Looking back on my blue green planet,
Looking at how far I’ve flown,
Looking into the far endless dark,
Roaming the final frontier, home distantly present,
This vast shining star reservoir above, neighboring the many solar flares thereof,
I mention my findings in my memoirs: My thoughts, My reactions, My Dreams,
Eye to eye, screen to screen, glaringly numb,
Do they know? Are they aware?
As I attempt to rest floating within my lair,
The air in here I compare to a black and white back home,
Noir, the ever mystery of why despairs and affairs are often depicted with such fanfare,
The expel of malware from their hardwares, often unfair,
Rockwell and Roswell would be upset,
Therefore in my head, I declare a rare repair of my own software,
Laying bare wondering with the utmost care,
How somebody like myself could fare, out there, living a life on such a dare,
To risk, to open, to love, to crumble--
My thoughts tumble pulled to stumble, dry-white silent mouthful,
Relaxed hopeful, the full empty roomful,
I am in fact, humbled by the spoonful, yet baffled on how so many are so well-traveled,
Especially with how high above I’ve worked to become so elevated…
I often hesitated meditation, refusing my present presentation, relying upon pseudo self-regulation,
But aware of the slight depressive mind narration, I escaped into jailed sedation,
Eyes fainted, mind tainted, breathing regulated,
Vein to blue bloody vein, heart to red running heart,
Black wounds junction at the meeting,
Such feelings are fleeting as I allow self-bleeding,...
My skin, such a fiasco escape of the ticking grey and white,
The strife of my ongoing plight on this flight I constantly fight...
Wondering if risking my bright yellow shining light is worth--
A future sight in a chance to right a so-called “right”...
Why is innocence of an untested unright deemed to be not right?
Nicolas Sparks might write stories to delight--
Yet such themes I’ve often felt so denied as I irrationally found no time to bear such risky painful lives…
This black sky above me is currently airtight,
Why is being human so human?
Why blush to crush to only be crushed??
Much of the lushes in passing I’ve collapsed in reacting,
Notwithstanding the many crude hunches my eyes tended to horizontally follow,
Routinely, I’ve punched out to expunge the masculine bunch--
I wonder how hollow my corrections tend to swallow,
Those hardened Martian urges I tightly walk across run shallow in my shadows,
Such a rush in judgement, such indecision...a fissure within my boned earth,
An earth I grapple to hero, to not villain,
Configure to decency, to sense, to respect, not to where my species has been,
The desire to unify with one of Venus’ mysterious inhabitants erupts, in a whisper,
My face, my mind, my earth then gushes for the familiar, for the safety,
Pronounced, reliable, static, sedated, deafening…
Not a life I would have blatantly fated--
I have yet to attempt change, feeling ashamedly so,
At my current age compared to my youth, I initially miscalculated,
Assumedly predicted a fuller life filled out expeditanially more--
I felt now I’ve ignored too long my soul’s inner roar for something more,
Something I’ve never even implored before...
Fear, oh you familiar drug I’ve often abhorred and adored...
Then one midnight as I snored on board,
Beyond the many stars I’ve explored with these eyes, what appeared in front of me I could’ve sworn--
A woman….my age, my glasses, my goodness!
I fastened on her, then onto how those asses at NASA bypassed such a delicate phantom hourglass,
This stranger: smiling, confident, focused, not embarrassed, moving flawlessly barefoot into my comfort,
Blushingly frozen-red, my escape cut short as her long raven hair flowed,
I recall the moment as she opened my helmet, destroying my familiar,
Her green eyes my brown eyes locked, licking lips apart, vision all a blur to what was about to start:
A kiss, a first kiss, admittedly...my first kiss...
A long lust-filled long-awaited kiss,
Arms sway lifelessly, legs heavy grounded, gravity taking hold,
Her body warmth, piercing the icy thorned overgrowth,
I recall feeling such bliss lips to lips, also feeling slightly pissed as I quickly reminisced on all the lost time I’ve long missed,
Her hunger, her desire, her fire...I am engulfed,
The heat so neatly messy, my muscles tensing, such wet dancing flames blazing,
Body onto body, my arm hair raised to greet her goosebumps,
Lips to lips to neck to chest to lips to neck,
My mind blind yet my sight retained,
Succumbing, her arms enclosed upon my pulsating neck, my hands mindlessly traveling,
Our rhythms syncing to the Earth’s natural rotation,
A sudden jolt, her raised smile upon my hand’s newest body discovery,
I weak to this uncharted territory,
Breathing elevated, everything quivering, temperatures intensified,
Nobody could trivialize the size of this mutually orchestrated circumstance,
The emergence of two souls in trance, only enhanced by our bodily advances,
Her face, her voice, her earth!......gasping!, erupting!, exploding!.....
