Lost a Friend

Missing

I lost a good friend of mine. I met her at a summer camp almost five years ago now. She’s been gone for months. She seems to have just disappeared. I haven’t heard from her or seen her, and for all I know, she could be gone for good. 

I will never forget her, though. I will never forget the small sobbing girl I found after stumbling out of my bunk late one night, and how she later became one of my closest and dearest friends.

She was curled in the corner of the bathroom. Her hands were pressed up against her dripping face and her knees were tucked close to her chest. Stepping into the bathroom, I closed the door behind me. I sat down beside her on the floor without a word. She peeked her hands away from her eyes for only a minute to look at me and then wrapped her arms around my neck. Her hot, damp face was pressed up against mine, her small was body shaking. She clung tightly to me, and I could feel her shudder with every breath she took. I smoothed her hair down and rubbed her back and waited for her sobs to lessen. Both clad in our pajamas and sitting huddled together on the cold floor of the bathroom, we fell asleep. 

Stuck

The little time I have to spend writing is eaten up by everyday stress. Every time I sit down to write I get stuck. I haven’t written anything in months.

I am staring at a bright screen and running my mind in circles, asking myself what I could possibly contribute that hasn’t already been said. Do I even have anything to say worth reading?

It’s two o’clock in the afternoon,  and I am sitting on my bed procrastinating. I know that no matter how hard I work, I won’t be able to finish all  of my homework as well as I’d like to in the little time that I have. So instead, I am sitting on my bed and staring at my laptop screen, racking my brain for any sort of idea.

Nothing so far.

 

What I have learned about myself

 

~ I am terrified of the future and the uncertainty of my life

~ It is easier for me to trust a complete stranger than it is for me to trust myself

~ I never really had a favorite color

~ Although a majority of people say that the more they learn about our humanity the less faith they have in it, I find the more I am able to learn the more I grow to love myself and the people and complex world around me.

~ I love peppermint tea

~ My biggest life goal is to be the best version of myself and to inspire people to do the same.

~ I am scared that I will never be able to find something that I truly believe in.

~ I am easily overwhelmed

~ I don’t trust myself to make decisions

~ I constantly feel the need to seek validation through other people.

~ Shakespeare makes no sense to me, and I wish it did. I have tried so hard! I want to understand it, but the words just swim in my head and lose any and all meaning.

~ I fear that I am my biggest threat.

~ I have synesthesia

~ I struggle to understand people. I struggle to understand emotions, whether they are my own or some one else’s.

~ I learn best through talking and writing. To sort out my thoughts, I need to say them outloud.

~ I procrastinate

~ I hate being told what to do. Authority has always brought out my worst inner child, and I always have to bite my tongue.

~ Irish fold music makes me happy. I really don’t know why.

 

 

 

 

Things I Loved as a Child

Water dripping from a gutter; puddles in the street; window panes; squeaky old wheels; the ocean; sleeping bags; cold wind that chapped my face; the stillness of museums when they first open in the mornings; apples; thick books; globes; the color of the sky after rain; the flickering glow of candles; embroidery hoops; Nancy Drew books; dusty chalkboards; the beam of light through a window; places that echo; wooden crates; tree stumps; fish tanks; bookshelves; ribbons; the Lawrence Welk show; the quilt my Oma made me; and my Opa’s soft voice when he used to read to me.

Sunday Evenings

“I’m so tired,” I said, staring up at the ceiling.

“Me too.” he sighed. We laid sprawled out on his living room floor, our homework in disarray around us.

His house always smelled of ginger and old books and peppermint. We always did our homework together in his living room Sunday evenings. Ever since we were little, when my mom used to drop me off and we’d sit on the carpeted floor with our books. When finished our homework, we would help him mom cook dinner in the kitchen. We were usually more of a mess for her to clean up than any help.

“You know what makes me happy?”

“What?” he asked, turning over onto his stomach to look at me.

“Irish folk music.” I giggled and put a hand over my face. Isaiah started at me with his dark brown eyes, confused for a second until is lips parted and a heartfelt laugh escaped them. He rested his cheek on the floor and smiled.

“You are such a dork.” he said. “especially when you’re this tired.”

“I know!” I laughed.

I was this funny little girl. I was dorky and clumsy yet headstrong and stubborn. Then that person went away. She sort of gave into the pain of others and let it take her. She left a memory of a person behind. This beautiful unique memory. The memory fades a little every year, but she’s still there. That little memory is still there and lives every day. I liver every day. I breathe, I eat, I sleep. I am still here, just a little dimmer. When I get tired, I thnk about her, this little vibrant healthy thing. Sometimes if I really listen I can still hear her, too. I think of her often. It’s funny when all it does is make ms ache But i do not want to forget who I was so, so I think of her every day.

