I always wondered what Jamie saw in those bad girls. Those girls who laughed loud and didn’t care about curfews.

I mean, it’d been awhile since I knew any of his girls, but I always went back to high school. Those days were lodged in my mind like touchstones. Those high school girls, so reckless with their undone hair and chipped nails. Jamie always had one around.

I looked at my own manicure. Gel. Pink. Flawless. I tried chipping a bit off now, as I stared at my thumbs. Nothing budged. I hadn’t been able to look up yet. Couldn’t imagine under the enamel and wood that Jamie’s soft face was there resting as if sleeping in the coffin in front of me. I’d spoken, our family friends had, a handful of people from his boys’ school shifted listlessly though the funeral home.

What a time to die, I thought. Between high school and college. Not enough real, close friends. Kids you were stuck with in younger years filtering in and out, most opting to post on a soulless Facebook wall. “RIP JAMIE”

At ten years younger than me, Jamie was still a baby. Had been. Had been still a baby. His wide, pale face and long dark lashes framing his large, dark eyes. Warm and always almost devilish. His big mouth, soft and almost bloated. A mop of dark hair. Dead hair.

Or was it? Had’t I read somewhere that hair kept growing a bit after you were dead? I tapped the screen of my phone to look it up. Then I stopped.

My fingers looked thin and fake. They seemed dry and nervous. I glanced up at the white casket. It was closed. A car accident wasn’t the way Jamie was supposed to go. And not the way to go for an open casket.

I almost choked on a cough and stood.

Where was I going? An embarrassed hesitation, and I walked outside.

Outside the day was beautiful. It was one of those New England fall days where the sky is so unreachably high and the blue is so crisp, it’s almost fake. The leaves are loud and only seem to rustle when it’s an important pause in conversation or when you notice them, shifting as softly as dying things can in an unshakable, frigid wind.

The marble steps were wide and I sat myself down, looking at the three best friends Jamie had in the last few months. They drank something from a paper bag and nodded at me. I managed a smile but secretly I hated them.

I hated them for killing Jamie. Hadn’t they? Hadn’t they led to his downfall, his partying, his fast days and sleepless nights? I choked myself inside for not being more present. More sisterly. Wasn’t that an older sibling’s job? Take care of yours. And look what you’d done. Nothing. Jamie was dead. Little Jamie in his baggy baby pants and then his blazer for middle school and asking for homework help and looking at you with those pleading eyes and how could you have let him down?

How? Those times he wanted help with the fridge and that time he had pissed in your bed when you were ten and the babysitter laughed. How could you have followed suit? Those times you could have been better. Those times he looked up to you and you were gone. At summer camp. At debate camp. At model U.N. Then gone. College. Boyfriends. Gone.

My idiot brother. Troublemaker. Class clown. Late night drunk dialer, annoyance, so sorry, my brother. Gone.

I rested my forehead on my thin fingers and wept. I kept seeing those faces, those pretty faces of his bad girls who filtered in and out. That one with the black hair and the dark skin who paused before tip-toeing down the back stairs that long-ago night and gave me a look like, “I’m sorry. Not like this, I’m sorry.” She was beautiful. What had they seen in him? What had he seen in them?

My chest hurt and I tried to calm myself. I could feel a few nervous glances but I didn’t care. I let my back shake and my tears hit the edge of my dress. When I opened my eyes, I saw the dark spots on the hem of my slip and breathed in deep. Mascara dotted and speckled its silk. I felt ruined.

And I wanted to see him, Jamie. I wanted to see Jamie like an almost man. Not a little boy. I wanted to see him like those girls who crept in like smoke. Those girls I was so jealous of, those girls who could be themselves. For better or worse. I looked up and the three friends were still there. They were looking away. All were but then, not one. He looked at me, that tall blonde kid with the lanky frame. He didn’t look away. He just turned, and his hand was at once level to mine, closing in a few strides away.

Then it was upon mine. His hand held out a cigarette.

I finally looked up at him. A curtain of fringe fell in front of his grey eyes and blended with my tears and I snatched it. I took that cigarette and I shook.

I wanted to see what they all saw. I wanted to be like Jamie. I held it like I’d seen in the movies. My lips were dry and parted themselves and my hair caught in that fucking cold autumn breeze.

“Do you have a light?”



Like a large ship groaning under a sinking side, I eerily and slowly made my swan song with creaks and deep wails. Otherworldly, I compressed my metals and crushed my parts under the weight of it all.

Who had even constructed the behemoth of me? What bolts and scraps went into my hulls and engine. The smaller pieces popped and melted, no contest for the outer seawater, the foreign world I was so meant to float on.

But some crack, some leak, some outer force slowly dragged me under. Weighted my compartments with freezing ocean, both buoyed and sank me.

And I bent and took it all on, until the air was naught but pressure. And all my pretty lights flickered under the night water and within minutes, went out.

Going through old journals..

I found some good stuff going through the 4 journals I had from the last year. One great little song/poem I’m reworking tonight. Some sad stuff, too. This short little page resonated with me as I wrap up my latest stay here in LA.

We were in bed sick for two days, vomiting and ill. The first night we decide to go out, the boys rack coke and drink like no tomorrow.

I mention again that it’s important to me that he wants to see me, know my past. Ask about me. He still doesn’t after plane tickets and plans. He doesn’t get excited, not for much these days, especially not me.

When I tell him this, he explodes, it escalates and he’s slamming doors and I’m calling anyone awake to be heard. He grabs and shakes me, tells me to leave, threatens to throw me out, to leave me. At least he doesn’t choke me this time.

He calls me a cunt, a crazy bitch, a psycho, awful names. And I’m at once sick of his world, his friends, his lack of self and success, his family, working for his goals, his music, his house, everything. So I accept the cloak of His and don my own burial shroud.

Wow, how different just a bit of time can make. I’m smiling at myself in the mirror like a new friend. I’m not scared any more. I’m done with self-flaggelation to prove I’m worth something. I am something. I’m happy.

I’m happy now.

trip to the beach

The grey-blue graveled tar of the roof was my personal beach; its midday sun-heated stickiness grounded me. Just below, West Hollywood hummed, ignorant to my hovering above. Little breezes lapped at my body, invisible waves of a ghostly ocean.

The noise of idling traffic became the sound of a neo-sea, all man-made but doused in an artificial  L.A. nature. All pure design, plastic organic, new holisitic back to basics human projects. Palm trees, non-native, made to sway in the smoggy afterbirth of constructed paradise.

Flat, dirty windows under a flat, blue sky. I couldn’t even pick out the sun though it baked right through me. All the buildings were flimsy sets. Nothing happened behind these tarred and feathered doors, did they?

Nothing was even as magical as smoke and mirrors, just wood and paint. Wires gaffed to be just slightly out of sight. My rusted, cemented beach vibrated under my hot, prickly skin.

If I closed my eyes, maybe it would just become the ocean. Car horns would be boat horns, rambling figures seagulls or sea buoys. Waves of cars rolling by became the endless tide of sun-tipped crests of endless human hope, hollow and persisting.


things i enjoy.

instead of last year’s things i don’t enjoy, let’s see it from another view.

talking to strangers
dressing myself up
pretty clothings
traveling by car, preferably solo
imagining the lives of everyone around me
writing by hand in pen
ASMR videos
styling and plaiting hair
headphones while crafting
radio while writing
weird signs
remnants of lives before
abandoned areas, houses, trinkets
learning by doing
solving word puzzles
salty taste
mythological creatures
forest critters
scary movies
dumb and dumber
bizarre humor
weird twitter
tiny projects
belljar worlds
learning to speak lydia.