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RJ Days Mar 2018
How cool I was with undercut
pretending then Mohawk
playing rugby pretending
brunching with fab hipsters
pretending enjoying arcane debates
about particle physics pretending
and social justice pretending
loving tall beautiful black boy
pretending and playing Tetris til dawn
or napping on the couch pretending
in fashionable Old City coworking
space pretending cuddled alone
as rain struck clear panes windowed walls
facade pretending that was my life once,
author in a zine pretending, cheese day denizen
pretending amid all that a sprawling
vacuum of identity pretending
and isolation pretending despite
lunching with a priest I met
pretending online or long, meandering
walks to the park pretending
with Mr. Wiggles and biking up
Passyunk pretending through the market
that smelled of live chickens and grease
bemoaning my loneliness pretending at
row-house holiday parties hosted
by midlife fairies & queers pretending
with dreams with drugs
pretending alcohol *** and roof deck
skyline views pretending pop up gardens
live music filling midsummer streets
pretending same streets
filled with seasonal dirt
artisanal water pretending
bottle cap eyes cigarette **** nose
garbage mouth snowman melting
away pretending going
the way of brotherly
love. How cool I was inhabiting
my urban life pretending
I was there.
Abi Perry Jan 2014
Growing up I was always told to pretend
To make-believe I was a princess
A mother
A warrior
Whoever I wanted to be
With a little imagination and some time spent outside
Could be real,
But who was I really fooling?
Not myself
After turning the pool into a beautiful dress
After putting my "babies" to bed
After slaying the evil swing set
I was still me
Maybe that's why I got bored
started trying to make others believe my stories
Not worried about what I thought
More how much others did
I can control the radio
I can make it so you can't move
I can levitate
I can read your mind
I am a famous singer
I lied to you about all of this because if you believe it
you might be able to make it
true
Lies
that's all they were
I wanted them to be true
Tried to make them true
They never were
They never will be
Lies
Memories
Pretending it doesn't hurt
Pretending It does
Never knowing who I was
still searching for who I am
I am NO princess
I am NO mother
but I can fight
I wage wars with myself
battle scars taking residence in my heart
I wasn't lying
I was pretending
Pretending to be okay
Pretending I believed
Just like you pretend you care
About me
About what happens to me
If i were to die now you would be at my funeral because it looks right
If i die in ten years you wouldn't show up
Pretending you care or
Lying about caring
pretending
Lying
if it's the same for me it's the same for me it's the same for you
maybe if you
spend a life hiding wounds
spend a day in my shoes
spend a night in my dreams
you'll see why pretending i'm okay
pretending i believe
pretending i'm a princess
a mother
A warrior
None of it works
Nothing ever did
nothing ever will
pretending to be someone i'm not
I'm not you,
I pretended to be
I imagined a world where I could make-believe to believe and have it be true
When I slayed the swing set
I killed myself
Akira Chinen Jul 2017
Children march in boots
too big for their feet
blinders too close to their eyes
uniforms worn too tightly
around their hearts
left left left right left
till their is nothing left
of our children pretending
to be men who are brave
and pretending to be women
who have equality
and pretending to be brothers
who don't have to fear for their lives
because of the skin the were born in
and sisters pretending
they don't have to fear
their fathers and uncles and brothers
and cousins and preachers and friends and husbands
as much as they do
the kindness of strangers
and we sit on our sofas and lazy boys and kitchen tables
pretending the news isn't so bad
and pretending
that war is a necessary business
and pretending that the phrase
"**** culture"
isn't something vile that drags itself through our minds
and up our throats
and out our mouths
and pretending clichés like
"boys will be boys"
makes it all "ok"
(at least for little boys born
to the right father
of the right name
of the right wealth)
and pretending that
she should have known better
and pretending that
he should have complied
to being stripped of his right to live
which ironically would
have still ended up
with him bleeding to death
which really isn't ironic
but just ****** up
but I almost forget
this is all just pretend
as we sit at our table
of disinterest and hashtags
and cold truths
being covered in warm lies
and is that the death
of the American dream
I smell cooling off in the window seal
overlooking the corruption
and destruction
and industrialized nation
that is nothing more
than a cage to keep us safe
from our own thoughts
because we wouldn't want
to know that the boots
they sell to our children
have already been worn
and are already covered
in mud and blood and death
and we still let them march away
as we pretend
it will all be ok...
fray narte Jul 2019
We were always so good at pretending, weren’t we? We would always climb rooftops and pretend that we were stargazers, christening constellations with our favorite songs. Look, there was Somebody Else. There was Nobody’s Home. There was Chasing Cars.

We would pretend we were souls from the 50s, reincarnated into another life — into another happy ending. We would pretend we were art critics, as if we knew **** about Klimt; as if we could tell apart baroque from classical. We would tell each other our weirdest dreams and analyze them, as if we were Freud or something, that misogynistic pig. Oh, you dreamt about us drowning together in the Black Lake? Oh, that means we were gonna have *** tonight, in the absence of the moon. We would pretend that we’ve circled the whole world and that Italy’s got the ******* blandest pizza. We would pretend that we were rock stars, surfing on the crowd.

We would pretend that we’d read the classics. Was that Harry or Henry in The Picture of Dorian Gray? Yeah, Hamlet was pretty cool, but who was Ophelia? ******* pseudo-intellectuals, we were. Nonetheless, I loved pretending with you. We loved pretending that the whole world wasn’t crashing down — that we weren’t stuck in this ******* of a small town, and that the world spun for us. We loved pretending that everything would be okay — that we could leave someday without looking back. We loved pretending that our lives weren’t all over the place. We loved pretending that we were the brave ones, that we could **** ourselves by 40 because the world wouldn’t be kind when we’re all old and saggy.

We loved pretending that we were too cool for mental breakdowns and for any kind of feeling. Honey, we loved pretending that we were psychopaths, too voided for love and all that other crap — that we hated clichés, while doing the most romanticized clichés anyway. We loved pretending that this was where the chapter would end, and that we were together in our make-believe ending. We loved pretending that we were the ones who stayed and made it.

Now, sometimes, I would pretend that we did. Other times, it would be me pretending I was all there ever was — that you never were here to pretend with me, and that I was okay. I would pretend that the rooftop wasn’t too high, and that I didn’t need your help to climb — that the company of city lights and the empty space were enough, honey they never were. Honey, I would pretend too that I never missed you. But I did.

I always did. More than that I would ever admit.

I would look at the stars, the ones we named but I guess they all had already fallen to the earth. You said that when you died, you would live in the shooting stars so that you could crash to the earth and come back to me. But it had been more than a decade since the angels took you away and I no longer stargazed, except tonight. And maybe, just maybe, when I would catch a glimpse of a falling star, I still wouldn’t wish that you didn’t chase your meds with *****. I wouldn’t wish that we didn’t find bubbles coming out of your mouth, like they were a part of your soul. I wouldn’t wish that I didn’t see you die. I wouldn’t wish that you were okay; we both knew we wouldn’t have clicked if one of us was happy or okay.

Heaven, hell, we didn’t believe in those. But when a star would fall unto my chest, I would wish that wherever you were right now or wherever you would be in the next life, darling, you would no longer feel the need to pretend.

And with no lies, no masks, no pretenses, I loved you. Here. And in the next. And in the lives after that, until we lived in one where we would both have the courage to abandon all pretense and just sit on a different rooftop, sharing silence — sharing honest thoughts — sharing the luster of distant stars. And tomorrow, our demons wouldn’t rise with the sun. And we would be okay.
Thabiso moshapo Aug 2013
Don't be fooled by me.
Don't be fooled by the face I wear
For I wear a mask, a thousand masks,
Masks that I'm afraid to take off
And none of them is me.

Pretending is an art that's
second nature with me,
but don't be fooled,
for God's sake don't be fooled.

When I say am ok am just
Pretending to be when I
Say am happy to be single
I was pretending to happy
I hate pretending I hate it

When I said I care for you
I wasn't pretending
When I said I love you I really
Meant it open your heart let me in

Let's stop pretending we both
Know that there's a fire between us
Say you love me and I will love you
Forever

Am done pretending
brokenwords Dec 2017
when did you get so good at pretending? pretending everything was fine. pretending you were ok. pretending you were happy with me. when did it become so easy to pretend? when did you decide I was no longer good enough but with what little manhood you had you decided to pretend you still loved me because you didn't want to hurt me? when did it become so easy to prented? how long were you going to let it go on had I not caught you? how ******* long? well I'm done pretending that it was ok and it was fine. I'm done pretending that I am worthless and it was always my fault. I'm done pretending that I wasn't good enough for you. Truth be told you never deserved me and maybe you were just tired of pretending you did and that's why you left. To you I say farewell.
Addie Kay Dec 2018
I’m pretending to be okay.
I’m pretending so hard that
I can’t breathe.

I’m pretending.

I’m pretending that breathing is easy
I’m pretending that feeling is easy
I’m pretending that my heart doesn’t hurt so bad I want it removed.

I’m pretending.

Im pretending so hard that
I think it’s all true.
I’m not hurting.
I’m fine.
And that’s the point right?
To pretend so hard that the reality
goes away and
all you feel is the clear bliss
of
Denial.
Gaby Comprés Jul 2014
no more.
no more pretending.
no more pretending that i can.
no more pretending that i can do this on my own.
no more.
no more pretending.
no more pretending that i am.
no more pretending that i am strong.
i can't.
i can't do this on my own.
i am not strong.
i can't fight You anymore.
i let these walls crumble.
i am weak.
no more pretending that i can do this on my own.
no more pretending that i am strong.
no more pretending that i do not need You.
i need You.
withloveblank Oct 2017
For years they pretended.
Pretending not having feelings for the other.
Years and they pretended that the spark wasn't there.

For years they pretended.
Pretending to be fine with just being friends.
Years and they pretended that they didn't crave for more.

For years they pretended.
Pretending not to care about each other's relationships.
Years and they pretended that jealousy was never there.

For years they pretended.
Pretending, but now they finally became aware.
Years and them pretending has finally came to an end.

Or so they thought,

Now they're back at pretending.
Pretending that they never became aware.

Now they're back at pretending.
Pretending, because his lover became aware.
I really thought I had you this time.
Amaya Bhavya Feb 2015
She was tired of pretending.
Pretending to be fine,
Pretending to be happy.
And then one day,
She pretended to win the fight with pretending.
amalia Oct 2017
Rainy day...
Blanket...
Music...
Tea..
Thoughts...

What the hell am i doing here?
Am i doing it right?
Am i missing a point?

I smell the dew like *******...
I came here to reduce my pain..

Thanks to those who thinks my life is better than theirs
Thank You!
It is one thing that keeps me going.

The other thing is just me pretending..

Pretending to be brave...
Pretending to be sure..
Pretending that i'd never grumble...
Pretending that i am in the happiest place to be...