Everybody has their low days. It’s a part of this wonderfully confusing life. Her low days were so bright. It was beautiful.

She could never come back, though. Even if I wanted her back. She is too beautiful to be in this place. But I will never forget her. She is unforgettable. She lives in cold summer days that pinch your face. She lives in those beautiful melodies that give people hope. She lives in the purest of laughter. She was the beauty in everything broken.

When she left there was this empty space where her light used to rest. There wasn’t any peace within our restless thoughts. I didn’t know how to fill it without her.

 

Beautiful Girls

They laid on the carpet of her bedroom floor, bundled in hand-made quilts. Their soft whispers turned to loud bursts of laughter every once in awhile, unsettling the calm of the house. They gazed up at the ceiling, their hands and hair intertwined. Time seemed to slow as they poured out all of their troubles and worries and their biggest secrets. Nothing else mattered. When one would talk the other would listen, softly stroking back the curls on her forehead. Their voices got quieter and quieter, till their worries were gone and sleep washed over them.

Rain in August

It was pouring all day. Everything was inky gray, as if water colors had spilled all across the clouds. Even though it was August there wasn’t a patch of sunlight peaking through the thick damp sky. Clear, cold water an inch deep ran down the sides of the road. My feet were soaked as well as my hair. Every inch of my skin was cold and wet. It was wonderful.

 

 

Sonder

I find a comforting beauty in the bustle of a city. Immersing myself in the pulse of the streets, I become a brief portion of a stranger’s day. I like to gaze through the windows of coffee shops and watch the quiet movements of the people sitting behind them, inventing my own scheme of what their lives must be like. A small young woman, an aspiring artist, sits in the corner. Her gaze is lost somewhere only she can see.

My own thoughts trail. I imagine what these streets must have looked like fifty years ago – if they were as busy and filled with life. I wonder what must have occupied these old buildings before they were refilled with new people and new things and what they must have been like brand new. There was a time where people came here and saw their future.

I

I sat with my bare legs over the edge, my ankles submerged in the water. The dock swayed with the soft waves that rippled from the boats far out on the lake. The old boards creaked with every rock of the waves. I let the wind pull at my hair as my thoughts trailed, my eyes staring blankly into the distance. I could hear her soft breathing behind me, rising and falling. I let out a sigh. The sun had slid down behind the tops of the trees, only a curved orange glow peeking above the edges. The warm glow melted through parts of the sky, turning the once pale blue into inky patches of pink and gray.

“Do you ever feel like dying?”  she asked. There was something off in her voice. Her tone was cold. I turned to look down at her face as she laid on the dock. Her hazel hair was swept off to the side, her dark green eyes stared up at me. She was waiting for me to react.

I looked back out over the water. It was mellowing, the waves turning into small ridges and disappearing before they neared the shore.

She poked my side with her small finger.  “Answer me.”

“When I was seven I had scarlet fever. Then I felt like dying.”  She smirked. She enjoyed it when I tried to avoid her questions. She sat up and joined my gaze on the water.

“If I was to do it” she started, “I would jump.”

“I would sit on the ledge of a beautiful bridge overlooking a river. It would be early morning,”  she paused.  Her voice was soft, as if she was telling a fairy tail. “I’d watch as the sun would spill over the horizon.  Then, I’d push off the ledge,” her hands gestured like she was about to push off the dock and her lips parted in a smile. “The skirt of my dress would ripple and pull in the wind as I plummeted, exposing my legs.  Then I would hit the water and my body would slowly sink. The fabric of my skirt would be the last to follow me to the depths, billowing and floating above as I dipped further away from the surface.”

Her words fell out of her mouth without any effort, like she had thought about this for a long time – like a story she had told over and over again.

Her voice fell silent. I could feel her eyes searching my face, waiting for me to respond.

“It would be romantic.”  She sighed.

 

I lived with my grandfather for two years in Lyon, France.  We lived along the river Rhône in a small apartment on the fourth story of a quaint building.  I shared my small bedroom with my grandfather’s dog – Cherché.  I gave him that absurd nickname when I was only four years old, and it stuck.  From my bedroom window, I had a perfect view of the river. The apartment was always cold, and it always smelled like coffee and his tobacco.  It was my home for two years, and I have only fond memories of the place.

 

Lilacs

She awoke with a start.  Her window was open, the curtains billowing. Light flashed as they waved, leaving strips along the walls.  She pulled the sheets off of her body and slipped out of bed.  Shrugging on her sweater, she left her bedroom.  She stumbled down the narrow dark hallway.  Reaching the door, she cracked it open and peered in.  Lise was turned away from the door on her side, the sheets loosely draped over her bare back.  She opened the door and walked in, stepping quietly over the wood floors.  Lifting the sheet she slipped in beside Lise, pressing up against her.  She took a deep breath, breathing in the smell of Lise’s hair – lilacs.  She laid her head against her shoulder and fell asleep.

