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I have learned it in school that soldiers seldom die.
I have learned it in school to remain a bit both silent and shy.
The teachers in my school had huge degrees and dark sarcasm,
With which they often used to rule,
For they used to say-
“Don’t yell or shout or stoop or cry! For,
A “WHATEVER” might just come in the way....”

I have learned it in school that sharing is not fun,
I have learned it in school that to re-exist superficially you gotta run!

I have learned it in school that there’s a good and a bad,
I have learned it in school that “writing poetry makes you mad.”

I have learned it in school to finish papers “within” time,
I have learned it in school that if you’re a bit poor, well that’s a very sober crime!

I have learned it in school about much history and “NECKTIES.”
I have learned it in school about wearing short skirts and not eating rice!

I have learned it in school about chicken nuggets and low waist jeans!
I have learned “this” in school about fancy twilight books, ice creams, and suspicious inklings!
I have learned it in school, about a classroom- “A FISHY MARKET.”
I have learned it in school about high esteemed mediocrity and about so many things.

The fat bottomed teacher did teach us about science,
I have learned it in school that “IMAGINATION MAKES YOU BLIND!”

I have learned it in school that you need to have a shave every day!
I have learned it in school not to yell or to shout,
For,
A “WHATEVER” might just come in the way...

I have learned it in school that the president is nice.
I have learned it in school about both virtue and vice!

I have learned it in school to keep myself calm and to proceed...............
I have learned it in school to love myself more, “MORE” than “I” should “Thi(M)nk.”

I have learned it in school about both “BOYS” and “GIRLS”,
I have learned it in school about both shame and fear!
And, I have learned it in school about both heaven and earth.
I have learned it in school that only with a good grade, comes a joyful mirth.

I have learned this in school and about so many things!
The teacher did teach, they did teach well!!!!
I have learned it in school never to shout or to yell
I have learned it in school that I have nothing else to tell!

I have learned it in school to manufacture myself as a product,
As to Something which I Can sell.

Pretty Well.

I have learned it in school about such a fairy tale,
For,
A “WHATEVER” might just come in the way...
Middy Oct 2017
I hate school I will hate school
I hated school I hate school
I will hate school I hated school
I hate school I hated school
I will hate school I hate school
I hated school I hate school
I hate school I will hate school
I will hate school I hate school
    I hated school I will hate school
I hate school I hated school
I will hate school I hated school
I hated school I hate school
I hate school I will hate school

SEE HOW THE USE OF THE WORD SCHOOL IS BECOMING More AND MORE BORING THE MORE YOU READ IT

THEREFORE YOU GET MORE BORED THE MORE YOU ATTEND IT!

I will shoot someone at work
I shot someone at their house
I had shot someone in the shop
I shot someone during a concert
I will shoot someone during class
I had shot someone in the heart
I shot someone while they slept
I will shoot someone tonight
I shot someone now
I had shot someone yesterday

SEE HOW MANY TIMES AND PLACES PEOPLE HAVE BEEN SHOT!
SO WHY DOES THE SHOOTER NOT GET BORED

The bomb exploded
The bomb will explode
The bomb had exploded
The bomb will explode
The bomb exploded
The bomb will explode
The bomb had exploded
The bomb exploded
The bomb will explode
The bomb had exploded
The bomb will explode
The bomb exploded
The bomb had exploded
The bomb will explode
The bomb exploded

WHY DO WE GET SICK OF THE WORD BOMB?
WHEN THEY ARE BLOWN ALL OVER THE WORLD?
Inspired by a small paragraph in the book My Name Is Mina by David Almond
I agree with hating school, don't get me wrong I love education
But I feel schools are like cages or prisons, the teacher is the warden.
Sorry for it being so long it if I get anything wrong
Breeze-Mist Nov 2016
On the first day of junior year
I came to school to see
A video on students rights and responsibilities

On the second day of junior year
I came to school to see
Two miles of hallways
And a video on students rights and responsibilities

On the third day of junior year
I came to school to see
Three different lunch periods
Two miles of hallways
And a video on students rights and responsibilities

On the fourth day of junior year
I came to school to see
Four hallway monitors
Three different lunch periods
Two miles of hallways
And a video on students rights and responsibilities

On the fifth day of junior year
I came to school to see
Five different sports fields
Four hallway monitors
Three different lunch periods
Two miles of hallways
And a video on students rights and responsibilities

On the sixth day of junior year
I came to school to see
Six school police officers
Five different sports fields
Four hallway monitors
Three different lunch periods
Two miles of hallways
And a video on students rights and responsibilities

On the seventh day of junior year
I came to school to see
Seven student councelors
Six school police officers
Five different sports fields
Four hallway monitors
Three different lunch periods
Two miles of hallways
And a video on students rights and responsibilities

On the eighth day of junior year
I came to school to see
Nine school principals
Seven student councelors
Six school police officers
Five different sports fields
Four hallway monitors
Three different lunch periods
Two miles of hallways
And a video on students rights and responsibilities

On the ninth day of junior year
I came to school to see
Over thirty clubs
Nine school principals
Seven student councelors
Six school police officers
Five different sports fields
Four hallway monitors
Three different lunch periods
Two miles of hallways
And a video on students rights and responsibilities

On the tenth day of junior year
I came to school to see
Hundreds of badly labeled classrooms
Over thirty clubs
Nine school principals
Seven student councelors
Six school police officers
Five different sports fields
Four hallway monitors
Three different lunch periods
Two miles of hallways
And a video on students rights and responsibilities

On the eleventh day of junior year
I came to school to see
Over four hundred teachers
Hundreds of badly labeled classrooms
Over thirty clubs
Nine school principals
Seven student councelors
Six school police officers
Five different sports fields
Four hallway monitors
Three different lunch periods
Two miles of hallways
And a video on students rights and responsibilities

On the twelfth day of junior year
I came to school to see*
Four thousand, five hundred and twenty-eight students
Over four hundred teachers
Hundreds of badly labeled classrooms
Over thirty clubs
Nine school principals
Seven student councelors
Six school police officers
Five different sports fields
Four hallway monitors
Three different lunch periods
Two miles of hallways
And a video on students rights and responsibilities
Sung to the tune of "Twelve Days of Christmas.
Noah May 2018
If I die in a school shooting
I'll never go home again.
My room will sit unused,
A capsule frozen in time,
A snapshot of how I was.

If I die in a school shooting
I'll never see my dog again.
She will sit at the front door
Waiting for me and wondering,
Why I never came home.

If I die in a school shooting
I'll never graduate from high school.
My yearbooks will sit stacked
Stopped short of their goal,
Missing years that should have been.

If I die in a school shooting
I'll never see my mom again.
She will sit distraught,
Planning a funeral
For a child taken from her.

If I die in a school shooting
I'll never see my friends again.
They'll sit together, missing me.
One empty seat among them,
A constant reminder of their loss.

If I die in a school shooting
I'll never see my little sister again.
She will sit through high school
Knowing I can't guide her through,
That she has to figure it out alone.

If I die in a school shooting
My school will be stained.
Pools of students lives will sit,
Blood tattoos on the brick structures,
Marks of death ground into it.

If I die in a school shooting
Everyone will wear black.
They'll send their thoughts and prayers
To a town marred by death,
Forever to be the home of a shooting.

If I die in a school shooting
Will the world change?
Or will I become one of hundreds  
Of kids who have to die?
What will it take?

If things continue this way
Children will have to live in fear.
They'll look over their shoulders
Always worried and wondering,
If they'll die in a school shooting.
The state of Florida is now home to the two most deadly mass shootings in American history. Pulse Nightclub was attacked in my city, I have friends who attend Marjory Stoneman Douglas in Parkland. My little sister often fears going to school. I'm afraid to graduate and leave her. I want to be able to protect her if something happens. I hate that we have a reason to be afraid... That it's reasonable to have these fears. I hate it so f*cking much.
EFFECTS OF CHILD ABUSE ON PERFORMANCE OF PRIMARY SCHOOL IN KAPYEMIT WARD, TURBO CONSTITUENCY, UASIN-GISHU COUNTY.





BY
ERICK NYAKUNDI
KIS/03013/14




A RESEARCH PROJECTSUBMITED TO THE SCHOOL OF ARTS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES, DEPARTMENT OF SOCIOLOGY AND PSYCHOLOGY IN THE PARTIAL FULFILMENT FOR THE AWARD OF THE DEGREE OF BACHELOR OF SOCIOLOGY



MAY, 2014

DECLARATION

I, the undersigned, declare that this project is my original work and that it has not been presented in any other university or institution for academic credit.

Signature...............................................­..... Date...................................
ERICK NYAKUNDI
KIS/03013/14






SUPERVISOR
This project has been submitted for examination with my approval as university supervisor
DR. W. O. ABUYA
Signature..................................................­.. Date....................................




DEDICATION
I dedicate this work to my Dad, Mom, my sister Lydia and my lovely brother Dun who contributed in one way or another to make this project to be successful.


















ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
I would like to thank all individuals who contributed and sacrificed their time towards completion of this project.
To my supervisor, for the guidance and support in the development of this research project, His advice and criticism made this project what it is.
Thanks to colleagues and friends for their suggestions, advice and encouragement. To all of you may God bless you abundantly for your tireless effort.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Contents Page
DECLARATION i
DEDICATION ii
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT iii
TABLE OF CONTENTS iv
LIST OF TABLES vii
LIST OF FIGURE viii
ABSTRACT ix
CHAPTER ONE 10
STUDY OVERVIEW AND STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM 10
1.1 Background of the Study 10
1.2 Research Questions 13
1.3 Research Objectives 13
1.4 Justification of the Study 13
1.5 Significance of the Study 14
1.6 Scope of the Study 15
1.6.1Assumptions of the Study 16
CHAPTER TWO 17
LITERATURE REVIEW 17
2.1 Introduction 17
2.2 Common Forms of Child Abuse 17
2.2.1 Child ****** Abuse 17
2.2.2 Physiological or Emotional Abuse 17
2.2.3 Physical Abuse 18
2.2.4 Child Neglect or Abandonment 18
2.2.4.1 Physical Neglect 19
2.2.4.2 Educational Neglect 19
2.2.4.3 Medical Neglect 19
2.2.5 Child Fatalities 20
2.3 How Child Abuse Affects Academic Performance 20
2.3.1 Child Abuse and Academic Performance 20
2.3.2 Child Abuse and School Image 23
2.3.3 Child Abuse and Dropout Rate 25
2.4 Strategies that Schools can Employ to Curb Child Abuse 26
2.4.1 Role of Public Regulation 26
2.4.1.1 Nurturing and Attachment 27
2.4.1.2 Social Connections 27
2.5 Theoretical Framework 27
2.5.1 Learning Theory 28
2.5.1.1 Relationship with the Study 28
2.5.2 Family Dysfunction Theory 29
2.5.2.1 Relationship with the Study 29
CHAPTER THREE 30
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY 30
3.0 Introduction 30
3.1 Site Description 30
3.2 Research Design 30
3.3.1 Target Population 30
3.3.2 Sample Size and Sampling Procedure 31
3.4 Description of Research Instruments 32
3.4.1 Research Instrument 32
3.4.1.1 Questionnaire 32
3.5 Data Collection Procedure 32
3.5.1 Validity and Reliability of Research Instruments 33
3.5.1.1 Reliability of Research Instruments 33
3.5.1.2 Validity 33
3.6 Data Analysis and Presentation 33
CHAPTER FOUR 35
DATA PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS 35
4.0 Introduction 35
4.1 Background Information 35
4.1.1 Age of the Respondents 35
4.1.2 *** of the Respondents 35
4.1.3 Education Level of the Respondents 36
4.1.4 Marital Status 36
4.2 Specific Information 37
4.2.1 Effects of Child Abuse on Academic Performance 37
4.2.2 How Child Abuse Affects Dropout Rate of Students in School 38
4.2.3 Proposed Strategies that Schools can Employ to Curb Child Abuse 41
CHAPTER FIVE 43
SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS 43
5.0 Introduction 43
5.1 Summary of the findings 43
5.2 Discussion of the Findings 44
5.3 Conclusion 45
5.4 Recommendations 46
REFERENCES 47

LIST OF TABLES & FIGURES
Table 3.1 Target population 32
Table 3.1 Sample size 33
Table 4.1 Age of the Respondents 36
Table 4.2 *** of the Respondents 37
Table 4.3 Education Level of the Respondents 37
Table 4.4 Marital Status 38
Table 4.5 Effects of Child Abuse on Academic Performance 38
Table 4.6 How Child Abuse Affects Dropout Rate of Students in School 40
Figure 4.1 Views of the Pupils on Abuse 41
Table 4.7 Proposed Strategies that Schools can Employ to Curb Child Abuse 42





















ABSTRACT
Child abuse is the physical, ****** or emotional maltreatment or neglect of a child or children. The consequences of child maltreatment can be profound and may endure long after the abuse or neglect occurs. The purpose of the study was to investigate the effect of child abuse on school performance in Primary Schools in Kapyemit ward, Uasin-Gishu County. The objectives of the study were: To assess the impacts of child abuse on academic performance; to determine the effects of child abuse on schools image, to identify the impacts of child abuse on pupil drop out rate, to investigate the effects of child abuse on pupil transition rate. The study employed a survey study design. The study targeted 160 respondents which includes; 5 Head Teachers, 40 Teachers, 70 Pupils and 35 parents of which a sample size of 48 was obtained from using 30%. Purposive sampling technique was used in selecting the head teachers while simple random sampling technique will be used to select the teachers, Pupils and parents who formed the respondents of the study. Questionnaires and interview schedules were used as data collection instruments. Data was analyzed quantitatively and qualitatively and presented in form of tables, percentages and frequency. The study helped in the understanding of the effects of child abuse on the school performance, the realization of the roles parents and teachers play in the curbing of child abuse among pupils and raising awareness on the same.

CHAPTER ONE
STUDY OVERVIEW AND STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
1.1 Background of the Study
Child abuse is the physical, ****** or emotional maltreatment or neglect of a child or children. The consequences of child maltreatment can be profound and may endure long after the abuse or neglect occurs. The effects can appear in childhood, adolescence, or adulthood, and may affect various aspects of an individual's development (e.g., physical, cognitive, psychological, and behavioral). These effects range in consequence from minor physical injuries, low self-esteem, attention disorders, and poor peer relations to severe brain damage, extremely violent behavior, and death. In extreme cases, child abuse affects the performance of schools in the affected region (Daniel, 1978).
Performance refers to how students deal with their academic studies and how they cope with or accomplish different tasks given to them by their teachers. Performance is also the ability of a school to portray a good image which can influence the public (Decastro, 1978). There are several factors that influence the performance of a school at large, however, there is a critical factor that most researchers have avoided to discuss, and child abuse has been a crucial factor that has contributed to children’s dismal performance. Apart from children’s personal intelligence, child abuse is among then key factors contributing to poor performance of learners. Child abuse can lead to school dropping, emotional trauma or can even be fatal, hence destructing or even terminating the educational ambitions of a child. (Harris, 2005)
Worldwide, according to World Health Organization (WHO, 2000) approximately 40 million children are subjected to child abuse each year. According to Human Rights Watch (2001) about 30% of all severely disabled children relegated to special homes in the Ukraine died before they reached 18 years of age. UNICEF estimates that two million children died as a result of armed conflict during a recent 10-year period and that another six million were injured or disabled. In Canada, the U.S. and Mexico, over 6.5 million children annually are exposed to unwanted ****** materials over the internet; over 1.7 million of these report distress over exposure to these materials. In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Department for Children and Families (DCF) define child maltreatment as any act or series of acts of commission or omission by a parent or other caregiver that results in harm, potential for harm, or threat of harm to a child. Child abuse can occur in a child's home, or in the organizations, schools or communities the child interacts with. Each year, approximately one million children around the world are introduced into commercial ****** exploitation despite this problem; these developed countries have put measures to curb the vice. Rehabilitation schools have been formed and introduction of counseling centers as well. Despite the prevalence of child abuse in this developed nations they narrowly affect the academic performance since there are organizations put in place to curb the situation e.g. child associations, guidance and counseling institutions, and school based counseling programs (Giles, 2001)
Concern for victims of child abuse in Africa expressed by the African network of the International Society for The Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (ISPCAN) which gave five main presentations of child abuse: child labor, street wandering, ****** abuse, child battering and abandonment (Elma, 1977). Child labor according to the international labor organization (ILO), about 10 million children less than 15years in Africa are in formal employment, working long hours with poor pay and are exposed to substantial health hazards. Wandering of children refers to children, usually unkempt and with delinquent propensities, living rough in town. The reasons for children taking to the street remain poorly understood particularly in relation to factors in the child rather than parental hostility and economic (Dubowitz, 2002)
****** abuse is another. For example, arranged under-age marriages are common in some parts of the continent and doubt was often expressed as to whether a young girl fully gave consent to being betrothed (Galdsone, 1965). Prevalence rates in Africa are very difficult to ascertain because of the fear of disclosure by victims and lack of proper documentation. Most of the girls by reasons of shame fear or surprisingly respect for their usually older perpetrators. Physical battering is also eminent. Physical abuse of children is widely claimed to berate in the third world; however, there are anecdotes from east Africa skeletal frame or localized body areas of all first attendees aged 0-12 years at this hospital during the four-year period 1 January 1987 to 31 December 1990 (Garbarino, 1975). Sixty-nine of these reports reveals evidence of multiple bone fractures wither without evidence of rib or skull fracture. Abandonment of children to roam around the streets in what we call street children is also eminent in Africa, though valid and adequate information on abandonment are difficult to obtain due mainly to failure of offending parents to show up out of guilt, shame, judicial repercussions or a combination of these. However, some euro-American missionaries identified inter alia breech birth. (Erickson, 2003)
Child protection measures in Kenya are currently not implemented effectively and fully (Galdstone, 1965). Compliance with such legislation would increase if the magnitude of the problem and better knowledge about the factors that put children at risk was available. Additionally, involving stakeholders, especially agencies charged with protection, as well as involving affected children, will highlight the issues and thereby promote adherence to protection policies. Kenyan children, child activists and children organizations are pinning their hopes on the implementation of the Children’s Act to improve the lot of the nation’s youth. The Act, which came into effect on 1 March 2002, puts in place full safeguards for the rights of the child. Its passage was a giant stride in harmonizing the national laws with international agreements which Kenya has signed such as the UN Conventions on the Rights of the Child (CRC, 2002)
There is hope that the new legislation will dramatically change the inattention, neglect and abuse towards child rights. The Act outlaws any form discrimination of children, and forbids Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), child prostitution, and child labor, among other forms of abuse. The Children’s Act has immensely improved the lives of many Kenyan children plagued with high illiteracy levels, frequent **** cases and child labor since it guarantees children the right to health and medical care, provision of which is the responsibility of the parents, the extended family and the government (Erickson, 2005).
Cases of child abuse in Uasin-Gishu region have been so eminent in the recent years ((Kenya Media Report, 2004). In the year 2010 and the year 2011, there was a program started to rehabilitate this behavior. This problem is clearly evident when you first arrive in Eldoret town, it is among the towns in the country with the highest number of abandoned children who keep on moving from one Centre to another seeking help from passersby. Parents have developed behaviors of abandoning their children and deliberately sending them to the town so that they can benefit from their borrowing. So to say this has led to child labor in this region. High profile cases of school dropouts have been recorded regarding the environs of this region. Young school children from different locations in Eldoret converge in town to persuade people to offer them financial assistance. Some attend school in numbered days and decide to spend some good number of days out of school.
The communities and societies around tend to assume this situation and term it as norm. A few who might seem concerned lack cooperation from the rest. This has adversely affected the performance of most of schools, hence leading to poor living standards of the people and a poisoned future of a young citizen. The problem has affected learners in regions like many areas in Uasin-Gishu County. It has really affected child development and affected their attendance and performance in school. Little intervention measures has been taken to advocate the holistic development of the children. It was to this reason that the researcher conducted the research in the named above region
1.2 Research Questions
The study was guided by the following questions;
1) What is the effect of child abuse on the academic performance of students in Kapyemit Ward?  
2) What are some of the proposed strategies that schools can employ to curb child abuse?
1.3 Research Objectives
The study was guided by the following research objectives;
1) To identify the effect of child abuse on the academic performance of students in Kapyemit Ward.
2) To identify proposed strategies that can be employed to help curb child abuse.
1.4 Justification of the Study
It is becoming increasingly difficult to separate child abuse prevention into separate categories. For instance, strategies on the societal level include increasing the “value” of children, increasing the economic self-sufficiency of families, discouraging corporal punishment and other forms of violence, making health care more accessible and affordable, expanding and improving coordination of social services, improving the identification and treatment of psychological problems and alcohol and drug abuse, providing more affordable child care and preventing the birth of unwanted children.
Very little analysis has been done to estimate the total cost of preventing child abuse and neglect or the long-term social costs of not preventing it. There is now a move to situate child abuse and neglect within the continuum of intervention which addresses multiple aspects of family behaviors. The efficacy of tackling portions of the problem of child abuse apart from broader societal needs is not known. And, perhaps prevention can only come in tandem with efforts to reduce poverty, improve health care and make children’s issues a national priority. However, despite these constraints, evaluations of prevention programs can be improved by coming to terms with definitions of key varia
Cat Fiske Jun 2015
I walked into a high school,
with one friend,
the only friend I made in elementary school,
who stayed my friend.

