oxygen

i scribble notes on flimsy looseleaf paper. write my final at 11, before i’ve even had my coffee. which, you know, is a bad idea objectively.

the tips of my fingers shake like leaves in the wind. i rub my eyes; try to comprehend the rest of my life in a split second. and it takes one more to realize… i’m not even scared.

just tired, and kinda sad. and why does it feel like the oxygen is being sucked from the room? why do i tiptoe at the edge of a black hole, this close to being consumed? but it’s sick, the way i’ve found… a kind of thrill in it, too.

until it falls apart, right before my eyes. until i’m not even a grain of sand, and i think i’m going to die; surrounded by my own mediocrity. by my spelling mistakes, and my plot holes, and my 10 different google accounts. by the carbon dioxide thrum of your feet against the ground. dollar bills and tired eyes; can i just go home now?

the air is cold, and damp somehow. i fidget with my sweater, stare blankly at the mirror. splash some water on my face; and focus on the soothing chill. i’ll do it later, i swear–i’m just waiting for my miracle pill.

so i’ll go walking, and listen to the distant birdsong; the frost-kissed grass crunching against my shoes. the house is so quiet these days, and i guess i… miss you.

happy tears, i think

after a while, it all blends together. an infinite tapestry, of cuts, and scrapes, and fresh bleeding wounds. oh it burns, oh it stings, oh my god, we’re so screwed.

but we’re trying our best; tearing our last chance at survival to shreds; falling flat on our faces like we always do. we’re flawed, and we’re fucked, and we’re beautiful, too.

so if the world burns, i want to grow a forest from the ashes. i want to love it like my own. i want to cry myself a river, and make a symphony from its bittersweet melodies and tones.

i want to stay up late, just to see the sunrise. i want to let the world blur; clench it in my fists and laugh as it shatters.

i want to cry on my bedroom floor for hours. feel like shit for as long as i need to. and then i’ll get bored. and i’ll put myself back together; straws and connectors, and maybe some lego too.

i want to take a shower. get dressed. i want to lose my keys, yet again. i want to catch the bus to school, and i want to drink up the golden morning dew.

i want to be dumb, and naive. i want to believe with my whole heart that someone like me can trust someone like you.

fall

my breath turns to fog. as i walk home through rotten leaves. i am hungry, and tired, i sort of want to scream. but i don’t.

just splash some water on my face; drink coffee. turn my feelings into jams and jellies, let them sit in jars on the counter until the world freezes over. write myself an endless stream of sad poetry.

because it’s been two years. and i’m not better. i still wake up, feeling like death warmed over; forget to take my meds; and crumble the second the pillow meets my head. but the girl i used to be… she was brilliant. and brave. and kinda miserable, and obnoxious, but god, i miss her some days.

so i visit her grave after school, in a nerdy, ironic way. give her some wilting flowers, and read a sappy eulogy, as fire falls from the sky. i’ll beg for forgiveness, i’ll scream and i’ll cry. and of course i won’t fix it. but i’m still gonna try.

make way too big a deal out of it, when everything goes sideways. even though it was inevitable. i’ll sob into my pillow, i’ll taunt the welling storm. and let its wrath swallow me whole.

and yeah i’m dead, yeah i’m gone. but i’m still here, so.

November: the Month in Photography

NOVEMBER 1ST

I’m definitely feeling pretty on edge, of late. Yesterday morning, my mom read an article about voter turnout in the US election, and I just started crying. It was strange, and confusing, and it kinda hurt. I’m not normally the kind of person who starts crying out of nowhere.

It’s a special kind of helpless. I’ve seen Canadians joke that we all watch the US election like a sports game–and yeah, last time ’round, when I was too young to really understand any of this, that’s sort of how it felt. But this time… this time feels different.

NOVEMBER 7TH

The results for the election just came in–after a very long wait. It’s a relief just to get the whole thing over with.

The past few days have not been good. It’s not just the election–honestly, I’ve been weirdly numb to it. I just don’t have the energy left right now to let my emotions get wrapped up in things I can’t control. I have to be logical, and detached, because… because that’s kind of just the excuse I give myself when I spend three months feeling sad, and angry, and stuffing it all into a little box until eventually I explode.

Yesterday was an explosion kind of day. I got home from a shitty day at school, picked up a bag of pasta out from the drawer we keep pasta in, dropped it back in the drawer, closed the drawer, opened the drawer, picked up the pasta, and started crying on the floor.

But today, I woke up, at 8:40 in the morning, to the wind blowing like crazy outside. I crawled out of bed, and I checked my phone, wiping the sleep from my eyes, and saw that Trump wasn’t president. And I smiled, a little, and texted my friend. I made breakfast, and went to work. It’s not much–but it’s a start.

NOVEMBER 8TH


It’s been a long few weeks. (Actually, it’s barely been one since the month started, but it feels like it’s been 500 years.)

