Category Archives: Prose

Freedom

How is it that we can contradict so easily and hardly explain?

Your presence is a need and want but neither is because of the terrors you cause at night when my mind catches up with my heart.

As much as it wants to run away from the realities behind the emotions, it can’t control the waves of uncertainty and darkness taking over its too long denied fragility. What will become of me

when you take it all away?

So easy for you to forbid and ban and deny, but it isn’t that way for me when there are so many roadblocks placed in my life. So I lay low and crawl towards my goals instead of sprinting ahead towards the long craved sunrise.

Your blockade of my light won’t hold back my life, only slow it down, so what’s the point?

Pushing me to my breaking point is cruel and coming back with a hug and an apology won’t give me back my time, rewind my mind that already has lengthy songs of pain on replay,

I think sometimes of relaying these thoughts to you, running them through your head with a wire, reinforce the idea with a screw, but what use will it be when the wires are cut by you, all the effort thrown away, screwed.

I wish I could get through, shine the light that is truth, free myself of the burden, the contradictory thought that is you–

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Swing

A few weeks ago, swinging high on a swing in the park, grasping the metal chains warmed by the sun, I looked towards the sky like I always do when I’m swinging. Swing forward, closer to the sky, swing back, further. Lean back, feet to the air, kicking the clouds. Let go of the chains for a while, reach for the sky. Touch its wondrous, soft blue that only a good day can bring about. Then fall back for a while and propel forward again.

It is only on the swing that I have the few positive philosophical musings of my life. It is on the swing I feel as if anything is possible and that maybe if we just keep swinging–keep moving forward, no matter how many times we are kicked back–we can achieve anything.

As I touched the blue sky with the tip of my fingers, I felt like I could grasp anything if I could touch the sky. The sky, however, is not the limit. With the breeze passing over my face, disheveling my hair, I knew I could reach as high as I wanted, even if the place I’m aiming for is beyond the sky–not in my world–because I’ll make it part of my world eventually: Whatever position I’m vying for, whatever career I am aiming for, I can make it one day even if it isn’t part of my world, life, yet.

Then, I got off the swing, with that sort of uplifting feeling warming me–as the sun warmed the black swing–and tripped on the steps. Laughing at myself, I got back to worrying and stressing out about my life and where I’m going with it.

Such is the life of a realist that insists on being a romantic.

It: Self-Hatred

Everything I did seemed inferior.

The gloom of its presence overshadowed me. I wanted to break out of its confinement. But it wouldn’t allow something like that. It held me tighter each time. I needed something more to get out. I needed a stronger will, or a heart less deprived than my own.

Perhaps I needed a different skin. If I wasn’t so… so malleable, molding into whatever it wanted me to become, I could’ve just walked away. In retrospect, I did try to change at one time, but that’s exactly what it wanted me to do. Changing is just a symptom of this disease overriding me.

It’s pushing me further now. Is it too late? I wasn’t over the edge yet, but it was telling me to take one more step.

“So this is it,” I whispered shakily that night against the sudden breeze that sent my hands into an uncontrollable tremor. I didn’t like the abrupt sharpness of my voice in the cold, tranquil night. I decided not to speak again. Instead, I listened to its earnest encouragement, forced my shaking to subside, and I took one more step.

* * * * * * * *

The ripple effect. One thing led to another. They said drugs take away your sense of self-identity. I didn’t do drugs. But I did something worse.

I did have a choice. I didn’t have to do any of the things venomously whispered to me. I had a future. I had people who would have cared. I didn’t have to do the horrid thing–to myself–that changed lives, my life. Or well, lack of one now.

She Wrote

A young girl woke up and scanned the world for a place to begin her life, sharpened pencil in hand.

As she ventured out, she bent down every once in a while and wrote green grass and rainbow flowers onto the dirty gravel. When she got to a building, she wrote pink hair, orange feet, and indigo eyes onto the walls. She gave herself a couple more colors and read it a few times over, editing here and there. When she was satisfied, she walked on the newly written grass over to her house. No one was there. She wrote family onto the living room wall and left.

* * * * * * * *

Deciding that the world’s sky was too dark, she wrote blue. On the flat clouds, she wrote puffy and on the dying sun, she wrote bright. That night, lying on her bed of words under the stars she wrote, she read her world. She knew her world but she had no clue who she was. And she was alone. She rolled over and wrote friend.

Scanning the landscape, the expansive horizon, the seemingly endless, lonely world, she unwittingly wrote the word afraid in her mind. She thought of her bubble–broken with her sharpened pencil as a young child–and wondered if she should’ve stayed inside.

* * * * * * * *

The young woman read her own words for the 15th year in a row. She didn’t like what she read even though she tried her best throughout the years. Not knowing what to do, she wrote tears on her face.

Quickly, she realized she was wasting time and tried to erase the tears from her eyes, but there was no eraser on the pencil’s end. She’d have to let them fade with time. With that in mind, she walked on to finish her story so that her mark may be made upon the world before she left it.

* * * * * * * *

The old woman glanced at her old memories, masterpieces and world. Back then, she thought she hadn’t much of a life. But in fact, she was writing it marvelously and facing the world valiantly. Since her younger years, she had transformed her scribbled words into exotic phrases and transfixing sentences.