My mommy Doesn't like her,

I walked into a high school,
and my only friends older sister,
who felt like my sister too,
Passed away,

the school didn't care that we all cried,

I walked into a high school,
and I tried to make other friends,
and a kid got ******,
and he stole my phone,

the police did nothing to him like the school and he later ***** a girl,

I walked into a high school,
going into a program with high hopes,
only for them to get shattered by those who didn't wanna deal with me,
because people didn't get things related to ADHD,

and I wanted to drop out,

I walked into high school,
and skipped the class,
after the one where the teacher and students all harrassed,
me,

because when I reported it, it was their word against mine,

I walked into high school,
and I talked to the teacher who would harass me,
and tried to make him understand me,
understand how I can't do things like everyone else can,

and he made me head banana masher and then I puked,

I walked into high school,
and Skipped that class for the first time ever,
because the teacher made me *****,
be he was absent that day,

and I got in trouble for skipping and "lying about the incidence"

I walked into high school,
and skipped my classes,
and cried in the bathroom,
and cut myself,

because I couldn't handle my panic attacks,

I walked into high school,
trying so hard to make some sort of friends,
and they yelled at me every time I ******* smiled,
because they didn't want to allow me to be happy,

The school wouldn't let me have friends,

I walked into high school,
and tried to hangout with people after school,
and they just yelled at me,
made up lie about where I was supposed to be,

They tried to get more mom mad at me,

I walked into high school,
oblivious to what love,
***,
or abuse was,

and the boy I was seeing ***** me,

I walked into high school,
on the final day of freshman year,
to take my final so i could get the **** out of there,
and they harassed me the entire exam period.

they said things of confidentiality,

I walked into high school,
and everyday I left in tear,
with a scarred body,
and nothing but fear,

and they expect me to wanna come back the following year?
Freshmen year, was ******, This isn't even everything
valencia May 2019
September

from dust and broken glass, from silver and stone, an army arises from their shallow graves. and to this day, no one can remember that this is how it all began.

demons run when a good man goes to war.
that’s what they have always told me. there haven’t been any good men here for a while then, because I can still see demons lurking around corners like shadows.


there have always been things in my life I have learned not to question. you do not doubt the stars in the sky, the ground beneath your feet, or the strength of the northernland. we do not question the northernland.

i like to ask myself questions-
after the sky fell, who gathered it all up and put it back in the sky?
they won’t tell us in school.
when the sky fell, what did the stars taste like?
i think it would taste like fire and pain and sugar, like drinking lighting hot lemonade in the summer.
we don’t ask in school.

thursday



there has never been enough. money, food, water. in school, they teach us about the war. the war has no name, it is just the war. maybe it will someday. no one dares to name it. you do not name the devil.

we bow to the throne of the northernland, unaware that is was born of lies. the cameras are our leader now. they are all we have ever known.

on Sundays we go to church and pray. the crosses will never hang right and are always turning upside down and the priest is always looking pale. we all look pale, now. the cloud of dust from northernland blocks out the sun most days.


friday
I went to Lou's house today. she has a red front gate and ivy growing in her garden. we kicked a deflated kickball around for a bit, but she kept looking over her shoulder. she pretended to drop the ball behind her but couldn't bend down to grab it because her arm is broken, so I went over. tears were hiding beneath her eyes, but she did not say anything. then her dad came out and watched us play. i didn’t like his smile, it was too wide.




when i wanted to go home, he offered to walk me home. i said i could do it by myself. wouldn’t want you to get into trouble he said, somehow smiling wider. lou made herself laugh and smiled too, but it wasn’t a real smile. as we walked home, he didn’t turn his head away from me, even to cross the street. i looked deep into his pupils, which were so wide they covered the colored part. i swore i could see someone behind them, watching. i didn’t say anything. after i went into my house,
he stood out front for a long time, watching. then i heard. shout from the basement but the door was locked as always so i got scared about that instead and when i looked out front again he was gone.

saturday

today in school i fell and skinned my knuckles. the blood that came was strange, reddish-orange. teacher grabbed my hand and bandaged it right away before i could get a good look at it. she said you mustn’t tell your mother.


teacher doesn’t know that mother went to go live in the White Building, a place for people who hear voices and don’t like the government and have to be restrained so they don’t hurt people. i don’t say any of this, i just nod my head ok.

sometimes i worry, about alistair. he’s a gravedigger and everyday when he comes home he looks so empty. he won’t tell me why he’s so sad but once i heard him tell canary that the graves just get bigger everyday and then after a long time he said but there are always to many bodies

i tried to listen more but he found me behind the wall and when i asked him why there were so many bodies he said there’s a sickness, that’s all
then after that teacher made us all wear cottons masks that are itchy and make it hard to breathe.


sunday

on the telly today the man in the suit announcer we had another victory but i don’t understand how we can have victories without winning the war. the man in the suit tried to show a picture but all we saw was a blurry mess because alistair said sometimes things can’t be shown on the telly but i don’t know why. i doesn’t make sense why they would restrict anything anymore. we now what it looks like. a flat landscape paved with bodiesaccented with blood.
we aren’t supposed to know about that though.

in school, teacher tells us there have been no casualties of the war. but only when principal is watching. when he’s not she’s stuffs our coats beneath the crack and the door and tunes the telly to a different station- one that’s fuzzy that she has to hold a hanger to in order for us to see anything. and she’ll flip back and forth between leader of the northernland and say this is propagandam  and then turn the **** back to the man in the suit, and then say this is the truth

i don’t know why teacher tells us these things.

monday

listen- do you hear it? i can hear planes buzzing overhead. teacher says to ignore it. teacher says we aren’t supposed to hear.
alistair never lets me go in the basement. he keys the key round his neck, even when he’s sleeping. he says it’s dangerous down there. but i’ve always been too curious- that’s what principal says. he looks at me with those stern different colored eyes and says curiosity killed the cat every time ms. hoth brings me to his office for doodling. i still have no idea what a cat is. cardeully, he erases my drawings and put the paper neatly into his desk. we waste nothing here. go home is all he says. but i know what he means. walk home in silence and do not ask questions, do not look behind curtains and do not wander off.

today mari has her birthday party. her mum wasn’t there. i can tell lou noticed because her eyes were scanning the room all strange, but she didn’t say anything. i didn’t ask. mari looked all scared and the camera of the ceiling fan hadn’t moved from her in a long time. i wondered who was watching her.

later, mari pulled me beneath her bed. i tried to say something but she covered my mouth with her hand. they’ll take me for telling you
was all she said.
but i have to tell someone.

i knew the feeling.
after a long time she took her hand off of my mouth and said mums in the garden








while she opened her presents, the mandatory ones from the northernland that are no fun, i tried to look out the window to see her mum. the only thing i could see in the garden was a pile of freshly turned earth. lou caught me looking and grabbed my wrist. she said you mustn’t look.


tuesday
when i come home there is a woman sitting at the kitchen table, and with her there are four ravens. she is royal, i can feel it in the way she sits and breathes and just exists. she looks at her hands and then at me. but this lady is not a guardian angel, like the kind canary says is always looking out for us. i am not an angel. she says. she is not from the northernland, but not from here either. i know is all i say, because i am not alarmed that she is here and that there are cameras and that she does not belong. i know she is not real. and she says i am a godess. i do not doubt her. she sits up, and puts the ravens about her in her hair and on her shoulders and the like. this is an omen. i nod, because why else would a goddess be at my kitchen table? and then she is gone because she was never really there, and i wash my face and make sure i am no longer seeing people that are not there, because i don’t want to go live in the White Building like mum.


wednesday

they are always watching us at recess- we mustn’t stand or walk anymore. we have never been allowed to run. there are cameras everywhere now, too. they see everything like a great waking monster that never sleeps. i thought i would feel safe with the cameras, but the back of my neck feels prickly like there’s somebody standing behind me and when i spin around and look the mushroom is empty except for me.

the only place there aren’t cameras is under alistair bed. i go and hide there sometimes, just to forget the feeling of being watched. that’s where i read the stories that alistair’s written. in them, he talks about a sky as blue as the ocean.
i have never been to the ocean. i remember the sky used to be blue, but never really. now it is a sickly grey.
canary caught me looking at the sky once and pushed my head down. she said don’t let them catch you looking or they’ll put cameras in your eyes.
i believe her.

wednesday

today we went to mandatory meeting, where they passed out rations. there is always less and less then there was last time. while we were there they made us watch a video where the leader of the northernland talked about how well we were doing in the war and how this would almost be over soon. he also reminded us that if we were past curfew there would be serious punishments.
for rations we got a red powder called kool-aid that you mix with water to make juice. we also got a loaf of white bread, a browned banana, circular crackers and a warm jacket. alistair took the jacket and left for work.

canary always looks worried. ever since mom went bonkers i haven’t seen her not wearing her worry lines. i can’t believe she’s only six years older than me. to alistair that doesn’t seem like a long time. to me, six years is an eternity. as long as a war.

canary watched alistair go at the window for a long time, long after he disappeared into the fog. then, all of a sudden, she turned around and said i’ll help you with your homework. i didn’t tell her that i knew how to multiply fractions. mom always used to say that if you were busy you weren’t worried. canary made me a cup of red juice and her hands shook so much she dropped the glass.
pity, that was our last one. it seemed to shatter in slow motion, and i could see every piece break slower and slower.

the day seemed to go by slowly, the cold sleeping into my bones and making me sleepy. i wa so thirsty, so thirsty. i wasn’t allowed anymore water till friday though. if you drink to much of it at once you get sick. i begged canary to let me drink from the stream in the garden but she wouldn’t. it’s black and thick, and smells like nail polish.

the last time i punted my nails was for dads funeral. i remember canary used her last bottle of nail polish to paint my fingers black, so as not to have anybody see the dirt under my fingernails. it didn’t matter, in the end. we were the only ones who attended.

canary is flying together the pieces of the glass with tacky glue. i can’t bear to tell her that all the glue in the world would never be enough. the shards are too small. she’s fills it back up with red juice and fora moment all is well, but then the glass can’t take it anymore and collapses with force into her hands. kool-aid runs down her fingers like blood. intermixed is real blood, from the cuts the glass left. she looked at it for a long time, letting the blood run down her fingers like that.

then she said what a waste

november

alistair is sick. principal gave us ibuprofen but all it does it make him feel empty. he begs us not to give him more but it’s the only things that will take his fever down. he thrashes in bed and screams ****** ****** and i worry he is going to be like mom, always seeing things and hearing things. maybe he can go live with mom in the White Building. mom would like that, if she could remember alistair.

i have been sleeping at school, because canary doesn’t want me to get sick. the dorms are cold and empty and heavily sanitized. i miss canary and i miss alistair but canary won’t let me come home. i don’t know what she would do if i was sick. so i stay. and every night, i say to myself i hate the northernland i hate the northernland i hate
but i say it in my head,  because i am worried they will come for me.
sometimes i worry about canary getting sick. she says promise i wont, sunshine but i know she never worries about herself. teacher gave me flowers to send to alistair. the card says “get well soon” it has been a long time since i have seen real flowers. most are fake, like the ones teacher sent alistair. i don’t mind. it’s the sentiment that is important.





sunday

today at church preacher said and let us pray for our sick
they have stopped re adjusting the crosses. the remain upside down and no one looks. except me. i was looking, while we were supposed to be praying, but canary pushed my head down and said  pretend you can’t see them.
that’s  when i knew she sees things too.

saturday
i remember when i came home from school and found mum. there was paper all over the house, because she’s been doing her drawings. it was on the walls and floor and crinkled up under the boxes, all pictures of the northernland and the pastor and everything. and she said there is no god. there is no god. there is no god. alistair covered her mouth but it was too late, the northernland men were already here. she drew here pictures more violently scribbling and slashing with my art pencils. she drew alistair and canary and father, but not me or her. there was lump in my throat. she picked a new piece of paper and drew god, above us all, but she kept saying there are no gods there are no gods there are no gods, and she slashed and scribbled at the paper, and the northernland men were knocking, watching us through the cameras, and mum pulled me down next to her. i could see blood beneath my skin she held me so tight, and she had. a thousand stars in her eyes that were all spinning, saliva dripped down her chin and  she did not look my my mum anymore. she looked lost. she said the gods have abandoned us.


after the northernland men took her to live in the White Building, her drawings were left on the floor. alistair gathered them all up and threw them in the basement and locked the door. then he put the key around his neck. at least, i think that’s what’s in the basement. i have never told alistair, but i took the last drawing she did, of me and her and a boy. i stuck it with glue to the very back of my dresser drawer, so no one will ever find it. in the picture, my lips looks like there are sewn together with greenish yarn. this has always scared me. mums mouth is open and she is screaming, but there is no tounge inside her mouth. the boy looks normal, and he is holding my hand. this boy is not alistair. this has always scared me. this has always scared me. this has always scared me. it’s only a picture.



monday

i keep finding myself in that moment-
when canary broke the glass and cut her hands, spilling red juice and blood like lines on her hands. she sat there for a long time, just looking. maybe it’s stuck with me because she was just looking, when we’re never supposed to look.

the clocks tick slower and slower everyday.


tuesday

teacher wasn’t at school today. instead we have a woman with blinding hair and an accent from the northernland. nobody asked where teacher went.
we don’t want to know. the hanger and the telly were gone, too.

when i got home i was feeling really sick with tears. i told alistair they’ve taken teacher. his eyes widened and he ****** his head toward the camera. canary dig her fingernails into my arm. of course they haven’t was all he said. that’s silly.

then he looked off into nothing for a long time. i just looked straight into the camera.


wednesday

at recess the northernland woman was acting real strange. she sat with us on the pavement and when the camera tune we it’s invasive x-ray eyes away she whispered your teacher has been taken by the northernland.

nobody said anything. nobody says anything, anymore. i think if we even spoke to many of us would cry. and then the cameras would look at us. so we just stared into space.
in our hearts, we already knew. but i still wanted to scream.


thursday

today was idyllic. sun came through the smoke and lit the sidewalk up orange. the woman from the northernland asked us what we would want if we could have any powers. almost everyone said healing. i said flying. maybe it’s because i’m selfish, all i want to do is fly away. but maybe it’s because i’m honest. i’m getting tired of not hearing the truth.

just to see if i could do it i ran all the way home. my feet seemed to leave the ground, its was as if i was actually flying every time i took a step. but then i landed and took off again.
i hadn’t run in a long time.
my chest seemed to hurt with a good  pain, if pain can be good.
i wanted to tell alistair but canary wouldn’t let me see him. i just need to you to get warm was all she said. over and over. but i’m boiling he said. it was quiet for a long time. it’s going to be alright. she said it again. twice. three times.

you know that feeling when you feel sick to your stomach, not because of disease but of fear. and mixed up in that sickness are tears and realization and you feel weak and helpless.  that’s how i felt when they took mum. that’s how i feel now.

i don’t know why, but a sudden hatred for the northernland boils up in my stomach. i think i am going to be sick. i turn around and run, run as fast as i can until i am at a strange gravel alleyway hidden behind some trees. i rest there for a long time, looking into the darkness after the cliff face. i know where i am. i am in the abyss, a place forbidden so long ago by alistair i had never thought to come here. i don’t break rules, i just ask questions. but i am here. at the abyss. where nobody should ever be.

friday
death is a sense. just like touch or smell, death is a feeling. i could feel it in my heart. in my bones and in my veins. it crowded about our house like fog in the summer. and all i wanted in the world was for it to go away.

teacher today told us about the northernland, how it was kind and safe and loved it’s people. the lie seemed to cuddle in her throat. nobody has ever gotten kindness from the northernland. the northernland started the war and has starved and survieled us to no avail. i know there was a time before, but i do not understand how that could have been. but i still haven’t  made peace with the cameras.


the abyss is where people go to go crazy. your screams bounce off the walls of the hole, but you cannot see them because it does not have edges. you cannot see the bottom or the sides of anything, just darkness. then the northernland men in the gas masks come in their yellow trolley and take you away. the abyss is where the devil lives, in a bottomless hole to the middle of the world.







saturday

i met a boy who lives in the abyss. he is made of sunshine and glitter, and plastic and paint and peace and everything that is beautiful.

but he is not really there. instead, he is almost see through. sometimes he is there and sometimes he is not. i know he isn’t real, just an imaginary friend. i am not like mum, who saw imaginary people and thought they were becoming real.

i did not say much to enyo, instead i said the only thing i was thinking. saying it made me feel sick.

i think alistair is going to die.













as i said it, it echoed off the walls of the cliff.
suddenly it was all too much. i was all too much. my heart started beating fast and my mouth felt dry and i stood up. i didn’t mean to cry but i did, big wet tears the dried my skin. i don’t want him to die. i said over and over.
my words echoed against the cliffs, i didn’t  sound like me.
HE CANT DIE
i shouted. HE CANT DIE HE CANT DIE HE CANT DIE HE CANT DIE HE CANT DIE HE  CANT


i woke up a long time later next to enyo. i looked into the void that filled the space between the cliffs and the beyond. i wonder of that’s where heaven is i said. i pointed into the nothingness that felt all consuming. enyo said nothing. he looked as empty as i felt.
a long silence later i said he’s not going to die is he? enyo looked me in the eyes for the first time and i realized his were a beautiful black, layer upon layer of black and brown. he said what do you fear more, the echo or the answer

but enyo was not there at all. he is only imaginary.




sunday

preacher came again to the house and said that alistair is better. that his fever had broken. i didn’t know fevers could break. i asked him about what being sick feels like, and he took me outside to the garden and we sat on the piles of rubble that used to be the neighbors. he said that your brain gets confused, and everything seems fuzzy and mixed up. i can’t help but think that must be awful for alistair, he was always orderly.

monday
today mari has her birthday party. her mum wasn’t there. i can tell lou noticed because her eyes were scanning the room all strange, but she didn’t say anything. i didn’t ask. mari looked all scared and the camera of the ceiling fan hadn’t moved from her in a long time. i wondered who was watching her. i know who was watching her.


tuesday

i go down to the cliffs, but enyo isn’t there. schools closed for sanitization, so i have nothing to do.  i swing my legs off the edge for a long time. i don’t dare say anything, i hate how it echoes back. i look deep into the bottom but i can see nothing.  it is only darkness. something at the bottom feels like is calling to me, tugging at me to come. i turn my back.
was this before or after the preacher came? i am trying to remeber in order, tell you this story radially like teacher says.

i go home and canary’s there waiting at the window. she says here i’ll help you with your homework. no, no, no NO NO NO NO NO NO. that did not happen after, that happened before.

i can hear the ticking of the clock in my ears, slowing down.
maybe i’m going crazy.


wednesday
i’m sitting on a bench, but i cannot remember where. enyo is beside me and he is talking. in my chest i feel something strange, like it is moving and jumping. i feel queasy but it also feels nice.
i look over and he’s bleeding, golden blood from his eyes and mouth running down his chest. i want to scream but it stops in my throat. enyo puts a finger to my lips and the scream goes away.

he isn’t bleeding anymore. we’re holding hands. are we holding hands? teacher tells us not too, it will make us sick. but enyo is different. enyo doesn’t go to school. i feel as if my hands are sweating but it doesn’t matter, he doesn’t say anything.





i wake up cold. it felt so real, it all felt so real. my arms feel heavy.
i’m alone on a bench by the abyss. smoke fills the air and makes it hard to breathe.

friday
mari wansnt at school today. i know the northernland took her, broken bones and all. i remebemer becaus lou told me while alistair was sick. but that was days ago. i am sorry, it’s just so hard to tell the story in the proper order. my head hurts.

tuesday
i’m sorry if i cross out bits, it’s just that as i understand more i change the words. doctor says to stop doing this, but i want you to know the truth. the clocks are going slower and slower lately. alistair can’t work anymore, the preacher said so. i was going to tell him about enyo, how he is real now, not imaginary, but i didn’t know how. there aren’t words to describe him. looking at him makes crows beat their wings beneath my ribs, but i don’t know why. I sit with alistair after class but i can’t think of much to say. he doesn’t seem like my brother anymore, just a body lying on the floor.



thursday
doctor says i am defamilirazing myself, telling the story like it did not happen to me. telling it in all the wrong bits. i will try and tell it in the right order, but my head hurts. my head hurts so much. doctor won’t tell me why i need to explain, what the tape recorders are for or the make i have to wear the mask or why i’m here, what happened to my family. he won’t tell me why every time i say it like it was in the past and not happening right now he checks me for a fever. all he tells me is to start at the begging.

