Friday, 10 February 2017

Today I forgave Myself.

The scent of fresh paint burned my nostrils and made my head pulse. I flattened my hands on my thighs as I realised I was biting my nails. I avoided her gaze and focused on the blank piece of paper before her, thick pen in hand.
‘How are you today Emma?’ She smiled. Margaret looked simple enough, but her mind was far from it. Her empathy watched me through those dark, almond eyes.
‘I’m… okay.’ I swivelled from side to side on the new orange chair, smiling weakly.
Today had been just like any other day, and I told her that. I wanted her to know that I hated this.
‘It’s the cycle, it eats at my head.’ ‘I hate it.’ I was biting my nails again, this time I looked at her. She was scribbling on her pad, and nodding her head. My mind is gone from the moment I wake up. My pace is heavy, my eyes sting and my mouth is dried. I look at myself in the mirror. The exhaustion and all that late night thinking presented itself in eye bags and cracked lips. There was a time, when my face was clear and eager for the day ahead. My gleaming blue eyes had turned into a sombre grey and the bright red lips were pale and trembling.
‘I don’t like what I see, I don’t like what I’ve become.’ The muscles around my mouth ached, I tried so hard to keep a straight face but I was moments from losing control.
‘You weren’t always like this were you? It seems to me that you liked five-year-old Emma.’ Margaret looked at me with her soft and caring eyes.
‘Yeah, I thought I was going to change the world when I was five.’ I didn’t care what others thought, I would run around with my long pony tailed hair, satchel on one shoulder. A book about dragons, pens and pencils. I gazed into my opened bag and saw a phone, a brush and school books riddled with words that meant nothing to me. Words I was forced to write down.
‘I realised in high school, that I wasn’t special.’ ‘I let myself become like everybody else and now, I don’t know who I am anymore.’ There was a mask permanently attached to my face, that I couldn’t rip off, no matter how hard I had tried.
‘I decided, that I was going to make friends, and I changed myself.’ A sniffle escaped me as I cupped my hand over my mouth.
There was a moment of silence that I’d created, and I thought of all the days before this one. Monday. I’d sit at my desk and poise my pen with an empty book before me, remnants of ripped out paper bothered me. My mind was blank. I’d clench my fist and close the book, hide it within a pile of text books and find something else to distract me.
Margaret asked me about me about my parents, my friends and school.
‘I am a good writer; did I tell you?’ I sat up straight and looked into her eyes.
‘No you didn’t, tell me about that.’ A warm feeling was quickly muffled by my frustration. Writing was what I lived and breathed. I was inspired by everything, life and people, seemingly so unique and beautiful.
‘It became a chore.’ I ran my fingers through my hair, tugging at the knots and staring behind her. The words I wrote were re assembled by others to make something that had already been done so many times. Something that suited others ‘better’.
Tuesday. Today it would come to me. I took my book out again, opened it up, pen in hand. The soft creamy paper begged to be touched. Nothing. I closed my eyes and saw the mess my mind was. A soft sigh left me as I closed the book and through it across the room. I hadn’t written in months.
‘You’ve let others change you Emma, because that is what you believed necessary to do in order to get by.’ I stared at my lap, I could feel her watching me. I knew that it would be over soon but it became harder every day to wait. After years of having my worth questioned I failed to realise that I had allowed myself to become someone I wasn’t. That was the cycle that I had grown tired of. Standing within a crowd of people who didn’t know who they were. We stare in the mirror and see a stranger, a creation of societal expectation that hides who we really are and makes us the same. Uniform, in every way they could make possible.
I could hear Margaret’s soft words ringing in my ears and my mind returned to the small room I sat in. The smell of fresh paint was gone and the piece of paper before her was filled with scribbles and bullet points.
‘Emma, It’s a healing process, to regain any passion after having it dulled by other commitments.’ ‘However I can guarantee you, that it will happen.’ I nodded and smiled, a weak smile but a smile none the less. An hour had passed, it was time to go home.

Wednesday. The empty book lay sprawled on the carpet. I sat at my desk and flattened out the crisp pages, pen poised in hand. ‘Today I forgave myself.’

Sunday, 15 January 2017

This isn't Felix.

I looked into the eyes of the person I had shared my darkest secrets and sweetest moments with. They were different, emptier and darker, like something was missing. Felix, a gentle and damaged soul, who you'd expect of all people to have eyes filled with hurt and feeling. And yet, I was staring into a blank face. Blonde hair falls around his soft cheeks, a look, different to the five hundred I'd seen before and memorised. His skin had paled and his wrists were thinner.
'Jess, you ok honey?'  Felix squeezed my hand, giving me a look of concern. I squeezed back.
The hospital room was bleak and sterile, smelling of disinfectant and sickness, if it had a smell it would be this. I should have been overjoyed to see him after months of surgeries and waiting. What was wrong with me? Something hadn't felt right for weeks.

