Possible Solution: Go to the store and buy some.
Hypothetical Result: Lose the 10 minutes of sleep I wasn’t going to get anyway considering how locked into another season of Law and Order: SVU I am, and go to bed comforted by the thought that I can wake up, pop one in the blender with an assortment of other healthy crap and start my day off right.
Actual Result: Guilt and panic. Granted these feelings stem from the poor planning and utter laziness that characterizes most of my free nights and could easily have been prevented by a quick jaunt into the grocery store on my way home from work. However, given the extent of my ability to be completely careless when it comes to maintaining my banana supply, I am now stuck at home, pajama clad, staring at my kitchen counter and waiting for a bushel of slightly green bananas to spontaneously appear on my yuppie banana hook and beg to be eaten. Standing here I begin to feel intense rushes of guilt: “good job, Corie, now you’re going to be stuck eating peanut butter toast AGAIN tomorrow morning and the unopened-vacuum-packed frozen berries are going to get freezer burn OVERNIGHT, not to mention the fact that the apple juice in the fridge is about to expire and OMG you’re SO wasteful!” My psyche can be a real bitch sometimes. But, oh wait, after the guilt-inspiring inner monologue, I can always expect the panic that accompanies minor and obviously inconsequential shifts in my daily routine. I find myself searching every cabinet and drawer, every nook and cranny of my refrigerator and freezer, attempting to track down at least a single fragment of a banana that will make my morning routine stay intact. Finally, panting, I give up, having scoured my ice cube trays for the third time since my search began hoping that banana slices had made a bid for freedom and leapt heroically from the container I freeze them in and landed tragically amidst some blocks of frozen water. I walk, defeated, back into the living room, consider my breakfast plans briefly, and decide to resume my search in the morning while clutching my daily 20oz dose of coffee and trying to problem solve my way around being sans smoothie for the day.
When I am alone at night, I often lie in bed, struggling to relax, old injuries flaring up without the slightest provocation. The sharp aches will roll from shoulder to neck to hip to knee before finally resting heavily on my mind, pulling at strings and squirming around in areas better left alone. I recall my lesser moments, brief periods of time in which I’ve said the wrong thing and have only regretted it when the time has long passed for apologies. Many people can recall childhood memories of laughter on the playgrounds, softball games, time spent with friends and family. My only memories of my youth are of saying the wrong thing at the wrong time, insults shouted out of anger and embarrassment, periods in history in which I shamed my parents. I recall fights from a few months ago, spawned from pride and the inability to understand that my thoughts and feelings are truly not the only ones that matter.
I craft countless apologize during these dark, pre-sleep periods. My eloquent words toil aimlessly throughout my head, accomplishing nothing but the progression of my long list of regrets.
It is with these things considered that I spend my waking hours exhausting myself, numbing myself with external stimuli in hopes that when night falls, I will be anaesthetized enough to sleep through the night.
Well, fuck. Everyone wants to be loved. The same thought had been looping through her head for months. Picking a piece of god-knows-what from underneath her finger nail, Jesse continues to stare straight ahead, mouth slightly open, tongue relaxed, as if she were about to burst into a great speech focusing on the injustices of the world. Instead, she returns her attention to her laptop, takes a long drag off of the cigarette poised conveniently near the screen, and begins typing. The words pouring out from her fingertips have no real meaning, no fundamental goal. Hell, I’ll probably delete them all before this story even climaxes. She smiles to herself. Sounds familiar.
The current topic in question was, of course, her relationship. She was a strong, independent young woman with a strong sense of self-image and many, many goals, though most of them were so off the wall that she’d never openly admit to their existence. Inspired, hard to follow bouts of creativity such as the one shooting across the Word document were so inconsistent that the idea of making a career in a creative field was laughable. But it helped her vent and it helped her see things more clearly.
She takes a sip from her latte. It had grown cold as she’d been working and was now simply remnants of foamy, cold coffee. She thought about ordering a new one but taking a cursory glance around the café, smiling blankly at the happy people around her, she changed her mind. Cold was OK, she decided, and turned back to what she was calling “today’s work.”
Social media was to blame, she decided. Fingers leaping off the keyboard in a moment of realization. If she hadn’t been able to see the “I Love You’s” written in plain sight after a mere 4 month relationship, if the photos of what must have been tear-filled goodbyes hadn’t been so simple to find, if her track record with love hadn’t been the clusterfuck that it was, she probably would be cheerfully clicking between the Oatmeal web comic and her Facebook News Feed, trying to entertain herself during her time off.
The self-portraits of the drooling, happy couple of a few short months, contrasted greatly with the few begrudgingly-taken photos she had with her boyfriend, the same man who was smiling so giddily in those hidden profile photos. Every time a new sign would crop up, Jesse had been able to ignore it, she had been able to type out a few lines of a rant or a love-sick poem, post it on her blog, and get over it.
This time, however, the past cropped up and left her once-empowered psyche crumpled up on the floor of her apartment.
I’ve never been loved. The words flew from her fingers onto the page before her, leaving all the metaphors and Shakespearian jargon for a moment of brutal honesty.
No no no no no! She slams her laptop shut, throws it into her computer bag and storms from the café. Once outside, she takes a few deep breaths, lights a new cigarette and tries to clear her head. Let’s replay this scene, m’kay? What is so undesirable about you that you’re impossible to love? A list that would have been impossible to build three relationships ago was now forming in her head, slowly at first, but with increasing speed as the moments passed and tears formed in the corners of her eyes.
