September 30, 2008

 

The stagnant air

reminds her of

airplanes

and

summers coming to a close.

 

Waiting for the wind,

she recalls

her inability to be

poetic,

to be in control.

 

Everything reminds her

of Bukowski

yet

he left her

without a cigarette.

 

Breathing in

clean air,

she notices how

black her lungs are.

How dare he leave her          

 

without a cigarette.

She will always have

knowledge and words

at least.

Always something to read.

 

The air waits

for a bluebird

but heartbreak never

shows itself in tears.

 

 

 

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May 24, 2008


“If people bring so much courage to this world the world has to kill them to break them, so of course it kills them. The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially. If you are none of these you can be sure it will kill you too but there will be no special hurry.” – Hemingway


May 18, 2008

Her longing eyes fear blinking. They do not want to miss any action Dan makes. We all go about our lives around the two but my heart breaks watching the stagnant mess.

Dan drops her off first then drives me home tonight. We are both blunt people, and our conversation ensues. “Break up with her, confess your love, take her virginity – do something,” I say. He sits. We are like the bees, struggling to sting because we will die in self-defense.

February 29, 2008

And when did you meet him?
I met him when I was 16.

How old was he?
20.
How old is he now?
21.
Does he buy you alcohol?
Yes.
Do you love him?
Yes.

She latched onto life, taking the train to shed mediocrity. The train takes her to Kyle, whom she met years ago when she was wonderfully innocent. Even now, having seen and experienced much, she clings on to naivety naturally.

She walks to him in the rain and knocks on the door, a body at perfect ease. He walks out into the early spring downfall to greet her. It is not romantic. It is wet. But they stay out as the thunder continues to sound.

“Come on in,” he says.

He leads her into his space shared by four junkies. Recycled paper fills tables, floors. People come in an out of the apartment all day long. Coffee is forever being made.

They sip on their own cup of freshly brewed coffee, listen to electronica in the background, and melt into one another.

“How is school?” he asks.

She says it is getting less stressful. She has been making time to read for pleasure and is overall much happier.

“Makes sense,” he replies. He then tells her of his distaste for spring.

“Have you thought about what you are doing for summer?” she asks. The scene seems black and white. The rain rhythmically descends, the light is dim, and ink overwhelms the room.

The summer is a continuation of the year for Kyle. His friends will be hopping trains while he stays in Chicago getting acquainted with the city he already knows quite well. Above all, he is a man of details.

Outwardly, his dirty blonde hair is forever tousled, unbrushed. He has glasses and walks hunched over. His appearance is one of humility while Bailey, humble in tone and shy in manner, has a boldness in her beauty. Her natural splendor sits untouched. Her grey eyes beam.

In the late afternoon, they dance, giggle, relax. There is a sense of comfort present found only when one rejects the need for constant excitement. They find it glorious.

While eating cereal for dinner, Kyle’s roommates drift in and out of the space. Jim, the oldest of the roommates, hops in soaked. The bearded man smiles at the sight of two, hugging Bailey.

“Heard anything about tonight?” asks Kyle.

Their old friend is coming home to Chicago. In the city, people are always coming home, and people are always waiting to celebrate their return. Kyle finds himself in a crowd of immobile. He is aware that his need for people, for Bailey especially, is all-inclusive. She, on the other hand, is wrapped up in her desire for experiences, for grandness but unconsciously; she would sacrifice everything for him.

Already jittery from the lack of food and excess of coffee, Kyle and Bailey linger over to the apartment later that night. She laughs, internally, at how magnified her double-life is now. Twenty minutes away, she says things she does not mean for the sake of speaking, plays a role for the sake of being. Here, she is a child, the extrovert she once was, becoming bigger than herself, finding completeness with Kyle, and not taking life seriously enough to remember it.

She eyes the room. Jim flirts with an older woman. Jim is circling the room, proclaiming, “I have ADD!”

A girl turns to Bailey and says, “Shit. All that means is life is that much harder for you” then she walks away.

Kyle goes off to the corner laughing with some old buddies. Bailey walks from group to group, conversing, bumming cigarettes from anyone who offers. People start to crowd around as she begins to dance with Jim and make a fool of herself to Daft Punk’s “Superheroes”.

The city lights shimmer in the distance, illuminating a chaos everyone feels at home in. But Bailey and Kyle leave early, walking hand in hand to catch the 1:40 train. She finds that her life is lived scene by scene. Above all, she wants fluidity. Yet, stumbling onto the train, she rode back home to monotony.

————-

Summer comes with temperatures that are unbearably warm. Kyle decides to take the train, surprising Bailey with a visit. He loves coming to her, always with a desire to walk through the town and witness its pallid liveliness. It is a place of family, tradition, and Sunday mornings where one reads the paper rather than recovers from the night before. With her home, he feels he gets a second chance at childhood.

Entering Oak Park, which rests on the outskirts of Chicago, he recalls the fact that this is also Hemingway’s hometown. When Bailey and him just met, they ventured into their shared passion for the man. “He just felt so much,” they agreed.

Chicago is especially toxic for him now. He is sleeping less, writing more, isolating himself. It is a natural reaction. He has spent the last week denying that on an intoxicated Thursday night, he betrayed Bailey. Her name was Lisa. They had been friends for years.

When he comes to Bailey’s bungalow, he does not have strength enough to take on the stairs that led to her doorway. He sits down instead. His attempt to be honest is but a whimper.

Bailey’s mom finds him there and informs Bailey of the sight.

She comes to the doorway, telling him to come on in. He motions for her to sit next to him, and she walks down to his side. He does not dare to touch her. Instead, he looks into her reflective gray eyes, never having understood loneliness so well.

“What’s wrong?” she asks.

He apologizes. He almost weeps. He tells her. And the look in her eyes sting so greatly that he sat jealous of her role as the victim.

“I know you are sorry,” she cries, “that’s not the issue. I know you never wanted to hurt me. I just can’t believe you want to be with me, really.”

Her heart is broken. His own heart, annihilated.

In the months that follow, Bailey retreats, finding thrills right out her door rather than a train rides away. Kyle isolates himself fully. His irregular talks with Bailey are, for a while, his only conversation. He pretends that music, art, and coffee is all he needs but so much more is required for his sanity.

On the other hand, she tells herself she is not addicted to popularity, or booze, or cigarettes and hooking up with boys without remembering the pursuit the next day.

She begins to listen to her best friend when deciding how to act. Usually, it contrasts with what she would really say, how she would really act. Her friend tells Bailey to stay away from Kyle. And so she stays away. Even when she goes down to Chicago for a Halloween party and sees him dressed up as powhitetrash drinking beer and keeping his distance. She wants to say, “I wish we could still talk.” Instead, she fools around with Peewee Hermann in the stairway.

Fall comes and thoughts accumulate within Bailey since her time away from Kyle. She wonders why she had kept her purity. She wonders why she realized early on that she loved Kyle but held back from expressing the notion physically.

And thus, she goes to him. She marches into his apartment so blind sighted by her spontaneity that she doesn’t recognize the sadness Kyle now resides in. She saw nothing in his eyes but boyish hope.

She wakes up the next morning, wounded. She is not an addict, she says. Fuck perfection and therefore, fuck moderation, says the broken soul.