The light switch on the far wall was in the downward position, though the room was illuminated as if by candlelight. My eyes scanned the room to identify the source , to no avail. “Someone’s in the house,” I thought. I gnawed on the idea and dismissed it quickly because the house and all its valuables lay untouched. The tv that blared a football crowd was now in hushed tones. The record player ,that had not been played since 1998, was now screeching a garbled static. The words it sung were familiar. My eyes dart to the coffee table, as something suddenly changed. What changed I cannot establish in the faltering light, but I did not imagine it’s existence. Not wanting to further my mind’s panic, I brush off the events that were just displayed and I return to my typewriter. I pick up where I had left off, then I realized it’s words to be completely foreign to my eye. The text was not my memoir, but a suicide note. One dated: May 18,1998, the year the music died. As I read further, my curiosity filled the depths of my mind and I knew something awful awaited me. I turned around, facing the ominous shadow of the letter’s potential sender. The only thing between myself and the figure is the bend in my kitchen to the living room. I held my breathe as the shadow came nearer. He felt my presence and he smelled my fear, more fragrant then the roses that impale my icy cheek.Did he write me a letter?
My oldest brother was 10 years old when I was born. Unlike many other children, he welcomed me into the family, caring for me as his own little friend. As time went on and I was able to get to known him on a real basis, we grew very close with one another.
We stayed up late and watched movie for hours on hours after our parents tredged upstairs, usually after falling asleep on the couch. The next morning we’d wake up early to watch cartoons together over a big bowl of cereal. No one ever truly understood our relationship. He served as my big brother, my protector, and my friend. He, I knew, would always love me and be in my corner when the world was flipped upside down. When I advanced into my teenage years, he shared advice with me and tried to spare my heated heart from cracking into a stack of shards. He would be brutally honest and knew how to get me to adhere.
Many days and night later, a women waltzed into the house wrapped around his arm. She was beautiful and she made his smile sparkle that much brighter like a crescent moon during the night. Together, they would go on movie dates and eat bowls of cereal in their newly furnished apartment. It was strange. Where had my buddy gone? He was expanding his horizons with the love of his life and I was so proud of him. She made his world go round and was his best buddy. He made each day a new adventure.
When he was 26, my brother Ronald married his long-term girlfriend Marissa. This was their first photograph being engaged.
Today, we went to the bookstore. We drove forty-five minutes to the next town over because our local reading post had been shut down by an international cooperation. No one missed it…. other than me. The bookstore we went to was large and smelled of fresh print and musk. Somehow the atmosphere was inviting as if the door opened us into a speakeasy of the 1920s scene, though the books we read were none of those sort. We’d scuttle into the lowlit room with one intention in mind. The travel section at the end of our b-line. He and I would cuddle up hand and hand facing the immense wall of paper. Our fingers danced against the shiny paper, though occasionally our hands squished into the gray carpet beneath them as we worked to replace ourselves on the ground. Rio de Janeiro, Norway, and Greece in especially attractively fonts. “I will take you there someday”, he would whisper to me. We would continue to flip and continue to dream about such wonderful places. “Someday, my love”, she’d reply.
While sitting in the passenger seat, I like seeing him out of the corner of my eye. I can imagine the thoughts bombarding his pretty little head. Hands at 10 and 2. Check your mirrors. Is she looking at me?
Yes I was.
It was all so new. He’s learned to drive and how to love. Too similar in steps. He’d go slow at first to learn what it’s like, but as he got more comfortable he pushed the gas pedal further and further. Eventually, the car, like the feelings, would go headstrong into something. Whether it be off a steep cliff or into a sunkissed daisy field.
This article responds to the need for women to feel accepted and to accept themselves. Sadly, it’s no longer a common thing to “love oneself”. No one can be told they are beautiful, they have to feel it for themselves in their bones and in their dresses. I love this article because the moment you let go of your fear of being rejected by the public you can begin the quest of making a mark in it. To become yourself. To find a simplistic beauty in being free.
Shall we talk about your body?
Your body, which used to be thinner. Which you took for granted, because it fitted into cheap, tight dresses. Your body, which took you up and down Brixton Hill, every day, twice a day, never unheralded by catcalls, the stream of men and their “Oh baby hey baby nice tits nice ass hey WHERE YOU GOING?”
Your body was a girl’s body, made from dancing and late nights and skipped dinners, of hopefulness and sleeplessness and sadness. It took care of itself, or rather, you didn’t care that it couldn’t. It wasn’t for you, and so you didn’t mind that you couldn’t always afford to feed and nurture it. The admiration of others was nourishment enough. You often went to bed feeling empty. You thought it was heartbreak. It was probably hunger.
Then your body became plump with love.
Late dinners and later breakfasts…
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This is not a typical blog piece, though nothing about me is typical, so it fits appropriately.
I have been hesitant to write anything about my life that is deeply personal, because that requires an incredible willingness on behalf of the writer to be vulnerable and honest. However, I am always up for a challenge.
I’m 9 or 10 years old. I’ve snuck into my parents’ bedroom and am quietly walking across their carpet, praying that I don’t make a sound. I open their closet and find the brown metal box. My heart is pounding, hands shaking. I crouch down, balancing on the balls of my feet, ready to jump up and escape at the potential first creak of the stairs. Silence. So far so good. I lift the top up slowly. It doesn’t betray me by squeaking. I’m grateful. My little fingers search through the vanilla colored tabs labeled…
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