Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Circle I Limbo

DMV Employees
Circle II Whirling in a Dark & Stormy Wind

General asshats
Circle III Mud, Rain, Cold, Hail & Snow

Circle IV Rolling Weights

Circle V Stuck in Mud, Mangled

River Styx

Circle VI Buried for Eternity

River Phlegyas

Barack Obama
Circle VII Burning Sands

George Bush
Circle IIX Immersed in Excrement

Osama bin Laden
Circle IX Frozen in Ice

Design your own hell

Saturday, April 2, 2011


We got to the bus station at 10:30pm to catch the 11:00 bus to La Paz, Bolivia from Cusco, Peru. I traveled to Peru in the summer of 2010 to visit my best friend, Julia. Julia moved there after graduation to work with a nonprofit organization teaching literacy to kids living on the streets, and I worked for months saving enough money for the trip to visit. Time ticked by with no sign of the bus, and by 11:45 we were tired of smoking cigarettes and chasing the stray dogs throughout the bus station. We worried we missed our bus, but finally around midnight they made a call for us to board. We found our seats equipped for the twelve hour ride with Pringles, Ipods, and extreme fatigue.

I woke up roughly ten hours later when the bus stopped on the Peru/ Bolivia border. Little did we know we would be spending a lot more time than we anticipated in this town, Desaquadero. We bought avocado sandwiches from a vendor on the side of the street for approximately $0.60 American, and waited in the morning chill for an hour to get our passports stamped leaving Peru. We eventually got through the line, exchanged our Soles into Bolivianos, walked over the bridge that served as a border, and found our seats on the bus once more. When the bus finally left, we stayed awake talking about the things we would do in Bolivia, how beautiful it was supposed to be, which hostel we would choose to stay at and so on. We were travelling through barren, dry land with only one road, dotted with a few emaciated buildings every ten miles or so. At about 10am, when we were an hour away from La Paz, our bus was stopped by the border police at a checkpoint. We were told to take our passports out and present them to the border agents walking up the aisle. Finally, when an agent got to our seats and checked our passports, he ordered the two of us to get off the bus.

Me, Julia, a Canadian tourist, and a helpful American student who was fluent in Spanish all got off the bus. The agent, and subsequently the translator, informed us that we did not get our passport stamped again once we entered Bolivia, and thus were there illegally. Who could have guessed you had to get it stamped twice? The Canadian tourist was allowed to pay a fine of $35 and get back on the bus. Bolivia has a very sour relationship with America however, so we were not so lucky. One of Bolivia’s main crops is cocoa leaves, a stimulant they fold up and suck on to energize them throughout the day—comparable to our coffee. America has imposed sanctions on their production of cocoa, however, because this same plant is the one chemically processed to produce cocaine which is most prevalent in the United States and Europe. Because of this, we could not pay the $135 only Americans must pay to enter the country and could not afford our fine of 300 Bolivianos. Julia and I were forced to get our belongings and watch the bus drive onward toward La Paz, stranding us in the desert of a foreign country.

The border agents interrogated us, asking why we didn’t get a stamp, what business we had in Bolivia, where we were staying, and who we knew—I finally understood what it must feel like to be Arab in an airport. He told us that we had to leave the country. We were being deported from Bolivia. Bolivian people do not have a reputation as the most trustworthy folks, so when one of the agents took our passports and disappeared into a tent on the side of the road, we thought for sure that we were going to get murdered. Once we got the passports back, we were optimistic that we would go back to Desagudero, use an ATM, get the stamp, and be only a few hours behind schedule. We sat on the side of the road for almost an hour, flagging down every taxi that came by—about one every five minutes. Some offered us a spot in their ten cubic-foot truck, and some denied us outright. Finally, a van came that was already transporting a couple. We got in the back of the van, exhaled, and got ready to take the road back to Desaguadero. Along the way, there was an old couple on the side of the road with two sheep. The van naturally stopped to pick them up as well. We saw this as the comic relief of the day. There we were, two American girls who just got deported, riding in a rickety old van on a dirt road in the desert with the driver, a couple, two farmers, and two sheep, who made it obvious by their incessant baaing that they weren’t enjoying the ride.

