Isolation

I have one wish.

For as long as I can remember I’ve had the same wish.

The same desperate incantation whispered in the early hours of the night.

I want to live.

I want to laugh in the early hours of the morning. I want to run through fields of green grass growing tall and abundant.

I want to explore the deepest oceans of your eyes and walk the miles between your freckles.

I want to learn the names of all the stars in the sky and map the constellations of my soul.

I want to find you and be found.

But, I am alone.

In this darkened cave, there is only me.

In the mornings, I hear the ocean sing.

At midday, I walk the silent beaches remembering who you were and who I was many years ago.

In the evening, I cry tears of isolation.

I was once loved by many, now loved by none.

I am forgotten in my solitude.

I am neither ghost nor woman, merely a specter of your imagination.

Convenient when necessary.

I do not know who I am anymore.

But, now and then,

I can almost remember.

Another day, Another Dollar.

You know what the scariest thing in this world is?

Money.

Think about it—we kill for it, die for it, hell some people live for it.

I’m terrified of money.

It is, and has always been, my overlord.

The insurmountable obstacle in my life.

American Dream? Ha! What is that? Can I eat it? Will it pay my bills for me?

No…but it would probably make me happy.  At least that’s what it promises right?

I don’t want riches or luxury.

All I want is to divorce from the constant worry, followed by the inevitable depression, about the bills.

I want to be able to live my life, to see things, to leave the toxic environment I am in.

But I can’t—and before you ask, no it is not because “I’m not trying hard enough.”

I’ve spent my whole life trying, but there’s only so much you can do until the lack of funds halts your momentum.

The hardest thing to come to terms with is the disillusionment.

That moment when the blindfold is ripped off and years , decades, of dreams and hopes abruptly come to an end.

Honestly, I don’t know how I survived that, I don’t know how anybody survives that.

But we do.

Just gotta keep swimming against that current I guess.

I’ve tried most of the Change your life! Be the Best You!  motivational outlets in existence.

Yoga, meditation, Self-Help books—you name it.

And you know what I found? That unless you have some funds, even a small amount, you, my friend, are basically fucked.

You can’t make changes in your life —the drastic changes that you need— unless you have some kind of money stashed away.

I’m working on getting that right now but it is a slow process.

My point is that money is scary, you really can’t do much without it.

I hate that I need it to live, and I hate even more that I equate it with happiness.

Whoever said money can’t buy you happiness was never poor.

Sure, you can’t buy affection, or fulfillment but you know what? Money helps.

Money can buy you peace of mind, it can buy you safety, and it will most definitely allow you to pursue what you love.

Many of us don’t have that choice.

Even worse, many people don’t even have a choice at all.

At the end of the day, I like to remind myself that I am fortunate compared to most and that I should be thankful for what I have and I am—most days.

But not today.

Still…another day, another dollar.

-Ink me In

Cigarette Cravings

I used to smoke. It’s been years now since I quit but sometimes it seems like it was yesterday.Perhaps I never quit at all—maybe I’m just lying to myself, like I always do. Pretending. Just biding my time until the next small scale catastrophe that will tip me over the edge. Just far enough to fall back into the vice. Business as usual. I’m messed up like that.

There’s an error in my code, a miscalculation that prevents me from functioning properly.  I sabotage myself. Again. And again. And again. I cycle through the same motions, like a scratched record, repeating the same segment over and over without moving forward.

I am not functioning properly today, that much is certain. That old familiar feeling is back, that annoying, almost painful itch. The glitch in my hardware. The need—to what? Run? Destroy? I don’t know.

It is a hungry, mysterious thing, this need. This want.

I can almost feel it now,  the soft hardness between my fingers.

The undulating, intoxicating, embrace of the cloud of smoke around mewithin me.

The slow, long, drag filling me up; the fast letting go.

The repeat.

The repeat.

Back then it was different. It was all in good fun, a trivial thing.  A rebellion—my last, against the ties that bind me. Oh, what a beautiful thing! To be so young and carefree, but old enough to flirt with the edge of the abyss.

Only to flirt, however, real danger was never sought.