friday
the blonde woman from the northernland has a ring in her nose, but i do not know why. when i ask her she doesn’t seem to understand. she doesn’t talk anymore, either. just points at things on the board. i dreamt that she had her tounge cut off, but that was just a dream. the northernland would never do that to someone.

saturday
alistair is dead.
preacher says the disease took him, but i do not know which. the real sickness or the brain washing of the northernland. i think it was both, because the sickness made his brain weak so the mind-poisoners could break in. it’s okay, he wasn’t my brother anymore. doctor says that i never loved him.

sunday
church has ended and we are walking home, just arrived when our door opens. i wonder who would w at to come to this house, where the walls smell like death. the northernland woman is at our door, standing in the place the cameras cannot see her. she is smart. canary opens it and the northernland woman opens her mouth. there is no tounge or teeth, and the sides of her throat are black. i scream, so loud and shrill that i cannot believe that i am making this noise. my heart is in the center of the earth, fear running through my brain and i am screaming. canary covers my mouth. it doesn’t matter, the cameras were already looking.

canary pushed me to the floor and dragged me under the bed. i could feel the cameras following us the entire way. when she sat up, her pupils looked strange, the ways moms did when she ways seeing the people in the walls. anger seemed to hide in her voice, she was trying not to be loud but to me it felt like she was screaming, she had never thrown words that hit me like knives before. she told me never to scream or else the men behind the spying eyes of the camera would come for me. what would i do without you she yelled, but it wasn’t yelling it was crying. she help me close to her chest and i could feel her breathing and her heart beating, sparratic and short. she cried into my hair, until it was soaking wet with tears. this was when i knew canary was lost.

tuesday
enyo is in the void, just there. he is very pale today, and he doesn’t say anything for a long time. we have gotten to holding hands now. i have never held hands with anyone, and my fingers feel strange and clumsy. tecaher used to say that touching was against the rules, but i am so sick of rules that i am now glad to break them.
all at once, it occurs to me that there could be cameras here. there are cameras everywhere. i don’t know why this has never occurred to me before. suddenly i dont care, i want them to see. i stand up and scream as loud as i can.


thursday
after i screamed, no one came for me. even when i go back, i don’t feel safe anymore. i ruined the only place i felt safe.


saturday
enyo is gone. i go everyday and yell for him, but he left when i screamed. he is still missing. i’m worried for him, but at least i know the northernland has not taken him. a sick feeling in my stomach asks me if enyo was ever real. i know he was. but it is still there, pulling at my head. of course he was. i felt his skin, rough and broken. imagination can’t conjure up real people.
but then i think of mom. how her fever got so high she started to see people that weren’t there. my head hurts so much, like someone is trying to break out of jail in my skull. i am angry, for the first time in my life. enyo was my only friend, the only one who could see through the blanket of the northernland skies. i scream for him ENYO ENYO ENYO ENYO ENYO ENYO, but i am not mad, i am crying and crying so much and loud that someone puts their hand over my mouth, but there is no one there. i am suffocating. i turn around and i can’t breathe, my vision is tunneling into the abyss.
i am sick.



someone is holding my body, but their skin is cold. i open my eyes but i can only see shapes. i am on the gravel and the sun is orange, just like always. i am alone. but can feel someone’s tears, touching my cheeks. i sit up as fast as i can, and i am seeing stars but i just need to look. we are never supposed to look but i am going to see.


the northernland is punishing me.
enyo is making me sick.


enyo is there beside me, crying. i have never seen him cry and something rises inside me, and all i want to do is put my arms around him, so i do. slowly he gets warmer and feels more solid. let the cameras watch, let them see.


sunday
im running, running by the tips of my feet and pushing me off the ground, i’m flying. i have to get home.  i think of the first time i ran, letvthe cameras watch, talked to enyo. all the times i’ve broken the rules. i has always hated the northernland, but i had witnessed something better. i had talked to enyo, heard stories of what it was like before. a hatred so strong curcdled beneath my ribs and made me want to punch someone. i ran and ran and ran and ran, shouting HE CANT DIE
i shouted. HE CANT DIE HE CANT DIE HE CANT DIE HE CANT DIE HE CANT DIE HE  CANT.     he is going to die.






monday
i saw a raven in the wire pole today. it was big against the grey sky and he watched me as i walked into the house. i hadn’t seen a raven in a long time, so i turn to enyo to tell him he looks like a raven. he smiles, but he is. if there. enyo was never there.

wednesday
alistair has gone back to work, though i think he shouldn’t have. he tells me the symptoms of the disease when he gets home. headache,seeing things, bleeding from your insides. i play with the ring on my finger, trying not to ask if that’s what happened to mom. i open my mouth but a rock lives there, and i cannot move it without crying.


sunday
doctor tells me to get off the floor, that i can stand now. i stand up and he puts me on the table. he is old and pale, with shiny grayish eyes. tell me what happened to alistair he says. i do not understand. what happened to alistair?

friday
mari wansnt at school today. i know the northernland took her, broken bones and all. i remebemer becaus lou told me while alistair was sick. i go home alone, and cold. i feel like there is a little green man in my lungs running a garden hose. i think back to the time when i ran, the first time i broke the rules. nobody came for me.
i can’t run anymore, my arms feel heavy and when i cough thick red bloods comes out of my mouth. it must be the smoke. I go home, and canary is at the window. she is crying in reckless abandon, shamshing on the door with her fists. two men from the northernland are holding her back, and one hits over the head with a black stick. alistair is being carried out on a stretcher.
look what the northernland has done to my family. all for the sake of this stupid war. i can’t remember who we’re fighting and yet my sister and my brother have died for the cause.
enyo says they are not dead. but enyo is not there, he was never there.

wednesday
i screamed again. i know canary told me not to, that cameras would look into my eyes and into my head. but i saw the northernland man coming up the street in his yellow trolley, straight for lou’s house. when the door opens she is wheeled out on a stretcher. so i screamed, because lou is dead and the war with no name had killed her. the devil had killed her.

canary grabbed me as the camera looked at me, as every camera in the house was trained on me. there was a disturbance in her eyes i had never seen before, like she was not all there. she grabs my arms and is much stinger than she should be. she opens the basement door and i scream again, because now i know what’s in the basement.








more northernland men than i have ever seen are in the basement, and when the door opens they look up. somebody take sme from canary and i scream and writhe and kick, but they pull at my body until my skin tears.





when i wake up, i am holding very still, and i cannot move if i want too. doctor says this is called  paralysis. there is a very bright light and a searing pain, it’s hurts so much my body is burning. cascades of blood come down into my mouth, and someone is sticking my lips with pins. this hurts more than anything that  has ever happened to me. it hurts in a deep ache, not just on the surface, and my entire body wants to shudder. my lungs are filling up with blood, because it hurts to much to breathe.





saturday
when i wake up i am in my bed, in my house. more relief than i have ever felt washed over me, because it was just a nightmare.

i used to have nightmares where there was a man in my room, saying numbers out of order. but then preacher says that if i talk to god before bed and make sure my blood is pure of doubt for the northernland, then i will not have nightmares. this is why i have had this nightmare, because i was disbelief the northernland. i do not care, because it was only a dream. i will never hail the northernland.


my lips hurt, and i wonder if in the night i bit my lips because of the dream. that happens sometimes. i dress and get ready for school, and catch myself in the mirror before i go. i turn fully toward it to make sure i am not hallucinating. in the great horror of it all, i try to scream, but it stays in my throat. i cannot scream, or make any sound at all.

my lips are sewn shut with green thread.


friday
everyone at school is quiet. anna covers her mouth and big wet tears fall on the ground. mrs. hoth takes her to the office, and the cameras follow them all the way there. we say our pledge and do our arithmetic, but i cannot say anything. i hate the northernland.
i hate it, i hate it. and i realize this is why they have silenced me.
the northernland woman is gone, and a man in a yellow coat teaches us arthimatic.
the clock on the wall is barley ticking now.
lou sits at the desk in front of me, her hair greasy and skin pale blue. she turns round, just like the old days, but isstead of telling me what the answer is or who’s the cutest or any of the normal things, all she says is run. her mouth makes an o and she closes her eyes and rests her head on the desk.

when i blink, she is not there. i am alone in the classroom.


sunday
i go to church by myself, because i havent seen canary since she sewed my mouth shut. she is not my sister anymore, and i pretend i don’t care what happens to her in that basement.

when i get there preacher is not there, there is nobody there except the northernland woman. she comes and sits next to me and runs her fingers across the stitches. we pray together, even though we can’t say anything and there is no sermon. when we walk outside there is an officers car, and she is handcuffed an put in the back. the man who has taken her gives me a sticker, with a little white cloud on it. it says trust in the northernland. i do not trust the northernland. i do not trust anyone.
i run away as fast as i can and throw the sticker into the ground, but it still seems to follow me inside my head. trust in the northernland. trust in the northernland. trust in the northernland. trust in the northernland. trust in the northernland. trust in the northernland. trust in the northernland.



monday
enyo is at the abyss, waiting. he says i am killing you. and i understand, it all makes sense now. but he is all i have now. if the only thing worth living for is killing me, that is what doctor would call dramatic irony. i do not feel dramatic, i feel used. the northernland has used me and used my family.


saturday
doctor says that when telling a story i need to define who is the antagonist and the protagonist. the antagonist is someone who antagonizes people. doctor says this means evil. this is hard for me to understand, because everyone is evil. this is not a story, and it does not have characters. the peoples i have met in my life are all complex and strange, evil and good and unpredictable. doctor says ok and that we will try again tomarrow.

thursday
mari wansnt at school today. i know the northernland took her, broken bones and all.
mari wansnt at school today. i know the northernland took her, broken bones and all.
mari wansnt at school today. i know the northernland took her, broken bones and all.

friday

enyo is at the abyss, waiting. he says i am killing you. and i understand, it all makes sense now. but he is all i have now. if the only thing worth living for is killing me, that is what doctor would call dramatic irony. i do not feel dramatic, i feel used. the northernland has used me and used my family. doctor says to be thankful of the northernland, that they did not use me. i turn away from enyo because even though i love him, i am loyal to the northernland.
i am thankful to the northernland.
i am thankful to the northernland.
all hail, all hail.






love alistair
fire element
exposing government secrets
cult
enyo gets more real as he is dying.
preacher dies.
alistair goes crazy, then dies.
something in basement.
Very low IQ but the only one smart enough to see
enyo is a ghost
canary goes crazy and sews our mouth shut.
fall in love with enyo.
not told radially
told in sgememgs like cross cross
deep symboling
TheOtherWoman Jun 2014
High school was the peak of your ecstasy high.
High school was coming down, and needing the coke to feel fine.
High school was floating in space--
'Cause ****** was massaging your brain.
Like a masseuse,
But like any good masseuse
they kneaded out your knots, and your neck became inflamed.
High school was all that.
The greats and the awfuls of every electric event.
You never felt the equilibrium
We were always at full max or the lowest minimum.
Temporary bipolar,
That's what we called it.
Temporary bipolar.

High school; we ******* felt it all.
The times Mary Jane showed us the moon
The times we were all sad and danced in my room.
Nobody knew it but Air baby and Alien and Fire baby too,
We were all in a war;
Well, not me.
I simply watched and kept my foot in the door.
So that to never let it close forever
So that to keep everybody together.

like when we hugged and became one
That was when everything was good,
When we no longer felt like the past was erased and our present had won.
When hugs didn't intermingle with the word resentment.
When kisses didn't intermingle with the thoughts of coerced ***.

When WE hugged we were in an empty white room.
Together yet so alone.
In high school there were secrets,
And when we were all there together hugging and dancing in my room,
We were one;
And nobody even had to know
that fire, air, and water were about to explode and come undone.

High school was Lester leaving town,
And injecting anxt into the walls of my house.
High school was forgotten elevator rides next to police officers,
And middle aged women having drinks and making an offer.
Im gonna make him an offer he can't refuse,
sock on the door and it's off to bed.

High school was being afraid to break a boy's heart, and dreaming of another home.
High school was leaving early from a party to let him cry on your shoulder.
High school was food left on the plate and narcissistic mirrors.
High school was cigarettes burning holes in relationships and the number four controlling people's lives.

High school was us being so real it almost felt fake,
High school was seeing how many pills you could take.

Up up into the clouds was where we always were,
Because in high school,
That was better than being anywhere.
Now off to college.
Maddy Kay Oct 2018
Normal -
What a powerful word.
It’s something we expect to happen for everything.
It’s something we all have wanted to be.
Something we wish we were.

But it’s not that simple,
Now is it?
Because normal means you have to go by society’s standards of what “normal” is.
But what is the use?
Why even try?

Because no matter what,
No one is going to meet society’s standards of what this term means.
Now, you will only meet those standards when a powerful authority tells you.
For example, President Donald Trump.
He expects us to be normal by building a wall and not allowing immigrants inside this country.

Or how about this?
He says he accepts the LGBTQ+ community,
But you know he says that just so that he could get votes.
And what about this?
He sexually harasses women no matter what they say.

Why do we want to be this way?
Why does everyone want to fit in?
To be accepted?
To feel appreciated?
To want to feel something?

It starts in our childhood.
Elementary school starts and we make friends.
We talk to girls and boys our age,
Start to figure out how we should dress,
How we should act.

Then, we hit our pre-teen year.
Middle school hits us like a glove impacted by a baseball.
We start to figure out who we hang out with,
What phases we go through,
And what we should say.

Finally, we become teenagers.
High school feels like we get beaten by a bat.
We find out who our true friends are,
Find out what is good for us,
What we identify with.

But it doesn’t end there.
We go into adulthood and face reality.
And it ***** because we don't know what to do.
Who we should talk to.
What we should talk about.

Think about it.
We go through so much stuff to fit in.
To feel needed.
To feel wanted.
To feel normal.

Think back to the high school days.
Remember how it was normal for cheerleaders and football players to date?
How it was normal for the nerds to always be in the library?
How it was normal for the blonde that ran things to bully the girl with glasses and braces?
How normal it was for the gay kids to be called “****”?

Why is it okay for the kids with disabilities to feel left out?
Why is it okay for small kids to be shoved into lockers?
Why is it okay for guys to wear volleyball shorts and do ******-like moves,
But girls get in trouble for it?
Does this make sense at all?

When girls were young,
They were taught that it was wrong to bully.
They were taught that they should wear makeup and wear dresses.
They were taught that it was not okay to act like boys.
They were taught that they were going to become what their parents wanted them to be.

When boys were young,
They were taught that they should always act like a gentleman.
They were taught to wear tuxedos and gel their hair.
They were taught to never hit a girl.
They were taught that it was okay to get into fights.

Girls nowadays starve themselves to look perfect.
They get lip and breast injections.
They put on makeup that nobody recognizes them in.
They wear tight clothes to look skinnier.
They show off their body to look presentable.

Guys nowadays act like they are tough.
They hit the gym a lot to look perfect.
They take pills to feel better.
They rely on money to give them everything.
They do stupid things to get popular.

The cheerleader that was always nice to you?
She is dealing with abuse at home.
The popular blonde girl that picked on you?
She is cutting herself and popping pills to feel better.
That’s not all though.

The nerd that hangs out in the library all the time?
He was born with ADHD and he doesn’t want to be a burden to anyone.
The gay guy that gets called “***” all the time?
He is having problems with his boyfriend that he loves.
That’s not even the beginning of it.

We call each other names,
We say things that we don’t mean,
We give people looks,
We go through phases,
We do things to get attention.

We wear things to express how we are feeling,
We think about what people will think of us,
We listen to songs that we relate to,
We join things that make us feel good,
We hang out with people that give us good vibes.

But behind every smile is a frown.
Behind every layer of makeup is insecurity.
Behind every glance is worryment.
Behind every pair of sunglasses is sadness.
And behind every spoken word is fear.

Behind every song we listen to,
Has a special meaning to it.
Behind every poem we read,
Makes us think of our feelings.
And we what we fear.

Trying to be “normal” in today’s world,
Is like committing suicide to your old self.
Trying to be “normal” in everyone’s eyes,
Is like you are trying to become your own ******.
But why?

Trying to be “normal” for society,
Is like being stabbed to the back by the person you love the most.
Trying to be “normal” for popularity,
Is like a Great White taking a chunk of you.
What for?

We destroy the very core of us.
We take out what makes us important.
We add things to ourselves that we wouldn’t normally do.
We say things that we wouldn’t normally say.
What is the reason for this?

Guys catcall girls.
And they take it personally.
They take it into consideration.
They want to look better.
All they want is to feel like guys want them.

Girls judge guys on how they look.
They get shocked by it.
Their confidence goes down.
They dress better to impress.
All they want is to feel like girls them.

We are so focused on what others think of us,
That we give up on the fact that our own opinion matters.
We soak up every comment,
Every criticized term.
That we drown in the judgment.

To the ones that no longer care,
To the ones that block all the hate,
To the ones that ignore the judges,
To the ones that help spread kindness,
Keep doing it.

To the ones that criticize,
To the ones that judge,
To the ones that give ***** looks,
To the ones that make snarky comments,
Stop what you’re doing.

Do you see the pattern here?
How the mean people get recognized for doing something “good” in society’s eyes.
How the kindest people get ignored with every plea.
How it’s okay for us to do stupid things to get noticed?
Nothing is better than feeling accepted.

But being accepted is a privilege.
It’s not about what you want to see yourself to do.
You have judgmental parents for that.
It’s not about what you want yourself to become.
You have your parents to tell you what you will become.

But being accepted is a privilege.
It’s not about what you want to see yourself to do.
You have judgmental parents for that.
It’s not about what you want yourself to become.
You have your parents to tell you what you will become.

We live by rules and expectations.
Because if we don't,
We will get disowned by the people we trust the most.
Because if we don’t,
We will be seen as not worthy enough to feel good about ourselves.

But if we take the time to look at everything,
To realize that we don’t need to follow expectations,
To know we are worthy,
To see that we are loved for who we are.
One day, we will finally realize that we don’t need society’s expectations.

Elementary school girls are so worried about who will like them.
One day, elementary school girls will realize that they will gain friendships.
Elementary school boys are so focused on being tough.
One day, elementary school boys will realize that it is okay to be a gentleman.
Hopefully, it will happen.

Middle school girls are so worried about the size of their friend group.
One day, middle school girls will realize that popularity will not matter.
Middle school boys are so focused on getting a girlfriend.
One day, middle school boys will realize that girls will like them for who they are.
Possibly it will happen.

High school girls are so worried about the names they will get called.
One day, high school girls will realize that rumors are too stupid to be focused on.
High school boys are so focused on being perfect.
One day, high school boys will realize that it’s okay to be yourself.
Maybe it will happen.

Being normal is so pointless.
But yet, everyone takes it so seriously.
No one wants to stand out.
No one wants to feel different than everyone else.
We just go along with it.

Hopefully one day,
On a day that is just normal,
We will realize what we are doing to ourselves.
We will realize that we don’t need a set of rules to live by.
We will finally want the need to stand out amongst everything that is perfect.

As Brad Pitt once said,
“Stop being perfect,
because being obsessed over
being perfect stops you
from growing”.

So why don’t we just stand up for ourselves?
On what we want to do.
On what we want to look like.
On how we want to act.
Because as soon as we do that.

We will be free.
If you can't tell, this poem is about how we should not have to live by society's expectations in order to feel wanted.
There it was on the calendar, Saturday May 11,2013. Big red circle around the date and written in black pen in the middle…SPELLING BEE. Plain as day, you couldn’t miss it. One of the biggest days of the school year for geeks and nerds alike.





Today was the day. In two hours, The 87th Annual Cross Cultural Twin Counties Co-Educational Public School Spelling Bee, would begin.  This was a huge event in the history of Thomas Polk Elementary School. It would be one of the biggest, if not THE BIGGEST in the history of The Twin Counties.



There would be twenty-one schools represented with their best and brightest spellers. The gymnasium would be full of parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, and media representatives. Yes, invitations had been sent out to both of the local papers in The Twin Counties, and both had replied in the affirmative. Real media, in Thomas Polk Elementary School, with a shared photographer….the big time had come to town.



Inside the gymnasium, work had been going on all night in preparation of the big event. The Teachers Auxiliary Group had set up bunting across the stage, purple and white of course, for the school colours. The school colours were actually purple and cream, but, there was a wedding at Our Lady of The Weeping Sisters Baptist Church later, and they had emptied the sav-mart of all of the cream coloured bunting and crepe paper. So, white it would be.



It looked spectacular. There were balloons tied to the basketball net at the south end of the gym. It wouldn’t wind up after the last game, so something had to be done to hide it. Balloons fit the bill. There was three levels of benches on the stage for the competitors, a microphone dead center stage and two 120 watt white spot lights aimed at the microphone.  Down in front, was a judges table, also covered in bunting and crepe, with a smaller microphone sitting in the middle. There was a cord connecting it to the stage speaker system, taped to the gym floor with purple duct tape, just to fit in. Big time, big time.



