C.D.

I don’t get it. I don’t understand how it works so quick. You go from being happy and “in the moment”, then you’re gone. Like a snap, you’re out of it and in a bubble.The world just consumes you and you have no idea why. It doesn’t make sense. It’s honestly not how life is expected to work. 

We spoke about loneliness and solitude, and how solitude is something you choose; “but you shouldn’t let loneliness consume you if you’re alone, ‘but solitude is being alone on purpose’ and let solitude be constructive for who you want to be”. Nevertheless, I was confused. I still am confused, but why should it be simple? 

She told me that my day is a couple of days away, and I knew that. I’m dreading it and hating it, but I knew that. I’m not sure if something is wrong with me, or if this is what things have led to, but I don’t like it. At the same time, I don’t mind the separation sometimes. Nothing gets done, but I don’t have to do anything. My day is coming, and I don’t know what it is that I’m supposed to do or if it will even work.

I left everyone. Without thinking, I grabbed my bag and left to lie about papers. I don’t know why, and I don’t think I want to know why. It just shows me that I still have something inside, or something. 

Written

I know nothing of spoken abouts, for I have gone deaf by troubled knights. 

I stand with fearful joy and wallow to wither with each drunken kiss from tempted lips in the hollow hour of setting sun’s fire.  

Bags.

My heart sinks when I think of she in the hollow moonlight,

When the sun gives glow to sorrow’s wheel in heavens and breathes a holy glow upon reddened lips that all men pray to know.

My spot lays within the walls of molded rock and sing her name to the ears of the stars that she wished to love and watch run around the blackened playground;

But with a shattered heart and a hate for Cupid’s string and arrows, she spoke of nightmares as a knotted towelette used to wash away the sins of demons and sent me the tears that lined her eyes with a ghostly shuttered kiss.

Yet, I wish for castles and a stallion with a harnessed saddle to mend a fallen sky at the tempted bloom of the Reaper’s night and wipe the fears that stand in trust of a tempered heart encased in rust.

As the gods may know, I am but a simple man with complex minds and a guilted hand. I know the troubles and struggles that stand with tacks and creep during the AM like factories of rats. 

I wish for heaven to speak once more, and send me the words that I desperately look for.

RDJ “How To Mend a Broken Heart”

Memories linger as scraps along the portraits of silent forests

Painting ceilings and walls with misery and hopeful nightmares

Each causing pain, more harmful than ancient daggers, or the gas which brought mothers, children to their knees in tears of forgiving eyes

All moments brought to a list, pros and cons, the “what-ifs”, the changes expected

All for a story that brings her to tears as he reminisces of she, that got away and turned to ash as images to the fireplace

His story that weighs on they that listen and hold together the bitter emotions, the emotions he quiets with each distant cannon fired from within

The story that mends a broken heart, and brightens another innocent ear that wishes to know of hidden night terrors

She, the one who unknowingly carries despair, won’t walk through the doors and return to the arms she vowed against

He, the quiet speaker, moves along, dragging that which haunts him, through the peaks of joyous faces and the valleys of misunderstood midnights 

American Beauty.

  
It’s running and stopping when you breakdown

Singing to the wind

Opening doors in the forests

Falling for a blonde and not knowing why

Being heartbroken by a brunette, wanting to be alone

Laughing with pink hair, knowing it’ll turn purple when the next coffee break comes

Walking through glass, playing off the pain

Yelling in traffic, but passion showing when Queen comes next

Sitting in a library, laughing because the joke finally hits

Being racist for a quick hello

Being offended to fit the crowd of the overconfident

Being strong when the field looks too free not to enjoy

Being unnecessary to a cause, since states are not the same

Able to read old love letters that were hidden for centuries

Over analyzing words about a tree

Narrowing a branch to a crossbeam of one savior 

Molding Frankenstein’s monster into a secondhand woman

Listening to the lines of a man discovering women function as man when insides fill

Putting country lyrics together in a Shakespearean manner

Discovering literature by a professor reciting Big Sean rhymes

White/Black/Brown/Tan, Old/Young/Fake Young/ False Old, Straight/Gay/Undefined merging by the seams of crazed poets
I channel my inner Usher on my walk to class, 

only to transform into a Drake ballad knowing she’s committed;

Panda hats are only warm in the winter;

Pens have a better feel after an album run through;

A sunrise is like a soft kiss from a memory you forgot existed;

The difference in life is what comes after you see the sunrise, 

bars and chains or birds

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And in a lasting breath, they’ll scream for God or other holy equivalent. Join in arms of praise and unity.

