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heathen Feb 2018
The walls are breathing
I am breathing
Shallow and labored
This house
which holds up a home
has fewer stressors on its joints
than I do
heathen Oct 2017
00:54; we are eating silently in the same room, but not with each other. We both have had hard days and it seems like our company won't do anything to make it better. He touched me. It wasn't the way I needed to be touched today.

10:24; I'm awake now and even my own company won't do anything to make it better. The day is so warm that it makes me nauseous, but I stay in the sun anyway. I don't read the news today.

14:30; this book store is having an outdoor sale and I spend $4 to impress the cute sales clerk on my obscure picks.

15:04; I'm home and I eat 2 and 1/2 carrots. My day-to-day grind keeps me busy but does it do anything for me? Everything I touch I reduce to being a waste of time meant for something better. I sound pessimistic but I truly don't believe that I am.

17:12; I'm out and he's out with me and we're doing a project together. Our minds create great things when they touch but that doesn't happen as often as I want to. I'm hungry and I'm reminded that I am responsible for feeding myself.
heathen Oct 2017
I remember a time I was riding the bus a few years ago. Now, I know I have no rights or ownership over public transportation - and honestly, thank God. I am too neurotic a person to be in charge of something that is actively on fire every other month or so. It's still better than driving in the city, so I can only be so critical. But still, I'm critical.

It was early evening, and the commuter stress was just about to reach its boiling point. The mingling of body heat with mouth breathing combined with the hermetically sealed windows could create its own ecosystem in these conditions, but this was not the tropical getaway that any of us had envisioned. Alone on a full bus, it's easy enough for me to pretend to be reading or checking emails while scoping and scouting for a spectacle of human disaster, of whose life is probably far more interesting than mine. This particular bus was ripe for people-watching. People shuffled uncomfortably away from the person on their left into the person on their right and some sloppy white-collared ******* was coughing INTO THE AIR and it was as if I could feel the spores of his stale cigarettes and his $40 lunch gently wafting and twirling and landing right on my lips and face; a romantic kiss from a stranger.

I watched a woman twisting her elbow absentmindedly. It was a dreary day and she was looking and leaning toward the window, subconsciously trying to absorb as much sun as possible. There was a mother and child sitting next to me. The child was crying -  disturbed by the heat, disturbed by everything. The already exhausted, overworked mother had had enough of everything the day had thrown at her and smacked her wailing babe so she could have just a moment of control and feel as if she could make her world momentarily slow down and bend to her command. The child retreated inwardly, save for a few defiant sniffles. A dense silence set in. I remember this, and wonder which of the two I am more like? I think I know, but I don't want to say it.
heathen Jun 2017
There is no such thing as Center
Perception is a box
A television
In which we see how to live our
In which we see others
More Beautiful Others
live our lives
While we sit
and watch
Simulation of stimulation
Simulacra becomes reality
Reality becomes a game show
I’m losing

Center gives depth
and boundaries
and an easier existence to digest
Yes or No
Pepsi or Coke
Living or Existing
A system of binary choices
acts as a deterrence model
which suppresses radical change

The symbols become the real
The reproduction becomes the real
The simulation becomes the real

There is no such thing as Center
There is no such thing as center
There is no such thing as “center”
heathen Nov 2016
"Is this anti-feminist of me?" I wonder out loud into the steam as I shave the fine, tiny hairs in my armpit. "Maybe," it whispers back, "I don't know."

Showering is very therapeutic for me. Being around or in any body of water usually is. This time gives my thoughts free reign, wondering about anything that the structure of my day doesn't normally allot time for. I think - or don't - dumping my stream of consciousness down the drain with my conditioner, rinsing myself of impurities.


I’ve killed my third plant in two months. They were all those little succulents too, the ones that are supposed to be next to impossible to **** up. A plant that has grown and adapted and learned to thrive in harsh environments, can sustain life for months without any water or even sunlight, through sandstorms and deep permeating frosts and being trampled on by...a camel? An armadillo? I’m actually not really sure where succulents are naturally indigenous from. I bought mine on the cheap from Trader Joe’s. Maybe California? Anyway, it can flourish all completely on its own - and I killed it. This is my relationship with plants. I so desperately want to feel like I am the kind of person who is attuned to life and have a natural synchronicity to all things living. I like to tell my friends that I am Snow White and that the elements and the animals all bend to my touch and my will. The idea is to purposely come across as boastful but I know that when I repeat this terrible joke over and over, the person I’m truly trying to convince of that is myself. Hovering, I keep a watchful eye over what I have put so much investment in and tweak and pinch and poke until I am positive every aspect of their care and growth has been properly attended to. And then they die. I pour too much care into my wards and leave them drowning, but only with the best of intentions. Nature vs. nurture vs. me.

