Categories
short stories

Hollow Boy and Fire Girl

I waited for you. Hour after hour, day after day. We spent more time together than this. Usually. Finally, I heard a knock on my door. Relief, then trepidation. Tentatively, I turned the brass knob and opened it. Relief again. “Hello,” you said. The door flung open. A tight hug. A joke. A smile. Shutting the door behind me, we walked from the porch and the street and the civilization towards the ocean.

She calmed me. Her waves, her color, her tides. You sat on the sand, as gray as the sky yet still as tragically beautiful as ever. With a hand clenching the earth below you, and teeth barred into a smile, you said, “life’s a little too gray for me today”. I laughed.

That was my first mistake.

We returned and watched the sunset through my dirty kitchen windows. You said goodbye. I smiled and waved until the door closed. After a few minutes of starting at the spot where you used to stand, I went to bed. Said my goodnight to the moon and her stars. Buried my head in dreams and today’s memories. Your words were left on my nightstand. Alone. Forgotten.

The sun rose. A new day. I grabbed for the phone, dialed your number by heart. It rang. One. Twice. Three times. Your voice clicked, but it was nothing more than a recording. I frowned but carried on.

That was my second mistake.

The day came, the day went. Business kept me from calling, as more and more responsibilities dropped onto my heavy shoulders. No worries. I burned through them all, for I was a fire girl. You were my hollow boy. We were an unlikely pair. Sometimes my flames charred your flesh. Sometimes you extinguished my blaze. Most days, we found a balance. A thin wire we walked on precariously, together.

Another night passed, and this time my dreams were tinged with your grimace and the smell of the salty ocean brine. When I awoke, there were no new messages. Concern gnawed at my edges, distorting my disposition. I called you. No answer. Again. No answer. Again. Again. Again. Finally, in a final act of desperation, your mother. She hadn’t heard from you either. With dread looming over my head and licking at my flames, I took a day off and walked to your home.

It was a little dinky suburb, just like mine. Same paint, same cookie-cutter format. I jumped up the steps, two by two. Knocked twice. Waited for five minutes. No answer. Finally, I sunk down onto your welcome mat – the bristles tickled my legs – and I waited.

Hours passed.

Days.

A week.

A month.

I went out, every morning, and waited for you. Some days, I slept on the old wood made of fireflies and questions and music. Others, I glanced at your home before traveling to work. Every day, I called you. One. Two. Occasionally eight times. Once, two days ago, twenty times. The same voicemail, every time. “Hello. I’m not home right now. Leave a message.” Eventually, I stopped calling and just waited. It’s okay. Despite my fire, I was patient. There wasn’t anyone else I’d rather wait for.

That was my third, and final, mistake.

Finally, someone came. Relief, then trepidation. I looked up. Disappointment. Two men, two blue uniforms, two badges. “Ma’am? Do you know this residence?” one asked. Slowly, shaking, I stood. The dread that sat in my stomach for the last thirty-three days still ate at my mind. My flames burned blue, simmering instead of their usual passionate red. Blue as the police uniform.

“What happened?” I asked, and one gave me a gaze full of unwanted pity. I didn’t need comfort, or reassurance. I just wanted to know what happened. Where were you? It had been too long. Were you hurt? Vacationing in a far-off land? Taken? Pulling a joke? Despite your hollow inside, you still loved humor. And the sea. Almost as much as me.

“I’m sorry,” one of the officers said. His mouth continued to move, but I didn’t hear him. I couldn’t. My knees buckled and I collapsed onto the welcome mat, one that you would never wipe your feet against again. The two officers stood over me, two giants. Two reapers, with only useless words and condolences.

Your funeral was small. Me, your parents, your little brother. Everyone else wanted nothing to do with it. They said they found the gun in a different place. Of course you couldn’t do it here, I thought. Not with all the memories. Not with me around. I thought of the last time I saw you, on the beach, one hand clenching the sand while your face contorted into a smile unnaturally. “Life’s a little too gray today.” My first indication, and with every second I felt your death haunt me. The body in the casket wasn’t yours. It was a husked out shell, a hollow boy more hollow than you. You still whispered those words in my ear, over and over, until I wanted to scream.

I waited at your porch again. Lied against the welcome mat. The bristles no longer hurt because there was nothing to feel. Once my cheek pressed against the worn wooden door, I cried. Cried for your absence. For my absence. For your family. Most of all, I cried because your heart was broken and you never told me. Now, you would never tell me anything again. A small verse came from my lips, words I must’ve muttered before or scratched into my journal or the neighbor’s tree.

“You are my hollow boy

And I am your fire girl

Together, we’re broken

Inside a tiny fragile world.”