We got back to Desaguadero and were ready to use an ATM, pay our 300 Boliviano fine along with the bank account sabotaging $135 it cost to enter the country, and be back on our way to La Paz. So we approached one of the locals and asked where the ATM in town was. “The closest ATM is in Puno” he told us in Spanish. “No, that can’t be right,” we thought, so we asked a few other people before finally accepting there were indeed no ATMs in Desaguadero. This might have only been a minor roadblock, except that Puno was a two-hour drive from Desaquadero. We briefly considered scrapping the whole trip, until we remembered that Cusco would be a ten hour drive from where we were and we had already purchased bus tickets from La Paz back to Cusco. We found a taxi driver who would charge us eighty Soles each way, about $25 American, and started on our way to Puno.

Puno is a fairly large city by Peruvian standards famous for its markets selling handmade goods. We asked the taxi driver to wait outside while we picked up the money. That ATM in the middle of the shopping mall might as well have been the Holy Grail. We took out all the money we could, and were about to be on our way when we saw a older woman approach some nearby kids and chastise them for digging our ATM receipts out of the trash and following us deviously, noting where we put the money. For a moment, things were in perspective of how lucky we were to be able to travel so freely--able to overcome most obstacles using only our wallets, and how aware the locals were about such things. Only for a moment, until we got back in the taxi and went once more to Desaguadero.

By the time we got there it was dark. We had either been on the side of a road or in a taxi for the past nine hours trying to get to La Paz, and weren’t really liking Bolivia so far. We went to the immigration office on the Bolivia side of the bridge and were startled to find that they already knew who we were. They told us to bring copies of our passport information back to the office. After thirty minutes of aggravated searching, we finally found a store with a copy machine, and brought our documents back to the immigration office. We skipped by the other tourists waiting in line and were escorted to a back room--the chief’s office. He made us fill out paperwork, laughed and made fun of us from afar with the rest of the police force, and finally told us to go into another office. Here, an overweight officer sitting behind a desk told us he was going to drop the 300 Boliviano fine, and asked if we had something for him. After an awkward minute of him stealthily clarifying what he wanted, Julia and I each took out a fifty Boliviano bill, handed it to him, and watched him slide it in his pocket. We had just paid off the Bolivian Immigration Police with a collective $10. Instead of rejoicing in our minor victory, we tried to find the quickest way out of town. It seemed everywhere a voice and pair of unfamiliar eyes was protruding out of the darkness, watching every step of the unwanted strangers. We asked the clump of taxi drivers, huddled in a circle on the corner, if any could go to La Paz. They laughed and said no, that it was too late—why don’t we just stay there for the night? As soon as we found a taxi, I fell asleep leaning on an old woman who didn’t seem to appreciate my company.

Once we finally got to La Paz, the driver asked where we were going specifically. We asked him to take us to the Loki Hostel; he quickly said he didn’t know where that was and dropped us off in the middle of a busy street. We grabbed our luggage and hailed yet another cab. We were on our way with this one, until his car stalled travelling up a hill. To fix this, the driver held two wires together that were protruding from the inside of the car, opened his door, stuck his leg out, and began to push. To my surprise and awe, this actually did get the car to start once more. We got to the Loki hostel and learned that it was sold out for the night, so we stayed in a hostel down the road that was not as nice and more expensive. In the beginning of the day this might have been devastating news, but by now we weren’t even fazed.

Our actual stay in Bolivia was consistent with our trials of getting there, and the morning the bus was coming to take us back to Cusco couldn’t have come soon enough. Unfortunately, the excess of cerveza and subsequent theorizing on death and the devil the night before caused us to wake up only fifteen minutes before the bus was supposed to leave the station. By some act of God, we did make our bus and had a cranky, tired, unwashed, yet highly gratifying, twelve hour ride back to Peru. Cusco felt like home, even to me, when we got back, and the rush of nostalgia and sense of community I then felt remained steadfast until a few days later when I headed back to America. Before briefly imposing on my best friend’s new life, I couldn’t understand why she would want to live in a third world country, but by the time I left, I hated Bolivia with every cell in my body and never wanted to leave my newfound element.

