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Showing most liked content on 08/08/18 in all areas

  1. 2 points
    Read this after listening to “what you own” from rent or “1950”—whichever you prefer “I think I’m lesbian.” Cass and I are sitting on the dock, legs swinging over the choppy waves. I scratch at the bug bites on my bare feet. The mosquitos are eating us alive in the hot stagnant July night, but neither of us are ready to go in yet. “Hmm.” Cass says. She paused for a second, gazing out at the warm yellow lights coming from the houses across the lake. “What happened to that one guy. You know the one? Danny or something?” I shake my head. “Didn’t work out. Told him if it didn’t work with him, then...” We hear a loud series of pops from the distance. “Guns or firecrackers?” Cass asks. “Obviously guns,” I say. “It’s the 25th.” It’s a little morbid when you think about it, but that’s life in our town of 3,000. “My money’s on firecrackers,” Cass says. “Who’s shooting their gun at...” She glances at the glowing-blue numbers of her watch. “10:52 p.m.” Sure enough, a firework erupts over the line of trees, its reflection flickering on the lake. “Told you so.” She smirks and starts to shake out her ponytail. We sit in silence for a bit. The thick buzz of cicadas fills the air. “Okay, but, with girls it’s entirely different. I can flirt with a girl. I’m smooth.” Cass doubles over in laughter. “I’m sorry,” she says between bursts of chuckles. “But you and smooth don’t belong in the same sentence. When’s the last time you were smooth?” I grin. “Two weeks ago. There was this girl staring at me in the Panera, and...” Cass shakes her head. “Sweetie, she wasn’t staring at you because she likes you. She was staring at you because you dress like a 13-year-old boy going through an emo phase.” “Not anymore. I’m reinventing myself.” The stars are coming out, and it’s a full moon night. When Cass and I were little, we’d pretend to be wolves. Cock back our heads and howl, deep and guttural. Not that we’d ever seen a wolf. East-Central Illinois scares away everything but rabbits, the occasional deer, and way too many damn mosquitos. “What’re you gonna be like?” Cass doesn’t laugh for once. She leans against my shoulder. “I dunno. Mature, I guess. Confident.” I slap a mosquito against my thigh. “I wish I wasn’t 15. It frigging sucks to be 15.” Cass nodded. “The years go by so slow,” she said, sounding so much older. I sighed, crossing my legs beneath me. “The months go by so fast.” I realized with a jolt that it would be August soon. Time was slipping through my fingers. In that moment, I felt as thought I was trying to take a picture of fireworks but only catching a cloud of smoke and a few scattered sparks. author’s note: okay i’m back after being gone all summer yay. I wrote this at midnight on the Fourth of July but in this house we stan America year round (just kidding we shit on America year round.)
  2. 1 point
    he handed me a life sentence purgatory is my prison maybe one day I will be transferred maybe one day I will walk free but for now (or perhaps eternity) I will remain half-empty the air is my shackles the sky is no longer the limit there’s nothing more we can do
  3. 1 point
    in the soft sun that soaks my skin a mint leaf prickles gently its fuzz a reminder it has grown through summer thunder and fed on cicada overtures as i have felt the pleasure of shivering under rain tasting briefly it melts leaving nothing but a thing come from earth and impassioned with a dirty sweet i bite because it is not so precious as my fingers thought it is clover under my nails and beetles and hickory nuts sharp on bare feet but sweet! sweet in the soft sun
  4. 1 point
    dear men: why? i try to assume the best of people but god, you sure make it hard listen i'm sure you meant the best when you asked about my cosplay, but then i told you and you didn't leave you didn't leave you didn't leave maybe you thought that was fine but you're over a foot taller than me and please, i just want to get up that escalator look. imagine me, sitting there, waiting for my friend (we were walking together but i got tired of waiting; here's why) you call me 'pretty sexy', sitting there in full cosplay. are you from lord of the rings? did you see my hands tighten around the umbrella? could you hear my heart stutter? 