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The Luck Of The Lexington Line
a very very creative nonfiction

In a cramped world with no breathing room, I was trying to be someone I'm not. Read more... )
memorialrainbow: (Someday Neverday)
She thinks that happiness is a mat that sits on her doorway. )
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I'm no longer sitting here
Alone at the piano
With nothing left to say
For you are by my side
Where you were to begin with
And I've finally found a role to play

Mix the blue with some red and seafoam green;
I hope you don't mind.
I'm a close encounter of the interborough transit kind

This you know, this I know, this we know
And that's how this story goes

A simple little part --
To play these keys by heart
'Till I'm destined to burn out
I ran through countless hallways
I hurt those I loved most
Because I couldn't be without

I still want to be an inspiration
A source for something true
I tried to search for an answer
And it always lead to you

This you know, this I know, this we know
And that's how this story goes

Ride the local to the end of the line
Where everything becomes new
I'm no longer searching for an answer
Because I finally found you

This you know, this I know, so it shows
And this is how it goes

For nobody really knows
How our story goes
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Just stop.

There's too much chaos. Too much spinning. None of it is your fault, but you magnify it by a great amount. I'm happy. I'm green. I'm safe. I'm figuring things out and then the rug is pulled out from underneath me and my backup systems kick in, I'm okay, I'm okay and then I'm not.

Estrogen makes me unpredictable. There are times I wish I was a guy. Maybe that's why women don't keep their plans. Maybe that's why we do as we are told, because the hormones make us do so.

"Are you okay?" No. I will not be okay. I'm okay with not being okay for right now. And I'm not okay with my space being violated. There is too much speed, too much scenery, too much everything right now.

I prepare, I jump, I breathe. I put aside my emotions because that is what I have been trained to do. It's simple. And it fits what you taught me how to do, to ignore the real world, to go back to that place where nothing makes sense and pain is something to be welcomed. I should have never expected it to be different. I should have yielded to you and obeyed your wishes like a good little girl. Instead, I am free. But what of that freedom? You are right. My Father will chase me down and make me His, and there is nothing I can do about it. Instead of figuring out what I want to believe, I must submit to a rule book eons old that teaches me how to be a godly woman, as if there is nothing higher to be attained by anybody of my sex.

Perhaps I'm running away from God. But it is you yourself who hastened this running.

It's blue outside. If I were in the city, I'd want to be outside. But today is not an outside kind of day. It's a stay inside and belittle yourself kind of day, a waste away kind of day. People change and there is nothing you can do about it. You change, there's nothing you can do about it, and yet it's all your fault and you should die. Shame on me for loving someone else instead of you. Shame on picking someone else. And The Lord will fire rain down upon me and take away that which I loved most, as I am apparently no longer his priestess. Who can be a priestess with a broken heart?

I ask the one person I know for advice. But it doesn't seem to matter. Nothing matters now that you're not here, now that I no longer serve your every need. I am a purposeless doll, and my freedom means nothing. Because nothing is as it seems.

But I am in charge of my own reality, am I not? That's what the old you said, the real you said, a long time ago. You said that I had the ability to change my world. I believed you, and you believed it too, so strongly that you left me in a blaze of glory. I followed you to my death in the streets of gold I so desperately wanted to be a part of.

Now, I don't know which you is the real you. I'm not sure I honestly care. My head is so lost and I'm so confused with the sudden and recent tragedies in my life that all I know is one mantra: LIVE. And that most important thing is here with me now. And I know now that I'm not just supposed to liberate him.

There's more to this story than meets the eye.

In the meantime, I will go to sushi tomorrow, and I will wait for the news, and sometime this week I will take to the skies with stars in my eyes. But one thing is for certain: I will never, ever, ever return for you.

And that is the best for both of us.

For it is Aptil 21, 2013, and now we are free.
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In reality, it has everything to do with timing.

I grew up with expectations. I’ve gone guru guru on this blog about that. It was do something with your talents or else. There were no middle grounds when it came to what I had been gifted with. But somewhere along the line, those who were in charge stopped seeing me as a tool and started seeing me as human (what a weird thing to be).