...Then as suddenly as it quickly appeared…!!
...All turns to nothing…
Awakened, falling from my bed, from in my apartment, onto the planet itself,
I concentrate hard on what has transpired, memories quickly fading--
Inspired I instantly try to rewrite the memory onto paper,
As I recall my dream, I realized how much I’ve been living above but not as much below,
My disappointment was not in having such a vivid dream,
But how for so long I’ve slumbered alive, leaving often-dreams behind,
Staying with Houston instead of launching as an Explorer,
How blind I find to have survived a life without a decent try,
So much life out there waiting for me to find…
Therefore, I shall step out into the unknown, to prove my existence,
And she will be there, waiting for me...to be better, to be aware, to be ready,
And I understand many have taken that one small step already,
But when it becomes my time to take one giant leap,
It’ll be for all humankind.
It’s that time of year! The sun is out, birds are chirping, summer is just around the corner, and you know what that means? Purging the old to make room for the new. It’s Spring Cleaning season, baby. I’d like to think of it as “New Year's Resolutions: Take Two.” Spring is our second chance to tackle those promises we made to ourselves when we counted down to 2021.
However, something is holding me back from taking the fullest leap possible. The residue of 2020 still lingers on me. An old mildew smell, a grease stain I can’t get out.
I am drowning in last year’s “laundry.”
You know what I’m talking about, right? The pile of dirty clothes you leave on your floor for days, culminating into a mountain, bigger and bigger, until it’s too overwhelming to face.
That’s how last Spring felt.
In March of 2020, a hole was planted within me. A helpless, crushing, pit in my stomach. It plowed through my chest, making it hard to breathe or stand up. I covered the pain with binge watches, bottles of wine, and mindless drives with nowhere to go. I needed to feel in motion and whole again. Instead, the laundry piled up, clouding my vision of peace and stability.
Throughout the year, there were glimpses of light and hope for the future. Late night discussions with friends who made me feel alive, dressing up and putting on makeup to go to the living room, and scavenger hunts to spice up a COVID birthday. I grasped any joyful moment so tightly my fist hurt. Depression and hopelessness begged for my attention but I pushed it away, afraid of the pit I’d gotten to know so well.
Holding onto the good and ignoring the evil, doesn’t mean it disappears. The pile grows, slowly but sure enough as time goes on, the pile transforms into an uncontrollable mess. It’s not until you sort, load, and wait, that you’re finally at peace (that is, until another load builds up).
That’s the promise I made to myself this year. Sorting through the mess, no matter how painful, to find my grounding again. Or else you’ll find me at the bottom, crushed by sweaters and jeans. Even though we don’t like to admit it (at least I don’t), every item in our “closet” means something. Whether it’s that ugly sweater your great Aunt gave you, or your favorite ballgown. We can’t hide from them. We have to face each piece; clean them, wear them, love them, until it’s time to let go.
This Spring, I vow to be patient, allowing myself to go through every item of clothing; touching, smelling, crying, laughing, ripping, throwing, embracing. I’ve learned that ignoring the problem doesn’t mean it’s magically solved.
After a year of a growing pile, it’s finally time to do my laundry.
It’s 2009, and to quote one of my favorite movies, I’m a “virgin who can’t drive.”
I walk everywhere. I have to. My parents work full time so if I want to do anything during the hours of 8am – 6pm I have to find my own way around. This includes walking uphill 2 miles from school with my textbooks only to get home a sweaty, hormonal mess.
Summers are the worst – it gets so hot in the suburbs. Me and my smart-ass friends lope around our town searching for fun things to do and places to go that have air conditioning and don’t care that we loiter or never buy anything. I marvel at the creativity of teenagers to find things that fill their time during the age when you’re seemingly too old for most summer activities and too young to leave the confines of your neighborhood.
My house is the starting point of the “long hang” because I live so close to premier destinations like the movie theater, Borders, Jamba Juice, two 7-11s, the park and two grocery stores. The world is our oyster.