Like most things in my life, smoking came and went. It was a passing trend, discarded as soon as the novelty wore off, when I realized that I, too, am mortal. That no amount of cigarettes would erase the sour taste from my mouth. They say it’s hard to quit cold turkey, but it wasn’t for me. It was just as easy as giving up sweets for lent, just more permanent.

Still, I’ve given in  to the need a couple of times. On dark nights with the taste of whiskey on my tongue,  I’ve placed the bud between my lips and I’ve inhaled like a drowning man gasping for air.

Most days I’m fine, but on days like today…I miss it.

I miss the comfort, but most of all I miss the constancy.

~Ink me In

¿Dónde Esta Dios?

Cuando era niña mi abuela siempre me decia —con Dios todo se puede—Y yo ingenua, le creí.

Al pasar los años las dudas fueron creciendo, amontonándose en mi alma como hojas caídas, creando en mi interior un peso tremendo. Cuando no aguante más, algún día le pregunte a mi abuela — ¿Si con Dios todo se puede, entonces dónde está?

Ella me respondió —Dios esta aqui, y alla, El esta en todas partes.

Pero las dudas siguen creciendo…y en las noches cuando la soledad me acompaña yo me pregunto:

¿Dónde está Dios cuando por la mañana escucho a mi madre llorar silenciosamente en el baño?

Seguramente ella piensa que el áspero sonido de la ducha encumbre el sonido de su tristeza, sin saber cómo el penetrante sonido de su llanto llena mi habitación como una sombra negra, dejándome sin aire.

Y yo….sin dinero, y sin solución….Cierro mis ojos al igual que un niño cuando tiene miedo.

Y en mi cuarto oscuro y sombrío me escondo de su tristeza mientras que poco a poco, pedazo por pedazo, mi corazón se desvanece.

Mi madre siempre sale de la ducha con ojos hinchados y rojos pero con una sonrisa deslumbrante, como una estrella fugaz en el cielo, mientras me pregunta suavemente si quiero algo de comer.

¿Dónde está Dios en estos momentos cuando mi mama sufre sola y desamparada?

Cuando las bestias la acechan y la muerden sin piedad, mientras ella huye desesperada, cansada y herida, por un oscuro bosque.

¿Dónde está El?

¿Cuándo nos ayudara?

I Have Seen You…

I have seen you angry.

I am familiar with the way your body tightens, and the feel of your coiled skin under my hands.

I have seen the massacre of your lips as they release the army of daggers that you hide inside yourself.

I have felt the sting of them as they bore through me.

I’ve felt them rip me apart, tear me to shreds and expose me.

Self-protection, they say, a last line of defense against the enemy.

But I’ve seen the tell-tale sign of blood in your mouth.

They cut you too, but in your anger you forget.

Yes, I have witnessed your destruction…and I have survived.

Living in the aftermath of your anger I often forget that I, too, have seen you radiant.

Glowing like the sun and the moon.

I have felt your laughter warming the insides of the dark spaces within me.

Your light flowing in and breathing life into those dark barren places that have never known joy….or love.

I have curled myself into your arms and I have felt safe and wanted.

On your radiant days, together, we create planets, worlds… entire civilizations!

We are invincible gods, you & I.

I have seen you frightened, wary, and a myriad of other expressions. I have seen them all, and I have loved each and every one.

But..today for the very first time I saw your sadness.

I have grown used to your red days…they do not frighten me anymore.

But, I do not know what to do with your sadness.

…and I fear that I do not wish to know.

~Ink me In

 

 

 

 

 

Love is a Funny Thing

Sometimes it comes like the falling of snow, gentle and quiet. Other times it is a blazing inferno that burns everything in its wake, but underneath it all, buried deep in the ashes, seedlings remain. The hope for new growth, and new life.

I’ve seen it all. Breakups and makeups. Marriages that last for a minute, and  marriages that last for a lifetime. Love lost, love gained…toxic love. On the sidelines, I have watched relationships be born, and  I have watched them die.  I am no stranger to love —though I have little experience with it.

But, perhaps love is not something that can be learned, or understood, through second-hand experience. As someone who pursues knowledge whenever, and wherever, I can this is something that bothers me to the core.