The other thing is just me trying to forget that i was just pretending....
i've been feeling that my life is ****** up lately
Amanda Dec 2019
Pretending tomorrow
We'll both be different
Changed from who we are today
Actually want me to be happy
Stop clutching onto each word you say

Pretending habits don't have the best of us
We're content with a life of sobriety
Like the sound of that idea
Wish it was that easy

Pretending a wish or two comes true
The floor tossed into a pile
Like eachother but not all the time
Wish for me to smile

Pretending we can build home like before
Set against a sky of gold
Magically capable of exploring possible futures
Every desire taking hold

Pretending we will find salvation
Life just one cruel joke
Silhouettes waiting for goodbye long overdue
Death to claim what life broke

Pretending every day to try my hardest
Both know my love is a sham
Want to be a better person for you
That's just not who I am
I'm growing to be good at pretending
Avery Greensmith Nov 2014
You used to talk about how
much you needed coffee to
keep you awake in English class.
so you could pay attention
(but you were always texting
me in English class so it didn't do
you that much good.
i think you just liked the
way the teacher glared
at you when you drank it in class.)

one time they told me you ran away,
but you left your computer at home,
so i knew you'd come back.
((you were stuck in the forest for 36 hours
and for 36 hours i could barely breathe.)

you acted like you were saving me,
but i don't even need saving
i just need you to *******.

one time you drank *****,
just so you could taste it,
and you hated it.
but now you're back and
you're pretending,
you're pretending that you
actually buy your coffee
(instead of grab it at starbucks
when the barista isn't looking).
you're pretending that you've
never been in the woods and
when someone offers you *****
you gulp it right away.

it doesn't matter that you're
pretending because you're still
trying to be above everyone
and im so ******* done with you.
Robyn Nov 2012
I'm spinning circles in my bedroom
And my hair is now a halo
I'm pretending I'm a dancer in my bedroom
And I am now

I'm singing songs inside my bedroom
And in my arms I hold a child
I'm pretending I'm a mother in my bedroom
Though I'm wild

I'm breaking bricks inside my bedroom
And on my face are beads of sweat
I'm pretending I'm a miner in my bedroom
And I fret

I'm writing poems in my bedroom
And in my heart there is a boy
I'm pretending I'm in love in my bedroom
And my heart is full of joy
LP Foster Jan 2014
I remember having the summer to forget

I remember leaving before I was left

I remember conflicting thoughts about taking you home
I remember pretending to be drunk

I remember kissing your best friend

I remember pretending I didn't hear

I remember acting like I didn't want you
I remember saying it was nothing
I remember telling her to go for you

I remember wanting to win you
I remember not feeling attractive enough

I remember stopping when you said you wanted me
I remember pretending I didn't get the next 7 texts

I remember pretending I lived closer to you

I remember pretending it was me in the picture

I remember pretending I liked what you told me

I remember pretending not to like you
I remember dreaming about your touch
I remember losing the ability to speak
I pretend not to like you
I dream of you holding me
I lose my words around you
Pretending is such a lovely game.
To be a wizard casting spells.
A princess wishing to be saved from the top of an evil tower.

Pretending to listen..
Nodding your head in unison with words.
As if they need your nonverbal gesture to sleep at night.

Pretending to care..
Going through the motions without so much of tender hand on a shoulder.
Forcing a smile back at them as if we were dogs ready to attack.

Pretending.
Always Pretending!
The game has lost in our thoughts.

Wake up!
Liven your soul.
And stop pretending.
Patrick Austin Sep 2018
Our Backgrounds before we met...

I'm an only child born in Montana in 1983, from a divided home. Parents divorced at seven, Mom was unstable and unfaithful. Dad obtained custody of me and we moved to Oregon Coast to live with my Grandma. I had unhealthy visits and relationship with Mom thereafter. My Grandma died at 12 and at 13 my Dad remarried an alcoholic woman, I had a strained relationship with them until adulthood when she stopped drinking. I had exposure to trauma; alcoholism, mental illness, verbal abuse and juvenile troubles. I rebelled by using drugs in my late teens and early twenties, I lived on my own for a few years after high school but had little direction.

My bride is the eldest with two little brothers, parents stayed in same area of Portland during childhood with lots of family support and her parents stayed married. They had Christian values but some anger and anxiety issues at home. She was sexually assaulted at 17 and never had good closure with this. She told me her parents didn't provide her enough help with things like this growing up. Status quo was the backbone of the family dynamic, challenging emotions were discouraged. She rebelled by being reckless with herself, financially and sexually. She decided to join the Navy at 19. She lived alone briefly, but mostly with Grandparents & Parents before our marriage.

I loved how we both grew up reading Archie comics. No other girl I had ever met had that in common with me. I think we wanted a surreal life like the one in Riverdale.

2002

She and I were 19 when we first met in my home town on the coast at an arcade. We became friends and secretly liked each other. I was too nervous to ever make a move on her. We traveled together, she stayed with me, we used drugs together and drank at times. One night she drank too much and had *** with a guy I knew at a party. I was devastated by this. She was Navy bound and I didn't see a real future for us. The next morning she left and I didn't talk to her again for two years. I figured she would be gone with the Navy soon and that she must not have been interested in a relationship with me despite the time we spent together.

2003

I was depressed about this rejection. I dated an older woman who was interested in me but was no substitute. I eventually moved to the Portland area to work and live. I still had few plans and was lonely, in or out of the few brief relationships I attempted. I never found someone that I felt safe with or had a true connection, let alone true love. She ended up not following through with the Navy and continued working her way up in her job at the call center. She attended community college and dated a few guys. She dated one guy for a couple of years who was not a good match for her but stayed with him off and on despite issues. His family was wealthy and treated her well. He slept around on her as did she. At one point he gave her an STD. She also had an ongoing affair with a married man in the military that she went to high school with. He had a child and a wife with mental health issues. She was still hurting a lot at times and not always doing well.

2004

She reached out to me via email after two years of no contact. We emailed back and forth a couple times over the next few months. We talked about meeting up. We spoke on the phone and eventually met up in Portland. We had an amazing night getting to know each other again and work past the confusion of our earlier days of friendship. I realized that she did in fact like me before but since I was timid and trying to be proper and take things slowly she didn't understand my motives. She apologized for her actions at the party as well. She claimed she was in a really messed up place and was making bad choices at that time. Getting our feelings out in the open was good and she appreciated my attitude towards being slow to make moves on her when we first met. I was worried about falling for her based on our history but eventually I was determined to give it a shot. We soon after starting dating and being intimate. Our love was extremely powerful and beyond all others we had both experienced. She broke ties with other suitors and shortly after we talked about marriage and started planning a wedding for the next year.

I remember when we first held hands. We were so shakey and she was quivering on my couch as I had my arm around her. We felt so safe with each other. We could finally be ourselves and do what our hearts desired. We knew we were on to something new and so amazing. We were so patient with each other as we navigated our new love and emotional thresholds.

I remember when we saw Matisyahu in concert together. That was a once in a lifetime experience and a life-changing moment for us. I feel it set the tone for things to come in our future.

I remember how creative my proposal to her was, in the Arcade where we first met. I hid the ring in a prize container from one of those claw machines. Pretending I got the ring from inside by reaching into the machine on one knee I was so nervous and wasn't sure if I could pull it off before she caught on. She looked so shocked and surprised. I was so excited she said yes! We took pictures in the photo machine and had burgers afterwards, I'd do all of it all over again just to see her face in that moment.

2005

We found an apartment for us in Portland. I moved in while she was still living back with her parents until the wedding. She had to change her number because the married man she was previously involved with kept calling her about changing her mind about marriage and continuing their relationship. She was offered a job in Denver and we decided to move away together after our sandy wedding in Cannon Beach. I still had a very hard time and was embarrassed with my past history with her. Many of my friends knew what had happened at 19 and how much it hurt me but I was so crazy about her I think I tried to pretend it didn't happen or that it was not a big deal because we were younger. We got married and moved to Colorado soon after. We made friends at a church, I became more active as a Christian and really loved being married. We were very involved in keeping spirituality in our marriage. I began to notice her poor financial decisions and practices more. This caused conflict but we always tried to communicate and work on things.

I remember when we went down to my folks for New Year's in 2005. We sipped tea in my Datsun as we drove to the coast over the snowy mountain pass. We told them of our engagement. We were all so blissful and excited. We never knew what was to come. We didn't even know about the opportunity in Denver yet. Our story is amazing!

I remember when I wanted to go see her in Portland and the roads were iced over. I left my car at a park and ride before I caused a wreck. I took the light rail across town then rode a bus to the Eastside shopping mall. The bus to her house was not running because it wasn't safe so I walked the rest of the 4 Miles sometimes having to crawl on my hands and knees to make it up hills in the ice and then I finally made it only to just spend a couple hours with her and fall asleep on her parents couch. Her Dad drove us back the next morning to my car so I could get to work. It was all worth it just to see her for that little extra time. I would have done anything for her.

I remember when she was interviewing for the new position in Denver? I drove all over Portland trying to find little toy cars to help with her illustration about how a team is like a car having all four wheels and how they work together to accomplish a goal. I was so proud of her for giving it her all and succeeding at earning that position. Now that I think of it, that car analogy applies to our family and us. We all need each other to be better and keep on track and be a team. I am so motivated by that and our boys. I lose my way without that and I want to be her reflection and motivation as she has been that for me. I truly thought we brought out the best in each other when we were together.

I remember when we were given tickets to see Fiona Apple. That was so spontaneous and a great way to kick off our time in Denver together. We always used to watch our same movies over and over again. Like the Friends DVDs and White Christmas every winter break and The Wedding Singer. We walked everywhere and lived simply. "I wanna be the guy, who grows old with you"

I remember in our first Denver apartment when we took baths together in our claw foot tub in the big bathroom. We put a board over the top and played cards. I liked playing Uno with her in bed too. She was so funny being slightly color blind and in the dark, mixing up the greens and blues. We played Uno in Breckenridge too at that cool bed and breakfast in the fall.

2006

We had continued fun and adventure in our new home of Denver. She was doing well as a trainer for the bank and I started working in health foods. We went camping in New Mexico a couple times with friends and we both took individual trips to Oregon as well as one together for her uncle's wedding. We had marital spats on occasion but always bounced back. The issues we had seemed like part of a normal marriage and were far better than what I had grown up around. I realized that marriage was a lot of work but I was up for the task. She occasionally became aggressive throwing things at me or breaking things during conflict.  I believed I was the problem and tried to change for her in many ways. With two incomes we still had trouble making our bills at times. She had debts that I never knew about that started to catch up with us but I took care of getting them settled and we paid off her car and traded it for an older Volvo Wagon that we both loved, I even had it repainted her favorite color for a birthday gift. Overall things seemed like they were progressing in a positive way.

I remember when we saw Midnight in concert in Boulder. That was the peak of our hippy days. We were alive with pleasure in our healthy vegetarian diets and practices living in a time and place like no other. I want to be like that again. Reggae was our music. We had much in common.

