Untitled (2017-04-09)

“Come here,” your grandmother says, the same confident tone as always–that all who hear her, maybe the very world itself, will conform to her whim–the smallest gesture of her hand to punctuate the statement.

You obey immediately, walking forward and stopping just short of where she is seated, the dust and dirt from your trousers brushing against the vibrant blue and purple blanket draped over her lap. You can’t meet her eyes, locked on to your own intertwined and fidgeting fingers.

“I said, come here,” she repeats, reaching up towards your face–you crouch down to accommodate her. The grip around your chin is firm but not painful. She turns your head this way and that, inspecting, and you follow as she moves you. You lean into her hand, skin thin and cool and papery, bony and frail, and yet comforting.

When she pulls her hand away, it is wet with your tears.

You haven’t seen her in so long.

“What is with that hair?” she asks, and your immediate laughter in response is wet and nasally, clogged.

“It’s the style,” you say, “Asymmetry is in.”

“Hmph, I know that,” she says, “But it’s so messy! Don’t you comb it?”

You don’t own a hairbrush. It’s short enough that you can just run your fingers through it get rid of tangles.

You cannot tell this to your grandmother, who was a school matron and known citywide for her poise and etiquette.

“What are you doing here?” she asks, instead, patting the empty seat beside her.

You collapse into it, slouching towards her, never mind your terrible posture.

“I didn’t mean to,” you say in a quiet voice, small and simple and sorry, as if you were still the four year old that broke your grandmother’s prettiest tea set out of curiosity. “I didn’t mean to hurt anyone.”

You did much worse than destroy heirloom ceramics this time around.

She raises a hand to your face once more, but you close your eyes–you can’t bear to see the disappointment on her face.

Without sight, your other senses are amplified. The scent of your grandmother’s flowery perfume, the contrast of the chair’s upholstery against the scraping, crunching, of shattered glass on pavement.

The sound of sirens, fire flickering, metal and gasoline and smoke on the air.

“I didn’t mean to,” you repeat, and cry again.

More than that broken tea set, more than your messy hair and the dust on your trousers and your terrible posture. More than the cuts on your arm and the blood oozing through your shirt and what you think is a bone shard poking through your forearm.

More painful and shameful and awful than all that is telling your grandmother–who you loved so much, who you have not seen in eight years–that you didn’t mean to die…

… and her knowing that you are lying.

what does it say
that i am more
suicidal in spring?
that rain and clouds
rejuvenate me,
while sunlight
saps my strength.

what does it say
that waking up
before my alarm
always disappoints?
that morning sounds
only grate and
frustrate me.

what does it say
that i press my temple
rhythmic tap tap
imagining
that i rattle around pills
shaking, enticing,
reckless driving habits

i bleed and calculate
the volume
of my music
deafening, blasting,
i want desperately
the end of spring

jacksgreyson, Untitled (2017-04-03)

Untitled (2017-03-30)

“I could die,” she said with a shrug, as cool as a cucumber. She said it the way one might say, “I could go for some ice cream,” or even “I could pick up some milk while I’m at the grocery store, if you’d like.”

The irony being, of course, that she was highly lactose intolerant.

Her offhand tone and casual demeanor nearly masked the content of her words, to which a generous narrator might attribute Jack’s belated, unhelpful response of:

“Um. Uh, Maybe?”

Unfortunately, the truth was that Jack was both awkward and frequently overcome by a dense fog of emotional incompetency. Now was one such occasion.

She laughed, if it could be called such. It was the laugh of a sailor encountering a shark in the middle of a hurricane–unimpressed, stressed, and yet, somehow, slightly amused. Toeing the line of hysterical, perhaps.

“You’re my best friend,” Jack said, rushed and cracked and desperately honest.

Ness sighed, “You’re mine, too.”

It was not new information and so, regretfully, it did not change anything.

There is a freedom in apathy; or so you think, at first.

It feels like ascending. Like leaving behind all of your worries and frustrations and grief. Like purging poison from your body, making you lighter–unburdened, relieved.

But not happier.

There is a danger in apathy.

Numb to pain, yes, but to pleasure as well. The things that used to make you smile are now overtired, trite baubles cluttering your space. Your favorite station is now just an annoying racket. Watering your little potted plant is a hassle.

You set your fingertips against an overheated panel and didn’t pull away until your skin began to blister.

But for a moment, you felt something.

Sadly, that something was curiosity.

~

A/N: This is the first time in a week that I got to go home before ten? And, also, there’s a clusterfuck going on at work, as per usual, but it’s NOT MY FAULT. I mean, I’m still going to be the one who has to fix it, but knowing it’s not my fault vindicates me greatly.

Counterclockwise (2017-03-25)

“Hey!” she screams up at the sky, empty and silent and useless, “How long are you going to wait? Haven’t I done enough?”

There is nothing around her, nothing for the sound to bounce back, no echoes just her voice lost to eternity.