The words repeated over and over, raking its claws in my heart and picking up every buried emotion with it. You are my hollow boy and I am your fire girl together we’re broken inside a tiny fragile world. You are my hollow boy and I am your fire girl together we’re broken inside a tiny fragile world. Hollow boy fire girl broken fragile world. Boy girl broken world. Boy girl broken world.

My fire roared for the first time in months. It destroyed everything around it. Devoured your home. Our home. Our memories. Our lifetime. Charred the welcome mat. Blackened the wooden door. Melted the brass doorknob. Finally, it burnt out. And so did I.

“You were my hollow boy

And I was your fire girl

Life was a little too gray today

So we both left this world.”

***

This is the tragic story of two friends who couldn’t live without the other, a realization made only after the death of one. I’ve never experienced such loss, but it’s always been a great fear of mine that someone I loved should decide that their life wasn’t worth living. I hoped to capture this fear, and its reality, in the most artistic way possible while still writing a short story. For anyone who may relate to this story, whether they’ve been the fire girl or survived being the hollow boy, you have my condolences.

Categories
poetry

Darling

I think I want to slow dance with you

Or hold your hand, as friends might do

And maybe wear your sweater too

Or you could try my jacket on

I didn’t realize that maybe it was you who made my heart feel light

Since you were always in sight

I find your words a delight

And it hurts to be away

I don’t know if you’d feel the same

I’ve been in the manipulation game

Too long to give name

To whatever feeling traps me

I know that society wants us to conform

Into neat little societal norms

But I think together we have the power to reform

Whatever rules might stand in our way

For now, I’ll just take your texts

Revel in the thought of what comes next

I would love to ask you to tea, then be direct

In the way I address you

So, I think I may want you at my side

I think I’m done trying to hide

But if you don’t agree, I’ll say I lied

And enjoy your presence all the same

***

After a few years of chasing people in a mad scramble of unrequited tragedy, and a few months of a thick, uncomfortable relationship, I believe I’ve finally found someone who lightens my heart and doesn’t weight it down with doubt and lingering fear. Maybe I’ve just fallen in love with the idea of worshiping another human being, but I believe this time, I’m willing to try. Try, my friends. It’s harder to find happiness with relationships when you spent months punishing not the other but yourself.

Categories
poetry

Hands

I don’t know what to do with my hands

I feel like my back is against the wall

I lost my logic, yet doubt grows tall

My fingers fumble for a grip

Every move just makes me slip

I wish I didn’t have to fish around

Waiting to hear a sound

Or a reply from you

All I have is what I write

A regrettable choice, and in hindsight

I wish I hadn’t said yes

Maybe I wouldn’t lie here

Wishing I could disappear

Back to the year

Before the tears

When anxiety filled my head

Laced with fist fueled dread

At least he was sweet and kind

At least he didn’t toy with my mind

Or make me cry

Our goodbye was short

The older I get, the more I know

Yet why doesn’t this help me grow

I’m still stumbling like a bumbling fool

My heart leading like a stubborn mule

I used to clasp his hand in mine

I don’t know what happened with the time

But now there isn’t any left

Now I just heft regret after regret

I bet this wouldn’t be so bland

If I still knew what to do with my hands

***

What started as a midnight thought quickly turned into a poem that went down a road I didn’t expect it to. A long time ago, what feels like ages, I had a relationship with a boy who treated me extremely well. Although the relationship made me uncomfortable (luckily, it was short), I still remember his gentility. We don’t keep in contact, but I see him once or twice and know he’s doing much better. Every relationship teaches a lesson, and that one taught me not to dismiss someone’s kindness. It also taught me to say no to people I have little interest in.

Categories
poetry

Hubris

Who are you?

You seem so hollow to me

Can you tell me the last time

You felt truly free?

Can you say how you feel

Does it burn when you touch

A hot stove or fire

Or are emotions just too much

I think that you’re a little empty

And that’s okay to me

But sometimes you extinguish my fire

And I try to smile docilely

I think someone stole your heart

And forgot to give it back

Because you live without love

And certainty is the only thing you attack

I want to say I like to talk with you

But your ice freezes my mind

Sometimes after we speak

I feel a little behind

Because you’re an empty box

And I’m a fire untamed

Sooner or later, we’ll destroy each other

We are not the same

***

Sometimes I meet people who lack passion, which is such an essential part of my existence that I wonder how they operate. A small, arrogant part of me believes I can change them, make them believe in something so ardently as I believe in the world. However, most people I meet are content with how they live. With their dispassion. They aren’t unhappy and frustrated, while I stew over injustices in the world that still prevail and bemoan how difficult it is to change such things. I’ve learned, or perhaps I want to learn, that most people don’t care about everything, and that’s completely fine. Normal, even. However, I still believe passion is important and can be found in every one.