You see, my love I cannot classify or understand. It follows no rules, it knows no boundaries or reason—it just endures. Even after all these years, even after the tears, the distance—and his silence. My love remains a secret ember burning brightly in the center of my soul.

I’ve tried, and tried, and tried again to forget him to no avail. Everyday,  I lie to myself that I have moved on in the hopes that one day it will become true.

The worst part about this narrative is that like Eponine, I love him …but only on my own.

What does this say about me I wonder? Probably nothing good. But, before you judge I would remind you that love is not love only when it is returned. We are all capable of love, but only a few of us are lucky enough to be loved in return.

I am one of the unlucky ones.

Still, this part I have grown to accept. What I cannot understand is that why, when I’ve seen love fade so quickly, mine simply refuses to be put out.

I’m a romantic—but I am not naive enough to believe that if I just wait maybe someday he will love me back. He’s made it pretty clear that he does not, and in all likelihood, will not love me back.

Still, he remains the best part of me. My heart aches for him across the thousands of miles that separate us. I let him go because love is not something you should force, but my stubborn heart refuses to renounce him.

In my own quiet, unassuming way, I continue to love him. When I met him I was just a girl, and now that I am a woman reaching the end of my 26th year, I fear that, at least for me, there will be no one else.

~Ink Me In

Unfulfilled Desires

 

I wish I was as brave as you, traveler, able to go where I please, to do what I want—a carefree explorer of this beautiful planet we call home. I wish I was brave like you, so I too, could get lost in the crowd, maybe meet some special people, nomads a long way from home. Maybe we could have been lost together. We could have walked the streets at night, a little drunk, singing songs in our mother tongues between bursts of intoxicated laughter.At the end of the night we probably would have run out of money, but we would be rich in experiences. I might not be artistic, but I could try my hand at street art, or even —if blessed by the muses—compose a poem or two (though they might not be that good). There is very little I would not do, if I was brave like you.

If I had even half the bravery you do, I could easily strike up conversations with adventurous strangers like yourself. Perhaps I could go with them to the mountains, or go cliff diving. I could camp out under the stars in the desert, never mind that I don’t know how to pitch a tent, I’m a fast learner -just point me in the right direction.  I could spend the night away dancing in a crowd of strangers, body swaying, sweat trickling down my neck in carefree droplets, alone but in that moment connected…to humanity. Most of all I could wake up every morning to the gentle touch of the sunrise kissing my lips in greeting. I could behold the wonders of the world and ponder on the mysteries of space.

But, I am not brave. I do not have the ability to jump on a plane without a plan and with no destination—however much I may want to. There is little room for spontaneity in my orderly and chaotic 9-5 life. There are after all, bills to be paid and mouths to be fed.

It is not wonders I see, but the same old gray walls and tired faces. Rather than the tranquility of nature and the excitement of adventure, fear and regret are my wake-up calls.

Indeed traveler, I can only hope that one day I will be brave like you.

~Ink Me In

My Eyes Adored You

Time passes by so quickly that I wonder how many things are forgotten? How many people, memories, joys and sorrows are lost in a single moment? Where do they go? Is there, perhaps, some void out there in space where all the ghosts go to rest? A forgotten graveyard that we can not see.

I woke up today with the cool caress of the morning breeze flowing through the window, and realized I have not thought about you in awhile. The funny thing is I can’t even remember the last time I actively thought about you.

Your birthday passed me by many months ago, and quite honestly, I didn’t even notice.

All these little things about you that I thought I would keep forever have just…faded.

I can’t remember what your voice sounds like, or the way you laugh. The memories that I once kept so close to me have all but disappeared, leaving only traces, ashes really, of what they used to be.

I remember the way I felt when I was with you and the joy you brought me. I remember the way my eyes would seek you out and how much I loved you.

But today I realized for the first time, that it no longer hurts to think about you.

I can listen to our songs without fear that it will cause a deluge of tears.

I can see your name, hear you mentioned, see your picture without the acute pain that your absence caused in my life.

I love you. I will probably always love you in some way. But now, I think I can finally love again.

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.

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