This wasn't him, not my Felix. Something had happened during the surgeries, he had been replaced by somebody identical. I slipped my hand out of his, my fingers trembling. The man in the bed looked at me, creating a facade of confusion and hurt, masking his true intentions.
This was an imposter.
Engulfed by fear and rage I began to strangle the man in the bed. If this were really Felix he would have been able to overpower me but this man was much to frail and weak for that.
' I need to see the real Felix, WHERE IS THE REAL FELIX?' I spat, tears spilling onto his chin.
'Jess! Stop!' His weak voice shrieked, he grabbed my wrists in vain, pushing me away. My hands pushed against his brittle throat, why wouldn't he tell me where Felix was? In minutes his fingers slipped from my wrists and those beautiful eyes that had been stolen slowly closed.
Harsh hands grabbed me by my coat, ripping from the bed and taking me away. The doctor and nurses ran to the imposter's aid.
'FELIX WHERE ARE YOU?' My screams echoed down the halls as I was dragged from the pretender's corpse.

The next day I awoke in another bleak and sterile room, but this one was different. I was alone, there was nobody by my side, no Felix. Why weren't they looking for him? Nobody had even tried.
My wrists were raw and hand cuffed, as I stared into the mirror before me, a red eyed, blotchy faced girl looked back, scared and exhausted. I could never forget his warm hands and soft cheeks. His sad stories and sad eyes. Nobody knew what it was like to stare into the soul of somebody you loved only to realise they had been replaced, by a pretender, an imposter. Nobody.

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Thursdays are for Overthinking.

I'm a writer, a dreamer, a thinker and yes, a cryer.  I like vintage//thrifted fashion and horror films. And please, don't label me as one of those who deliberately strays from the crowds. I merely refuse to agree with the idea that we're all the same. I don't believe that people can be ordinary, as everybody has their own unique and ingenious thoughts that seperate them from the masses and make them different. That is, after all, what we are I believe. Irreplaceable and one of a kind. All born with the potential to be good but when life and our minds test us with its cruel ways we are forced to choose between a million paths that lead to a million different possibilities and a million different endings. And through all these millions of paths, possibilities and endings you are here, and that is more that can be said for many so be glad that you're buried six feet under society's expectations and not dirt. You're here so be happy for you a stronger than you think, don't look up to people, look up to yourself because you are the reason that you are still here.

Monday, 9 January 2017

Fool's Paradise

His hands trembled in mine. Tousled and sweaty hair, collapsed over his delicate features. His dark eyes filled with a familiar emptiness, and a sort of madness that failed to conjure empathy, but instead, memory. Jack was much weaker than I, and it was quite obvious, that this boy was bearing a weight too heavy for such a fragile creature, as broken and innocent as he was.
Most could take the inevitable blankness awaiting them. We were far from okay but would continue to remain alive. Others, like Jack, weren't able to withstand the pain and were murdered by their shaky minds. However, was the only shaky mind left to keep me going.  He was my brother, my dear brother, and I would not allow him to become another statistic, with a heart as unfairly broken as his was.

Jack and I were born into the black and white. We had heard stories from our grandparents, of the world before our generation, a world of colour.
'What is colour Nanna, why can't you explain it?' Jack would ask.
'It is something we do not deserve.' The light in her eyes would dim as she says this.  It was always something that fascinated the children of our generation. A beautiful thing that our seniors could never put into words or show us.
So beautiful perhaps, that people would pay thousands to see it with their own eyes.
There were no historical accounts or photos. It merely seemed a legend that the senile elderly had conjured up for whatever reason.  If colour was everywhere then why wasn't it here now?
'We were punished.' Grandad would say. ' We took something that was good for granted and in moments it was gone.'  He never elaborated on this, nobody did. Since we could not see it, we did not believe it. All accept Jack, of course.

When Jack and I were adults, a revolutionary drug had found its way into Melbourne. A week had passed, everyone was addicted. 'FP' it was called. Later we learnt it stood for 'Fool's Paradise'. The drug allowed the user to see colour for what felt like too short a time. People in this saddened city were happy for once, and rightly so I had thought. Imagine, what it would be like for everyone to see the most beautiful thing in the world, at once. The grass beneath my feet was 'green' as nanna had called it, and so were my eyes. Some lips were pinker than others and Jack's skin was like porcelain. Life had been brought to the city and with time, people had their meaning. In moments, their meaning was lost.

The drug had started off as extremely cheap but over a year the price had risen to unaffordable heights.  I could never shake from my mind, the day I couldn't buy another pill. The day my happiness was  forcibly ripped from my firm grasp.
'Mum all I need is a little loan, please it'll all get back to you in a month or two I promise.' My mother would look at me with her broken blue eyes and run her shaky fingers through her bright red hair.
'I've got none left.' I felt myself sinking into the ground. Or at least, that's what I wanted to do. My lips throbbed and my throat clenched itself.
'What do you mean 'none left'?'
'I spent it all on the colours sweetie, can't you see?' She collapsed onto the floor in a pool of her filth and tears and I left her there, on her own.
That day, I was able to distinguish being alive with living, for I never lived again.