I wrote before on Facebook, when I was still writing Facebook notes (during my years at Miami, before I started publishing MemR) that I wanted the ability to choose. If it was my destiny to be something other than a famous musician, then I wanted to be able to choose that destiny for myself. It took an extra year at Brookover to realize that, and I think moving to NYC made my parents realize that I am my own person. And if it took the condition that I was living in the world’s greatest city to get there, well, so be it. I kind of had to come here anyway (let the reader understand).

But regardless, I am a woman with the power to choose for herself what the future holds, a woman who (for the most part) pays all her own bills and decides what apartment she lives in and holds that power like a torch. And perhaps I’m not an idiot for wanting to be a woman, instead of a girl. A girl listens and does what she is told at all times. A woman is free from that requirement -- at least, that’s my definition of it. Women aren’t children and therefore do not have to be submissive to their parents. Women just have to be women, with whatever dominant or submissive power they themselves have, and to own that power whatever it may be. The most important factor is that everybody has the power to choose for themselves -- no matter who they are. I believe that’s what America was originally founded on.

But I’m not gonna get on a soapbox right now. I’m just figuring out that I have potential to be a whole lot of things, and that my mother will not be mad at me for wanting to do these things, and being free to make these decisions -- it makes me happy. Who knows? Perhaps destiny really did start to spin again a year to the date. All I know is that I’m a different person than I once was, and I’m not really sure how I got there. It happened somewhere between NYCC and now.

Okay, that rules in one change. But other than the obvious.

Although one part of it is even more obvious now, ever since the onseason started again. Why do I feel so different? More secure in myself? I have a thought as to an idea, one that I have investigated before but in another. Perhaps I felt so stagnant, so guru guru all last year, because I was missing one very important component. And now that I have that component, it’s all ‘arms down, head back, and hold on’ and I don’t know what to do except directly that.

God throws things at us when we’re ready. And I’ve finally reminded myself that I’m ready. And I’m coming back to that for good this time, with a lot more expertise and a confidence in the woman I’ve become, in the woman I’m becoming.

Tuesday morning, in the dark...

I think it comes down to this, stranger: I grew up when you weren’t paying attention. All I had to do was jump on the train and I was whisked away from Neverland (more irony, let the reader understand) and to the land of the living, for the first time. And it’s possible to have both worlds. And it’s wonderful. We often said we were a team; when we let fear get in the way, we stopped being one and I started working by myself. And now, I have a new team of resources from both of my worlds that I have every confidence will not give way.

And we guru guru back to the start.

You are not someone you’re not. You’re only what you are, what I have made you, what you have claimed as your new identity. You don’t have everything figured out yet -- you’re just a kid in so many ways. And yet, you have this incredible maturity, this drive about you, that unwavering desire to be a part of something bigger than yourself. It’s what drives me to worry about you, not because you’re careless and you forget, but because, let’s say, endless sodium is an effect of your master plan. And as you find yourself, I am absolutely fine with running parallel to you, finding myself as well.

Mom and Steph will be in the city this weekend. I’ll have a lot of explaining to do. But I’ve changed ever since time stopped. I couldn’t control it, but I am ever grateful -- greatful -- for it. Maybe I’m not who my parents or my peers wanted me to be. But I am now who I wanted to be, even though I never knew what that was before.

Tonight, we will stay up late and drink Code Red and eat birthday cake Oreos and I will practice spelling words in squiggles and katakana. And when the local train lets us down at 168th, when “the (six) train is too late,” you’ll lead me up the elevator to where the train stamped with our city’s colors, and a registration tied into my own destiny, is waiting.

At the long last.
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I think that happiness is overrated.

Now, I’ve spoken on this subject many times before, but this is another time that I am discovering this. The Bible touches on it a lot, how we are supposed to suffer with a smile on our faces. Society tells us that we have to strive to be happy and do what we want. But in reality, what does that lead to? We always keep wishing for something more.

I don’t think it’s about suffering on purpose -- I think that makes you a martyr. But if things are bad you have to know that God is the one orchestrating everything, He’s in charge, and He’s always got your back. So you shouldn’t insist “God is the one doing all these bad things to me,” but you should be able to find peace in the storm and the strength to keep walking in it.

