Sweet White Touch

I said something. Something maybe I shouldn’t have.

I said something vulnerable—not fully thought-through and still too attached to my soul to let fly from my arms. And I truly don’t know why I did it. I was fully aware of my feelings as they took my thoughts out on a whim and lead them to this decision.

I was high on my little-kid love dreams that I secretly hoped would come true. In that half state of sleepy intoxication it dawned on me that this might very well be the first, and last, moment of sweet white touch.

I couldn’t live like this forever.

I  couldn’t live like this again.

So I decided to hold this opportunity’s hand while it was here, savor this moment, and not lick my fingers when it had passed.

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She pulled her knees in when she looked to the right then the left when turning. It was kinda her signature move, the way she popped out of her seat to spot oncoming traffic. And at that particular moment when she looked right as she slowly pulled the wheel in my direction, her face looked taught. Eyebrows all strung up like she was deep in thought. And she was. The look of distress showed plainly on her face as she continued her explanation:

“I mean, I think–well I feel like I–” She paused a moment, tongue in cheek, collecting her scattered thoughts like she was lining them all up just so she could shoot them down. The traffic light turned red and she came to a stop. The left blinker blared oddly loud against the half-silence like it was keeping an eerie tempo to our conversation.

“It wasn’t a date, it’s just been put off for so long it would have been inconsiderate of me to show up late and I would have felt terrible.” She blurted out through several glances at the light. I nodded understandingly. After a moment she exhaled while the light turned green.

“Ugh, I hadn’t been stressed out like that in a while. The last time I let my stress get to me, I cried.” She looked at me. “I remember, it was at the beginning of the year. I don’t really get time to destress because you know–” She smiled lopsidedly and made air quotes, “I’m so ‘hashtag busy’ that I’m really good at not thinking about stress building up. But like a month into the school year, I just let it all out.” She finished with a hand flourish without even shifting her grip on the wheel.

“And I was already stressed about getting gas and picking Kylie up.”

Emilee moved into the left lane. “You know, on the way to the theatre after I made that wrong turn.” She added as a clarification.

“It’s good to de-stress every once in a while though.”

She didn’t answer, just kept her eyes on the road. The engine rumbled and we lapsed into the familiar ambiance of rubber rolling on paved roadway.

I noticed her phone plugged into the aux cord. She noticed it too.

“Oh uh, feel free to choose something from my library. I don’t have apple music or anything, but…”

I opened her iTunes library and scrolled down until I found something I knew. I chose a song. It rumbled to life through the speakers. The minute she heard the beginning beat, Emilee’s face lit up.

“Ohh Tarzan, right?”

I nodded. We both bobbed our head to the tune.

Come stop your crying, it’ll be alright…

“This is 8th grade Emilee,” she said smiling. “I listened to a lot of sad songs, back when I shut myself down and music was the only way…” She laughed; it sounded like big, round bubbles popping out of her. I laughed too.

We continued to jam out in the car, singing You’ll be in my heart until our voices were hoarse. And when the song ended, I chose another one. The country-pop waves of “Love Story” spread throughout the car like melted butter. We made eye contact before starting to sing the lovesick lyrics along with teenage Taylor Swift’s voice. And maybe it was getting darker. And maybe I couldn’t hear anything else or see anything else. A screen of unspoken emotion fell over our heads like we were balancing on some fragile boundary between control and something deeper. Like if we looked at each other for too long we’d start crying. Or at least I would.

Some might have called it nostalgia, but I thought it was something more. Two different childhoods and a color burst of memories had merged together that night through music.

It was beautiful.

When we pulled up to her driveway we sat in the car and let the song finish. After she pulled her keys out of the ignition, Emilee and I walked up to the door. Her parents greeted us as we took our shoes off and shuffled upstairs.

“How’d it go?” Her dad asked.

I smiled. And I didn’t even need to look at Emilee to know she was grinning too.

the night is my own

I wish I could wrap myself up in words and never let go. For there is no shape or size within language and my body is only a whisp–only smoke.

