t know... this is school work, you’re normally, um, bummed by this stuff.”

What he really meant by bummed was that normally any more responsibility beyond just existing nearly sent me into a panic.

“I know, I know, but I told you, I’m feeling so much better! ...I just wish I knew why.”

“Have you told your Mom that’s it’s the medicine, or what?”

“Well, no... & she’s been a lot weirder than normal lately, I think she thinks I’m on drugs or something. I mean that’s basically what Ms. Fry said just now.”

“Wait, what?! Really?”

“Yeah, but it’s cool, Ms. Fry is actually on my side, which makes at least one adult in this world.”

“Your Mom is on your side babe, she’s just old.”

He was really so eloquent.

“Speaking of, can you give me a ride home? She’ll freak out if I’m late again…”

“Yeah, of course, anything for you, but didn't you say Meg was driving you before?”

“I thought so too! But she said after the party her Dad got mad at her for something & took away her keys again.”

“Oh that's gnarly. Poor Meg.”

I always hated this stupid town & how everyone in it thought that these privileges they had been given were a right & that it was heinous for their parents to control them at all. In their defense, many of their parents were bankers or dentists or something making egregious amounts of money & spending most of their time in Cabo or some other destination distinctly not with their children, so you might excuse them for taking offense to their delinquent parents suddenly giving a crap. But I had a parent who gave a crap & as much as I hated to admit it back then, I knew that.

Bricks may have been the only guy on the football team who listened to Sonic Youth & so I’ll never stop associating Daydream Nation with riding home in his, to be frank, really ugly pickup truck. He put in the cassette & "Teen Age Riot" blasted from the speakers.

Thurston Moore doesn’t know it, but he was singing about me. I’m not sure if I stuck to my guns or not, but I had definitely let someone through… & when I got up to my room, they were already waiting for me.

“Time to get it / Before you let it get to you / Here he comes now / Stick to your guns and let him through”

TEACHER'S PET

“Jane, did you have a question?”

“No, Ms. Fry, I'm okay, I just wanted to see if you would let me help Meg with Algebra, here, after school next week, I know she’s been struggling…”

“Penelope Jane—“

“Just Jane.”

“—did you just ask to help another student with school work? How big was it?”

“I’m sorry?”

“The fall you’ve clearly sustained? Why, for such a massive brain injury..."

“Okay, I probably deserve that but… is that a yes?

“That is a yes.”

“Thank you Ms. Fry, you won’t regret this, I promise.”

“Um, Jane! Before you go…”

“Yes?”

“I’m not sure how exactly to say this but I’ve noticed a drastic, albeit welcome, change in your attitude lately, & I just wanted to be sure everything is okay…”

“Oh! Yeah, of course, everything’s fine, I think I’ve just gotten over a really, really long headache, or flu, or something.”

No wonder everyone thought I was insane… I went from quiet & sullen, calm & ornery to bright & chipper, helpful & pleasant... & it was alarming to say the least, given that a certain white powder was not foreign to the Richie Rich. The truth might have scared them even more though… meeting death at a table in the woods? Yeah, I think I’d rather they thought I went skiing, if you catch my drift.

“Alright, well, I’m happy to hear it, because quite frankly you’ve been a delight & I’m sure your mother is happy too, even though she was concerned something was wrong when we talked at length this past parent-teacher night.”

Everyone loves to know they’re being talked about as some great disaster…

“I told your Mom that I think you’re quite bright & capable & most likely just going through something, as many students your age do. I told her to trust you & that this would all work out. I hope you won't make me a liar.”

I wish I had told her how much I appreciated her, right then & there — instead I just kind of stood there slack-jawed. I don’t think anyone had ever told me they trusted me before.

Bricks always waited at the door for me, after last period, & today was no different. I caught the color of his varsity jacket in my peripheral vision — which was also somehow incredible now — I was seeing all kinds of weird colors — so I said goodbye to Ms. Fry & headed for the door.

It’s painfully beautiful how everything always comes back the people you wish you appreciated more.

