Halloween Dreams

I sharply breathed in and opened my eyes to my mother’s outline in the darkness above me as she gently shook me awake at my shoulders.
“What? What is it?” She backed away as I sat up and felt a squish between her hands and my arms, a sticky thickness that sent tiny pin-pricks up and down my spine and made my heart shiver. I extended my arm to my left and pushed on the switch of my nightstand’s lamp.
Upon illumination, I saw a stained knife upon my nightstand and the red trails of blood along my mother’s hands. My eyes found my mother’s. Her eyes held only emptiness and her face was a blank slate that showed not a shred of emotion.
“I did it.” The slate gave way to a slight smile. Her confident tone caused an inexplicable fear to fill my mind and my stomach to begin to rise. I swung my legs to the left of my bed and stood, as if trying to catch my stomach. She took one step back to give me room, her graying and dry hair bobbing as the slight curve of her lips returned and she nodded, saying for a second time, “I did it.”
As a salty bead of sweat trickled down my forehead and became entangled within my brow, I recognized this feeling as dread. I grabbed my left arm above my elbow in a vain attempt to end the twitching of my hand and stabilize my body. One, two, three, four. I heard the clock hand tick.
“Did what?” I responded in almost a whisper with an eerie calmness that echoed my mother’s.
Her smile grew as she said, “I killed him. I killed your father.”
My arms fell to my side and my jaw loosened. My knees buckled and I stumbled back, catching myself on the nightstand behind me. I felt the blood along the blade of the knife.
“You know what has been going on. He has been trying to get me locked up. You saw how he sided with the doctors instead of me. He was a traitor. He knew the doctors falsified my records. Now, just help me cover…”
“Help you cover this up?” I grabbed the knife behind me that my schizophrenic mother had set down. She nodded.
I stabbed the heart of the woman who trusted me. I saw her eyes turn to shock as her bloodied hands pushed at me and grew limp, falling over my arms, over the knife, and to her side as she collapsed below me. I let go as she fell and now held her blood in my own hands, knowing her genetics were forever a part of me.
I heard sirens. My eyes opened and I was under drenched blankets, my fever broken and an ambulance passing by. I walked down the stairs and found my mother asleep on the couch, the insanity within her still being negated.

Grand River Brewery Review

As I entered the rustic Grand River Brewery and Restaurant in Jackson, Michigan, I could not help but feel welcomed as the hostess instantly greeted me and showed my date and me to an open seat. The restaurant was full of friendly, though slightly anxious, servers preparing for the upcoming dinner rush. It was almost 5pm, so this was to be expected. The hostess happily seated us and handed us two different menus, explaining that the dinner one would start at 5pm.
We did not have to wait more than a minute or two before the waitress arrived and asked us what drinks we would like. I requested water and a sample of their seasonal pumpkin ale. To my dismay, she did not ask me for my ID. I realized that my date looked older than me and I was dressed professionally while carrying myself with as much grace as I can muster, but I am still only 22, so I was slightly taken aback by this. The pumpkin ale was a delicious ale, its flavor encompassing fall itself and reminding me of the roasted pumpkin seeds of my childhood.
However, I ended up ordering the Michigan Mule, a drink with vodka, ginger, and lime served in a charming copper cup. I have since tried to recreate this drink myself, but I can never get the perfect lime and ginger taste. This drink has the perfect amount of spice flavor from the ginger balanced with the sour of lime. It is a must-have for vodka drinkers.
Returning to analyzing the service, our waiter brought our drinks to us in a timely manner and kept our glasses of water full throughout the whole evening. I ordered their risotto with carrots and mushrooms. The waitress warned me that because this was only on the dinner menu she could not place the order until 5pm, which was still in another ten minutes. I said this was fine and was pleasantly surprised when my risotto was served a mere ten or so minutes after five. It was very hot, clearly just finished. The risotto was too salty for my taste, but still enjoyable with the balance of the mushrooms and carrots. I only ate half of my risotto, and the waitress promptly and kindly package it within a to-go container.
Overall, my experience was wonderful. I enjoyed the drinks and atmosphere of the Grand River Brewery immensely and the service was outstanding. The whole menu was reasonably priced for the items offered, the atmosphere provided, and the quality of service given. I was a little disappointed that I was not asked for my ID and in the saltiness of the risotto that I was served, but other than that I have absolutely no complaints and will definitely return for another Michigan Mule and for more delcious and reasonably priced food.

