I was running out of supplies. I had to go shopping asap. That Saturday after breakfast I grabbed my bag and headed to my favorite art supply store. It was my favorite not only because they sold my brand of choice when it comes to acrylic paint and oil pastels, it was also my favorite because compared to other stores their prices were really low. Art supplies are expensive but that little store made sure I didn’t break the bank every time I needed new oil pastels. It was located in this little alley in the centre of the city. It was on one of those streets that everyone knows exist but no one ever really goes down. It was a small black door with a golden doorknob.
It was on that day, in that unknown little shop that I first saw him. I was walking down one of the aisles looking for a specific shade of red, when I looked up and there he was, looking at me with his breathtaking grey eyes, from the other side of the aisle. His eyes had a little smile written in them and we stared at each other for about 3 seconds before he disappeared. I sped up and turned to the other side of the aisle but he wasn’t there anymore. It was like he disappeared into thin air. I tried to look for him but he wasn’t there anymore. I settled for my supplies and left.
All the way home all I could think about was his eyes. Not even then, it was all I could think about for the next week. Those big grey eyes. They haunted my thoughts, my dreams. I couldn’t get them out of my head. I don’t know what it was about them but there was something special hidden there. Right behind them. There was a new magical world waiting to be uncovered, but I couldn’t uncover it. I had no idea who he was or why he was there or when he was going back. I didn’t know how to find him and if I was ever to see him again. I hoped with all my heart that I would wander into that store one day and that he would be there, in between the aisles looking at me with his great grey eyes.
The universe works in mysterious ways. I say that because it was only a few weeks later that I saw him again. It was late May at that point and the term had finished. Summer holidays had begun and college students were slowly abandoning the city. Going back to their families or going on trips. I, on the other hand, had nowhere to go. No family, so no one to go visit over the holidays, and my two only friends had already made other plans. So I found myself back into that little store in search of oil pastels for a new drawing. Once I had found them I made my way to the cashier. And there he was, standing next to me waiting for the girl in front of him to finish up. She was complaining about a set of coloured pencils but I don’t remember what was wrong with them. I didn’t realize who he was at first, but when he turned and looked at me I knew. Those eyes were too rare for it to be someone other than him. He shot a little grin at me and then turned back around. The girl was finally done and it was now his turn. He had a few canvases under his arm, all in various sizes, and a few brushes clenched in his fist.
He was truly as pretty as a picture. He was tall and lean, with light, curly hair, and he had one of those rare smiles. The type of smile that fills you up with hope and love. The type that you get butterflies in your stomach thinking about. I can still remember what he was wearing on our first encounter that day. He had a pair of light wash jeans on and a vintage Grateful Dead t-shirt. He wore a pair of white high top converse shoes and there were two little studs decorating his ears. He reminded me of Finny, because I could tell that he too was a bit of a hipster in his own way. On the outside we looked so different, a punk and a hipster, but something in my heart told me that on the inside we were not so different after all. I could feel that our souls were the same. That we were the same.
Being alone in the apartment was a rare occurrence, but when the miracle happened it was incredible. Monday had long passed and Friday had now come around. Usually on Fridays we were all at home, but on that beautiful April Friday I was left alone in the apartment. Meadow was out for lunch with her ex for the fourth time, even though Ciara and I told her so many times that he is not worth it. Ciara on the other hand was out doing research on a new article on alcohol preferences of teenagers, why would that interest anyone I don’t know considering that they shouldn’t be drinking in the first place. So on that afternoon I was alone in the apartment for the first time in what felt like forever.
One of my professors had assigned us a project that was due next week so I decided to start working on it. We had to create a painting that symbolizes despair. Studying fine arts was very weird sometimes but I still enjoyed it incredibly. When painting I liked to play music really loudly, but with two roommates that was never really a possibility, as they always bursted into my room shouting at me to turn it down. Our neighbours never really cared about it, it was just my two lovely friends that hated my creative process.
Next step was to put on my “painting clothes” which is a fancy term for a pair of old jeans and an old t-shirt that had splashes of paint all over them. I looked like a rainbow but it worked so it’s fine. I put tarp on the floor in order not to stain it with paint, put on a Green Day playlist on full blast on my speakers and got to work.
