Bet

I never expected this to happen. Us. The Us in my mind, the one I predicted, dated for a while and then kind of teetered out. The Us now comes to my house every week, the Us now sneaks off to go dance alone, the Us now goes to the park and never gets out of the truck. The Us in reality is scarier, better, lovelier than I ever could have dreamed. You are my prince, saying and doing all the right things without even trying. I mock you about so many things, make fun of you, push and shove you, only to laugh and pull you against me and kiss you softly, whispering I’m sorry. I’ve found that there is no escaping you. Your serious talk about the future is frightening sometimes, but I don’t know if it’s your talk that scares me or more the fact that I believe it and contribute to it. It’s funny how the girl who promised to never get married now laughs about whether or not we’ll have a cat in our apartment. Just like the trees in your metaphor, you are a part of me, and we’ve become something else entirely from what we used to be as individuals. From the endless movies we never end up watching to the dancing in my shed to Balmorhea, to coffee to flowers, from kissing to teasing to small talk, there’s not a minute I regret. It’s silly to think that we are the ones to make it, huh? To think that as high schoolers we can know what love is, or think that we’ll make it against the rising odds. But if we don’t believe we can make it, who will? Let everyone else doubt us, let everyone else tell us it’s not possible. When everyone else is yelling and shouting and making racket, I promise I’ll hold on tight to you and whisper in your ear “I love you,” and “We’ll make it.” When they’ve beaten us down and we are laying on the floor, cracking under the pressure, I’ll bury my head in your shoulder, kiss your neck, and drown them out. I’ll stand by you.

Best of Both Worlds

On the very brink of reality,

Hanging on the edge of safety,

Tweet, tweet, tweeting up, up high,

The in and out breaths, the deep sigh,

To jump or hop back to the nest?

To fly and be free, or to be safe, called the best?

Either way I take a risk as a small little bird, a baby,

I never asked you to be my superman, to try and save me,

Yet here you are, coming to my rescue, holding tightly,

I used to shy away and run from this, seemingly brightly,

But somehow I’ve changed and become okay with being saved,

I’m tired of running in this infinity circle; sick of being chased.

I was under the impression if you were committed, you had lost,

I suppose my mind’s been changed, or maybe I’ve gone soft.

I used to believe a lot of things, yet they seem not to apply,

You’ve both freed this bird and made her say hello instead of bye,

I no longer feel like a loser for being committed, it just can’t be true.

I guess the truth is I’m only okay with ‘losing’ if losing means winning you.

Working Hard

Inching forward, leaning slightly to the right,

Lowering my eyelids, and you slide out of sight,

Your lips brush mine softly, gently, and leave,

What? Is this a game to you? Don’t be a tease.

Why did you decide to wait for my lips anyway?

What about when we dated and you didn’t know what to say?

I wish I understood what it means to be in love,

To forget all your worries and fly far above,

But it seems I have not found that answer on my path,

So I’ll continue to search for it in each and every laugh,

On the long nights of gasping, sobbing, shoulder crying,

The disappointments, the fights, the deep sighing,

In each of these situations I’ll remember the adventure that is life,

And be happier and happier for the uphill battle and strife.

All You Had To Do Was Ask…

I left you, and all your allure, all your appeal,

I walked away before you had time to steal

A piece of my heart or my soul or my mind,

I’m flying away before I convince myself your kind,

I’m not saying you are a terrible boy,

And I assure you, I’m not playing coy,

I’m truly not trying to keep you at bay,

I simply left you because you never asked me to stay.

The Isolated Castle

“Let go Mike.”

“You can’t do this, Lauren!”

Defiantly, she ripped away her hand and with it her gentle tone. “I said let go, Mike. I need to go.”

“Please. Please don’t leave me again. I need an anchor, someone to hold me down, keep me stable. I need you.” Reaching out for her, the isolated island she had become, he gently caressed her wrist.

She pulled her wrist back. “You don’t need me. You need to stay the hell away from me. I’m not going to stay here waiting for the pain and loneliness that is the inevitable companion of love.”

“No, Lauren. I’m not going to leave you! You are the one pulling away from me. I keep reaching for you and I can see the flicker of desire in your eyes if for only a moment. But then the flood of memories of the past is projected onto me. I’m constantly competing with the guys who hurt you. I’m here and now and real and I love you Lauren.”