Sometimes, I just get really lonely, you know? I don’t have many people to talk to right now. I feel cold, and sad, and distant, and defeated, and like maybe the story is over. And all that’s left to do is just sort of wander around aimlessly, through this weird mental fog for the rest of eternity.

I haven’t let myself feel hopeful in so long.

This is gonna sound really cheesy–and I can’t believe I’m writing this in a public setting, but… I guess I just have to believe that this isn’t over. Because I’m not going to let everything happening in the world, and in my life, and in my own fucking mind take me down this easily.

Because I have my mother’s strength, and my father’s persistence. Because I am made from endless droughts and thunderstorms I thought might be the last of me. This feeling won’t last forever.

I know those things are true. Even when everything else seems unreal.

NOVEMBER 21ST

Winter is beginning to properly set in, now. I don’t entirely mind; even if it is very dark all the time, and means my sneakers always get muddy and soaking wet on the walk home from school.

I talked to someone yesterday, actually. It’s probably the first time I’ve reached out for help to anyone outside my immediate social circle in, like, eight months or so. And god, it was so nice. I feel like a thousand pounds have been lifted off my chest, like the smoke has finally cleared and I can actually breathe again.

But god–also, I’m just terrified. Restrictions are starting to get more strict in my area. It feels… like it did, last time. I don’t want to relive that experience again–but there’s not much I can do about it.

NOVEMBER 24TH

Last night, I found out that someone at my school got COVID. I haven’t directly been in contact with them, and obviously everyone was still wearing masks and social distancing–but it’s still scary.

When I found out, I just kinda went numb. You know what it felt like, when you fell off the monkey bars as a kid–that tingling, breathless, paralyzed feeling as you struggled to breathe? Yeah. It was like that.

I started crying and then I stopped crying and then I watched TV for three hours and then I started crying again. Technically I’m not supposed to do anything–go to school as per normal and just keep monitoring for symptoms. But I’ll probably be at home for the next little while.

NOVEMBER 30TH 2020

I don’t know how to end this post.

I”m really tired. I sorta want to collapse into the ground, and just cry until there’s nothing left. Or chug five cups of coffee. Or sleep for the rest of the year.

I want to tell you it’s gonna be all right. I want to give you a hug, or your favourite snack, or a day off work, or whatever you need right now. I want to fix your problems with a snap of my fingers—but I’m not a fairy godmother, or even someone who knows how to do those things for herself yet. Just a fifteen year old girl, who takes pictures on her phone and cries a lot.

I want to say this month has been wonderful, talk about the good. And there have been cool things I’ve done over the last little while. But also… it’s been hard. And I don’t have the answers. I can’t fix you–no matter how hard I try to.

I hope the next month treats us both well, though.

Take care of yourself. Be safe. I’ll see you all in thirty days.

Lots of love,

Lorna

dandelion girl

she blows me away. in some meadow in france, or spain. lays her dreams on my trembling arms, and kisses my cheek. i won’t say a word, as the breeze makes me dizzy, and the clouds begin to blur. i know it’s silly, but i don’t feel like myself anymore.

not really. because my heart is cold, and far away. my phone knows me too well, and the thunder lasts for days. but the girl i knew would have run towards the storm, just to let the sky put her in her place. she was sad, and reckless… and she was so fucking brave.

she pats me on the back, and mumbles some platitude, about getting better. about how it’s gonna be all right someday, or whatever. and i cling to it like it’s all i have left, when my fingers go numb, and the clouds turn black and blue.

they say religion is faith without reason, and i think that’s what i have to do. so i will worship in the church of okay. where for a few precious hours, my breathing is slow, and steady. and my hands don’t shake.

***

i make a home on the edge of disaster. lay down roots between the concrete slabs, and do what i have to. save up like my life depends on it. feverishly watch the news.

just to see them; with their brilliant smiles, and their words like sharp glass. they’re beautiful, and kind, and everything i want to be someday. i hate them like i hate you.

because how dare you speak out, while i sit in the corner, eating my own words for dinner and ignoring the bitter taste. how dare you be so vulnerable, and brave? how dare you hope, how dare you sing, how dare you make me smile on bad days?

i’ve never been much of an artist. but i spend lazy afternoons, with some sitcom playing in the background–shaping myself from messy river clay. but it’s never quite right. i watch the ceramic shatter, and storm away.

the girl is waiting for me. her hair is wispy, and her gap-toothed smile makes me giggle. she dances around the kitchen, dodging the shards of ceramic with a six year old’s precision. she cries, and i bandage up her wounds.

i’ll bury her one day, beneath autumn leaves and her favourite stuffed animals. write her a eulogy. it’s convoluted, and kinda shitty. something about moving on, and trees. i’ll make a million daisy chains, i’ll let her blow away in the breeze.

and who knows? maybe i’ll even light a candle.

.