1. [allayna] errant thoughts.

    i.

    People disappointed her so thoroughly, so she locked herself away as if indifference were synonymous to invincibility, repeating to herself over and over that intimacy was for suckers, for losers, because prying open your ribs to bear your heart to the world only suicide, your vital vulnerable — weakness comes in close second. Hearts weren’t meant to be flowerpots, diaphragms should be sprayed with insecticide to kill all those fucking butterflies, and if you give your lungs the chance, they’d fly away like lost red balloons.

    Hearts are barren wastelands, they are not flowerbeds – fertility should only thrive below the waistline.

    ii. 

    Toilet paper bandaging bloody wrists flaking off like dry/dried/drying paint, crushed butterfly wings, a molting snake, a chance for change. They stick to your skin: appropriate because you feel like shit – but I don’t say that

    I’m subtle.

    I just hold your wrists in my palms, pressing my future against your past. Can you really believe in fate lines if they’re running parallel to your open wounds? Maybe you have more control over your life than you realize, and you can’t tell if that scares you or thrills you, but you figure they’re close enough, and anyway, it all comes full circle in the end, so why bother?

    I picked bloody cellulose from your wounds like shards of glass, and your hair blows in the wind, and you can’t even look at me, and I think of your regal grace throughout the hell you live, knee high socks and knee length skirts – and the magic that even though in theory you should be completely covered, teachers always write you up for showing too much skin. So you button up, and wear long-sleeves long after spring.

    I think about how bathrooms must smell like death to you but how they must smell just like your best friend. Your gag reflex colliding with porcelain, an ocean in a throne, you build your own seas, bruise your knees on tiles, break glass, but never come to me.

    Sitting in bath tubs playing with fire (if you an even call a tea candle that), watching the way the water refracts your own body, dreaming of drowning in a different reality, but your reflection always gets in the way.

    You dream of being a stoic, but can’t quite shut up your heart beat.

    iii. 

    She clung desperately to affection, a ship relentlessly tossed, moorless, anchorless, desperate, yet worn and wind beaten – not a talented traveler by any means yet even worse at staying moored – she grasped desperately, essence of pure dependence, clinging untalented at clinging.

    She was frustrated with herself, but she couldn’t stop the adrenaline rush of succeeding at the one thing she was good at. And she hated herself for it, for dividing her thighs for boys half her worth, but she hated herself even more for not living up to her potential for not being to person she wanted to be even though it seemed impossible.

    It fed into the cycle, every walk of shame, her life a collage of chalk outlines on strangers’ sheets, glitter eye shadow pressed into dirty pillowcases, fairy dust and unicorn blood –

    “we only sacrifice virgins,
    so what does that make me?”

    A martyr at a headboard or wood, iron cast, gold (coloured walls), hands, knees, a small divide between prostrate and doggy style (prostrate and prostitute, prostitute and destitute)

    Teeth clenches hard as diamonds, bright as fake pearls, prayers whispered into sweaty duvets cotton, down, nicotine incense carrying their prayers only as far as water-stained drywall, wishing on stars veiled in a chemical veil, I heard the ozone’s breaking down so why is it still so hard to see through to outer space? Someone told me every star’s just a dead angel, suicidal, hanging from a noose

    (if cleanliness is close to godliness, that’s just an errant thought)

     

  2. /’vəlgər/ [brolin]

     

  3. [allayna] daddy dearest.

    i don’t think about you often
    but when i did, it was accompanied with numbers like 40 billion, 
    and calculations about how that would be 6 dollars and 66 cents
    for each person on earth,
    back when we were 6 billion.
    once i told a boy about you in the backseat of his car,
    and i wonder if he thought i was making it up,
    because you only find white collar gangsters in episodes of gossip girl, hbo shows, and songs by natalia kills,
    and it feels too surreal to wrap my brain around your canadian hustle.
    once, a woman i thought might be my future mother-in-law asked me if you had left money for me,
    as if i’d want it.
    as if i never stumbled across old computer files containing court letters,
    you left me nothing but a funny dutch name and an uneven gait, 
    that leaves my sole in ruins.
    my mother can’t understand why i’d tell anyone about you,
    but your existence sometimes makes me feel like i’m part of the world i live in, 
    the world of super rich kids, the world where i don’t fit in,
    and it’s kind of ironic that even though she married a white man,
    my mother’s baby daddy still ended up in prison.
    when i was younger, people always asked me about where my dad was,
    and, as far as i was concerned,
    you lived on the wall in the hall outside of my grandparents’ bedroom,
    the bedroom i slept in,
    while mom slept on the couch,
    you and her hung like a twisted reflection of what could have never been.
    you were a picture on the wall,
    pervasive, but untouchable,
    like all the iconography in the house,
    though not as scary as the one of the Virgin Mary bleeding tears.
    you never could have been, that’s why i tell people. 
    there is no situation in which you never left me,
    and this is, probably, the best situation, all things considered.
    but it doesn’t make me any less mad, 
    when i’m sleeping on the floor,
    thinking about two parent families,
    and numbers like 40 billion. 