My parents are rarely home during the day so we can scheme in peace. Down the street is my elementary school equipped with a huge black top and a jungle gym. During a blackout, we try to find refuge in the shade of the jungle gym since none of the usual spots had AC anyway. We trek around sweaty and self conscious, trying to distract ourselves from the heat by talking about our favorite bands and watching the guys skate down the mini hill on the playground. The afternoon heat is unbearable but the socialization is worth every drop of sweat.
When the power goes out we really have to use our imaginations. Even though my house is still cool, we can’t stand the thought of staying inside and not getting into trouble. At fifteen, it’s still awkward to have people of the opposite sex over to your house just to hang out. I only just started having real guy friends last year and we’re all still figuring it out. The only way to comfortably hang out is to subject ourselves to the dry heat of the suburb.
Mel, Liam, myself, and one or two of Liam’s friends make up our group every day. Me, Mel and Liam are kind of like a trio before Liam and I start dating. I realize that probably messed things up in her mind, but it’s always nice to have another girl around. It took the pressure off me to keep up with the boys.
We have our summer uniforms. The girls try to wear as little clothing as possible but still stay covered in fear of being called a slut – a difficult line to walk. Decked out in Hollister and Abercrombie layered tank tops and cut-offs, I always pray that no one notices mine are secondhand. The guys we hang around with are skater kids. In the style of the time, they all sport some kind of long sweeping hairdo across their foreheads. It gets greasy and stringy on hot days, but they never sacrifice their look for the weather – tight skinny jeans, usually matched with a band t-shirt (Green Day or A Day to Remember), vans and of course their boards. A lot of them straighten their hair, which is fun for Mel and me. Sometimes they let us do it for them. At the time I think they’re cool, but no one is cool when they’re 16 years old.
Liam and I recently got together after flirting for a year during drama class. He hit a growth spurt right before we met and he’s gangly, not really sure what to do with his body and his new found popularity now that he’s handsome. He doesn’t really skate though, mostly just longboards. The skater friends I’ll make in college would probably refer to him as a poseur. I think he is still trying to figure out where he fits in and later in the relationship he’ll take out his uncertainty and insecurities on me. But for now during the summer, he’s sweet and we’re inseparable.
When the sun starts to go down we go to City Hall with his friends and their girlfriends. They are all mostly my age but they all seem so much older than me. In my head I think it’s because they smoke pot and have sex but I don’t. Liam has been bugging me to smoke pot but I don’t really care to (later he starts bugging me to have sex as well). I got my period when I was 12, but those raging hormones of curiosity when it comes to sex still don’t hit for a few more years. It’s not that I’m uninterested – I like making out with Liam, I just don’t have too much interest beyond that. Or maybe I’m just afraid. It doesn’t matter either way – it’s way too hot to lose your virginity.
Adults, and some of my friends, warn not to go to the park after hours because that’s where kids deal drugs and smoke pot. I don’t care when I’m with Liam though – he’s 6’3” or something stupid tall like that.
One hot summer night, there must be truly nothing else to do because a huge crowd of kids form at City Hall. Not just the usual crew we muck around with. Liam’s sister is there – she’s a year younger than me and two years younger than Liam but she’s tall and curvy making her look older. She definitely looks older than me, I look like a kid. Probably why I’ve developed a sassy and “grown-up” sense of humor. I have the personality of fitting in when I don’t have the looks.
We glean from his sister there’s a fight about to happen at the park. Two brothers from our school are going to either beat each other up or beat someone else up. I don’t know them so I don’t really care. The group of teenagers on the lawn buzz with the excitement and the break from the hot mundane of August. I’m surprised the city security guards aren’t trying to break us up – they hate it when we loiter. A comment is thrown out that Liam’s sister has made out with both brothers, who is she going to root for? This makes Liam uncomfortable and he calls her a slut after she walks away. I don’t stand up for her, I don’t discover feminism until a year or two later but I’m not sure if I would anyway. Don’t want to look uncool and get involved with sibling relations. His sister being involved turns us off from watching the fight, we stay behind at City Hall while everyone walks to the park in classic teenage mob mentality.
Liam and I make out at City Hall. One of Liam’s other friends has stayed behind as well and he’s uncomfortable by our PDA. We don’t care though. He could’ve left. Eventually we walk to Liam’s house on the opposite side of the park. We catch snippets of the fight - someone’s eyebrow was busted open.
We end our hot summer day at Liam’s place. The boys play video games while I lounge in Liam’s bed trying to move as little as possible in unbearable heat. I’m not sure how I’m going to get home - I’ll probably walk.