2007

We really fell into our roles in our marriage and the community; church and culture, friends etc. Things seemed very balanced and appropriate for us at that time and that age (24-25). We had separate bank accounts and jobs. I had money in savings. We started the process of buying a house so we could invest in something. She became pregnant shortly after. I embraced the challenge with positive energy but we were both in for a big change. We started having more fights. I didn't have many friends and would write to old friends via social media just so I could to catch up and tell them things were going great with being married to make myself feel better than I actually did. She hated the dawn of social media and also felt isolated I'm sure. She felt I should be doing more for her and I didn't know how to do what she needed but I failed to ask a lot of the time. After one argument, she left the house. My instinct told me to look at ******* and ******* as a retaliation. I had not done this much once we were married because she always met my needs but when things were difficult between us I felt more emotionally isolated. She walked in and realized what I had been doing. She was very upset, and because she was pregnant, thought I was not attracted to her. The truth is I found her even more beautiful and in fact when I looked at ******* I tried to look at women I found less attractive than her so that I feel good about what I have. I mostly fantasized about how these women were more submissive and loving than her. That is the part I needed to feel good about and feel better about myself with because I felt very dominated and controlled. She has never forgiven me for this and I will never stop feeling sorry to her for my brokenness. During one particular argument that year she was getting close to being violent towards me again and I pushed her away on the chest with my fingertips. She got very mad and said I hurt her. I immediately felt terrible and apologized. I never let something like that happen again. I have always avoided violence towards others especially women and of course her. I was defenseless against physical and emotional abuse.

2008

Our eldest son was born at the beginning of the year, it was a traumatic birth for everyone. We wanted a natural birth with a midwife but we were transferred to a hospital and she ended up having an emergency C-section, nothing went as planned. We had a really hard time coping with the emotions of this experience. A lot of buried feelings and trauma from both of us started coming out. We moved a month later into our new home outside of town. No more walking or biking to places, we had to drive everywhere. This house was next to our friends from church. We thought this would make us feel less isolated but we didn’t really have the community with them that we had hoped for. They were upset that they didn't have a child of their own yet and being around us might have been hard for them. My wife stopped working and stayed home with our son. All these changes made for a very difficult time. I did my best to support them but this was the first time we shared a bank account and needed to follow a budget more than ever before. We had no debt at the beginning of the year with money in savings but then the hospital bills put us down about $7,000 and rising with new home and moving expenses and baby needs. My job could barely keep up. She and I had a hard time adjusting. We could not afford to travel home to Oregon and visit family as much and we felt more and more isolated. She started showing me more signs of instability, locking herself in the bathroom with kitchen knives and scraping her legs which continued off and on for years to come. Talks of divorce and suicide threats seemed to happen more than before. I felt responsible and tried to fix her ever changing issues with me.

I remember when herr ******* were full and swollen with milk. It is so beautiful the way she could feed our babies. I wanted her in every way, our bodies belonged to each other. I was there for her and our shared pleasure. I loved it when she told me that she was mine in the heat of passion. This spark could only be a bandage for so long but I didn't know that yet.

2009

I tried to promote within my company but was not selected, they were cutting budgets and employment all around me. I felt worried about our future. I had always thought the military might be a good opportunity and could move us closer to family back home. My father-in-law encouraged me to look into the Coast Guard. I felt this would be a good way to get moved closer to Oregon.  I ended up joining the Navy because we found out we were pregnant again with our second son and that was the only way I could join a military branch. She worked off and on as a nanny and later in the year at a coffee house working nights. We barely spent time together and when we did it was a lot of hard conversations or arguments about finances with making up intimately in the middle of the night between times of caring for the baby. She once scratched my neck with her fingernails during an argument. People I worked with noticed. It was a hard time and we knew change was on the horizon with jobs and moving. We did visit Oregon that summer though and had a great vacation at the beach with a borrowed 4x4 and staying at a hotel and picnicking out of a cooler as well as going to her brothers wedding. I was 26 and about to join the Navy to provide better for my family at all costs sacrificing myself for their benefit because I would have rather died than look like I didn't try my best for them.

I remember when our babies would kick and move around inside her belly. I loved laying by her and feeling her tummy. I would hum to the baby and hear them move and squirm. I loved giving our boys baths when they were babies too. We had our little bundles of our love, wrapped in a towel in our hands, so tiny and vulnerable. I miss those days and want to remember them with her, aside from this state of melancholy.

2010

The Navy recruiters would only take me if we rented out our home and had her stay with family during boot camp and training. We moved to a furnished apartment in Denver and put our things in storage. She was 5 months pregnant and our eldest was two. I shortly after was let go from my job. Our second son was born in April. I got a contract with the Navy at the last minute but didn't leave until August. We sold our beloved vehicles and lived off retirement funds for six months and moved down to Florida where her parents had just moved out of the blue for work, to stay with them until I left for boot camp. I applied for temporary work in Florida at a dozen places but had no luck in my three months there. I took care of our eldest a lot while she took care of the new baby. Being in Florida was a culture shock for us but we had our moments of romance and made the best of it. Eventually I left for boot camp in August. It was really hard and sad to be gone. She stayed in Florida and came to visit me with the baby at boot camp graduation in October. I then went to Connecticut for five months of training. It was also hard but at least I could call home every day and be in the same time zone. I visited Florida during the winter break and saw my boys and her. We went to Disney world and had a great time on her parents. We also made a romantic home movie I could enjoy while away from her. I flew back to Connecticut and tried to make the best of things. My roommate was very abusive of substances and I resisted the temptation for a long time but the threat of being submarine service bound and missing my family pushed me to drinking every weekend and getting messed up to escape before I left.

I remember when we drove to Key Largo, Florida and stopped at a crazy bird wildlife center. I remember our oldest was so amazed hearing a bird say hello back to us. It was so foreign and fun there. I am glad we all shared that experience together.

I remember our trip to the citrus grove in Florida. That was such a great day for our family. I always look back on that with really fond sentiment. I felt like I was in a beautiful family music video with them.

2011

I finished Submarine Training and got orders back to the Northwest. The plan was all coming together. I arrived first and bought a car and got our items moved from storage in Denver to our townhouse rental in Washington. She and the boys joined me a month later. I didn't report to my Sub for another month as they were at sea. She became pregnant again with our third son right after arriving. We had just bought a small car and were not planning on another child. Towards the end of the year I was working a lot and having a really hard time, being bullied and treated poorly at work plus our financial situation was still very difficult. Adjusting to the military was hard among younger men being 28. I dreaded each day in that environment but I tried to endure it for my family. I went to sea for a couple months at the end of the year stopping in Hawaii and California. During this time She reached out to her ex married affair partner after six years of no contact. She didn't tell me until later. She said she needed closure with him, we were not in counseling yet but she decided this was appropriate. I flew home early from sea and wanted to surprise her. The stress and trauma of this quick transition home after being to sea for the first time (which was also traumatic) made me want to drink and get messed up before flying. I arrived home and surprised her but I seemed off to her which I was but didn’t explain why, I have never done that since. I got to be home for two months almost work free while we celebrated the holidays and prepared for the new baby to be born. She started getting more involved with a church and building a community for us which was great. Our financial struggles almost led us to foreclosure of our home back in Colorado but by the grace of God we got it sold with a short sale just in time.

I remember when I came back from Hawaii and brought her a beaded necklace and she wore it naked with her big beautiful pregnant goddess belly and we made passionate hippy love together. I want to grow out my beard again and spend my life making hippy love and feeling free again.

2012

Our third son was born in January. It was a very positive birth experience and much less stressful than the other two. Shortly after I flew out to finish the other half of the deployment I had missed. I really focused on being positive and spiritually connected by reading my Bible at sea which was helpful. I called her when I arrived in Japan halfway through being gone. She was upset because she tested positive for an STD while trying to get on birth control. I became suspicious of her yet she was suspicious of me. We both got tested again and I was clean, she told me she had a false positive after all. This put a big strain on our trust, especially being so far away. This forced us to be honest with each other about some things such as her contact with her ex lover and my drinking to cope. We were both very upset until I returned home and we could start some counseling to work through things. Forgiveness seemed to be difficult for us. It brought up hurts of the past when we were 19. She also had severe postpartum depression that became worse after each birth. I was still having a hard time with work and the submarine environment. Our church friends tried to counsel us but it was not the most helpful. My submarine was scheduled for extended repairs and not going to sea for three years, I would be transferred before the end of that period. I used this time to bond with her and my boys. I wanted to get better involved in our community and do volunteer work and side jobs to earn extra money. Our boys were all given diagnosis's for autism which begun to fill our lives with appointments and challenges for years to come but we were a good team in dealing with all of it. It gave us something to work together on but took our focus away from working on our own personal issues and relationship with each other as much as we should have.

2013

We had new years with both sides of our family in a snowy mountain setting in Oregon. It looked like it was going to be a great year until her Grandpa passed away suddenly. It ripped our entire family apart but especially her. He kept the family grounded and she was very close to him, he really loved all of us. She and I started going on dates again because we had Navy sponsored child care. It was the beginning of a really good thing for us. Tragically one night after a date we were dancing with the boys on the patio and I tried to pick her up and I lost my balance and fell on her, breaking her collar bone severely. She needed surgery and was very mad at me for years to come. She has a scar, a metal plate and numbness in her chest. We worked through it with our community from church but she still is very mad at me. I feel more terrible about this incident than she could ever know. I would lose a finger in place of that incident if I could. I continued having a really hard time in the Navy and I didn't want to stay in but She insisted our boys needed care only the Navy could offer. She also said she would divorce me if I ever left the Navy. I took this threat seriously even though she assured me later that she would never actually do that. Against my own convictions I reenlisted because I wanted to do the best thing for my family. We moved into base housing at the end of summer and didn’t go out to do things as much anymore. The house was nice but it ****** us in, we also had less community with people around our home. I started volunteering at church more and doing work with special needs people. I felt like I was doing good things and that I had purpose all around. I think she appreciated this about me.

2014

We started seeing a professional counselor together and individually. It became a regular event. I worked on myself and she worked on herself. I had a lot of issues with my Mom and eventually broke off communication with her for my own well-being and the betterment of my family. I got past a lot of the bad feelings I had. She worked on her traumatic experiences and our relationship dynamics. Just when things were going well I got a new boss who made things hard for me and others at work and I started messing up more. I got in trouble for messing up a job at work and was given strike one on my record. She lost respect for me as a provider but I tried to stay strong showing her that I would continue to do my best.

I remember when we had an appointment in Tacoma and we had a brunch date together afterwards. She looked so beautiful that day, I took her picture and was so proud to enjoy  huevos rancheros and momosas with her. I remember going to the Tacoma Art Museum seeing the Georgia O’Keefe exhibit, we have a great time together doing new things and feeding each other's interests. I loved laughing with her too, sometimes we just bust up like nobody's around. I loved the sound of her laughter. I loved watching Portlandia with her, it is so funny to remember the funny place where we became close and be able to relate together.

