Red-Eye Blind

“llevamos tres horas aqui! Tenemos niños!”

“You need to STOP.

As if on cue the children in the line, around 6 or 7 of them, begin to cry;

A grating, unpleasant melody in the early hours of the morning.

That word hangs in the air.

STOP.

The sound blisters forth from a mouth framed by frown lines

Like my mother’s, I notice.

I look away, I look around, I look anywhere… everywhere.

I’m annoyed and exhausted and nursing a headache.

But I’m waiting patiently, I’m not causing a scene.

I have been waiting for five minutes.

Something scratches at the back of my throat, an unfamiliar uncomfortable feeling,

But I’m too tired for introspection.

So I let it rest.

The Woman doesn’t STOP.

Instead, other voices join in. Soon, the whole line is clamoring for attention.

A man reaches down to calm a crying child, a little girl with a colorful blanket.

I notice the colors: Yellow. Blue. Red.

We were family once, now neighbors with shared history.

This doesn’t stop me from looking away.

¿Quien Eres? A sharp accusation in my head. Who are you?

I don’t respond.

I hover in that strange middle ground of uncertainty.

Do I belong there? Do I belong here?

Unanswered Questions.

Behind me, something hungry rears its head.

Instinctively, I wrap my arms around my mother in front of me,

pressing her close to my heart.

Security arrives, hand on gun.

He looms over the Loud Woman, like a ferocious spirit,

Como un Zangano en la noche.

Behind me I can hear the hungry thing laughing.

In an instant the line of people are made silent.

Children are hushed and their gurgling sobs seem too loud for this place.

A smartly dressed woman appears, all smiles, as she apologizes to us for making us wait.

As I look towards the line of anxious people on the right I notice that the policeman is still hovering over The Woman even though she is as silent as a mouse.

She is the same height as my mother.

A tiny thing compared to the menacing mass of the security officer.

It has not been ten minutes but half of  us on the left are already gone to our hotels.

The Woman still stands in line, quietly now, save for a quiet hum as she bounces the baby in her arms to sleep—she doesn’t have a baby carriage.

The hungry thing opens it’s mouth and roars!

You should just send those people back to their country! 

Murmurs of agreement. Laughter.

STOP.

White teeth sink into my skin.

I am devoured.

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I’m Sorry, But I Can’t be Your Friend.

flowers

Nobody ever tells you how hard it is to cut ties with someone you care about.

Was it always like this? Somehow, I don’t think so.

It must have been easier at some point.

Before the internet connected us all.

Before social media addictions.

Before cell phones made drunken calls that much more likely.

Not that saying goodbye is ever easy,

But even so, I’m sure a few decades ago

Letting go was as simple as erasing a phone number,

Not visiting certain places…perhaps moving away.

It would have been hard, but doable.

One deep breath and a plunge later

And it was over.

Falling in love and falling out of love are both similar in that respect,

They both require great amounts of courage and a certain disregard for personal safety.

It’s not so simple anymore.

Not when ending a relationship has become akin to waging war.

The enemy: social media. The internet. My own damn cell phone.

How can I escape you when the distance between you and me

Only stretches as far as my intoxicated fingertips?

3 double shots of Whiskey and I can still type your name,

I can still call you. I can still see your face.

At the end of the night I am waging battle against myself.

Sometimes I win. More often, I lose.

At the end of the night, “I shouldn’t call him, right?” has become

A familiar refrain to all my friends. A call to arms,

For the Warrior Women who protect their own

With stern voices but gentle eyes.

They wrap their arms around me as we stumble through dizzy streets,

And together we battle against the swirling current of your memory.

On nights like these I often wonder if I’ll ever be able to forget you.

So if you were wondering why I’ve suddenly disappeared

It is because I can’t allow myself to miss you like I do.

I can’t keep looking for you in every person I meet,

And most of all it is because I know one day the inevitable will happen

And I don’t have the confidence to be able to wish you well.

So, I’m going to stop before I create more scars.

I’m sorry, but I can’t be your friend.

-Ink Me In