Favorite Sentence

Day 3 of NaNoWriMo: 4734 words.

Brielle and Lance’s relationship is summed up in one sentence: “He made me watch the stars with him (I got five bug bites), and I made him watch romantic movies with me (he cried at the end).”

That sentence is probably my favorite and the only one salvageable from the mass of meaningless words.

Waking

In the past month or so of this blog’s hibernation, I have suffered writers’ block, too little sleep, coffee intoxication, bad grades, and general tiredness. I have rejoiced over sleep on the weekends, coffee waking me up in the mornings, good grades, and general me-ness. It’s quite a struggle, yeah?

I’ve matured a bit. At least, I hope I have. Because I’m trying to be a better person. The choice of the school-year has been good grades or everything else. In order to keep my good grades, I’ve sacrificed the world. Perhaps not that much, but a great deal of happiness. I am in love with The History of Love by Nicole Krauss. Leo Gursky is the epitome of who I am? Something along those lines. Forever lonely, but it’s okay.

In other news, I am attempting (and failing) NaNoWriMo. Here is an excerpt.

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When two people of opposite genders hung out together a lot, a great deal of people assumed incorrect ideas.

Lance was really quite a good-looking guy on top of having an attractive personality. He was pretty quiet in groups but lively during one-on-one conversations. We had been friends since freshman spring when we both took philosophy and were paired up for a project. He loved analyzing things and making inferences from his observations even if he was wrong.

He loved painting but only painted landscapes. He always said he was afraid to even try and capture something as complex as a human during a moment of time. It would never quite embrace every aspect of the person. Lance called it his “Person Painting Dilemma.” I liked to call it the “P. P. Dilemma.” He would always sigh after I mentioned it.

The Drifting

The twilight sky tired her. God, she just wanted to be rid of it all. That wasn’t too big of a request, was it? She wanted to be rid of this calamity of herself. She traced a stubby, thick-skinned finger across her lip as if in thought. But she was devoid of it—her thoughts were so shallow that they could not even be labeled “thoughts.” They were worries: normal, everyday schoolgirl worries. She should have been bothered by the fact that she was normal. She hated normality. Then sometimes, during her quietest moments, she would yearn for it—the normality that everyone else was able to convey.

Her phone was empty, and yet, she didn’t feel that lonely. She hated being tossed and turned in a sea of people she didn’t know. The multiple voices caved into her. She needed to be with someone she knew as a sort of buoy against the tide of unknown lives—a familiarity in a wave of change. She couldn’t take stock of everyone’s emotions and personal agendas when there were so many to think about. It was like a thousand different tasks. But if she had someone she knew, someone she could concentrate her attention on, it almost masked the sea into a calm washing. It was her and  the object of her attention against the world of unknown. To think, in protection against humans, she used other humans. The irony did not escape her.

But if there was no one around, she was okay being alone. Her phone was empty, yes, but it was okay. She could dream and pine and yearn the night away from the comfort of her bed. And she wasn’t lonely, not with the innumerable stuffed animals and fluffy blankets in a childish fortress around her.

And it was okay. She was okay. Her empty phone was okay. Her stuffed animals were okay. The clock was okay. The fluffy blanket was okay. The curtain was okay. The picture was okay. Her loneliness was okay.

But, suddenly, it wasn’t. Her empty phone was silent—too silent. Her stuffed animals all had artificial grins plastered on their sightless faces. The clock’s minute-hand continually ticked but never moved. The fluffy blanket she sat on was suffocating because of her. The curtain was blocking the only light she could notice. The picture on the wall was a fake representation—something from the past, but she changed and the picture no longer applied to her. Her loneliness was a cry of or for—she couldn’t tell—help.

The twilit sky soon faded into a dark oblivion. She rose, the specter from the dust of her remains, and walked to the window as if she were a girl playing specter playing queen. No moon lit the window, yet she still looked up in hope for there were stars. There were always stars.

The burning pieces of distant light burned her eyes when she didn’t blink for a minute. She was afraid to close those eyes, to let the eyelids fall as a dark curtain upon her consciousness. The stars could fade in that moment when she blinked.

They didn’t. The stars didn’t fade. She felt lulled into a semi-sleep-semi-awake state when they didn’t leave after a few blinks. Those few blinks felt like forever, and if those stars stayed for forever she had a constant and if she had a constant then everything was okay.

