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08/01 Direct Link
Jenny tells me that people are like puzzle pieces,
that we all fit together somehow,
that there's a soul mate out there for everyone.

I don't believe in soul mates,
and I don't believe the heart is a separate entity from the mind.
But I do believe that if circumstances had been different,
Jersey Boy and I would have "hooked up" –

Like twin satellites revolving around each other
– two white stars in the sky,
or two moons waltzing around a stellar planet –
or perhaps even more outlandishly,
two comets in the continuous journey
through the clouds surrounding our solar system.
08/02 Direct Link
Thank goodness, it's not as humid as it was in New Orleans –

sweat was slime,
and faces were sun-beat red,
and the shade
was stolen by the napping homeless.

In New Orleans –

the music blared out jazz
like live electricity
singeing the air.

the streets were on fire,
the tar wet-black,

and like hell,
a drink was $2
and tasteless.

In New Orleans –

you could die
from the spicy food.

I did died somewhere

in New Orleans --

a snag of my soul
caught in the open hands
of a street performer
asking for donations:

I gave my heart away.
08/03 Direct Link
I want to eat clementines as if they were drops of sunshine-sugar on my tongue.

I want to breathe deeply the fresh-salt sea of the world, dip my fingers into the waves, and then lick them clean.

I want to fall into a shiver of snow and gasp when the frost hits my lungs.

I want to smile into the wind as it brushes my eyes closed.

I want to follow a raindrop's trail down a windowpane and then lick it before it drops and hits the ground.

I want to catch life by the tail and not let go.
08/04 Direct Link
I need a caffeine fix because my taste buds are addicted to iced coffee, which is just hot coffee poured into a plastic cup full of ice, so much ice that within 25 glorious sips, you're making an ugly slooshy sound, like a trout is stuck in your straw and can only half get through.

I hate tomato guts, but ketchup is fine. But ever since Jessie brought me to Panera bread and I took a bite of her salad, I have become addicted to their Tomato and Mozzarella salad. God, that is a beautiful salad, sunshine and sweet elixir.
08/05 Direct Link
I need to write a hundred words, but for some reason a pulse in my temple hurts. I want to munch on some pralines, but I only have two in the box left. I should really be outlining my history book, but I can't bring myself to do so, even though I have to do 3 more chapters in 3 weeks.

I don't know what to do myself. Livejournal is taking up too much of my time. The pain. Somebody brought me paid time, and now I'm obsessed. How true, how true, how true that time passes so quickly by.
08/06 Direct Link
I want to take out the stitches in my heart, open myself anew, and bind the muscle fibers together.

I want to know why we are fools for love, why love strikes when conditions are unfavorable, and why two unlucky lovers are left tangled, caught like puppets in a twist of fate.

I want to love and love again, but I also want assurance that I will need never to cloister myself away from the world, after surviving – just barely – the pain.

I will keep my heart strong, its gates wide open, for the next person who enters -- willingly or unwillingly.

08/07 Direct Link
Happiness is perhaps glossed over contentment – lipstick then the vinyl. It's a semi-transient state, lasting for however long it takes for the shine to wear off, become stuck on your food, or stain your shirt when you pull to take it off or put it on.

Or perhaps, happiness is just a state of ignorance over the what-ifs of your current condition. You choose to look over the fact that you're not the: richest, prettiest, smartest and/or luckiest. You, instead, try to focus on the fact that you're: satisfied with where you are and have hope for where you're going.
08/08 Direct Link
Maybe fantasies are unhealthy, she says, if you indulge in them too often, you'll forget what reality is like and become frustrated when you're dreams aren't fulfilled.

She walks and talks, her hand jostling a jangle of keys strung from a lanyard. Her other hands holds a sweating coolata. She's wearing sports shorts, her hair is tied back, and her watch is water-resistant up to 100 feet.

She doesn't look like you're average philosopher. But when she turns to you, she meets your eyes head on – like a collision between a porche and an SUV – it's ugly, painful but reality.

08/09 Direct Link
You try to remember your happiest moment, but you can't think of any – not because you had a sad childhood, but because you don't think about the past, taking comfort instead in the future.

He asks you again.

You can't answer him. You feel ashamed because of it. Why can't you think of a happy moment? Is it because you've only been content throughout your life and not elated?

What about that time when you won the science fair – no, that's too simple, too silly. When you got accepted into college? No, that was more like excitement rather than happiness.

08/10 Direct Link
You open your eyes, but don't recognize the bed. The sheets are too starched-stiff, the bed is too knotty and hard, the pillow too sad and rumpled.

The paint on the walls isn't even the same; it's an off-beige, the color of hospital corridors.

You try to get up, but your hands are handcuffed to the headboard. Your heart begins to race, and you pull and tug, but all that can be achieved are scratches and burn marks on your wrists.

You are going no where.

The door slides open. Two guards enter the room, followed by a smiling technician.