I think I originally got that wrong; always thinking that I had to suffer if I wanted anything good out of life. That it was my destiny to suffer. I can think of any number of verses that distort this. And yeah it goes back to that argument of society’s commercialization versus the path of righteousness, but I think there’s a middle ground there. I also don’t think that you should stay with someone who is clearly hurting you, or a situation where you are being hurt; I think that God wouldn’t give you anything you’re not able to handle -- and that for 100% sure is biblical. The question then is who gives us our troubles? God doesn’t, although He sometimes lets the devil tests us (Job). The rest of troubles are brought about by us, and the sin that happens when we divert from God’s track; take the Dyre Avenue Line, to give an example. That doesn’t mean there’s a direct 100% right way or you die and you’re a (words I can’t type because I’m at work).

The bottom line is: if you lose control, if you’re floating all guru guru and spinning in circles and not really going anywhere, it’s your responsibility to break out of that, to face forward and start going on the right track again. God lets us walk away in order to ultimately bring us closer to Him, in one way, shape, form, or another.

And as I write this, I think I fully understand the meaning of what He wrote. And I think He’s ultimately in charge of this. Not the most conventional way I’d go about the entire thing, but it seems to work. And as we both walk forward on the White Plains Line, I think God will use that link to strengthen both of us; it’s my prayer that He does, at least. I finally realize that I did not choose this; those are powerful words.

So it’s not happiness that I’m an opponent of. It’s the worthless pursuit of making things happen just to make them happen; it’s lethargy, in all its forms (you know who I’m looking at, let the reader understand); it’s the comfort zone of knowing where you want to stay and not striving for more; it’s staying with the person you love because it’s safe, even though they are no longer connected to you. “Why would we rather put ourselves through (heck) than sleep alone at night?” It’s contentness, in all its forms; it’s civil war for the purpose of fighting and fighting alone to cause drama and to shake up the world; it’s trying to solve a problem with registrations and installations you yourself create; it’s waking up earlier than God intended you to.

I always wondered how God could let “that” happen. And yeah, I know I’m here in the city because of it, I know that if everything hadn’t happened the way it did I might not be here. But I might. He knew I loved the city, and even though he was against it, I’m positive he would have embraced it for my sake; but now I’m thinking it was God’s divine intervention to keep him in the place where his heart desired and ultimately has thrived (let the reader understand). And in doing so, He began the path that would ultimately lead me here.

So now what am I doing? Trying to patch together a solution by running wires and manipulating ties? Those who are loudest and push for their own agendas are farthest from God. It’s the quiet ones, the submissive ones, who get it. And I think we could all take a page from that in a way that does make male and female equal. Yes, God created us different, but somewhere along the line people started viewing one skillset as more important than the other, causing the problems we have today. And I have to wonder if this is another example of pushing one’s agenda (furthering a career or traveling around the world or what have you) over God’s. I’m not saying God’s will is the only thing you need to be doing (as that desensitizes the entire situation and makes women objects!) and I’m also not saying that every person on Earth has to become a mindless slave to the system of furthering on our process. Rather, far from it: the process should be as unconventional and as specialized to each person, each area, each country as possible, whether America or Japan, whether Indiana or Arizona or Ohio or wherever.

But I digress. If God calls you to corporate, go corporate. If God calls you home, go home. If God calls you to be a roller coaster, then for goodness sake, be the most awesome roller coaster you can be. One must be flexible and always listening for His voice, steady in their dedication to the track but always willing to move along that clothoid loop, that batwing, that bunny hill or overbanked turn.

But you can’t be content. You can’t sit on your butt and eat ramen for the rest of your life and guru guru. You can’t work at the same restaurant that frustrates you. You can’t refuse something just because you’re scared. And you cannot fail to rise to the occasion to claim what is rightfully yours by birthright, lest you trade it for the soup of contentness and forever fall out of favor.

You can’t fall to your hormones somewhere between Canal and Spring on the N line. No matter how you may protest, subway trains don’t go backwards. To make it work, you have to take the N to 42nd, transfer to the 2, up to 149th Street Grand Concourse where the White Plains Line begins. And once you accept that, once you turn and you don’t look back and you embrace what God has put right in front of you -- instead of trashing it or ignoring it or treating it horrible -- God’s will is made clear, in the form of a mirrored parallel and two hearts becoming one. For what God has brought together, let no man -- or angel -- tear apart.

(stamp) Destiny.

It’s not what you think it is, Oginome.