Do Not Read If You Are Easily Depressed

“Wish You Were Here”

It happened over two years ago as I write this, somewhere between a moment and a millennium. It came at a time when I got lost on the journey to find myself. I couldn’t decide whether I wanted to be a burn out who got high everyday or a functioning member of society. Subsequently, I became both, in that order. This pivotal day began at 8:30 one Sunday morning in September 2008. Phil barged in on my and Robert’s makeshift bedroom snapping his fingers, looking frantic and crazed.

“Lynette, get up. Michelle is dead.” Phil said

“No, she isn’t.” I retorted.

This disagreement continued for another ten seconds, until I consented to go up to the attic where Phil and Michelle had been sleeping to check on her. I got up, pulled my jeans on, and looked to Robert for some kind of solace. He appeared just as apprehensive and scared as I surely did. I was feeling as confident as possible on my trip up the stairs, “Phil is still fucked up from last night, she’s not actually dead,” I assured myself. When I came to the futon where she lay, I knew I was wrong. It’s a scary feeling, to look into your friend’s lifeless eyes. The so-called face of death is not the face you might see at a viewing; rather, it is the same person you always knew, except now she is void of a soul. Her mouth and eyes were open; her skin looked the same, yet somehow different. I looked to her neck to see if there was a pulse, maybe she was just sleeping deeply. I saw no such thing. As a last resort, I lightly touched her cheek. Her skin was cold, Phil was right. For the first time ever, I involuntarily gagged, then ran downstairs to confirm the horrid rumor.

So how did I wind up in this situation? I was just a nice girl from a small town in Pennsylvania who got good grades and wanted to be a biologist. I was not an emaciated addict living on the streets selling my firstborn to get some H. I had met Michelle the previous spring during rugby season. Michelle, Hillary, and I smoked once after a game, and instantly became inseparable. I met them at a time when I felt like my life was becoming monotonous, repetitive; I needed a change. We quickly grew close, and although the basis of our relationship was getting high, I felt a close connection with them just as I did with my other friends. Maybe a month after we started hanging out, I went to Philadelphia for the summer to work at a genetics lab. My persona during the week was entirely contradictory to the person I was on the weekends--I started living a double life. Since I was away most of the summer, I did not see how things were swiftly changing. Michelle was somehow introduced to Phil, a kid I knew nothing about. Hillary did not want much to do with Phil, so she was spending more time with her boyfriend. I came home for good in the middle of August that summer and began hanging out at Phil’s with Michelle and the rest of the crew.

We would all go to Phil’s every day, pretty much all day, and stay over on the weekends. We were kind of like a family in the way we looked out for each other—a very high family, but a family nonetheless. Since I have detestable money management skills, and lacked any real maturity, I was willing to buy pot for everyone, everyday. That was mostly what happened at Phil’s; we would set up the gravity bong in the trash can and get ripped all day long. Phil and Michelle developed a romance parallel to the one Robert and I were also developing. Phil and Michelle began a game of sorts where they would try a new drug every weekend. The first weekend they took acid, the second it was ecstasy, and shortly before school started they each tried heroin. I was so comfortable with drug use at that point that I felt like H was just another high.

I was always interested in the process of shooting up, Bangin’ it up, as we called it. There was the spoon, the lighter, the cotton balls, along with the syringes donated by the kid with diabetes and then, of course, how could I forget the belt? When they were ready to do a bag, everyone gathered around to watch the spectacle about to take place. Phil would cook up the heroin in the spoon, then suck it up with the syringe; meanwhile Michelle was tightening the belt around her bicep and tapping the bend in her arm to make her veins protrude. Then Phil would inject her, and she would take off the belt. Although I never tried heroin, this was the crux of the process; as soon as the belt was removed, they could feel the high travelling through their bloodstream, up their arm, into their chest, subsequently numbing the rest of their body. The state of euphoria they immediately slipped into was visible as they wiped the blood streaming from the injection site. Once they were high, they would hang out with everyone for a little while, then usually disappear upstairs for the rest of the night.