'sorry, pretty,' you say, like that makes it better (spoiler: it doesn't. i know it's in your head.) i smile because i don't know what else to do. please leave. 'meet us at the restaurant,' says my mother, 'we thought the meet up would take longer' i knew it wouldn't. i tell her that. i walk four blocks and i'm nervous as hell little me in the city, dressed in a goddamn blonde wig and short shorts and crop top 'hey, baby,' says the man on the bench. i will beat you with this umbrella dear men: i am not your piece of meat. let's go back a few weeks. picture me, laughing, full-face of makeup: 'oh, do me next,' i laugh. 'how old do you think i am?' '24.' '17.' he holds his hands out for handcuffs. my laughter turns false. i don't want your wink and smile over the glass countertop. i just want my sandwich. dear men: i am not a slice of ham at the deli. i am not a cold drink for you to sip. i am not a statue or a piece of art. i am five feet tall with zero muscle and i will lay you flat with this umbrella. i'm seventeen years old. don't make me. technically i'm bisexual. there's a reason i focus mostly on girls. want to guess the reason? in summary: men. why? AN: why are men like this why why why this poem sucks but i don't even care i just want to get it out there that i am pissed off and done
  5. 1 point
    lancaster county, familial birthplace, your thunderstorms lend me the peace of mind to continue. when i was younger, and wishing to be undone, i blamed myself for not loving god enough. i said i was rotten, and didnt know why. my eyes only knew how to glare because i was scared of smiling, or of not deserving to, or of letting go of that hurt, or of losing my identity if i did. im still scared of dying. that didnt change. and one day, after letting myself stop pretending to be godly, after letting myself love being rotten, just a little, you became a monument to learning the word hate. where would i be without your shame and your conditional love? i had no idea what passive aggression meant until you had a reason to teach me. you remind me how to glare, and how to be undeserving, and thats a kind of rotten too. you carry churches on your back like god is my fault, and sometimes i believe you. it is as if you have come from the past and youre upset the world is leaving you behind, and thats my fault too. you are not a kind county, a home, or gentle despite the rolling fields, neither a place for outsiders nor one to give up a warm body without a fight. you are as lonely as a postapocalyptic movie's deserts, and your cities beg to be left empty and standing and dirty just so theyd fit so perfectly at the end of the world. these cities are paved with bricks and paint and god. you arrive bearing washed out, low-contrast hues of green and undersaturated brown and every photo ive taken looks overexposed. i have marveled at your night sounds, at the tar lines clacking under the tires on the highway, and yet youve never been beautiful. the closest thing to beautiful is the full moon, orange with pollution, rising over the lakes dug out of the prairie and filled then with rocks and fish and water. youre the stadium that becomes a city every weekend, youre lincoln, or youre the storms in the night that put hail the size of my fist through the windows. you are a 754-block coping exercise. just as i let myself love being a christian's rotten shame, just a little, you are as oppressively godly as a rural town with 192 churches on a sunday. you are not made of tomorrows, or of opportunity, but you are definitely just green enough to think so. how frightening you are too, where i am scared of being gay but losing myself in the closet, and afraid of that too. oh, old cheney road, you are the apothecary's witness and a false sense of safety. it could only be the echinaceae, but laying in the ditch on the side of the road is halfway beautiful. without you i would have grown up more slowly, and learned to love myself a little quicker. with you i am nothing but homesick. this is why, lancaster county, you are made of towns of empty architecture and lonely streets, where only the animals and the crooked trees are content this is why you refuse to progress, why you cling to old, tired bigotry hastily rebranded as belief like an beloved, frayed blanket clutched protectively in a fussy toddler's hands. i have praised many things, but for me you are more unloveable than you told me i was. to my eyes, you are a thing waiting to die.