2015

I kept working hard and being involved with family and appointments for my boys and her. I still maintained my volunteer work and part time side jobs. I got strike two with the Navy for messing up again... I had just gained orders to leave the sub for local shore duty. I could not get out of the extended repair situation soon enough. She was very disappointed in me and not so understanding. I worked through this situation with our counselor as did she. He always told her I am a good man and that I do a lot for her and the boys. It's true, I care more than anything about them, I made mistakes and I feel bad especially when I cause my family stress. I left for shore duty in April. It was a hard time adjusting to the new routine but eventually we seemed to make it work. That summer we took a trip to visit Texas where her parents had just moved from Florida. We spent a great night together for our 10th anniversary in a hotel in Texas and went dancing. We had a lot more time together as my work schedule was less. The more people we had in our home working with our kids on issues the less useful my input seemed. I was not included as much in making family decisions because they all seemed to happen while I was at work, despite my objections. We tried to get our budget under control but she still had anxiety discussing spending. She continued to struggle with depression and was put on medication because she had still been harming herself. She was put on Prozac daily and anti anxiety medication as needed. He family members were not very supportive of medication which upset her but I always tried to be supportive in seeking help and continued care for both of us.

2016

We had a busy routine of kids in school now and home school and preschool and appointments for all of us. She wanted to go to church less and less. I started drinking a couple beers at night almost every day. I tried to mask my stress from her mood swings. She decided not to go to church at all anymore and focused teaching the boys about Jewish traditions exclusively which was hard for me to adjust to and confusing for the boys. I loved her and wanted to be supportive. As usual I was submissive and removed myself from the Christian church and some friendships. I feel like we lost our community at that point. We searched for a good place to have a new community with Jewish people but it was like starting over. I felt like I converted to Christianity for her when we got together and now I had to convert again, either way I would have done it for her because I loved her that much. The kids were confused by this change. After trying and failing at many synagogues we finally found one that seemed right for us.

2017

We finally had some money in savings because I kept it a secret and ended up planning a trip to visit her parents in Texas but it fell through due to lack of military flights. Instead we spent three nights away in a nice hotel resort as a family in February. We had three days of pure family time. Playing Battleship and other games in our room as a family, watching movies and eating at all the different restaurants and getting room service. Going swimming everyday in the foggy pool. I love our family and how we can have a great time together doing nothing but at the same time so much. That was so peaceful and relaxing. I wanted to keep doing things like that together as a family before our boys got too old. Shortly after this vacation she wanted to go back to school, then we bought a third vehicle so she could. Shortly after this she changed her mind about school and wanted to buy another house instead. I went along with it to please her and we practically killed ourselves trying to get the move accomplished with not much help or money. We had a good year over all. We got away for a romantic anniversary together in the summer. Just before the boys were going to start public school in the fall, her parents moved back to the area. She had anxiety with this and cut off contact with her parents and brothers for a while. Her Dad called me very upset and I tried to keep the peace until they reconciled. I was doing better with work and made up for lost progress as well as making arrangements to change jobs in the Navy to something more fitting. Since the boys started public school, I planned on leaving for Navy training in my new position after the beginning of the new year when they would be at a more settled place in their routine.

I remember when we went to the Olympic Club for our anniversary and we stayed there for a night away. We drove the long way through the countryside talking about new music that she wanted to share with me and she made notes of it on my phone notepad. We brought our own cooler and picnic that included Session Lagers and chocolate. We checked in to our room and made noisy bohemian love on the edge of the creaky bed in our small European room inches from the door. Then we went to the theater downstairs and watched the late showing of a really interesting Sci-fi movie "Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets". We took showers and slept sweetly together. We made love again in the morning before we had a delicious brunch outside on the patio. We took the long way home and drove around on new roads and found our way out of cell phone reception. We figured out the road less traveled to get back to our home. We loved being alone and away together, just one night can make such a difference and mean so much.

I remember going to the Forest Theater to see Tarzan with our boys. That was such a great time. I would love to get our boys into theater and go see them someday. I wanted to keep our dreams and goals together alive and not lose opportunity and fall short by losing our partnership.

I loved going camping in Seabeck. Loading the truck with all our gear and getting away. Archer got sick from the cowboy caviar and I had to clean him and the tent up in the night. I was glad we had each other to be a team in our marriage in that situation as with all the other times. These sorts of things are what escape a person's mind when they are determined to get a divorce.

2018

We had a lot less money than the year before, again buying a house took its toll on finances as did the boys school and after school activities. I stayed very involved taking the boys to appointments and sporting practices. We stopped going to synagogue but tried to practice Judaism at home as much as possible, which I was very supportive of and involved with. She was still depressed and talking about suicide at times. I encouraged her to get help as I always had. Eventually she was diagnosed as Bipolar 2 and manic depressive by a new provider. She started taking new medicine for this and was worried I would want to leave her. I assured her I would never leave her and that I always wanted to work on things with her and help her. I left for training in Mississippi February 8th. It was going to be hard but I thought it might be good to have some time apart from each other to miss one another and reflect on things as well as prepare for times when I would be away at sea. I got in trouble in Mississippi for giving junior personnel a ride and being negligent of people who might be underage and possibly drinking, this became strike three. I never thought this could happen. I became recommend for separation from the Navy shortly after and was stuck in Mississippi for six months instead of six weeks. She was supportive through most of it but seemed to fall into hopelessness. Money was spent by her that we didn't have without discussion. She quietly leased appliances and tires and purchased a vehicle as well as having a secret bank account and email address. I discovered through our insurance company that she wanted to leave our policy for divorce. I didn't know this and she had even told the boys she wanted a divorce before I even knew. I was caught off guard and confused. I kept trying to communicate and reason with her but she didn't want to talk. I refused to give up and wrote emails and a letter but it only seemed to push her away further. By the time I left Mississippi she had filed for divorce and a restraining order against me saying I was unstable and a threat. I couldn't return to my home. My whole life fell apart in just a couple months. I found out she had been talking to other men in the Navy and keeping more secrets. I assumed this was her way of taking control during a difficult situation. I really needed her support during this hard time of transition out of the military. I became homeless, jobless and without my family in a month. I prayed to God that given time things might change between us but it was of no use. Bipolar had consumed whatever was left of my bride and there was no turning back.

I felt that our love was not one to be cast away. Other people might not understand or agree but what we had was truly special. We may have surely needed some time and space to get counseling as well as reconfigure and repair our marriage but I didn't feel like our relationship was irretrievably broken. She was so important to me and I thought she was the love of my life and would always have my heart. I wanted to be her partner in love and life, watching our boys grow up and being there to support each other. Being that she is Bipolar I knew she will need a lot of help and I was more than willing to assist her in making sure she was taking care of herself and not throwing herself into harm's way, ensuring she sticks with a plan we agree to for consistency. I cared about her deeply and had much compassion for her. I didn't believe she was thinking this through or thinking about the future. I really wanted to look at the long and short game with her, neither seemed appealing to me if we progressed but here we are. Things are not going to be easier. She will still have to face her problems and deal with me on a regular basis for the rest of our lives no matter what happens. She can believe her lawyer when they promise she'll get the moon and stars out of this in the end but they only see half of the story. Above all they want our money. It would have been good for her to face me in person and tell me she wanted to divorce and we could have started talking about it with a counselor to figure out how that could even work. Instead she chose to avoid as much responsibility for her actions as possible by doing everything in my absence as if I am not a real person. I had to find out about it from our insurance company and was last to know.

Immediately after I hear the word divorce I looked into her cell usage history and find she has a new military boyfriend that she talks to 20-30 times a day. She felt she owed me no explanation for this and it was none of my business. A mature person would have let me know about this months before and I would have seen it coming but there was no sign until it was seemingly too late. She strayed down a dark path and never turned back.

Her proposed parenting plan was cruel and had no thought put into it. Two hours a week with supervision, no holidays but father's day? She said she’s not trying to keep me from the kids but this is the exact opposite of what she’s saying with the paperwork she filed. She seems very mixed up and still you continues to make rash and sudden choices. Like a completely bogus restraining order against me that contradicts so many facts she has stated herself on record during my Navy retention process. She was so bold as to want to change her identity and even put it in ink on the divorce paperwork as well to a whole new name. That is not the actions of a stable person. She has since changed her mind again on that just as quickly as everything else in her recent life choices. I can't trust that any decisions she is making right now are for the right reasons or that she is of sound mind. I have never seen her so conflicted and confused, grasping at straws and running scared from herself.

Using the legal system so carelessly and going back and forth makes me feel like she is not ready to be making big choices and changes for her and our family. It is very unfair that she can’t consider my feelings on things and what I wish for the boys as well. Very reckless behavior. She can’t anticipate that the day would come where she has to face me and talk to me like an adult. She wants to hide behind the legal system which only leaves much to be unresolved. Ghosting me is not really an option in a marriage of 13 years with children.

Having relationship conversations is too difficult for her at this time and she would rather avoid it and skip to divorce because she thinks that will somehow be easier. I suspect she knows she is making poor choices, possibly out of fear and lust for something new and less painful than the reality of things right now. Our marriage was nowhere close to divorce when I left. She was sad to see me leave and woke with me at 3:30 am to say goodbye, making me coffee and cookies for me to take with.

Our community and accountability seems to be gone due to the continued trend of isolation that she is drawn to. The God fearing loving committed wife I thought I had is gone or trapped inside a terrified shell of herself. She cut me off from her family members and I can't discuss my concerns about her with them either. She only seems to have community with those who are not going to discourage her from these destructive choices.

I understand we have had issues and struggles but we are no worse off than other couples during challenging times. I think that because we loved each other so much it just hurt more when things got hard. I can't accept or believe this is justified or the right choice based on the positive trend we were on before I left. This was the longest break we have ever had from each other and I think she just needed someone to be there more for her, no matter who it was. Time can heal all wounds and I hope that is true for our relationship as co-parents.

She still refuses to tell me about why she wanted a divorce or talk about anything beyond caring for the kids. I have fought the restraining and I can see my boys again but I am still not allowed to my home without her permission.

I have risen from the ashes in just a couple months. I rent a room from a nice couple from our old church and obtained a good paying job while I continue paying the household bills.

This is a really hard time, this difficult spell could have been a tool to better our relationship. I wanted to experience more beautiful memories with her. We had so many more beautiful memories and dreams left to create. This is what marriage looks like to me now as I lower the casket.
This is a timeline of the major events during my 13 year marriage. Amidst the reality, I injected all the lovely memories that refuse to leave my mind.
Meghan O'Neill Apr 2014
Gay
An open letter
To all the pieces of ****
Who use gay as an insult.
You really need to stop
Pretending that you are better
Than someone else
Because you prefer to
Put your **** in a different place.
You really need to stop
Pretending that being straight
Makes you more worthwhile.
You really need to stop
Pretending that "no ****"
Is an acceptable thing to say
Ever.
You really need to stop
Pretending that you're not afraid
That a man will look at you
The same way you look at women
You really need to stop.