Butterflies

Push and pull of waves
Wind howling in caves
Red and orange from the tree
Will you let me be?
Wish just for closed eyes
Upon stars that speak goodbyes
But I am only awake
Thinking of all he’d take
Alive with a buzzing alarm
Those that never harm
Insects incited this disease
I could never even say please
“Sorry” being repeatedly erased
Here I will not be abased
But the fear is never-ending
Because love is always bending
Mending the path to that star
Through trees, across plains afar
Above the canopy I glimpsed a light
But could it simply be all right?
A thought and a word to carry
Worry and faults to bury
Light rose and fell, seeking 50/50
(I just thought “that’s nifty!”)
Over the horizon, I saw an ellipse
Something of a blood moon eclipse
Speaking only what I believed
And as I exhaled, relieved,
He took my hand and led me
To where I always hoped to be

One Missing Rung: A Narrative

I take a deep breath, tasting the sleeping morning glories climbing my porch and the city pollution. Turning the deadbolt to the backdoor, I enter my apartment in silence. As I walk across the living room, I hear my boyfriend’s voice and guitar seeping inside from the front porch. Opening the front door, I sit on the bean bag to the right of where he is relaxing. He turns to me and smiles; I warily half smile in return, and he looks at my seemingly depressed response with concern.
“How was work?”
“Boring. Didn’t sell anything.” Pause. The trepidation I feel is inevitably within his mind as well. I take another deep breath, looking up to the sky while considering where my next words will take me. I will not regret what I say nor do I regret every step that has led me to this point, for that would be to regret the person I am today.
“I need to talk to you,” I say monotonously as I look through his glasses.
“About what?” Max replies, with a concerned look as he tilts his head slightly to his left.
“I’m breaking up with you.” His concerned look turns to surprise then settles on mostly understanding.
“I know that we planned on waiting to see how it would pan out once I moved to Michigan, but after last night—this obviously is not going to work out.” We had spent the previous night drinking screwdrivers, Malibu Coconut Rum and Mike’s Hard Lemonade with our best friend, roommate, and Max’s ex-girlfriend: Dawn. Max and I started our relationship while she was studying abroad. Upon her return, it was evident that he still held onto his infatuation for her, and, upon being intoxicated, his obsession was even more evident as he followed her around like a little lost puppy while I strained to stay calm and maintain my relationship with both my best friend and boyfriend. Though I wish that this love would work, the stress it places on my heart and other relationships is not healthy nor is it conducive to personal growth. With another rung down as I climb this ladder called life, I can only continue upward and onward.
“I have something I need to talk to you about too.” Max pauses; I can tell that he is searching for the words to say. “I woke up this morning and felt like I had dreamed about kissing Dawn… Then she asked me if I remembered us making out… So, since we both vaguely recall the same event, I reckon that we made-out last night.” You have to be kidding me. I trusted him; I trusted her. Now, I am standing on the porch, looking down on Max, and calmly reiterating to him the pain of the betrayal that he knows he has committed. As neutral as my temperament is, I cannot help but want to punch him. With bitterness in my voice, I tell him to stand. He refuses, stating that any actions out of anger will not make me feel any better, but I convince him that it will calm me down and that he deserves it, so he begins to get up. In this moment, I recall the end of my relationship with Doug: how his hands would push me against the wall at my shoulders; how I would prolong every visit to the bathroom—my escape—where I hid with my arms holding my knees; how he convinced me that I deserved every ache in my stomach from the sting of his words and palms of his hands; and how, most importantly, he showed me what it meant to love.
Love is Work. It is a constant effort to attempt to understand from their perspective and a constant push and pull to work to balance the love given with the love received. It is to be selfless, but strong. It is to recognize your own flaws and receive criticism, but also objectively give criticism where it is due. With Doug, I only loved. His refusal to love, along with his endless insecurities, led to the unbalance that doomed our relationship: with him, my ladder of life was falling, but with each step I took towards the sun I found my footing to be more stable.
There had been a perfect balance with Max, for a time, but I had felt this instability before: the slipping as I try to hold on as he lets go. Now that I am standing face to face with Max, I only observe remorse and honesty as a piece of the porch light shimmers off of his moistened eyes. As I approach him, he stands firm, readying himself for what he believes he deserves.
I hug him.
“I love you. I’ll need a better reason than that to punch you.” I back away and we smile at each other, recognizing that our friendship of three years will remain intact after our short attempt in the game of love.
“We had a great relationship,” he says, with strain on the “had.”
“We still do!” I say with a smile on my lips.
“Yeah, that’s true. In fact, our friendship is even stronger.” The tension between us has diminished. Within minutes, we find ourselves eating dinner in front of the television once more: me sitting in the big brown recliner in the corner of the living room and him lounging across the futon. We choose a movie and are brought into another world. By the credits, we are on new paths, each pursuing our own goals and planning new places to go. The time we have spent together is irreplaceable, but it is coming to an end as our ladders’ paths begin to diverge.
Every moment makes up one rung in this long ladder of life, so if we took out any of the rungs of our past, we would never be able to continue our journey upward. The extent to which I feel and love and work to understand those around me would be a few rungs lower if not for those three years I spent being dehumanized with Doug. Without my relationship with him, I would not be able to recognize warranted anger and healthily release it through understanding the value of the people in my life. To regret or to wish that a word or an action could be changed would be to regret who we have become. Not only are there too many paradoxical issues to work around with changing the past, but there is also the simple issue that nothing can be learned in life without a lesson. To take away any lesson would only gain ignorance, and, no, that is not bliss. That is naivety. There is a large, insatiable difference.