The piece de resistance sat at the right side of the judges table. An eight foot high pole, with an electronic stop watch and two traffic lights, donated from the local public utilities commission, in red and green. The timer had been rigged up by the uncle of one of the competitors, possibly to gain an advantage, to help keep the judges honest in their timings. Besides, it looked fancy, and it had a cool looking remote control.











The gym was filled to capacity. One hundred and Seventy Five Entrants, visitors, judges and media were crammed into plastic chairs, benches, and whatever lawn chairs the Teachers Auxiliary were able to borrow, that weren’t being used for the wedding at the Baptist Church. It was time to begin….



The three judges came in from the left of the clock, and sat down. The entrants were all nervously waiting on stage on the benches. The media representatives were down front, for photo opportunities, of course.



Judge number one, in the middle of the table clicked on the microphone in front of him and turned to the crowd. In doing so, he spilled his water on his notes and pulled the duct tape loose on the floor in front.



“Greetings, and welcome to the 87th Annual Cross Cultural Twin Counties Co-Educational Public School Spelling Bee.” There was some mild clapping from the family members, along with a few muffled whistles and two duck calls from the back. The weak response was due to the fact that most of the parents either had small fans (due to the heat), donated from the local Funeral Home, or hot dogs and beer (from the tailgating outside), in their hands. Needless to say, it was still a positive response.



The judge carried on…”Today’s competition brings together the top spellers in the region of the Twin Counties to do battle on our stage. All of the words used today, have been selected from a number of sources, including Webster’s Dictionary, from our own school library, Words with Friends from the inter web, keeping up with modern culture, and finally from two books of Dr. Suess that we had lying around the office. Each competitor will get one minute to answer once his or her word has been selected. We ask that you please refrain from applause until after the judges have confirmed the spelling, and please no help to the competitors. We now ask that you all turn off any electronic media, cell phones, pagers, etc. so we can begin”.



He then turned to the stage and asked all competitors to remove their cell phones and put them in the bright orange laundry basket, usually reserved for floor hockey sticks. Each student deposited their phones, all one hundred and thirty-seven of them in the basket.  We were ready to start.





“Competitor number one…please approach the microphone and state your name and your school” said Judge number two. Judge number two would be in charge of calling the students up, it seemed. She was the librarian at Thomas Polk. She had typical librarian glasses, with the silver chain attached to the arms, flaming red hair, done up in a bee hive uplift, just for the event, and was called Miss Flume. She was married, but, being the south, she was always addressed as Miss.



The first student advanced to the front of the stage. She had bright pink hair, held in place with a gold hairband, black shoes, and a yellow jumper. She looked like a walking number 2 pencil. The two duck calls came from the back of the gymnasium along with scattered applause. All three judges turned and looked to the back, and then turned to face the young girl.



“My name is Bobbie Jo Collister, I am a senior at Jackson Williams School of Fine Arts and Music”. “Thank you Bobbie Joe” said Miss Flume. Bobbie Jo, smiled nervously and put on her glasses. “Your word is horticulture” announced Judge number one, “horticulture”.  Bobbie Jo took a breath and without asking for a definition, usage, root of the word or anything, just ripped through it without fail in three point two seconds, according to the mammoth timepiece at the end of the table. After conferring, the judges clicked on the green street light and she sat down, amidst more duck calls and clapping.



Student number two went through the entire process as did students three through eight. Each one had glasses, no surprise there, and were all dressed in monochromatic themes. Together, they looked like a life sized box of crayolas ready for a halloween party. Each child spelled their words correctly and were subsequently cheered and applauded.



Student nine then approached the microphone, stopping about a good seven feet short and three feet right of it. “My name is Oliver Parnocky” squeaked the lad. “I go to George W. Bush P.S 19 and am a senior.” Miss Flume, grabbed the small mike in front of her and said “Oliver…put on your glasses and move over to the microphone.” She leaned into the other judges, and said “He goes to my school, he doesn’t like wearing them much, and he’s always outside at recess talking to the flagpole after everyone else has come inside”.



“Oliver, please spell Dichotomy” said Judge number one. Judge two started the clock and they waited….and waited…then out burst this voice….DICHOTOMY…D I C H O T O M E E, , no, wait..D I C K O….****!” The crowd erupted in laughter, Oliver was busted. The judges conferred, and after informing poor Oliver they had never heard it spelled quite that way with an O **** at the end, they triggered the red light and Oliver left the stage to sit in the audience with his folks.



The next three kids, all with glasses, like it was part of an unwritten uniform dress code for the day, all advanced and sat down. The next entrant, number thirteen, luckily enough stood from the back and struggled down to the front of the stage. There were gasps and some snickering from the crowd. She was taller than the previous competitors,  and a little more pregnant as well. “Please state your name” said Miss Flume. “My name is Betty Jo Willin and am a senior at

Buford T. Pusser Parochial School”. At this announcement there was a cheer of “Got Wood at B.T. Pusser” from the crowd. The judges turned, asked for silence and the offending nuns returned to their seats. “Miss Willin, how old are you exactly?” asked Judge number one. “Twenty Two sir”. “And you say you are a senior?” “Yes sir” came the reply. Betty Jo was shuffling a bit as the pressure on her bladder must have been building standing there in her delicate condition. After conferring, judge number one said “That sounds about right, your word is PROPHYLACTIC”. The few people in the crowd that knew the meaning of the word laughed, while the rest continued eating their hot dogs and drinking their sodas and beers. “Please give a definition sir..I don’t believe I know that word”. The judges looked at each other with a definite “I’m not surprised” look and rattled off the definition. When she asked for usage, the judges really didn’t know what to do. Should they give a sentence using the word or explain the usage of a prophylactic, which regardless would have been too late anyway.

After a modicum of control was reached, she attempted the word, getting all tongue tied and naturally messing it up. The red light was triggered and she left the stage.



More strange outfits, bowties, hair nets, jumpers, clip on ties, followed. It looked like a fashion parade from Goodwill and The Salvation Army rolled into one. Most attempted their words and were green lighted onwards to the next round, while those who failed, were red lighted back to the crowd and the tailgate party in the parking lot. As each competitor was eliminated, the betting board that was being manned outside by one father was updated with new odds and payouts.



The first round was approaching an end with only three kids left. “Number nineteen please approach and state your name” said Miss Flume. He plume of red hair was starting to sag and was sliding slowly off of her head due to the humidity in the gymnasium.



Number nineteen came forth, glasses, tape across the bridge like half of the previous spellers. He was wearing the most colourful shirt that any of the judges had ever seen. It was not from Dickies, they surmised. “I go to J.J. Washington P.S 117 and my name is Mujibar Julinoor Parkhurloonakiir”. The judges froze. He obviously was new to the district. They had never heard a name like that before, ever. Not even in Ghandi. This was a powerful name. There had been sixteen cominations of Bobby, Bobbie, Billie, Jo, Joe, Jimmy, Jeff, Johnson and Jackson prior to Mujibar. Stunned, judge one asked “Son, can you spell that please?”

Mujibar, not sure what to do, spelled his name, unsure of why he was being asked to do so. “Thank you son” said Miss Flume. The odds on the betting board in the parking lot changed right then.



“That boy is gonna win fer sure” said Jimmy Jeff Willerkers. Jimmy Jeff ran the filling station two concessions over and had fifty bucks on his nephew Bobby Jeff, who had already flamed out on “yawl”. “How was he supposed to know  it had something to do with boats?” asked Jimmy Jeff. “That Mujibar is gonna win…jeez, he’s been spelling that name for years….anything else is gonna be easy breezy.” The odds went down on Mujibar and the money was flying around that parking lot faster than the rumour that the revenue people were out looking for stills in the woods.



“Mujibar…please spell SALICIOUS”…asked the now red pancake headed Miss Flume. Doing as he was told, Mujibar, spelled the word, gave the root, a definition and a brief history of the word usage in modern literature. Judge number one was furiously scribbling down notes, and trying to figure out how he would get a bet down on this kid before round two started.



Entrant number twenty from Jefferson Davis Temple and Hebrew school advanced which brought up the final entrant from round one. “Number Twenty-One please advance to the front of the stage”. After adjusting his glasses, after all he didn’t want a repeat of what poor Oliver did, he approached. “My name is C.J. Kay from William Clinton P.S 68” Judge one, confused by the young man’s name asked him to repeat it. “C.J. Kay” said C.J. “What is your full last name boy, you can’t just have a letter as your last name….what is the K for?” “Sir, my last name is Kay”, said C.J. “It’s not a letter”. “It most certainly is son…H I J K L…rattled off judge one. “It has to stand for something, you just can’t be CJK, that sounds like a Canadian radio station or worse yet, one of them hippy hoppy d.j fellers my granddaughter listens to. What is the K for?”. C.J said sir “My name is Christopher John Kay… not K, Kay” and then spelled it out. This only confused judge one more than he already was, and the extra time figuring out his name was doing nothing to Miss Flume’s hairdo.



“Christopher John….please spell MEPHISTOPHOLES “ said Judge one, after realizing he was never going to find out what the K was for. The crowd was getting restless and wanted to get to the truck to get re-filled and change their bets. C.J. knocked it out of the park in 2.7 seconds…”faster than Lee Harvey Oswald at a target shoot in Dallas”, one man said.



After a ten minute break, to get drinks, ***, re-tape some glasses and prop up Miss Flumes ruined plumage round two was set to begin. This went faster as the words were getting tougher, although randomly selected, judge one was inserting a few new words to keep his chance of winning with Mujibar alive. PALIMONY, ARCHEOLOGY, PARSIMONIOUS, TRIPTOTHYLAMINE , and many other words were thrown at the competitors. Each time the list of successful spellers was reduced, and the amount of clapping and the duck calls were less.

The seventh round began with just Mujibar, B.J. Collister and C. J Kay left. Before the round began the judges reminded the crowd that the words were random, and to please keep the cheering until the green light had been lit. There were more duck calls at this announcement and very little applause. Jerry Jeff was still manning the betting board, the tailgate barbeque was done, and there was only about thirty people left in the gymnasium.



The balloons on the basketball net had long since lost their get up and go, and were now hanging limply like coloured rubber scrotums and were flatter that Miss Flumes hair, which incidently, was now starting to streak the right side of her face from sweat washing out the dye. She was beginning to look like an extra in a zombie film with a brilliant orange red streak across her forehead.



“C.J.” said judge one, “please spell ARYTHMOMYACIN”. C.J. gave it a valiant effort ,but unfortunately was incorrect and the red light sent him off to the showers. This left B.J. Collister and the odds on favourite, Mujibar. The crowd was down to twenty seven now, Bobbie Jo’s folks and Mujibars immediate family.



Round after round were completed with neither one missing a word. Neither one blinked. It was a gunfight where both shooters died. These two were good, and it was never going to end. Judge one leaned over and told the other judges, “we have to finish this soon….I’m due at the wedding over to the Baptist church for nine o’clock to bless the happily marrieds and drive them both to the airport. They’re off to Cuba for their honeymoon.” The others agreed…”C.J. please spell MINISCULE said Miss Flume”. She did so, without a problem. This caused judge one to yell out “Holy Christmas” just as Mujibar got to the microphone. Thinking this was his word, he started as the judges were giving him his word. Seizing the opportunity to end it…judge one woke up judge three who red lighted poor Mujibar, ending his run at spelling immortality. “Sorry son, you tried, but, today a Mujibar lost and a B.J won.”. Before he tried to correct himself, knowing what he had just said didn’t sound quite right, Miss Flume congratulated both finalists and began the award presentations.



Thankfully, next year the eighty eighth version of The Annual Cross Cultural Twin Counties Co-Educational Public School Spelling Bee will be in the other county. Now the job of sorting out the cell phones in the orange basket begins. By the way, Betty Jo Willin had a boy …you can just guess what she named it!
not a poem, as you can see...it's a rough draft of a short story. I would love feedback on the content, not the spelling or grammar as it is in a rough stage still and needs editing.
Spud William Mar 2014
wake up. school. work. school. wake up. school. work. school.
wake up. school. work. school. wake up. school. work. school.
money is a means to buy things that make you happy when my grandma gave me twenty I said **** ya and she slapped me now Im workin for some currency and right now I am currently in debt a couple thousand and my parents keep on worrying but I know that I'm capable to escape this hole and make a boat and sail away, Ima stop punchin lines like JayLeno my paychecks and timesheets are worthless when I die, so Ima **** the system quit my job and live my life, ya **** the system
wake up. school. work. school. wake up. school. work. school.
wake up. school. work. school. wake up. school. work. school.*
twenty years wasted? I don't think so, but did I do anything? I don't think so but this last week I thought deep like Alaskan fisherman watching their lines my rhymes and flow are cold like hos in the middle of palm springs, so frosty, no dirt on my shoulder, I wish somebody told me it hurts gettin older....
rap song
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.
Elena Ramos Jul 2014
By Elena Ramos©
1
Todays my last day of School before I graduate, go to the University and the most important thing summer vacations, I just hope to be accepted in a good University, and I am talking seriously. All my entire friends are going to travel or do something incredible as always before they start the University, but I cant. My vacations are boring, watch movies at home,I just visit  my grandparents house, or watch tennis games with my dad and brothers. I am the second son of four kids, Julian is the older, I am next, Ryan the third and Georgina the small one. My mother name is Lauren Parker but she was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) which is basically a sickness that do not **** you but makes your life harder, not only physically but mentally also. Mom started to feel fatigued, loss her concentration constantly and memory, extremely pain in her muscles, and a inexplicable headache. It is a little bit hard for all of us because even if mom is alive she cant do anything for us, she started feeling this way after Gerogina was born, that was sixteen years ago. My dad Julian is the one who suffers the most, they cant do any activity toguether, even watching Tennis Chanel is hard for her, she is more time sleeping than what she spend awake. Georginas sweet sixteen just passed and sadly mom couldn’t  help her to plan the party. All the boys of the house, we help her to plan it, but our ideas **** up that much that she almost cancel the party. Even so, she did it, and she had a good time, all her friends came and dance a lot, my brother Julian buy her some alcohol because he is more than twenty one, and brought some friends with him supposedly to supervise everything and have things calm. Dad was not in the party because  he trusted Julian that everything was going to be fine. All Julian friends were wasted but for my sisters friends they were cool, so at the end we all have fun. Right now is almost Lunch, that means school will end soon. Arnold my best friend of all my life, is sitting next to me making some jokes about Mrs. Frances horrible make up, like if she did it in the dark. I cant believe that during my entire life I did not talk to Mary the hottest girl in the entire school. Her hair so light brown, her beautiful smile, her blue eyes, and her incredible capacity of being the best student of Seattle’s High School make me fall in love of her, sadly I was never able to speak to her, not even a hello in the cafeteria line. Girls like her make boys feel stupid for even believe we have a chance with them. Even Arnold feel the same way with her, just that he is not able to admit it, because he thinks we can fight for her and end our friendship. Lunch is here, we are meeting Sarah a friend of us, but she is a junior, sadly we wont graduate with her. We had this little pact that the three us were going to the same University together and that Sarah was going to meet us the next year too. Seattle pacific University is our best option for now. They offer Arnold a half scholarship, something awesome that I wish could happen to me, thanks god my parents save money for school during their entire life. I live in Seattle the largest city of Washington, Sara mom reserve a table tonight for the three of us to celebrate were out of school in the space needle. Later we can got to a party or something alike, definitely tonight were having some fun. We just meet Sara in the hallway.
-Hey donkies!-said Sarah-
-Hello Sarah-I said in a sarcastic mood. She is an incredible person, probably with the only girl I being so close to. We have even sleep together, I mean the three of us, sometimes when its get to  late and we have a lot to study.
-Nerd, how you doing?-ask Arnold to Sarah.
-Great airhead, cool that your almost graduated!-.reply Sarah.
-Yeah, is pretty awesome that we make it until here, I am ready for the University, imagine how many pretty girls would be there waiting for a nerd to do their homeworks or a shoulder to cry after a break with her boyfriend-Arnold laugh.
-Yes, your still an ******* inmature, I cant believe you have a half scholarship-Sarah said.
-Its fine the two of you, let quick so we can make it to the cafeteria line, before all those ******* of the football team-I said.
The cafeteria was still empty, we made it before the athletes. I even said goodbye to the lady who served the food. She was nice to me, she serve me more green grapes or more French fries every Tuesday. This is one of the things I will miss the most from the school, too many memories, things that with the time I will forget, i wish to have more time here, I guess I love my school, or I am scared of growing up, and becoming an adult. We sat in the last table of the cafeteria, I wanted to observe all the room for the last time, full of people I used to know. It is funny how ironic the day gets, you desire this last day of school all your life, but when it comes, you want to fall back again to the first day of school where you start everything, where you meet your best friend of all your life, Arnold and Sarah in this case, your first breakup or your first party, or the day you kiss a girl for the first time, something it has not happened to me yet. I want it to be real and true, I know it sounds funny, but I am still a old school boy, when its related to how treats ladies. Even if I had the chance to be with one I will never do something, first of all because I respect them a lot, I always think of Georgina, I will treat girls the way I wish my sister be treated someday by a dude.
-In what your thinking Alex?-ask Sarah eating in a silly way her sandwich.
I reply-Well, to be honest I am sad-
Arnold laugh instantly after my answer-how you dare to say your sad, if you were always saying you wanted to graduated and getting the hell out of here-.
-I know I said it, but think in this, what will happen after we graduate, we wont see you often Sarah, you will have new friends, Arnold you will be busy meeting new girls and being a Casanova, and I probably will be in my dorm reading some Mangas, or listening music, or worst talking with my family.-I said.
-Don’t worry Alex it wont happen, I bet you wont do skype with your family only once every six months, I swear. Don’t take your mangas collection, you will seem yourself weird and nerd, not to offend you but its true, and yes I will be a Casanova, hope god listen you-.Arnold said in a inspirational mood.
-Thanks dude, you’re the best-I said to Arnold – and about my manga collection I don’t promess you nothing, I gues that instead of taking the all I will only take ten, and read the rest online-.
-I cant believe your sad Alex, I wish to be graduating now, I cant handle one year anymore-said Sarah.
-Well your day will come soon Sarah, your senior year will be awesome I promess-I said.
While everyone was getting ready for the last period of class I couldn’t take my eyes off Mary, beautiful face. She was wearing this beautiful white dress, with her pink Vans. All I can said she look like an angel,her breast was incredible good locking, all in her was just perfect. Sadly she was dating someone bigger than her, he picked up her always after school, all I can said is that a lady like her deserve something better, a men that respect her, take care, and treat her delicately; but that ****, dressed like a lazy men, his hair was awful, the loudness of his music was horrible, and he smoked in her face, I mean at 2 centimeters from her face. Sometimes I said to myself she deserves me, even if it was a crazy idiot idea I knew I could treat her as the lady she was and make her happy.