“Lies.” She whispered, but even as the words floated from her throat she stopped believing it. She leaned into him, crying softly, and he wrapped his arms around her as he sighed in relief. “I’m sorry they hurt, left, and broke you Lauren. But I’m determined not to. Let me in. Let me love you.”

And in that moment, the moat that kept out his love was destroyed, and the castle was taken over with a flood of love.

Pining Away For Love

My mind starts to form a picture, a vague canvass of art

You goofing around, trying to be cool; me smiling, trying to be smart

Us now, you and me, me and you,

Going out to the ocean blue

Down with an anchor pulling me to the bottom of the shore,

Never worrying if we could drown, just wanting more and more

Of each other, of this undying love, this careless freeing feel

No one better than the other, none forced to kneel

Equal in every way, mutually in hopelessness that feels like wings

Giving me a heart that can do nothing but sing

While we sit here at the bottom of the ocean, tied to an anchor, oxygen gone

I smile over at you across from me, wave, open my mouth to sing the last song:

Come with me, my love, to the sea, the Sea of Love

I wanna tell you how much I love you.

Dreaming to be Alice

I look down when I run. I don’t go all out; I look to make sure I won’t trip. I think when I “fall in love” or like someone, I do the same thing. I like them, sure, but I don’t freely love them, neglecting their flaws and mistakes. I look a glance ahead at them, see how great they could be and look right down again, waiting for a stick or obstacle to enter our path. When one inevitably comes, I don’t jump over the obstacle. Instead I end it quickly, no longer wanting this imperfect path. I fail to realize that people aren’t as perfect as I esteem them to be. There is no perfect path or person or relationship. There is only two imperfect people making there way on an imperfect path together through this imperfect world. The world of imperfection, while broken, is beautiful in it’s brokenness. I will try harder to do this instead of staring at the ground, looking for flaws because one day I’m not going to walk into love, I’m going to fall quickly, unexpectedly, and lovely. I don’t want to be worried about the lack of control I have, or the mistakes that could be made. I want to love the fall into the rabbit hole of another world others call Love.

A Girl Who Writes

Date a girl who writes.

Date a girl who may never wear completely clean clothes, because of coffee stains and ink spills. She’ll have many problems with her closet space, and her laptop is never boring because there are so many words, so many worlds that she’s cluttered amidst the space. Tabs open filled with obscure and popular music. Interesting factoids about Catherine the Great, and the immortality of jellyfish. Laugh it off when she tells you that she forgot to clean her room, that her clothes are lost among the binders so it’ll take her longer to get ready, that her shoes hidden under the mountain of broken Bic pens and the refurbished laptop that she’s saved for ever since she was twelve.

Kiss her under the lamppost, when it’s raining. Tell her your definition of love.

Find a girl who writes. You’ll know that she has a sense of humor, a sense of empathy and kindness, and that she will dream up worlds, universes for you. She’s the one with the faintest of shadows underneath her eyelids, the one who smells of coffee and Coca-cola and jasmine green tea. You see that girl hunched over a notebook. That’s the writer. With her fingers occasionally smudged with charcoal, with ink that will travel onto your hands when you interlock your fingers with her’s. She will never stop, churning out adventures, of traitors and heroes. Darkness and light. Fear and love. That’s the writer. She can never resist filling a blank page with words, whatever the color of the page is.

She’s the girl reading while waiting for her coffee and tea. She’s the quiet girl with her music turned up loud (or impossibly quiet), separating the two of you by an ocean of crescendos and decrescendos as she’s thinking of the perfect words. If you take a peek at her cup, the tea or coffee’s already cold. She’s already forgotten it.

Use a pick-up line with her if she doesn’t look to busy.

If she raises her head, offer to buy her another cup of coffee. Or of tea. She’ll repay you with stories. If she closes her laptop, give her your critique of Tolstoy, and your best theories of Hannibal and the Crossing. Tell her your characters, your dreams, and ask if she gotten through her first novel.

It is hard to date a girl who writes. But be patient with her. Give her books for her birthday, pretty notebooks for Christmas and for anniversaries, moleskins and bookmarks and many, many books. Give her the gift of words, for writers are talkative people, and they are verbose in their thanks. Let her know that you’re behind her every step of the way, for the lines between fiction and reality are fluid.

