My final thought is simple: Bubbles only move in one direction.
My eyes follow them to the surface as the rest of me sinks deeper. The bricks around my neck and ankles exaggerate their speed. My arms are free, but they’re weighted down by something else. I’m so tired. As thousands of bubbles rocket past me, I wonder…
Could I collect them in my hands? If I caught enough and held them close, would they carry me to the open air too?
It’s hard to see now. I don’t have much time. I just have to reach out and try.
“Are you still there?”
This is what rock bottom looks like. Talking to a literal wall. The bricks that you so carefully stacked against me are my only company. One after the other, without a word, you placed the pieces of this this monstrosity between us. It took years and now we’re here. Or at least, I am. I’m not entirely sure that you’re on the other side anymore.
“How long do you expect me to wait here?”
A silly question. I waited long enough to watch you build a wall. It stands to reason that I’m capable of doing a bit more.
“It’s just you and me, I guess.” I say, patting the wall and hoping for a response. Like the idiot I am.
“The more you struggle, the worse it will be.”
I thrash harder, trying to drown out the voice, but I can’t ignore the truth behind those words. The walls are closing in as I fight.
“Relax, darling. This is for your own good. It’s just how it is.”
Sweet true lies. I’m not an idiot. I see the boxes next to me. Millions of them. Souls that were free are now confined into perfect, stackable forms. ‘Welcome to society, sweetheart,’ they whispered.
This container holds me now, but it didn’t before.
I remember freedom. It was in the rebellion of…
She handed him a feather.
…he waited to wings to lift him into the sky and carry him far, far away.
She handed him a piece of string.
…he waited the pieces of his life to come back together, for his parents to forgive each other.
She handed him a piece of glass.
…he waited for everything to become clear, to see the darkest part of himself.
But none of these things happened.
He opened his eyes and nothing changed. He couldn’t escape. He couldn’t fix what was broken. He couldn’t see all the answers.
But he could see the three gifts for what they were. The magic wasn’t in them. It was hidden somewhere else.
Within you a corkscrew waits, millimeters from your heart.
The halves of your soul take turns with it. One twist spills stories and ideas that radiate through you a raging current of inspiration. Another turn leaks a black sludge of despair, a hopelessness that it’s all for nothing.
Back and forth it goes. Twist. Turn. And in between it all, you glow. A light pours from your veins because your blood is flowing.
You are alive. Every turn brings you closer to the heart of it all, your truest self and a reservoir of untapped potential. Keep turning.
The only company he kept was his own, and it wasn’t very good company at all. Even if he had friends and there wasn’t a worldwide pandemic going on, the old man doubted anyone would visit him. So he talked to himself.
He found comfort in verbally attacking the only person within earshot — himself. When he tripped over the carpet, when he lost his train of thought, when the newspaper trembled in his weak hands, the old man berated himself, slinging curses around the room like stones. The hateful words started to collect in the dark corners of the…
Flicker in the wind,
sputter against the rain,
the elements may try their best,
but can’t destroy the flame.
It holds true in the sun,
but shines brightest at night,
when we can’t see the way forward,
when we need the most light.
Always constant and steady,
it cuts through time and space,
drawing us closer together,
a bond nothing can replace.
This bed isn’t mine.
With a yawn, I rub my eyes in an attempt to clear the sleep away. Nope, it’s not my bed or even my room. Where am I? Looking around, my half-conscious mind shutters like a camera, taking in my surroundings.
Frame 1: Macro. The linens are a dead giveaway. Crisp, white, and probably a super high thread count that would put my own shabby chic sheets to shame. Everything I touch is marshmallows and feathers.
Frame 2: Wide angle. I’m a tiny black beetle floating on a brick of soap in a sea of rich, glossy…
A line exists between confidence and stupidity. Crossing that invisible threshold can be as simple as sputtering a few prideful idiotic words, as is the case with our unfortunate Jen.
Oh, poor Jen. She was so determined to have a good day too.
Did the insults “chonky” and “blubber butt” hurled at Jen by her sisters keep her from wearing her favorite yellow swimsuit?
Did the slate grey sky and her grandmother’s warning of rain keep her from rushing down the boardwalk to the water?
In fact, she loved that she could be alone with the ocean. It…