08/11 Direct Link
It is Wednesday, half the week is over, and in your mind, you are thinking about the errands you need to run, the bills you need to pay, the things you need to do before the month is over.

You wish you were back in high school again, on summer vacation, with not a worry in the world, with the skies clear and the weather sunny.

Instead you ring up another customer at the cashier. The machine beeping with each accurate pass of the barcode across the infrared bed. You can't imagine anything more meaningless.

"The total comes to $55.90."

08/12 Direct Link
She stood on the deck, one hand on the railings, her face against the wind and sunshine. You saw the strength and determination in that arch of spine, that will in the angle of the neck.

You couldn't understand why she resigned for who she was.

You told her that politics was a dirty job – barely public service anymore.

She told you that she made the decision after much thought and came to the conclusion that America was not ready to accept her. Just yet.

The Republicans had privately cheered; you could've sworn you heard the chinking of champagne glasses.

08/13 Direct Link
You have fifty cents to your name. A quarter and two dimes -- never mind, you only have forty-five cents to your name now.

Boston is cold in the fall without a jacket around your bare shoulders. The streets are literally dangerous to your bare feet. You had cut your heel on a shard of glass once, and you learned to watch where you're walking.

You see the mothers pushing their children in strollers. They sip hot coffee that smokes spirals into the air. Forty-five cents won't buy you a coffee, and the managers won't let you find a job.

08/14 Direct Link
My brain is pudding, but only half as delicious. It's served in my skullcap (which you can keep), and you can spoon the good bits out one by one.

It's a house specialty. Would you like some?

And would you also like whipped cream and sugar on top? Confectioner's, cinnamon or plain old sugar?

Yes, the biscotti come with the meal, along with the chocolate sauce on the side. If you want sprinkles or jimmies (depending on where you're from), they're twenty-five cents extra.

Would you like a drink?

That comes to $6.98. Thank you and have a nice day.

08/15 Direct Link
You don't know how your life turned out this way. Florida had such lovely weather, and now you are in the north, looking up at the gray skies, wondering why you decided to move.

You think about all the places you've never been, all the foods you've never tried, all the people you've never met. If you had a thousand years to live, would you be happier at the end of life than you are now, middle-aged with graying hair and unaccomplished?

The sky rumbles, and you're caught outside waiting for the bus in the rain.

But you are resilient.

08/16 Direct Link
You electrified the forests with your screams, the skies flashed azure blue, once, twice before fading to the blackness of night.

You are being hunted, and you can hear the breathing of your predators, the crinkling of the leaves beneath their horses hooves, and the whistling of the arrows shot at you. You hit the earth, ducking.

The hunters know where you are, and there is nothing you can do but wait. You concentrate on your breathing. Where are the others? They should be here by now.

Your pulse races. It will only be a few moments before you're caught.

08/17 Direct Link
You shouldn't be here, in your school, after hours, sneaking around your teacher's desk, looking for tomorrow's essay test questions. But your friends cornered you into this crazy shit, and you're not about to let a stupid thing like this bugger you out of their esteem of you.

Every shuffle of the papers is too loud, every screech of the old metal drawers is too loud, your every breath is too loud.

You worry that the flashlight is too bright and that it might attract too much attention of the cars whizzing by, and maybe even a policeman.

This blows.

08/18 Direct Link
Hazael fiddled with a blade of grass between his fingers. It was a smooth and surprisingly thick stalk. The sharp edges bit him when he slid his fingers along the length of it.

He knew it was a beautiful day because of the warm sun on his face and bare forearms. A year ago, he would've wished to see the sky – please, please just for a moment – but now he is content to just lie in the field to feel the trickle of wind across his skin.

The sound of a dog barking made him sit up. He was afraid.

08/19 Direct Link
i.

The universe hates me.
I have no deity to blame or curse
because anthromorphizing the universe is the second greatest sin,
the first being torturing fellow humans.

ii.

Why should you gouge out the scab of my just-healed wound and
slice the stitches of the suture?
Can you not let peace simply be?
Why knot my mind in a game of what-ifs?

Life is too short to live in pain.

iii.

I am my own greatest downfall,
trembling before the altar of my blind, muted heart.

I loved too much
and believed too much in the charity of others.

08/20 Direct Link
I bought a bag of dark chocolate covered cranberries. They melted in my hand while I waited for my ride after work. The air was humid and muggy – such a contrast to air conditioning – and the skies looked like Los Angeles'.

I popped one in my mouth. Instinctive reaction: crunch crunch, except not so loud, more muted, but still that distinctive jaw reaction. I tasted sweet tang of fruit and milky chocolate, nothing more.

I bought an iced mocha next. Coffee poured onto chunks of ice, mocha flavoring added, whipped cream cloud cover. With my straw I sunk the clouds.

08/21 Direct Link
I want to choke on the breath of life and drown in the water of Hades. Because I live life as if I were an artist, each day a fluctuating canvas, each decision a stroke of the brush, a cut of the palette knife or a blend of a thumb.

