Monday, November 30, 2009

An Almost-Collision

What I'm listening to: Better Together (Jack Johnson) I almost died on Friday night. Well, more accurately, a skater almost died Friday night. Let me explain: on the car ride home from Safeway, I noticed a faint outline of a person standing in the middle of the road. At first it looked so freaky and ghostlike I thought I only imagined it, but seconds later I was screaming, "Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh!" (In my shocked state, I guess I couldn't articulate something like, "Dad, stop the car! There's someone in the road!") Nevertheless, the message translated in just enough time for Dad to slam on the brakes and scream a warning to the retreating form. Adrenaline drizzling away, I leaned back against the seat. I still couldn't get the image of us crashing into that guy out of my head. Thankfully we didn't hit him, but I'm never going to second-guess what I see again. And speaking of car crashes, here's the next portion of After the Crash: (Oh, and just in case you're being a little lazy, the narrator has flashbacks in this one) Many Happy Returns His halo the color of burnished bronze did not hold my attention. Though his intelligent, soft pools of melted chocolate gazed at me, they were not my primary concern. His perfect mouth touched my smaller one, and my frenzied heart threatened to attack. I awake in the same frantic state. A short woman wearing pink kitten scrubs rushes in. "Are you all right?" she asks. I tell her I just had reconstructive surgery three days ago. Her pink mouth sets in a firm line as she fills a needle with clear liquid. My eyes open wide as she injects the medicine into my IV. Maybe they have those clapper lights in here, because there's a popping sound and the lights start to dim. I hold my breath as the nurse unwittingly sends me hurtling back into the past. He smiled again and I felt his hard, muscular arms wind around me. Heaven. I had a feeling that's the closest I would get, but that was just fine with me. "I'll pick you up tomorrow," he whispered into my hair. I would never wash it again. "Okay," I managed finally, pulling myself from his grasp and climbing up the stairs to my house. His sneakers crunched on the gravel as he made his way to his shiny new Echo. I held up my hand tentatively, watching it flutter like an autumn leaf. I stood outside long after he drove off, watching the dust settle and the night fall. Somehow, even though I watched it every night, the velvety black showcase of diamonds, with its large pearl centerpiece, never ceased to amaze me. I awake to the soft glow of morning. Artificial light shines from somewhere, hits the curtain, and glances off pink. Suddenly, I realize what woke me. A small, almost musical moaning drifts toward me from the other side of the curtain. "David!" I cry out in alarm. David doesn't say anything, and suddenly everything gets very quiet. The calm before the storm. Or possibly the devastation after it. I listen disparagingly for David's rich, calm voice. Nothing. All of a sudden, I feel very, very small and silently wish for him many happy returns.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Symbols in Sewing

What I'm listening to: Remember to Breathe (Dashboard Confessional) It turned out the lock down yesterday was only a drill. But I still think it's funny. Anyway, Thanksgiving is coming up (it's tomorrow, actually), so I made three pies this weekend--lemon icebox, pecan and pumpkin. The whole process took roughly five hours. Which is a long time to spend baking pies. I think I'm all pied out, if that's a word. If not, then it should be. I finally sewed up the foot-long hole in my pajama pants that I tore the day I moved here. The act felt extremely symbolic, as if sewing up my pants symbolized my healing and becoming almost myself after the move.
Or maybe I've just spent a little too much time in Honors English, which is far more likely.
Well, are you ready for Part Four of After the Crash? Here it is: Reconstruction It's Saturday again, and I have never once seen David. However, every day, without fail, he speaks to me. Today is no different. "Are you feeling any better?" he asks. "No," I say, honest as always. "That's too bad." "I guess so." He tells me he had surgery today. I tell him I heard him awake from it--he cried out five times. He doesn't say anything and I wonder if I have offended him. After two minutes of decadent silence, I gather the nerve to speak. "Did I offend you? You weren't very loud, you know." "No." He doesn't sound very convincing. I tell him it's very nice what he's doing for me. Again, silence. "I really do appreciate it," I try again. "So would you quit being so boneheaded about it?" "Sorry." I snort and turn over on my bed. And guys think girls are complicated? Reconstruction. R-E-C-O-N-S-T... For some reason, I can't remember how to spell it. I used to be a good speller. Before they invented Spell Check, that is. When laziness has leaked into spelling, you know society is deteriorating. "How do you spell reconstruction?" I ask. He spells it for me. "Why?" he has to ask. "I don't know. We're both having reconstructive surgery." He asks me why I didn't want to know reconstructive, not reconstruction. For once, I have no idea. The curtain is a light, Pepto-Bismolish pink, with small silver rings at the top. If only it didn't remind me so much of medicine, I might actually like it. For the first time in a long time, I begin to hope that I could be reconstructing more than my clavicle.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Lock Down