Categories
poetry

Sweater

A sweater replaced you

Because the sweater makes me feel better

It slips out of my grip

While you just keep holding on

I told you to hold only once

You’re like a leech

It sucks my life

I try to take it in strife

But I’m just done

However, a new problem has begun

I can’t stay away from you for long

Anxiety spikes, and it’s the same song

Over and over again

Other stuff starts to set in

And soon it’s just stagnant water

I don’t want to bother you with my problems

So I write nonsensical sentences

Hoping that you’ll know what I’m trying to say

My mirror’s broken

I feel too outspoken

The spokes on my wheels keep turn turn turning

And I’m learning how to say goodbye

And leaning into my sweater

It makes me feel better

Than your face ever did

***

I have an old, worn sweater that I wear constantly. I believe everyone has some sort of garment they wear constantly, either as a reminder or comfort. While there are things I wear daily, such as the ring on my finger or pencil behind my ear, they don’t carry as much value as the sweater does. This is another poem from the set I keep locked away, but it brings a little comfort in the same way my sweater goes. Hold on to the things that make you smile or warm, even when it seems nothing is there.

Categories
poetry

Lost Things

I lost my heart

Can you help me find it please?

It fell into my lap

And rolled down my knees

Bruising itself on the cold, hard ground

Still refusing to make a sound

I think your sneaker crushed it along the way

I almost lost my courage when I had to say,

“I don’t want this today”

This wasn’t the first thing to go

First my knowledge because I know

I shouldn’t be close to you

Yet it was still me you drew in

I never win

This game is akin

 To torture

My mind was scorched

“Her head was probably out of place”

Then I lost the smile on my face

As pills and medicines took up the space

On my bathroom shelf

Next to the girl who knew herself

Knew

I lost my dignity and my pride

I shrunk back and tried to hide

Lied and lied to those who cared

Told them I wasn’t broken but teared

Easily fixed with a piece of tape

Yet being broken wasn’t something I could escape

Especially when it was you creating the wall

I feel small

And can’t breathe at all

Maybe my breath was the last thing to stall

Or maybe it was my heart

Held in your hands

Until you crushed it

Into a million strands

Yet I still search for its gleaming light

Hoping that what I want is right

For me

Please see

I can’t be this anymore

I lost myself

Will you find her please?

She’s got her head on your knees

Begging for forgiveness to an invisible wrong

Just let her move along

***

The heart is a delicate and fickle thing. It has given me so much grief, yet I wouldn’t trade it for a billion others because of the passion it still holds for life. For a period of almost eight months, I found myself enamored with someone who didn’t have the capability of returning such sentiments. I recently moved on, yet I still keep a collection of poems that portray my feelings through that troubling time. Slowly, as time goes on and heals what never begun, I will send them out into the world, similar to how I threw my heart out into the open to see what would happen. Never mistake infatuation and an overactive imagination for love, my friends. It is the downfall of the romantic and the poison of the innocent.

Categories
poetry

The WHY

I found a new way to type

It’s lots of fun to do

There’s a couple tricks to it

I’ll show you a few

If something makes you cry

And you want to say goodbye

Just take a computer and try

Typing out WHY

Get out all the hatred

The doubt and the fear

In all caps with no punctuation

Words are always here

Then save the words for later

Take them out when you feel sad

And remember everything else that breaks you

And then you won’t feel as bad

Because whatever makes tears

Isn’t what appears

Because that’s just one of your fears

Inside an ocean of hurt

Then send this to someone

Tell them to give it a go

At midnight

So they already know

You’ve tried this trick before

It makes you feel empty inside

But don’t take it from me

Maybe I just lied

Give it a go, sport!

Go on, have a try!

Tell me how the words affect you

Because I feel ready to fly

***

I got the inspiration from this poem from videos of characters with white, cartoon gloves who bounced to the background music. I enjoyed writing this poem because of its dark, bitter feel. While the poem drips of sarcasm, it is also brutally honest. It explains the turmoil that most people face when hiding emotions, and while writing has always been one of my outlets, I suggest to do exactly as the poem says. Open a new page, a new document. Hit the caps button or ready your pencil. Furiously type or scribble out everything you’ve held in, every dark little secret and frustration that plagues your thoughts. Destroy it afterwards. Delete it. Burn it. Shred it. Whatever you do, just make sure it kills the anger. Go on, sport. Give it a try.

Categories
poetry

The Party

The room was full to the brim

There was no space to stand in

Each person crowded and squished thin

And I was alone.