Tie me to the length of that lightning rod, and whip the thunder around my straining body. I will scream if it doesn't hurt: nothing in life is worth doing if it doesn't make you cry.

But now, I want only to close my eyes and dream utopias into existence.

08/22 Direct Link
You stand in the middle of the circular ruins, and your mind crunches over the possibilities of creation. You detail the structure of the heart, the fine strata of muscle, the delicate circuitry and the network of twists and tunnels.

You understand the complexity of the human anatomy. Each bone must have a certain shape, strength and composition. The brain is the most difficult. Too many neurons, too little myelin, or misplacement will ruin your creation, making your dream addled and limping, a quiet tragedy of the human form.

They stand outside the area of fallen rock columns and watch.

08/23 Direct Link
The copy machine whirled while Mary tidied her office space. The paper clips had somehow fallen out of the little magnetic kitten she had been given for Christmas at the company event.

She restacked the white paper into their neat piles, dusted the entire desk area including on top of her computer and around her printer. She borrowed a vacuum from the janitor and sucked away the corn chips, crackers and dust bunnies from the carpet. She windexed her dusty photo frames and computer monitor until everything shined and gleamed.

Sue stopped by her cubicle. Mary could smell the coffee.

08/24 Direct Link
Your fingers slip along the cool edge of the glass stemware. You can make music ring brightly to the heavens if you wanted to. You can make magic with only crystal glass and water.

But instead, your fingers stay silent, the waters still. This glass of water will not become a harp under your mastery.

You close your eyes, withdrawing your hand from the table. There was a time when just the sight of water glasses made your fingers itch, but now there is nothing.

You feel the loss of that thrill of anticipation and that shrill of excitement bubbling.

08/25 Direct Link
The ping-pong fell from the Empire State Building. WHAM. The pedestrian went down, his forehead dented by the ping-pong ball that rolled innocently away.

There was blood on the pavement.

There was a shriek from bystanders. "Call 911!"

Then there was a whirl of the ambulance, flashing red and yellow lights, screaming a siren that warned all New York drivers to beware or get run over. The ambulance crushed the ping-pong ball under its front left tire.

CRICK. The ping-pong ball deflated.

The pedestrian was zipped away to the hospital and pronounced brain dead from excessive bleeding from a concussion.

08/26 Direct Link
I wrote a list of names of the people I wanted you to kill. I burned the paper in the fireplace and sent the ashes heavenward.

One by one, the people died, in car accidents and fires, by explosions and drowning, a few even by suicide.

I still have the list in my head, so with each death, I cross out the name and enter a date. I attended the funeral services for the first one on my list, but didn't go to anymore.

I have read the obituaries daily for the last ten years. You owe me five more.

08/27 Direct Link
You have written a thousand pages. But a storm blew through, a beam fell on top of your computer, and your life's work disappeared. The memory was irretrievable. And like an idiot, you didn't bother to backup your work.

You still feel empty. You keep thinking about that novel of yours, how great it was going to be, how much money you were going to make, how many rewards you were going to receive.

You sit in a corner café and sip at an iced mocha latte, pondering fate. So, what are you going to do now?

"I don't know."

08/28 Direct Link
Mariana did what she was told.

"Sit," Thomas said, and she sat.

"Stand," he said, and she stood.

Mariana was a good girl and liked to please others. She wanted most to make her older brother happy – he was all she had in the world now that they're parents were gone.

"Smile," he said, and she smiled.

He brought his friends whom she did not like very much to their home every weekend. He was different when he was around them, drank and cursed more.

He lost at a card game and said, "Take Julian to your room. Be nice."

08/29 Direct Link
The unbearable heat of the summer air strangled me. Tired and weary though I was, I continued on, my thumb stuck up. With each rumble of car engines behind me, I'd look over my shoulder, my heart would flutter for a moment and then sink when the car zips past without slowing.

I had to make it to glorious California where my mother was living in San Francisco in an artist's flat. Arizona had no charms for me – it was home no longer. Father kicked me out, screaming "Bitch, slut and whore," and I've been on the road ever since.

08/30 Direct Link
I am at a beach that does not smell like seaweed at low tide. I can feel the sun on my skin as if it were a lit flame. My swimsuit is colorful: pink, orange and red; it has tropical leaf patterns silhouetted over it. I wish it were five weeks in the past -- with the summer at the halfway mark.

I dip my toes in the water, letting the ocean lick my feet. The blue sky is like a perfect crystal dome, and I don't mind being trapped underneath it. I ponder what would happen when school starts.

08/31 Direct Link
The music wraps around my mind like a serpent through the dry leaves. I am owned by the sweet sounds bursting like rain-fire and fury in my ears. I close my eyes, and I shift to a landscape of audio-heaven.

I forget the flickering light of my ceiling fan beating to the thump of the bass because this air-conditioned room is my savior, asylum and death wish. In here, it is still winter with its sharp arctic air biting my skin. Only in the cold am I content.

I cherish the delicate slide of worn typing keys against my fingers.