She’s reached a new low. Now she does not want an ending. She needs it. And she’s demanding it.

She doesn’t know if there is a god up there, one who will smite her for her hubris or will take pity on her. She’s met people with fantastic powers, people with immortality, people with both. She’s met beings who go by the terms angels and demons. She’s met spirits of long passed people, spirits of ideas, spirits of natural formations. Once, she met a spirit of red crayons who gave her a surprisingly legitimate treasure map after she did it a great service.

But she’s never met a god.

She thinks, if she ever does, she’s going to punch it in its face.

She’s become riskier over the years. Vicious and flippant and aggressive over the eons. Once, she was just some civilian who thought fighting was the arguments she had with her siblings over whose turn it was to do the dishes.

Now she runs headfirst into battles, brushing past a literal invulnerable man and sneering, “Why are you hesitating? What’s the worst that can happen? We’ll die?”

Once, meeting Apex had brought stars to her eyes. Had reaffirmed her confidence that maybe she could one day be hero, too.

Now she is the team’s walking time bomb, all shrapnel and fire and incandescent rage, even he is afraid to follow where she goes.

Sometimes, she wonders, if he had just said something then–years in the future for him, but ages in the past for her–if he had warned her away, would anything have changed?

All these what ifs, more heady and seductive with the growing power in her palm, like coins rattling in a jar, or gleaming at the bottom of a fountain. What if she could just pluck them up and hold them to the sun and wish?

How much more does she need? What is the quota? Or maybe, she thinks, there is none. There is no mystical, mysterious finish line that she needs to cross. There is no time card to punch out, no hours to dock, no sick days or annual bonuses. Seasons barely mean anything to her, she doesn’t know when her last birthday was. She’s beginning to forget what her family looked like.

No wonder Bastian was so mad when they first met: she’s finally on her way to joining him.

An expulsion of negative feelings.

Exhaustion

I hear on the news:

A cop has killed,
yet another unarmed brother.
A college athlete raped,
yet another sister.
A spoiled, useless man shot,
yet more of our children.

Change the station,
commercials,
interspersed with music.

Turn off the radio.

Malice

I was raised in a Christian home,
and saw my family fall apart.
The Church that once guided me,
turned its teeth against who I am.

God believes in truth and love,
except for those who don’t fit in?

I no longer believe in religion,
but for you I’d be wrong,
just to see you burn in Hell.

Despair

Months ago,
I considered death.
How sweet
and peaceful
it would be.

But I turned away,
ideas stored,
cars, knives, pills,
taunting me
in my sleep.

Now my life,
is in the crosshairs.
Monsters who think
to control me.

I am no slave,
no fetish, no doll.
I will die
when I choose.

jacksgreyson, Untitled (2016-11-11)

Untitled drabble (2015-06-27)

It’d be easy, you think, eyelids growing heavy behind your sunglasses. Your hands flex around the steering wheel, plastic hot from the afternoon sun. So easy. You are already driving over the speed limit–not too much, only enough to keep up–and you could so easily just. Swerve. Into oncoming traffic. Into the wall. Just ram the front of your car into something and feel the metal and gasoline and glass crunch and burn and shatter around you. Into you. It’d be easy.

But no.

No.

That’d put other people at risk. That’s not fair. Your desire doesn’t supersede their rights.

The thought lingers, still.

—-

You have been trying to fall asleep for the past three hours, tears streaming down your temples from exhaustion and frustration and painfully dry eyes. It’s time to give up. Accept your failure.

There are knives in the kitchen.

It’s dark, but you have walked the path from bedroom to kitchen so many times that sight doesn’t matter. You could navigate the drawers, their haphazard organization of utensils, with your eyes closed. And so what if your fingers catch on the prongs of forks or the sharp edges of the cheese grater? It wouldn’t be a problem after you choose the right knife and cut/slice/stab–

Your knuckles brush against a set of measuring spoons, the clang loud and startling in your ears.

That’d be unsanitary. People cook food with those knives, in this kitchen. Just go back to your room and try (fail) to sleep.

Maybe you can get a prescription for sleeping pills.

—-

Some days are better than others.

By that system, some days must be worse than others.

In the span of a month you attend a funeral, a baby shower, a wedding, a graduation, and a birthday party. You visit your ailing grandmother, play with your sister’s new dog, develop and pop your first blister, argue with your father, get a free cookie with your coffee…

Sometimes, you feel fine. You find things funny and you laugh. You witness something new and are amazed. You get participate and live through your day completely at ease.

Sometimes your head feels full and slow. Most thoughts hazy, and you don’t mean to be rude, but you honestly don’t hear or can’t understand what the people around you are saying. You stay silent.

The only things that pop into your mind with any clarity are things you are afraid to say aloud. So they stay inside and fester.

~

A/N: More autobiographical than not, unfortunately. I haven’t been doing too well, but this helps me. It doesn’t have a particularly hopeful ending, but acknowledgement is can be beneficial in and of itself.

I hope it helps someone else, too.