Creating a painting about despair at that point in my life was a rather easy task for me. I was not in the best mindset, as I sometimes tend to be, and I just let all my emotions go and explode into strokes of paint in the canvas. When “Christie Road” came on and started playing I just got hit with a whole new wave of emotions. I started crying. Not sobbing. Crying. Tears were streaming down my face, onto my neck, and paint continued to be splattered across the canvas. At that moment I felt everything. Not in a good way though. But that was what I needed at the time. I needed to let go of everything. I was never really the happiest of people. I had bursts of energy at times, I smiled, I laughed out loud, but I was not always truly happy. I was a little depressed. Maybe more than a little. I was broken and the music brought all my suppressed feelings of sadness and despair out.
I stopped painting after a couple of hours. I sat there and stared at my painting for a few minutes. It was a painting of my soul and it was clear to me now at that moment that it was not the brightest of souls. Some might say that it is not right to have a dark soul, and to them I say that you cannot be an artist, of any kind, and have a bright and colourful soul. We feel things others don’t, we see the world in a very different way than the average person, and that is why most of the time we are misunderstood. I am not ashamed of having a dark soul. I embrace it. After all it is that dark soul that seems so wrong to others that makes me great at what I do.
That painting received an A in the end, if anyone is wondering. That afternoon though I was not thinking about grades or assignments, I was thinking of what that painting really showed. I thought about how I should probably work on it. How I should work on making it brighter. I kept the painting for myself, even though my professor wanted to put it on display in the art studio. I told him it was an honor but I would rather keep it for me. Thankfully he respected my wish and chose a different painting to display.
If it doesn’t matter, it won’t bother you.
Thus it’s gotta be something that doesn’t matter to you.
- I want a relationship with no gender roles. We both hustlers, we both cook, we both clean, we both pay, we’re both romantic and we spoil eachother.
As soon as I entered the room, I found him standing by the fireplace, waiting for me. I sensed the look on his face and my heart sank. I’d seen that look before. I knew what was coming.
“Am I going to get my heart broken, Pete?” My voice came as a whisper.
But the tears in his eyes confirmed that he heard me.
“That bad, huh?” I let out a nervous laugh.
He blinked and tears rolled down his cheek. I took his hands and pulled him in a hug, to make it easier for him. But it didn’t. Instead, loud sobs escaped his lips.
“Hush! It’s okay. It’s okay.” My voice cracked so I started rubbing his back in order to calm him.
And as I held him in my arms, probably for the last time, I started chanting in my head, ‘It’s okay. It’ll be okay. You’ll be fine.’
I am scared of how shallow my love can be. It is mostly a shoulder to sleep on and at most a sunflower from the street.
I am scared of all these poets calling love their religion, calling love their god, calling love anything more than anything human.
Last night, when you told me that you love me more than I love you, I didn’t fight. When the ash from your cigrette rolled on to my arm, you panicked and asked me if it burned, I told you I didn’t feel anything.
My unaffected ways aren’t new, but with you they seem to affect me. I’ve held on to you like a spark of hope. I’ve held on to my fire with the stillness of the sun. You make me move. You make me explode.
I do not know if merely the word ‘love’ shall suffice. I don’t know if I can reason it as well. But I need you to know that you make me tremble. And for a person who’s been so numb for so long, it’s a pleasure unjustified by contained words and countable letters.
I love you, with all my humanness and nothing beyond, and so you know I love you, but it’s more than just that.
august 15, 2020
11: 51 pm
truly miss you
i feel like i never gave myself time to miss you.
or maybe i had, but i just hadn’t realized that i was mourning you long before you were ever gone.
looking back now, on the day they told me you died, it didn’t even feel like how most people described loss.
it felt as if i had already come to terms with never seeing you again;
never hearing your laugh or your soft gasps whenever dad would say something you hadn’t expected,
never feeling the wrinkles of your hands as you stroked my hair while i sat on your lap;
i remember you’d always call me your big baby because my favorite spot was nestled in between your red sweaters and the brown cushions of your rocking chair.