As their use progressed, I really didn’t worry, even when Michelle went over to Phil’s the morning of the first day of school to get high. I knew they were too smart—people only die from drugs on big city streets, not in Lititz. The night before I found Michelle dead, Robert and I got to Phil’s late from a concert, and they were already very high. They each took a packet of coriciden, triple c’s as they are more commonly known, along with a bottle of robotussin, and they were bangin’ it up every hour or so. Robert casually noted as I clipped his hair in Phil’s bathroom that Michelle looked grey—it was just a side note. The rest of us whipped out the gravity bong, which Phil and Michelle were no longer interested in using, and smoked the rest of the eighth I had bought earlier that day. We kept laughing and making fun of Phil and Michelle for moving so slowly—they were like an old couple, we said. At about midnight, we all gathered in the attic to watch them bang up another bag of H. It was our cue to leave when Phil started dipping in and out of consciousness; Michelle was already out cold on the futon. That was the last time I saw her alive—if you can call that living.

When I went back downstairs, Robert looked into my eyes, which obviously told him everything he needed to know, because his face dropped. He embraced me in a way that said, “How could this happen—what are we going to do?” I went into the bedroom and sat down on the floor, staring at the white wall in front of me for an indefinite amount of time. It looked just as blank as I felt. I didn’t really feel alive at that point—I was in a state of shock and utter disbelief. Eventually, I got up, helped Phil destroy the marijuana plants he was growing in the kitchen, and then paced around the living room. Finally, I picked up the phone and called Hillary to tell her the news. Hearing her immediate tears on the other end of the line broke my heart, but at that point I still didn’t understand the situation well enough to cry.

Something snapped after that call. We all kept saying that we could not be there. On everyone’s mind was the trouble we were in; someone finally suggested that we lie to the police—we would tell them that we only came to the house after we heard Michelle had died. We were scared; we thought we would be charged for possession of drugs, and potentially for murder. So our story was set. I then told someone to look up Michelle’s parents’ number in the phone book. I stared at the number, but was unable to call. I could not do that to them, could not admit to them it was my fault their youngest child was dead. I couldn’t bear to listen as they realized I had ruined their world. Instead, I went into the kitchen and called 911. A woman picked up.

“911 what’s your emergency?”

“Uh, I don’t know how to say this but...’

“Do you need fire, police, or ambulance?”


Not thirty seconds later there was a knock on the door.


Two of my friends tried to run out the back door in that moment of panic, but the house was surrounded. Someone went down and let the police in the front door. We answered their questions, and sat apprehensively on the couch while they inspected the house. Eventually, they told us we were all going down to the station in two’s. Robert and I were the first to go. I never intended to find myself in the back of a police car, and I briefly pondered what had become of my life. When we got there, we were placed in separate rooms. I could see everyone, including Phil’s mom, get escorted into their individual rooms. I sat there for a long time alone, and this is when I began to cry. I haven’t cried like that since I was a child. My shoulders were shaking violently and I couldn’t breathe, couldn’t even think, except of her face. Robert must have heard me, because he came out of his room, also crying. He pleaded with the police, “Let me see Lynette, I just want to see Lynette,” to no avail. It felt like torture to be isolated at a time when all I needed was someone to tell me things were going to be okay. Eventually my dad came down to the station, and, in his presence, I told the police my story of what had happened, amendments and all. After I was released about four hours later, everyone reconvened. The rest of the day was a mix of regret, tears, and worry. At one point, Michelle’s parents called me to ask what had happened. Telling them was the most heart wrenching thing I’ve ever had to do; I never felt more guilty than at that moment.

At some point the next day, I confessed to my parents that we had lied to the police. My dad immediately took me to a lawyer’s office, and it became clear we were all going to have to tell the police the truth—even if we could barely admit it to ourselves. We all went back to the police station, told the truth, and apologized. The main detective on the case already knew about our lie and was understanding of the motives behind it. Had we not confessed, we all would have been charged with conspiracy. In the following days, I went to Michelle’s viewing and funeral, and spent time with her parents. Although her sister was never able to forgive me, her parents understood that it was never my intention or will to ruin their lives. A few months later they sold their home and business, and moved across the country. I have not seen or heard from them since. Phil was sent away immediately to detox and then to enter a rehab program. I found out only recently that he was the only one charged, because the death took place at his house and he was the one injecting her. $19,000 in fines still cannot atone for the harm we caused.

