Sensory Wisdom

I’m a naive little 21-year-old. Does red wine have artificial coloring? If it does, don’t tell me, or my purple mustache; I’m enjoying it too much.

This week has been less stressful. I’m not sure if I’m coping, if I’m out of the woods, or if I’m just excited. That’s not to say it’s been an easy week; I still find myself deep in thought every day. Missing people I shouldn’t, mostly. Missing things I should. But also appreciating things I have. Some things have certainly changed from when I was 16 or 17. I feel a more positive force in myself.

I really think it has come from this summer. This wasn’t an easy summer between school and work and dramatic situations, but I still stand by it was life-changing. I learned so much about myself from being on my own for the first time in a long time. I had time to myself, to evaluate and feel without thinking. I definitely think too much. I used to catch myself laughing, question what it was that I was enjoying about that moment. Now I’ve made the decision to just let myself feel it and not worry, wonder, or care why I’m enjoying it. I think it’s helped prolong my happiness.

I’m excited to return to the mountains. And I don’t know what to do with myself, and I’m not as afraid of that as I thought I would be. Instead, I’ll hike, I’ll write, and I’ll work. The future is full of possibilities, and I have to take them.

Candles are a godsend. Today in my argumentation and public policy class, we talking about monuments and memorials and their different representational characteristics. We talked about how water is seen as rebirth, a force of life, etc. And I think fire is the same way. Maybe that’s not a new thought, but there’s something so powerful and mesmerizing about fire that it has to be a source of life. Do you think people that go to Hell have to stay there? Do you think the fire just cleanses them for their new life? Hmm. What a theory.

It’s unbelievable how powerful smell is too. It can create peace, it can trigger trauma. People have different pasts. I’m not sure if that’s something I just recently figured out – I used to be bewildered driving on the highway, thinking about how everyone in the cars around me had different lives; they have different pasts, they were on the road for different reasons, they were going through different points in time and life. So I guess it’s not new, but when my roommate says she hasn’t seen some of my favorite, childhood Halloween movies, I guess it just strikes me again.

Sometimes I think I’m just connected to a different emotional version of the world. Sometimes I can disassociate from problems in order to deal with them, and for some reason I consider myself strong during those times, if not a little heartless. But there are other times I just feel connected on a different level, with a different understanding. I can’t explain it, though this is the first time I’ve tried. I’ll try again later.

I remember that time we ran from my car to your house, soaked within the first ten leaps. I asked for clothes, and you gave me the pants I always borrowed and an old t-shirt you wouldn’t miss (though when have I ever not given your clothes back?). I changed and when you walked in, your drunk eyes lit up as I shrunk into your shirt, embarrassed at being ogled by you. I’ll remember that as I try to forget you.

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Gale of Regret

I’m one of the last few people at the bar again, my head slack in one hand, the other gripping my whiskey. I’m so tired. I can feel the weight behind my eyes, heavy on my face. If only I had just gone home sooner.

I had never wanted to stay home. I ran as soon as I got the chance. And now I’m sprinting back, as if that will make up for my early departure.

I remember the days we yelled at each other. We weren’t a broken pair. I was young and he was harsh. He pushed me because he loved me. But I didn’t want his motivation. It wasn’t mine, it was his. And so I fled. I left him. I left them. It was enough to make me run away. I couldn’t stay there anymore, in that beat up, broken down old house. I had seen enough sunrises, wasted enough cloudy days in the fields. I needed to be somewhere new, somewhere they couldn’t find me. Somewhere they couldn’t force their motivation on me. I needed to find myself, my own motivation. And when I stopped running, I met the love of my life, even though she doesn’t know it.

I remember hearing the news on the TV, and it barely crossed my mind, what it could mean for me. For him. Until I got the call. My beautiful, strong mother. Alone.

My strong-willed father. Gone. Off to war. He’d already done his time.

I should have been there. I couldn’t even take his place. I can’t tell him what I have accomplished without him. Not without him, just without his pushing. He was always in mind. He became my motivation. The driving force behind what I thought I needed to do for myself.

And now he’s gone.

I loosen my fingers from the glass, slide off the stool. And I go. I keep running. Except this time, I’m coming home.

 

Fiction inspired by The Lumineers’ Gale Song.

Side note: It’s been so nice to get back into any sort of writing that isn’t academic. It’s been a long time since I’ve felt the need to write, to tell the unwritten story of someone sitting inside my head.

I have grown a new appreciation for The Lumineers because so many of their songs inspire me to write scenes that appear in my head because of their ballads. Truly inspiring. Even if it’s nothing special or dripping with talent, I feel like I am liberating someone that has been pressing on my mind, desperate to get out. To be heard. To be understood. It feels good.

Thank you for allowing me to do what I love.

Autumn Rain

The sky is gray again. Maybe I could sleep all day. You’d think my hollow chest would allow me to float – somehow it’s drowning me in my own bedsheets. You’re with me wherever I go. On the leaves that trickle down on the wind. The click of heels on concrete, your red high heels you used to wear when you wanted to dress up and pretend we were rich. I can still feel you on my skin. Your warm cheek on my chest. Your bare stomach under my own. I curl into the blankets a little tighter, knowing I can’t let myself think of you anymore. But I’ve been trying to forget for months. Cigarette smoke drifts in through the window, and I feel my chest caving. I glance out the window at the waving red trees. The colors of fall inspired you. People walk by, their clothes drawn tight to them. There must be a storm coming. But a storm is already here.

Fiction inspired by The Lumineers’ Slow It Down.

Salt and Sanity

What a crazy month. If I’m not doing homework, I’m in class or at the gym or trying to come home to work and see people. It’s been a heavy weight, hard to bear. But today has been good; I’ve gotten a lot done today.

***

I’m still having a hard time without Misty. She was always there for me when I came home. She was my only motivation for spending the night in my own bed. Now I feel very alone, swimming in a sea of empty blankets every time I try to sleep. It’s much less restful.

I haven’t been able to do everything I want to when I go home. I overbook. I’m grateful to have that problem, in a way; there are too many people I love and want in my life that I just can’t make time for all of them in a single weekend. It’s a nice problem.

I’m also grateful, once again, for home. Reflecting on how far you’ve come as a person while trying to give advice to a coworker really humbles you. I will forever cherish the hectic shifts that transform into some serious bonding. I’ve realized drinking is a great way to make connections (not that that had stopped me before).

I’ve also realized I’ve got too much going on. I’m taking some time to take care of myself, but it would be nice if I had a little help every now and then.

Even now there are certain things I must leave unsaid.

***

I’ve mentioned my crazy dreams. Last night I had one in which I was dying. I had watched two friends get shot and they died in front of me. I was slowly slipping too (though more likely from the dream than from this world).

I remember panicking because I didn’t know what would come next. Was this just the end? Would I be reborn? Would I find my loved ones in the afterlife? Or was there simply darkness?

I’m not sure what it means, and I’m panicking over too many other things to worry about this existential crisis. But I’ve personally thought that the mind was so powerful that whatever it believed, whatever religion it practiced, is what would happen to that person. It’ll vary worldwide, but that’s just what I thought. Think? I’m not sure.

However I am sure that I’m nodding off while writing this. I’ve never been more exhausted in my life, which usually leads to good, hard sleeps.

Sorry I couldn’t be more reflective and insightful, but thank you for sticking with me and continuing to peek into my mind.