Bell just ring, last class period, maybe the teacher will said some last words and school stuff be decline today. I just want it to end now, I want it to be night, I want to go to any good party we were not invited but we enter anyway. Sara mom was too gentile in paying a dinner for the three of us. I guess that school will end but I feel its time to wake up a part of me I never knew it existed; the free man. ©

CHAPTER 2 SOON ...
Dono James Jan 2012
The truth about school
By: Dono James

In spite of my learning I feel like a fool
For it took me so long to learn the truth about school
You don’t know how it goes? You don’t know the rules?
Then let me tell you my version of the truth about school
From my days in pre-k to my completion of college
I was told by society I was obtaining knowledge
But from what I have been through and what I can see
My convictions tell me that I must disagree
I admit in my youth not interacting with people
Which was all the more reason I saw school as evil
But as I matured and became more social
It was more of a process and less of a chokehold
Then my years in high school were somewhat a coma
Where I didn’t really learn but filled up a quota
But with flying colors my diploma was earned
And I looked forward to college to actually learn
To start my life over I was truly excited
After my first year I felt somewhat enlightened
But in spite of my joy I needed a pause
For I came to notice there were still a few flaws
Not really a flaw, but a legitimate scam
A plot to take money away of my hand
Conceiving to deceive us whenever they choose
Charging hundreds of dollars for books that aren’t used
Even worse than that is the ugliest case
The time spent on a degree in the first place
In spite of our major to earn our degree
We’re forced to take classes we really don’t need
And their justification, at which I’m dumbfounded
They say that they want us to be well rounded
But in spite of its faults I kept my head in the air
Because college here is still better than high school there
The flaw in that logic showed not after long
When it showed for the most part I truly was wrong
Being in school for almost as long as alive
I’ve been doing the same thing since I was about five
Waking up in the morning and wasting the day
Listening to jibberish someone has to say
This procedure is twisted and far from anointed
If that’s the best way to learn then I’m disappointed
But I was told school would increase how much I get paid
So I’m not here to learn I’m just here for a grade
And once my time finishes, what do I see?
A fancy piece of paper they call a degree
Yet in spite of the struggle of putting many years in it
I would not so much as wipe my rear with it
The bane of my existence and the source of my strife
I could do without school for the rest of my life
Having stood it so long I hope not to stand more
I hate all that school is and all it stands for
Being barely a step above pure embezzlement
It’s the greatest façade of human development
So if I go past a bachelor’s let the world be a witness
My reason for going was strictly ‘bout business
As in my observation the truth has unfurled
Real learning occurs with time in the real world
And with that being said I can soundly assert this
Education is priceless but academia is worthless
In fact the thing that disgusts me the most in particular
Is that I might have learned more through my extracurriculars
But this sick institution had me worried and stressed
Oppressed by the papers and distracted by the tests
To compare school to work is truly a fallacy
For in all ways it puts us out of touch with reality
Where the number 4 is that which everyone dreams
And five letters mean so much to our self esteem
For others in the struggle the burden may be small
But for my own preference I am sick of it all
My soul is disgruntled and my mind is distorted
Involved in a cause that I never supported
But having graduated I can finally move on
And get a job in the real world where I truly belong
my wounds will soon heal and everything will be cool
for at least now you know the truth about school
school can be fun in
some ways or none
the thing about school is friends
all that they have to trend

school can be fun in
someways or none
the fun things about school
is lunch time and break

school can be fun in
someways or none
school can be fun because
you can have fun

school can be fun in
someways or none
school can also not be fun

school can't be fun because
of the classes you take
your classes are boring
and you feel like snoring

school can't be fun because
you have to work
working is boring
snoring is better

school can't be fun because
of the studying
the studying gets boring

school can be fun because
after the studying its time
to go home

to do what you do best
which is laying your bag down
on the table and going to the
couch to lay down and rest
i hope this is note objectionable to anybody out there. this is just my opinion and i hope its you'rs to
XD
if it is note please reply to me via message and i will get back with you as soon as i can.
if it does not make any since to you message me and i will explain to you
also i am having fun with writing the poems i hope enjoy them and can write some like mine. -_-
Cat Fiske May 2015
this whole year I have talked to girls in my school,
girls
who wouldn't do things together,
even come together or even talk,

but now were talking,
we've talked,

because the school has lied to us about all these little boy's ****,
and how the boys are allowed to bruise our body's,
steel our souls like it's a game,

why was he allowed?
to get away with it,

because the school and policemen played this game like ****** fools,
and they too encouraged the assault and abuse,
to girls in the hall, or walking to school up the street,

even to girls in cafeterias,
afterschool,

were perfumes of pretty girls were stolen by high school boys,
as they laid on cafeteria floors,
the only scent left was the old lunchroom food stench,

and the high school boy's,
***** *** sweat,

but you belived closeing the doors to the lunchroom,
afterhours,
will stop future harm,

but closeing a door,
wont give a **** victim closer,

espesally when the game continues,
and the odds are stacked up against the women,
where to walk from class to class,

becomes a danger,
and a threat,

because girls who I go to school with have stopped wearing,
that **** red dress,
or tub tops, cutshirts, short shorts,

anything that,
could get you hurt,

because the girls who I go to school with have to wear,
there daddys sweatshirt and sweatpants,
covering
their whole body's while trying to say,

"Im not ****,"
"Don't pick me,"


they are screaming their hopes,
of "Don't Pick Me's" because of the game,
the game of slapping *****,

in the man packs of fives,
to the one girl trying to get to her next class by herself,

the school grounds are no longer a place that's safe,
where you have to know every corner that has a missing camera,
or one turned off,

or if the man pack pull you into the bathroom,
and take off your top,

you're going to be the one,
who gets the book thrown at them,
because the five boys,

pulled the one of you,
into the boys bathroom,

and it doesn't matter why,
or how you got there,
cause school doesn't care,

tells you that you are wrong,
and it's all your fault,

and the five to pull you in,
walk around the school all day,
getting talked up,

like they rolled snake eyes on a pair of six's,
as your stuck like a prisoner in the office trying almost begging,

for some sort of justice,
and every time you talk,
there replys make you feel like a ****,

but you just want to call your mom,
and they wont let you,

so you have to sit and wait, and,
you don't remember if they took your picture & got it with your face,
but you can remember each and everyone of there faces,

like there the only faces a blind person will ever see,
as if there horrible image can't get away from you,

you try,
because you should only see beauty,
though blind eyes,

and your eyes have been scorned,
because five boys tore one girls shirt,

and these boys play the game,
the game of ****, and let me take her picture without her consent,
but that's not even all their rules,

because if they don't do that to you,
they publicly shame you,

they come up to you,
slap your *** so hard,
you instantly see a bruise,

and you have to tell your mother when you get home,
and she has to take pictures of it,

take you to the police station,
where they tell you,
the school should of just handled it,

and in a town so ******* worried about pills,
and drugs,

maybe they should worry about the game they taught their sons,
because the girls may pop pills and drink underanged,
but does that give a man an excuse,

to commit a ****?
and I know it's not just the girls who suffer the most,

I feel though it all,
the guys who have gotten the worse treatment,
kept what happened hidden,

because girls are smart,
and we know all the men got away with it,

so if one or two girls wanna **** a dude,
you think our police or school will do **** for the dudes too?
if anything they'd get publicly shamed,

and what high school boy wants that,
when they were taught to play a game,

and someone,
played the same ****,
**on them.
a bunch of girls keep getting harassed like this. all of this is true sadly this is based on true stuff, none happened to me like this, but I had my phone stolen and the school handled it the same way, and I've been *****, so I'm a support person for people at school, and I try to help them get though it, and make sure they get a police report filed even though they tell them and there parents they don't need too. and try to give them my best support emotionally. Its tough, but we can all get though things, but other things need to change, and yeah I have talked to guys who have been *****, but they didn't do anything.
Dorothy A Apr 2012
The first time that Evan laid eyes on her, he told himself that he was going to marry her. Embarrassed by his own fantasy, he quickly dismissed that thought as fast as it came to mind, telling himself what an idiot he was. Yet, from time to time, in spite of his reasoning, the thought would invade his skull.

What a dumb idea anyhow! It was just lame, teenage fantasyland! Girls did that kind of junk all the time, saying they were going to be Mrs. So-and-so, and thank God nobody could read his mind to know what he was dreaming up! Like she would marry him! He felt like a dumb ****, great in athletics, but far out of her league. Not even having the courage yet to ask a girl out on a date, and now he was already thinking of marriage! Pathetic! Really! Only a freshman in high school, he felt he should know better, lacking the good common sense his dad always tried to drive into him and had himself.

Ginny Delgado belonged with the smart kids, the brains of the school, although she seemed to stick more by herself, away from any stereotypical clique. Evan had first seen her in his biology class, and he remembered when other students wanted to copy off of her test papers. She never allowed any of that to happen, though, even if it would gain her popularity, false popularity but attention just the same.

It was a surprise to him that Ginny seemed to have few friends. Mostly, girls who were nerdy and smart did not seem very attractive or put together. Ginny seemed to have it all. She was smart and pretty, but she never identified with any of the girls who thought they were hot—and all other girls were not—and so she stood apart as one who shrouded herself in guarded aloofness.

And now here he was at his 20th high school reunion, one he really did not want to attend, but talked himself into going anyway. Perhaps, he could shoot the breeze and run into a few old buddies, his basketball friends. He didn't think that much of Ginny since he graduated from Fillmore, much less anybody from all those years ago. There really wasn’t any reason to reminisce once high school was behind him. School was not misery for Evan Stewart, but it wasn’t a time where everything seemed magical and carefree, not like for some students who looked upon those days as some of the fondest memories of their lives.

It was the class of ’92, and a huge banner displayed across one of the walls read, “Welcome back, class of 1992! Fillmore High School rules!” There was a good turnout, and Evan recognized a lot of people, although there were fewer that he knew by name.  

Sitting under dimly light lights, around a bunch of round tables, Evan now sat with the other alumni, stuck in a crowded hall with music blaring away from the early nineties. He had his overpriced meal. He had his few beers.

But what now?

He was almost bored to death. He was beginning to watch the clock more and more, scanning the room to see if he could possibly find reason to stay longer.  But then something happened that he never expected to happen, never even would have imagined it.

And, suddenly, his heart started to pick up its pace.

Was that her?

Evan thought he had made out the vague shape of a possibly familiar figure, an amazing and sudden surprise. Was that Ginny Delgado?

He wondered if he was seeing things as he intently stared across the room at the shadowy prospective of Ginger Delgado. But with the low amount of lighting, it just might not be her but someone he never even met before. How awkward would what be?

If it was Ginny, she was sitting next to a guy who seemed obnoxious and full of himself. Even from afar, he appeared to be a guy who would be in everyone’s face, with wild hand gestures, talking away and giving nobody else a chance for a word in edgewise.  If that really was Ginny, was that her husband? What a trip that would be! All the sense he once attributed to her would have to have gone out the window, if that were the case.

Sitting at Evan’s table were several of the other guys that were also heavy into high school basketball. Most were married and came with their wives—nobody was alone as Evan was—and now they all tried to act like they were thrilled to be all gathered together to show off their accomplishments. They were all passing around stories of life after high school, after basketball—some with talk of their college days, their wives, their kids, their jobs and careers—plenty of drinks to go around, and some toasting to the good, old days and to even brighter futures ahead. Evan was never married and did not have any children, so he felt he had much less to say. Most of those guys were not even very interesting, even though they tried to make it out that they had achieved so much in their lives. They may have been out of shape and past their prime, but all of them tried to act like they were the same as they were twenty years ago. None of what they all said impressed Evan at all, even though he tried to be interested.

He kept looking at the woman across the room, and the more he looked at her, the more he was convinced he was spot on about her. She had to be Ginny! He should just get up now and have the guts to ask her! But what would she say? Yes, I am Ginny Delgado, and this pushy **** next to me is my husband?

Though he was twenty years older, Evan felt just as awkward and as scared as he did in his freshman Biology class. It was better to just let the issue be. He’d rather save face than look like a total fool.

Suddenly, the unexpected occurred, something that gave Evan’s heart even more of a stir than he initially had when he spied her presence. Was it possible? Ginny now looked like she was starring back at him, as if they had somehow miraculously locked eyes and she had an uncanny ability to notice him back, from that afar off, now being transfixed onto him!  

You’ve really lost it now. What do you think, that she really notices you and remembers you?

Ginny stopped paying attention to the obnoxious man beside her and kept looking in Evan’s direction. She even reached her hand up and gave a little wave out his way.

Timidly, Evan waved back.

Standing up, Ginny started to make her way across the room. The obnoxious guy next to her looked on after her, like he could not believe she had wanted to part company with him. Evan guessed she was not his wife—thank God for that!

No, there is just no way she is coming over to talk to you. Alright, maybe she is. Get a hold of yourself now! Stop acting like a teenager and act like you actually know something about women. Come on, Evan! Get it together! She is coming.

Evan was right. It was Ginny Delgado! But she stopped short of his table to sit a down at the table in front of him, next to another fellow classmate of theirs, a female student that he vaguely remembered, though he did not know her name.

It was almost a relief she did not come to sit with him! Yet the disappointment was equally there. Seeing her more up close, Evan knew for sure it was Ginny. She was still quite pretty, perhaps even more so now, her medium brown hair and her dark purple dress complimenting each other. Not wanting to stare, Evan couldn’t help but to shoot many glances her way, without trying to be too obvious.
          
She smiled a lot, glad to talk to another person that she knew, and probably glad to be away from the guy she was stuck with before. Her eyes sparkled, and Evan never remembered ever seeing her so unguarded. In biology class, she was quiet, like he tended to be. Now she seemed so different, seemingly freer to be herself. Evan rarely saw her smile in high school, but thought she was very serious and sophisticated.

Before long, the DJ was now playing Eric Clapton’s Tears in Heaven. Couples at all tables were making their way to the dance floor. Soon, Ginny was approached by some guy who asked her to join him for a dance. She shook her head, no. Nonchalantly, the man turned to the woman that Ginny knew and asked her. She gladly accepted, said something to Ginny as if to have her permission and understanding, and then took the man’s hand to go to the dance floor. Ginny remained at the table by herself, looking on at the dancers with seemingly little regret that she declined an offer.

This might be your only chance, idiot. Are you going to blow it and be a wuss? Go up to her and tell her that you remember her. Go on! It is your perfect chance. What do you have to lose? If she isn’t interested, just go then. You’ve spent enough time here anyway!

“Hi…Ginny Delgado isn’t it?”

Evan asked as he approached her from behind. He cleared his throat. His voice had sounded so gravelly, as if he hadn’t uttered a single word all night. And his heart was beating a mile a minute, and he swore it must have been pulsating through his shirt. He was glad he put his suit jacket back on, for he was probably sweating like crazy.  

Ginny looked up, seemed to look puzzled, but then smiled a little. “I remember you!” she said with growing enthusiasm on her face. “Oh, but I’m sorry. You are going to have to tell me your name again”.

“Evan Stewart”, he replied. “We were in biology class together Remember? We were sophomores.”

A succession of slow songs was now being played, and Ginny’s friend was enjoying the time with her new dance partner. She certainly was in no hurry to make her way back to the table to rejoin sitting and talking with Ginny.

“Oh, sure! I remember now!” Ginny exclaimed. “Evan Stewart. Of course! You were the tall, shy guy that everyone liked because you knew how to win one for us. You were big into baseball, weren’t you?”

“Well, basketball was my best sport. I liked baseball, too, and track”, he replied humbly. It was amazing! She actually remembered more him than he thought she would!  “

Can I sit down and join you?” he asked, his courage and confidence growing.

“Oh, do!” Ginny replied, eagerly.

He felt like he was in seventh heaven. How cool was this? Sitting with Ginny Delgado? It was a bonus to a fairly descent reunion.

“So what have you been up to for the last twenty years?” Evan asked. His face was flush with embarrassment, as if he was just a guy who happened to luck out, but had no real skill in socializing with a woman he once fantasized about.

Ginny laughed a little, putting her hand up to her mouth as if her response was inappropriate. She responded, “You want a few hours? Or should I just give you a one word response?”

Evan smiled, blushing, as he tried to appear smooth and confident. “A one word response?” he asked.

“Yes. I can say it in one word—roller coaster….oops, that is two words”.

They both just sat there as I Can’t Make You Love Me, by Bonnie Raitt, played on.  

“Yeah…I guess I could say that about my life”, Evan agreed. “Would you like me to get you something from the bar?” he offered. “A coke or a beer?”

Ginny stared out onto the floor, as if she never heard him. “Isn’t it amazing how everyone comes to see the same people they always used to hang out with and still intend to hang out with to this day?” she asked. “How boring and predictable!”

Evan looked at her, puzzled, “What do you mean?”

Ginny continued to look out onto the floor, the music now upbeat dance music, and said, “Well, I mean you see all the football heroes all hanging out with each other. The members of the debate team are all huddled together as if they are preparing for the next debate. The cheerleaders, the drama club, the science club geeks…nothing has changed has it?”  

Evan shrugged his shoulders. “I guess that is typical. But that isn’t me. Sure, I saw some of the guys I played ball with, basketball, but the truth is I am not really that interested in hanging out with them.”

Ginny turned to look at him, her hazel eyes intent and solemn. Evan added, “I don’t have any contact with any of them. Nothing against them. I just don’t”.

They looked at each other in the eyes for a while. The silence was awkward. It was as Evan’s watching and waiting for her reply was the cue for Ginny to open up, and open up she did.

“I went to UCLA on a scholarship. I became a history major, world history, American history, women’s history. I never intended to teach, not at first. But it just seemed a good fit for me, and I have had plenty of teaching jobs, junior high school, high school. I moved to Sacramento.  I was briefly married after I got my first real teaching job there.”

Ginny’s eyes glistened. There was a pain in them that seemed locked in deep, not really wanting to expose itself too much, but coming out nonetheless.

Evan listened on, eagerly, so she went on, her gaze towards the dance floor “It did not work out. He cheated. He did it more than once and with more than one woman.  And now that I look back, I can see how wrong it all was, especially after my miscarriage. At first, I was so crushed, and I wanted to try again, for another baby, to try to please him, Jim, my husband. Thank God, I didn’t go on and on with him. I am glad I came back here…..back to Springdale.”

She looked back at Evan. He quickly looked away from her glance, his eyes downcast to the table. She wasn’t kidding. Her life was a roller coaster. He did not know what to say, felt so inadequate.

He decided to just share, in return.

”I was engaged once. It was a long engagement. She was a friend of a friend. Lana was her name. She told me she wanted to be with me, but she just wasn’t ready to make the big leap just right away. Actually, I am kind of glad now that I look back. We both owned our own shops. She was a hair stylist and I owned my own car repair shop, but that was about all we really had in common. I mean not really, even though we both liked sports a lot. We never seemed to agree on anything.”

Like he did, Ginny just listened intently, not attempting to make any reply. Evan added, “She was willing to cut me down in a second. I see that now”.

“Well how do you like that?!”

Evan and Ginny looked up as the woman that Ginny came over to see arrived back from the dance floor. She was walking, hand in hand, with her new found dance partner, fanning herself with her hand and laughing.

“Ginny’s got some company, too!” she exclaimed, beaming at Evan.    

Ginny replied, “Rhonda Flemming, this is Evan Stewart. She used to be Rhonda Boehner back in Fillmore”

Ginny turned to Evan to introduce him to her old classmate. “Evan…Rhonda. Evan, I don’t know if you two ever met each other before when we all went to school”.

“I’m not sure I have, either”, he replied, extending his hand to shake Rhonda’s. Rhonda quickly grabbed hold of his and gave it an overly enthusiastic shake.

“Hi, Evan!” she exclaimed "This handsome man next to me  is Brian. I never knew Brian until he asked me to dance!” she said excitedly. “And I am newly divorced and so is he! How strange is that?”

Brian shook Evan’s hand and then Ginny’s. “How’s it going?” he asked, grinning with embarrassment at Rhonda’s forward frankness.

“Ginny is one of the smartest people”, Rhonda went on to Evan and Brian. “We were once partners in an English class. We had to write a paper about each other. That was so fun in an otherwise booooooring class. Remember, Ginny?”

Ginny rolled her eyes, and made a shooing gesture with her hand to convey that Rhonda did not know what she was talking about. “I’m not as smart as anyone ever thought I was. I just worked hard and did my best, but thanks anyway for the compliment” , she said, modestly.  

“Oh, you were, too, Ginny!” Rhonda disagreed. She had a gleeful glint in her eyes. “Always so serious, Ginny Delgado! “

Rhonda grabbed Brian’s hand. “Hey, Brian and I are going to go mingle and walk around and see what trouble we can get into. You two want to join us?  

Ginny and Evan looked at each other as if to say “No way!” Ginny responded, “I think we are just fine here, but thanks”

Rhonda winked at her and then tugged at Brian’s hand. The pair of them went off together, leaving Evan and Ginny to themselves.

Evan smirked at Ginny, and then they both started cracking up with muffled laughter. Evan paused and then burst out laughing again. “Where did you find her?” he asked. A tear actually began to run down his face from laughing so hard, and he quickly wiped it away.

Ginny stopped laughing, tried to compose herself, but busted out with even more laugh
First day of school
First day of school
Will the kids be cool on the first day of school
Will they learn how they contribute in being the future of the world and it all comes back to the first day of school
When the kids are at home all summer and when it is time to go to bed for school
It is a ******
Kids have fun as they enter the school to improve their minds
Yes it is cool on the first day of school
They play sport and they do English too and do mathematics
And learn science too it will be cool so cool indeed
It’ll be cool on the first day of school
They will learn horticulture and home economics and maybe there will be a few that like to do art, you see I like art and I was cool and as the first day of school came around I was cool
First day of school
First day of school
It’ll be cool on the first day of school
And as kids learn to help the community they say
It’s cool on the first day of school
Sometimes it is hard to get kids to except this
Oh well, we’ll try and try I suppose
Salma Jan 13
Do You like school?
Someone asked
I had to think
Before replying
Yes
I do
Because school isn't just walls and chairs,
Because school is our second home,
Because school is the reason you know lots of people.
    Maybe it's hard
    Maybe it's depressing
    sometimes
    Maybe...
    A lot of reasons can make me
    hate it
But no
School is something we can't skip
And I'm glad it's obligatory,
School is more than only learning
I know learning is important.
But besides
School teaches us about the world
It's like a free trial of the real world
We meet people of all types
We're forced to choose the right ones
Or at least who we think they are.
School helps us,
And teaches us,
How to fit into the society's cookie mold
School isn't paradise
...
Some of us
Cry theirselves to sleep
    Bullying
    Social anxiety
    Harassment
    ...
Don't we know about these things?
No,
We do
But we only care about ourselves
Because we're selfish
And if we're not the bullied
                      The social anxious
         We do not care.