What I'm listening to: Fall Away (the Fray) As I left second period today, my mind was on school shooters. I considered writing a book about psychology and depressed teenagers for about six minutes. Then I went to class. In the middle of third period, the announcement bell sounded and an important, grave voice said, "This is a lock down. Teachers, please lock your doors. Code yellow." Well, it was something along those lines. And, of course, I just burst out laughing at that (and got a few you-must-be-an-idiot looks from some fellow students in the process). I must be a fortune teller. Or a freak. Either way, I'm not going to think about school shooters while at school again (which, of course, means I will). But, good news, my writer's block flew the coop and I penned the beginning to a fabulous poem called Sixty-Four today. I'll let you read that later, though. I still have to publish the rest of After the Crash. Well, here goes: Forever Twilight I awake in a shroud of hazy light. I know I'm not in heaven, for I've heard it's blissful there. It's not hell either, because the one person I know I would see doesn't materialize. I guess I"m stuck in limbo; serves me right. Gradually, the surrounding light funnels into pinpricks in the corners of my vision. I'm in another hospital bed, in another room. Just out of reconstructive surgery. I should have remembered their wheeling me out of the room. The blue-and-white hallway. The mask. The fog. But I don't remember any of it. Yet. "Where am I?" I ask groggily, my voice cracking in seven different places. No one answers. I suppose it's because I'm supposed to be sedated. Or dead. Whichever the doctor decided would be a better option for me. I abstractly wonder when my eyes are going to clear up and my mind will stop feeling like the after-effects of a nuclear war. Minus the pain. There never seems to be any pain anymore. I always await it--almost anxiously--because, for a few, brief moments, I am freed from my world of forever twilight. I wish I could say that I was emotional. But you see, I can't stand pain. Or crying. Or lying still in bed, like I am right now. At least, that's how I used to be. But things have changed with me. And with everyone. It's odd--the pain is always there, but it never quite emerges. Just a thought, an idea in my mind. Yet, at the same time it's so potent, so bitter, it churns my stomach. I used to have dreams, But they were dashed to pieces on the shores of reality and time. Now it hardly matters whether I live or die, but I wish for one or the other. I am like a ghost, a phantom of the gray and lifeless, but condemned to eternal being. I suppose I will be better soon. Like they say, a little surgery fixes everything.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Writer's Block

What I'm listening to: Title and Registration (Death Cab for Cutie) I tried to write a poem today, but I ended up with half a sheet of scribbled-out purple characters. Gotta love writers' block. I think it's even transferred to my blog today (good thing it doesn't show how many things I've just tried to say). Oh well. Writers' block, just like everything else, comes and goes. Absolute (the book I'm trying to get published) sits on a dusty cyber shelf, waiting for the friendly comments of my editors. An unfinished English essay hangs on the thread of my imagination and yet another History project looms in the near future. Such is life--for me, anyway. But now I'm only stalling. Here's the second installment of After the Crash: The Curtain "You crushed your clavicle," says the doctor. His voice is grave. I ask him what that is. "Don't you feel it? Your collarbone." "Well, now that you mention it..." My voice trails off. I stare at the pink-and-white patterns on the ceiling. I notice my eyelashes are wet from fallen snow. The doctor tells me he can fix me. It will be easy. Just a quick surgery and then a cast. But I don't want to be fixed. I'm like an old painting, or a manuscript maybe. What was written was written and there's no going back. Of course, I know there's something wrong with me. But it isn't my clavicle or ragged arms. To admit it would be to acknowledge it. And then would come the fixing. Nothing's wrong wit me. "Can't I go home?" I ask. The doctor peers at me from under his owlish spectacles, and I decide to drop it. Tomorrow's Saturday, I suddenly recall. Sadness fills me like a dessert that leaves a funny taste on your tongue. I will spend the day in the emergency room. Or maybe the operating one. Flecks of white spatter the baby blue walls and it immediately reminds me of snow. I shudder. The wheels of of the hospital bed squeak methodically as the nurse pushes me along like the child I've grown up to be. She shows me to my curtained-off, ten-square feet of privacy and gives me a smile. I wonder how much she was paid to do that. Not enough, considering my condition. "What are you in for?" I ask the unisex curtain next to me. "Broken leg," it mutters back. "Clavicle," I say. The curtain tells me its sister once broke her clavicle. And that, by the way, his name is David. I cringe. Names. Names open people up. Names remind me of what I've tried so hard to forget. I hate names.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

New Beginnings

What I'm Listening to: The District Sleeps Alone Tonight (The Postal Service) First blog entry of my life: no pressure or anything. I suppose I could say I'm a highschool author. Or maybe that I just moved two thousand miles away from my home less than two months ago. But I guess that's a little generic. So maybe I should start with one of my poems, After the Crash. Maybe it will get you hooked, maybe not. But (of course), I'm only going to publish the first part. Which means you'll have to keep coming back to get the whole story. Enjoy! Snowing Fire My small, white feet are a stark contrast to the smoothed-sandpaper feel of the wet pavement. It's cold, but my shoes lie under several twisted heaps of scrap metal. There's a faint smell of burning rubber in the air--could it be my sneakers? Passerbys, I think idly. Doesn't that sound better than passersby? They are staring. Staring at me. I glance down at my shoulders--and gasp. Intricate web spiderwebs are engraved into my arms and seep through my white T-shirt. Funny. I never felt a thing. "A doctor, a doctor," someone finally says. "Somebody call a doctor." For what? My car? I tell him Band-Aids and a cup of cocoa will suffice. He tells me I'm in shock. That I should lie down. Get something to drink. I can feel my arms now. It's a sort of awful, wonderful feeling--it burns like the pits in Hades, yet it doesn't warm me up. Someone--it is a woman this time--pushes a few pills and a bottle of water at me. I tell her I can take the pain. That I, strangely, want it. An odd, terrible look fills her eyes and she shoves them down my throat. I am lying down now. The gray fluffy plumes of cotton candy loom overhead. The delightful monster. Fifteen minutes later--or sixty, for I have no track of time--and it's snowing. Well, it certainly looks like snow. But the fluffy wads of cotton seem to ignite my veins on fire. I have to clamp a hand over my mouth to restrain crying out. As the ambulance arrives, the clouds don't show a sign of letting up. Good, I think with some surprise. I don't want the miserable rapture to end. Keep on, keep on. Keep on snowing fire.