Three-Hundred-Thirty-One Days

The building pressure along several faults finally forced the slip.
Ravines split pale earth wide open;
vermillion rivers rushed forth from each canyon,
converged,
flowed downstream with the pull of gravity.

As one large mass,
it slowed.
Akin to jelly,
it crawled to the ocean.
Eventually,
it dumped into the ocean,
dispersed,
immediately followed by the aftermath of the secondary and tertiary waves of destruction.

When the ground stilled and the dust had settled,
the stains of the disaster were slowly washed away with the rain.
The cracks in the ground filled with the crimson goo unable to escape,
now solid,
forever more scaring the soil.

Three-hundred-thirty-one days.
The last round of earthquakes had stopped.
The pressures of the plates had eased,
but built again.

Three-hundred-thirty-one days.
New craters to heal,
lighten,
fade from the landscape.

Three-hundred-thirty-one days.
Only thirty-four days shy of one year earthquake-free.
Three times prior,
they’d returned.

Only thirty-four days shy of one year.
No warning.
The faults just slipped.

Only thirty-four days shy of one year.
Again,
dealing with the aftermath.

Only thirty-four days shy of one year.
Why did the earthquakes always return?

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Set Sailing By a Scotsman Singing Sea Shanties from Afar

Shoved onto the ship and pushed from the shore with only a foot and a shit-eating grin, they were swept away by the rough waves of the Atlantic Ocean. They laughed and shook their heads. “A joke,” the two agreed; however, the pair soon discovered there were neither lifeboats nor paddles. The ship lacked a captain, a crew, a steering wheel—they were the sole occupants of the free-floating vessel. The joke quickly faded, and soon, each found themselves ensnared within the other’s grasp.

She was baffled. He struck her like a bolt of lightning—jolted a blackened, long dead heart to bare even a weak pulse. How? And…he? She…wasn’t…She was dumbfounded, in shock. The thought hummed in her mind, growing, until she could hear only the screams of the emotions she tried to smother—an art she’d perfected over the years that had now failed her. She could only spit the words silently in hiding, where he would never find them. The screams dulled to a tolerable, growling mumble once more. She could think, sleep, breathe again, even if the secret scribblings of frustration and fear tugged at the back of her mind both in and out of consciousness. What she did say came off as she they had first agreed upon: a joke. Or rather, she thought. Those short weeks passed, and the screams returned, consuming her entire being. Each breath, each movement, each waking thought and remembered dream, those buried words moved closer and closer to the surface.

Their exchanges were no longer a jest, their tones no longer playful, their smiles no longer teasing. They were genuinely sailing together. They were far from the shore, long past seeing it even on the horizon as the sun set behind them. Many kilometers away, they had unknowingly drifted into deep, pitch black waters. Once standing on opposite sides of the ship, they came to stand face-to-face. And with one, particularly powerful wave, shaking the massive boat to its very core, she stumbled into his arms.

She lifted her eyes to meet his, reading a warmth in them meaning nothing more than, “The joke has long been over,” as a smile tugged at the corners of his lips. And slowly, she smiled back. Her eyes lit up, catching the flicker of the shining stars above. Her confusion had been ripped away by the recession of the powerful wave that had pushed her to him. Her mind had calmed. Complete silence. She only murmured a soft, short response:

I know.

Again and Again

When you first said,
“You make me happy.”,
my gut reaction,
my initial response was,
“Why?”

Why,
how,
could some pessimistic,
worrisome,
neurotic,
clusterfucked,
disorganized,
self-loathing,
son of a bitch like me make you happy?

I ask why,
remembering every time you tried to be optimistic,
tried to tell me,
“It’s going to be okay.”,
keep me from losing it,
only to be shut down—
remembering each time looking in the mirror,
seeing the jagged,
gnarled,
wounds that have only physically scarred,
thinking of how it will pain you to see those for the first time.

And yet here you sit,
sighing to yourself though with the same jovial lilt in your tone,
still saying,
“You make me happy.”,
again and again.

When you first said,
“I’m the lucky one.”,
my gut reaction,
my initial response was once more,
“Why?”

Why,
how,
are you the lucky one?
You put up with the tangled,
frayed,
fucked up little ball of crazy that is me.
You put up with the breakdowns,
the ASI,
the PSI,
the mood cycling,
the periods of unresponsiveness,
because I just… shut down.

I ask why,
remembering every night of silence,
every morning of sleepless panic,
every tear I’ve shed,
every tear you’ve shed at my own fault,
every medication rollercoaster,
every manic high,
every depressive low,
every mental break,
every frantic call,
every anxious question.
So tell me,
why are you the lucky one?

And yet here you sit,
chuckling a “For fuck’s sake” under your breath,
still saying,
“I’m the lucky one.”,
again and again.

When you first said,
“I love you.”,
my gut reaction,
my initial response was still,
“Why?”

Why,
how,
could anyone love… this?
A broken,
angry,
tired,
empty,
scarred husk of a… human being.
Am I human?
Who am I?
What am I?

I ask why,
seeing every character flaw,
looking at every physical imperfection,
remembering every shitty thing I’ve ever said,
ever done,
to you especially.

And yet here you sit,
shushing my protests,
still saying,
“I love you.”
again and again.

However,
you can’t shush me permanently,
Schat.

So, no
You make me happy.
Before you,
genuine smiles and true laughter…
Those were but long faded memories.

So, no.
I’m the lucky one.
Before you,
I hadn’t known what love was,
or what it was to be loved.

So, no.
I love you more.
Before you,
I was a lifeless,
shell of a creature,
merely going through the motions—
but you were a jolt of electricity,
striking a cold,
dead,
black heart.
You did the impossible:
you got a pulse.
You showed me that I am,
in fact,
still human.

