Welcome home.

I wish I could remember the first time I felt the cool chill of the ocean tickle at my feet.

I wonder whether I loved it then as I do now;

Whether I felt the lulling calm wash over me and hold me transfixed on the sand, motionless;

Whether the smell of salt and seaweed and wet decay sunk deep into my lungs and allowed clearer breaths than I can find anywhere else;

Whether the breeze on my cheeks and the sun glaring off the surface brought tears to my eyes that no shame could hide or erase;

Whether every repressed memory flooded back to me and dwelled cruelly at the surface of my mind;

Whether I found myself surrounded by answers to questions I didn’t even know existed yet;

Whether the rumbling and crashing swell sounded like silence;

Whether the icy depths felt warm and welcoming;

Whether the rhythmic motion felt stable and grounding.

I wonder whether the isolation still felt like home.

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Mad rabbit.

I think you are quite possibly the most beautiful person I’ve ever seen.

The way you smile when you say goodbye,
Even if we haven’t said a word to each other.
It’s always real and it’s always kind,
And I want to wrap it up and carry it with me,
For those moments when I forget what it feels like to be looked at like that.

I long to hear your voice again –
It’s delicate, but deeply masculine, and absolutely heavenly.
I would listen to it speak any language under the sun for days,
And wouldn’t even mind for a second that I couldn’t understand a single word.
I get too tranfixed on your mouth when you talk anyway.

My eyes wander the stubble on your face,
Which I imagine feels like silk
Even though it always looks about three-day old,
And rest on the mustache above your top lip.
Odd, usually-creepy facial hair never suited anyone more perfectly than it does you.

Your dark brown eyes match your hair so completely,
Framed entirely by long and full and reaching lashes.
I find myself wishing I were close enough to count each individual one.
Every time I feel them on me I forget how to breathe.
And my face flushes deeper than should be humanly possible.

My coffee intake has quadrupled since I first saw you,
As has my gold flaked, cocoa dusted, chocolate chip vegan brownie consumption –
My deliciously socially acceptable excuse to see you again.
The additional caffeine really hasn’t helped my lack of sleep though,
And I should probably switch back to decaf.

But you really are beautiful.

I wish I knew your name.

‘You know, just life.’

I lost count of the number of people today that
Asked me if I was okay;
Told me I didn’t look myself;
Said I looked sad;
Thought I must be tired;
Wanted me to talk to them about what was wrong.

Some I answered.
Some I didn’t, but I’m sure they guessed all the same.

‘Haven’t slept properly in, like, 6 weeks. Just want to be in bed. Can’t concentrate. No motivation to do anything. Zoning out. No care. No interest. Super emotional. Crying all the time at nothing. More irritable than usual. Raging at everything. Want to fight everyone. Too much going on. Constantly stressed. Really grim – more grim than usual. Anxious chest pain. Probably a little depressed. So, you know, just life.’

‘That’s not life – it’s just a part of life.’

I learned a long time ago that there’s no point hiding my feelings and pretending I’m okay when I’m not. I’m an open book – an open book with obnoxiously oversized print that even young, vision impaired children with very basic literacy skills can read and comprehend from a mile away.

Maybe one day I’ll stop trying.

Not today.

The slow creep of old mate D.

I don’t remember the first time I found myself feeling envious of the dead.
I don’t remember it, but I can’t forget it.
I can’t unfeel it.
I can’t unknow it.

It shadows my every feeling.
And it weighs on my every hope.

To sleep uninterrupted, still and quiet and unburdened by the rise of anxiety.

To be carried on gentle winds across land and sea – a simple, weightless nothing.

To be wrapped in the damp embrace of the earth I love, and be finally united with life in its purest form.

To float and sink slowly below the surface, aimlessly retreating back to the depths of life’s beginning.