    (the worst part is that even though, for a while, you had me turned into a socialist, 
    now i can understand why you did it,
    daddy dearest.)

     

  4. [allayna] not interested.

    “I’m not interested in doing this anymore.”
    “You always say that,” David says himself, chewing the inside of his cheek and noting the word “interested”. “I’m not interested,” there was something poetically full circle about this. It started with “interest,” and it stopped being “interesting” quite a while ago, but that never stopped her before. Interest was a funny thing. No one’s interest lasted for more than five seconds anymore. No one did anything because they were interested. People did things because they were bored.
    But she usually just told him she didn’t want to talk to him anymore, something she would only do for 48 hours, before missing him – or before telling him she missed him. She always missed him. They hardly even saw each other more than once a month, hardly texted each other more than once a week. But as soon as she thought he would be gone forever, Stella panicked. She liked having him, like those size zero jeans you think you’ll fit into one day. You manage fine without them, and you never really plan to start dieting, but the possibility is always waiting in the back of your closet.
    “I mean it this time.”
    “You always mean it.”
    She tucks her hair behind her ear, bringing his attention back to the small hickey on her neck, small and round, like the sour peaches she always tastes like. She’s like gummy candy, he thinks of pulling on her body and pinning her down, she’s play-doh, he thinks, remembering how her breasts bounce when she walks, how she lies there and stares at him and waits.
    “Is it about him?”
    She scoffs, standing on her tip toe sin her Steve Madden heels, reaching in the back of the top shelf of her locker for something. David notices a blister on the base of her heel, another sour candy on her near-flawless skin. I always miss you, he wants to say. He wants to get on his knees and the base of her heel, and wrap his arms around her legs.
    “Which ‘him’?” She pulls her scarf off the shelf, sending her cell phone clattering to the ground. It’s a pathetically old model, something she keeps around as if to say, “Yes, I have a Guess Purse, and Tommy Jeans, but I am still poor,” or something. He doesn’t really know.
    He rolls his eyes, pulling a cigarette out of his pocket. “I hate doing this with you.”
    “But you still do it. Hey, don’t smoke inside.”
    “No one’s here.” No one was ever around when they were together.
    “So?”
    “So you’re at my locker, and if they smoke alarm goes off, I get blamed.”
    He lights it.
    “You make me want to die.”
    He grins, but she slams the locker door.
    “You love me.”
    “That’s the problem with you. You think I love you, but I don’t.”
    “Then how do you feel about me?”
    “I don’t.”
    “Then why do you keep coming back?”
    “Because…” She pauses. “Because I don’t want to feel.”
    “That gets complicated pretty quickly.”
    She sighs. “Stop looking at my boobs.”

     

  5. [allayna] lost cause.

    i told you things i never told anyone else,
    not because i wanted you to know them
    (or maybe i did. maybe i wanted to impress you)
    but mainly because i never had anyone else to tell. 
    i clutch my truths to my chest like secrets because people have taken so much away from me, that i worry if i ever let certain words escape into real space and real time that they’ll instantly dissipate. 
    but i still find myself falling down looking glass bottles, and spewing my stomach’s content table onto dirty shirts, in bloody matter, 
    because if stomachs are the way to a man’s heart, then maybe they’re the way to a woman’s head,
    and maybe if i soak my stomach lining with stomach acid, i can burn out all the memories of you onto my memory foam bed. 
    i’m reading a book about how water is time, and reality is nothingness, so we keep making up stories to convince ourselves that things actually happen, when nothing does. 
    and i know, in time, the tide will rise and turn and i’ll have a seachange maybe. 
    maybe i never want to know your name, and i just need you to be around so, like narcissus, i can see deeper into myself, so, like echo, i’ll be repeating the same stories over and over to myself trying to convince myself that something actually happened. (past tense)
    do you know how often people tell me i’m beautiful?
    that’s why i like fucking boys who are strangers, because they can’t see how empty i am, how desperate i am; they’re too busy being enamoured with the colour of my skin, the way my waist slopes to my hip,
    and i think i used to think that was all i really needed, but whenever i wake up from a post-coital nap, i only think of you, and how i want you, just to shoot the shit with, because fucking you wasn’t my favourite thing about you, it was lying in your lap afterward, while you played with my hair.
    and everything i do with the boys who tell me i’m beautiful just feels like a shadow of you. 
    i heard you can’t lose your shadow, but maybe i’m the exception,
    a lost girl through your window, a disease without a cure, the second star to the right hidden behind all the chemical trails,
    a lost cause. 