Gay means happy
A ****** is a bundle of sticks
And you are homophobic.
Miranda Huff Jun 2017
Hey, pretending man,
Do you like kissing my neck?
Is it tasty?
I didn't know shadows could taste.

Hey, pretending man,
Do you know why I'm lonely?
Are you able to feel my sensation?
I didn't know shadows could feel.

Hey, pretending man,
Can you say those words again?
The ones where I follow,
Into your ending.

Hey, pretending man,
Can you touch those places again?
I know I'll grow and sink into the ground,
But I want this.

Pretending man,
I'm ready to conceal a worry,
And a wish,
And always miss,
The tangible things.
cher Jun 2017
it’s all a lie, how i say i’m
a writer; i’m a fraud, and none of it is
mine. my pieces are edited over and
over, occasionally by those who’re
adequate,
intelligent,
with genuine talent,
but i’m just a fraud, a fraud with a
vocab, a fraud pretending they possess skills.


    my first real crime: i applied for a writing course-- i guess stanford didn’t see how my fiction wasn’t just me, and it was jenny, my good friend jenny who edited this piece-- made it worthy of  praise, worthy of pride, worthy of
stanford.
i remember that morning, a sunday in may, my phone waking me in vexation, and with a grudge i pick it up, reading jenny, my good friend jenny say: cher, i got in, i ****** got in, check your god ****** email. now.

congratula

  *******, i can only internally scream, it’s
all a lie.
    i’m not who they think  am, i’m
a fraud, a really good
fraud, a fraud who
deceived not only stanford but also
       themselves, a fraud with
too much pride     so they
forced themselves to apply. i don’t deserve
any of this, at all. i faked my skills, my
     piece isn’t mine, it’s all a lie, i’m not
adequate,
intelligent,
with genuine talent,
cause i’m just a fraud, a fraud with a
vocab, a fraud pretending they possess skills.


     and another time: on the flight to san francisco, it sank in-- how i’d be stretched thin, pretending and acting and deceiving a professor, a real stanford professor, how there was no way in hell i’d be nearly as good, i was misunderstood cause i wasn’t anybody, you see, i’m just me; a sad, short, fool; like i was once again the sad and  anxious kid alone in
preschool.
then in a blur, i’m checking in, these students sitting here all assured and then there’s me, o me, about to be marked as an absentee because apparently they see me as an equal, an equal who was at the very least
adequate,
intelligent,
with genuine talent,
but i’m just a fraud, a fraud with a
vocab, a fraud pretending they possess skills.


this is insane,
i can’t stay in this house full of writing
   students, they’re almost like mutants,
writers are an absolutely crazy
lot, they’ll give me  a blood clot and
whatnot. well, maybe the expository bunch
will be alright, but that’s just a hunch. my
concern is with the creative crew,
         cause everyone knows the
            most catastrophic murders are
creative.  they know no bounds, they’ll write
whatever to the grave, their poetry so sharp
it could ****, and i know,
just from looking at them that, well,
i’m *******, cause i’m not at all
adequate,
intelligent,
with genuine talent,
and i’m just a fraud, a fraud with a
vocab, a fraud pretending they possess skills.



     and now a paradigm: i’m in class, my first class with twelve others, and next to me, my friend jenny, my good friend jenny, sat quietly, and in my chair i’m in internal warfare-- my head reeling, face flushing, all sorts of anxious feelings. so we’re waiting for the prof, and the moment he shows up i’m about to throw up because i know i’ll make myself out to be the weakling, the pleb, the imbecile amongst the others and i feel like a criminal. matthew, the prof, gives us five minutes to write, and all i could write was a pathetic seventeen syllables, and it truly was terrible, something like:

we are born as light
and struggle not to drown in dark
but it’s all for naught

  and i clearly remember his face, that expression showing subtly that i was a disgrace when i recited that haiku, and i felt as if that that was my cue; to leave, that is, but i couldn’t. and so i sat in class for the next three hours hanging my head in shame, because i knew that i wasn’t
adequate,
intelligent,
with genuine talent,
and i’m just a fraud, a fraud with a
vocab, a fraud pretending they possess skills.
i wrote this for school and it won?? it's been made into a short film!!
it was based on a true story, i really did go to stanford and feel like a fraud
LN Oct 2014
Eighteen years have passed me
I still marvel at picturesque clouds
They pass us overhead, with grace, like the ground they face isn’t rotten.

Find me that girl who smiles every day
Exchanging her three am thoughts
Into golden plated words that are beautiful
They belong in her poems.
Sadness stained cheeks covered in blush
She’s so lovely, people think
but she’s just glad her mascara is waterproof.

My grandmother has dainty hands, unlike mine
and I was jealous.
until I realized that they were covered in blood
years before I was born and knew what pain was,
making a living and treating her blisters at the same time.
Six children but it used to be eight before two passed away
“Sofian, he died before your grandfather by a few years”
Her heart broken in half and tears encrusted in her skin
But she still has delicate and pretty hands right?

People say they love one another,
But I can’t even count the knives on their backs anymore,
There are too many.

When I find myself in solitude,
I subsequently lose myself in thought.

You know,
I am ashamed.
These angels that watch us every day
I know they weep at our state
And I am done pretending it’s fine.

This is a world where the ground shakes in anger,
The sky cries out of despair
And the air thickens out of confusion
I am all of nature’s catastrophies
In the shape of a woman.

You will see me in the corner
Praying for lost souls
Including my own
Hoping that one day we’ll reunite in a place
Where words don’t drip blood
And authors find that writing is easier when happy
But for now, we can’t get enough of pretending.
annie l hayes Oct 2017
i had mastered the art of pretending
pretending like i didn’t care.
pretending like i was happy.
pretending like it didn’t matter.
‘hold it in,’ and
‘show a soft smile,’ i’d say.
‘let out a little laugh,’
i’d tell myself.

but what i realized was that
my soul was trying desperately
to express itself,
and bottling it up
and holding it in
was slowly destroying me.

so say you are desperately falling for him.
tell that girl her comment was uncalled for.
cry when you’re having a horrible day.
your emotions are raw expressions of your soul-
don’t you harbor them silently inside.

/master of pretending/
I'm always pretending
It's the one part of youth I refuse to let go of
Holding on to it with the same grip which a child holds her mother's hand
Unaware of the firmness in my grasp

I pretend without realization
only to break suddenly from my fantasies and daydreams
In a confused daze that is reality
And wherever I may physically reside, my true home seems to be in my head

I pretend to be more than I am
I pretend to be more than I realistically can be
I pretend to be other people
To be someone I'm not

I'm always pretending
Always imagining, re-engineering, altering
I'm always pretending
and never accepting what's been given to me
Never accepting reality
SMS Feb 2019
Pretending that tomorrow
Will be better than today
Pretending in the future
You’ll actually want to live
Pretending some part of you
Actually really matters
Pretending you care about
Your self destructive habits
Pretending you want
To be better, to get better.
Pretending you’re normal
Average, happy, and content
Raj Arumugam Oct 2010
Sorry - login failed....
OK...easy - of course it's me;
I’m authentic, not me pretending to be me
or someone else pretending to be me
or me pretending to be Swine Poet;
no, it’s not
Swim Goggles masquerading as Noodles Mee;
or Pretty Pig pretending to be Ugly Duckling;
so let’s try again – it’s easy…sure, I know my password….
OK….
Sorry – login failed….
OK…
it’s easy....I’ll give you my username
and here’s password…Enter…here we go…
Sorry – login failed….
Hey! You’re joking with me, right?
you know it’s me, and you’re just kidding, right?
What?
If at first you don’t succeed – try, try again…
OK, OK…let’s go again….
Sorry – login failed….
Hey, man – or woman, this is serious…
Oh I see – my thick fingers
might have landed on 9 instead of 8
and on g instead of f –
you see? It’s me….I’ll try and use my most slender fingers
and avoid my thick fingers…
Knock and the door shall be opened…
OK…here we go…username…hmmmmm….easy now….
slender fingers, remember….OK….password….careful now….
use slender fingers only….Enter! Yipppppeeeeee!
Sorry - login failed....
Hey- it appears I’m thick-headed as well!
Come on – give me a chance!
It’s almost like being denied at Heaven’s doors!
I’m having an identity crisis here, baby!
You want to see me have a breakdown and
send me to a madhouse, or what?
All right, all right…cool down…easy….easy…calm…
Take a deep breath….
Username…OK….slender fingers, now…eyes on keyboard…
…Password….slender fingers, remember….eyes on keyboard….
Now, all good….I think….Want to say a prayer?
Come on – it’s not that serious….Alright….ENTER!
Yes – I’m in! Hey guys – here I am!
on the pleasures of logging in at internet sites
Wyatt Apr 2016
Your eyes, my eyes.
My face sees your face.
My cheeks turn red
and I look away.
Stupid, stupid feelings.
I don't even know you.
Why is it like this?

Your eyes, my eyes.
My face sees your face.
Pretending I'm not here,
there's no trace.
Stupid, stupid me.
I don't even know what to do.
When did ever it get like this?

Your eyes, my eyes.
My face sees your face.
My cheeks turn red
and I look away.
I look away.
David Nelson Jun 2013
Pretending

I can no longer pretend I am fine
that my empty heart will be okay
I tried to make it easy hold the line
while my loneliness dug inside more every day
did I make it too easy for you
easy for you to turn and walk
I pretended that it did not matter
that we would hardly ever talk
I knew things got harder in so many ways
we became strangers passing in the night
I hoped for your return for so many days
your eyes in my mind when I turned off the light
I know there is nothing I can do
there is no way to make things change
I just wish I could stop thinking about you
no longer pretending
no longer pretending

Gomer LePoet ....
Gwen Johnson Jan 2013
Broken and pretending
Lost in nothing
Winning by default
losing by rule
Can’t stop the patterns
Nothing is cool
Can’t stop pretending
Now who are you?
jeffrey robin Dec 2015
.

See!


::

A bunch of ******* actors
Pretending to be politicians


_


Hear !


::

The ******* actors
Pretending to be politicians

Pretending to know

The history of AMERICA

And what it's true values are !

( geez / who cudda guessed ? )

----


Hey !


::

Now the ******* actors
Pretending to be politicians

Are asking us

To be in on it

And pretend to be citizens and

"Vote " for them !

( ain't dat swell ! )

NO !

--


And then the ******* actors
Pretending to politicians

Pretend to count the pretend vote

And one of them pretends to be president

And we pretend we care

And we all scream

HURRAY FOR DEMOCRACY !


::

And then it's over

And our REAL RULERS

hidden in the darkness

Resume enslaving us

And we become

Little slave laborers again

And the pretending is done



.
It wasn’t supposed to be like this.
I wasn’t supposed to fall so hard
I wasn’t supposed to call out for your arms in the night
And my lips weren’t supposed to search for yours
As if they would actually be there.
I wasn’t supposed to nuzzle into my pillow at night
pretending that your hands were nestled in my hair
I wasn’t supposed to make small talk
just so I could hypnotize myself with that something in your eyes
I wasn’t supposed to wake up cold in the gray morning
with the strong urge to be bruised and bitten
In fits of slow, languid passion.

