The average mosquito cannot fly far or fast, often staying within several hundred feet of where they were hatched.
Airborne travel is my family’s love language but it seemed to fissure and break as I stepped on the cross Atlantic flight. I could smell every meal, the packaged cookies like an off-brand Christmas and the bitter coffee a reminder that my eyes sagged. The meat made my jaw tired and the rice tickled my teeth. The air was thin and each breath made my throat tighten. I started watching the horror film, It just as the plane reached the Atlantic. Pennywise, with a drooping smile, sharp teeth, and a lazy eye, morphed to fit the child’s biggest fear, a walking infection, a burnt corpse, a headless body. I wondered what he would become for me. But then I knew he could not become my biggest fear. A small mosquito already had. Continue reading →
The fear that you’re not supposed to be moving so quickly, so assuredly to an unforgiving landing. Uncertain if the land will leave you with breath in your lungs or intact bones in your legs. The release of the pressure that is standing, keeping yourself whole and unbroken and tall and strong. Vulnerable because you are no longer standing and strong, but defenseless to the ground that is rushing up to meet you with a smile of disaster.
Falling usually ends in breaking, in disaster, in needing to be fixed.
But sometimes falling is good. It’s fun, thrilling. When you fall out of an airplane and feel that rush of excitement in the bottom of your gut. When adrenaline is fire in your veins before you pull the string to release the parachute. Continue reading →
My throat burns and my cheeks are wet. With blood? With sweat? With tears? I close my eyes and push my hands against my face, shaking my head quickly so the strands of dirty hair fly wildly. I want to scream again but I can’t take a breath and without air, there’s not much you can do. I want to run but without space, there’s not very many places you can go.
I want it all to end but with so much love, you can’t justify ending anything at all.
With nowhere else to go, I drove to the base of a mountain and started climbing. My shoes weren’t made for the steep rocks and I slipped more times than I’d like to admit. There were no other people around; after all it’s the middle of a Tuesday on a hot summer’s day. No one in their right mind would be hiking right now.
I give it up to poetic justice when I reach up to grab hold of the rock and feel a sting in the tip of my fingers. I yank my hand back to see blood trickling down the palm and onto the hot stone below. Continue reading →
I take a deep breath and push the air out, watching how my lips curl into a delicate ‘O’. I should have warn deep red lipstick, it’s more intimidating. Dad told me not to though. Apparently I need to ease the board into my leadership.
I shake my head and pull my fingers across my skin, from collar bone to collar bone before rolling my eyes and turning away from the mirror. Staring into my own eyes in the extravagant bathroom mirror doesn’t offer the courage I had been expecting.
I lean against the counter and mutter, “Screw Hollywood,” pushing two of my fingers up my nose and onto my forehead. My eyes close and I rub the bridge of my nose, pulling in deep, burning breaths. My phone dings and I flinch before grabbing it from the countertop and swiping it open. Continue reading →
Lynn turns off the alarm clock and turns to stare out the window. The sky has a blanket of clouds keeping the sun at bay. Her hair fans out behind her, spread across the duvet. The dreams linger in the corner of her mind and she rubs her eyes in an attempt to erase them. She runs the tip of her fingers across her lips, remembering the brush of his against hers. Groaning, she rolls over, pulling a pillow over her head.
“Alright,” Lynn huffs, climbing out of bed. She pulls at the blinds and rests her forehead against the glass. A group of birds take flight from the telephone wires they were perched on. Continue reading →
Most vividly, I remember the rain. My hair had been stuck to my forehead and I was shivering from the cold. Running through the trees had winded me and I was struggling to see through the fog and rain. The house was large, hiding in plain sight.
I was scared, lost, and alone. I was also only six years old.
Now, twenty years later, the memories have become distant at best and fictional at worst. Once, I made the mistake of confiding in my girlfriend at the time, telling her all I remember about that night twenty years ago. I told her how the memory of the night feels physical to me, but the evidence of it was never found. Continue reading →