Parched

My throat tastes sour and I can’t breathe.

My heart beats at the expense of my sanity.

What can I do but grit my teeth,

And blame myself for vanity?

 

Yet, even in self-deprecation, it seems

Cruel to neglect truest affections. Never before,

Never will be one more worthy that I beteems.

So I searched for the note, the very end, at my very core.

 

These puny thoughts plague words and mind,

‘Til the tillers tilled and crushed more than kind,

To set parched earth free from drought,

To grow anew a stubborn sprout.

 

I will live.

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Decision Day

‘Tis Earth Day, and it only upsets me more since I am so inspired by the courage and passion of engineers while I am suddenly reminded that our government care very little of that.

Good news: it’s (hopefully) only two years?

I write here in hopes of preserving that sudden urge to cry when I walked down that Sather path with the ironic gate: so many people, so much enthusiasm, so many happy faces greeting the crowd and sustaining their passions (and some of it includes raising pigeons?!). The environment is just so free and I was just DYING to be able to attend this school.

They are so proud, so intelligent and faithful to their students abilities, I just want to be there.

For a moment, I just completely forgot about a certain heartache that is only returning now as I wait for my flight, charging my phone in an airport that I’ve barely been.

Morning Walks to School

The air stank of cut grass and the fumes belonging to the author of the stench. ‘Tis the smell of uniformity, the blood of rebels who dared to outgrow the concrete bonds of humanity.

I tried to focus on the cracks on the floor, stretching across each rectangle aiming my steps beyond those lives to test my stubby little legs that carried me on, weaving in and out of sleepy high schoolers hogging the majority of the width of the sidewalk in a line of chattering friendship. The wind tried to chatter to me, but I needed coffee to maintain an intelligible conversation. I prefer to seek my silence, tainted by random blurbs of others’ words.

It’s not eavesdropping if I am not deliberately trying to get information, right? In fact, I merely chanced upon the conversation.

That teacher did it again! Everyone got C’s. She got asked to prom, they datin’. He called her, they hung out. Drunk? Nah, they higher than her grades. Did you see what she was wearing that day?

A cop yelled into his megaphone: helmets are more useful when they are on your head. A kid was grateful, for we would all choose a savage comment over a hundreds-dollar ticket.

The light turned green, the seconds began to trickle down. I walked between the white stripes wondering what of this will I miss and I looked down at the cracks upon the brick sidewalks. A hint of leaves reached out and said hi.

The Snail Crossing the Road

I saw your daring brilliance that morn’, shortly after the rain. God cried in my place and I thought I would hike a mountain to pretend that the elevation would bring me closer to Him, Her, It…? They, now that’s a more progressive term to appease my soul tainted by liberal rhetoric.

But political turmoil was shoved to the back of my mind that morn’, for my heart was a drama queen and my brain an ancient cynic too blinded by its devotion to logic to know whatever blubber of reasoning only gives the heart more woes to weep over.

So I distract myself, marveling alongside my mother the Renaissance of wild grass and flowers the seasons and rain and dew wrought forth in a Monet of lights and greens and warmth. Then I saw, amongst the dust yellow roads the splotches that are no rocks, but crawling or dead. What a scene I’ve never seen! What seems to be a battleground, a massacre, hope and life crushed but twitched incessantly. The raindrops drumming against the dusty roads were the heartbeat of the war, and trapped by the treachery of their enemies the snails had dragged their trails of slimy mud to the middle of the road. Some crossed, it seemed, their later comrades took formation.

Then the men came, carelessly breaking, crushing whatever their feet landed upon. I flinched at every crunch, every splatter of remains. How did you persevere? You tugging at your burdens and pulling alone, alongside me. So, I paused my hike to look at you, admiring, reminded of love.

2nd Year Anniversary

Dear Readers,

It’s been two years since I started this whole thing, and I just want to take the moment to thank all of you for motivating me to finish things. Apologies for being so inactive lately since I’ve been busy with college visits/decision (Go Bears!), the end of such a large chapter of my life through the ever-so-eventful high school, and certain emotional struggles that result from the above mentioned.

I just want to express that this space is especially precious to me since it is more of an incubator than it is a blog: my ideas and creativity in their most infant forms survive here because the fact that these drafts are some what “published” prevents me from ripping them into shreds.

So thank you, thank you for taking me so far by simply being here.

Love,

Claire

I thought I was done being vulnerable.

I thought I was done being vulnerable. That if I pull up a GDocs and fill it with writing that I can pretend that I’m proud of, hiding metaphors and symbols and allusions that all points to…you, I will be distracted from the problem.

Yet from the corner of my eyes, amongst the sea of disorganized tabs, I saw the flash of movement. My naive heart thought itself a lioness, tugged at my brain to click it, to see it, to read all that you have to say. A question about homework, probably, or about that club or this. I can pretend you merely give small talks to most people, I can pretend that I don’t miss those conversations when you are being vulnerably philosophical.

I can pretend to be indifferent.

Can I? So I add “lmao”s and “lel”s in my sentences to pretend that I don’t delete and type and delete and type again just to give an adequate response. I stop reading because there are simply too many hopes I knew false. Songs not meant to be. Do I cry to God or Cupid, since the former I don’t want to trifle with such a trivial thing and the latter I envy for his love immortalized by marble and artistry on display?