PIÑA COLADA

Have you ever woken up one day & you’re just… different.

You can’t explain it, you can’t put words to it, but you know in your soul that you’re not the same anymore. Some part of you has diametrically changed forever & it just happened overnight when you were stuck in the darkness of your mind.

Well if you haven’t felt this way, I’m not entirely sure you’re missing out, but if you have, then you can relate to exactly how I was feeling after my woodland dream adventure; only imagine that you also had a body cast removed & came out of a coma at the same time. I was almost literally & figuratively a new person.

Do you think babies feel like they can rip the bricks from buildings with their bare hands too? Or maybe, they could walk into a flaming building without so much as a scuff on their shoes? Aw, baby shoes! …& I hate babies… but anyway, yes, I also felt completely & terrifyingly invincible. 

For someone who had felt suffocated by life & vulnerable to every sight, sound, & touch, it was like I had gone to sleep shivering in the frozen tundra only to wake up on the beach in a bathing suit drinking piña coladas. I tried to act cool about it too, because I knew how strange it would seem to show up to school & be actually happy. Imagine, me, pleasant? It just wouldn’t work.

I should’ve known I had no chance. I’d been released from prison! A prison of my own mind, of my own nervous system, but a prison none-the-less, & with potentially an even less relenting warden — it sucks, it’s dehumanizing, & being out of it is magical… & yet, it was almost worth the price of the curse…

But like I said, I should’ve known I had no chance… & high school is not the place you want to draw attention to yourself…

SO BIZARRE

“Oh come on Meg, you know I can't slow down! I guess I'm just too fast for you now.”

“Don’t make me smack you.”

“You would never!”

Tempt me.”

“You love me — I don’t know what it is lately though! I mean, I know Mercury isn’t in retrograde anymore, unless it’s just been stuck there for years...?"

“Maybe your training is finally paying off? Not everything is cosmic.”

“I’m so sure, Meg, I’ve been losing to you forever, & we go to all the same practices so, I don't think it's that simple... you still have no idea what happened to me at the party?”

“Girl, you don’t even remember what happened to you at the party. I remember what happened to me though…”

“I know, I know, you & Steve, yeah, you told me like 4 times &, trust me, the first time was plenty.”

“Well, it was that bi—“

“& we’re done with that conversation! So, yeah, Bricks said I went to the bathroom, which I totally remember, but then I never came out...  Bricks said Kirk Crewel picked the lock for him, only I wasn’t inside anymore.”

“So bizarre.”

“Too bizarre! The bathroom doesn’t even have a window!”

“Maybe you Kool-Aid man-ed out of there?”

“Very funny. But even then you could see why I wasn’t there anymore… but there was no trace. I was just, gone.”

“Look Jane, I wouldn’t think about it too much.”

She always brushed her hair back from her cheek like that when she was nervous. It took me decades to realize that.

“Meg, first of all, it’s all I can think about because it cured me & like, what if it’s something I can give to everyone? I have to find out, right? & second of all, you’re actually the clumsiest person I’ve ever known.”

The scrunch of her nose, the way she flinched like a little kid — scared & vulnerable. I miss her so much. 

“Don’t be rude, I’m being attacked! That locker is out to get me, I swear. Anyway, I'm fine, do you think Bricks is just making it all up to scare you? I mean he did give you that drink right before you went to the bathroom...”

“He’s not like that.”

“His friends are…”

“His friends are the football team, probably a bad pool to judge from — & the only thing they have in common is they’re large & like hitting stuff.”

“Well, you’re right about that… oh, hey, can you help me out with Algebra, I’m totally flunking hard.”

Always averting her eyes; the things you notice when just existing isn’t a chore.

SATAN'S DAUGHTER

The neighborhood hadn’t yet begun to stir.

All was quiet on Crooked Oak, aside from a bird or two, & even they seemed to judge me as I trudged up the walk-way & through my front door. Look at my smile though. Look at how relaxed those shoulders are. Look at how I’m almost springing from step to step through the kitchen. Oh god, my feet are disgusting. I hadn’t realized when I started telling you this story how gross I was going to sound.

