Thursday, July 23, 2015

the farthest distance

What I learned from all my years of loving and failing is that you never truly own anybody.

I’ve heard him say he loved me, scream promises to never leave me, and I watched as he took it all back. I’ve held on to his words, I’ve waited for him to come back only to find nothing but the cruelty of a door that by all means can open but never does.

I have climbed many mountains and crossed many hearts, many seas but the farthest distance I will ever know is between a forgotten promise and an unforgetting heart.

This and other 100-word stories in Project 0.1.
Photo: ocean-still
♫: Paula Cole | In Our Dreams (2007)

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

what it's like to die

People who’ve been shot and lived to tell their story claim it doesn’t really feel like anything. The bullet punctures your skin and an overwhelming feeling of numbness takes over. Such is the body’s nature when it knows it’s about to die.

In contrast, it’s the small and constant pains that are unbearable. Ticking headaches, impacted molars – they bring even the mightiest to their knees.

Everytime you slip away, the pain floors me and I have to wait for the room to stop spinning. I look forward to the day you leave me. The numbness will be a welcome mistress.

This and other 100-word stories in Project 0.1.
Photo: tunnel
♫: Sheryl Crow | I Shall Believe (1993)

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

the boy who cried rain

He said he loved the smell of rain. I said rain didn’t smell like anything. It must’ve been the heat escaping from the ground. No, he insisted. When it comes, you’ll understand what I mean.

He said he loved the smell of rain and so I showed him mine. I let him in to see my thunder, my scattered rainfalls, my tropical depressions. It was too late when the first of the floods rushed in.

Struggle. Air. Footing. The last time I saw him.

In the early morning when there is quiet, I still hear the boy who cried rain.

This and other 100-word stories in Project 0.1.
Photo: art-rain-room
♫: Diana Vickers | The Boy Who Murdered Love (2010)

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

on how I got over him

And you wonder how it happened. How you jumped heart-first off a skyscraper and into this stranger’s bed. How you trusted his words, the little they meant, the iceberg you imagined he implied. He looks at you and you think that he sees you. You think he listens to you but he just hears you. He draws cartoon hearts on your dirty dishes and you start to believe it could be that easy. That you could just meet somebody and begin your happy ever after. It couldn’t be that easy. Nothing ever is.

And you wonder how it happened. How you woke up one day with your heart caving in. How he threw you away like a discarded syringe. Use once and destroy. You pray that the hours will be more merciful. That the hands on the clock would start telling time and stop measuring how long it’s been since you last saw his sullen eyes or heard his beautiful voice. You type furiously into your phone praying for the courage to hit Send. You draft questions laced with accusations. Where are you? Why did you go? Did you really love me? You are asking the wrong questions. Or rather you are asking the wrong person. Where did I go? Where have I gone? Why didn’t I love myself?

And you wonder how it happened. How you thought the world would stop spinning the day he walked away. How you couldn’t find the strength to put one leg in front of the other. And then that leg in front of the other. But the world kept its axis and you, too, found the courage to crawl. You prop yourself up and you start to walk. You gain momentum and you run. You close your eyes and you fly. You thought it would all end the day he said goodbye. But it didn’t. It couldn’t. Maybe you don’t know your own strength.

And you wonder how it happened. How you could love someone so deeply, so irrevocably one instance and feel nothing the next. How you see him one day and it doesn’t feel like anything. You put a hand over your heart and find it’s still beating, still keeping tune to a song. Except this time he doesn’t know the words anymore. This time, he cannot hum along. And so you look stare at him. You pick at the scab that was your love. You will him to look back at you. And he does. But he pretends he doesn’t see you. And he keeps walking away and that should wound you. But it doesn’t. It doesn’t. Why doesn’t it hurt anymore?

And here’s how it happened. Here’s how you walked away from the car crash that was your life. Science tells you that the heart is the hardest working muscle in your body. That it pumps out 71 ounces of blood every beat. That it could beat three billion times in a person’s life. That even as you weep, you sleep, you breathe, you eat, it beats and it beats and it beats.

That’s 71 ounces of I could have loved you. Thump thump.

That’s 71 ounces of he’s not coming back. Thump thump.

That’s 71 ounces of I don’t love you anymore. Thump thump.

That’s 71 ounces of I choose to love myself. Thump thump. Instead. Thump thump.

That’s 71 tiny ounces out of the 213,000,000,000 ounces you’ll ever pump out in your entire life. Thump thump thump thump thump.

And so you watch him walk away. Like he did five months ago. Like nothing ever happened. Like it was the easiest thing in the world. And you move on with the rest of your day because it doesn’t sting as much or at all. It doesn’t hurt anymore. He’s just a boy you loved who left you, just a mistake among many, many, many wonderful mistakes. You plug your earphones in and listen to a woman singing words she pulled right out of your 71 ounces.

Dreams are dreams,
Will alas come true?
Skies will clear,
Leaving me bright and blue.
I will raise my glass to my heart and say
“Here’s to tomorrow, not yesterday.”

My heart proved stronger than your love. Here’s to tomorrow, not yesterday.

♫: All Saints | Dreams (2000)