She’ll give you a chance.

Don’t lie to her. She’ll understand the syntax behind your words. She’ll be disappointed by your lies, but a girl who writes will understand. She’ll understand that sometimes even the greatest heroes fail, and that happy endings take time, both in fiction and reality. She’s realistic. A girl who writes isn’t impatient; she will understand your flaws. She will cherish them, because a girl who writes will understand plot. She’ll understand that endings happen for better or for worst.

A girl who writes will not expect perfection from you. Her narratives are rich, her characters are multifaceted because of interesting flaws. She’ll understand that a good book does not have perfect characters; villains and tragic flaws are the salt of books. She’ll understand trouble, because it spices up her story. No author wants an invincible hero; the girl who writes will understand that you are only human.

Be her compatriot, be her darling, her love, her dream, her world.

If you find a girl who writes, keep her close. If you find her at two AM, typing furiously, the neon gaze of the light illuminating her furrowed forehead, place a blanket gently on her so that she does not catch a chill. Make her a pot of tea, and sit with her. You may lose her to her world for a few moments, but she will come back to you, brimming with treasure. You will believe in her every single time, the two of you illuminated only by the computer screen, but invincible in the darkness.

She is your Shahrazad. When you are afraid of the dark, she will guide you, her words turning into lanterns, turning into lights and stars and candles that will guide you through your darkest times. She’ll be the one to save you.

She’ll whisk you away on a hot air balloon, and you will be smitten with her. She’s mischievous, frisky, yet she’s quiet and when she has to kill off a lovely character, when she cries, hold her and tell her that it will be alright.

You will propose to her. Maybe on a boat in the ocean, maybe in a little cottage in the Appalachian Mountains. Maybe in New York City. Maybe Chicago. Baltimore. Maybe outside her publisher’s office. Because she’s radiant, wherever she goes. Maybe even outside of a cinema where the two of you kiss in the rain. She’ll say that it is overused and clichéd, but the glint in her eyes will tell you that she appreciates it all the same.

You will smile hard as she talks a mile a second, and your heart will skip a beat when she holds your hand and she will write stories of your lives together. She’ll hold you close and whisper secrets into your ears. She’s lovely, remember that. She’s self made and she’s brilliant. Her names for the children might be terrible, but you’ll be okay with that. A girl who writes will tell your children fantastical stories.

Because that is the best part about a girl who writes. She has imagination and she has courage, and it will be enough. She’ll save you in the oceans of her dreams, and she’ll be your catharsis and your 11:11. She’ll be your firebird and she’ll be your knight, and she’ll become your world, in the curve of her smile, in the hazel of her eye the half-dimple on her face, the words that are pouring out of her, a torrent, a wave, a crescendo – so many sensations that you will be left breathless by a girl who writes.

Maybe she’s not the best at grammar, but that is okay.

Date a girl who writes because you deserve it. She’s witty, she’s empathetic, enigmatic at times and she’s lovely. She’s got the most colorful life. She may be living in NYC or she may be living in a small cottage. Date a girl who writes because a girl who writes reads.

A girl who writes will understand reality. She’ll be infuriating at times, and maybe sometimes you will hate her. Sometimes she will hate you too. But a girl who writes understands human nature, and she will understand that you are weak. She will not leave on the Midnight Train the first moment that things go sour. She will understand that real life isn’t like a story, because while she works in stories, she lives in reality.

Date a girl who writes.

Because there is nothing better then a girl who writes.

Only Love.

The idea of love is sometimes manipulated into command and dominion over another human being. The idea of submission in a relationship is to do what the other person says with no hesitation-to bow down to them. The definition of submission is to give over to the power or authority of another. If that’s what submission is, I wouldn’t dare. I was once told a story about a girl who loved this boy. Whatever he said, she’d do because of a three word promise manipulated into a life time imprissonment.

“If you love me, you’ll do this.”

So she always did. He ended up robbing a bank, and the cops were chasing them, and she told him to stop and he told her to take the wheel, and then he shot himself so that he wouldn’t have to go to jail. She screamed and cried, and while he rested in peace, she served in jail for him. All because he said he loved her.