They’re words won’t be heard. They’re screams will be raspy whispers coming from a desert stricken throat. They’ll run and cause mayhem in the streets. Broken windows, doors, towns, cities, nations; all will soar into the night sky and release like patriot wildfires.

A new normal in immortal progression.

Paintbrush

This was the first and only story that kept me awake for weeks, and also the only one I have ever truly tried to make perfect.

It was around Spring, and I was following a bird flying off in the distance. I would say about 15 feet above us; brown, could fit inside the palm of a child’s hand, and graceful. How it found the bright idea to come across an ocean side highway was beyond me? It was a little thing, out of what could be its comfort zone, but more excited and determined to fly through the wind than I could ever be while sitting and making conversation in a passenger seat. We always took this route. The same highway, with the same traffic, with the same waves that crashed along the ridge of the highway. This long, but welcoming sight of a road was placed perfectly between a mountainside of trees that would make Seattle proud and the comforting sway of the ocean.

There was always traffic, but that day seemed different. The cars moved at a smooth pace, and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. I remember looking over at her and asking, “So, we pretty much are experts on one another, right?”

She turned her head to the side, “What do you mean ‘experts’?”

“I mean that we already know about one another.” 

I was hesitant because I knew the right and wrong things to say. The buttons that could be pushed and the anger that could come down on me like a well timed lightning bolt. 

She laughed, “I don’t think you know everything about me.”

“I know that you are the master of changing lanes, and scaring me half to death.”

She laughed again, “I just do that on purpose to see you worry.”

She was beautiful, and wanted to see me watch my entire life pass before my eyes. Now that I think about, she was right for me.

A grin dug it’s home on my face, “So, you do want to see me scared?”

“Well, yeah,” she said, “I think everyone should see all of the emotions from someone they care about. So, yeah. I want to see you scared because I don’t think you’ve been really scared.”

She didn’t know it at the time, but I was always afraid. There wasn’t a day where I would see her and know that things would be fine, and that scared me all of the time.

“What did we do last time we were on our way to the beach?”

After a short pause, she said, “Oh yeah! We talked about growing up, high school, and why you know Spanish and can’t speak it. I think it’s great that you know it, even though you probably don’t.” 

She laughed, and I looked back at her with an even bigger grin (at this point, my face resembles more of a psychotic clown than a happy man). I was beyond happy, “I love you so much right now.”

She held her laugh and asked, “Why?” 

“Because who else is going to tell me that it’s great, but a shame. Like I know I take digs at you, but I never expected to get hit by a 2×4 from you.”

“I didn’t hit you.”

I laughed, “No, it’s a figure of speech.”

We continued down the highway, about halfway from our spot. Nothing was off limits for us. We talked about our religious choices, although I never told her mine as of now. We talked about politics, and why it was always a disappointing discussion. We even talked about what our deepest desires were. 

“So that’s why you traveled?” I asked.

“Yeah, it was a family thing and we would go.”

“Languages, what do you know?”

She giggled, “I know the one that matters. I’m kidding, I didn’t mean it.”

When we first met each other, she was very cautious about what she said. She was kind and caring, but never wanted to get a reaction from anyone. I’d like to think that I corrupted her pure and innocent mind.

“I know you’re not that mean,” I said, “I am.”

“You know and don’t know Spanish. You could show me a little something something,” she laughed again.

“We could try. So, follow my lead. Cómo estás.”

“Como aystas”

“You did that on purpose, didn’t you?” I laughed, “What aye?”

“What do you mean?”

“I mean there was an aye. You know what we’ll try again.”

“Okay,” she looked down.

“It’s okay, I’m just being difficult. Có-mo E-stás.”

“Cómo estás, that’s what I said. Right?” She focused on the road with the corners of her lips pulled high like balloons on 3 year old hands.

“There was an aye in there. It was almost like you’re trying to speak Spanish and be a pirate at the same time.” 