I guess I can use this as a suitable analogy. One of my favorite anime, Mawaru Penguindrum, features a school girl by the name of Ringo Oginome (her name is Ringo for the same reason that my computer’s name is Ringo). Her older sister, Momoka, died a long time ago before she was born, leaving behind an eerie diary that foretells events that happen. Momoka’s death tore apart her family and those Ringo has come to love, and she senses something’s not right. The way she tries to fix this is by becoming Momoka in her place, recreating the curry her family used to make and trying to get in good with Momoka’s old love interest, to the point where it obsesses her (my associate keeps saying she’s ‘psycho’ but I prefer ‘misunderstood’). See, the problem is that nobody can properly replace Momoka. In order to really make destiny happen, Ringo just needs to be herself and to let those around her (read: Shoma) lead her to that place with sunshine and flowers where she can be truly joyful.

Of course, this IS Penguindrum we’re talking about, let the reader understand. Destiny starts to spin, and until Kanba and Shoma make everything right and bring the truth to light again, it will continue to guru guru for them as well. The theme song even makes reference to this: “destiny begins to spin.”

As it does now.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the reason why the six train is too late.
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Ladies and gentlemen, as you exit, please be careful of the gap between the platform and the train. )

Ladies and Gentlemen, because of a police investigation at 125th Street, there are delays in 4, 5, and 6 trains at this time.

Downtown 4 trains are terminating at 149th Street -- Grand Concourse.
Downtown 6 trains are terminating at Third Ave -- 138th Street.

Uptown 5 trains are running on the 2 line.
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So I decided Facebook didn't do a good enough job of summarizing my year with posts -- so I figured I'd do it myself. At the end of my junior year at Miami I wrote a very Broadway-esque piece about, well, my junior year. Here it is again, with updated words that talk about 2012...because it kind of sucked.

These halls I walk
-- these tunnels echo
of faded times and long ago
I walk these lines
These numbered back roads
Waiting for the day
When I'll say "hello"

The empire stands
Strong and proud as ever
By the chandelier
Just like it did last fall
-- after all, after all
"it's just a game?" -- It's not a game!
Still, I'm the one who leaves behind the paper cranes --

and I'd do it all the same
Just to hear your name one more time
I'd do it all the same
Just to know your name and make it mine

See, I wake up at eleven o'clock
And everyone's at WORK
I've got someone who won't stop acting
Like a total jerk
And here I sit still unaware
Of the background noise and the meaning of the hair
So what, six train? I'll ride you again
To the Hudson Metro Line

Say ichi, ni, san!
One and a two and a three and a four
Ichi, ni -- nan?
How could I remember --
lonely night at the carnival and come all who are strong
Take away where I belong, no
Give me back where I belong!!

and I'd do it all the same
Just to hear your name one more time
I'd do it all the same
Just to know your name and make it mine

-- stop, hammer time! (piano solo)

He's strong and sure, and doesn't need help
With his eyes held straight, an unwavering gaze
Tie a yellow ribbon around my neck
And let me go again
He'll never be alone, you see
For I've got hope in the kaleidoscope
Help me find this destiny line
And blast me off again!

Oh, this damned life
Screwed damned score
Rewrite this life to what I had before
Out, damned girl
That damned tour -- stop!

The music quiets as I board the nearest train
I'm done -- tired with failure -- tired with life
It's times like these I wonder what I came to New York for
And then I think of you
And I remember, for sure --

Every sad, unpaid day these walls echo of
Every Code Red, every battle
Every late train, every song
Every promise that I whispered under lights that won't come true
Every booth and every mint tea,
Every word and every tune
Everything that I did this year
Somehow leads me back to you

Because when it comes down to it...

I'd do it all the same
Just to hear your name one last time
I'd do it all the same
Just to know your name
I'll make it mine...

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a really really really creative nonfiction

    She's standing behind the microphone when he enters the room, blue guitar in hand, boom stand placed firm and center. A bit boho chic, but feathers in her hair, and the happiest blue eyes he's seen in a long time. She's comfortable, confident; he hasn't seen a lot of people like her before. A sound engineer sits behind her at the board, and a bunch of hip-hop artists and aficionados sit in the audience, every eye on the white girl on stage in this small cafe.
    Her words meld with her guitar as she plays, the open mic night continuing as he finds a seat in the back.