I never cared about the rumors, about the hundreds of random people who subsequently hated me, or about the immediate loss of innocence I experienced. All I can even think of is my guilt. Friends and family try to make me feel better by telling me it was Michelle’s decision to use, but they ignore the fact that it was my decision to let one of my closest friends use a drug right in front of me that, whether I could admit it or not, that I knew had the power to kill. Even if she wouldn’t have physically died, heroin would have made her the next closest thing—and I watched on, laughing. Her life was in my hands, and I let it slip away.

A little self-help for the masses

How Can You Combat Something You Cannot See?

“The snake is sliding across my floor when it springs right at my face and its eyes are so vivid. In real life, I scream and throw off all the blankets, proceed to curl into the fetal position. Sit there scared, decide to write it down.” This excerpt from my dream journal, and ones like it, are not uncommon antagonists of my nightly sleep schedule. Ever since I can remember I have been plagued by these disturbing snake dreams. Snake are my biggest fear, I’m convinced I have ophidiophobia, an irrational, crippling fear of snakes, so it may not be difficult to imagine how troubling these nightmares are to me. When I was younger, I would wake up terrified and lie perfectly still for hours so the assumed snake in my bed wouldn’t know I was there. More recently, my snake dreams don’t usually cause as much mental and physical strife, but I always wake up scared and can’t fall back asleep until I write them down. Sleeping for me is comparable to the “Nightmare on Elm Street” movies; even though sleeping and dreaming are supposed to be restful, peaceful, and enjoyable parts of one’s life, I have become afraid to fall asleep because of the things that haunt me there.

Unfortunately, the snake dreams are now accompanied by a new recurring dream; though not necessary scary, is truly is bizarre and the potential repercussions are unsettling. In the new set of dreams, it’s the end of the world and I’m fighting off zombies in various, always shifting, situations. It’s a lot less fun than it sounds. Though it may be acceptable to violently kill zombies in an apocalyptic scenario, I am particularly ruthless and even bloodthirsty at times in these dreams. Since this is extremely contradictory to my waking self, it makes me paranoid to think I could be repressing these violent and sociopathic impulses. On the bright side, in real life, most people have some tentative zombie survival plan, but I have actually been able to practice and nearly perfect mine.

Considering the pervasive nature of my dreams, I have been fascinated with their possible interpretations, and ultimately hope to understand why I have them in the first place. This has been an initiative of mine for a long time now. Two years ago, I started a dream journal, so that every time I wake up from a particularly disturbing dream, I write it down to compare to other dreams and see if I can find common themes. As of this year, I have come to I believe that I have nightmares more often than I realize. I do not believe I always wake up when I have a nightmare, because my roommate has noted on multiple occasions that I sometimes scream in my sleep. It is not unreasonable to think that this happens because something troubling and even terrifying is occurring in my sleep, but perhaps I am too consumed in the sleep cycle to wake myself up. One notable component of this pattern of disturbed sleep is that I never experience nightmares or exhibit any kind of strange behavior when there is someone sleeping beside me. Maybe it is the comfort they bring me, or maybe it is just yet to occur.

Dreams are just one of the subconscious’s outlets into the conscious mind. The events and objects in a dream are often symbolic of a real-life situation or struggle. I say struggle because dreams most often depict negative thoughts as opposed to positive ones. In fact, “The most common emotion experienced in dreams is anxiety” (BoredPanda). Perhaps this is because negative thoughts are more enduring and troubling to a person than feelings of content or happiness, which tend to be relatively temporary. Also, it is not usually necessary to depict positive feelings through dreams because there is no internal issue which needs to be resolved via the dream. Dreams represent situations in real life, even if the awareness of such situations exists only on a subconscious level. Furthermore, they serve to alert the dreamer of this internal state.

