I always remember where I was when someone told me something bad had happened. In New York, people often said “You always remembered where you were on 9/11”. I do remember that, and I also remembered so many other things that were much personal. I remembered where my first heart break was. It was on a bench in the school yard. I remembered my second heartbreak and my third too. But I can’t remember where I had my first kiss.
I remembered where I was when mum told me great grandma passed away. I was lying on my twin air mattress in the tiny rental room. I was just lying there crying because I was too poor to get a ticket to go see her. Since then I kept a box on my desk, collecting every pennies and singles I had. I got in there exactly $1000 so I always had a ticket home.
I remembered where I was when my brother called me, telling me granddad passed away. I was in a brewery laughing with a friend a second before. I snapped at my brother telling him to not joke with me, that I just saw grandpa 2 days ago, that as soon as I got home the first thing I did was going to see him. I remembered my brother’s voice quiet on the other side “why would I joke about this?” and I flew out of the brewery.
The pains of all those news I still carry with me everyday. It’s like having a sharp pin in my purse. Though I carry it with me, I mostly forget about it. Until I try to reach in to grab something and it pokes me. Sometimes so hard that I bleed. But I carry them around still, and I remembered exactly where I picked up each of those pins.
My friend used to be depressed. Her older brother used to be depressed. Her dad used to be depressed and he didn’t make it.
She said she was lucky. She was the latest person in her family to be depressed. She learned a lot from the ones before her, on how to be depressed and on how not to.
It’s not a fun thing to share but they did share the weights of depression. When she curled up in bed and couldn’t get out for days, she thought about this cursed family tradition that they all shared at some point in their lives, and it was sadly comforting.
They all went to therapy. Different ones. Her dad didn’t make it. Her brother, after her dad hung himself, tried. He made it. He made it out. When my friend was diagnosed with depression, her brother was the one who drove her to her therapist. She saw one man in her life made it and one didn’t. She had to make some choices for her own.
She also made it out. She took meds like her doctors told her to. She went to therapy like she should. She was diagnosed when she was 15. Her teenage years were spent taking medicine to “alter” her mind. During a time everyone else was trying to figure out who they were, she took meds to let go of a part of her. Ten years later she stopped going to therapy. She was no longer clinically depressed, but she no longer knew who she was now that she wasn’t that “depressed girl” anymore.
She had a family of her own now: a nice husband and four kids. She had a good life and would carry on having a good life. She had dinners with her brother often. She fell in love and laughed a lot. But sometimes when that Nirvana’s song was on
I miss the comfort in being sad
I miss the comfort in being sad
I miss the comfort in being sad
She sat in her rocking chair by the window trying to not turn her melancholy into real sadness. She thought about how happiness is fleeting and maybe sadness, sadness is eternal in her.
Wrote this quick prose for a Go Dog Go Prompt. Always a pleasure to write their prompt.
I was certain that one day when I woke up you would leave
Because I was so happy
I couldn’t believe anything this good would ever happen to me
It was all a fleeing dream
That good things always end
That the heartbreak would send me over the cliff
and in a jiff I will be alone all again
you are still here
curled up in your blanket right near my heart
holding a part of me that I never knew I had
and I’m glad
The way your beard brush against my face
making me tickle
and your Adam apple moves when you talk
The way your nose buried
into the nape of my neck
and your hair feels like soft sand paper
The way your eyes smile
with sparkles from the stars
You smell like cigars and fresh grass and morning dew
You taste like tea and honey and warm milk
And I realized I’m so in love
I can’t wait till tomorrow to love you
I can’t wait “till death do us part”
You are my comfort and my glory
Cause this life, there’s no victory like having you.
This post is a little response for the Go Dog Go Cafe Weekly Prompt. What a great prompt this week!
“I see darkness. Really really dark darkness…”
“What does dark darkness even mean?” I protested quite loudly.
Mum immediately hit me on my shoulder which made my arm jerked back a little from the startle. The lady pulled my hand back towards her. She used both her hands to open my palm wide.
“There there there. Don’t be scared. Even though I saw darkness, I also saw a bright light. It comes from a strong, heated fire.” The lady closed her eyes. Her finger traced an invisible drawing on my palm. It made me tickled. I shuffled a little trying to fight the urge to withdraw my hand.
“Ah ah ahhhhh” she suddenly screamed. With her eyes still closed, she backed away. One of her hand blocked between us as if she was trying to not have to look at my palm. “The fire is so strong. It will chase away any darkness. No, not any fire. Your fire is so strong. Who? Who are you?” She screamed the questions out loud with her eyes still closed and her hands still holding on to mind tightly.