To finally be alone, not haunted
By unrealistic and unmet expectations
And what ifs and not good enoughs
And I’m fines, and just tireds
And dark eyes and fake smiles
And constant irritability
And uncontrollable anger mixed with uncontrollable tears
And sudden chest pains and headaches
And ruminating on past issues
And failing attempts at self care
And hopelessness and disappointment
And loved ones who want to understand but don’t
And explanations that never quite capture it.

Bull and crab.

I saw you again today.

You were leaning casually against a green fence, cushioned by a black backpack with a white logo I couldn’t quite make out.

Your hair was in a low bun, just how I always loved it – messy and untamable, just like you. I was glad when I saw you grew it back out.

Your face was clouded by a breath of smoke, and I hated the cigarette that stole the clarity of my first vision of you in months.

I was jealous of whoever he was, standing next to you. I didn’t recognise him, but I’d know you from a mile away, even if I were to suddenly go blind. Everything is shrouded in darkness without you anyway.

I wanted you to see me.

I wanted your heartbeat to falter for a fraction of a second, just like mine did when I realised it was you and found myself breathless.

I wanted your stomach to drop a few inches, just like mine did as I strained to hear the deep sound of your voice; the one that spoke to me with more truth and vulnerability and wisdom than all others meshed together; that paired with mine in perfect harmony and sung the sweetest song.

I know our universes will align again some day.

But today would have just meant another goodbye.

And I’m still recovering from the last one.

Self portrait.

I lived for 186 days in the 80s, but I definitely don’t dance and hate fluro.

My parents lasted long enough to have two children, one miscarriage, and a lot of one-sided regret.

The next relationship produced three more kids, a vasectomy and a decade and a half of bruises.

I don’t trust that I haven’t inherited the addictive gene from my family, so I don’t drink anymore, despite wanting to most days.

I equally love and hate being the eldest sibling, and often feel like I’ve failed each and every one.

I have more freckles than stars in the sky – a sepia milky way everywhere but my stomach, which never sees the light of day.

My head is topped with auburn hair that bleaches orange in summer, and curls in knots no brush can ever truly untangle.

I see through eyes that transition from grey to blue like the changing weather, and their chance of rain is just as changeable.

I have two wonderful friends who I can only handle in short stints, and often wonder if they feel the same way about me.

I fall in love too easily, with long hair, tears and darkness.

My first boyfriend broke my heart, which was mended by my current boyfriend, who then completely tore it out.

I was once diagnosed with chronic depression, because I don’t think ‘chronic discontent’ featured in the DSM yet.

I chose social work as a career because I value other people’s lives more than I do my own – it crushes and reinforces my soul every day.

I wish I didn’t love my job so I could quit, pack my bags and live out of my car along the coast for the rest of my life.

I watched Dead Poets Society, and knew I would one day be a teacher.

I belong near the ocean, and feel like I’m drowning if I’m dry for too long.

I can’t explain why I feel more powerful and alive under a full moon, but assume in another life I may have been a witch.

I currently have 52 houseplants inside, not including the ivy creeping in through the window frames and floorboards, which I can’t bring myself to pull out.

There are probably 5 times as many plants outside, and I have very little idea how to keep them all alive.

I would do nothing but read and write and surf and skate all day, every day if I could.

I wrote a book that no one will probably ever read, because I’m a self conscious, cowardly perfectionist.

I allow people I hate to steal away everything I love, which makes me hate them (and myself) even more.

I explicitly like things others I know don’t so that I don’t have to share, and immediately lose interest when they do.

I prefer to be on my own, or at least that’s what I tell myself.

Abandoned.

Passion fades
Like photos in direct sunlight.
Blurred and distant
Memories of what came before.

Intrigue wilts
Like old flowers in a vase;
Limp and colourless,
Drowning in stale water.

Hopes shatter
Like old and cancerous bones
Hollow and fragile.
Devoid of all strength.

Muses lost
Back into the void of creation,
Where absence is longing,
And reflection is regret,
And solitude is healing,
And love is sadness,
And pain is beautiful.