Thank you
Thank you my school
Thank you for teaching me
That the perfect life does not exist
That there's no perfect people
That even your friends may turn their backs to you
School is a world
Not mathematics
Not English
Not French
Not history
Not Arabic
Not science
Nor physical education
School is social education.
And this is why I love school
Not just like it,
But love it !
Does that answer your question?
I know it's too long but...
I'm not one for these new times
I guess I belong in the past
Time once went by slowly
Now, it goes too fast

I don't know facebook
I don't tweet
In fact I don't know what that means
I belong in yesteryear
When men still cuffed their jeans

I guess I'm just an old school fool
An old school fool, that's me
I guess I'm just an old school fool
That's what I'm proud to be
I guess I'm just an old school fool
The good times now are gone
No one wants an old school fool
I guess that I will just move on

I don't get the music now
There's no song I like to hear
I'd rather sit and read a book
Or watch tv with a beer

Technology is far beyond
What my mind can take in
I do not use an atm
Because I do not know my pin

I guess I'm just an old school fool
An old school fool, that's me
I guess I'm just an old school fool
That's what I'm proud to be
I guess I'm just an old school fool
The good times now are gone
No one wants an old school fool
I guess that I will just move on
Skarlet D Mar 2015
There once was a girl who liked to be alone. She liked the colors black and grey. She like reading, writing books and has a sense a fashion. She tried to pay attention in school, but she trying her best. She didn’t like to talk very much, she liked to stay quiet. When she talked she spoke quietly with a soft voice. She had friends but never she never really talked to them. The only time she did was when she was confused about class work or where to go.

On the weekends she went out with her outside school friends, who were totally different from her friends at school. Her outside school friends knew her way better than her inside school friends even though her school friends knew her longer. She was always independent.

At school when she was partnered with a classmate she would have already started the project and be done with it two days later.She had a sophisticated language She liked studying also but not as much as studying writing.

She is a very bright young lady which everyone thinks is not emo and punk. She is a Christian but she is also punk. She listen to dub-step, house music, punk rock, pop rock, sometime gospel (depends on what song) but mostly dub-step and house music. The color of her room was grey. She liked it that way.

Other people thought it was depressing (her school friends) some thought it was it was calming and cool ( her outside friends). I’m betting your think “How dose her school friends know what her bedroom looks like.” Well she FaceTimes with them and not often, and if she dose its only about class work.

She had her own Youtube channel and it was a calm and mature. She only talked about her writing, how she felt, other things and what she thought about life. She only had a couple of people who like talking to her from her channel. They emailed her, messaged her, and sometimes tried to get her number so they can hang out and talk about some stuff.

At home she was quiet two and calm too. When her family came over she never liked to talk to the as much anymore. She would sit at the corner of the table or of the room. Unlike some people she liked to be lifted out of anything that was not important. She only talked when something important was hap pinging that no one saw, when someone asked her a question or when someone got something wrong. What she would mostly would do is get her food and go upstairs like every thanksgiving when her mom didn’t tell her to stay downstairs.

Speaking of family she did not have a good connection with her father, step-brothers and step-sister. They never really i guess liked to talk to her. But what i can feel you is that her and her oldest step-brother talked a little everyday.

Now it sounds like this girl doesn’t have a attitude, or a anger problem, or talks back, but trust me she dose. When she gets mad, she gets mad. And its not good when she gets mad. Its like a demand come out of her. With fire in her eyes, veins popping out of her body, face turns red, and it almost looks like steam is going to come out of this girls ears. Now no one has seen her get mad and the reason why is because when people get her mad in public her getting mad dose not show. She keeps it in like a secret. When she gets home they ways she expresses it is by posting it one her YouTube channel and she even tells her subscriber what the person looks like, height, age and name. The reason why i said age and name is because the people that go to her school ****** her off. They might not know her but she knows them. She knows everything that goes on in the school and in her old school still. This girl might sound weak and quiet but in the inside she is strong and powerful, oh and yea her outside friends will punish anyone that messes with her even though this girl clearly doesn’t need any protection just to give you a heads up.

Now i have told you a whole lot about this girl and her name is Scarlet, she is currently 16 years old and in high school. If you want to know anymore about this girl give me a heads up,  like and or comment down below, right dow there and you might even get to see what she looks like in the future another heads up there so goodbye my little lovable  loves and have a wonderful day. Peace.
"Go and talk to your son!". It seemed lately that every arrival at home, in the old section of Glasgow, began with "Go and talk to your son!". "Why?...what has he done this time"...answered Angus' dad. "What trouble did he get into now?". "None...so far as I can figure" answered Mary, mother of the aforementioned Angus.

"Then why am I going to talk to him?". " He's not selling autographs again is he".
"No dear, he's not...you should just go and have a wee chat with him...that's all."

"Alright, I will"...."will I need some hobnobs as ammunition, or should I be okay on me own?".
"You should be okay without them, but, then again, a wee plate of hobnobs never hurt anyone...least of all our Angus"

Dad, poured two glasses of cold milk, set six hobnobs on a plate and ventured up to himself's room. He knocked twice, just above the "No gurls alowd" sign that Angus had put up after last nights arguement with his Mum, over carrots. Angus refused to accept the arguement that carrots gave you better eyesight...while his Mum said they did. A snicker from Dad at Angus' response almost got him banished to the sofa for the night himself, with his own "No gurls alowd" sign going up in the living room. He remembered Angus standing up from his chair, and stating "If carrots give ye such good eyesight, how come so many rabbits get hit by cars at night?". Then he stormed off.

He knocked again, and Angus opened up the door. Angus was still in his blue school shirt and grey pants. "Can I come in?" asked his father. "I've brought milk...and hobnobs".
Angus stepped back and let his father enter the room. The walls were covered with posters, of cars, footballers, horses, bikes, cartoon characters....so much so, there was barely any space left for anything else.

"Yer mum said I should talk to you...son...do you know why?" "Nope"...said Angus..."do you?" "That's why I'm asking you lad....she told me to come see you...do you know why I'm here?"
Angus tilted his head and answered "because Mum told you too?".
It was clear they weren't getting anywhere with this, so Dad asked "How was school today?"

Angus was now in full time kindergarten at St. Martin's in The Fields Primary School in Glasgow. The school was old, dank, smelled of age and was one of the finest in all of Glasgow...for it's age. It was famous for having had two members of The Bay City Rollers as students, one for about three months and the other a little less. They never graduated from St. Martin's, but, it was something to hang their hat on.

"I got all my Christmas Cards taken away today Da." said Angus. "I was giving them out to everyone, and the teacher, Mr. McDonall came and took them away.".
"Why would he do that boy?"...."Where were you doing it?'
"I was outside before school started giving them out...." , Angus sniffed, "and he came over and grabbed them from me".
Dad, remembered Angus working away for the past two nights, printing everyone's name on the cards, as perfect as he could. It only took 43 cards to get the necessary 21 Angus needed for all of his young classmates.
"Why would he do that?"..."did he tell you why?". "No Dad" said Angus through the rapidly increasing flow of sniffles and snot that normally accompany a crying child.

"I didn't find out until I went to the office to see the Principal afterwards".
"You went to the office for handing out Christmas Cards?" . "That doesn't make any sense son, are you sure you weren't doing anything else?"
"I was just handing out cards Da, that's all", said Angus as he grabbed another hobnob, which he quickly stuffed under his pillow for later. He would get in trouble for that one, but, it would be worth it.

"The Principal said something about Christmas Cards that say Christmas on them, can't be given out at school anymore. They can only say Happy Holidays. If it doesn't say Christmas on it, how can it be a Christmas Card Dad?".

"I don't know boy"...."but I am **** sure gonna find out"....and "you'd better eat that hobnob under your pillow before Mum sees it"...smiled Dad.

The pair ventured downstairs for dinner, neither discussing what went on in the room where "No gurls were allowed". Dinner passed in silence, with Mum looking from one to the other to get some sort of reaction. Once, Angus started to talk, but it had nothing to do with what went on between Father and Son, so she continued eating. She would find out later after Angus went to bed.

After dinner, Angus went to the park with his friends for an hour to play football, and tag, and swing on the swings for a while. Mum, took this chance to corner Dad...and corner him she did...."What went on up there? What did you two talk about?" "He won't say anything to me...what did he do?"
"Nothing....he did nothing wrong at all, so as I see it....Angus didn't do anything wrong".
He kind of smiled at that, because normally after being told "Go talk to your son...", Angus had always done something wrong...this time...it was The Principal.

"Tomorrow, I'm staying home in the morning and taking himself to school....I'm going to see The Principal". "What for?...if he didn't do anything wrong, why are you going to see the Principal?".
"Well, what time of the year is it?".....asked Dad. "It's Christmas silly, you know that...why?"
"Well, apparently it isn't Christmas at St. Martin's in The Fields...at least not as far as himself's teacher and new Principal are concerned. It's now Holiday time....not Christmas Time, Holiday Time. Our wee Angus got in trouble for handing out Christmas cards at Christmas. Does that make any sense?"...said Dad.

The next morning at breakfast, Angus looked up and asked "Dad, shouldn't you be going to work? you'll miss your train.". "I'm taking you to school and going to see your Principal, son". "Why?" asked Angus. "Let's just say I'm going to give him a Christmas Card....have you seen my bible?".
"It's on the sideboard...but, why do you need that Da?"...asked the boy.
"Let's just say...to make a point.".

Mum smiled as the two men, both wee and tall, walked together hand in hand down the drive towards the school. Upon arrival, Angus went off with his friends, while Dad, went into the old, intimidating looking institution. He could smell the old wood soap and mustiness as he waled down the hall, past the class pictures and the old trophies that get hauled out and cleaned every year for games day, only to be put back again after the awards presentations.

Upon arriving at the office, he announced "I'm here to see The Principal.....where is he?".
A pair of beady, spectacled eyes looked up from behind the front desk...and in a thin, reedy, voice asked..."And who might you be, sir...to come in without an appointment?".
"Ah'm flippin' Father Christmas, that's who I am....I am Angus' Mc Dougalls dad, and I am here to see the ****** Principal. Now where is he?"
"Without and appointment.." she started, quickly stopping when Dad, walked past the desk to the door marked M. Dingwall, Principal on it.

"You can't go in there"...screeched the reedy voice..."not without an.." "I know..." said Dad..."not without an appointment.....well, I've got mine right here, and right now..." he said, waving his bible in needle noses face. He continued in to M. Dingwall, Principal's office....and sat down.

M. Dingwall, Principal...looked up from the papers on his desk, which incidentally had 5, yes...5 Christmas Cards on it, and asked Dad..."and who are you to come into my office..."...."without and appointment"...finished Dad. " As I told your chihuahua out front, all bark and no bite by the way, I am frigging Father Christmas, who I see on 3 of the 5 cards you have on your desk. That's who I am, Father Christmas !!!"

"Well, Mr. Christmas, what can we do for you? " asked a clearly shaken M. Dingwall, Principal. "I'll tell you what you can do for me....you can apologize to my son, for a start. My wee lad Angus, came here yesterday morning and was sent to see you for handing out Christmas Cards, at Christmas. What am I missing here?".

"I remember that....yes, he was disciplined and told no more Christmas Cards, it's against the policy of the school board...it's a religious holiday, and we are not allowed, with all of the various religious groups represented within our walls to favour one over another. So, no more Christmas Cards in this school. That is the policy.", said M. Dingwall, Principal.

"That's nice...then what are those 5 cards on your desk....the ones that happen to have Christmas on them and Father Christmas and a nativity scene, which if I know the book I am holding here, is a religious representation, and the reason we have Christmas in the first place. "...asked Dad.

"Those are private, they were given to me by staff" said M. Dingwall, Principal. "I don't care if they came from Jesus Christ himself " yelled Dad, crossing himself in the process, "They don't fit in with the policy you gave my son a reprimand for yesterday."  He looked about the office, and saw a small, four foot tall tree in the corner as well. "Is that a Christmas tree or a holiday tree sir?, which is it?"

M. Dingwall looked up and said, "It's a Christmas Tree, of course, haven't you ever seen a..." and he stopped. He looked at the tree, and the cards, The eyeglasses out front went back to whatever it was she was doing before Father Christmas arrived. "I see....". "You see what sir,?" asked Angus' dad, looking at the tree, and the cards and ignoring the eyeglasses with the reedy voice out front.

"I see your point....It's Christmas, not holdaymas, or xmas....it's Christmas, and I followed policy that I myself am not following myself. I will change that right now....imagine, it took a visit from Father Christmas to get me to see the light..." laughed M. Dingwall, Principal.

"My boy Angus, will be in class, expecting to be told that he can give out his cards to the rest of his friends as he was yesterday...am I understood M. Dingwall, Princinpal?" asked Dad.

"Yes sir, the mark will be stricken from the record and his cards will be returned....I appreciate you coming in to clear up this little misunderstanding...even if you didn't ..." "I know...have an appointment.". M Dingwall stood to shake Dad's hand as he left, and as Dad reached the door, he said "Merry Christmas". Dad thought a bit, smiled at what he had just accomplished and said to M. Dingwall, Principal...."and yes...It is A MERRY CHRISTMAS".
vivian Oct 2013
not a poem but something that have been stuck in my head since four years ago*

High school was never easy.
Even the happiest person said that they have a bad memories in high school.
They get bullied
Some people would said that I should treasure everything that happened in my high school life.
I know. IVE TRIED SO HARD.
But I cant.
Folks in high school are weird.
Not that weird. They're...... 'weird'..
They're full with hatred
-full with negatives vibes
-full with idk why the heck they want to bad things to other people.
For me, I dont know.
I dont enjoy anything
Everything looks so depressing
Full of hate..
I tell you
I've been trying.
And its my fourth year now
Trying to be positive
Trying to understand everyone in the school
But
I think.. This things cant be help no more.

Everytime I walked into my school
My depression level increase to level 99
My loneliness can be felt..so clear
My self-esteem drop like hell

High school even teach me not to trust everyone.
-people always leave no matter what why when or how.

No wonder some people killed themself
-some kid do selfharm
-some students would ditch school
-some people do drugs just to run away from the school probs