     

  6. [allayna] do i look like i have a drinking problem?

    “he told me I have a fucking drinking problem,” she says, slamming her fist against the vending machine, as a coca-cola rolled into the plastic bucket in the bottom with a loud (fucking) thump. “I’m mean, how fucked is that?” She kicks the bottom edge of the vending machine with her leather boots, and pulls her phone out of her back pocket, sliding it open and texting someone, maybe a few people, probably a boy, and I’m thinking about how much I love her, and how amazing she looks and how I wish I could be her sometimes. “I mean fuck.” She takes the cigarette from behind her ear (bummed from a strange older man) and leans down to pick up the plastic bottle, twisting it open with a fizz, lighting her cigarette with a click, letting out a puff, and taking a sip of pop, her lipstick smudged on both plastic and filter, and smearing around the edges, like the ink on a love letter you reread for years. She somehow manages to hold both the coke bottle, its cap, and her cigarette in one hand, using her other to twist her curls around and around in her fingers, self-conscious about the fraying ends (i knew the feeling too well), and the whole thing seems sort of balletic. 

    i can’t help but flashback to some of my favourite memories of her being drunk, my own memories faded like a badly developed polaroid. i couldn’t deny it; she was better when she was drunk, at least for a golden moment or two. she lost all her jittering fear and anxiety, and the way she kept looking at her shaking hands to see if they were real. for a moment she forgot about that, she forgot about all the boys that used her, and could charge into the night with a sort of fearless vengeance, being everything i wish i could be, but never was. she turned into a glamourous movie star, acne scars became beauty marks and melting make-up seemed like a monet rather than just a hot, hot mess. and i think about her approaching birthday (twenty-two) and don’t doubt that she can continue like this much longer.

    because much like her drinking habits, life had peaks and trough too, and i worried she was on the precipice. the smiling moments were coming few and far between, and that look in her eyes she got whenever she really drank too much, the crying till she threw up, balling herself up in a corner, punching boys, punching walls, running in the street, searching for sharp objects — it wasn’t the actions but the wildly sad look in her eyes. it stopped going away. and maybe it was pre-emptory for me to think that, but in the flickering lights, i could already imagine future track marks on her arm, like the highways and the lights that flew past us on the back of stranger’s motorcycles. i could see her going before she was even gone.

     

  7. [allayna] 902-9872

    once upon a time, a girl fell in love with a boy who lived inside her head.
    she found out he was only a ghost,
    but his perfection haunted her,
    and whenever she found real live flesh boys between her legs,
    she couldn’t help but think of him —
    he was always on her mind,
    and his name was always on the tip of her lips,
    even though he didn’t have one,
    like that word you can never remember,
    or the smell of that thing
    that reminds you of the first day of spring,
    or your mother’s blazer,
    or dead things,
    or sunlight or razor
    blades perched on the edge of your porcelain tub.
    AND HE STILL COMES (to her)
    that’s the problem with things
    that aren’t real, things
    that exist inside your head,
    things, things,
    things that were never there. 
    because you can delete those photos off your phone, 
    and throw away your ex’s underwear,
    but you can’t erase a boy that lives in your mind.
    he’s always there
    like a dead star who’s light you’re just seeing, 
    or finding the suspect twenty years too late,
    he’s like arsenic and cold blood
    (in your veins)
    and she’ll never quite be the same,
    but what exactly did she do to deserve this.
    close your eyes.
    if you were lost in a forest would you rather stay alone and die of starvation or meet a saviour who shows you the way, but you never even get to know his name?
    i texted you and you asked me your name you asked me
    the one question you know i don’t know the answer to.
    even though you told me your first name was adam,
    and we all know i’m a daughter of eve,
    a long lost granddaughter of persephone,
    you know i’ve swallowed your seed, 
    and now everything pales in comparison.
    and i don’t think you’re it, but i hate not knowing.
    i hate not knowing.
    and i’ll recite your phone number forwards and backwards till it’s all i can see on the insides of my eyelids, 
    so that i can only see in numbers and i can start believing you when you tell me
    it was nothing to begin with. 
    (but things change.)
    maybe you’re not responsible for anything that happens when you’re not around, but that’s what the colonizers said. 
    (things fall apart.)
    one time you asked me if you were different, and i lied, 
    one time i asked you what colour your eyes were, 
    because that was the type of question people got divorced over.
    you told me that people divorced their wives for asking that question,
    but you told me you had orange eyes,
    like a tiger.
    i asked you how many women you had bed,
    you told me you don’t kiss and tell.
    i asked you how many girls you fucked
    and you asked me if you ever talked about anyone but me.
    i told you how many men i bed because i wanted you to see the competition.
    i told you how many boys i fucked 
    because i wanted you
    to want to be
    different.