“Penelope Jane, I have had it!

“Oh crap.”

“Oh crap is right — no, you know what, oh crap doesn’t even begin to cover the crap that you’re in right now young lady.”

“You could probably say crap again.”

Do I look like I’m joking?

“No, jeez, of course not, take a chill pill.”

“Pills? Really? If you had been taking yours like I’ve been begging you to for weeks now, you think maybe you’d have come home last night!?”

“Mom, look, it’s okay, it’s okay, it doesn’t matter—“

“Doesn’t matter?”

“Nope, doesn’t matter, because I’m cured. I don’t need pills anymore because it’s all just gone!”

“Jane... are you feeling okay?”

“I’m feeling better than okay! I don’t feel it anymore, the it, whatever it was, the buzzing, the pressure, the anxiety, it’s all just gone, Mom, I feel invincible!”

“Are you sure you’re okay? You’re acting different, if anything is wrong, please, tell me, I just want to help you!”

“Mom, I’m fine, I swear, I’m late to meet Meg for practice, I’ve got to, um, clean up a bit first, but I love you, Mom, & really, I’m okay, better than okay, really, okay? I love you!”

The way she looks at me in this moment, as I smile at her for the first time in months... I would echo for a lifetime if I could. 

I ran up the stairs & hopped into the shower, not knowing I’d spend the next few weeks feeling like a new person — not knowing I was enjoying the spoils of a deal I didn’t know I made.

COMFORTABLY NUMB

It still smells the same out here, in these woods. It smells like pine, & that same wet, earthy aroma you’d find on an early morning in Spring, but all the time. I should have bruises all over my body if you consider the state of my clothes. You’d think I were attacked by a bear or a wolf or something. Those gashes in my jeans bare skin, but no markings or discoloration, & I wish I could say how. I’ve had hundreds of years to try & figure that out but so far, no dice. I suppose in the grand scheme of things it’s not very important.

Does it matter to be hurt or to look hurt? Can you feel hurt if you haven’t been hurt? & what if you feel it anyway? The scariest part to me, aside from waking up in the woods miles away from a party I’d been at the night before,& having no idea how I got there, was that I didn’t hurt… at all. I didn’t feel much of anything to be honest with you. 

& let me tell you: it felt amazing

I know, I know, numb is not a desirable state, but just remember what my life has been like lately. Really remember. It had been so loud I couldn’t concentrate, I couldn’t study, I couldn’t think, I couldn’t exhale without the pressure of everything around me threatening to crush my tiny skull into pixie dust. But suddenly & completely, it was quiet. I couldn’t feel the world around me pulsing & pounding on every inch of my skin anymore — & I don’t think I had ever felt so calm

I mean, look at me, you’d think I’d just laid down on purpose for a quick nap & woke up as expected. Brambles in my hair, no shoes or socks on, rips & tears all through my clothes — I remember my first thought was, Meg’s going to kill me, these pants were hers

WIND'S AWAY

You fall slowly & smoothly.

Dripping.

Detaching.

Deteriorating.

Pooling in puddles.

You sweat & slip off the ledge, plummeting along the face of the cliff that held you; that is you. 

Held in iron.

Flush against the cloth & bathed in moonlight.

Your heat radiates.

There’s no motion. You have no limbs to move. You are held, entirely still; one. Complete & crumbling, folding again & again into yourself.

You sit there even now, an emblem ablaze; killing & comfortable. 

Devastated & selfless.

How can you fall so far & stand so tall? How can loom so large in drops so small?

All you know is that you do.

It’s painful but you oblige.

You burn.

Melting & melding deeper into yourself.

Death is birth. Birth is death. There is only life. 

Light the candle. 

Be the candle.

THE FOREST

I can't breathe but I don't have to. 

There's no panic, or fear.

I have no urge, no compulsion to inhale.

I require no air.

I am air.

I know I threw water on my face... I remember that.