Idk is it just me or what

Oh gosh.. I wish I can just scream at them in their face.
Mymai Yuan Sep 2010
It all began when someone left the window open.
The love bird cocked its bright green head at the shut door of Woodren’s third floor bedroom, perched on her bedpost. Its bright black eyes glittered, listening for the sounds of Woodren’s footsteps. None came. It ruffled its feathers impatiently; waiting for Woodren to come back with some water for its thirsty beak.
The love bird’s first memory was of Woodren: her clear gray eyes expressing her great happiness through them and not through the tiny curve of a smile on her thin pale lips. Her small white fingers pressed on the syringe gently, and a hot, mushy substance that tasted of apples and bananas went down its throat. The tiny black beak clattered against the plastic syringe greedily. “Aw, you poor baby. You’re hungry aren’t you, my Hoopsie-girl?” she murmured.
She then later taught her baby lovebird to fly with the patience of a mother. As soon as its wings started flapping feebly, she lifted Hoopsie up on the palm of her hand above her head and drew her hand away quickly, teaching the lovebird to fly and landing on Woodren’s soft bed. On cold nights, Woodren would wrap her favorite emerald green scarf around Hoopsie and place her behind the television where it was always warm and sellotape the electric sockets and wires so that Hoopsie was safe.
Woodren never even considered snipping the feathers of Hoopsie’s wings; she would never hurt her darling creature, and snip of its greatest glory. She would comb the feathers with a miniature pink Barbie brush, noticing how blue feathers had started to appear on Hoopsie’s wings and red ones slowly layered beneath the blue as time went by.
Showering Hoopsie was the hardest of all. Aunt and Uncle Palmer had no idea that Hoopsie even existed and revealing her presence would leave both Hoopsie and Woodren with no home. Late at night, Woodren would have to sneak out to the bathroom on the first floor (not on the second floor because that one was right next to Aunt and Uncle Palmer’s bedroom), down the stairs (taking care to step over the thirteenth stair that groaned so loudly), turn on the taps quietly and wash a sleepy Hoopsie with warm water.
Her two youngest cousins often made fun of her for the funny smell that stuck on her clothes sometimes. Linda and Lucy, her bratty twin cousins, asked in their scornful sing-song voices, “Why do you lock your room Woodren? Scared we’ll find all your old ***** clothes under the bed that you wouldn’t let Ma throw away?”
“No, maybe she’s scared we’ll find naughty magazines? If we do, we’ll tell Pa and you’ll have nowhere to stay ‘cause Pa says that type of behavior is sinful and he won’t tolerate it in his house!”
Woodren found it in her heart to look upon her silly cousins as childish entertainment. What did they know of the love she had for Hoopsie? “No, I’m scared you’ll find the monster under my bed and start crying for your Ma”
Linda narrowed her blue eyes, “I’m telling Ma you mentioned Lucy’s fear of the monster under the bed to her face! Besides, you don’t have anywhere else to go. You live on Pa’s charity. Ma said so.”
It was the lowest of insults based on a harsh truth. Woodren’s mother had died of cancer when Woodren was very young and her father followed her mother not a year after with heart grief. Her mother had asked her younger sister to take in Woodren; they were her only relatives and had stopped being fond of her once their own two twin daughters arrived and Mr. Palmer started to have to work harder to feed the six bellies at his dinner table. She just became another mouth to feed.
The only person Woodren got along well with in the household was her eldest cousin, Max. Max rarely spoke in anything but grunts, thought of his two little sisters as annoying brats, refused to say more than two sentences at a time to his simpering mother and loudly obnoxious father and often came and sat in Woodren’s room with his large feet against the wall, stroking Hoopsie’s head in silence. She really was fond of Max sometimes. He could be so thoughtful. Just two weeks before, for her birthday, Max had bought her maroon silk curtains with white birds imprinted upon them. He had even gone further than that and stitched in white thread, “Happy birthday. I love you” a red wonky heart followed and then “From Hoopsie.” Simply imagining him sitting there with a huge, thick curtain holding a tiny needle in his bear-like paws, cursing as he stabbed his rough fingertips and fumbling clumsily made her shout with laughter.
It was Max’s idea to buy Hoopsie a big metal cage and attach it to a branch on the big tree in their garden with a piece of shoelace, hidden among all the green leaves. That way, when Hoopsie sang Woodren wouldn’t have to blast her music and radio at the same time or pinch Hoopsie’s beaks shut when her Aunt or Uncle come to  yell at her if she was deaf or crazy or both. And that way, Woodren’s room wouldn’t have its twangy smell of bird **** and Woodren wouldn’t have to be paranoid all day long at school, wondering if nosy Aunt Palmer had broken into her room and found Hoopsie. And that way, she could leave her window open during the day, trying to rid her room off the nutty, sugary smell.
Max’s room was on the same floor as Woodren, the third floor. Every morning, bright and early before school, Woodren would run with a small lump in her sweater and the keys to her locked room jingling on her wrists to Max’s room. Max would barely acknowledge her as she ran across his room, opened his window and climbed out like a monkey to the branch that pushed against his window sill. She crawled along it with speed and sat there, with her legs hanging down and the branch between her legs, fumbled for the cage door above her head, made sure there was enough water and food to last Hoopsie for the day, popped Hoopsie inside with a quick kiss, arranged the fan-like fresh morning-smell leaves to cover the cage completely and skate back towards Max’s window.
Hoopsie mourned with a few high whistling notes. She hated being away from Woodren during the day- waiting for the moment when the sun was getting hot, and Hoopsie was tired of chatting to the birds in the nearby trees, when Woodren’s sharp little white face with its explosion of frizzy black hair would appear in between the leaves with her happy grey eyes and let her fly around the tree before calling, “Hoopsie” followed by her signature tilting whistle. But for now, and for every morning till noon, Hoopsie would have to wait.
“You don’t think they’ll find her do you?” Woodren would ask Max as she clambered back into his window. It was their daily morning ritual.
“No. Pa told Ma that it’s all about privacy now that I’m a growing-up boy. I’ll lock my door; promise.” He would reply back, completing their ritual.
“Are you still eating lunch with that Ed kid?” he asked, completely breaking their ritual this morning.
“Yes.” She was completely surprised. Not only was Max breaking a routine, Max of all people, he was doing so by asking her a question about her personal life.
Woodren eyed Max strangely. To her, Max was her huge cousin that somehow managed to communicate with a variety of different grunts and hated cutting his hair because of his fear of sharp objects; but to the rest of the school and neighborhood, she knew Max was the “strong and silent” handsome tall boy, every girl’s dream, with his shaggy blonde hair.
“Why?” her gray eyes grew rounder when suspicious instead of narrowing.  
“You don’t have many friends at school.”
“You know I don’t get along with any of them but Ed. I don’t like being friends with people unless I actually like them… unlike all the other girls at school.”
“I don’t like you staying around the Ed kid too much.”
Woodren felt a little glow of affection for Max in her heart. She understood why Max was worried. Ed was unstable with the rest of the world. He did what he wanted to, he said exactly what he wanted to and he wasn’t afraid of anything because he didn’t care what anyone said. He was the kid that the no parents wanted their children to stay near. There wasn’t anything Ed hadn’t done before.
Despite what everyone else thought, Woodren knew that his morals and sense of good and justice were strong in his heart. And when it came to Woodren he was always there for her since he moved to the neighborhood more than half a year ago. No matter how many offending remarks he made, she felt he had become the only stable thing in her life in spite of him being so apt to change. She had learned to depend on him.  
At the breakfast table, Woodren’s gray eyes slid over from Linda to Lucy to Aunt Palmer to Uncle Palmer and rested on Max the longest. Until she had come to look at Max, all four of them were identical in their attractive features and identical in their pinched-up, suspicious and petty expressions glazed over with a courteous mask. Max’s blue eyes, though the same shape as Aunt Palmer’s and the same color as Uncle Palmer’s, expressed a good heart and sincerity.
Her first subject of the day was an art lesson. All she had to do was sit comfortably, a palette with swirls of colors, paintbrushes, charcoals and pencils, a *** of water, and a fresh-smelling page. Usually she drew herself as a monster, or Linda as the devil- disturbing pictures that made people believe she was “talented”. But today, it came to her all of a sudden she’d never done a good, worthwhile painting of Hoopsie. Sure, her tables and notebooks were filled with carvings she’d doodled in class but never something she would want to keep.
She started to sketch Hoopsie on her bed post, eyeing the nuts Woodren had stolen from Aunt Palmer’s snack cupboard. She drew Hoopsie in the big tree and painted a metal cage around her. Somehow, the silver cage ruined the picture completely, making Woodren grimace. When the paint dried, she erased Hoopsie from inside the cage and drew her beside it, her small black feet gripping a twig.
Woodren remembered how elegant birds looked when she looked up into the sky, and saw them with their wings spread out and imagined feeling the wind rush through her feathers and ripple down her head and spine, with a heaven of azure blue surrounding her, shooting through clouds cold and refreshing like a sprinkler in the garden. Maybe that’s what freedom tasted like. She tried drawing Hoopsie soaring in the sky before she realized she’d never seen Hoopsie soar like other birds do, because Hoopsie had never done so.
Broodingly, she packed up when class was dismissed, slowly and thoughtfully. Somehow, that small beginning of a painting had darkened her frame of mind completely. Still ruminating, she headed down the hall way to eat lunch.
“Woody!” Hearing the sound of that voice, she momentarily forget her unease and Woodren’s thin, pale lips spread in a smile even before she turned around to him. Ed was the only one who ever called her that. His oval head was covered in small black bristles and one of his black eyebrows rose as he smirked with his pink lips curving down. The diamond earring in his ear glinted like his teeth did. He caught her eyes with his hazel ones; his eyes were warm and lively.  His mouth formed words that were witty and charming and could always make Woodren laugh.
Woodren put a look of amazement on her face. “You came to school today.”
“What are you talking about? I’ve been coming to school nearly all month.”
“That’s why I’m surprised.”
He hit her arm lightly. A few girls nearby turned around and giggled when they caught Ed’s eyes. Woodren remembered when Ed had first come to school. All the prettiest girls at school kept sidling over to him and batting their eyelashes. Ed had taken one look at the curves on their bodies; his eyes flickered over their face, a little bored, and continued his conversation with Woodren as if there had been no interruption.
It was a mark of their friendship three weeks later when she told him about her family. His hazel eyes had burnt hotly. When he was angry, his voice was quieter, but strained as if the passionate anger behind the words were being controlled with the greatest effort, “People who ruin other people’s happiness on purpose and with joy are just plain evil.” He told her that he hated the monsters that kidnapped children, crippled them, not only in body but mind too, and forced them to beg, far away from those that loved them. Here followed a stream of facts, all said in the same tone that both scared and impressed Woodren.
“How do you know so much about it?” she had once asked him.
He looked at her with an odd gleam in his eyes, “Because I care.”
Now he was looking at her without breaking his gaze, the same odd gleam in his eyes, searching her face. “What’s wrong?”
“Nothing.” She had still been brooding over Hoopsie in a cage, and why the picture upset her so much.
“Woody, tell me what’s wrong.”
Every time Woodren mentioned Hoopsie, Ed would go silent or make an offending remark about the way that Woodren took care of Hoopsie. Over a very short time, Woodren had learned never to mention Hoopsie’s name and though it drove her crazy with frustration, she knew Ed would never tell her reason the why if she tried to pry it out of him. Knowing not to answer truthfully, “I told you, nothing”
“I can tell when you’re lying. Your eyes grow whopping and your mouth pouts to the right.”
“Shut up.”
He looked at her searchingly before giving up with an irritated sigh.
“Come with me.” The chair scraped as he pulled out and pushed the table away from him. His tall frame dwarfed her.
He brought her to the back of the school where teachers and students never went, leaned against the wall and lit a cigarette. “You want to try one?”
“I don’t smoke, Ed”
“Why won’t you even try it?” The tone he used when he was about to state something that began an argument leaked into his voice smoothly, like oil. Woodren opened her mouth to list the damaging things it did to your lungs and heart but his voice had begun in its rapid, silky tone:
“Because society has brain washed you so that if you smoke when you’re a child, you’re a horrible ungrateful creature that will never go far in life. But when an adult smokes, it’s okay. You don’t smoke because people and teachers tell you not to try it. Well I say, **** them. These are the best years of your life. Do what you want, try everything so you can make the choices of your life later with a rounded experience and knowledge. I’m not saying get addicted. You have to be strong if you’re gonna be a risk-taker…” he inhaled deeply and exhaled in a husky voice, “I just thought you always went on about how you were such a strong risk taker.” He blew a cloud of heavy smoke above her head. “Oh, and of course you won’t try it because Aunt and Uncle Palmer said it’d be sin, isn’t that right?” he asked with a tantalizing grin in a mocking tone. He watched her face contort with anger, his hazel eyes dancing with glee. He knew he had hit at the bull’s eyes. No one ever jeered at Woodren’s inner power and then put her on the same note as her Aunt and Uncle.
A sudden snarling sound flared from her. She didn’t have to listen to anything Aunt and Uncle Palmer said… they never did anything worthy intentionally. She knew that. He was just stupid. She swore at him and knocked the cigarette out of his hand with a smart slap before storming away. An amused laugh from behind her made her ears tingle pink.
As soon as school was over, she pushed pass Ed who was waiting for her and ran back home. Opening the front door of the house, she scurried up the stairs to the third-floor and knocked on Max’s door. When she opened it, Max was already holding Hoopsie in his big hands. Hoopsie sang with joy when she saw Woodren.
“Hoopsie-girl” Woodren whistled with a tilting note that Hoopsie identified instantly. Hoopsie flapped over and landed on her shoulder.
“By the way,” said Max, “she must have knocked over her water because it was wet on the bottom of the cage. She kept trying to drink it. She’s thirsty.”
“Oh you silly Hoopsie! Why did you knock over the water? You know I’m supposed to have 8 cups a day?” she pampered the lovebird with caresses and endearing words before hiding Hoopsie in her shirt and running back to her room.
Woodren placed Hoopsie gently down on the bed post
Elvan Mar 2019
Unspoken Wisdom Speaks
Where has the old American ***** school teacher gone? The teachers who knew how to reach deep within themselves to find a way to touch a student’s heart and mind by encouraging them to set goals and dreams that fit their particular circumstances, while believing in even greater possibilities for her student’s futures

Where has the old American ***** school teacher gone? The teacher who had the amazing ability to look into the soul of a child and bring out a smile, as well as, a desire to achieve, if only to please the teacher

Where has the old American ***** school teacher gone? The teacher who freely spent their time figuring out ways to motivate a child to a higher degree of success without considering the idea of a reward except for maybe a beaming smile of accomplishment upon her student’s faces

Where has the old American ***** school teacher gone? The teacher s who found the rewards of service to a student satisfying enough to encourage them to seek out another who could use their caring direction and assistance

Where has the old American ***** school teacher gone? The teachers who were stern in their demands and uncompromising in their expectations of a child because they understood society would demand more of our children than of one of their own because we are programmed with the idea of having to be better than to get equal to; a belief that has assisted many of us to a higher level of achievement

Where has the old American ***** school teacher gone? The teacher who would not consider changing a grade to a higher one when a child’s efforts did not justify it because he realized society expected a ***** child to put forth much more effort than one of its own or suffer the harsh reality of failure over and over again

Where has the old American ***** school teacher gone? The teachers who were hated and feared by most students of the school yet revered for their integrity and unwavering commitment to their personal standards of educating our children

Where has the old American ***** school teacher gone? The teacher who could laugh and smile with you as easily give you the lower grade earned when you failed to meet the expected standard to achieve a higher one

Where has the old American ***** school teacher gone? The teacher whose uncompromising standards set a child’s mind in the direction of achieving success at, whatever, the cost necessary in the amount of time they had to spend preparing, studying, and learning  

Where has the old American ***** teacher gone?
Absorbed into an assimilated society; otherwise gone, lost, disappeared, swallowed up by the great progression known as Integration

Where has the old American ***** teacher gone?
On’ know
Exclusively and Originally
Written by: Elvan
PROLOGUE
I can’t believe I’m doing this. I should say something. No. This is the easiest way… the right way to say goodbye. Who am I kidding? This is definitely not the right way to say goodbye. I twist my key in the door; it’s always been a ****** to lock. After I manage it, I turn and set off down my street. The Parcel sitting in my crossed arms. I feel calm today. Unusually calm. I can’t figure out if it’s because it was my birthday yesterday and I am now 17, because it’s my favourite weather (sunny with a slight breeze) or because in 24 hours, I won’t be here to feel it anymore. I try to look confident as I walk into the post office. Non-suspicious. I don’t want the post-office lady thinking I look suicidal, breaking into my parcel, then calling the loony-bin and throwing me in there. “No-one cares enough to do that” I remind myself under my breath. I jump when the bell goes off as I open the door. ****. I forgot about that. Luckily, there is no-one at the counter to see my little moment that I am sure made me look more than on-edge, and I have to hit the bell twice before the short, wispy haired woman pops her head around the corner, followed by her unhealthily-large body. I place the parcel on the counter and tell her I need it delivered first class, so that it reaches where I need it to first thing tomorrow morning. I’ve only ever been in here once before; to post a letter to my brother’s primary school, pretending to be my Mum allowing him a day off school. I was full of excitement that day, making all of these plans in my head for what we would do on our ‘adventure day’. I can’t make any plans today. After the woman has taken my parcel, I turn and walk back out the door, taking note of the bell again. I realise that this may be one of the last noticeable sounds I hear.


LETTER 1
Ok, so you’ve seen the return name and address on this envelope, so you know who this is from and you are probably definitely wondering why I’ve sent you this… So before you read on, let me explain. I’m writing to you because we aren’t very close, and you can listen and understand what I have to say, without being objective to anything. You don’t know me very well, but I know you. I’ve watched you in class and seen how you are and the way you do things, and it inspires (sorry) inspired me. I don’t mean to be blunt, but everyone knows about what happened to you… well, yeah... But, I just want to ask, how did you deal with that? How did you manage to stay so strong even at the worst of times? I couldn’t, and my problems shouldn’t have even been in the same district of pain as yours. I wish I could have come to you earlier... I know you will be thinking that. ‘Why ask me this now that it’s too late?’ but I made my decision a long time ago and I just wanted you to know all of this, even now that you can’t answer me any of it. You see, things just got too much. And I know people say that all the time. But I really can’t handle being inside my head anymore. It’s hard to make sense of anything at all, everything is just so confusing. It’s like, I have the sense in my head that is telling me what is logical and right, but it is completely drowned out by all the other **** that tells me otherwise. And I can’t do it anymore. I’m so sick of being confused and miserable. I just want to die. And by the time you read this letter, I will have done.
The thought of suicide first entered my head about two years ago now. It was always more of a back-of-the-mind thought, never a solid plan; until a couple of months ago. That was when I decided it needed to be done. But timing was hard to plan. I knew that whenever I did it, it would rip my family apart, but I don’t want to talk about that too much in this letter. It’s not something I need to bore you with the details on. Basically, I’ve been procrastinating to try and make it easier on my family. Yes that’s naïve. I know. But not a lot of my thoughts are too rational at the moment. Ha. I guess since I decided, things have been a little easier in some ways… everyday things. The things I hate, I just keep thinking, another month and I’ll never have to face this again. I’ll be gone. But, it did make some things harder. My family trying to make plans with me for some point in the future, for example. I’ve just ended up with a huge reluctance to make any plans; to give anyone hope but it’s so hard and it’s breaking my heart to do that. I can’t bring myself to tell my little brother I won’t be able to make his football matches anymore, or see him start high school. It’s just that the idea of death is just so… relieving I guess. I’ll never have to experience confusion or hurt or misery again. But that comes at the price of giving up anything else. I decided it was worth that price a long time ago.
Sorry for going on about things that you probably don’t actually have any interest in. I don’t mean that in a malicious way, I just mean, genuinely, you don’t know me that well so why would you want to know the details behind my suicide? I just needed someone to tell the complete truth to, someone that it wasn’t going to hurt.
Anyway, I need you to do me a huge favour. In the package you found this letter, you’ll find 4 more, each in separate envelopes. They are named, addressed and stamped, and all I need you to do is post them for me. I’m sure you’ll be pretty confused to why I couldn’t have posted them myself, but the thing is, I couldn’t bring myself to do it. And I trust you. Which leads to my next point, I trust that you won’t read the letters, but I want to ask you not to, just in case.
Thanks for listening; I hope it doesn’t take too long for my spot to be replaced in class… That has to be a little morbid. Ha.


LETTER 2
Hey buddy. I know you’re gonna be really confused right about now… And probably pretty angry with me for leaving you. But it’s gonna be ok little man, I promise it is. Before I do any explaining, I need you to promise me you’ll look after Mum and Dad, at least for a while. Things are gonna be pretty tough for a bit, but you’re gonna be the little hero of the house and you need to keep joking and laughing just like you do now. Give Mum and Dad a reason to smile, ok? For me. I don’t want to ever find out that you’ve changed. Not in the slightest. You’ve always made me smile, even when I’ve been sad, and now you need to do the same for Mum and Dad.
So, I’ll try explaining. You see, as people get older, things get very stressful. And some people, like you, are little tanks and can work your way through those stresses. But I’m not one of those people. And I’m so sorry. I’ve just been really sad for quite a long time now, and I want you to always remember that I’ll be happier up in heaven. I know how selfish that is, leaving everyone just so I’m happy, but as you get older I’m sure you’ll start to understand. But please just remember that I haven’t disappeared, I’m just up in the clouds now, and I’m gonna be watching down on you and looking after you still. No-one is ever gonna mess with my brother and get away with it, ok?
Do you remember that time I picked you up from school and I wasn’t in my uniform so you knew I’d been skiving? And you could tell by my face that I’d been crying so you just hugged me and told me not to worry because you wouldn’t tell Mum and Dad I’d skipped school. And then we went for ice cream and I chased you round the park. I was thinking about that earlier today. You’ve always been able to make me laugh, and make things feel better. You’re such a strong little man, and I’ve never seen anything hurt you. So I hope you can stay strong for me now.
You’re my little hero, and I hope you can forgive me one day. I’m so sorry buddy.
I’ll always be here, and love you.
Your big sis x


LETTER 3
Hey Dad. I’m so sorry. So, so sorry. I know I’ve left you with probably the biggest job of them all. It’s gonna fall on you to look after everyone now and I know that’s going to make this even harder for you. I’ve always looked up to you y’know? Even with all the times you embarrassed, or to phrase it better, completely and totally humiliated me. Like when you first met my boyfriend and you practically interrogated him. Jesus, I was not impressed. But all in all, you’ve always been the more laid back parent; i.e. the one that let me have a little more to drink than I should have at 14. So than-you for having fun with me, and I’m sorry for throwing it back in your face like this.
You deserve an explanation. I can’t narrow it down to any specific events, but I really haven’t been happy Dad. I’ve tried so hard to ignore it, or to solve it. But the thing is, it’s been so confusing trying to figure out what was wrong with me… And so tiring. And I don’t want to do it anymore. I just want to rest and be at peace. You have no idea how hard it is to say goodbye, but I need to do it; for me. I’m so sorry for lying to you, and for acting like everything was ok. But I need you to not blame yourself in the slightest. You have made me so happy, so often. Our jokes and the times we have spent together mean so much to me… and you need to know that none of that was ever faked. I want you to remember me as the happy, lively daughter I was. Please. You have made things a lot easier for me and I just wish I could feel like that all the time. It’s when I’m alone that I can’t cope. I wish I could explain it to you better than that, but I can’t even get the thoughts straight in my head, never mind write them down. So I’m sorry for that, too.
I didn’t suffer any pain. You need to know that, too. It was about a month ago I decided to use pills. I did my research and completely knew what I was doing, and trust me, I was in no pain. I chose pills because it would leave me looking relatively normal, and I could do it at home, where I felt the safest. I don’t know who found me, but I want you to give them my greatest apologies. I can’t even imagine… I know these are not the things you want to be hearing, but they are things I need to tell you. I decided when I was gonna do it about 2 months ago. It was one night after I got home from school, before anyone was in. I thought about how easy it would be to just do it then and there, but Mums birthday was coming up, and mine was only 2 months away, so I decided to wait. I think it was in a vague attempt to make it easier on you guys, and to get my birthday out of the way first. At least I would be 17 then, and I suppose I thought a news story of a girl committing suicide at 16 sounded a little melodramatic, so I waited.
And I’m so glad I did. I’ve had the best times with you in these last couple of months. Mums birthday was fantastic; it was so nice having everyone together, but so hard to lie to you all. I’m so sorry. It was a struggle every day to keep going on, but I knew that I wouldn’t have to deal with it anymore if I could just make my ‘deadline’.
Not to put any more pressure on you, but please look after Mum. I’m freaking out about how she is going to deal with this. I can’t explain how horrible and hard this is to write. I feel so guilty. And I can’t deal with it. Just please make sure everyone is ok. I’m just going round in circles here. I know this is going to break your heart Dad, and I’m so, so sorry. I love you so much, and I hope you and Mum can carry on with your lives. Give the little one everything now, and make him the most spoilt, special little boy you can. (Joking, obviously). Ha.
Stay strong for me Daddy; I’ll see you again one day, I’ll always be your little girl x


LETTER 4
Mum. Mummy. I am so sorry I’ve done this to you. It’s heart-breaking writing this letter and this is so surreal knowing this is going to be sent to you. I’m racked with guilt for doing this to you. I love you Mummy, and I always will. You can’t let this ruin a single thing for you ok? You need to get on with your life, and enjoy it. Spoil the little one (as I’ve told Dad; that is a joke) but do make sure he’s as happy as possible.
We’ve always been close, and that’s why this has been so hard to do; to lie to you about. But I had made my decision a while ago; I didn’t want to be here anymore. And I didn’t want to have to deal with you trying to convince me otherwise. I just lost control. I couldn’t keep myself happy, and I relied on other people too much. It wasn’t fair. So I did what was best for me, and for everyone.
You gave me the best send off. My birthday. I was happy that night, for a while at least. And in that time, I almost reconsidered. Almost. But really, I had a great night. I wasn’t expecting anything special; I didn’t think I deserved anything, especially with what I was planning… What I was about to do to you all. But when I opened the door and walked in and you and Dad and the little one and my boyfriend, along with the rest of the family were there, it made me feel happy, and proud to have a family like you. (Speaking of my boyfriend, keep an eye out for him will you? You know how serious we were, and just keep him close by. I want you to all stay close now that I’m gone. You’ll all have your letter, with your little piece of me, and you’ll need each other’s support) Anyway, as I was saying… Acting like everything was gonna be ok that night was hard though. I wanted to tell you so badly that I wasn’t ok, that your baby girl was breaking on the inside. But I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I didn’t want help. I just wanted to be gone; at peace, finally. I’m sorry that this is the first you will hear of any of this. I can’t imagine how confused you are.
I have a couple of confessions to make before I go. Remember that time you got a call of school, double-checking a hospital appointment for the little one? And you argued with the school office lady for about half an hour, telling her he was definitely in school that day because I vouched for taking him to school that morning, and picking him up? Yeah, that’s not exactly what happened. Let’s just say, we needed a bit of brother-sister bonding, and I took him out for the day. I forced him into it and it was 100% completely my fault… and if I find out he gets in trouble for this, I will haunt you. Sorry. This isn’t the time for jokes.
I love you so much Mum. I’m trying to keep this letter a little more light-hearted, because if I don’t I’m going to break down, and I can’t risk changing my mind. Not when I’ve got this far and have everything planned out this well. This is happening. And I’ve known that it’s been inevitable for a while now. It has just been a case of timing. I hope I got that right.
Please don’t be too angry with me, or find it in your heart to forgive me one last time? I’m always going to be looking out for you, and everyone else of course, but you especially. You’ve been my guardian angel since the day I was born, and now it’s my turn to be yours. You’ve given me everything you possibly could, and you’ve been the best Mum anyone could be. Never take any blame for this. This is just an issue with me personally. And I’m sorry it has to affect you in the biggest way possible.
I will always love you and need you Mum. And I’ll always be your baby girl. X


LETTER 5
Now then you, this is going to be the hardest of all my letters to write. You’ve always made me happy you know? Not once that I’ve been with you have I wanted to do this, it’s just when I’m alone that it gets me. You have given me the most amazing relationship anyone could have asked for, and I know that I haven’t deserved it in the slightest. That’s made it harder I guess. Because as much as I love you, I know you could do so much better than me… ‘The ****** Up Girl’ as your ‘friends’ like to call me. Thank-you for not listening to them, even if what they were saying is true. You’ve always seen the true side of me, and you’ve known how much I’ve struggled getting by. But I still don’t think you would have ever expected this, and I’m truly sorry for that.
First of all, I want to tell you that, without you, this would have happened months ago. You are the main thing that has kept me going, so you should be so happy with yourself for that. I’ve been considering this for about 2 years now, and it’s just that recently, things have been tough with people at school starting to find out how depressed I am. The things people say are horrible. But I don’t want you to mention that to my family. I don
Tasia Pieretti Dec 2017
What is high school without the drama
Without the boyfriend
Without the rude bully
That isn’t all high school
High school is different from that
It is the moment you become independent
You become that person you have always dreamed of being
Everything has a reasoning
High school… is to prepare you for the real world
Elementary school is for little kids to have fun
Middle school is like hey a little more responsibility yeah!
Everything has a reasoning
When things go down with your parents
It is like the world would be swept off your feet
Like there would be no tomorrow
But things… Good or bad ALWAYS has a reason
You might not think it some days
But reasons are just another way of trying
High school is another way of trying
Try to figure out how life begins and end
It might come with a bang
But it could also end with a bang
Middle school is just a trial and error type situation
Not high school that is if you make an error than that is that
No more, because you have to redo everything.
No more, "If I fail this I can just redo it"
Wrong!
You can't do that in high school
If you flunk the test you have to retake it
Freshman in high school is all about boys
nothing more
they first flunk because of the boys
and then things go bad because they don't have the life they wanted
all because of a boy that they know would break their heart
sophomores and juniors know finally know how important life is
they would actually do their homework and worry about the final draft
Seniors...well...they are just seniors
they have to worry about what they are going to do after they graduate
What college they are going to go to
if they are going to take a break after that
what they will do if they don't make it to college
That is all the seniors think
But that is not the point
The point is…
That is how ALL high schoolers talk
To parents
Boyfriends
everyone
apollota Aug 2015
Let's talk about that dreaded subject that students hate and probably wish wasn't real. Let's talk about School.