“i’m going to have to sit on your lap one of these days,” you’d joke. but i knew how untrue that statement really was.
because despite how much i had grown, your arms would always be open wide, ready to hold and hug me tight at any given moment.
i now think of it as a metaphor for your heart, your willingness to love and cherish me no matter what.
i miss your unconditional love much like i miss you.
i miss talking to you about your dislike of taylor swift because of how much she’d flip her hair.
i miss sitting at the kitchen counter, mindlessly spinning in the old bar stools as the arm rests made chips into the already cracked counter tops while you baked oatmeal cookies.
i miss looking over from my spot on the couch and seeing you rock softly back and forth in your chair, your eyes on the tv as the golf channel played.
i miss sitting on the floor, pencil and notepad in hand, as you taught me cursive for the very first time.
i miss the stain your lipstick would leave on my cheek as you kissed me goodbye for the night.
and as i’m writing this, i’m looking down at the photographs i have of you, a small smile spread across your usual light pink glossed lips.
i think i’m going to take a moment and lay here to let myself truly, unapologetically, miss you.
To Everyone Struggling in the Eye of this Hurricane
Things will be alright.
The sun will come up tomorrow, just like it did yesterday.
Babies will cry, birds will chirp, the rivers will flow.
There will still be food, games and laughter.
Things will be alright.
That being said, allow yourself to be sad
and scared and at the end of your rope.
Allow yourself to mourn and feel lost in a world
that seems to have lost its manual.
Experience your emotions.
Do not run from them, that never works.
I mean it
Count to ten
Count your blessings one at a time
Sing, dance, draw, paint, puzzle, run, read
Do whatever makes you happy.
If there is one thing we can count on in life
It is that nothing is forever
So, this hurricane is not forever.
It will go away, with time.
Things will be alright.
If you have nothing left to trust
Than trust that tomorrow is a new day,
Luck is a lady
Chance is a jester
And good things often happen quietly
Things will be just fine.
Does anyone have literally no one who cares about anything they’re interested in? Does anyone else just get instantly shut down, carved out and written over by people they know?
Oh how vague the passage of time is,
One day you long for something,
The next you couldn’t want it further away from you.
These past few weeks, well, they’ve been a hellscape,
Asked for peace, got none,
Cried for help, again the same,
What is it, about this time?
Why can’t it just be simple,
Me wanting something and you pitying upon me?
Dragged the self through dirt here,
To rise a sapling in cold,
Winter came upon but so did my sorrow.
Haven’t I had enough of these games,
The ones I try to turn away from,
A mere chess piece in your kingdom of lies,
I’ve been scathed right to my core.
But, you see, what is it worth, you say,
Getting what you want just like that?
I say, sometimes, the trouble shouldn’t be,
To find, rather to keep it safe,
And warm inside you, nurture it, let it shine,
Cause afterall that’s said and done,
I’m still just a human.
Mercy is a valiant effort,
Pity is for the frail,
But is it too much to ask,
After all you put me through,
All the darkness and madness within and out,
Just a lil sunshine to make my day?
- B 🎈
If I could draw the beauty of you in words.
I would absorb.
The love I have and feel for you.
Deep within me.
The beauty of your skin.
That is as white as snow.
The softness of your lips.
So red and tender.
The glistening of your eyes.
Your sweet sweet voice when you speak.
When I hear you say my name.
Looking at you.
Looking into your eyes.
I see what is beautiful.
Mesmerized to you.
Like a trance.
I cannot think of anything else but you.
I see my life.
But, you know what recently killed him, even more. What she told him. As he stood there infront of her, telling her his epic love story, she just watched him. And when the room fell silent she told him, “you know what I noticed, your eyes get sad when you talk about her”.
Ciara and Meadow. My two roommates. My two friends. I loved them very much those two, but at times they could be extremely annoying. We had been friends since freshman year in college and we were now in our junior year. We had been living together for about a year and a half now, and besides that strengthening our friendship it also meant fights over who gets to shower first, or what we were going to watch on the telly, or even who gets which room. It was a big fight that last one, and I was the one to make the sacrifice and take the smallest of the rooms, so that we could stop bickering.