Unreal how our bodies match and move together,
Uncanny how our minds meld and play in synch.
My youthful love for life,
Your chuckling maturity, still unsure what life is.

Now I play soft ballads full of aching, yearning,
I can wrap myself in a blanket on the floor
With a mug of tea, and think silently on you
And the shadows I wish I could conjure into existence…
They live inside, dancing to burst free from our guilty bodies
Too ethereal, too beautiful, to be abandoned
When we (artists) know we live for such wonders.

I wish I had any other option but forgetting,
or descending into madness.
(I’m currently choosing madness..?)

And it wasn’t supposed to be like this.
I wasn’t supposed to fall so hard.
I’m so sorry,
My summer love.
08/31/12




Written for N, and a cold morning in an empty house up Chumstick Highway.
Tanay Sengupta Jul 2018
Rain on me,
I have been longing to be free.
Lost in my world, needlessly.

Rain on me,
I am tired of fighting but I will not sleep.
I refuse to be reigned and I refuse to be a sheep.

Rain on me
and show me the way.
This place is empty and I cannot stay.

Rain on me
because it has been too long.
I am sick and tired of pretending to be strong.

Rain on me,
I want to see the lightning pierce the sky.
As the thunder roars and the clouds fly.

Rain on me.
Let the winds take my mind to another land.
No one needs to know and no one needs to understand.







Tanay Sengupta, Copyright © 2018. All Rights Reserved.
I came up with this while I was watching the rain from my window, a few days back. I hope you like it.
Storm Raven Jul 2015
For some reason I can't stop pretending that I am alright.
I can't break the illusion that I am fine.
I think I am just scared that when I stop pretending it might never go away.
I am afraid it will get even more real.
But how then can I make you see that I am not okay when I don't dare to admitt.
I need help but don't dare to ask for it.
Why am I so scared of showing how I feel?
I wish I knew...
Lydia May 2018
"But what if we're wrong?"
It was silent
But her thoughts echoed around in my head as we laid on top of her pickup truck
I swatted at the eighteenth mosquito chewing on my leg
I don't want this to be love

We were tangled up in the acoustic music they play on the radio on Sunday mornings
She was trying to dream up something clever to write about
And I was pretending I could learn to play guitar through osmosis,
As if blending myself in with the harmonies, finding her in every lyric, and sheer willpower would give me wings or at least magic guitar hands

She set the alarm, checked it over and over
She was not going to be late for her first day
I told her I'd be asleep when she got home, she told me she knew
I told her to wake me up

I wasn't looking for perfect
Perfect really only applies in first year physics courses
After that, we learn to fall in love with "rough around the edges" or "unique" or "unfinished"
As if their life is a puzzle that we need to complete
Just so you know, it isn't

She bought me breakfast and dropped me off
She used to tell me she loved me, but I know she didn't
She does now, so she doesn't have to say it anymore
When I said, "love," before, I didn't really mean it
Not like I mean loving the garden on the balcony of her apartment or thunderstorms in May
Even if I was a puzzle that she completed (and I'm not saying that I am), we didn't need any glue to fit perfectly
The support on this poem has been unbelievably incredible. I am so grateful for this community with all of these lovely people :)

Please comment :)
I'm the shadow
Casted by the sun,
Feeling small
As the day's begun.

I watch people
With nameless faces
Go places
With no destination,
No purpose.

I watch them with
Bruised ribcages
And flowers blooming from their arms,
Pretending to be a part
Of the crowd,
Pretending to fit in.

Their hearts are shattered to dust,
But they fix it
With stiches and staples that turned to rust,
Pretending all the pieces fit

Their shirts are filled
With pins and needles,
that poke their skin
Pretending not to notice
The emptiness filling in.

But I stay put.
My shadow is too small to notice,
Too scared to move.
My mind is almost as broken as theirs,
But my door is fully open,
Not pretending.
Val Graz Jul 2018
Mommy I'm sorry I manipulate you for,
The alcohol I feel I love more,
And Daddy I'm sorry I pretend I'm naive,
About all of my bad deeds,
I tried so hard to stay dry,
But the rain it pours inside,
I'm drowning in my own self,
I'm suffocating with my mental health,
And I try, I try so hard,
To be who you care for,
The girl who laughs just cause she can,
Who asks for hugs before bed,
But I'm not her anymore,
And I'll never be moving forward,
But really I'm just someone,
Who feels way too much at once,
I cry at night when I'm all alone,
Dancing with my demons on my own,

Please don't hate me, I couldn't survive,
I do that enough for myself, and I can no longer hide,
That I don't have a problem with substances,
That I can recognize when I've had enough of them,

I'm so tired of pretending it's under control,
This feeling of alcohol that sings in my soul,
The cough syrup that makes my shaky thoughts,
Become shaky feet, legs, and hands,
I'd rather feel physically ill,
Than continue to be mentally unwell,
So I will continue to veer off the tracks,
And spin out of control, it's just a fact,
I have no sense of when to stop,
Please don't make me stop,
It's so hard to be in my own head,
Every day it's like a death,
I die a bit, a piece of me fades away,
And I'm sorry to inform you, to say,
I'm not okay, I'm just not alright,
With myself I will continue to fight,

Please don't hate me, I couldn't survive,
I do that enough for myself, and I can no longer hide,
That I don't have a problem with substances,
That I can recognize when I've had enough of them.
1969 Hartford art school is magnet for exceedingly intelligent over-sensitive under-achievers alluring freaks congenital creeps and anyone who cannot cut it in straight world it is about loners dreamers stoners clowns cliques of posers competing to dress draw act most outrageous weird wonderful classrooms clash in diversity of needs some students get it right off while others require so much individual attention one girl constantly raises her hand calls for everything to be repeated explained creativity is treated as trouble and compliance to instruction rewarded most of faculty are of opinion kids are not capable of making original artwork teachers discourage students from dream of becoming well-known until they are older more experienced only practiced skilled artists are competent to create ‘real art’ defined by how much struggle or multiple meanings weave through the work Odysseus wants to make magic boxes without knowing or being informed of Joseph Cornell one teacher tells him you think you’re going to invent some new color the world has never seen? you’re just some rowdy brat from the midwest with a lot of crazy ideas and no evidence of authenticity another teacher warns you’re nothing more than a bricoleur! Odysseus questions what’s a bricoleur teacher informs a rogue handyman who haphazardly constructs from whatever is immediately available Odysseus questions what’s wrong with that? teacher answers it’s low-class folk junk  possessing no real intellectual value independently he reads Marshall McLuhan’s “The Medium Is The Message” and “The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci” he memorizes introductory remark of Leonardo’s “i must do like one who comes last to the fair and can find no other way of providing for himself than by taking all the things already seen by others and not taken by reason of their lesser value” Odysseus dreams of becoming accomplished important artist like Robert Rauschenberg Jasper Johns Andy Warhol he dreams of being in eye of hurricane New York art scene he works for university newspaper and is nicknamed crashkiss the newspaper editor is leader in student movement and folk singer who croons “45 caliber man, you’re so much more than our 22, but there’s so many more of us than you” Odysseus grows mustache wears flower printed pants vintage 1940’s leather jacket g.i. surplus clothes he makes many friends his gift for hooking up with girls is uncanny he is long haired drug-crazed hippie enjoying popularity previously unknown to him rock bands play at art openings everyone flirts dances gets ****** lots of activism on campus New York Times dubs university of Hartford “Berkeley of the east coast” holding up ******* in peace sign is subversive in 1969 symbol of rebellion youth solidarity gesture against war hawks rednecks corporate America acknowledgment of potential beyond materialistic self-righteous values of status quo sign of what could be in universe filled with incredible possibilities he moves in with  painting student one year advanced named Todd Whitman Todd has curly blond hair sturdy build wire rimmed glasses impish smile gemini superb draftsman amazing artist Todd emulates Francisco de Goya and Albrecht Durer Todd’s talent overshadows Odysseus’s Todd’s dad is accomplished professor at distinguished college in Massachusetts to celebrate Odysseus’s arrival Todd cooks all day preparing spaghetti dinner when Odysseus arrives home tripping on acid without appetite Todd is disappointed Odysseus runs down to corner store buys large bottle of wine returns to house Todd is eating spaghetti alone they get drunk together then pierce each other’s ears with needles ice wine cork pierced ears are outlaw style of bad *** bikers like Hell’s Angels Todd says you are a real original Odys and funny too Odysseus asks funny, how? Todd answers you are one crazy ******* drop acid whenever you want smoke **** then go to class this is fun tonight Odys getting drunk and piercing our ears Odysseus says yup i’m having a good time too Todd and Odysseus become best friends Odysseus turns Todd on to Sylvia Plath’s “The Bell Jar” and “Ariel” then they both read Ted Hughes “Crow” illustrated with Leonard Baskin prints Todd turns Odysseus on to German Expressionist painting art movement of garish colors emotionally violent imagery from 1905-1925 later infuriating Third ***** who deemed the work “degenerate” Odysseus dives into works of Max Beckmann Otto Dix Conrad Felixmulller Barthel Gilles George Grosz Erich Heckel Ernst Ludwig Kirchner Felix Nussbaum Karl *******Rottluff Carl Hofer August Macke Max Peckstein Elfriede Lohse-Wachtler Egon Shiele list goes on in 1969 most parents don’t have money to buy their children cars most kids living off campus either ride bikes or hitchhike to school then back home on weekends often without a penny in their pockets Odysseus and Todd randomly select a highway and hitch rides to Putney Vermont Brattleboro Boston Cape Cod New York City or D.C. in search of adventure there is always trouble to be found curious girls to assist in Georgetown Odysseus sleeps with skinny girl with webbed toes who believes he is Jesus he tries to dissuade her but she is convinced

