New Earth

The Earth is a changed planet. Technology evolved us, invaded our lives and then it enslaved us.

We developed the simple barter system into much more complex and nuanced systems of acquiring things. We traveled further and further away from our homes until we discovered other cultures that we didn’t understand, and we called them barbarians so that we could try to tame each other.

Then we discovered technology, a new kind of fire that we could not control. It began with a wheel, steam engine and a light bulb that gave way to sky scrapers and rocket ships, the internet. Science continues to fuel our ongoing conversation with the Universe and little by little she is revealing her most closely guarded secrets to us, but what have we learned so far?

We continue to find ways that cause a divide by a language or a name or a weaker sex or a darker skin color. These are issues that should feel out of place in this century. Genetics will tell you that race is not a real thing. It derives from our places of origin, not as a construct of the Universe. Anatomy will tell us that men and women are different but we are not different enough to qualify as a different species. So how is it that women are sometimes excluded from the definition of ‘humans’ to whom basic human rights are owed? We are all made the same, with skin and bones and blood and veins. How is it that the only thing that matters isn’t kindness and love and brotherhood?

We can hold a world of knowledge in the palm of our hand, a world that we can barely understand; only this time we are the barbarians that need to be tamed by it.

If I could imagine a different world, I would re-imagine this one, with inhabitants that have a greater capacity to understand one another in a way that reflects our own understanding of the Universe. A species that can travel to the moon and back can surely figure out how to treat each other with common decency.

Our minds continuously refuse to be contained by both its intelligence and stupidity.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Interplanet Janet.”

Advertisements

Run

I need to write because I need to heal but there is part of me that I can never put on paper. There is a part of me that is filled with hate when it should be filled with love and I carry that burden around like a deep gash on my skin. I am constantly reminded of it.

Physical pain numbs my mind. My focus is shifted and I am given a moment in which I can forget, a moment so that I can pause and regroup, and hate myself a little less. It is not an escape, but an opportunity to rest before I must start running again.

I keep running but my destination is not a place my feet can take me.

There is a place in my mind, where I am 5 years old again, and I am able to trust you and laugh with you again like the last 19 years never happened – but they did, and you were taken away from me just like she was taken away from you and it made you bitter.

She still talks to me sometimes, and tries to bring me back to you and it’s not that I don’t want to listen, but her voice only makes me think of all the chances we lost and miss a life I never had, and that hurts too much so I block her out.

You should have fought for me when we still had a chance.

poison

I didn’t get to choose my existence. You didn’t ask me if I wanted to be alive, if I wanted to experience life with all its moments of triumph and euphoria or shattering defeat. I didn’t get to select my personality or my characteristics like ingredients from a catalog or pick them out like they were series of labeled bottles displayed on a shelf. Nobody asked me if I wanted my mother’s eyes or my father’s temper.

Here I am, a brand new combination of features and quirks and likes and dislikes.

If I got to choose, I would have tried to make myself more likable to you. I might have picked a face that didn’t remind you of your ‘biggest mistake.’ I might have chosen to like the same things you like and want the same things you want. If I got to choose I would have recast every cell in my body to make you want me but this was not something I could have changed with change from within.

I know now, that what I am to you has nothing to do with me. My shortcomings are a reflection of your own insecurities. Your inability to trust or love with all your heart makes me look naive, your inability to allow yourself to dream once in a while makes my choices seem irrational and idiotic. They have swirled inside you like a poisonous dark cloud that spread long before my existence.

You should have given me a chance though… A chance to feel like I was worthy of love even if you were not the one who would. A chance to feel like my feelings mattered even if they didn’t matter to you. I shouldn’t have to walk on this earth feeling discarded and unwanted because of what I see when I look at myself through your eyes.

I am done beating myself up over things that could never be. I am done trying to solve a maze when you keep building new walls. My purpose on this earth cannot be limited simply to trying to please you. You think of yourself as the artist who will turn my life into a work of art but how do you plan on pulling that off when you can only see the world in shades of grey and gloom?

I don’t know what you want from me and I am done trying to deliver it. Trying to please you is like trying to recreate your favorite dish without a recipe while wearing a blindfold. I am given no clues as to what you expect, except when I am wrong. It’s an impossible maddening quest that I think I can walk away from now, without being called a quitter. It’s not quitting if I’ve tried for as long as you know I have. I think I lasted longer than most people would.

limitless

Isn’t writing the most amazing thing? It is as close as humans will ever get to playing god. We can bow our heads, close our eyes and reimagine the entire universe. We can travel back in time or go way into the future. We can build up and destroy worlds or relive and rewrite our entire lives. We are adventurers, rebels, mythical creatures and the stuff of legends just changing the course of history. Perhaps the vastness of the universe was created to remind us of our own insignificance, but when we write we are creating something out of nothing, and in that moment we become limitless.

Vapor

I sat at the table, and stared at the picture frame in front of me. I stared until my eyes drew out of focus and the figures and colors turned into a blur. My mind drew backwards, further and further into a dark abyss.

I could picture her there, crying herself to sleep like I was recollecting something I had been a witness to, like I had watched over her but how could that be possible? I didn’t even exist back then. Is this what an out of body experience feels like?

I tried to talk to her like I sometimes would in my mind with the people I knew. She wouldn’t respond the way they did. I could only watch her now, like a ghost in the room.

I didn’t feel like her. Like myself. I felt like I was someone else, with the memories and the experiences of a younger version of me. Of her. I cared for her. I felt her pain. I wanted to look after her like a child. To comfort her and tell her she would be alright, but I couldn’t. I tried to reach out to her in my mind, but time flowed between us like a deep ­­ravine that separated us.

This all feels so unreal to me now. I remember the way things used to affect her. Things that used to hurt her don’t get to me anymore. I don’t feel anything. The only thing running through my head right now is this memory of her. A single thought has replaced all my emotions, ‘This would have hurt her but I don’t feel anything.’

Why don’t I feel anything?

I appreciate the lengths my mind has taken to keep me sane but this experience seems too foreign now. I am impalpable. Little by little I am being unhinged from the entrapment of my reality. It scares me because I thought I could make it. I mean, I have already come so far. How much longer could this last right?

That’s when I realize that I never made it at all, at least not with all the pieces of me intact. Some things had to be left behind to lighten my load but they hadn’t gone silently. Not without leaving behind an imprint of her to remind me of who I once was, maybe with the hope that I’ll find a way to be her again. To save her from the past and bring her back to life when it was safe for her heart to feel, and trust and love again.