    Irony strikes in the form of lightning
    God's tears fall across my face
    Keep the bittersweet memories spinning
    I can't forget this place

    The song ends. Five seconds later, he realizes he forgot how to breathe.
    Her outgoing personality keeps him in the corner as she catches up with everybody in the building, chats with the barista, gives the owner a quick hug. She constantly steps back to the sound board engineer, and he catches something in her eye. So that's it, he knows, but he doesn't at all.
    It's only a matter of time before she finds him. "Haven't seen you here before," she says, extending her hand.
    He shrugs it away, explains that he just got to New York City for his first year of college. "Tell me more," she says, so he does, though he doesn't know why. He tells her of his upbringing in upstate New York, how he just got to the city for college, how he's at a coffeeshop on a Thursday night and not a bar because of his age, how he's just a normal kid in the big city.
    "Don't be ashamed of your age," she tells him with a smile. "I'm only nineteen myself. And I'd be in school if I wasn't pursuing music so hard." She crosses her legs, accepts a water from the barista she knows so well, makes herself at home. "I'm originally from the Midwest, actually. Born in Indiana, raised in Ohio. I've always loved music, though. When I was eleven, I raised money for Hurricane Katrina victims by releasing a single in my hometown. Since then, I knew I wanted to perform, but everybody at home kept trying to put me into a mold. It took forever to convince my parents for me to come here by myself."
    She laughs, her blue eyes still bright. "Yeah, I'm here by myself! Took me a while to figure out how I was going to do this, but I got in touch with some people and I'm crashing on their couch in Washington Heights for a while. It's way different than Ohio was, that's for sure. I've been doing that for a year now. My poor parents didn't know what to do with me. They're more used to my older sister; she's more grounded, more athletic, everything I'm not." She chuckles. "Prettier, too, I think. She's my hero."
    The engineer stops by her, says he's leaving; she smiles at him as he goes. "He has no clue," she says, her speech straight as a pin. "Whatever. The love of his life is upstate. Maybe you've met her in passing and you don't even know it." She laughs, but this time, he senses the bitterness. "You know how they say that you are your own worst critic?"
    He nods, explains he's trying to be a writer, a photographer, but it's harder than it looks. There's a difference between taking pictures with a smartphone and freelancing Photoshop work. "I understand," she tells him, pointing at the feathers in her long braided hair, her blue tunic and long tan skirt. "You see this outfit? I designed it myself. I'd love to be a fashion designer, maybe after I hit it big as a singer. Though I might try to play something other than guitar. I've always wanted to play piano. Do you know anybody who plays piano -- wait, you wouldn't. You just moved here." She laughs. "Sorry."
    The barista delivers a water and two cookies to them both. "He's cool," she explains. "He's been here forever. You know how the word 'hipster' is like really big right now? This seems like that type of place. Don't you think so?"
    He nods, says he's quite the hipster himself, with the carefree dark hair, the beanie cap, the glasses, the light flannel and skinny jeans and Converse. The expensive camera around his neck may try to throw off the image somewhat, but it still works.
    "I'm kind of a hipster," she says, looking into his brown eyes. "But I think I'm just me. What's your name again? I don't know if I ever got it."
    Again, he forgets to breathe, not sure why, but he spits it out in between bites of cookie.
    She giggles. "I'm Emily. Nice to meet you."
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How do you define it? Is it the loss of your senses? The inability to remember who you are, who your loved ones are? Or is it when you try to redefine the parameters to what they were previously defined to be, only to have the plan fail time and time again? To stand at the crossroads and declare, "This is how it should be."

And to be turned away.

"We're sorry that you're not qualified for your own job."

"I love you, but this just isn't going to work out."

Expectations are shattered, and I shiver in the heat of my room, stifling and suffocating and can it all just end now? But I'm not an idiot, and everybody knows by this point I'm not an idiot. But it hurts. It hurts so much, like I'm falling in the sky and I can't stop.

This wasn't supposed to happen.

But it never is. It always comes out of left field, a whisper of "what are you doing here?" and then it hurts like a broken promise and you're not there, you don't care. And it all shatters, and it collapses, and I pick up the pieces and I become normal again and everything is perfect and pretty and I add one more color to the collection.