Toby Mantis is visiting New York City artist at Hartford art school he looks like huskier handsomer version of Ringo Starr and women dig him he builds stretchers and stretches canvases for Warhol lives in huge loft in Soho on Broadway and Bleeker invites Odysseus to come down on weekends hang out Toby takes him to Max’s Kansas City Warhol’s Electric Circus they wander all night into morning there are printing companies longshoremen gays in Chelsea Italians in West Village hippies playing guitars protesting the war in Washington Square all kinds of hollering crazies passing out fliers pins in Union Square Toby is hard drinker Odysseus has trouble keeping up  he pukes his guts out number of times Odysseus is *** head not drinker he explores 42nd Street stumbles across strange exotic place named Peep Show World upstairs is large with many **** cubicles creepy dudes hanging around downstairs is astonishing there are many clusters of booths with live **** girls inside girls shout out hey boys come on now pick me come on boys there are hundreds of girls from all over the world in every conceivable size shape race he enters dark stall  puts fifty cents in coin box window screen lifts inside each cluster are 6 to 10 girls either parading or glued to a window for $1 he is allowed to caress kiss their ******* for $2 he is permitted to probe their ****** or *** for $10 girl reaches hand into darkened stall jerks him off tall slender British girl thrills him the most she says let me have another go at your dickey Odysseus spends all his money ******* 5 times departing he notices men from every walk of life passing through wall street stockbrokers executives rednecks mobsters frat boys tourists fat old bald guys smoking thick smelly cigars Toby Mantis has good-looking girlfriend named Lorraine with long brown hair Toby Lorraine and Odysseus sit around kitchen table Odysseus doodles with pencil on paper Toby spreads open Lorraine’s thighs exposing her ****** to Odysseus Lorraine blushes yet permits Toby to finger her Odysseus thinks she has the most beautiful ****** he has ever seen bulging pelvic bone brown distinctive bush symmetric lips Toby and Lorraine watch in amusement as Odysseus gazes intently Tony mischievously remarks you like looking at that ***** don’t you? Odysseus stares silently begins pencil drawing Lorraine’s ****** his eyes darting back and forth following day Lorraine seduces Odysseus while Toby is away walks out **** from shower she is few years older her body lean with high ******* she directs his hands mouth while she talks with someone on telephone it is strange yet quite exciting Odysseus is in awe of New York City every culture in the world intermingling democracy functioning in an uncontrollable managed breath millions of people in motion stories unraveling on every street 24 hour spectacle with no limits every conceivable variety of humanity ******* in same air Odysseus is bedazzled yet intimidated

Odysseus spends summer of 1970 at art colony in Cummington Massachusetts it is magical time extraordinary place many talented eccentric characters all kinds of happenings stage plays poetry readings community meals volleyball after dinner volleyball games are hilarious fun he lives alone in isolated studio amidst wild raspberries in woods shares toilet with field mouse no shower he reads Jerzy Kosinski’s “Painted Bird” then “Being There” then “Steps” attractive long haired girl named Pam visits community for weekend meets Odysseus they talk realize they were in first grade together at Harper amazing coincidence automatic ground for “we need to have *** because neither of us has seen each other since first grade” she inquires where do you sleep? Todd hitches up from Hartford to satisfy curiosity everyone sleeps around good-looking blue-eyed poet named Shannon Banks from South Boston tells Odysseus his ******* is not big enough for kind of ******* she wants but she will **** him off that’s fine with him 32 year old poet named Ellen Morrissey from Massachusetts reassures him ******* is fine Ellen is beginning to find her way out from suffocating marriage she has little daughter named Nina Ellen admires Odysseus’s free spirit sees both his possibilities and naïveté she realizes he has crippling family baggage he has no idea he is carrying thing about trauma is as it is occurring victim shrugs laughs to repel shock yet years later pain horror sink in turned-on with new ideas he returns to Hartford art school classes are fun yet confusing he strives to be best drawer most innovative competition sidetracks him Odysseus uses power drill to carve pumpkin on Halloween teachers warn him to stick to fundamentals too much creativity is suspect Todd and he are invited to holiday party Odysseus shows up with Ellen Morrissey driving in her father’s station wagon 2 exceptionally pretty girls flirt with him he is live wire they sneak upstairs he fingers both at same time while they laugh to each other one of the girls Laura invites him outside to do more he follows they walk through falling snow until they find hidden area near some trees Laura lies down lifts her skirt she spreads her legs dense ***** mound he is about to explore her there when Laura looks up sees figure with flashlight following their tracks in snow she warns it’s Bill my husband run for your life! Odysseus runs around long way back inside party grabs a beer pretending he has been there next to Ellen all night few minutes later he sees Laura and Bill return through front door Bill has dark mustache angry eyes Odysseus tells Ellen it is late maybe they should leave soon suddenly Bill walks up to him with beer in hand cracks bottle over his head glass and beer splatter Odysseus jumps up runs out to station wagon Ellen hurriedly follows snow coming down hard car is wedged among many guest vehicles he starts engine locks doors maneuvers vehicle back and forth trying to inch way out of spot Bill appears from party walks to his van disappears from out of darkness swirling snow Bill comes at them wielding large crowbar smashes car’s headlights taillights side mirrors windshield covered in broken glass Ellen ducks on floor beneath glove compartment sobs cries he’s going to **** us! we’re going to die! Odysseus steers station wagon free floors gas pedal drives on back country roads through furious snowstorm in dark of night no lights Odysseus contorts crouches forward in order to see through hole in shattered windshield Ellen sees headlights behind them coming up fast it is Bill in van Bill banging their bumper follows them all the way back to Hartford to Odysseus’s place they run inside call police Bill sits parked van outside across street as police arrive half hour later Bill pulls away next day Odysseus and Ellen drive to Boston to explain to Ellen’s dad what has happened to his station wagon Odysseus stays with Ellen in Brookline for several nights another holiday party she wants to take him along to meet her friends her social circles are older he thinks to challenge their values be outrageous paints face Ellen is horrified cries you can’t possibly do this to me these are my close friends what will they think? he defiantly answers my face is a mask who cares what i look like? man woman creature what does it matter? if your friends really want to know me they’ll need to look beyond the make-up tonight i am your sluttish girlfriend! sometimes Odysseus can be a thoughtless fool

Laura Rousseau Shane files for divorce from Bill she is exceptionally lovely models at art school she is of French descent her figure possessing exotic traits she stands like ballerina with thick pointed ******* copious ***** hair Odysseus is infatuated she frequently dances pursues him Laura says i had the opportunity to meet Bob Dylan once amazed Odysseus questions what did you do? she replies what could i possibly have in common with Bob Dylan? Laura teases Odysseus about being a preppy then lustfully gropes him grabs holds his ***** they devote many hours to ****** intimacy during ******* she routinely reaches her hand from under her buns grasps his testicles squeezing as he pumps he likes that Laura is quite eccentric fetishes over Odysseus she even thrills to pick zits on his back he is not sure if it is truly a desire of hers proof of earthiness or simply expression of mothering Laura has two daughters by Bill Odysseus is in over his head Laura tells Odysseus myth of Medea smitten with love for Jason Jason needs Medea’s help to find Golden Fleece Medea agrees with promise of marriage murders her brother arranges ****** of king who has deprived Jason his inheritance couple is forced into exile Medea bears Jason 2 sons then Jason falls in love with King Creon’s daughter deserts Medea is furious she makes shawl for King Creon’s daughter to wear at her wedding to Jason  shawl turns to flames killing bride Medea murders her own sons by Jason Odysseus goes along with story for a while but Laura wants husband Odysseus is merely scruffy boy with roving eyes Laura becomes galled by Odysseus leaves him for one of his roommates whom she marries then several years later divorces there is scene when Laura tells Odysseus she is dropping him for his roommate he is standing in living room of her house space is painted deep renaissance burgundy there are framed photographs on walls in one photo he is hugging Laura and her daughters under big oak tree in room Laura’s friend Bettina other girl he fingered first night he met Laura at party is watching with arms crossed he drops to floor curls body sobs i miss you so much Laura turns to Bettina remarks look at him men are such big babies he’s pitiful Bettina nods

following summer he works installing displays at G. Fox Department Store besides one woman gay men staff display department for as long as he can remember homosexuals have always been attracted to him this misconception is probably how he got job his tenor voice suggesting not entirely mature man instead more like tentative young boy this ambiguous manifestation sometimes also evidences gestures thoroughly misleading after sidestepping several ****** advances one of his co-workers bewilderingly remarks you really are straight manager staff are fussy chirpy catty group consequently certain he is not gay they discriminate against him stick him with break down clean up slop jobs at outdoor weekend rock concert in Constitution Plaza he meets 2 younger blond girls who consent to go back to his place mess around both girls are quite dazzling yet one is somewhat physically undeveloped they undress and model for Odysseus radio plays Roberta Flack’s “Killing Me Softly With His Song” both girls move to rhythm sing along he thinks to orchestrate direct decides instead to let them lead lies on bed while curvaceous girl rides his ******* slender girl sits on his face they switch all 3 alternate giggle laughter each girl reaches ****** on his stiffness later both assist with hands mouths his ****** is so intense it leaves him paralyzed for a moment

in fall he is cast as Claudius in production of Hamlet Odysseus rehearses diligently on nights o
Mitchell Duran Nov 2013
It was 98'.
No, it was 99'.
That was the year.
Yeah, that was the year.

I had just landed abroad and knew no one.
Well, I was there with my girlfriend, Page.

I knew her.

We had to get out of the states.
There was nothing for us there.
We were drowning in that nothingness - that lacking future.

Cookie cutters everywhere.

Everything I saw was like an outline of something that had already happened.
I couldn't sleep.
I couldn't ****.
I could barely call my parents to let them know what I was doing.

Nothing really.

Floating downward like a leaf broken from its stem.
I was scared.
I'll admit it.
I was terrified of the next four years.
Twenty-five seemed so far away and so close, all at the same time.

We had a found an apartment to live in while in the U.S.
We were lucky because people we met later on said it was hell trying to find a place after arriving.
I was never too good at that stuff anyway.
I always felt like people were trying to cheat me or something.

It was small.
You would have said you loved it, but secretly hated it.
One could barely stand in the shower.
Want to spread your arms wide?

Forget about it.

There was a balcony though and you could watch the street traffic from above.
People look so small when your high up.
Down the street, there was a large theatre where they filmed movies.
I rarely saw them shooting, but I could tell it was a good place to.
It was beautiful at night when the lampposts would flicker on, orange spilling on the street.
Everything was damp in the Fall when we first arrived.

"What do you want to do today?" I asked her. She was laying face down on the bed.
Whenever she was hungover, she would do that.
All the covers and pillows over her face, blocking out the world and its light.
I did the same thing, so I couldn't really say much.
We were hungover a lot those first couple months.
Then came the jobs and everything changed...mostly.

She moaned something that I couldn't understand.
I was standing by the window, staring at the pigeons and crows perched on the roof across from us.
They had made a little nest under one of the shingles.
Clever little ******'s.

"Look at those things," I said.
The coffee I was drinking was bitter and made from crystals.
It gave me a headache, but it was cheap and we were broke.
I stepped back to get a better look at their nest and knocked an empty beer bottle around.

She moaned again and rose up from bed, kind of like a stretching kitten or a cat.
Her back was arched like a crescent moon and she stunk of ***** and Sprite.
The blankets were twisted and crumpled and she was tangled in them like a fly in a spiders web.
I went into the kitchen and poured out my coffee, thinking of what to do with the day.

"Breakfast?" she asked me from bed.
My back was to her, but I knew she wanted me to make it.
I put the electric stove on and opened the refrigerator.

"No eggs," I said back to her, "I'll be right back."

She moaned and slithered back into bed.
I threw my jacket and slippers on and made my way downstairs.

"Dobry den," I said to the cashier.
He was a tiny vietnamese man with a extremely high pitched voice.
I struggled to stifle a laugh every time I came in.

"Dobry den," he said back, sounding like air escaping from a balloon.

"Dear God," I thought, "How does his voice box do it?"

