tHeRe'S aN aRt To DyInG

Leotards and red licorice.

A young girl with a big dream, and a bigger family. Brothers coming home, nagging your mom about football, covered in mud, sweat dripping from uncombed hair, the stench of belonging to something trickling from their lips as they selfishly take all of the oxygen in the air, leaving nothing for you but the remainder of your mother's attention, which may be nothing at all.


Cold rooms and tiny glass windows.

Trading bare feet and shiny, skin tight bodysuits, for tights and ballet slippers. Strawberry flavored sweets and candies replaced with stale oatmeal cookies, secluded in a forbidden box. Your step sisters getting praise for just existing, from a father who's yours, yet isn't, and a family who feels much the same.


Forced to study parabolas and stem cells, wading in a sea of nobody's.

Situated at the front of class, trying to get a proper education, while they talk about trivial things and gossip about one another much the same, almost in a synchronized pattern, choosing who would be the victim of the boredom-filled rumors, that week. Staying because you've known them since the years of grape juice and sandwiches with the crust cut off, unable to say no to their absurd requests. I like them. But I don't belong here. I know I don't, and they know it too. Leaving, finally leaving. Breaking the final chains that held you down.


Chasing the stars, and everything in between.

Routine is preferred. The unexpected is forbidden, frightening, foolish, but so is playing safe. Life isn't, it's just the illusion of the thing. You took the risk and dove into the deepest of blue, oxygen less waters. They miss you. Appreciate you more than they did before. And although you didn't want to you miss them too. You've needed them up until now, although you'll deny you did. They were a crutch, but now you're set free.


Schooled in the art of dying, and the memories that live for eternity.

I remember it. No one else can, but I think of that time, and the age I was, all cherub cheeks and smooth brown skin. I probably couldn't even talk at the time, but still, I picture it. Going to my dad's house and this huge, white, deep freezer he had, almost coffin-like, keeping the unfeeling, unresponsive foods, beef, turkey, chicken, buried in a box for remembrance and sacrifice. There might have been those things, and other processed, man-made items, but what sticks so vividly in my mind was the cold, frozen treats, flavoring packaged into a stick of ice, grape, lemon, strawberry, any kind you could imagine. I went there after playing basketball at the court down the street, although I wasn't any good, seeing as I had just learned to walk, but I would come into the house of the man who helped create me, no invite necessary, and he would give me one of these tasty treats.


My mom would laugh as she'd tell me of how me and my brothers would cower in fright after doing something wrong, not listening to her exasperated warnings to be careful or clean up our mess, and she would tell us, untruthfully that our father was home and that he was going to deal with us, or that when he got home he would dole out our punishments, in order to get us to behave. That he would use his belt or hand, and that we'd have learned our lesson.


It's odd, almost comical, that this isn't the memory that comes forth when thinking of him. That this thing I cling so strongly to, is something that might be all imagination, while the truth is what seems to evade me. I remember crying my three year old eyes out, as the casket is being brought forth, open so that all can see him as he were. As we want him to have been. I vaguely recall letting my little legs carry me to the front of the room, my siblings in tow, waiting with me, to be boosted, so we could peer at our fathers closed eye lids, and all the things he would no longer gaze upon. Watching him, while he was unable to do the same. At least not from this angle. Going to my older sisters lap, wanting comfort from someone who would understand me better. Someone who had the same viewpoint as me, if not just a little.


Being told that he had passed away. A heart attack. I 'm not sure, even now, what I had been thinking at the time. If I had even fully grasped at that moment in time, what was going on. That I would never see my dad again, and he wouldn't be there to experience all of those crucial moments in a persons, a girls, life. I might have. Maybe I didn't. It doesn't really matter now, what I had or had not understood. It's all trivial at this point.


Cabbage patch kids, and childhood delusions.

As kids, most people chose to play video games, or dress up Barbie dolls, but I always loved to read. To my mother's dismay, I was hooked on fiction and fantasy, loving to read things about people with supernatural powers and mythology. I would go out to the car late at night, saying that I 'forgot something', when really, I just thought that some stranger would come for me. I always had this strange sixth-sense, or some might call it paranoia, that someone was watching me. Protecting me. My mom called it an imaginary friend, saying that every child experienced it and that I would get over it, but is it really an imaginary friend if it's imaginary even to me? Going outside at night, alone, as a child, while completely dangerous and irresponsible, I had an irrational thought that creatures came out at that time, and that by isolating myself from others, something would reveal itself to me and take me away.


Don't get me wrong, I love my mom, and I always have, but I just never quite felt like I belonged here. And, I don't even really know what here is. I would give my mom these cryptic messages, asking her things like "If I disappeared one day, would you come looking for me?" or "If I disappeared one day, and left no trace behind, I wouldn't want you to look for me, but to go on with your life and know that wherever I am, I'm happy." She obviously didn't like when I said things like this. Being her only girl and her child, she loved me a lot and would say that she'd never stop searching for me. The state of mind I was in, I didn't like that answer one bit. I wouldn't want her to be sad. I wouldn't want her to miss me. That would make my adventure less fun. Whether they had too little imagination, or I had way too much, they were right. I obviously wasn't some normal, mundane kid, but all the things I thought would happen to me, never did.


Twenty one pilots, and the occupation of living.

Purposefully jerking the steering wheel, on my way to some menial task. The feeling when youre alone, the silence of your own thoughts drowning you into the dark blue depths self pity, reminding you how weak and frail you are. Remembering that you're in control of your self, taking in gulps of air, pushing away the empty thoughts, knowing that if you willed it so, sirens and flashing lights, sharp beads of glass shattering, littering you lap in the dead of night, a tin box your only source of protection. Endless green. Grey roads, and a yellow strip of un-fulfilled promises, lie ahead of you, taunting.


I'm forced to deal with these feelings, alone, silenced, secluded. Within the confines of my own mind, I'm faced with my own fears, the night terrors haunting me, dreams of stillness, anchoring me. My mind being woken, while my body is suspended, trapped in the ultimate slumber. The realization that just because you need something, doesn't mean you can have it. Some people aren't meant to be ordinary, and ordinarily you don't get what you want. I sit in silence. A room filled with people I've known all of five minutes, and the only stranger is to me, is my myself. Irony. I can't even hear the depth of my own thoughts, incessant chattering, forbidding me from retreating within my mind, yet still I feel so empty, alone. Feeling as if I don't even exist outside of my own consciousness.

The sporadic nature of mortal thoughts.


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