Blank is typing...
My fingers haven’t been listening. They haven’t been cooperating with my brain. I’ve started responding to every prompt this week, but I haven’t shared any of it. None of them have reached a shareable point so now they’re just collected dust in my documents folder, never seeing the light of the day. My mind has been racing with words, but my hands just can’t figure out how to transcribe them. They’re not fast enough so they’re left in a panic, doing their hardest to create something with the vague memory of what my brain told them to do hours ago.
I can’t totally blame them, though. They’re doing their best. It’s hard to listen to the sequence of keys to press while they’re also busy wrestling with screaming children for naptime, making dumplings out of Play-Doh, and stirring the coffee that keeps the brain awake. They hesitate when writing down the brain’s messages because they envy the creativity of others’ and want to ensure that the things they produce have the same amount of eloquence.
I hope they learn to listen soon, but sometimes it’s harder to hear through silence.
This piece was published in the Fall 2020 edition of Medium Weight Forks, a literary magazine created at Northwest Missouri State University.
Corpses of the arboretum
I keep getting tangled up in my emotions lately. I find myself lost while trying to navigate through these woods to find the cute little cottage of confidence. The tall trees glare down at me as I stay out in the cold instead of taking refuge in a burrow like the other woodland creatures. I watch my breath escape as I look up at the leaves dangling on the branches, a slight breeze ready to pull them from their only life source.
I wonder if any of these trees is close to falling over. You can’t see when a tree is dying. It rots from the inside and no one is the wiser until one day it falls over, destroying everything in its path. I’ve been standing tall for so long. I no longer have the strength to hold onto all the expectations, only to have them plummet to the ground and shatter. I hadn’t noticed how everything’s been eating at me for so long and now the tree is hollow. I don’t know what will send me crashing down, but when the day comes, I hope there won’t be destruction on my behalf.
Nothing will change the fact that I have no feelings for you.
His words still echo in my head, whispering phrases only meant to wound. It’s like that one Evanescence song: I wish you would just leave ‘cause your presence still lingers here, and it won’t leave me alone. He’s the one who introduced me to the band in the first place.
So many things in my life are attached to him somehow. All the thread that tied us together in the five plus years of knowing each other is now a tangled web I’m trying to squeeze my way out of. I can’t run without thinking about him. I can’t play Mah Jong without seeing a glimpse of him in my friend Briar. He crosses my mind whenever I read. Even something as simple as walking outside and enjoying the sunshine reminds me of the times we’d walk around the lake together.
We broke off all communication with each other exactly seven months ago. He vanished after telling me to take care. This person is unavailable on Messenger. Being blocked doesn’t eliminate all the memories we had together. I wish there was a button I could push to block all the thoughts of him as easy as it was for him to push me out of his life. Our friendship had always fluctuated, as rickety and unstable as a splintering teeter-totter. It’s still hard to comprehend that he isn’t in my life anymore, even though the ghost of him still remains.
My memory feels like a mansion full of rooms and rooms of files stored away. All of my experiences with him were shoved in a closet in the basement, but it turns out there’s a piece of him lurking in the dark corners of every room. Suddenly, the house feels too small, too cramped. There's no way to avoid him.
Maybe I’m the one who’s lost.