Colorado Rockies

Colorado Rockies

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Picture Perfect #2

We will fight back, we will prevail. The words were on replay in my head as I sat complacent in my bus seat. My cheek against the cool smooth surface of the window. The bus rolled along the deserted country road, on its merry way to the next treatment facility. We were the creatures of the night, free to haunt the afraid. We were the shadows of the day, caught only in glimpses. We were not cruel, but we were not kind, we were simply bored and self-assured. Feigning invisibility, it was all we could do in this sad little corner of the U.S. We had to be the blind eye, we had to forget what our world was like and throw caution to the wind; it was the only way to keep our dreams of freedom alive.
We had to fight back, we would have prevailed. But someone turned on a light in our dark room and cast a light over our shadows. You’d know that someone, does the President of the Grand ‘Ole United States of America ring a bell? Should be ringin’ that liberty bell, calling to all the lost souls of the world to come and follow the American dream. But ever since the epidemic, ever since our over-drugged populous had somewhat of a “mental shutdown,” the big guy upstairs has been shipping us by the bus load to be reset. Like flipping a big switch, every memory of who we were before 25, vanishes. We are given a polished new history, a shiny new life and set of characteristics. Of course, nothing they wouldn’t approve of. Everyone is compliant, quiet, and overly cordial – something I find particularly nauseating. I escaped it all, my people of the earth parents let their natural remedies fix themselves and me. Not relying on doctors and the pharmaceuticals that took our nation down. Still, I watched as my peers spiraled into self-hatred. Or as their personalities split, their alter egos turning on them, tormenting their every thought. I watched as buses pulled into our small town, shipping them out in droves. I ran (natural instinct) until I found my purpose. Well, I suppose the rebellion found me.

                But now we sit in our bus seats, with only memories of our past to cling to for the next 24 hours. Being transported to our new contemporary lives. “Civilized” Is what they told us we’d be, “Like the rest” is what we’re supposed to hope for. But we know our creative sparks will be erased, we will lose our will to fight. I blink back tears, thinking of losing everything I’ve known. It cannot come to that, it won’t. The shadows will fall on us once again, and we will be hidden. We will torment the powerful, deceive the “Genius”, save the fallen. My tears stop, and I can feel my adrenaline pumping through my veins as the bus rolls to a stop. I look up, seeing the red octagon signaling our arrival at redemption. My lips curve into a devious sneer. I look quickly at my fellow trouble makers, and their faces seem to hold the same expression. I turn my face towards the roof, and laugh. I sniff a little, an inside joke, and say “Smells Like Teen Spirit”, the doctors ignore my comment, mumbling something about the sickness, but we know the meaning. I rise from my seat like the others around me, and with this we charge our captors. Fighting back; prevailing. 

Picture Perfect #1

“That looks dope!”
I opened my eyes slightly, peaking through my eyelashes. My friend’s faces were turned upwards toward the sky. Their eyes following Jake’s extended arm as he pointed his finger towards the tree line, drawing my attention to the fiery glow emanating from the horizon. The sunset had dyed the sky a cotton candy pink, drizzled with the purple of the night ahead. The sun created a warm orange crescent above the trees; fading down from the purple, as if it was draining the color from the sky as it set. I dared to open my eyes completely, pulling myself out from my sleepy haze. I yawned, stretching my arms out to my sides as I did so. Everyone was quiet except for Kid Rock singing Cowboy ba-byyy through the radio. I could see Joe bobbing along with the music, mouthing the lyrics. Well sort of, he was exceptionally horrid at lip-syncing. I giggled at this thought, which provoked a moody “What are you laughing at?” from Bostrom. His eyes glinted with a hint of sarcasm, nothing his voice didn’t already betray, which made me laugh even harder as I nodded in Joe’s direction. Turning towards Joe, he chuckled a bit and sighed; shaking his head with an expression that read Typical Joe. Mason looked up curiously, with a questioning gaze he looked from me to Bostrom and back again, until Joe’s sudden dance movements caught his attention. Content that he was in on the secret, he went back to his phone. The boat turned in circles as Jake, Drew, and Dave cast their lines out. They poked fun at Dave, saying he’d never fished before. Then they’d laugh, all three of them reeling their lines in empty-handed. They’d complain and cast them out again until finally Joe jumped to his feet and grabbed his own pole. With a single cast he caught a bass, and the other boys crowded around him as I stayed complacent in my chair.
“Joe, the master fisherman!” Drew exclaimed as he patted Joe on the back. Laughing as they released the fish back into the water, they put their poles down and pulling up the anchor, they congregated around the small table in the back of the boat. Joe squeezed into the bench with me, snaking one arm around my waist as he tried to pull me closer. I let him, and put my head on his shoulder, breathing him in.  Jake took up residence in the captain’s chair, relegating the others to the bench in the back. The motor roared to life and pushed the pontoon boat out of the small lagoon we were fishing in. We set our destination for the center of the lake, singing as we sailed. Jake occasionally snapped at us to “sit the f#@& down” so we didn’t disturb the course of our carrier.
“Whatever floats your boat.” I’d say, and chuckle to myself for my clever joke. As we neared the center, we threw down the anchor again. Laying back, we were all intent on relaxing when the boat suddenly jolted from Drew springing to his feet.
“How much will you guys give me to jump in right now?” He looked at all of us intently, determined to weasel one of us out of a decent chunk of change. “Give me two dollars and I’ll jump in.” Dumbfounded, a majority of us just laughed in his face. Jake pulled a crumpled dollar out of his pocket and offered it forward.
“I mean… I have a dollar.” Snatching it from him, Drew did a little dance; spinning around to the rest of us.
“Come on, somebody’s gotta have another dollar!” Drew looked pleadingly at the rest of us, we averted his gaze by looking at the boat floor. Or we’d just shrug and shake our heads at his request. Feeling the tension, and wanting to see Drew shiver in the ice water, Mason finally offered up a dollar. A smile crept across Drew’s face as we told him how he was going to regret jumping in. The water was just barely warm enough to stick your toes in, not nearly warm enough for an intoxicated teen to submerge their whole body. Still, our warnings did not resonate in that cavernous space within his skull.