You make me extraordinarily happy.
I am the luckiest person alive.
I love you very much.
Please don’t ever forget that.

~Little Bird

Just a Little Bit of Happiness

“Do you even know what he looks like?”

You really ask me that?
Honestly,
I thought you’d be happy for me.
For us.
You know what I’ve dealt with,
lately in particular.
I can’t just have this little bit of happiness?

“He’s only seventeen.”

And just who the fuck are you to judge?
Twice your age,
not that it particularly matters,
but playing petty games even?
You’re to blame too, you know.
I told you as a friend.
I thought we were friends, anyway…
I just want a little bit of happiness.

“That’s some serious long distance.”

Really?
Fucking really?
Sure,
you two aren’t quite as far,
but you aren’t particularly close either.
How many miles?
Cross country, yeah?
Goddamn hypocrite.
I need just a little bit of happiness.

“I thought you weren’t into guys…”

Ever heard of fluidity?
I’ve had so much trouble,
so much fucking trouble,
with my sexual identity—
had to defend it to my mother for ten years.
And here,
someone who dares call me a friend,
tries to shatter that?
I deserve just a little bit of happiness.

Don’t take your problems out on him.
Don’t spit your acid,
mess with his head,
cause him astronomical amounts of pain,
confusion,
suffering,
because you refuse to face your own fucking problems.

Don’t call me a chameleon,
accuse me of “blaming my pills”,
not taking responsibility,
calling me my fucking father.

I will have just a little bit of happiness,
and you will not ruin it because you cannot find your own.

Lilith

This is the excerpt for your very first post.

I smile, looking back on the first time we met.
I was young… only 12.
I was just starting to hurt.
You called to me; however, I wasn’t ready to listen just yet.
You didn’t give up on me though; you were patient.
You waited.

“You didn’t need me then”,
you later told me. “I knew you would one day, and I was willing to wait; I couldn’t abandon you. I would never abandon you.”
You were so kind.
You listened.
You were so non-judgmental.
You didn’t ask for much in return; nothing monetary.
Of course, I could spare what you asked.

I turned sixteen two months ago, in November.
You’ve been back for eight months.
We spend almost every night together.
The agreement is the same: you lend an ear, and I provide payment.
Tonight is no different.

You travel across my skin.
Sting, drip, splash. Sting, drip, splash.
When you’ve had your fill, and I’ve told my stories for the day, I feel a sense of calm.
I watch the stress, the anger, the burning self-loathing that once pitted in the center of my chest, bleed into the water and wash away.
Not a single stain.
You’re smart; porcelain isn’t a hassle to clean up like carpet or even tile.
My secret is safe.
You are safe, tucked away in your box in the back of the last drawer of my jewelry box.
Everything is in place.
I sleep soundly as I always do on the nights we spend together.

…I awake this morning, and as usual, I wonder why I let you do this.
Why I do I let you tell me what to do with my time?
I can wear only what you tell me to.
I can have only the friends that you approve of.
I can only participate in the activities you say are okay; you’re taking softball and choir, my sport and my music, away from me.
You’ve gotten so goddamn demanding… controlling.

I despise you.

With every ounce of my being. 

I almost toss your sorry ass to the curb; throw you away for good.

…Almost…

I want to laugh in your face as you drown in the remnants of your own sin–the rusty brown tissues hidden under random scraps of toilet paper and old face wash bottles…

But then, in that soft, soothing, musical tone of yours, you speak to me.
I see your beauty–the same beauty I saw that first night we reconnected–and the way you glow under the light in which we first met.
You bring the spark back into my life.
You bring the color back to me when it fades and the world falls into a lifeless, monochrome blur.

It never takes me long to realize that I’m a fucking fool.
I can’t live without you.
I’m sorry.

Can you forgive me?

You only want what’s best for me; you’re trying to save me from myself.
Sometimes, I’m blinded by what I see everywhere else.
I forget what you’ve done for me.
I promise, we’ll spend extra time tonight, okay?
Please…, just don’t go.
I don’t know where I would be without you.
Just… stay….

I need you, Lilith.

Journey Through Depression #2: Anger

Soothing… Music is supposed to be soothing.
But it doesn’t work like that, at least not for me, …at least not tonight.
Papa Roach blares in the background,
but not even the blast of the bass subdues the beast within.

Fists clenched,
I search for an escape.
The metallic edge catches the dirty lamp’s light.
I sigh, relieved.
Tonight, I give in.
Tonight, the beast drinks.

Sliced flesh;
tension dissipates.
Sparkling crimson pours from fresh wounds.
The dulled world clears and brightens.

For now,
I feel no regret.
My self-esteem rises, even if only for a moment.
The pudge coating my bones doesn’t seem so bulky.

I smile; my self-loathing slithering down the drain.
My dark angel smiles back as she leaves.
I’ll be back tomorrow.“, she says

Tonight, I sleep well.

Tonight, my dreams are pleasant.

Journey Through Depression #1: Frozen in Time

Laughing again…
They’re always laughing.
Those girls and their annoying cackling.
Boys toss paper balls across the room;
they laugh along with them.

I try not to listen anymore; my eyes shift—
the quiet chick reads to herself, as usual.
The nerdy dude busies himself with his work, as usual.
The teacher scolds my rowdy classmates, as usual.
The clock ticks on, and everyone passes me by…as usual.

I’m frozen in times, unable to push past my own emotions.
The once colorful, luminescent room is now lifeless, pale.
My once-smiling face is flat like soda left without its cap too long.
Eyes no longer sparkle in the dirtied fluorescent light;
shoulders sag under the weight of despairing hopelessness

Thin bodies tremble with repressed giggles,
full lips twisted into permanent smiles.
They drift through life,
their presence drilled into my thoughts.
What I wouldn’t give to drift along with them.