I was able to suppress my feelings, like most of us had done and we went on. Without colour. Our lives had ended here and yet we still continued. Somewhere between life and death. 'Limbo', as Grandad had called it. Even time couldn't restore ignorance.
Jack, the little boy who was fascinated with that beautiful thing he couldn't see, was never able to regain any part of him that once was. We were all broken but Jack was shattered, like a china doll.
'Dear sister of mine, did you know I dream in colour?' He placed his wet head on my shoulder, his eyes unnervingly dead.
'No, I didn't know that.'
'I am forced, every morning, to wake up and face another uncoloured day and pretend that nothing had ever happened to us all. The worst and best nothing.'
Jack squeezed my hand tightly and looked out of the window beside us, wincing at the sight of bland nothingness.
'What did we do to deserve a world with no colour?'
'We were living in a fool's paradise.'

Friday, 6 January 2017

Tooth & Co.

Lost and Found

Light bounced from every sharp edge, illuminating purples and greens, sprayed on the worn out walls of this old brewery. A sense of idle loneliness crawled through the forgotten machinery. Rusted and consumed by its memories. As broken glass and moss engulfs the unsteady ground I am reminded of the state loneliness leaves us in.
Oh, how easy it is to believe that you are forgotten by the world, when in fact it is impossible. In your darkest days, think of this brewery, with a broken back and yet it still stands. Lost, and found again.


Sunday, 10 July 2016

Lost in Causeway.

Everyday passed by like a stranger on the street. Forgettable and most routinely, ordinary. I wasted my long hours, sat on  a bench and watched the machine that was humanity, spinning it's cogs and turning its wheels. The world surrounded me with an absent mindedness that was pushing me closer to insanity. The chaos consumed my thoughts and I remained a mere shadow of the person I once was. A spectre, lingering amongst the masses, in perpetuity.

Monday, 25 April 2016

The Arsonist

didn't live in a house, I didn't own a car. The little money I earned in mopping other peoples' crap off the floor was wasted on matches and petrol. It was hard for people like me to stay in one place for very long. I spent most of the day in a barren park surrounded by broken wire fence. When the night cast its sheet of darkness over me I was the only one who remained. The lights turned off and the people hid behind the safety of their multi locked doors. The stares of disturbance and the agitated yells disappeared for a while and I was left with my own thoughts. The voices in my head were louder than ever before. The streets were empty and only the leaden sky was left to see who I really was. I sat on a wooden swing and ran my long fingers along the burns scars on my arm.
As a child I used to stare into the open flames. There was something so beautiful about fire, a dangerous temptation for the sick. The flames had a power over me that was impossible to control. The matchsticks made their home in the pocket of my scorched jeans and it was havoc from then on. I had nothing but loneliness and the pleasure that came from all the ashes in my wake to keep me company during the long hours of the day.

I spun a a matchstick between my fingers and smiled at the jerry can between my feet.
Tonight there will be light.” I dreamed of the tall houses before me collapsing in flames. A work of art as it would seem, and I was the artist. To the people in this town I was just that boy who spent his days sitting under a tree in an empty park. But I was so much more than that. I yearned for destruction and turmoil amongst the insanity that surrounded me. This was a new town; they would figure this out soon enough.

I could smell the petrol on my skin. Burning my nostrils, the nectareous odour filling me with a warmth that normal people couldn’t understand. I focused on a house on the street surrounded by yellowed grass, lonesome, and forsaken.
I bet it'd look nicer on fire.” The voice in my head was impatient.
The dry grass swayed softly with the night's breeze. The house glaring down at me menacingly as I paced to its door. I curled my fingers against its cold knob and twisted it until the door groaned open. Before me was a large and bleak room with sickly curtains and flowery wall paper, curled with neglect. The wooden floor boards were coated in saw dust and the windows were shattered. I lifted the can up to my stomach and twisted the cap off.
Let there be light.”
All was silent except for the gurgling of the petrol pouring onto the walls and floor boards. Anticipation and release rushed through my veins like a noxious plague.
Savour this moment kid, take one deep breathe and light it up.” So I did as the voice ordered and took one big breathe.
One.” I pulled out the redheads and picked a match. “Two.” I lit the match. The enslaving rush it gave me never got old. “Three.”I hovered a finger over the head as it emanated its alluring heat and tossed it under the curtains. I watched in wonderment as it crawled up to its drapes and spread across the floor boards.
It was truly beautiful. I could barely tear my eyes away from the bright, sharp flames inching closer to me every second. I spun around and rushed outside the house, the flames licking closer too my heels. I ran across the road and sat myself back at the little wooden swing. Swing swing.
It was always better to appreciate your art from afar. And it was quite a sight. The loud crackling noises filled the neighbourhood, the lights turned on and the doors unlocked. People soon gathered around, keeping their distance from the bright embers as they slowly collapsed, with such grace. I leaned my head on the tree and ran my hands over its harsh bark. I slid the matchbox open and pulled out the last matchstick. I looked up and smiled at the tall tree, envisioning the sound of crinkling leaves. The excruciating screams and gasps of the voices flooded my mind and the arduous silence of the night was gone.

And there was light.”