     

  8. [allayna] tennis vs scuba diving

    like if you and i agreed to play tennis, and playing tennis was super fun and easy, and halfway through i decided i wanted to go scuba diving instead, you’d be like, “well, i thought we agreed to play tennis. i didn’t bring my scuba diving gear, i can’t go scuba diving. i don’t even want to go scuba diving, i don’t like scuba diving, that’s why i didn’t sign up for scuba diving, i signed up for tennis,” and i got mad at you, does that make you a dick? no, it just means you didn’t want to go scuba diving. and hell, maybe i’m an awesome scuba diver, and it’d be the best thing ever to go scuba diving with me, but that doesn’t make you obligated to go scuba diving with me, and it doesn’t make you a dick for exercising your right not to scuba dive with me.

    am i making any sense? i mean, i didn’t even ask him to go scuba diving yet, and we’re already saying he’s a dick.

     

  9. [allayna] the patron saint of bad decisions.

    I should’ve expected this week to be a comedown. I felt so behind with school. I had spent literally my whole weekend doing nothing, but maybe reading 10 pages of Great Expectations instead of the 200 or so I needed to. November was closing in: I have assignments due in November!
    But I caught up. I caught up rapidly I caught up by Tuesday. I already felt myself cycling, cycling out of what was (potentially?) a manic period. People kept disappointing me with their inefficiency (every time I’m in a class where people haven’t done the readings, every time people say they can’t do things because of homework, everyone’s fucking face, full of apathy and boredom, and ugly, ugly humanity, I felt myself morphing into Hitler, where I felt so psychopathic, I could’ve killed the whole school for the sake of eugenics). I was bored, bored, bored, life had slowed down, everyone had slowed down. What do I do when everything slows down?
    Start braiding men’s fates with my hair, obviously.
    Two main things: that thing where I eyefuck men for attention. I eyefucked a guy in the library, J___, and we exchanged numbers. He was clearly too old for me, but, I had no exciting plans for Halloween, so he would do perfectly fine. But, then I started canvassing Craigslist.
    I cancelled my plans with J___ but he still bought me coffee and gave me a ride home, and then later I met up with these two late-twenties not-super-attractive guys at a Holiday Inn. The one who I was *meant* for ended up backing down for the stout, hirsute one in a banana costume, who thought it was witty to open conversations, multiple times, with, “Do you want a banana shake?” (he did not know how his friend had found me, and rumor has it that he’s wealthy — “if you married this guy, you’d be set for life,” his friend said — not that that even mattered. I would’ve done anything with almost anyone who was willing to foot my bill for the night alone).
    I don’t remember the night well. We went to a club, and there was a lot of dancing, and me pleading other girls to join us (“do you want a ton of free shots?”). Which, did not work out too well, so, me, and the banana went back, and like most drunken sexual encounters, it was super unsuccessful. He couldn’t perform, for quite a while, we tried to order pizza quite drunkenly. Admittedly, and this is my point of dignity, my main concern was pleasing myself. You can go down on me, but, no, I don’t really want to return the favour. I will totally please myself, if you can’t, etc etc. I am a super feminist whore, I promise.
    Eventually the other guy came back with a girl (who was… *cringe* Well, not cringe but cringe for my eugenic-influenced mind, which is really, disgustingly snobby). She was cool because she totally wasn’t having any of this sexual shit, even with my attempts to seduce.
    Oh, and at some point, between texting H______ and R_____ about how I’m “the patron saint of bad decisions”, I also decided it was a good idea to do that thing I do, that really fucking embarrassing thing. That is to say I texted A___, multiple times, and even called him (god bless, it went straight to voicemail). I don’t even want to look at what I texted him. I think I texted him one thing I don’t remember, and then “I miss you” and also “wake up wake up wake up.” Because, maybe, on a subconscious level, I put myself in bad situations because I want a boy to save me, like just around 11 months ago, when I did that with T__ (I was rereading my e-mails from last year — my god).
    I told him this morning they weren’t for him (hahahaha, as if that’s believable, I fucking called him, why am I so dumb?).