  6. 1 point
    note before we begin: this is about a gay girl who has to stay with her homophobic aunt and her family in a small town after her mom goes to a rehab center for mental illness. the bumper stickers mentioned are some alt-righty, hateful ones. also, i'm realizing there are some issues with voice and motivations of other characters. if anyone has advice it'd be much appreciated. CHAPTER 5- ELISE I look through the guest room drawers three or four times before I pick out what to wear, and then once I walk down to breakfast I can't stop fidgeting with my sleeves. “Elise, dear, calm down.” Aunt Delilah says, glancing at me from the table. Anna sits with her, picking at her eggs. I don’t know how to respond, so we’re all just quiet. "So, I was thinking I should drop you all off at school!” says Aunt Delilah, breaking the silence. "Mom. No. God no.” Anna says, like she's just broken the most sacred rule of high school. "Anna.” she says, her voice dripping with disappointment. “Please don't use the lord's name in vain.” (Put that on the growing list of habitats I need to break to survive here.) Anna knows better than to roll her eyes at her. (Lines I can't cross.) Delilah clears her throat and restarts. "So, I'm taking you guys to school today!” she says. “Besides, it'll give us a nice chance to show off some of those new bumper stickers!” I spontaneously combust, on the spot, and no one notices. Anna complains through the whole car ride, until Aunt Delilah firmly tells her to stop as she pulls into the parking lot. I get out and I look up. The school is big, but the football field, of course, is bigger. It’s a nice brick building, with signs with the school mascots haphazardly placed around the entrance. HOME OF THE SEA HOUNDS reads the- well, reads pretty much everywhere I look. “Uh, what’s a seahound?” I say, trying to keep the skepticism out of my voice. “It’s those… those squirmy things in the lake” Anna says, almost slamming the car door behind her. I wave goodbye to Delilah, and Anna… Anna declines. “Do you mean crayfish?” I ask. "No, they’re blue. With purple dots, and tentacles.” Okay, no. Those don’t exist. "Are they water bugs?” I try. "Sometimes they’re yellowish?” she says, looking at me like I’m the stupidest person to ever live. “Seriously, none of this ringing any bells? They don’t have those in the city?” “I don’t think so...”I say. I want to sink into the ground. “Is this like an urban legend or something?” I say, laughing nervously. "Well, for one thing,” she says, her voice rising and her eyes cutting into me. “We aren’t in a urban area. And two, maybe don’t accuse me of lying when you’ve never even visited here. The main office is to the right of the security desk.” She storms off, joining a group of other sophomores by the field and I try not to panic but, fuck, I just lost my cousin in a sea of people I don’t know. On the first day, like I’m that stupid, like, couldn’t I have waited at least a day before blowing everything up? Am I just that bad at being a normal person? Panic is rising in my stomach, and Anna’s friend’s gazes are just burrowing into my skin. I’m just standing here, and worse thoughts rush up to me. She hates you now. You’re so alone. You aren’t ever going to have friends. Everyone will hate you and then you’ll end up stuck in this town, alone and alone and - Okay, no. I have a brain. I can walk into an office, by myself, without exploding. My world’s still spinning with panic but I take a breath, and put one foot in front in front of the other. I go in and I notice that the school seems too big for the number of kids. In the city 3,000 kids would probably be in this building, but it’s so small. A bunch of people glance at me from the corner of their eye and I feel a million sirens going off in my brain. I know it’s irrational, but everyone here feels like a land mine that could go off at any moment. But, it’s irrational. It’s irrational, and I just have to keep moving. I feel like Jonathan Byers walking down the hallway of Hawkins High School. (Except I don't take weird pictures of girls at parties, and I think Barb is cuter than Nancy.) I reach the office feeling like I just ran a marathon. (Or, what I feel like a marathon would be like.) (I’m way too much of a stereotypical nerd to know.) A woman wearing a red, floral dress at the front desk smiles at me. "Hi!” she says.” I’m Ms. Rodriguez, are you our new student?” "Y-yes. Yes. Hi. I’m- I’m Elise. I'm here for a schedule.” I give a weak smile. “Yep! Got it all right here.” she says, gesturing to a file. I realize that I probably look panicked, and I should've come to the office an hour earlier so I could get to my new locker and not get completely lost and...ugh. It's too early for this. Ms. Rodriguez looks unfazed. She opens The File and gives me my schedule. "Thank you.” I say. "No problem! If you need anything, free free to come down and ask questions. Your guide will be here in a second.” "Guide?” I try not to sound like I'm two years old when I say it, but right now I'm just trying not to pass out so the bar might be a little low. "The student that will help you find all your classes for the day.” “Oh. I didn’t. I didn’t realize…” My voice trails off. "I know it’s overwhelming here at first, but you’ll figure it out. Don’t worry.” she tells me. I guess I look unconvinced, because she keeps going. “Both of my parents were in the army when I was little, so I moved around from base to base a lot. I’ve had like… 10 or 12 different first days of school?” “That sounds exhausting.” I say. I wouldn’t be able to handle that. She shrugs her shoulders. “It wasn’t too bad. The worst thing that happened was showing up in the wrong classroom. So, just take it from an expert. You’ll be fine.” “What if I’m not?” I don’t mean to say it out loud. It just slips out without me thinking, and I literally put a hand on my mouth hoping I can somehow reel the words back in. She looks at me, thoughtfully. "Here’s a secret- it’s your senior year, so it’s just one year of your life. Most normal people hate high school.” A little bell on the door rings, and a boy with a Legends Of Zelda shirt comes in. "Hi, Mrs. Rodriguez.” he mumbles. "Darien!” she says. “How was your summer?” "It was fine.” he says, distracted and pretty much monotone. Well. At least he’s too tired to care about making awkward, invasive small talk. And if the silence gets way too unbearable, we probably have a fandom or two in common. "So,” Mrs. Rodriguez says. “ Elise Simon, this is Darien Hill! Darien Hill, this is Elise Simon.” I can hear her rethinking her life choices to work in a really small town with really antisocial kids. “Hi.” I say. "Hello.” he says, a million miles away. We leave the office to my first class and, well, at least I’m not alone.