But when I took my hands away from my face, I wasn't in a bathroom. I wasn't in a room at all. I was in a forest; the forest. 

There were droplets on my eyelashes & I could feel a moisture on my face, but I associated this with the smell; the damp, pine smell of morning when fog has poured in from every crevice of the earth & you feel the way you felt when you first inhaled springtime as a child. You smell the grass & the dirt as if you're buried underneath it. I was never in a bathroom. I've been here, forever.

I know where to walk now. I've been doing it for months. Not that I ever woke up remembering, but once I was here... back home... I knew.

I saw them sitting at a table a few feet away from my coffin. The table had never been there in my dreams before & for the first time in the forest, I felt startled. I was unsure about something & it trickled down my limbs in a tingle neither inside my body nor surrounding it, but felt all the same. As if responding to this reverberation, they called out to me.

I don't know if they said my name or if they spoke any words at all but I heard the call & I began to move closer. All I can see in the moonlight, are the flowers, & they're everywhere; all of them a brilliant white with splashes of pink or blue or yellow. But with every step, different details of the table & its lone guest comes further into focus. The candelabra caught my eye initially, as I'd never seen anything like it. There were two arms on either end holding large, white, lit candles; the arms were low & almost touching the table, & the ornamental metal twisted out from under each stick & rose up to form a hovering triangle at the center, in which boxed in a circle. The circle wasn't smooth at all but rather jagged at multiple ends that overlapped toward the center, almost like the blooming of a flower. At the top most point of this triangle sat the third candle; the only one yet unlit.

The table was littered with black marble ornaments & golden cutlery; chalices & plates & utensils, as if there would be a feast hosted here, but there were no guests. None except me & my host.

"Please, have a seat"

They don't even blink as they say this, their eyes a sea of red, a deep, dark maroon with no iris, or pupil, or anything. I can't tell if they're wearing all black or just have skin as dark as the midnight air around us. I can see only flashes of nails or teeth, & all the adornments of gold they wear; rings, necklaces, chained earrings, bands, & bangles. 

"Tell me who you are!"

As my words crack in my throat, I see the slightest, faintest twitch on their face. Was it a smile?

"Every one of you is so obsessed with rules & definition, it must be exhausting! — but please, sit. I may not be bound by time but I still hate wasting it."

LACIE STEVENS

'I don't care what happens, I am totally going all the way with Steve tonight.'

'You've said the last three times, Meg, maybe he's not into it.'

'Not into it? He's a seventeen year old boy, there's nothing he's more into right now... that's not the problem... I just need to keep him focused on me.'

'I'm sorry, okay! Bricks is just so exhausting sometimes, & hey, it's not my fault he's only slightly more obsessed with me than with Steve. I can only distract him for so long.'

'You could probably find a way to distract him longer...'

'Ew, not even... I'll just have to, I don't know, pay attention to what he's saying or something...'

'Girlfriend of year right here, ladies & gentleman.'

I hate the sound of my laugh.

'Oh shut up, Meg. This is her house, up here on the corner... um, is that Woo & Jamaal doing keg stands on the lawn?'

'Yes! & look at all the lights, too! It's like Christmas & Studio 54 had a baby & that baby was thrown into a pile of glitter & exploded...'

'Yeah, I'd say that's about accurate... holy cow, Lacie... are they always like this?'

'If nothing else happens at this party, it is already so choice.'

If nothing actually happened that night, it might've been the highlight of my Junior year. There's still a moment or two of fun that I can remember, but mostly it's just a smear of color. Energy. The deep blue hues & the perfect pink plumes like smoke fractured by a thousand lights. It still feels so loud.

'Hey babe.’

'Hey Bricks, hey Ste—& they're making out already... lovely.'

'You know how they are babe. Anyway, can we talk? I feel really bad about getting on your case before & I know I should be what you need me to be & not get so caught up in my own emotions but babe, I promise—'

The energy.

Does no one else feel this? I am going to explode.

'Hold that thought — & that beer — just one second, okay? I've got a, um, serious headache & I need to see if Kacie's parents have any Advil or something, I'll be right back.'