This is my relationship with people. I can become overbearing. I know I can. So, I make sure that I’m not. I’ve got that deep-seeded nurturing aspect that is laced within my responsible, eldest female caretaker upbringing, which translates to me being overly affectionate but also being headstrong and yell-
y. I just want the best for you, I say as I smother my loved ones. I sigh and exfoliate my feet.

After draining all of my thoughts, I emerge from the shower into this wall of humidity. I feel sterile and perfect. This whole scene feels like some sort of cinematic metaphor for rebirth, but really I'm just trying to look presentable for work. I grab my fat purple towel and pat dry my face. While I'm blinded, I shuffle to position myself in front of the mirror. Naked, I throw my towel to the side to reveal myself. I play this game every time I bathe, and every time I hope to unveil a new person. I look at myself in the fogged mirror. Still me, just wetter. Shinier. Pinker.


"You know, 'pinker' isn't a real word," my friend who I read this to tells me. "You should replace it with 'more pink.'"

"You know," I start, "language isn't even, like, a real thing. It's just a set of ancient rules and guidelines based in other dead 'languages' to give ourselves boundaries of comfort and live in predictability and reason. I'm shaping language to my vernacular to best portray my thoughts and ideas to you. You know what I'm trying to say, anyway. After all, language is just another construct. It keeps communication within a nice, neat little package, therefore it keeps creativity and free thought in a nice, neat little package. I'm, like, redefining definitions. I'm making words my own. Like Dr. Seuss! I'm like ******* Dr. Seuss. Zoopity Zoo and Binkity *****! That means 'Step outside of your temple of familiarity, you ******* sheep person.'"

I was never one to take constructive criticism very well.
My friend goes home. I go to take a shower.
heathen Jun 2016
The brightest part of a shadow is in the center
Science tells us
that the light dances and refracts
and hugs the curves
What our truths tell us should be darkness
proves us wrong

I know your heart
How you close yourself
to people
to experiences
But your resistance is still broken
by your light
What your truths tell us should be darkness
proves us wrong
The brightest part of a shadow is in the center
heathen May 2015
I am a collector. My trade is stories and human nature, and I barter with others to be at their most raw. I'm not sure when I began to be drawn to this side of people. I grew up being unbearably uncomfortable in my own anxieties and emotions, often feeling like I was suffocating in an empty room. Sometimes I felt like I was just so filled up with feelings that they ballooned up inside me and pushed my lungs and ribs and heart and spleen all into a corner. There’s not even enough room for a good, deep breath - just tightness. It’s a strange thing. I would often study others and how they comfortably lived their own lives without any detectable doubt of their choices, and wonder how the **** they could stand themselves. Didn't they know that nothing was for certain and how arrogant they were for trusting even themselves? Idiots.

So being vulnerable was not something I was good at, when just existing was hard enough. But now I revel in it. Gently reaching out and touching that side of myself is when I feel my most alive. I could easily (lazily) compare it to the hesitation and subsequent thrill of riding a roller coaster. But not everyone likes roller coasters. I know a few that would do anything to skirt away from being vulnerable. That's why there is value in those moments when I see your eyes flit up and look cautiously into mine and through me into my intentions before telling a secret; when your nerves carry your sheer excitement past your lips and into my hands - that's when I know I'm holding something sacred.

But it's not easy to get there. In fact, it's near impossible.  I usually make the first move; I will bow and offer a sacrifice of character - an embarrassing story or some personal account. I expose my belly to rejection, and sometimes I get bit. Experiencing vulnerability that isn't my own is usually a heavily guarded bridge to cross. Strangely, hearing people talk about themselves gives me a better understanding of myself. I can see my reflection in others, when I usually feel so alone. The human connection is my currency. You seem to hold the same value in words. You keep them to yourself for the most part, but sometimes feel generous and I get to drink in your stories. Your words appreciate with time. To me, there is nothing in this world more precious.

I carry you in my intentions. I act on me and myself, but I would be lying if I didn't say that I also want to do what would make you proud.

So happy birthday, Dad. I think what I'm trying to say in all of this is that you inspire my driving forces in life, which is the most invaluable gift you've given me. I have built off of the parts of me that I don't like into the foundation of the person I am and always hoped I would become. My gift to you, in my own roundabout way, is working through my deeply rooted reservations to write you this and to let you know all that you mean to me and to who I am. I love you and I love your words.
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