  7. 1 point
    “I had fun,” Nathan said. India shook her head at him and broke into a smile, eyes downcast. Her eyelids were glittery. Nathan could see where some glitter had fallen under her eyes like tiny stars. “I did, too,” she said. “Even if Erin made an ass of himself.” She paused for a moment. “Actually, that was a highlight of the evening.” Nathan grinned. India’s hand was relaxed, fingers barely keeping touch with his. He wondered if she knew she was still doing it. A bug buzzed as it hit the porch light. India jumped, dress spinning with her as she turned to look. Her hand slipped away. Nathan caught his breath. “Um… you look great,” he said after a pause. India smirked. “Are you saying that as part of your mission to treat this like a real date?” she teased. Nathan sighed. “Can’t I be nice to you?” he asked. India laughed. “But seriously, you look beautiful.” She stopped laughing. She was still smiling, which had to mean something, even if it was something soft he wouldn’t dare touch. “You don’t look too bad yourself,” she said. The car horn blared from the front of the house where it was idling. Noah rolled down the passenger window and leaned out. “Just kiss already!” he cried. “This is ridiculous!” India glared at him, turning to face the car and even taking a step toward it. “Shut up, Noah!” she yelled back. “I’ll do what I want!” Nathan covered his eyes with his hand. “I… Jesus Christ,” he muttered. “I’m driving next time.” India sighed. “That doesn’t even make sense, your house is normally like the first stop—“ “Did you NOT hear me?” Noah yelled. “I have a curfew!” India rolled her eyes. “Then let Erin drive you home, you little shit!” India called back. “Nathan can get his own ride!” Nathan grimaced. India shot him a glance. “One that doesn’t pressure him to kiss a girl! You of all people shouldn’t be forcing heteronormativity on us!” Noah gave a thumbs up. “True love is out there for you!” he yelled. India scowled. “Noah Walker, I swear to any God there may be—“ she began. Noah rolled the window halfway up. “We’ll give you some privacy,” he teased. India threw another finger up, which Noah happily returned. The car pulled away and India turned back to Nathan, shaking her head. “I’d apologize, but only because I’ve been friends with him longer,” she said. “I feel like I’m supposed to kiss you now,” Nathan said, glancing around India’s porch. India rolled her eyes. “Gee, what a compliment,” she said flatly. Nathan sighed. “You know what I mean. We’re all dressed up, we’re on your doorstep. If this was a movie, we’d be kissing.” India raised her eyebrows. “Before saying all that stuff about how great we looked and what a nice time we had?” she asked. Nathan grinned at her. “We did that already,” he said. India rolled her eyes. “Okay, Spielberg. What happens now?” she asked, crossing her arms and shifting her weight to the other foot. Nathan sighed. “Do I have to like, go through the mechanics for you? He was a boy, she was a girl--” “Maybe one of them’s gay,” she teased, shrugging her shoulders. “We just talked about heteronormativity.” Nathan sighed again, running a hand through his hair. “For the purposes of this movie, let’s assume that they’re at least bi. Pan. Some potential energy,” he said, waving a hand. “Like, I don’t fucking know. There’s stars out. There’d probably be an awkward romantic speech.” India grinned. “What’s in the speech that makes it so awkward? Couldn’t get a good enough writer?” Nathan shook his head, shoving his hands in his pockets. “You have no idea. Some shit about comparing your eyes to the sky. Especially with the eye makeup,” he pointed out. India rolled her sky-like eyes. “Writer’s Guild doing okay?” “Maybe they’re on strike right now,” he said. “I can’t think of anything.” India laughed, shifting her weight back to the other foot. Her dress rustled around her legs. “What happens next?” she asked after a moment. Nathan looked back out at the street, at the wood paneling above her head. At the trees, her shoes. She was nearly as tall as him. More than normal. “At that point you’d probably be overcome by emotion