I don't even remember kissing him before I walked away. I must've known I wasn't coming back...

PARTY POOPER

I'm not sure exactly what about parties I hate but it might be the fact that I love parties. I love party music, & party clothes, & party food, & even party people for the most part, but god, I hate parties. 

I love people & presents & noise & laughter & cork popping & games & ...I really think the only thing I hate about parties is that I hate  parties. I want nothing more than to show up & enjoy all the things that I, well, enjoy, ...but I just can't. The second I walk through the door & enter the room it's like all the air is vacuumed right out of it, & it's the brightest darkness you've ever experienced. It's like I'm some robot & there's a fail safe that goes off the second I enter anywhere I might actually enjoy myself. A big old 'nope' button.

How you can manage to be at war with yourself, fighting for yourself, will never not be confusing to me... & I'm literally, a thousand years old.

I tell you all of this because by the time it came around to go to the Lacie Stevens party, I was looking forward to it, & dreading it at the exact same time. Welcome to my life. The one positive was that I hadn't had 'an episode' in at least a few days now & if I had, it at least was courtesy enough to leave me asleep or not make me look like a fool in public. So, thank you unknown demon? But that wasn't making up for the fact that I was having serious anxiety about it anyway because I always have serious anxiety &, I say this without the slightest hint of irony in the world knowing I am a sixteen year old girl getting ready for a party but, I have nothing to wear. & don't you dare try & pull the gender crap on me about that because first of all, erroneous, & second of all, your hair does not naturally look perfectly disheveled, bro, so nice try.

I grabbed a cute sweater to pair with these boots I'd just got for fall, said, 'whatever,' as I closed my closet door mirror, winked at my Tom Cruise poster, sprayed some perfume, & glided out my room, down the stairs, & in to Meg's car. Meg's parents were rich as hell & she'd just gotten her temporary license. This was maybe the fourth time she'd ever drove by herself but we acted like this was normal. 

'You ready to party, girl!?'

Oh, poor Meg.

That look I gave her just screams,  "gag me with a spoon."

I'M ON FIRE

You're in a small, dark room.

At the center of it, you sit in a chair, completely still.

The air is thick & dark.

Clouds billow & they swallow you.

Richer & richer.

You don't move a muscle.

You exhale.

You've never been calmer.

The room is on fire.

You close your eyes slowly.

Conjure me.

The heat is not light.

The flame is not dark.

You are not you.

You are not who.

You are when & how.

You are there, this, & that.

You are all things, make all things, end all things.

You keep everything with an empty hand.

You are the collector.

Conjure me.

Cast a circle.

Rouse my soul.

THE PRISONER

...you ever wonder if it'd be easier to just suffocate?

Like it's not the drowning or even the dying that's terrifying. It's the gasping, the heaving. The gulping for air that isn't there & the panic that electrifies your body as it realizes there isn't. The body won't just allow this though. The body, in its infinity stupidity, fights, & claws anyway, stuck in a cycle of reflexes. When I was much older than I am in the story we're telling today, I actually came to see the perfect metaphor for this feeling, watching a hologram glitch & seize, attempting to perform the same action over & over but incapable. That's your body when it's dying... stuck in a glitch of emotions. Why can't we ever just accept anything?

Think about it though, for real, imagine this: a train is coming toward you. You're standing on the tracks & you've decided that you're going to let it smash into you & kill you. You've consciously weighed this decision for weeks & are prepared to go through with it. You've decided you're doing this. But you can't control your body's impulse to sweat, or to cry, or to erupt inside with fear & an overwhelming urge to run. Even if you plan for these things to occur, even if you've thought about how you'll feel in advance, they can't be satiated. You know the phrase "push my buttons?" Well, it's crap, because there are no buttons or switches or knobs. There's no turning anything off or on, it just is, & there's no getting around it & maybe that scares us more.

Why can't my brain — in its wondrous power — ever outsmart its significantly dumber & more susceptible counterpart of my body? Because your brain is not, & never was, the warden... it's the prisoner.