A nightmare is like an alarm going off inside oneself warning or reminding the conscious mind of issues that need to be resolved. Depending on how in touch with oneself someone is, dreams signal that one may be repressing these negative feelings to the point where he or she is completely unaware of them. In this sense, the nightmare serves almost as a call for help, pleading that these feelings be expressed and resolved. The subconscious mind is not punishing one for having these feelings in the first place, rather, it is using the stress of nightmares as an attempt to alleviate the stress of the original situation, which is probably far greater. Nightmares “represent opportunities for personal healing through much-needed emotional release,” (Dreams) so it is important to take their meanings to heart and remember that they serve a purpose.

Often, people see dreams as random and strange, something to be ignored. Perhaps they could gain insight into their true selves if they were to attempt to interpret their dreams, but it is uncommon for someone to seek to do so. Nightmares are another story entirely, especially persistent ones. They are nearly impossible to entirely ignore because of how unsettling and terrifying they are. Still, people tend to wake up from a nightmare and comfort themselves by saying, “It was just a dream.” This is true; the antagonists in nightmares do not usually exist in the waking world, but “Dreams speak in a deeply symbolic language” (BoredPanda). This means that whatever is plaguing someone in a dream is symbolic of and comparable to something plaguing them in their waking life. As previously mentioned, a dream is not just a dream; it is a representation of the true self, so it should not just be written off. People who experience consistent and troubling dreams sometimes seek medical help and are usually prescribed medication. This medication really just disrupts the REM sleep cycle, which is when people dream most vividly. People experience relief with the use of the drug because the dreams no longer occur. In reality, when someone seeks to ignore a nightmare they are further repressing emotions which need to be resolved for one’s well-being. Dreams come from what people are thinking about, whether consciously or unconsciously, so ignoring or writing off a dream is comparable to writing off one’s true self. Typically, people deal with nightmares by ignoring them or by eliminating their capacity for remembering them, when really this just masks the problem associated with the nightmares instead of resolving it.

Although nightmares may serve an important purpose, they still are extremely troubling, and any sane person would hope to get rid of them. Ignoring or masking the problem is clearly ineffective at rooting up the core issue/s. Instead, the way I attempt to alleviate my nightmares is by writing them down and then interpreting them. By recording my dreams, I am better able to notice common themes; my dream journal also serves as a record of my emotional state over time. Though the specific content of my recurring nightmares varies, both the zombie and snake dream have the same common theme: I am being chased and attacked. This is actually the most common theme for nightmares generally, and shows that “Your actions in the dream parallel how you would respond to pressure and cope with fears, stress, or various situations in your waking life. Instead of confronting the situation, your dream indicates that you have a tendency to run away and avoid the issue” (Dreammoods). Clearly, since this theme has been recurring in my dreams my whole life, this is an emotionally taxing and recurring issue that is ever-present in my life. In this sense, sharing a dream with someone is really one of the most personal things a person can divulge, especially if the listener is astute.

The specific manifestations of my fears are also represented in the dream through various outlets. When I don’t understand what a symbol in a dream means, I look it up on to get a general idea. Sometimes, their interpretations are correct, but it is more important to get a sense of what that object symbolizes to the dreamer. As an example, says that running from a snake stems from a phallic fear. I do not think this is the case in reality, but rather, it more likely symbolizes the mortal fear and danger I once felt, since snakes are the most threatening physical object I can fathom. Reliving these horrifying experiences in childhood, then, is the most threatening emotional state I can imagine. By keeping a journal of my dreams, and referencing what these symbols typically represent within a dream compared with my own interpretations of what an object means to me, I am able to learn from my dreams. By taking the warnings of a dream to heart, one is better able to understand and improve upon the troubles of waking life. In this sense, “knowledge is power”: understanding a dream is the most effective way to stop it, and resolve the real-life emotion repercussions it represents.

My nightmares have plagued me my entire life. For the majority of the time, I tried to ignore them and hoped they would gradually diminish. I was never successful in this endeavor. I did not understand until recently that my nightmares are a cry for help from my subconscious mind. The most effective and healthy way to stop recurring nightmares is to understand what they represent in waking life, and seek to solve the problems they reflect. Nightmares can be terrifying, but what is even more terrifying and stressful are the situations one seeks to suppress, until the mind can no longer cope and must cry out for change. The lesson I draw from all this; don’t ignore a nightmare, learn from it.