Bedtime

Disparu

The room was bare of all personal effects.  It was dark and empty, all but some boxes packed in the corner, and a girl.  She kneeled on the dusty floor by the boxes.  She ran her hands over them – Samantha’s old things – all packaged and tucked away.  She opened the first box and rummaged through the stacks and stacks of notes, scribbles of ideas.  A smaller rectangular box sat at the bottom.  She pulled it out and opened it.  The top came off and pens spilled out onto the floor.  Her favorite pens, some barely ever touched, because every time she had a new idea, she got a new pen.  Looking back in the box she noticed a piece of paper had slipped between the folds of the cardboard.  She pulled it out. The paper was old and wrinkled, the words faded and hardly legible.  She read what she could make out.

before I die

I want to watch the sunset from Santorini, Greece,

swim in Devil’s Pool in Africa,

go Hiking in Iceland,

backpack through Europe,

see the Aurora Borealis with my own eyes,

spend a night under the stars, 

go lavender picking, 

write a book,

go to Africa, 

dance in the rain – because that sounds cool,

go to Finland, 

let go of a floating lantern in Thailand,

see a broadway musical,

ride a gondola in Venice,

make a call from a London phone booth,

drink coffee in a Parisian cafe,

visit Stonehenge, 

throw a coin in the Trevi Fountain in Italy,

finish reading a book in one sitting,

see the Fairy Pools in Scotland,

walk behind a waterfall,

soak in hot springs in Iceland,

and bike through the city streets of Amsterdam

 

Je ne sais pas pourquoi, le troisième

Je ne sais pas pourquoi, mais j’adore…

I do not know why, but I love..

Black and white prints; old hard covered novels; strawberries; clawfoot bathtubs; nicknames; rope bridges; brown paper bags; freckles; large Russian carpets; ripples; baby’s breath flowers; windows; ballet; the word “ribbons”; oil paintings; teacups; kaleidoscopes; watercolors; pianos; sand dunes; the sound of a train; the sound a typewriter makes; crates of fruit; jars; and so much more.

 

Bisou

She pressed her forehead up against my arm.  She twirled a twig between her fingers, rolling it back and forth.  She hummed a soft lullaby while we laid there.  The blanket underneath, separating us from the dirt, smelled of chamomile and ginger.  The sun trickled through the dense branches above us.  The tree’s tall mass stole the warmth of the light.  A cold breeze blew past and right up my skirt, exposing my bare legs.  She sat up and rested her hand on my thigh, smiling at my prickled skin.

“Cold?”  she asked.  I shook my head.  She laughed.  “here” she said, untying the scarf from around her neck and wrapping it around mine, tying it loosely.  She planted a kiss below  my collar bone with a smile.  Her lips were warm and soft.  She pulled away and laid back down on the blanket.

“What was that for?”  I asked.

“Just felt good” she laughed.

 

Misplaced

 

éphémère

“It is easier to hold onto pain than to joy.  Our pain marks us, leaving behind a trail of sorrows.  Joy disappears under the grief, masked by a thick curtain of despair.  Even the beautiful memories are tinted with melancholy.  A distress fills our hearts as we long for those memories past, questioning if such a feeling with ever be relived.  

But of no fear, for time is near, that all will be forgotten.”

~ an excerpt from Gone to Paris

Fleeting

I Did Not

There was no light in the church.  The sun had set and the lights had been turned off, leaving an eery look.  Slowly, the congregation lit up, candle by candle, until the whole crowd of people were glowing.  The flickering light cast shadows on the walls and the faces of strangers.

Packed shoulder to shoulder they stood, clad in black, surrounding a thick dark box.  My friend stood by its side, clinging to it, her knuckles white.  Her mom stood behind her, one hand on her back and the other beside her hand on the box.  I stood beside them quietly, looking around at the people I hardly recognized  Strangers – they were strangers to me.

I peered up at Mrs. Deirdre again, her hand still on her daughter’s back.  A tear trickled down her cheek and over the corner of her lip, shining in the glow of the candles.

I looked at my dad standing behind me, his face hard yet sad.  My mom cried as well.  I glanced at the face of a stranger to my left, a tear also on his cheek.  There wasn’t one on mine.

I looked at the long box again quizzically.  It wasn’t there the last service on Sunday. Where did it come from?  I leaned in closer but I couldn’t look inside, the top of my head barely clearing the edge.  My brother stood in front of me and stared down at the box.  He also cried.  I did not.