I just stared at the hysterical scene that just happened on her own for no particular reason. I wasn’t going to say anything. But I looked at my mum and she was looking back at me eagerly waiting for me to reply the lady. I rolled my eyes. “Uhm…I guess I work for the city…”
“No not that!” She shook my hand hard, “I want to know your true identity. Your true role assigned by God!”
“My what???” I truly didn’t understand what she was talking about.
“Mum,” after taking a quick breath, I turned to my mum whispering, “this fortune teller of yours doesn’t seem normal. Is she ok?” I grunted at the word “ok”.
“Hey hey hey,” the lady yanked my hand to get my attention, “I’m not just a fortune teller. I’m a mystic! I was chosen by God himself. I can communicate with him directly and he told me that you have a secret identity. That you can burn darkness with fire, that your mystical strength is…”
“Okayyyy. I’m gonna stop you there. I think we are done for today,” I pulled my hand back from hers. I stood up real quick from my chair while grabbing my mum’s arm. “Mum, we should leave. Else we’ll be late. I’ll bring the car over”
“Honey, don’t you want to hear what the lady has to say. She is very good,” mum still tried to convince me though she could already tell that I was more than ready to leave. She put a 100 dollar bill on the table while hurriedly packing her things. She mouthed sorry to the lady while chasing me outside.
Shit, I zipped up my jacket while taking a deep breath inside the car. That was close. I took out my purse to check on the business cards I had in the secret compartment. I wanted to make sure the lady didn’t say the things she said because she happened to see my cards. They were all still there. All the cards that said I was an exorcist.
This prose is a response to the wonderful prompt from Go Dog Go’s Cafe.
I am older and colder. I can feel it. Every time I stepped on the subway, I could feel myself toughened up. Every time I heard a homeless person begged on that train ride, I could feel the sympathy slowly drained out of my blood. It is an unspoken rule on New York subway. If you don’t already know the person before boarding the train, you don’t talk to them when you are on the train. You should not even make eye contact. If you board the train and you casually chat up the person near you as if you are flying on planes, we’ll know right away you are a tourist. If you clap for the break dancers or singers on the train, you are a tourist. But sometimes a little change wouldn’t hurt anybody.
This morning, I saw a lady playing with her hair while sheepishly talking with a guy in safety construction vest. She giggled and he bended down to listen to her clearer. It was 8am and they already looked happier than anyone else on the train. She reached out to grab his arm to pull him closer to her. It was always noisy on the train. Hey, do you want to give me your number? The guy smiled from ear to ear. He panicked a little tapping all over his shirt looking for a pen. Use your phone, silly. He realized and pulled his phone out quickly. It was only 8am on a Wednesday morning but I already could tell nothing could make my day better than that. It was little moments like that that made people believed in the magic of New York City.
She sat on the fence looking over the main street. From here, she could see a little bit of the bus station. There was no other way to get to town besides driving and taking a bus. Jim wouldn’t have a car. She was the one dropping him off when he left 2 years ago. When Jim came into town, he would have to take the bus. Where she was sitting was the best seat in the house to keep an eye on the bus station.
“Hey,” a voice came from behind with a tap on the shoulder. She startled.
“Oh my god. Doc, don’t scare me like that!” She let out a sigh of relief, realizing it was just her family good old vet.
“Still waiting huh?” he lighted a cigarette and motioned to ask her if she wanted one. She shook her head.
“The bus was a little late today. Should have came already.”
“Fern, honey” the vet hesitated, “do you still think he will come back?”
“Yeah, I do.” She could hear her own voice light as a feather. “He will be here any day now.”
The vet took a drag from his cigarette, “Fern, the war ended a while ago. Even the last few Americans were taken out of there in April. You don’t think…”
“He said he would be home for my birthday this year,” she cut him off. Her eyes didn’t move from the bus station, “he still have some time. You knew Jim, he’s a man of his words.”
“Fern…” the vet moaned
“As long as,” her voice was shaking “nobody brought me any notice. I can still wait.”
The vet didn’t say anything else. He put his cowboy hat on and leaned onto the fence. He smoked slowly while looking at the same direction Fern did. The sun started to set over the horizon. The dark orange shade of sunset covered the town with a deep sense of nostalgia. Another day was soon to be over.
The wind blew by and she could smell the diesel in the air. The bus was arriving.
Have you seen clouds growing on trees?
You’ve gotta be happy if you wanna see
You have to go at night with no light
You’ll need to climb to great great height
Then, you’ll find the clouds growing on trees
I wrote a little limerick for the weekly prompt on Eugi’s blog. https://amanpan.com/2021/06/24/eugis-weekly-prompt-happiness-june-24-2021/
It is always fun to write a limerick. The poem style always sounds childishly cheerful.