I’ve Been Sick

Broken again
A piece of the vine
A tree that couldn’t stand
No one would hug it
No one stood for it
The weight crushed it
I could no longer breathe its oxygen
It was only suffocating and debilitating
I wished it would find its roots again
But it could only rot away
It did not wish to be among us anymore
Among the sorrow, the hate
The noise and pollution
The “love” driven by selfishness

It has been a little over a week since I felt the first wave of this growing sickness. For the past few days, I’ve just been laying in bed and writing way less than I would like to. So, that is all I have for now. I hope to be more consistently writing and blogging nonsense again here soon, but first: Recovery.

I love all you crazy people who come read my crazy blog. Makes me feel loved 🙂

When the World…

Has forgotten you
Has turned you upside down
Has spat you out and spit on you
Has abused and used you
bated and switched you
hated and cursed you
Maimed you in the attempt to tame you
Given you rocks in place of food
And salt in place of water
When they have forsaken you
When they’ve crushed your hands
Your voice no longer sings
They stole your voice
And sang curses in place of your beauty
Your metamorphosis feels incomplete
You ask…
Was God really there?
Is He even here?
Does He even care?

Know that I am always alone
A perfect picture of a well known meme
Yet I sense Him still
Know that I have been maimed
I was tame for a time
Know that I have been cursed
I cursed those around me
Yet now He stills my heart

All I know now is love
If you cannot believe in my God above,
At least believe this

I love you, and I always will
The love I love you with is from God alone
For without His love in me
I am as cruel as they come
Cynical until my previous life’s final breath
Broken and rusted and black with sin
Until I drowned in His red blood
I asked for Him to take all of me and do with me as He willed
And In the midst of giving my life to Him
I found my strength diminish
My human soul failed
My heart ceased to feel
I was in a ditch
I was alone with only a Bible and my emptiness
I only wanted to curl up and die
In this moment He gave me hope
He filled my heart with His love
Rebuilt me from scratch
Gathered the broken pieces
glued them together with His own words
All that remains is His love
I would have it no other way

So, if you cannot believe in my God
At least know this
I love you
I love you with His love and thanks to Him

The Seven-Toed Cat

After being woken up by an incredibly disturbing nightmare at 4am, I attempted to drift back to sleep for two hours. As 6:15am approached, I found myself walking around the 1.3 mile loop that circled two ponds by my grandfather’s house. (Maybe it was the unfamiliar location that inspired such a dream.) As I was circling for the second time, I looked to my left and spotted a calico cat. In the midst of the turmoil and depression brought on by my uneasy sleep, I could only wish to pet the cat and find some solace in its presence.

So, I approached. I didn’t sneak or run or try to appear disinterested. I stood so he could see me clearly and crinkled my way through dried orange and yellow leaves with steady and deliberate steps until I was only two feet away from him. He did not turn or back away, but neither did he move forward. Considering my straightforward nature, he waited for me to make the next move as he looked down the road from his sitting place upon the curb. Bending my knees, I found myself closer to his level, and he acknowledged my presence with a glance my way and a slightly arched back: not in preparation to attack, but in preparation to do whatever must be done upon my next move.

I loosened my fingers and cupped my palm towards him, stopping a few inches in front of him. He immediately moved towards my hand and head-butted it to invite me to scratch behind his ear. And scratch I did. He began purring as I went down from behind his ear to below his cheek.

At this point, I noticed that he had seven toes; his paws were large mittens with extra toes for a few of his lives. It was in this moment that I recognized the purpose of this meeting. Two weeks previously, I had encountered a diabolical seven-toed cat that punctured my hand with his evil teeth, and I am sure that I will keep the scars for quite some time, but here was this seven-toed cat, purely loving me in my moment of distress. I was clearly meant to encounter this cat along this morning walk to restore my faith in the kindness of seven-toed animals.

He walked away from me as my contemplations of his toes led me to stop taking petting him seriously. Guess he’s done with me I thought, but then I noticed that he was not walking away from me, but towards another person. An older lady with a slightly hobbled gait and short gray hair approached along the nearest sidewalk. He went right up to her, so I expected her to say a name and pick him up and bring him inside with her. Instead, she said hello to me and continued her morning walk, leaving seven-toed slightly dismayed. He sat down on a dry patch in the sidewalk and watched her leave without acknowledging his presence.

Seconds after, a young jogger donning a plain gray hoodie and medium-length, brown ponytailed hair approached from the direction the old lady disappeared into. Again, he stood, readying himself for the love and recognition he believed he deserved as the cat he was. She jogged right passed him, with an exasperated “good morning” towards me. I nodded in return. Disappointed yet again, he found a different dry spot on the sidewalk to sit and contemplate his failure on. I walked over to him and he stood back up, immediately rubbing against my legs as I knelt down to pet him once more. With his purring returning, he rolled on his back and closed his eyes as I scratched behind his ears and under his chin.

As I continued my walk, he sat on the sidewalk, looking over the concrete as he waited for another lonely soul to seek his comfort. And thus, my faith in the kindness of seven-toed animals was restored.

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