that you definitely had awakened by my high quality speech with too many mixed metaphors,” he said, finally making eye contact and the shadow of a grin appearing again. He gestured vaguely with one hand. “Like, I never came back to that whole potential energy bit. I could have easily said something about kinetic energy, like--” She took the step forward before he did, and the step back before he could try to hold onto her. She crossed her arms again, using the edge of her pinky nail to fix her lipstick. “What happens now?” she asked a final time, still a half step too close. Nathan swallowed. “What happened to ‘screw heteronormativity?’” he asked, trying not to sound completely overwhelmed. India shrugged. “Still there. I think it was the speech that did it,” she said, as if discussing the results of an experiment. Nathan nodded once. “Or maybe because I told Noah I do what I want. Or maybe I’m just a stupid girl who’s into guys. Or maybe—“ “I get it,” Nathan said. “Can you drive me home?” India laughed then. “Yeah, Nathan. Let me get my keys.” (my bi wife Jess said I should post this)
  8. 1 point
    We love behind closed doors. Outside of these walls Were just a couple of kids Who listen to frank ocean too loud. They’ll never see our hands touching under movie theater seats. There will never be any prom photos Posted on Instagram tomorrow morning. I can’t kiss you tonight when I drop you off. But that does not mean that our love is any less. That doesn’t mean that when were alone I wont feel the same rush when you touch me. It doesn’t mean I won’t miss you tonight when I can’t go to sleep And your last text was hours ago. It doesn’t mean that when I look into your eyes I don’t get butterflies in my stomach. Just because our love might never see the light of day.
  9. 1 point
    At first it was my words that I said I would protect. Then, once that was gone, I said I wouldn’t make friends. It would be professional. And after I grew too close and realized too late, I said my age. My face. All of that was gone. My voice was one piece of identity I was determined to hold onto. Even though the odds of you knowing me in person were low and the odds of you finding me because of my voice were lower, my dad’s Red Scare-esque attitude towards my identity running loose on the internet was enough to keep me as a listener. But then there was that one little lapse of judgement, just once, just for a few seconds. It was quiet in my room. My breathing kept getting picked up, so I moved the microphone away from my face, twisted the cord in my hands. There was so much you didn’t know about me. There still is. Logan said he was leaving. His voice was as high-energy as I had expected. Not valley girl. I remember wondering what you guys imagined my voice sounding like. I knew I wouldn’t ever ask. Jess said something I didn’t quite hear. It made sense that her voice sounded like music. Logan repeated, my phone’s going to die and Jess replied something I couldn’t hear over my pulse in my ears and then I did it before I lost my nerve. I’m a calculating person. I have a hard time making snap decisions. But here I was, clicking and catching my breath and suddenly I just wanted to say hi before you left. That was it. But even though my pulse was still in my ears, I could hear a gasp from Jess’ mic and Logan make some unconscious little “woah” because I had said so many times that I wouldn’t say anything. And then I laughed. One more piece of my identity lost. I won’t say lost. Given. I gave you my voice. It makes me sad sometimes when I realize you don’t know things about me the same way my friends in real life do. You haven’t seen me break down in a classroom and then deliver a flawless presentation that was the cause of said breakdown ten minutes later. You haven’t seen my face light up, haven’t heard me scream at a basketball game. You haven’t rolled your eyes in unison when a new person tries to say my name. But you know other things. You know me, differently but the same. And I said I wouldn’t give myself to you. I’m glad I did.
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