I always loved to poke fun and make her second guess herself. Yeah, I’ll admit that it was a bad joke done on repeat. But, it was our thing and she was getting into the habit of poking me back. Like everything else, this day was different.

“I wasn’t trying to be a pirate. I was trying to get it right.” 

It was a moment like this where I had to pull back the reigns and catch myself.

“You know I’m kidding. You’re my caramel macchiato with extra whipped cream and extra caramel.”

“Okay, I get it now. You can stop, please.” Her face flustered, and I sat back with a terrible grin. I mean it was awful. It was like an old mastermind finally catching the hero in a trap, but he doesn’t know how to celebrate. 

“Did I go too far? Was it not good enough? Am I just another disappointment added on to your list of head shakes? Shall I walk into the midst of battle with nothing, but my scraps on and hang my head lower than a dog that heels out of fear? Should I -” 

A beaten down Corolla. A fading green in color, like that of a fading tree in fall with the bumper that looked like it had been in a fight against cannons, gently swerved into our lane in hopes of beating the line of cars heading the same direction. Amateur racers, but of all things a beaten down Corolla that carries the scars of failure. Here’s the thing, it wasn’t the car that scared me, but the way it looked was a dead giveaway that this person shouldn’t be driving.

She slammed on the brakes, and for two seconds she met fear in a million cases all the same.

“I’m sorry, are you okay?”

She looked more afraid than I could ever handle being.

“I’m fine,” still with an unsure grin, “They just don’t drive often, or at all. But are you okay?”

She let out a sight, “Yeah, I’m fine.”

“Perfect. You know what, we’ll be at our spot and the carnival in no time, and everything will be okay. Like the past twenty times that we went.”

She didn’t know, but I figured it would be the stupid things that I could say that would call her down.

“Yeah. Okay. I’m really sorry though. They just came out of nowhere and I-”

“I know. Things like this happen all the time. Is there something wrong with my face? Any bruises or scratches?”

“No. Why are you hurt? Do you need-”

“Then we’re golden! Because you still have your glow and not one hair is out of place, and I’m still me!” Hardly. “Ready for another quick lesson?”

“Sure.” And sure enough, that smile came back.

“Umm, since that car cut you off and almost killed me. (Believe me, you would’ve been fine). They are a pendejo, or a pendeja if they’re a lady.” 

I clearly had no clue what I was talking about. 

“What does that mean? Those words.” 

“Well…”

That was the beginning of a long day. 

We spent hours upon hours together. Staring at the ceiling. Watching the ripples of the lake. We’d walk and I’d stumble over a pebble, and she’d laugh and try to contain her popcorn joy. There were nights where I’d send her a song or two, just to listen to and nothing more. What would be 10 minutes of mindless copy and paste, would end hours later with a drawn out conversation of “yeah”. The days spent together, the laughs, the questions through eyebrows raised, all would be flowers blossomed in the garden of Spring. 

The night so vivid, a night so clear, that I look back and grit my teeth as to know true fear. This night pains me in ways like no other. I still feel the anxious waves that grab hold and never choose to leave. The doors stand open, and still it refuses. 

As I sat still in the passenger seat, the red brake lights melted with white headlights and the orange lamps that lit the highway. A wintery finish and black streaks separated us from the other tired eyes that sat in midnight traffic. The radio blasted at a comforting peak, and she sang on as we moved slower than a snail curled by salt. 

“You’re tired, aren’t you?”She had no plans of sleep, but could see the seeds of drowsiness being planted.

“No, I’m fine. I’m just staring at the old people. I think they’re old. You know what, you never really know.”

How I came to put words together, I’ll never know. 

“You know what I think? I think you need to nap until we get home. That way you’ll be good.” She lunged towards my seat lever, and I fell into comfort.

“I guess, if you insist. But I’m not tired. I’m just deep in thought.” 

I was falling asleep while staring at the cars that entire night. But the faces were fixed and had no desire to look over at the faces that would pass. They were statues gone to the agenda of time.