I don't understand it.
We sit in a boring room for six or more hours and 'learn' about stuff that most of us won't use when we're finished. Then, to make it all worse; they decide to test us. A couple letters to define us. They split us off into A's and F's, like it's a label. Like it matters, but it doesn't. Oh, **** it doesn't.
I know what you're thinking; "Oh, you're just a teenager. You're just lazy and don't understand." Yeah, I may be a teenager, but I still have the ability to realize when my time is being wasted. I don't want my time to be wasted. I've spent more of my life in a crumby, stuffy school room than with my family.
The education system is flawed and I'm not the only one who sees it.
I want to direct you to a video on Youtube titled "Don't Stay In School." uploaded by a Youtuber by the name of BoyInABand.
Listen to it. Listen to the whole thing and then tell me if you think the education system is perfectly fine because news flash, it's not.
Now I'll direct you to another video; "I Will Not Let An Exam Result Decide My Fate" by Suli Breaks. Listen to it.

School isn't about learning anymore. It's about passing.
What about the kids who can't memorize formulas and specific dates? Should we just sit there and fail? No, because we're not learning. And, sure, teachers will tell you to get a tutor or go to them for extra help, but most of the time it never works. At least not for me.

I can't memorize for ****, so I suffer.
You don't need to go to school to get an education.
The way I see it? School is school. If you want to go to school then that's cool, but don't **** on the people who dropout of school.

You know that little, interesting yet surprisingly weird website called Tumblr and the founder; David Karp. He dropped out of high school and look where he is now.

Don't knock down the players just because they don't understand the game.
2015-08-20
Mateuš Conrad Apr 2019
.you can never really write any poetry by not covering the "heartbreak" the loss of your own "printed" words: how much different is the internet, from "real" life? just asking... since: internet banking & internet shopping... to lose a poem / pre-scriptum is not exactly the same as losing a person to mind: father's day... i cooked the dinner, i took out the trash, i wrote an invoice... i guess that's much better than leaving a card of greetings... and, come to think of it? why are we the sort of people subjugated to nostalgia, with but also "without" a history? aren't we subjugated to nostalgia and a history as a "fiction"? the beginning of the 21st century, the end of the 20th century... the 19th century germans associated themselves with a nostalgia for ancient greece, we're the only people who have an inbuilt nostalgia "safety-mechanism"... the only people in time who are nostalgic about the life surrounding their own existence slot, which doesn't have a trans-temporal dynamic... i remember times when we would be teenagers... spitting on people from car-parks on imaginary tonsures, buying *****-magazines from indian cornershops, or belgian freebies of non-insinuations, white lightning cider while sleeping over at youth centers playing snooker throughout the night... even at school: attending a catholic school with the irish east enders... uniforms, sure... a chequered shirt: blue, red, white... tag? made in canada... and if only capitalism worked as it once did, made in canada? lifetime of a shirt? 20 years... now? made in china... not exactly real cotton, is it? 2 years... before ironing the shirt *****... once upon in gants hill, st. valentine's park, and the pub, recently closed, decent karaoke... in the park? golf, basketball, rowing boats in the large ponds... when the jews were there... gants hill roundabout... the hanukkah torches... jews scuttling wearing trainers come rosh hashanah: jews can't wear leather on rosh hashanah (judgement day)... shy like rats... when the jews were there (gants hill, ilford)... the park looked great... tennis courts... now, when neo-Bangladesh moved in? ****** place. what else do i remember from my original pre-scriptum that i lost? oh, that once time in gants hill... walking into a kosher bakery with ****** knuckles, having tested them on a canvas of a brick wall, buying some dough-fused-sweets? with the girl selling the sweets bewildered by fear? i like the look of fear in people when tested by uncertainty, and bleeding knuckles? later? climbing over the park fence, taking a **** while squatting in the darkened palace of the park, walking into a brothel, having my wallet stolen, not reacting in what would have been justified... high school... we wore uniforms... so no high school h'american culture trap / culture... school uniforms are the best idea, there's no chance to "shine" in telling apart the rich kids from the poor kids... there's only the standard... walking to a supermarket, past a thai surprise... sports bra, short hair... walking back... she's still there pretending to talk on her mobile to someone... you take her home with a few beers... play her some jazz... take her into the garden, the moon is a beauty... you **** her... hand in her underwear and you're still gambling... before the emergence of the nag hammadi library and the whole androgynous vogue, the thai were already readied with the lady-boys... when i reached in and found nothing but oyster... would i have stopped finding a wink-wink slouching worm? slap a trans in the face? no, not really... a thai surprise is, a thai surprise... i would have considered doing my first ****... "lucky" for me she was a she... a girl... ****** her in the garden under the moonlight... gave her my hoodie, which she drowned in... finally... the level of interaction where the female is not a mantis, i.e. a female larger than the male... she drowned into my hoodie as i walked her home... i like the familiarity with the mammalian, not resorting to insect superiority of females... these days... i find that males are strictly mammalian... while females? they are borrowing insect-esque ontologies... well, darwinism allowed the time-frame... males are mammals... females are insects, behaviour-wise... two time frame i do not appreciate the english for... darwinism is prime.... cultural-marxism my ***... what about cultural-darwinism?! no?! that doesn't exist?! cultural-darwinism is as real as cultural-marxism, and, in the former sense? it really does belong to the conservative right-wing politico spectrum! might i add? isn't psychology merely pop philosophy? i find psychology riddled with rubric cohesion, it's all oh so "self"-evident! i abhor psychologists... these gypsy philosophers... medicine-men with no pharmacological shadow of power... to prescribe drugs... arguments, persuasions, but no dialectics... psychology will forever be, for me, a philosophy primer, short-cut... pop philosophy... psychologists can treat people who have never read a philosophy book... r. d. laing... i remember this one instace... me and a fwend of mine travelled into central london, went into a bookshop shy of trafalgar sq., i spotted an edition of: the scarlet and the black by stendhal... i told him: i will trade you linkin park's debut album, if you buy me this... the transaction was made... the one book i read after seeing a film adaptation starring rachel (rakhel) weisz and ewan mcgregor... ra-kh-el: not ray-chel... we used to be humans once... at high school getting bullied back... putting pins on chairs once we got up, sitting on them... playing bulldog in primary school, slap-ball, tag, playing cards at lunchtime... 16 fatty boy... one summer in poland, comes back aged 17... the irish girls take an interest while eating a pomegranate... what was the success of your diet? don't go to the gym... excess skin, an aesthetic surgeon is not what you need... there are only two ways to lose weight... either via swimming or by cycling... cycling is the best... lose weight by also toning your body... gym is a bad idea... by going to the gym you are straining exclusive parts of your body, either the torso, your hands, etc., jogging? unless on soft ground, bad idea on concrete, arthritis... cycling or swimming... lose weight... tone at the same time, the skin is allowed the required time to adapt to shrink, and forget what propped it up in plump form with all that excess flab... ugh... i hated being attractive to the opposite ***, i never used it to my advantage! imagine... an irish lad comes up to me, on behalf of some girl while i'm donning a french braid: you look just like johnny depp in blow, impersonating george jung... 14 year old girls walk up to you asking what shampoo you're using... herbal essences... i never used my looks... *******... now i'm a heavy drinker... so much for looks... first girlfriend? a fwend had to call me telling me she called him that she felt butterflies when i dropped her at the train platform after a day's worth of dating: tate modern, edward hopper exhibitions, cinema: troy, starring rose byrne (briseis) - honestly, a man can go crazy over curly hair... and then a restaurant date... that **** just flew over my head... i wouldn't have noticed... honestly though... i missed the whole h'american cultural excavation genesis in high school... catholic... uniforms... jesuit army-esque formation... now, i'm ageing... i'm starting to find the company of cats to be: clingy... my shadow included... i once thought that dogs were needy... i'm starting to think that cats are worse, esp. the maine **** breed... "lonely" or "loneliness" doesn't really resonate with me, esp. when thinking something "feels" like a variation of claustrophobia: hence i write... without a dialectic in place, ever since plato wrote his dialogues... what is philosophy, primarily? isn't it an off-shoot of "claustrophobia"? we write because we are seeking escape from congested thinking, a variation of "claustrophobia"... now imagine a schizoid character... having to focus on an imaginary dialectic, actually... having dialectics enforced on him, with no clarifying exodus to posit a gensis with! now, a clingy dog i could understand, given the overpowering status of the leash... but a clingy cat, when there's no leash involved?! shoom! right over my head... gone, somewhere into the distance!

what, this is the part...
were i cite...
   the weimar ******
critical condition...
       a daft punk troop
of a song,
  end of line....
blow-up a hot air balloon...
worth of blaire whire...
play the tambourine
like a ******* video...
there are,
quiet, simply,
no nazis coming...
fashionista faux pas
examples...
i'm alive,
but i'm dead,
i just forget to don
a strap-on...
  "oops"?
   that **** go down well
with
the "in"-crowd...
usual... metropolitan...
verbiage surge of answers....
   many a fetish after...
we arrive at the sensible
aspect,
"toxic masculinity"...
when guns n roses wasn't,
and nirvana was just plain
gay...
              and then...
whatever that happened,
happened..
                 and people were like:
come to the "new" tomorrow,
there's always a yesterday,
in a dream,
in some phil collins
wannabe
studio...
or... some other random ****
that
excluded peter gabriel.

                 i died:
and just about right:
my harvest had come.

great book reviews...
"toxic masculinity"...
so all masculinity is
about a clockwork orange?
   if it is?
can i be pro abortion
anti mongolian horde?
yes? no?
  which is it?!
neither...
   **** me... that's just bad
luck...

                               sundbeds,
sunflowers,
tulips,
sunglasses,
    plenty of staged
eager nights...
boring political affairs...
and...
         when gaming was
more about the narrative...
and never,
ever, about the microtransactions...

point being...
it's a game within a game...
time, is the prime concern...
you play a game,
by waiting...
you wait: by playing a game...

  microtransactions
are...
you ever move a sim3 avatar
to a computer,
and make it play a computer game?
what's on the macrocosmos spectrum?
you....

               "back in the day"...
you'd spend a saturday morning
engrossed in a gaming narrative...
metal gear solid,
tenchu, final fantasy solid...
20 quid...
and you played the narrative...
and a game became equivalent
to the worth of a book,
resident evil,

            you paid for a month's worth
of gaming,
you exchanged tips,
you sometimes bought a cheat book
because of the homework,
and that was your saturday morning
before hitting the shopping mall
or, whatever...

the current dynamic of
microtransactions in gaming?
i never, ever, do...
i'm an old gamer type...
i see the potential of extending
the life-expectancy
of a game...

   as long as you don't buy into
the microtransactions gambling habit?
as long as you play the "game"
within the game?
the game is an assured classic,
akin to chess...

              you have to play
the waiting "game"...
             time...
                           that's all it is...
whether war robots,
    or dawn of titans...
        comparison...
  you know that the best fruit,
is fruit, allocated
to the geography of it being sourced
seasonally...
you can't actually get better
strawberries,
than english strawberries...
from england, come june / july...
no ******* point sourcing them
from spain in late march / april....

    same thing with gaming...
the modern games haven't made any
elaboration...
apart from dislodging the player
from the concept of narrative...
**** me... that's almost an improvement...
given that now: time is the counter
measure, and the gamer...
   is having to invest,
in a narrative, outside of the confines
of the game,
once upon a time,
games had time-narrative
constraints...
     now: there's time,
and there are gamer narratives,
excluding them from time-narratives,
of a game...
         it's almost a faux pas...
more like a wet-*****...
****** pinky lodged into an ear,
an april fools' day scant...

        if you hacked passed
the microtransactions hype...
and didn't?
and instead took to patience?
it's free...
   where once,
a game would cost you 20 quid,
and a month's worth
of narrative,
back then, when games
resembled books,
when the gaming industry
was heavily influenced
by literature...
and now?
   the game's free...
sure...
it's "unfair", it's biased...
when you don't engage
in imported gambling
of succumbing to what, this is the part...
were i cite...
   the weimar ******
critical condition...
       a daft punk troop
of a song,
  end of line....
blow-up a hot air balloon...
worth of blaire whire...
play the tambourine
like a ******* video...
there are,
quiet, simply,
no nazis coming...
fashionista faux pas
examples...
i'm alive,
but i'm dead,
i just forget to don
a strap-on...
  "oops"?
   that **** go down well
with
the "in"-crowd...
usual... metropolitan...
verbiage surge of answers....
   many a fetish after...
we arrive at the sensible
aspect,
"toxic masculinity"...
when guns n roses wasn't,
and nirvana was just plain
gay...
              and then...
whatever that happened,
happened..
                 and people were like:
come to the "new" tomorrow,
there's always a yesterday,
in a dream,
in some phil collins
wannabe
studio...
or... some other random ****
that
excluded peter gabriel.

                 i died:
and just about right:
my harvest had come.

great book reviews...
"toxic masculinity"...
so all masculinity is
about a clockwork orange?
   if it is?
can i be pro abortion
anti mongolian horde?
yes? no?
  which is it?!
neither...
   **** me... that's just bad
luck...

                               sundbeds,
sunflowers,
tulips,
sunglasses,
    plenty of staged
eager nights...
boring political affairs...
and...
         when gaming was
more about the narrative...
and never,
ever, about the microtransactions...

point being...
it's a game within a game...
time, is the prime concern...
you play a game,
by waiting...
you wait: by playing a game...

  microtransactions
are...
you ever move a sim3 avatar
to a computer,
and make it play a computer game?
what's on the macrocosmos spectrum?
you....

               "back in the day"...
you'd spend a saturday morning
engrossed in a gaming narrative...
metal gear solid,
tenchu, final fantasy solid...
20 quid...
and you played the narrative...
and a game became equivalent
to the worth of a book,
resident evil,

            you paid for a month's worth
of gaming,
you exchanged tips,
you sometimes bought a cheat book
because of the homework,
and that was your saturday morning
before hitting the shopping mall
or, whatever...

the current dynamic of
microtransactions in gaming?
i never, ever, do...
i'm an old gamer type...
i see the potential of extending
the life-expectancy
of a game...

   as long as you don't buy into
the microtransactions gambling habit?
as long as you play the "game"
within the game?
the game is an assured classic,
akin to chess...

              you have to play
the waiting "game"...
             time...
                           that's all it is...
whether war robots,
    or dawn of titans...
        comparison...
  you know that the best fruit,
is fruit, allocated
to the geography of it being sourced
seasonally...
you can't actually get better
strawberries,
than english strawberries...
from england, come june / july...
no ******* point sourcing them
from spain in late march / april....

    same thing with gaming...
the modern games haven't made any
elaboration...
apart from dislodging the player
from the concept of narrative...
**** me... that's almost an improvement...
given that now: time is the counter
measure, and the gamer...
   is having to invest,
in a narrative, outside of the confines
of the game,
once upon a time,
games had time-narrative
constraints...
     now: there's time,
and there are gamer narratives,
excluding them from time-narratives,
of a game...
         it's almost a faux pas...
more like a wet-*****...
****** pinky lodged into an ear,
an april fools' day scant...

        if you hacked passed
the microtransactions...
       and didn't have the chance...
microtransactions are like
the old school cheat hacks...
but not quiet, but somehow quasi-,
       a modern microtransactions,
would be a cheat magazine
thorough-through
a game like final fantasy VII...
you have homework,
but you still want to complete the game...
modern games...
modern games...
there's an "end gole"?
  what modern game is worth
"completing"?
    
   again: tron, ready player one,
back to the future...
star wars just became dead
to me...
   sick people will plague hard-working
people, with a quasi-gambling
addiction,
needing to make microtransactions...
and they will,
my father was plagued by
an impostor, claiming to be a
tax office official:
and what if, that person had
an authentic position at the tax office?!

when gaming was for gamers,
the games were bought...
there was a narrative...
but now... now games don't have a narrative...
why would they?!
   who the hell plays games for
the narrative these days?
i know that on the crapper,
i need a game that allows me
to experience live-stream
interaction with non-bots...

       and these old gamers,
who still invest their money
in literature-esque-games?
so i was the sad one,
investing in vinyl?
   aren't the classic ******* gamers
just as bad,
investing in prepackaged
narrative gaming
experiences?
             a game with a narrative...
yeah... me buying vinyl
is: b'ah b'ah bad...
       what sort of game is alive and well...
when there isn't a crowd pushback
for the currency of microtransaction?

the narrative is time,
   the longer you endure the inadequacy...
the more you realise:
you're basically playing
the same game,
but in your scenario:
it's free...
   in some other ******'s scenario:
it cost him 70 hundred quid...

personally?
   i love this microtransaction dynamic...
concerning the people who
do not engage with it...
it's the perfect antithesis
   of what ruined the music industry
with genesis: napster...

you really are, playing the ultimate
game,
time...
         the one sort of commodity
that games,
without a clear narrative construct,
"forgot" to mention in terms
of them being exploited...
to their full capacity
of the one "commodity"
they "forgot", or rather,
couldn't "sell"...

              a tenchu PS1 game could
have lasted me a month...
now? a free game,
like war robots...
with absolutely no NPC?
hell... i'll be 90 and still be playing it;

what else? applause!
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
Kylie Wallen Nov 2013
"Btw, Have fun cutting yourself over me later since your so depressed"

A girl at my school sent me this,
That I've been best friends with for six years.
A girl at my school sent me this,
Without shedding a tear.

A girl at my school sent me this,
After she saw my cuts.
A girl at my school sent me this,
While she was on the bus

A girl at my school sent me this,
Without thinking it would hurt me.
A girl at my school sent me this,
it didn't hurt her to desert me.

A girl at my school sent me this,
Not thinking it was wrong.
A girl at my school sent me this,
Knowing I wasn't strong.

A girl at my school sent me this,
After hearing a rumor.
A girl at my school sent me this,
She thought she had great humor.

A girl at my school sent me this,
Causing me so much pain.
That girl at my school that sent me this,
Will never be in my life again.

— The End —