Wake up. Roll over. Exhale. She was in her own bed, and there wasn’t a naked guy she had never seen before sleeping next to her. She was even wearing clothes—so what if they were the same ones from last night? Success! This was a normal occurrence between Thursday and Saturday each week. At around 8:00 pm She would start taking shots with her friends, and then get to whatever party was on the docket for the night around 11:00 or so. The rest would be history. Usually the details of the night were lost somewhere between drinking games and flirting, but where she woke up and who she was with told her everything she needed to know. The next day, she would smoke endless cigarettes trying to fight her hangover and her even more persistent conscience. Somewhere in the recesses of her mind she was worried that she would never find someone who would actually care about her. She wanted to believe there was something to love about her, something more than her long blonde hair, her C-cups, and her relatively flat stomach, although, since she had never been in love, she couldn’t imagine what this something could be. She figured that one of these nights, with all the guys she met, one would see her for the person she is, and not just a drunken piece of prey. So far though, no luck.

Sometime towards the end of November in her twentieth year, she woke up, rolled over, and gasped. This was worse than the time she woke up next to the overweight guy with a lazy eye. Even worse than that time she woke up next to one of her friend’s ex-boyfriends. When she looked next to her, she saw a girl she had never seen before. “What the fuck?” she thought. She had playfully made out with girls at parties before, but that was just another carefully crafted seduction technique. Never had she actually slept with a woman. “Does this make me a lesbian?” she wondered. A moment later, her counterpart rolled over, stretched for a second, opened her eyes, and smiled—a sleepy, genuinely happy smile. She laughed to herself, “Well, that’s a first” she thought.

She discovered the girl’s name was Victoria. She was not the typical kind of beautiful, but rather was striking, exotic—attractive in a foreign kind of way. Also, she was relieved to hear that she had not actually hooked up with her. On the contrary, Victoria had rescued her after seeing a guy slip something into her drink. That cast a better light on why she remembered nothing from the previous night, at least. Victoria explained that she saw him do it, right before she took a shot, and it was too late to stop. After that, she and Victoria left the party and Victoria took her under her wing for the night to make sure nothing tragic became of her. Victoria confessed she wanted her to sleep over so she could explain what happened the night before and also describe the perpetrator, in case she wanted to take action. She was not going to do anything to try to get back at him—she knew who it was, and knew no one would believe that a nice guy like that would do something so despicable. Victoria apologized for seeming odd or stepping out of line. She was unsure what to say. Obviously, she was grateful, but no one had ever gone so far out of their way to protect her, and something felt uncomfortable about the whole situation. She thanked Victoria, and left.

That night, she did not go out. She did not even consider it. Instead, she lay in her bed all day and all night, thinking about Victoria. She constantly replayed the events of that morning and the potential motives Victoria might have had for rescuing a girl she did not even know. “Where were my friends? Why was I in her bed? Maybe we did hook up and she just didn’t say anything. What did we talk about? What does she know?” It was obvious that she was going to have to find this girl. She went back to Victoria’s apartment and rang the buzzer.

“Who is it?” Victoria asked.

“’s me...from last night.” she answered

“Come in.”

As she started up the stairs, she suddenly wished she had never come. Her millions of questions now seemed miniscule and irrelevant. “This is too weird—I don’t even know her. What reason do I even have to be here?” She felt stifled by her mind— it was moving so rapidly, she could not form a coherent thought. She approached Victoria’s door and knocked. The ten-second wait felt endless. Finally, Victoria opened the door and smiled that smile again. “I guess she doesn’t think this is so weird.” she thought.

After they discussed the questions she had come in hopes of answering, there was a moment of awkwardness—she had only been there only ten minutes, and she did not particularly want to leave yet. Victoria must have sensed her uneasiness and offered her a drink. She found out as they casually talked and drank that Victoria already knew a lot about her—she always had been a reminiscent drunk—so she tried to put herself on equal footing. As the hours grew late, and then early, it was clear that it was past time she left. Still, she was no more motivated to do so than when she first arrived. As she prepared to excuse herself out of sheer formality, Victoria suddenly stood in front of her and bent down to kiss her hard on the mouth, hungrily--the kind of first kiss that can only happen between two drunken girls, momentarily liberated by the realization of their sexuality. She did not end up having to say goodbye to Victoria that night.