With that thought, she succumbed to the state known as sleep and let her mind drift past the empty phone, the stuffed animals, the fluffy blanket,  the clock, the picture. It drifted past the moonless sky and burning stars and into the constant night.

The Project

She bit her lip, not because she was shy, but because that was what shy people did. Her character—the painstakingly crafted project that she would live through until the end—smiled reassuringly.

“I totally get what you mean,” the project said with a nod and the understanding smile that Gatsby used. The others relaxed. The project always let them see what they wanted to see. They could interpret her in their own petty ways, but there was one consistency in each of their minds. They always translated her project into the best light possible. And depending on who was there, she always read the situation differently and gave them the responses that they wanted. She even broke down once or twice under the stress, but it wasn’t her grief. It was her project’s grief. But she could never truly show any of them what she was behind the project.

Correction: she showed a girl once but then pulled her mask on even tighter. Another mistake would mean the end of the show.

Perhaps that was why she was well-liked by everyone but was never really close with anyone. She left everyone, in fact, encouraged everyone’s interpretations of her but never really had anyone to truly see her in the end. They all saw what they wanted to see and accepted it.

Just in case, on the second night, she tested everyone’s feelings towards her. She wanted to ascertain that they, indeed, felt what she thought they felt. She chose her victim, a boy who had just joined the circle of friends just like she had. It was a safe choice. She forced the poor soon-to-be sufferer to do something socially frowned upon and twisted the situation so it seemed like she was the victim. How ironic it was.

“Dude, what are you doing?!” a girl had shouted at him. “That’s gross.”

“Yeah. That’s pretty gross,” another person chimed in. She smiled inside, because she had just secured herself into their circle despite the other person. God, she hated herself. She was the manipulator even though they couldn’t see it. They were so blind to her.

At first she loved how blind they were, how she could easily manipulate them into situations and smile it all away. She was the golden girl of the circle. There was one point where she felt insecure over how they all thought of her. She pictured herself as the golden girl, but truly, did they see her that way too?

Another two girls assured her that she, indeed, was.

“No one says bad things about you. And, if they do talk about you, it’s always nice things like how you’re so helpful,” one told her. She smiled at thanked the girl.

One night, perhaps the third night, she wore something a bit flashier. She usually just wore t-shirts, but that night the more prominent people of the camp were required to wear something a bit dressier. When she walked into the dorm after changing, the girls were practically screaming compliments. Fake, a small voice whispered in her head. You might be beautiful, but you’re this beautiful, fake fool. That night she sat with a boy she was friends with and pretended not to notice the occasional looks he was giving her. Her character wouldn’t notice that kind of thing: her character was oblivious.

The occasional bouts of guilt and shame she felt over her project almost drowned her in a sort of sorrow that she tried really hard to mask. It was masking over the mask: a feat, was it not? She blamed it on the stress of taking care of  the little kids when others noticed her feeling down.

Even the parents loved her. It wasn’t just her friends and the many kids she loved playing with but also the parents. They always complimented her and told her what a good job she was doing. Those were some of the few compliments she really appreciated, because she just loved the kids. That was her one virtue.

But the vices were much, much more numerous than her virtues. She hated herself for it.

Late Summer Rain

It’s not the same. To compare, this would be the ghost of what was. We hold onto the past in this desperate hope that something will culminate from the abandons from within ourselves, despite the tide of realization that crashes in the corners of our minds. It is constant—reminding us of how this is going to end, not with a bang but quietly like nature, and will start again when the late summer rain falls again.

It was during that late summer rain when it started, and with the last of the summer rain it should end. The cycle will be never-ending, beautiful while it is, and tragic when it ends.

For, when it started, there was rain was pouring incessantly outside. She already an inkling of feeling towards him, but it completely friendly. She was everywhere at once: a brewing thunderstorm compared to the steady rain outside. She had to make sure everything was running smoothly, for she was the responsible one. The mature one. And how she hated it. But someone had to do the boring work. They all believed everything would sort itself out and not to worry. The only reason they didn’t worry was because they knew she would do everything that they didn’t. She hated it.

