Sometimes I just like to close my eyes and let my mind do its own thing.

Let it get carried away in Jay Vincent’s notes and beats.

While my mind goes on adventures, I am curled up on the floor.

It’s easier to stand to the side and let my mind do all the thinking. To shut my mouth and let my pen do all the talking.

While my fingers fly and my notebook thins, I am silent in my bed.

Emotions streaming in are easier than emotions streaming out. That’s what music is for. To feel someone else’s heartbeat so you don’t have to share your own. To let others do the screaming and the singing; that’s what music is for.

Reading and music allow us to dip our fingers into the essence of the universe and are the tools we use to live.

Music and words allow us to create—make the invisible visible—and share our heartbeat with the world so that it doesn’t have to.


Confidently she walked up to the man. Her face dirty and bleeding from the battle. She glared at him, tempted to sneer, but instead she gave him a scornful look. He held out his hand.

“The key.”

With a face like stone, she slowly took her backpack off one shoulder and then the other. Still not looking away from the man, she reached her arm into her bag. She pulled out a small metal object and opened her fist to reveal a key. She held her arm out, the other hand holding the backpack. No one moved an inch. Not the man, not her, not her friends.

The man seemed to be getting impatient.

“Give it to me.”

He said menacingly between his teeth. She seemed not to hear.

He yelled, thrusting his other hand into a scabbard by his side. Quick as a flash he held a blade to her throat. Her breaths came out faster and louder with the metal to her neck, but her face still didn’t change its icy stare of loathing. The man’s outstretched hand came closer to her. With one final pause, she dropped the key into his hand. She lowered her arm. He lowered his sword, clutching his newly acquired treasure in the other hand. Turning his back to her, he walked away with a low and menacing chuckle.

I Can Feel a Change In Me

Come with me and bring along your dreams, for they shine too brightly to leave behind.

Come with me and bring the kiss that your mother blew you last night.

Come with me and leave everything else alone. For they will fix themselves, dearest.

Understand that the world thrives on its problems. Without them, society would fall apart.

Time after time has proven that we can dream up the impossible, and impossibility is what drives our thoughts; our lives.

The prospect that we might not be as alone as we believe we are.

The walls that keep us from reaching out are the product of years of careful planning and thinking. The daily paragraphs we think to ourselves can be broken in one swift motion.

Yet we don’t realize this. And when we do realize it, it leads to a paradigm shift we gradually grow into.

But sometimes we’re too late, and we wake up to find that all the opportunities we had to grow and change have flown away.

Addressing the Elephant In the Room

Everyone around me is wearing a plastic smile plastered on their face with perfect force, asking people how it’s going when we’re all going “Oh it’s just a test, just a jest, not the real thing.”

It’s hard when everyone around you is focused more on reality than letting people see the real-ness welling up inside: The night they spent crying, their families divided.

Everyone’s putting on a show, a front row seat to look at their perfect lives when really it’s just a patched-up lie. Just looking through a stained glass window at the counterfeit world and lifestyle that we know. Everything’s fast and snappy and no one’s an inconvenience, and no one has to look at it

Everything’s fast and snappy and no one’s an inconvenience, and no one has to look at it, no one has to talk about it because everyone’s mouths are glued shut in a fake, plastered on, perfect smile.

And no one sings.

And no one thinks about anything that isn’t theirs, nothing about the perpetual whirlwind of feeling and trust that no one pays attention to. And I’m sick of pretending like it’s not there. Like the elephant in the room is a perfectly normal substitute for life, like they’ve given it a name and made it a pet and now it just stands there. But I think it’s gonna die soon if no one addresses it, so I will.

Everyone has to be real. No more fake, please. I’m sick of hearing it, sick of listening to it, sick of staring at it and stuffing it down my throat–literally.

It’s sad when you realize that everyone knows how to accept reality but no one knows how to be real.

The Epitome of Relaxation

Living in a state where you are not constantly trying mentally.

Not trying to fit, not trying to act, not trying to smile.

Just breathing and relaxing and walking normally.

Not trying. Not conscious every second of the day.

That kind of relaxation.

The kind where you can curl up in a ball in your closet and drink tea and close your eyes.

That kind.

And when it washes over you, you feel like you could stay that way for hours. But then knowing you can’t. And being okay with that.

You only need a few hours.

You only have a few hours, anyway.

Away from all the trying, away from all the confusion and worry and fear.

And just alone in your closet.

Moments like these are moments worth living for.

Apples and Dementia

After my father’s stroke, he started crying all the time. He cried about everything: sentimental commercials, pop songs on the radio, or the way mom would cut his apples for him width-wise instead of length-wise. She quickly changed to cutting them length-wise after the first time he cried over them. My father only eats apples now. It’s weird. He won’t eat anything else, insisting that apples take him back to his happy place and that nothing else agrees with him. And then he would go off into tales from his childhood where everything was “colder and harder and not as expensive,” and then he’d cry some more.

It sort of became normal after a while; him acting weird, only eating apples, and crying about everything, until one day we knew that it had gone too far.

We would normally wake up to the sound of Dad crying about the sun shining through his blinds. Or about the purple socks he was wearing, but that morning it was quiet. When we got to his room he was lying on his bed, staring at the ceiling, clutching the bed sheets, and murmuring. We tried to talk to him or even get him to sit up, but all he would say was:

“Jacob… the apple orchards… must go–”

I couldn’t make any sense of it except that I knew I had an uncle on Dad’s side named Jacob. Wondering if there was any connection, I told my mother. After a minute of deliberation with her hands on her hips, my mother announced that we were going on a car trip. When I asked where to she replied, “To Art’s childhood home, of course.” We managed to get Dad into the car–I don’t quite recall how, but we did it. As Mom and I got in the car, she insisted that we were doing the right thing. “I mean, think about it, Ryan,” she told me as she put the key into the ignition, “Talking about his childhood stories, his little brother Jacob, apples and apple orchards…” I simply nodded, not quite getting it but trusting my mom.

We arrived half an hour later at a farm house out in the middle of nowhere. There were apple trees as far as I could see. As soon as my dad saw them, he practically jumped out of the vehicle and started sprinting towards the orchard. My mom and I hastily parked the car and chased after him, yelling at him the whole while. We entered the orchard, my dad eagerly leading the way. He zigzagged across the paths, seeming to know what he was doing. It was as if he was searching for a particular tree. Eventually, Mom and I gave up on yelling at him to slow down and just started following him without questioning his sense of direction. Suddenly he stopped. We caught up our breath, a bit confused. I looked around. This place seemed identical to every other place in the orchard; there was nothing special about the tree that my father was staring intently at. No one said anything, and a few moments passed.

Then my father approached the apple tree and slowly started climbing it.

We protested. His doctor probably wouldn’t think it was a great idea for a man who had a stroke two months ago to be climbing a tree, we said. But he wouldn’t listen. In fact, he showed no sign that he had heard us at all. He didn’t stop until he had reached the top which actually wasn’t that high up. When he stopped climbing he carefully sat down on a branch. He just sat there.

He just sat there. We waited for something to happen, but nothing did. I glanced at my mom uneasily. Was he going to try to jump? This wasn’t safe for him–

Suddenly my father’s arm started moving up and plucked an apple from the branch beside him. Without moving his eyes or face or anything, he slowly bit into the fruit. From my position on the ground, I could see tears gliding down the side of his cheek.

We stood there and watched. And he just sat there, eating and crying.