Painfully Beautiful

Stairway

I can hear them sing as I walk down the corridor in the congregation hall beside them. Their voices resonate through the cathedral.  I reach the door leading to the flight of stairs descending into the entrance of the cathedral.  Their voices become louder.  I sit down on the red carpeted stairs, my head resting against the railing.  I listen.  Afternoon light pours in through the stained glass windows giving the room a warm glow.  Their voices soar and then soften like waves.  The words they sing  – a painfully beautiful poem:

“Warm summer sun,
shine brightly here,
Warm Southern wind,
blow softly here,
Green sod above,
lie light, lie light,
Good night, dear heart;
good night, good night.”

On the Water

Fog

It was a freezing cold morning.  The air was damp and cold, the sky a drowsy gray.  My oversized rubber boots rubbed against each other and squeaked as I followed behind my uncle along the dock.  The dock lurched and rocked as small waves came up and pushed against its side.  I looked down between the cracks in the dock and watched the waves dissipate underneath.  I walked unsteadily, wary of the creaking boards.  Catching up with my uncle, I grabbed hold of his hand to steady myself as we walked to his boat.  His little skiff was tied near the end of the dock, calmly bobbing up and down with the waves.

The wind had begun to pick up, whipping my hair into my face.  Stepping into the boat, my uncle turned around and lifted me in beside him.  We hadn’t exchanged any words since we had arrived at the bay.  He zipped up my coat all the way to my chin and pinched my nose.  His hands were huge and rough.  Untying the boat he started up the motor and pushed off from the dock.

The icy morning was enveloped in fog, the morning sun glowing ever so slightly through it, a pale orange.  The boat got faster and faster, spraying water to the side and bumping up and down on the waves.  I leaned over to the side of the boat and dipped my hand in, cutting the water as we raced past.

As a coastline appeared inch by inch my uncle slowed the boat.  We neared the beach and fog gave way to tall dark trees looming above and a grassy sand mounds.  He beached the boat and I hopped out, looking back at where we had come from, no longer visible through the fog.

Melting Memories

Memories do fade,

Like seasons in their due course.

Clear images as they were

Fade like flowers,

Losing their bright colors,

To weather and age.

To weather and age

Do leaves lose their soft touch

Like the loss of color

To memories of old.

To memories of old,

Like autumn to flowers,

Time tears their soft petals and pushes them

Back to the corner of our minds.  

And as snow to gardens and dewy lawns,

New memories cover up the old.  

New memories cover up the old,

But in time a few old memories

Spring from murky depths,

Like snowdrop flowers in April rain.  

Like snowdrop flowers in April rain,

From those murky depths of old,

Random memories of small,

Un-notable expanses of time,

With bursts of laughter or sorrow,

Fade to unclear motions, easily mistaken for dreams.

Written my eighth grade year as a poetry assignment

Je ne sais pas pourquoi, la deuxième

Je ne sais pas pourquoi, mais j’adore…

I do not know why, but I love..

The word pockets; brand new pencils; thick mugs; saying the word “buckles”; laughing; dead trees; old floorboards creaking under my feet; tree stumps; the steam coming off of a a hot cup of tea; the sound of paper rustling; brick buildings; a clock ticking; erasing a white board; the sound of cutting fabric against a table; ivy; giving high-fives; opening mail; and so much more.

“A young man was talking today about the misadventures of a college freshman, being one that he is, and without even beginning the first semester, nothing has gone as planned.  His dream college has become something much less desirable.  In simpler terms, he was frustrated – upset, aggravated, annoyed, grieved – so many words to describe him in that particular moment.  And in that moment, a small mind-wrenching thought hit me, well more like punched me..repeatedly.  

I sit here in my bed, still wrestling with these thoughts, with less than a minute left till midnight. And my thoughts go as follows:

If he is not happy doing what he is doing, why is he doing it at all? 

Aren’t we supposed to be happy?”

An excerpt from one of my numerous notebooks, written my freshman year of highschool.

Samantha

Some days I half expected to walk into the living room and find her sitting there like she always did, her blonde hair all messy, paper and pencils everywhere.  She used to always forget one in her hair and leave it there all day.

Or I would expect to walk into the kitchen and find her standing in the midst of a mess by the stove cooking goodness knows what.  Somehow it always ended up tasting alright.

Two Small Men

Music

The afternoon was just beginning to transition to evening, giving the sky a beautiful dusty blue color.  People mingled about the plaza next to Le Musée d’Orsay.  As I left the museum hall I could hear the faint sound of a piano playing nearby.  Sure enough as I reached the end of the plaza as it descended into the street, two small men sat on a piano bench and were jazzing out some good old ragtime.