Beside me was a sight of romantics, the fair face of poetic portraits. Brown eyes and a warm smile, that’s what I remember the most. Nearing sleep. I looked at her, and I could see each strand moving slowly across her eyelids. Falling, fainting. A masterful creator painting each feature ever so gently. Eyes that could melt the most hardened shell of men. A petite nose that called for a boop every now and then. But it was a smile from ear to ear, blossomed under the moonlight as each note rang out in harmony like a sudden breeze in the Spring, that fixed my eyes like that of those chained to cave shadows. I couldn’t stop my stare. Only when I forced a turn to glance at the night sky to see the melting metals of light stiff onto massive trailers, where I caught my break and knew childish joy. Yet, my eyes were fixed on the back and forth, from an innocent sound to a fixed creation. 

Then a loud shot broke my fixation on her. A scream from her and a yell from me. I slid upward, nearing the backseat. My shoulder was badly bruised. Her head shook as she slammed on the brakes. 

I got up angrily, shouting blindly in curses, “What the hell was that?”

She shook the cobwebs and asked, “Are you okay?”

“What do you think?” I said, “I’m sorry, but I’m okay.”

I pulled my seat up and placed my hand on her shoulder to let her know that I was still there. We both opened our doors, hers calmly and mine blasted by might. It was like I switched in a matter of seconds and my eyes looked for anger, and my fists were balled into hammers for whoever put her in danger.

“What the hell is your problem?” I looked into panic and witnessed true fear across the faces of the others.

She pulled me to the side,”Please stop. I don’t know what’s taking over you, but stop it.” 

I paused and moved away. There were two girls, college aged and frantic. The first got out of the car looked like she was in a full nightmarish apology mode; and the second was breathing heavily in a fidgeting worry and still strapped by the belt. The second grew even more afraid at the sight of my fists and cursing shouts. She couldn’t have been more than 20 years old and curious to the nose, but she was afraid of me. A monster I became. Luckily, I was moved. My brown eyed savior moved me to handle what I couldn’t. I just kept hearing her way that it wasn’t that bad and it was okay, but the girl was in a slowly falling panic. I don’t remember how much time passed, but I just remember her hugging the panicked girl and smiling. How? How could she have been so calm?

I watched as she walked to the driver side and found her seat. I didn’t know what was to come from it. She tested the ignition to see if everything was okay, like I said it would. Without any sounds of concern, she merged back into the dense traffic of before. The radio played loudly in comfort, and she sang without a missed beat or off rhythm.

I looked at her in disbelief, “How did you do that?”

She looked over with her eyebrows scrunched, “Do what? Talk to the girl and not yell?”

“I’m sorry, but yeah.”

She smiled, “It’s about how you interact with people. You know you can’t be mad because something happened.”

I loved her more than I thought possible.

Slowly, the lanes cleared. The cars that hugged the lanes had disappeared along with her cheer and her smile. We sat in movement broken by the silence. No words said and no lives lost, but it all seemed to turn downward.

We continued on our way home. Clear road and clear skies, but I noticed that her hands shook without control. Her eyes that were filled with comfort had been replaced with worry. I knew the grounds would bleed a soft red, but the flushed face of hers had me question what laid ahead.

I asked, “Are you okay?”

Clearly she wasn’t.

“No. I’m just losing it a little bit.” Her hands shook and her breaths became heavier than the last.

I wasn’t prepared, but I knew that I cared, “Water. Want a water? Anything?”

I wanted to calm her down, the same way that she stopped me from regret.

“Yes, please. Thank you.”

Polite, even in a struggle.

I handed her a water, and we got off the off ramp. We pulled into an empty lot, one where it seemed there had been no cars for months. She sat in fear and I sat in worry. None the same, none different. 

I opened my door and gestured her to the passenger seat, “I’m driving now. Get some rest over here and I’ll get us home.”

She only nodded her head. 

Now I sat in fear, and she was in comfort. I found my way to the road home, and the rest of the drive was silent. She sat with her eyes closed. Brown eyes and the strands of an artist’s brush combing his masterpiece. I sat through open lanes and only saw worry in a car that jerked from right to left, and thought I cant have this happen again. Two lanes over, I got passed the reckless end to our night. 

“We still haven’t talked after that day. At least not as we did after that day.”

“What do you mean like you once did?”

“We’re you not paying attention? To go from speaking constantly to a dead silence that’s only cut by ‘Hey’ or ‘okay’. Do you see what I’m getting at?”