The walls breathed with a steady beat

There was no where to take a seat

The edges of my mind started to eat

While everyone else fasted with limited happiness

My mind was out of its head

I walked around and felt half-dead

People screaming crying shouting

Laughing chittering pouting

Bantering talking gawking in an outing

That hit my inside

I tried to hide in the corner

But isolation ostracized me

Putting me in a place I didn’t want to be

The first time

Sadly, this isn’t a new rhyme

It’s an old clock ticking

Drowned out by the crowd

I don’t say anything aloud

Because sadly, what I see

Isn’t really in front of me

My head’s holding a party without my consent

People came and go and return then went

To the Denny’s on the street

My feet beneath me are bare

I don’t care

It’s just too loud for me to think

Maybe if I took a drink

Of water

This wouldn’t bother me so much

I can’t be touched or rushed

But I want to be

So I’m sorry you weren’t invited

We won’t be reunited

In hindsight it

Was a better decision 

***

I apologize for the quality of the drawing. I am a poet, not an artist. As I’m sure many of you have experienced, this uncertain time has started to prey on my thoughts. I am left alone too much with the constant stimuli my head relentlessly produces, and my new schedule is not strong enough to keep it at bay. I’ve found it increasingly difficult to stay positive recently, but I do hope that this is only because of what currently affects my world. It’s never healthy to be alone with your own thoughts, for that’s what drives people mad in the end. Never circumstance, but their own minds turned against their souls.

Categories
poetry

My Broken Temple

It all started with what you drew

Lines on paper, that went up and through

An image beautiful and harrowing and hollow too

That’s when I knew there was something haunting you

Your smile was contagious

Your humor outrageous

I remember you on the stage

Just right

Every night

You took off in flight

Saying lines to the light

Persistently proving your amorous ambition for acting and its high

How sad it was when you decided to say goodbye

You woke up on the wrong side of your mind

Decided that you were a little behind

Slipped into shoes old and ragged

Smoothed out your edges, rough and jagged

Ran your fingers through your wild hair

Put on a careless and relaxed air

Ignored the monster under the stair

And lofted about on a blue, ancient chair

I looked at your art again and again

A curious case of a curious new friend

Piecing together the puzzle and trying to comprehend

Why your aura was cold and desolate and blue

Why you shut down when the focus wasn’t on you

Why your knuckles were scarred and bruised

Yet nothing affected your upright attitude

We talked more and more

Months and months went by

I eventually found out

And it made me cry

Your past was dark and jaded

Any determination you had faded

Depression loomed over you and waited

Anxiety eating at you on a day-to-day basis

Yet you gave me the understatement

Blew it off and tried to be patient

You carry a world of hurt on your shoulders

It gets larger and larger as you grow older

You keep your distance, but refuse to grow colder

But you’ve also sacrificed other things

Your drive disappeared

You seem to live in fear

Your focus isn’t even here

What do you love or hold dear?

This puzzle is only half-done

I don’t know if this is just some

Theory of a question that will never see completion

Or perhaps… you’re an artist who’s just begun

***

A dear friend of mine asked for a perspective, to see what I thought of him. Hours later, after a burst of creativity and consideration, I created this poem and showed it to him. To accommodate for brutal words, I crossed out lines and phrases, but the poem itself still demonstrated the good and bad of his character in my eyes. Days later, he gifted me with a picture of his perspective. There was no malice in the image, no hint of my vices (which are plentiful). It remains one of my favorite illustrations. Still, guilt gnaws at me. While my apology may never see fruition, I do regret my coarse and brutal nature as much as I regret befriending his patience and kindness.

Categories
poetry

An Ode to Winter

O Winter! How I forget about your quiet days!

How I forget about your silent snow!

And hours without craze!

For this seems to all be a haze

Of sun rays

In my fragile state

It’s not a fact that I can debate

Luckily, weather has a constant rate of change

Even where I live, where it can be strange

Where it rains then hails then the sun shines bright

When it’s day for weeks and then turns night

In the blink of an eye

I said goodbye to our time

Which felt sublime

And subtle

Yet looking at the rubble of our memories

It’s a bigger hole in my heart

For you hung onto the trees with a gorgeous grace

You kissed my face

And took me in your arms

Cold bit by toes, but it only made me smile

I know in a little while

I’ll see you again

O Winter! How I forget your quiet days!

How I forget how much I miss you

But as for my heart, the snow always stays

***

I apologize for the late post. I lost my numbers. Some of my fondest memories happened in the snow. My entire family was born in winter, so we celebrate many days within the season. Nothing is more enjoyable and refreshing than the first snow, how it blankets the world in a strange quiet that can’t be replicated. Recently, I started a tradition of waking up early to walk in the first snow when I first spot it from my window. It gives me a profound sense of calm, and for one minute, the entire world holds its breath. While I embraced summer and its warmth, winter will always hold a special place in my heart.