With a running leap, he jumped from the boat. I shook my head and laughed, these were my friends, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. As I heard the splash of Drew hitting the lake water, I closed my eyes and again rested my head on Joe’s shoulder. Everyone erupted in to fits of laughter as he came to the side of the boat, panting and shivering. He pulled himself up and violently shook out his hair, like a dog shedding itself of water. Laughing to myself as drops of water bounced off the bridge of my nose; puddling into a small reservoir at the base of Drew’s feet. Basking in the light from the setting sun, I smiled and sparked up a cigarette. Thinking silently to myself that this is all I’ll ever need.

Monday, June 1, 2015

System Of A Downstairs Suicide

I wake up late, every day, trying to hide from the world. My mother, as she does every morning, was banging wildly on my bedroom door,

Yelling her usual, “Get up! Grab a brush and put on a little make up!”
I groan, my mother and her obsession with appearances was getting out of control.
I didn’t want to leave my room to meet her judging gaze, because once I did it was always the same.
I do as she says, however, for if I did not I was at risk of any number of her various punishment methods. A push down the stairs, a hand on the stove, a back hand to the face, whatever she can get away with when she catches me off guard.
I run the brush through my snarled and hair and cover my skin with cover up a shade too dark, in hope that maybe, just maybe, it’ll help cover my scars; help fade away the shakeup.
After being content with what I saw in the mirror, I undid the three locks on my bedroom door and met my mother’s irritated face. When she first came to my door in the mornings she was sweet, friendly almost as she cooed her good mornings, but as I opened the door it was like a switch flipped and all the hatred she harbors is hurled towards me. She suffers from bi-polar disorder, if you couldn’t tell, and as a result when she finds herself in one of those dark spaces she often visits, things can go a little awry. Technically, people that suffer from this condition are supposed to have something like euphoric highs to balance out their lows, but I don’t believe that. She must experience those while I’m away at school. I always hear her friends gush about how sweet she is, about how level-headed she is. If only they knew; if only they experienced the hell I went through as stepped through the door every morning, and as I came home every night.
As I look in her eyes I could see her hatred smoldering, she looks at me like she looks at herself, a vision of imperfection. I’ve never been one to care for looks because I am not pretty, I didn’t have satin hair or bronzed skin or eyes that sparkled. But I didn’t mind because I was intelligent and thoughtful, and my paintings could blow anyone out of the water, but she couldn’t see that, she just saw my mistakes.
“Why didn’t you leave the keys upon the table?” She screams, froth flying from the corners of her mouth, you’d swear she was rabid. I started to speak, but was cut off as she got in my face. “Oh here you go, creating yet another fable.” She always thought I was lying, maybe it was a guilty conscience or something, I’ll never know.
Her rant continued and I grew tired, because it was the same thing every day, the same complaints and inquiries. I try my best to cheer her up and bring her back to me but evil has its grasp on her heart. Still, every morning I ask if she wants to do my hair and make-up, try to bring her back to those teenage years she desperately wants to relive, but more often than not it just reminds her of what she is not, and she is plunged into the pool of hatred she drowns in every day. “You just had to take forever and grab a brush and put on make up.”
“But you wanted me to….”
“Shut up Sue, you can’t hide anything, you need more make up that ugliness will shake anyone up.”
“I thought maybe you’d want to.”
“So why didn’t you leave the keys on the table? Because you wanted to? You just looovvveee seeing me struggle every morning in search for them don’t you?”
It was a stupid question, one I’d answered on countless mornings before, the keys were never lost, they were always on the table under a magazine or in plain sight; I think she just enjoys yelling at me. So I just walked past her as she huffed and puffed along after me. I’ve learned that ignoring her and complying is the easiest way to get out injury-free. This morning, however, something else had rubbed her the wrong way and my failure to respond ended in a heavy shove into my side. My mother was a petite woman, but she could be a force of nature. As she collided with my side, I went tumbling down the set of stairs that branch off from the hallway. I cried out as I hit the concrete wall that dictated the end of the stairs, and gasped for breath as sharp pains shot up and down my leg. I tried to pick it up with no luck, it was broken, or at least sprained, much to my dismay.
I heard a cackle from above and watched her slink away, proud of herself. Sometimes I wonder if she birthed me at all, how else could one have such hatred for their child.
No one would ever trust in it, but they still probably wouldn’t miss my plain face if I took myself from this world. And the one that drove me to it, the only person I hope it would effect, would be my once angelic mother; who now deserves no better than six feet under. The worst part of it all is my father has left me here with this. I suspect he unearthed the evil that he had married, and got the hell out of here as fast as he could.
Hell, that’s what I would do.
Except I’d take my infant daughter with me, instead of leaving her in the clutches of satin.
Oh, father, into your hands I would have commended my spirit. But you have forgotten me. Why have you left me here to bask in the wake of her self-hatred? I wonder if he remembers me, remembers my name.
But I know it’s no use wishing.
His eyes are oblivious me.
His thoughts has forgotten me.
And his heart has forsaken me.
I’ve been down here for a few hours now, my leg still broken and my mother still not having returned. I’ve crawled to the run down couch in our basement and prop myself up. I’m done, I’ve been done I just didn’t have a way out. But now I know that I cannot escape her. If I get away, her memory still haunts me, her teachings (more like tellings) will stay with me until death, I’ll forever be scarred.
Or she’ll kill me, if I don’t kill myself first. I begin to cry with this thought. My leg is still bent awkwardly, swelling up around the broken bones. It’s hurt for too long now and I am numb, numb to my physical pain because my mental pain has taken over. I hate myself, the girl she has made me become. Broken and scared in my own home. I crawl to the bathroom, prop myself on the edge of the tub. I turn it on and let it fill. I’m just taking a bath, nothing serious, I want to still be pretty for her, my mother. I take a little blue bottle out of the cabinet and swallow the dozen, or hundreds I don’t really know, baby blue capsules inside. I close my eyes as I sink into the water. And as the warmth begins the take hold, I think to myself that this is right.
My mother drove me to this, my guardian angel.
I trust in my self righteous suicide,
But I cry because some angels deserve to die.