With the now-dulled pencil lead, she wrote a smile on her cracked lips, light in her pale blue eyes, and love in her defeated heart. She no longer wanted an eraser. She knew all of her mistakes were fixable without one, and none of her memories needed erasing. Some of the sad faded away, smudged or overwritten, but the happy ones always stayed.

With this happiness, she read and read all that night until she fell asleep for the last time with a smile written on her face, dulled pencil in hand.

V-Neck

“I think I’ll stop wearing V-Necks,” I said.

And then I caught myself. I was being a hypocrite. I always believed that women shouldn’t put the blame on themselves for men’s wandering eyes and lack of self-control, yet here I was feeling ashamed of myself for accidentally exposing a little extra skin when my true crime was almost deciding to never wear any of my favorite shirts again.

Some men may think that telling a girl that she turns him on because of her appearance or the way she is dressed is a positive thing, a compliment. Maybe that was their intent, but the way it is received, the outcome, matters much more than the intention. When a man rapes a woman and says that he didn’t intend to traumatize her, does that make it okay? I’m willing to guess your answer is no. So why would it be okay for a man  to make a girl feel harassed and uncomfortable–yes, it makes us uncomfortable, not confident–in her own skin, her own favorite shirt, with what he intended as a “compliment”? It is not okay.

To anyone that has ever spoken, please think before you speak. Your words, intended compliment or not, lighthearted joke or not, can create long-lasting insecurities and negatively affect the mentality of the people around you. You may think your one comment does not mean much but it does; even if it doesn’t mean anything that one time, remember that there are a lot of other people who think what they say once doesn’t matter. Imagine how one comment from each person who doesn’t think twice can eventually build up into hundreds, causing perfectly fine people to become utterly self-conscious. No one should be made to feel that way, and absolutely no one needs to change their lifestyle or their clothes for anyone.

“Don’t stop wearing V-Necks,” he said.

Okay. I won’t. But I don’t wear them for you, your pouting face, and your good-willed words. I won’t wear them to suit your preferences, to garner compliments. I will wear them for myself because I like the way they look on me, not the way you look down them.

No Escape

He scrutinized her every movement. Her body’s beauty was beyond anything he ever dreamed of.

She thought he couldn’t see her. She was almost out now, flying daintily across the dark stage of his delusion towards the tiny window–unlocked today–which spilled a thin stream of light into the empty room. Her one slim chance was right in front of her.

She reached up, her pale arm glowing in the afternoon light. Her fingers felt the cool glass, felt her freedom, causing her sickly face to flush, creating a temporary illusion of health.

Spellbound, he couldn’t wait a second longer. He took her in his arms, ignoring her terror. He knew she would appreciate him in the end. He embraced her and showed her what he could do for her, and proceeded to do just that.

When it was over, he took her out of the room, back to her cell and wrapped up his reddened bedspread with a satisfied, ear to ear grin plastered onto his face.

He walked outside to board the window.

The Game of Life

The world inside the screen is an unlimited territory, an expansive, sprawling landscape, a horizon that never ends. Not only that, there are thousands upon thousands of these worlds. They allow for harmless, comfortable adventure where your character could never do something wrong, and if they do, it’s because it’ll actually end up being right or easily corrected.

In these beautiful lands, we can explore the depths and soar to the sky. In our vivid fantasy space, we are gifted, we are important, and we are brave. We are who we want to be, going wherever our hearts desire. We become the best, tap tap tapping away at our arrows keys, our combinations programmed to set up a perfectly aimed shot towards our always inferior enemies or allowing us to spew the perfect comeback to NPCs that always want us to do something for them because, again, we are the best.

If only life was that easy.

If only in life we could teleport to exotic lands, undo our mistakes with a click, take a position among the best and admired, and never be outside of our comfort zone. Right?

Contrary to our beliefs, everything we do and have in life is better than in-game. Minus the teleportation.

It may be harder than sitting at a desk, swiftly moving our muscle memory-dependent fingers over our keyboards, but isn’t it more rewarding as well? If we got everything in life so easily, we would only want more. It wouldn’t be as great or as special as it would be to us otherwise. When we work for what we want–whether that be a dream job, respect, fame, money to travel and buy what we want–it’s more valuable to us because of the blood, sweat, and tears put into it.

Instead of interacting with NPCs, interacting with real humans and helping them out, not because we are thought of as the best, but because we are thought of as good people, is where the real value is at. It’s where we get our warm, happy feelings from (and if I might add: it’s scientifically proven); it would certainly feel less like a chore needed to progress in a storyline and more like an opportunity to do some good.

In life, to get what we want or to experience novelty, we do have to go out of our comfort zones, but that makes it mean all the more. When we travel and journey in-game, there is no stepping out of the comfort zone. There is no stepping period, just sitting and tapping at the keyboard. In life, when we come out of our security, we don’t just get the experience, we change as people and gain knowledge, gain real bravery (yes, it’s not in-game and therefore not automatic).

Lastly, adventures and mistakes in-game might be harmless, but aren’t those mistakes and the possibility of harm what makes us smarter, better people? Without our mistakes, where would we be? Probably stuck in perfect, fragile bubbles in our own little worlds of ignorance and naivety.

Unlike video games, the game of life involves mistakes, character development and progression without quantitative leveling up, risky adventure, and a ton of effort. Because of this, we can get everything and do anything we typically could in the gaming world plus so, so much more.

The only thing we might not be able to do is revive ourselves when we’re dead. But I’m sure the scientists are working on that too.

So get out there, and play the real game.