After that night, they spent the majority of their time together. It was like when they were together things were fine and easy—they made sense—but when they were apart each girl struggled with the reality of the societal implications of such a romance. Though they were both happier than they had ever been, there was also a certain shame associated with their love. So, neither girl told anyone they knew, not their friends, and definitely not their families. Maybe others could figure it out by reading the girls’ body language or noticing the way they looked at each other, but surely everyone was too scared to ask. She had finally found someone, and subsequently confirmed there were indeed things to love about her. Something about forbidden love makes it that much more passionate, the success is more crucial—if only to prove that it is real. For the next three months, they were absolutely blissful. Sure, they had an occasional argument, but she was happier fighting with Victoria than she ever was fucking one of the countless, nameless, men from her past.

She became worried when Victoria never showed up at her house one cold winter evening. As time progressed, and there was still no answer on Victoria’s cell phone, she grew almost deranged with worry. She was not sure if she should be worried or angry--although Victoria had never stood her up before, so why would she now? Finally, after forty minutes of torture, she put on her jacket and went out to find Victoria. After walking only two blocks in the direction of Victoria’s apartment, she saw the flashing lights in the distance. “No, don’t get yourself started,” she thought. She called Victoria one more time, anyway, just in case she answered. Still nothing. Her pace gradually quickened as she approached the flashing lights. She could now see police cars, ambulances, a road block, and a car which was severely damaged. When she was only half a block away, she saw the body bag and thought, “This stuff doesn’t happen in real life—only in movies and politically charged short stories. This isn’t happening.” Even as she thought this, she simultaneously knew the opposite was true. This does happen in real life. She could not hear the police as they ordered her to get back, could not resist the urge to jump into the back of the ambulance and open the body bag which could contain anyone. Could contain anyone, but didn’t. It contained her love. That bag held all that once gave her joy and made her feel as though she were a part of something. And now, it was just a broken body.

They say time heals all wounds. Well, there are some wounds that you don’t want to heal. Some pains are so great, so stifling, but you want to feel the pain forever, if only to feel something. This pain ties you to something you once knew. Without the pain, there only remains the memories. Even the memories are fallible—was it all a dream? She conceded that she was just not one of those people who were destined for a happy, fulfilled life. So she went back to the life she knew, before she was liberated and in love, before she lost and before she won—She became a whore, just like before.

Monday, December 6, 2010


This is my wish timeline of making a wish at 11:11. I think it is significant.

Stage 1: As soon as I found out what 11:11 meant until June 23rd 2007:
"I wish I had a million dollars"

Stage 2: June 23rd 2007 until September 21, 2008:
"I wish Lindsay were still alive"

Stage 3: September 21, 2008 until last weekend (December 3rdish)
"I wish Michelle was still alive"

Stage 4: Decmber 3-??
"I wish Leah would stay around"

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Years in the making

I never even thought of you in 5th grade when we met
The sad truth is the drugs brought us together in that pivotol spring of 10th grade
I think that's when we both took a turn for a worse, but it felt better.
Together, we lost.
I lost my purity to you, a drunken night, at Phils.
We lost Michelle that Sunday morning, at Phils.
We lost ourselves in the months after
But you held me together
We protected eachother from our demons, most of them at least
You made me feel something like I had never felt before
You were there for me more than I ever could have wished
Then it came crashing down
I was always so proud to never cry over a boy
But once it happened I couldn't stop it
I understood how it felt to yearn for someone to be beside me
There was the intermittent period..talking, not talking, fucking, not fucking
Then there was just more pain again
It stopped for a few weeks
Then came around again
Finally it ended and we were together again
And it was good, almost like before
But we never did talk about the pains
And I think all that time we were separated
You tried to find new loves and saw there were none
I realized it's just not going to work out, too much had happened for it to be the same
You have a piece of my soul, a chunk of my heart, and most of my innocence
But you don't have my love, not anymore.