While I have no apt artistry or pedestal I will still display on the small stage that is this screen, since if I am never going to be done being vulnerable I might as well get used to it.

XXXV.

In the days that followed they’ve agreed to forget that moment in Arkmend. Lyra was somewhat relieved by the wordless acquiescence, for being weak is not her strong suit.

They set out for Etzion since her declaration is but empty words. They traveled by flight when they can or hid under heavy disguise when they couldn’t. It was with one of those latter times that this curious coincidence concurred.

‘Tis a time in the afternoons when the sun slipped lazily and simple townspeople gravitate towards the warmth of homely hearths and family. Lyra was distracted for she was only human: the fatigue a stark contrast to her palace life and the smell of cook fires painful reminders of the delicacies her palate has slowly forget but rapidly yearn. So, she wasn’t aware of the little girl running full speed with a pile of papers loosely bounded into a notebook clutched against her chest until she rammed herself into Lyra. In a flutter of pages both were confused, Jiube sent airborne on an unexpected trajectory from his original perch upon the princess’s shoulder, Aldebaran a step ahead of gravity and caught her mid fall. The girl, on the other hand, landed backward.

“Are you alright?” There’s nothing better to distract herself from the embarrassment of unexpected intimacy than to direct attention to another: she went to help the girl up while Alde collected pages.

The girl muttered apologies, a hint of bewilderment escaped as she studied the young woman, “Are you from the Capitol?”

“A town close to it, yes,” She’s rehearsed the lies enough.

“What are you writing?” Aldebaran interjected, studying the characters on a page Jiube snatched before it floated into the sewers.

“Nothing worthy of your attention,” the girl snapped, tore the leaf out of his hands and haphazardly piled the mess together before apologizing again, sprinted away.

“Strange,” Lyra stared at the fading shadow, then she turned to her companion to find his brows wrinkled. “What?”

“Does your language’s writing always move like that?”

“What do you mean?”

“It’s nothing, I probably saw wrong. You are alright though?”

“Yes.”

So they continued into the night, nearing the edge of this town. Hulouz, it was called, with buildings disagreeing in most, if not all sense of fashion. A faraway tavern sang in all its drunkenness, a wanderer or two cared little for two travelers and an owl. They passed by one of the shops, a clinique, distinguished by a dim light and a simple sign.

Aldebaran lagged behind, thought aloud, “I wonder what they are arguing about.”

“Aren’t you strange for this past hour, seeing moving letters and hearing nothing out of–”

“–kill her one day with myself if you go there tomorrow!”

The roar precedented a clash directly behind the locked doors of the clinique, footsteps, murmurs. The two exchanged a look, thought the speech too morbid to be ignored. So, they edged towards a cracked window.

“–don’t be like that, they might hear,” A woman aged by her husband’s persistent ignorance pleaded.

“You don’t care for how I feel. You are just here for my money, you vampire, you unsympathetic moron,” The roaring man-child was relentless. “Stop going there, or I will–”

“I will resign tomorrow. Stop making a scene,” anything, the woman would say anything to stop the man.

“You always treat me like you are better, that I know nothing.”

Lyra was ready to leave, for the matters were too personal though the same reason bounded her there.

“It is late, our daughters and guests will hear you–”

“–To hell with those things!”

A flurry of footsteps drumming against stairs introduced another voice, “What do you mean by ‘things,’ is that all we are to you?” One of the daughter, followed by the other, finally could not stay in the safety of their room any longer.

The woman paled, the nightmare refused to end, “Please go back to bed.”

The taller of the two girls find that request almost just as unreasonable as her father, choosing to face the evil, “Why do you always just blame us without thinking about your own faults?”

The father was an abominable mixture of cowardice and childishness, shallow enough to imagine that after all these years he still had a face to uphold to his children; this assumption of ignorance could’ve been one of his greater offenses against his own family.

But the mind slips, seething rage only cool so fast, “Now you are all going against me…and it’s all my fault, huh?”

“And you just proved my point,” The girl stood her ground.

“Please stop–”

“–None of you understand–”

“–you don’t understand–”

Amongst the mess Lyra found the silent girl, leaving the trifecta of conflict and into the moonlight that settled upon a dining table. The face was familiar, the same as the girl running in the dark had it not be marred by swollen eyes and a strange grin stretched across her face. She turned to the monster, smiled.

Lyra was thoroughly disturbed, darted a look at Alde and Jiube to see that they saw the same thing.

“Would you leave now?” She whispered, Alde did not have time to answer before a voice entered the chaos.

“What type of doctor argues in the middle of the night while housing patients?”

It was an accent of the Capitol, but more importantly, as Lyra shoved Alde aside from the window to see, a voice with its tendency to hide insecurities and concerns with sharp reprimands that she knew too well.

In the darkness she saw the familiar frame, recently descending the flight of stairs with hair and spirits disheveled. She was right.

The man retreated to his shell of manners and blamed his unruly daughters.

The guest smiled, “Strange, I only heard a crying boy. Good night, anyway.”

Lyra fought the urge to call her name, watched as the family also returned upstairs, the women protected by their patriarch’s shame before the next storm strikes again.