John didn’t know any better, but he would listen, “I know that, but to not talk after that? It just doesn’t make sense, and you won’t tell me. But, how long has it been?”

“Months, but I still worry,” I shook back and forth,” You didn’t see her face. No one saw her worry.”

“But she’s okay now, right?” John asked.

“Well, yeah. We just don’t talk.”

I dread to look back, but speak upon it at every chance I get with whoever would listen. Whether it’s John, other friends, or my dad. I stand balcony side and watch the stars to hope that she’s well. I’ll never know for sure, but I could pray and hope that she’s okay. I wish that there was a way to bring comfort back to a warm smile. Yet, we can hope and only pray to achieve. Some might say it’s sad, but they’ll never know. You’ve seen this, and you don’t even know. Maybe we’ll have answers some time along the way, but that’s all I have. The last time I was with her.

Tears of March 

Handshakes and hugs, calmed and shattered the invincibility stage of growing up with freedom. I watched as the brown eyes walked more sober than before to the driver side and found her seat. I didn’t know what was to come from it. She tested the ignition to see if a normal minute was to come. Without concern, she merged back into the dense traffic of before. The radio played loudly with comfort setting in, and she sang without a missed beat or off rhythm. Slowly, the lanes cleared. The cars that hugged the lanes had disappeared, along with her cheer and her smile. We sat in movement. Broken by the silence. 
We still haven’t talked after that day. At least not as we once did.

Ava/Routine

A typical Tuesday meant that Ava had to find ways of being productive for about an hour, just enough of a break before labs began again. So, what’s a 20 year old college student to do?”Library. 3rd floor. Window seat,” she said under her breath as she stood before a book lover’s 20 step dream, “Am I bad person for judging? I mean, it’s not like I’m against what anyone does. I’m just reacting to the creative substances that have spread their newfound paints on the bodies of a couple thousand.”

Ava Gabriel: bright, the first in her family to continue with school, an writer at heart, and her mind set on nothing. If anyone was to ask her what her favorite hobbies were, she’d probably give them a blank stare and say something along the line of books or movies. Frankly, no one knows what Ava is thinking. No one in her family has ever been to a place without a man pushing a cart of snacks, a place that wasn’t filled with the aromas of fish and beef simultaneous in a dance that tempted the nearest passerby to come and sit. The only smells were that off burnt toast and dust filled shelves that covered the university’s library from head to toe. But, those that were lucky enough to get more than two sentences from the out of place blank stare, could pick Ava out of the crowd by her flowing dark brown hair, ninja turtle green backpack, black and white baseball cap, and jeans. Something screams outgoing, but she fits the “nod and walk away” category of college.
Tuesday. 10 am. 3rd floor of the library.

Now, I’ve never been one to know people’s schedule, but she always shows up at around the same time every week. And I know it seems a bit “stalkerish”, but trust me when I say coincidence. The quiet, possibly stuck up Ava Gabriel. Something seems to be a bit off with her, but I’ll tell you that it’s probably just nerves. Story goes is that she’s a transfer from a bad neighborhood and she’s has this image that all of us are privileged rich kids; and while that may be true (for some of us), I’m not buying it. I had a Chem class with her, and she was always the first done and always got the highest marks. The other “intellectually advantaged” few would talk and brag about the random fun facts of the day, but not Ava. You see, Ava would sit towards the back with her printouts laid out on the desk, notes set, and eyes focused on the board. My buddy Brad tried talking to her once and it didn’t go well, “I swear dude, she only knows two words: ‘textbook’ and ‘study’.” I think there’s more to that, right? There has to be. She always stared out of the window in class, and even in the library (when she’s here). I could careless about who she is, but the fact that she keeps popping up bugs me. 

Traffic Jam

As I laid still in the passenger seat, the red brake lights melted with the white headlights and the orange lamps that lit the highway. A silver finish and black lines separated us from the other tired eyes that sat in midnight traffic. The radio grew to a comforting peak, and she sang on as we moved slower than a snail curled by salt. Brown eyes and a warm smile, that’s what I remember the most. Nearing sleep. I looked at her, and I could see each strand moving slowly across her eyelids. Falling, fainting. A smile from ear to ear, blossomed under the moonlight as each note rang out in harmony like a sudden breeze in spring.