CAPTAIN SPAZ

My brain had begun to feel like a 12-lane superhighway, with every idea a sixteen-wheeler doing ninety, flying by me ten at a time, twelve at a time & I just couldn't concentrate. I mean, look at me! Look at my eyes. I'm somewhere else here & even I can't remember where. I can barely pour a bowl of milk for my cereal without getting it all over the table & getting in trouble... again.

"Have you been taking your medicine?"

"Can you stop calling them that, Mom, please? You know it's not medicine. It's horse tranquilizer."

"Okay, that's enough attitude out of you young lady. How many times have I told you that I just want to help? How can I be your guardian & not ask how you are? How can I leave you alone & care for you?"

"Look, Mom, it's just... been a long week, okay? I don't mean to jump down your throat but it also drives me a little insane to be treated like I'm fragile, ya know? Even if I were fragile, you think it will ever strengthen me to be reminded that I'm not, every time you ask? Just, treat me like I'm okay & maybe, eventually, I will be..."

"Okay. Fine. We'll try it your way then. I'm off to work, do you need a ride to school?"

"No, I should make the bus."

"Okay... I love you."

"I love you too, Mom. Bye."

My Mom is always on my case, but if Meg & Bricks are asking questions, & I'm Captain Spazz in class now, I need to figure this one out, & quickly. I've always been good at hiding the amount of effort it takes for me to even resemble normal & for the first time, I think cracks are starting to show. 

SHATTERED DREAMS

I'd gotten home from school after detention & went immediately to my room, threw my things in the closet, & fell asleep, headfirst on the bed, completely over the whole day.

The storm that night was horrible by the looks of all the debris outside the next morning but it was nothing to the intensity of my dream. I washed so much dirt off my feet in the shower this morning that I kind of hoped I was still out of it from the dream & my feet are just always that dirty. Maybe? The last thing I needed was proof that I'm actually going somewhere in these... visions? That sounds makes them sound ridiculous but I have no idea what else I would call them at this point. Hallucinations makes me sound insane & to this day I don't have a very good name for what they are. They're just awful.

Whatever they were, they accomplished their task, because I couldn't fight them any longer. I was going to go along with whatever the dreams & voices & whatever else asked of me because I just needed it to stop. I needed to be able to think again. I would acquiesce to any demand & assist in any endeavor to get it to stop. I was always a space case, but lately I'd been in another galaxy altogether. So I made a vow right then & there that the next time I heard from it I would be ready. I resigned myself to accepting its requests & then, deluded as a teenager can sometimes be, I thought I'd be left alone.

Little did I know that not only wouldn't I hear from it as soon as I'd liked, just to get it over with, but that I would never be left alone again.

COLORFUL IMAGINATION

I think you can tell a lot about a person from their name. 

Not necessarily about their personality or about their qualities, but about their history... their evolution. Some of it is purely conjecture & could be completely counter to that person's experience & reality... but it's a fun gaI think you can tell a lot about a person from their name. 

Not necessarily about their personality or about their qualities, but about their history... their evolution. Some of it is purely conjecture & could be completely counter to that person's experience & reality... but it's a fun game isn't it? Tracing back who were are through who we may have been. Not like reincarnation or anything, because I can sadly confirm that you won't be coming back as a goat. What I'm talking about is the universal energy that's been passed to you through the collected events that lead to your existence & growth &... I'm sorry, I'm boring you already, aren't I? Well, my loves, that's just tough... I think you might relate with me on this one in the end though... just bear with me, okay? Okay. So what's your name? Jamie? Steven? Omar? Talia? Doesn't matter — your name emits a wave of energy into the universe… a smattering of light particles, & these light particles give you a color that is so unique that only... well, only people like me, can see them. 

Everyone is a color. Like I said though, you can only see them if you're like me. I didn't find that out until that night... 