Surely enough, as the tradition every year, a shaving cream fight ensued. She was tagged first by a friend who should have been making sure everything was going smoothly. She walked outside to make sure no one was hurt in the initial fight before getting tagged a second time, this time on the right side of the face, by a former-friend-turned-foe. With a deadly silence accompanying a thunderstorm right before the first strike, she picked up the shaving cream can and sprayed a good deal onto her palm. Then her hand wiped the whole mess into the foe’s hair. She could have sworn she heard a crack, not from nature, but from her personal thunderstorm.

From then on, she was tagged mercilessly until she escaped inside. She spotted him, glanced down at her shaving-cream-filled palm, and looked back up. With a deliberate sort of walk, she made her way over to him. Then she slathered the shaving cream on his arm. A wicked grin made its way onto her face as she high-fived his cheek with the rest of the shaving cream. The look of shock on his face—as if one of her thunderbolts struck him—made her start to giggle. Then he wiped the shaving cream off of his cheek before high-fiving her cheek with it.

Despite how completely cliché it was, she liked him. She couldn’t pinpoint the moment where she started to fall into what she called “crush mode.” But that was probably one of the moments where she realized she liked him.

Try

Perhaps the greatest tragedy of their relationship was that they wanted so desperately to try. Perhaps the beautiful part was that they thought about each other and wanted to say fluffy phrases to the other but because they knew falling apart was inevitable, they both stopped themselves each time they wanted to say something deeper. Perhaps the sad part was that each waited until the next year for that one golden week in hopes that they wouldn’t be changed and could be the same in hopes of rekindling a flame of a relationship.

He was the boy who fell short earlier in life only to develop into an overachiever. She was an overachiever who became a slacker. He didn’t like English or writing. She loved creative writing. He loved non-mainstream pop music. She loved what was deemed “hipster music.” He played soccer. She watched soccer. He laughed a lot. She smiled a lot. He didn’t know what Sperry’s were. She practically went everywhere in her Sperry’s. His parents wanted him to go to an Ivy League school. Her parents wanted her to go to a good school. His parents molded him into something he wasn’t. Her parents tried to mold her into something she wasn’t, but she was the rebellious child. His dream was to make a lot of money on Wall Street. Her dream was to become a novelist. His realistic dream was to become a doctor. Her realistic dream was to become a science teacher.

They shared almost nothing in common, but they were desperate enough to try and keep in contact despite the innumerable space between them. They tried to figure out if they could meet during winter break. He tried to convince her to go down south, and she tried to convince him to travel up north. It had been about a week and they almost admitted that they missed each other.

Come the school year, she would change. She didn’t want to admit she would change and mature and whatever else a particularly grueling school year did to a young girl, but change was inevitable. And she didn’t want him to see the bags underneath her eyes and the dazed gaze and the maniacal laugh, so maybe staying away until next year was a better choice.

She was torn between the want to meet him again and the horror of change. The fault in their stars lay in that distance and separation was inevitable. He was going to become this successful businessman and meet a wonderful girl. And she couldn’t hold anything against that wonderful girl because the girl would like him much more than she ever did. So, yeah, she couldn’t hold anything against that wonderful girl.

And, for herself, she wasn’t sure what lay ahead. She was pretty sure she would meet someone she could get along with and someone with the kind of morals she had. They would get married, and though there wouldn’t be any passion or extreme happiness, overall it would happy. And she was fine with that.

You’re Beautiful

“My life is brilliant. My love is pure. I saw an angel. Of that I’m sure.” –You’re Beautiful, James Blunt

Is it bad that him and I are musing about trying to somehow visit each other? I try to get him to visit me, and he tries to get me to visit him. It’s that terrible kind of relationship because it’s inevitable that we’ll fall out of contact until one of us somehow makes it to the other’s home-state at which point we’ll visit each other and wait until next year.

Post Camp Depression

“I think I’ll miss you forever like the stars miss the sun in the morning sky.” –Summertime Sadness by Lana Del Rey

Camp was lovely, and I found myself incredibly happy. The song Summertime Sadness connects me with the camp I just went to because at the dance party, instead of everyone breaking off into pairs to slow-dance, my friends and I all put our arms around each other and swayed to the beat. I kind of watched everyone’s feet and smiled while realizing how it felt to belong.

PCD: Post Camp Depression