    Anyway, I was planning on seeing him this weekend, and telling him to chill the fuck out, and eat candy in sweats with me, while we listen to Frank Ocean and Tame Impala, and just slow down and maybe question him and have sweet cuddle time, like those two times. I mostly see A___ for those times. And for the amazing advice and free tea (how dumb is it that nearly every morning I’ve been bringing a cup of that tea he gave me to school in a travel mug???). But, goddamn, he’s going to think I’m nuts, and I think I’d go seven million shades of scarlet to see him in person. And, the funny thing is, I can tell you exactly what he’s going to do. He is going to do what I say. He’s going to ignore the texts, not even reply to me and say, “ok,” he’s not going to text me at all. And I don’t know if I care. I know I don’t like A___, I like the idea of him. I would like him if he was the guy who would read my palm and give me back massages, and ask me to stay the night, but instead he’s just the guy who talks about how he used to be able to read palms, and who asks me if I want a back massage (but won’t give it if I don’t get lotion), he’s the guy that will ask me why I’m leaving early but he won’t ask me to spend the night, I just don’t know, it’s confusing. I just want to spend a solid weekend and get super fucking tired of him and move on with my life, because I need to soon. He’s gone soon, and I can’t be hung up on an idea forever, so I need to shatter it.
    But, I’m not even concerned with that. I’m concerned with me, waking up at 7, and having a shower, and walking out of the Holiday Inn, with all my shit in tact (even these $1 skull earrings I had been wearing), even checking one of the guys’ wallets for extra cash (how low. I don’t know if I would’ve taken it if it was there, but I am happy about the extra $20 I scored for cab money), standing in elevators with some Chinese tourists/businessmen at 8 am, getting on LTC, and looking normal. Completely unchanged. No one could tell what I was doing last night. There is no proof (unless I have some yet-to-be-discovered slag tags). Here I am, A______ E______, student council member, 90+ average, girl who leads class discussions ranting about feminism, sweet and avid volunteer, good friend who spends her Friday nights studying at school with her Chinese exchange friend, girl who gives up her bus seat for people with children, and happily talks with anyone and everyone in her classes, even overweight obese people, even people with disabilities, even people who are too short for my world of perfection, too unattractive, and this never mattered, and I don’t know why it does now. I don’t know why this sickness is slipping into my brain. They’re all false dichotomies.  
    And I stand in line at Timmie’s and look at all these tired, worn out faces, these boring ugly faces, and I feel so bored. I feel like shooting myself. I feel like shooting everyone. To paraphrase JSF, I feel like I live my life with the volume turned all the way up (eugh, that’s such an ugly double entendre, you know, now that being “turned up” is synonymous with wasted). I feel like everyone lives their lives with the volume turned all the way down, and they’re more than satisfied, they’re exhausted that’s too much, and just enough, going to college, studying to be a nurse, a mortician, a pharmacist, and policeperson, a whatever, and settling for that average life, meeting some other average person and having an average family and being average average average, and I’d rather kick ass at school, and join the elitist of the elite, even if it’s going to mean dumb boys throwing money at me and putting their body in me and doing lines off my body, because it’s different. It’s different. But, when will it be enough?
    All the same it’s mind numbing. I’m sitting on the bus to school, and thinking, “I should be crying.” I think like S_____, I think, I should make myself cry, I just did all this really abnormal, almost dehumanizing shit, I just pretty much raped myself, didn’t it? And I almost do start crying, just because I feel like I have to. But I don’t want to. I might this afternoon in my councilor’s office — but that’s different, that’s a performance, it’s for someone. But, at the end of the day, I’m going to forget about this. I’m not Suddenly Scarred, and isn’t that sad? Is something wrong with me?  
    I wanted to tie all this up with some Great Expectations allusion, and appearances vs reality, and how i’m already a perfect politician but I can’t really be bothered.
     
    grow up, don’t grow down. grow out.
    a______
     

  10. [brolin-reblogged from personal blog] for J.


    I listened to you speak of your mother’s last minutes,
    heard your voice crack and somehow, man,
    I could only think of myself 
    and how I’m doing
    how I said earlier today
    I didn’t get why you wanted me there 
    to listen to you talk about whatever it was:
    "why all the drama, y’know?”

    I listened to you speak of your father
    left cooking for himself after 33 years
    and coming home to no one being there, 
    and the guilt is back. 

    You didn’t know how to end our talk;
    I don’t either. 
    Fuck. 

    (Source: thecolorupstream)