Shaking her head against impossible truths, Jesse starts the short walk home. The most apparent criticism of Jesse was the fact that she was so tall. Tall had always been what she considered to be one of her greatest attributes. She had been recruited to a number of modeling agencies during her early growth spurts, her long, straight red hair helping her stand out in a field of professionals. Now, however, she was not just tall, she was also athletic, a quality that had earned her thousands of compliments by her friends, but one which had also caused the men she’d dated a great amount of unease.
What is athletic? She wondered. Athletic was not thin, it was not delicate. It was a foundation for a great number of jokes at her expense. It often left her in tears, diet pills arriving in droves at her doorstep only to be thrown out in wild moments fueled by renewed self-confidence. Nearly six feet tall, Jesse’s frame was held together by lean muscle built by years playing college soccer. Now, it was the cause for many nights sleeping in a folded ball, praying to an unknown entity to miniaturize her frame into that of a petite, feminine female.
She had seen photos of her exes with their previous girlfriends, all of whom were petite and blonde, though she would not describe any of them as particularly attractive. Maybe that was her problem. She was so competitive with women whom she hoped to never meet that her life was consumed by a series of self-indulged compare and contrast charts that she could never accurately fill.
Clouds rolled over and Jesse pulled her hood on, careful to tuck the long ends of her hair into the waterproof jacket. She increased her step, unheeled boots tapping a steady rhythm into the sidewalk. The rain began to fall in quiet streams.
She forgot her self-flagellating list as her apartment moved into sight. Alex was home. She smiled to herself and sighed. At least she could forget her insecurities until the next social media slip up, until the next off handed comment shook her foundations and sent her reeling back to the coffee shop, secret cigarettes and laptop in hand, anger-induced creativity coating page after page of hidden documents.
Smiling, she walks into the living room, pulling off her hood. She was always so surprised at how attractive she still found him, so long after they’d started dating. He gave her a cursory glance, asked her how her day had been, and returned to his work, never to know the pain the absence of three little words would eternally cause her.
Taking the scene in, pushing it into the back of her mind, Jesse gave herself a clean slate and numbed herself a little bit more to what the lack of I Love Yous had been doing to her since the first moment she’d fallen in love and regretted it.
I lie here alone
Body cold and aching
And wish for your return
How many mornings do I have
To wake up
Shivering under this thin blanket?
The bigger barn gets back next week, meaning I’m back down to 40 hour work weeks (YES!).
I have my book lined out in my head.
Next week, I put the pen to paper and start WRITING :)
Two lovers, hands entwined and faces almost touching stand peacefully at the edge of the angry sea. Ocean spray lands cautiously on their skin, each droplet almost purposefully at attention, trying not to mar the scene by forcing either of the two off balance. The sky writhes in pain, grey clouds unleashing their fury upon the land. Empty cliffs hang like battalions in the distance, watching the pair as they try to hold onto each other in the path of the rolling storm.
He pulls back slightly, eyes boring into hers as another wave crashes against the surrounding landscape. The rocks that were anchoring their feet to the ground begin to crumble away, falling into the water and forcing them off balance. Her pink lips are parted, silently communicating with him in an unknown language. Green eyes staring into blue, trying to reason with this place, she opens her mouth to speak. His fingers caress her cheek, now pink and alive from the cold, and he begins to walk backwards, slowly releasing her until only fingertips are touching.
She blinks and is suddenly alone, gazing out into an unadulterated sea.
So you say your soul’s been damaged
Well so has mine
You say time heals all things
I say you’re a liar
You tell me moving forward is moving on
I have but I’m frozen in time
(what do you say to that?)
ecstasy folds across my heart in rapid waves
making it beat faster faster faster.
claustrophobia capsizes my throat and
perspiration builds in my lungs.
I am in frozen motion.
without direction my drive builds and builds
momentum, until at last the rapidity of
my stillness finds release in the simplicity
Oooo change is coming
Cat eyes dart in their sockets
Green as earth
And just as wise
Soaring towards us with gifts and promises
We’ve been waiting for centuries
Now it’s our turn to move
Porcelain revealed behind red lips
Can you feel it
He asks her
It’s on the horizon
Smooth skin collides
Fingernails claw at their reflections
Grips tightening in anticipation
The stagnancy was overwhelming
The expectations are unparalleled
I’ve found the path
I’m not lost anymore
And they watch the skies
So when you say you are homesick for my skin,
my body sends you postcards from all its darkest corners
and prays you can still see the sun climbing my bones like octaves
‘cause baby, there were nights when my pulse did not win,
nights when my heartbeat stained the kitchen floor bright red,
but you once told me we are most alive in that split-second before death,
so I call ugly a four-letter word and tell you I am tired of hearing myself swear.
crisp evening air
fills my lungs
threats of violence,
memories of disaster
consume my ears.
i concentrate on each
small cube of ice as it
soothes my throat
cleansing my palate
something to my
weighted heavy in
my lap are
my sustenance for
the next five hours.
i focus on a small piece as it hits
my tongue, battling
the toxins reenter
my lungs as I
swallow and I
start the cycle
ink bursts from my
pen, spilling words onto
the unlined paper
before me. i empty
my soul in disguised
i finish my sentence
and turn back the
page to check for
the page is empty.
was i speaking to
an empty shell?
Sun beats down on two lone figures
Hand over hand she grips the iron
Trusting his aim as he
Hand over hand hammers its protruding head
Chips flake away with each strike
Pieces of marbled cocoa swirling in the summer air
Filling her lungs
Gloved fingers lightly raise her chin
Eyes meet behind their reflective panels
Pairs of green and brown
Silently communicating mixed instructions
For the task at hand
She wets her lips as he nods
An exchange imperceptible to their audience
And hand over hand
They finish their project