Who knew Lacie Stevens would throw such an important party...me isn't it? Tracing back who were are through who we may have been. Not like reincarnation or anything, because I can sadly confirm that you won't be coming back as a goat. What I'm talking about is the universal energy that's been passed to you through the collected events that lead to your existence & growth &... I'm sorry, I'm boring you already, aren't I? Well, my loves, that's just tough... I think you might relate with me on this one in the end though... just bear with me, okay? Okay. So what's your name? Jamie? Steven? Omar? Talia? Doesn't matter — your name emits a wave of energy into the universe… a smattering of light particles, & these light particles give you a color that is so unique that only... well, only people like me, can see them. 

Everyone is a color. Like I said though, you can only see them if you're like me. I didn't find that out until that night... 

Who knew Lacie Stevens would throw such an important party...

YOU NAME IT

There’s something about dusk that’s so powerful to me.

That hour in the evening were the sky hasn’t gone fully black yet & the sun is still casting it’s glow, holding back the onslaught of darkness, like a golden beam of forcefield cast out for all humanity — before futility armies & plunges us all into the shadows.

That’s what every day feels like to me lately — I am walking dusk — awaiting my inevitable fall into night.

"I really thought we understood each other this morning. I was honest with you & I thought you were being honest with me & were going to try to do better. I’m very disappointed in you."

"You didn’t even give me a chance to explain, but that’s fine, you wouldn’t understand anyway."

You don’t move.

You knew the rain would fall. You brought the rain yourself. You don’t mean to bring harm. Simply to clean, replenish, to compliment life. The storm brings necessary death.

Conjure me.

Cast a circle.

Light the candle. Curse the darkness.

Say my name.

I know your suffering… & I can end it.

The rain is just cascading over everything in waves, whipped & thrown about the likes of which I’d never seen, let alone been standing out in, pellets hitting my arms, face, & legs; the darkest baptism. Only I can’t feel a single drop.

How can I feel the rain when I am the rain?

I know every river, lake, & ocean from which the rain came & know the heart of every life form to drink from it. So much so it hurts.

Everything is energy. Everything is transferrable & my being is part of that transference. That wasn’t even what scared me.

What scared me is that I felt like I could control it if I tried.

It’s fear.

The fear of being in control.

The fear of being responsible & held accountable. The fear of not being able to handle the noise. The force of it is so loud, all the time.

Conjure me.

Cast a circle.

Light the candle. Curse the darkness.

Say my name.


My name... is Linnaeus.

A BELL RINGS

 

The wind doesn’t speak but it doesn’t have to.

Its gust tells you all you need to know.

You’re in a forest.

The forest.

The world is you.

You could raise the earth as easy you lift your finger.

You could shift a storm by breathing.

The energy is electric.

It rattles your brain, in-between your eyes, shredding through your nerves like the ringing of a bell. Immediate & reverberating.

It fills you. Not with life. You’re not even sure you are alive.

It’s a power, to be sure, but not the power to create.

The power to absorb. The power to harness. The power to destroy.

The power of death.

Light the candle.

Become the reaper.

 

NOT MY TYPE

 

Before I knew to simply judge someone based on how they treated me, I thought you could read people. I thought people were a type, or an energy, or you could just predict how they were in general. I would walk the mall & think that every person I saw I was seeing so much clearer than they could even see themselves… & in a way I was, but we’ll get to that. Suffice to say, I wasn’t seeing them as clearly as I thought I was. I was seeing what was there, sure, but I was seeing it because I was looking for it. You can find any quality in a person if you look for it long enough & I mean any quality. Once I learned to really read people, really read people, & to judge them in a way no average human can, I realized how wrong I had been about so many things. That’s the scary part about being a human being, isn’t it? You have to trust your instincts & guesses as fact. Animals just go with their instinct, they don’t trust them — there’s no process by which they choose to move in one direction or another, thus trusting, there’s just reflex, action. Think about how many relationships have been destroyed because someone did or didn’t trust an instinct they knew they had no way of confirming — life is the worst... says the girl who can’t die. Ugh, I think my privilege is showing again.

Look at that, I’ve rambled so much I’m back home, & already in bed…