hungry

I’ve been hungry before. I know the dull emptiness in my stomach and the dizziness in my head that comes from it. I’ve been hungry for most of my teenage years.

But I’ve never starved.

When I eat, I eat till I’m full. I finish as much as I take. There’s always enough, or a little more than enough, for second or third helpings, to share, or to leave for tomorrow. Most times I have a meal, I leave the table satisfied. I’ve never starved, yet for some people starvation is all they know. For some people, even in the rare moments when you have enough for everyone, you live in the fear that it won’t last. And that starvation will come again.

I don’t know what that’s like. I’m glad I don’t.

I have known disappointment, disgust, regret, rage and grief. And awful as those things may seem, it could be a whole lot worse.

I’m just thankful that I’ve never starved. 

Fiction: Driving Through the Rain

She wakes up. It’s cold. Dark outside. Rain spatters against the car windows.

Beyond the soft rumble of the engine beneath her she can see empty fields and trees, other headlights cutting swaths through the light fog, a long row of street lamps extending into eternity down the road that never ends, the road soaked now by softly falling rain.

“Dad, are we there yet?”

He doesn’t take his eyes off the road, but his voice is reassuring. “Not yet, go back to sleep.”

She doesn’t.

She curls up in the corner between seat and door and rests her head on the cold window, wrapping a blanket around herself. And watches the rain.

Watches, as they roll down the street, past a brightly-lit diner that offers a glimpse into the other lives of people at 11 pm. She sees a woman leaning on a man’s shoulder in a booth seat near the window. Warm and full on greasy hamburgers and cold ketchup. 

That’s their version of happy, but this is hers– and her father’s (hands on the wheel and eyes on the road), and her mother’s (sleeping in the front passenger seat with her head tilted and a road map splayed open on her lap). In the cold and the rain and the leather smell of the inside of their car. It is oddly comforting. The concept of staying nowhere and thus belonging everywhere. They are headlights on the road, they are stars in the sky. 

They drive on through the rain but they cannot escape the moon, which always seems to follow them, like a lamp seeing them through the darkness. Or one half of a warm chicken pot pie. Or a lemon chaser someone has left on a table in an empty bar because they ran outside, hiccuping with laughter, after their friends, scarves trailing reckless and ragged like jet trails in the cold night. 

She is drowsy but she cannot sleep. If she closes her eyes now, she feels there will be no tomorrow. No, she has to see the night through its transformation into day, and only then can she be sure of the future.

Lights flicker by, passing her present and fading into the past. Only the moon follows. 

An experiment in creating atmosphere. This scene is set to/inspired by the mood of ‘Missisippi’ by Train. Try playing it while reading the piece: http://open.spotify.com/track/1x72hk5EAzkkC0CDZnHJ9M

My Story?

Back when we first met,

A friend once asked me

‘So,

What’s your story?’

I’m not sure what she meant,

Or what she was expecting

I am, you see

A prism of different tales

An anthology of half-started lives

I didn’t have a definite story

Not yet
I guess that was my cue to make one

Watches

Wearing a watch

(I hate it)

Reminds me

Of how inherently different

I am–

Because I wear it on my right wrist

And way too high up

And never past the third hole

Because my arm’s too damn small

And I’m not the type

Who cares so much about time anyway

And that’s why I don’t wear a watch 

Sometimes I’m Torn

Sometimes I’m torn between

this is only as much as you do for me so that’s only as much as I do for you

And

this is only as much as you do for me but I will do much more for you

Because I’m the better person

Just Like You

I’m a little girl

In a little dress

Looking at her mom

Knowing she’s the best

Says to mother dear

‘When I grow up too

Mom, I wanna be

Just like you’
I’m a reckless teen

And my life’s a mess

Mom is always there 

She holds me to her chest

I’m thinking ‘mom someday

I wanna grow up just like you’

Mom pokes me and she says

‘Honey, you’ll be better’

And I whisper

‘No, not ever.’


I’m almost grown up now

And I think I see

What I might become

And who I want to be

And it may not be Mom

It may never come close

But I’ll be who I am

Because no matter what

I know she’ll love me

The most