Picture Perfect Assignment

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Free Verse: Growing Up

One of you couldn’t make it alone so it was up to the
Two of you to make it together. But
Three in the morning isn’t the time
For you to high-
Five over your wondrous
Six year old dreams that got lost on the days you turned
Seven when things were more simple and
Eight balls were the things you didn’t want to sink in pool and
Nine was the age we longed to be because everyone said the next
Ten years were to make us bitter.

Eleven days would pass in between seeing our friends and
Twelve months started to seem short.
Thirteen times the pain we felt when we were
Fourteen and our hearts were broken by bad grades and boys who were
Fifteen was the worst age, not yet able to escape to
Sixteen miles away from where you grew up,

Lyric Poem: Mother of Mine

Mother of mine, what pushed you away?
Was it his failure to please you;
Was it me begging you to stay?
Mother of mine, you left me broken,
Smoldering with hatred,
My heart you have stolen.
I prayed you’d come around, prayed you stay away,
But no matter what I prayed,
You came first
You stole the show
Battered and broken, my mother I did not desire to know.
Your poison overtook us, my father and I,
We chased your golden promises,
But fell empty with your high;
 So I wrote this to tell you off,
Wrote this to let you know,
That we are better off without you;

We’ll leave you to your snow.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Within Five Miles - 200 word sentence

Five more miles until I reach my dreadful destination, until my week meets its unfortunate demise, until I am forced to be faced with the weariness of Monday morning and the complications of the school week ahead of me - three miles left, three more miles draining away from the gas tank, I’ll have to pay the losses of course, I always do even though Norton is a small town and you can get just about anywhere in under a gallon of gas; 16 miles to the gallon, that’s how much this car gets, and yet the three miles it takes to get to my house still costs me five dollars - one mile left, my night is nearing its end, five minutes until I walk through my front door, the trees zip by, they blend together in the blur of night, their branches stretch out to me like finger tips – one more minute left, I can see my house as we near the street corner, we take the sharp bend in the road with a roll and the cracking sound is deafening; the windows burst outward; the doors snap and bend, the metal crumbles under the pressure of the car's innards and our three mangled bodies; I guess accidents really do happen within five miles of the home.