Meadow was the smart one. She was a chemistry major at one of the best universities in the country. Full scholarship she had. Truly brilliant. Always top of her class in tests and finals. As far as everyday life is concerned she seemed to make all the wrong decisions. From the way she budgeted her money, to the string of loser boyfriends, she was a bit of a mess that one. She was also what you’d call a “plant mum”. It started with her room which occupied about 30 different plants but she then expanded into the common areas of the apartment. The living room looked like a greenhouse at that point, and there were little potted plants hanging from the ceiling in the kitchen.
Now, Meadow was among other things a beautiful young woman. She was tall, about 5’10, and very lean. She had the body of a ballerina. She had long brown hair, which she always put up in some sort of bun. That just added to the whole ballerina look. Everytime we told her that she should stop bothering and just cut her hair, she would start shouting and we would simply shut up and never mention that again. Her style was more on the preppy side, and she wore glasses. Gold ones, thin skeleton. She also had this one necklace she never took off. It was a thin silver chain and in the end of it there was a silver ring. It belonged to her grandmother, who she adored. You would never see her without it.
In the other bedroom, the one across the corridor from mine, lived another creature of the name Ciara. She was quite peculiar that one. Not peculiar in a bad way. Just not your ordinary, everyday person. Ciara was studying journalism in university and her big dream was to become an investigative journalist for a major publication. A dream she took very seriously I might add. She applied for every internship available, she was editor in chief of the on-campus newspaper and blog, and she spent her time practising by writing articles on whatever topic she could come up with. One time she wrote an article on the different types of wool. I still don’t know how she came up with that. She was the most focused person I have ever met. She never gave up on her dreams and aspirations, and she was an extremely hard worker, as well as very energetic. She was a bit crazy and everyone who knew her would tell you so as well. But we loved her nonetheless.
Ciara, unlike Meadow, was a little short. She was the shortest of the three and she only stood at 5’1, on a good day. Never too fond of her height, she usually wore some type of heeled shoe, from stilettos, to heeled ankle boots. Her hair was blonde and always cut in a short bob, which “shows professionalism” as she always said. We would laugh at that little line of hers every single time. Her style had to match her hair, so she dressed up every day as if she were going to the office. Pant Suits were a favorite of hers, as well as dresses, the kind you would wear at the office, and expensive bags she had to save up for months to buy.
As you can imagine my roommates never really approved of my style, or my major for that matter. A chemist and a journalist, they thought that I was being very juvenile choosing to study fine arts and that it was a waste of money. Moreover, my style was, and still is, quite punk. I wore old leather jackets, and worn out Dr. Martens boots. I had piercings on my ears as well as a nose ring. My hair was dyed jet black, and my jeans were almost always ripped. They kind of looked down on me at times but I didn’t care. I knew they were just saying these things because they wanted what was best for me, but they didn’t understand most of the time. We were complete opposites although I believe that, that was what made us such good friends.
At around 4 o’clock I got hungry again and luckily for me I was only a couple of blocks away from home. I practically ran those blocks because I just couldn’t wait to get there and eat my leftover chinese from the night before. Needless to say that I almost slipped and fell while running because the pavement was wet. Good thing I managed to hold on to a fire hydrant and keep my balance or else I might have broken a limb.
As soon as I walked into the door in my apartment, I threw my boots on the floor beside the door and headed straight for the kitchen. I grabbed the handle of the fridge, and the door flew open. I scanned the contents, but my food was nowhere to be found.
“Those little bastards!” , I muttered to myself.
“Meadow! Ciara!”, I shouted at my roommates.
“What?”, Ciara said, walking into the kitchen still in her pajamas.
“Where the hell is my food?”
“Oh don’t play dumb with me Ciara! The leftover Chinese food from last night?”
“Ooooh that one yeah! I had that for lunch.”
At that moment Meadow entered the room.
“What are you two going on about?”, she asked.
“Ciara over here ate my food. Without even asking I might add.”, I replied.
“Oh calm down Bella there is pizza over at the table in the living room. Don’t worry you will not starve today.”, she said laughing and Ciara joined her.
So I went to the living room as instructed and ate the few pizza slices they had left for me. I wish I had my Chinese but in my hunger I decided to settle for the pizza.