The night is mine to do with as I please. Perhaps I will spend it sketching and sitting cross-legged as my stained fingertips smell of fresh lead or in the arms of my father’s armchair, sipping on soaking tea leaves.
Maybe the clock’s evening ticks will be drowned out by the rush of twinkling notes streaming through my headphones. And afterward playing tabletop games in all shapes and sizes.
Or better yet, go to bed early and smile at the ceiling while my eyes waft off to the realm of rest. So many choices, so much exposure… I could choose to push it away and enclose myself in false security,

for false security after all is better than the absence of real comfort.

But I’ll choose to accept all of it and stand my ground. I only get one life to live. Why should I shove it away into a box and try to forget about it? Why wait to be satisfied? My life–my night–is my own, to do with as I please. Every option teeters precariously upon each point in time and multitudes of decision lay open to me.

Life’s a balance.

I’ve Missed It

I feel like I’m all played out, and I want the words to flow.
They aren’t flowing anymore.
I lost something.
Something big.
A thing that
lived and I
used to
thrive
on
&
l
o
v
e
.

But it comes and goes, so I’m still breathing. I’m still here. Which is a good thing.
I’m just waiting. For a hand to break through my mind and insert the words that I’ve so fondly missed. Words have become a foreign object to me that I must put up to the light to study. Oh language, how I’ve taken you for granted! ~

I was scared of losing myself in this world I landed in
Now I worry about what would have happened if I hadn’t.
Trying to remember traces of the dreams I handed in
to my fears,
Now what I face is the task of re-beginning.

I can’t seem to find my way
Around these corridors.

I’m sneaking past the corner of my old life reinvented.

I’ve decided that the day I turn back to the shore is the day I’ll finally appreciate how
it feels
to be alive
.

Photographs upon the wall tell the story of a girl
Who dreamed of flying under sunsets and over the horizon.
She could finally tell herself, looking from above the world,
That what she’d yearned and fought and lived for
was worth anticipating.

I’ve decided that the day I turn back to the shore is the day I’ll finally appreciate how
it feels
to be alive
.

-Joanna-
Quiet, Caring, Unsure, and Understanding
Lover of Christ, beauty, and health
Who feels alone, often doubtful, and possibly every other feeling the world has to offer her
Who fears misunderstanding, rejection, and boredom
Who needs true, honest friends, other people, and a break from her thoughts
Who would like to see her older brother soon, all of her globally scattered friends, and a satisfied smile staring back at her in the mirror
Who will someday travel the world and learn the art of moderation.
-Moss-

Let’s Talk

Let’s talk a bit, shall we? Let’s listen to the sounds bouncing around the air and plug them into our brains like the answer to some algebra equation. Slowly, we pick out the words world, leaders, love, peace...

A lot of people say that the world needs peace. That if only innocent people weren’t dying, then maybe we would stand a better chance against reality. They say the world needs a break from hunger and poverty and that things would be better if more people had more food and money.

Education, safety.

The words float above our heads and some die trying to reach them. A little girl reaches, just to clasp one trembling small hand around a chance at survival, a chance at thriving so that mommy doesn’t have to live in a cadboard box anymore surrounded by the stink of her own filth.
Yes, I believe the world needs many things. I know that there are suffering families and suffering people without families. And I realize that I don’t know half of what pain really is.

Yet still there lies life and this spherical mass of water and sand we call home.
Our home needs many things, but I think one thing we need most– the one thing that will change the world inside out, little by little, is people who care.

People who take things seriously and are not afraid to show how much love they have– how much desire they have. My community is in dire need of those who have not yet learned to be ashamed of how much light they hold in their hands. Or better yet, those who have realized all the light they hold but choose to not quietly fold their hands in their lap.

We need people who don’t nonchalantly turn everything into a joke just so they can laugh at it. No, we need people who are not afraid to go deep. Not afraid to put in the scuba mask and delve down into the murky depths of the unknown. It’s dark and it’s lonely, but that’s exactly why we need those who will hold their breath and jump in anyway. It’s uncharted land, but that’s why we need those explorers.
They are the unsung heroes who give attention to the little smatterings in life. People who take good care of things, live deliberately, take time to be thorough, but overall, have respect for every possibility.
Minds that are open and fine-tuned to picking out the greatest priorities… the ones who are not afraid of “talking about it” are the ones who end up making the most noticeable impact.

And I realize I may not know exactly what I’m talking about, but at least I’m willing to talk about it. And I hope that maybe you are too.