I went straight to the eggs, pretending to cough.
All around me were packaged sweets and rotten vegetables and fruit.
There were half loaves of brown, stale bread wrapped lazily in thin plastic.
Canned beans, noodle packets, and cardboard infused orange juice lined the shelves.
Where were the ******* eggs?
We needed milk too.
Trying to drink that crystalized coffee without it was torture.
I don't even know how I did it earlier.
"I must be getting used to the taste..." I thought.

I opened the single refrigerator they had in the place.
It was stocked with loosely packaged cheese, milk, beer, and soda.
There they were, those ******* eggs, right next to the yogurt.
I looked at the expiration date of a small carton of chocolate milk and winced.
"Someone could die here if they weren't careful," I whispered to myself.

"Everyding O.K.?" I heard the cashier squeak behind me.
I turned and nodded and showed him the eggs.
He was suspicious I was stealing something.
It was ironic.
I put the eggs on the counter and handed over what the cash register told me.

"There you go," I said and handed him the 58 crown in exact change.

"Děkuji," he peeped.

His voice sounded like a stuffed animal.
I nodded, smiled, and quickly got the hell out of there.

"You know the guy that works at the shop across the street?" I asked the body still in bed.
Well, she was up now, back up against the wall with her laptop on her lap.
"You mean the guy that has the voice of a little girl?"
"Exactly. I was just in there - getting these eggs - and I nearly laughed in his face."
"That's mean," she frowned, staring at her laptop.
Many of our conversations were with some kind of electronic device in between us.
We needed to work on that.
"I didn't laugh at him directly."
She smiled and nodded and moved down the bed a little more.
Only her head was resting on the pillow.
I cracked two eggs and let them sizzle there in the butter and the salt.

"So, what do you want to do today?" I asked Page, "It's not too cold out. We could go on a walk."
"Where?"
"I don't know. Over the bridge and maybe down by the water."
"It's going to be so cold," she shivered.
"I was just out there in slippers and a t-shirt and I was fine."
"That's because you're so big. I'm tiny. I don't get as much blood flow."

I flipped the two eggs and looked down at them.
Golden and burnt slightly around the edges.
******* perfect.
Now, just gotta wait a little on the other side and make sure to not let the yolk harden.
I hated that more than anything in the world.
Well, that and hearing **** poor excuses like it being too cold.
It was nice out.
She'd be fine.

"Come on," I sighed. I did that a lot. "It'll be fun."
She looked up at me from her computer with a dead look in her eye.
"What?" I asked her.
"You're such a...nerd," she said.
"No I'm not."
"You're so weird. Some of the things you say sometimes..."
"Like what?"
"Let's go on a walk."
She exaggerated the word walk.
I laughed and knew I was being a little too excited about a walk.
"Yeah. So? What are you doing? You're just laying there doing nothing."
"It's my day off," she scoffed, jokingly.

We were unemployed.
Everyday was a day off.
This was not something to bring up.
It was touchy subject.
One had to go about it...delicately.

"We need to find jobs," I stated, "And we can probably ask around or look for signs in windows."

"Oh JESUS," she gagged, coughing and diving back under the covers.

"I'm just thinking ahead so we can stay here. There's got to be something out there we can do."

"Like what?" she asked, her voice muffled by blankets.

"I don't know...something," I mumbled, trailing off as I flipped one of the eggs, "Perfect."

After breakfast, Page finally got out of bed and took a shower.
I tried to sneak in there with her, but, like I said before, one could barely fit themselves in there.
We compromised to have *** on the bed, though I did miss doing it in the shower.
As Page got dressed, I watched her slip those thin black stockings on, half reading a magazine.
I had gotten a subscription to The Review because I was trying to become a writer.
I thought, maybe if I read the stuff getting published - even the bad **** - it'll help.
Later, I realized, this was a terrible idea, but I enjoyed the magazine all the same.
Page finished getting dressed.
I jumped into whatever clothes were on the floor and didn't stink.
Then, we were out the door on Anna Letenske street, looking at the tram, downhill.


"I can see my breath," Page said, "It's cold..."

"Alright," I said as both of us ran across the street, "It's a little cold."

"But it's ok because I'm glad were out of the house."

"If we would have festered there any longer, we would have stayed in there all day."

"And missed this beautiful day," she said mocking me, putting both of her arms in the air.

The sky was gray and overcast and a single black crow flew over us, roof to roof.
No one was out, really.
It was Sunday and no one ever really came out on Sundays.
From the few czech friends I had, they explained to me this was the day to get drunk and cook.

"Far different then what people think in the States to do," I remember telling him.
"What do you do, my friend?" he had asked. He always called me my friend.
It was a nice thing to do since we had only known each other a couple weeks.
"Well," I explained to him, "Some people go to church to pray to God."
He laughed when I said this and said, "HA! God? How many people believe in God there?"
I had heard through the news and some Wikipedia research Prague was mostly atheist.
"A good amount, I'm pretty sure."
"That's silly," he scoffed, "Silly is word, right?"
"Yep. A word as any other."
"I like that word. What else do they do on Sunday?"
"A lot of people watch football. Not like soccer but with..."
"I know what you talk about," he said, cutting me off, "With the ball shaped like egg?"
I nodded, "Yes, the one with the egg shaped ball. It's popular in the Fall on Sundays."
"And what is Fall?" he asked.
You can see our relationship was really based on questions and answers.
He was a good guy, though I could never pronounce his name right.
There was a specific z in there somewhere where one had to dig their tongue under their teeth.
Lots of breath and vibration that Americans were never asked or trained to do.
Every czech I met said our language was a high contradiction.
Extremely complex in grammar and spelling, but spoken with such sloth.
I don't know if they used the word sloth.
I just like the word.

As we waited for the tram, I noticed the burnt orange and red blood leaves on the ground.
"Where had they come from?" I wondered. There were no trees on the street.
Must be from the park down the block, the one with the big church and the square.
There were lines of trees there used as leaning posts for the bums and junkies as they waited.
What they were waiting for, I never knew.
They just looked to be waiting for something.
I kicked a leaf into the street from the small island platform for the tram.
It swept up into the air a couple inches, and then instantly, was swept away by a passing car.
I watched as it wavered in the air, settling down the block in the middle of the road.

"Where's this trammm," Page complained.
Whenever it was cold out, her complaining level multiplied by a million.
"Should be coming soon. Check the schedule."
"Too cold," she said, "Need to keep my hands in my pockets."
I shook my head and looked at the schedule. It said it would be there at 11:35.
"11:35," I told her, still looking at the schedule. There was a strange cross over the day of Sunday.
"You mad?"
"No," I said turning to her, "I just want to have a nice day and its hard when you're upset."
"I'm not upset," she said, her teeth chattering behind her lips.
"Complaining I mean. We can go back home if it's really too cold. It's right there."
"No," she looked down, "Let's go out for a bit. I just don't know how long I'll last."
"Ok," I shrugged.
I looked up the street and saw our tram coming; number 11.
"There it is," I said.
"Thank God," Page exhaled, "I feel like I'm about to die."

Even the tram was sparse with people.
An empty handle of cheap liquor rattled in the back somewhere.
I heard it rock back and forth against the legs of a metal seat.
"Someone had a night last night," I thought, "Hope that's not mine."
We had gone to some dark bar with a lot of stairs going down - all I really recall.
Beer was so **** cheap there and there was always so much of it, one got very drunk easily.
I couldn't even really remember who we met or why we went there.
When everything's a blur in the morning you have two choices:
Feel guilty about how much you drank, lie around, and do nothing or,
Leave it be, try not to think about it, and try and find your passport and cell phone.

We made our transfer at the 22 and rode downhill.
Page looked like she was going to be sick.
Her sunglasses were solid black and I couldn't see her eyes, but her face was flushed and green.
"You alright?" I asked her.
"I'm fine," she said, "Just need to get off of this tram. Feel like I'm going to be sick."
"You look it."
"Really?" she asked.
"Yeah, a little bit."
"Let's get off at the park with the fountain. I don't want to puke here."
"Ok," I said, smiling, "We'll get off after this stop."

We sat down on one of the benches that circled around the fountain.
It was empty and Page was confused why.
"Maybe to save money?" I suggested.
"What? It's just water."
"Well, you gotta' pump the water up there and then filter it back out. Costs money."
"Costs crown," she corrected me.
"Same thing," I said, putting my arm around her, "There's no one here today."
"I know why," she stated, flatly.
"Why?"
"Because it's collllllllld and it's Sunday and only foreigner's would go out on a day like this."
I scanned the park and noticed that most of the faces there were probably not Czech.
"****," I muttered, "You may be right."
"I know I am," she said, wiggling her chin down into her jacket, "We're...crzzzy."
"We're what?" I asked. I couldn't hear her through her jacket.
She just shook her head back and forth and looked forward, not wanting to move from the warmth.
Dogs were scattered around the brown green grass with their owners.
Some were playing catch with sticks or *****, but others were just following behind their owner's.
I watched as one took a crap in the center of the walkway near the street.
Its owner was typing something on their phone, ignoring what was happening in front of him.
After the dog finished, the owner looked down at the crap, looked around, then slunk off.

"Did you see that?" I asked Page, pointing to where the owner had left the mess.
"Yeah," she nodded, "So gross. That would never fly in the states."
"You'd get shoulder tackled by some park security guard and thrown in jail."
"And be given a fat ticket," she said, coughing a little, "Let's get out of here."
"Yeah," I agreed, "And watch for any **** on the way out of here."

We made our way out of the park and down the street where the 22 continues on to the center.
"Let's not go into the center. Let's walk along the water's edge and maybe up to the bridge."
"Ok," I said, "That's a good idea." I didn't want to get stuck in that mass of tourists.
I could tell Page didn't either. I think she was afraid she might puke on a huddle of them.
We turned down a side street before the large grocery store and avoided a herd of people.
The cobble stones were wet and slick, glistening from a small sliver of sunlight through the clouds.
Page walked ahead.
Sometimes, when we walked downtown in the older parts of Prague, we would walk alone.
Not because we were fighting or anything like that; it was all very natural.
I would walk ahead because I saw something and she would either come with or not.
She would do the same and we both knew that we wouldn't go too far without the other.
I think we both knew that we would be back after seeing what we had wanted to see.
One could call it trust - one could call it a lot of things - but this was not really spoken about.
We knew we would be back after some time and had seen what we had wanted to.
Thinking about this, I watched her look up at the peeling paint of the old buildings.
Her thick black hair waved back and forth behind her plum colored pea coat.
Page would usually bring a camera and take pictures of these things, but she had forgotten it.
I wished she hadn't.
It was turning out to be such a beautiful day.

We made it to the Vlatva river and leaned over the railing, looking down at the water.
Floating there were empty beer bottles and plastic soda jugs.
The water was brown, murky, and looked like someone had dumped a large bag of dirt in there.
There was nothing very romantic about it, which one would think if you saw it in a picture.
"The water looks disgusting," Page said.
"That it does, but look at the bridge. It looks pretty good right

— The End —