And the voice echoes out from the train tracks, "it's over." And everybody is happy.

But somewhere in the back room, she sits with her long purple hair and regalia, praying for a corrected timeframe, praying for patience and alignment and knowing God doesn't do anything foolishly. Maybe she knows the truth. Maybe nobody does. Maybe I'm just making things up as I go along. But maybe this is real. Maybe I really am an expert at this.

Maybe God doesn't play tricks.

What are you fighting for? If you lose that, that's when you hit insanity. You stop being yourself. You start being somebody else. For me, I've discovered that it's my writing. To stray from that dream is to pursue insanity, to follow a blind path of the wolf. Yes, I still have my music, but my dream to be a writer should always be right there, in front of me, something I should chase.

If I take a six train, I'll be too late
Don't be afraid; take me with you!
Just snatch your questions out of midair.

It's not that simple, although it is. It's messed up, but it's all right. Everybody gets happy endings but me. I'm the one with the misaligned destiny, who wants to be a writer but should be a musician but is neither so shame on her. And in the end, I'm used as a friend and nothing means anything and I'm just playing but I'm not. I'm honest, but nobody cares, and I get nowhere, and I can't perform, and you lose your patience. I become a friend. Just a friend. And the door is closed, and I lose my worth, and I fade away. A doll. A tool. And the five train arrives at Flatbush Avenue, right on time.

I have a message for the world: everything gets better. If you're caught in a tough situation, just believe it will be fine. And that's great. Because I can give advice about these types of things, but I know that it'll never happen to me. Not even the dropped bass can save me now.

It's okay. It will all go away.

You will go away.

As it always happens.
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Who are we behind closed doors, and what face do we show the world?

I've been struggling with this question for some time now. I've always been a very behind closed doors person, which comes from my childhood. Being the odd ball out, I was the only person who understood me, and so, I would close the doors to my playroom, creating stories and being inspired and not telling a soul about any of it. And I enjoyed it, but I knew that at some point, the creativity would have to be unmasked.

When the LRPLI was in its heyday, I was able to create stories and distribute them to the other members. Even if nobody else understood, I had an audience. I remember watching an episode of Sailor Moon, my personal favorite, where a friend of Makoto's (Lita) was a writer who had a severe case of writer's block. Makoto reminded her of her dream. "As long as one person read your work, you would keep writing for the sake of that one person! That was your dream, wasn't it?"

I first did NaNoWriMo in 2005, alone in my basement. When I moved to Miami, I took NaNoWriMo on the road. I kept writing, even though my focus was on music. But I was still used to having my genius hidden, although it felt like a crime to do so. This January, I figured out why: because music is where I hide, but writing is what I want to share with the world.

I tend to forget that. I tend to also forget that it's okay if I don't make a living off of it. I give myself a lot of flak for 'not doing more to further my writing career.' A friend called me a hipster the other day. While I suppose I don't represent the culture in its entirety, I guess that's not too far off the mark. I've spoken before of being inspired by Jonathan Larson's work, the lifestyle he lived, wanting to do that as well. Now that I am, I couldn't be happier...except when your family ain't happy, sometimes you ain't happy as well.

Where does your confidence come from? Your parents? Your readers? For me, I've figured out where my confidence comes from. It's a secret, extremely painful at times, but it keeps me going unlike anything else. If I could only write for one person, I know who that person is. And I think it'll bring a flurry of new activity, as it always does.

NaNoWriMo is going quite well. I'll have updates on the main site as it happens. I'll have to be a bit quiet about the plot, of course, but that's understood. I'll start writing music once I drag out my keyboard. I'll send the recordings over the Metro-North line, perhaps not only to the south, but to the north as well.

And still my heart is saying...

If my feelings can't scare you away, then what will? If one day, if one meeting can change the course of history, will it? Will this actually mean something? Could this be what I've been waiting for, finally, after all this time?

Why does the sky seem so wide again? Why is the Lexington line super-express? The key to your heart; flying high on ancient wings; the odds and ends fall from the sky; one thousand paper cranes make a wish come true. Questions I may never have the answers to, but I'm okay with asking.

I won't ask questions.

I won't tell myself it'll all come to an end, that I make these mistakes all the time, that I don't deserve love -- or worse, life.

I'll just live.
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I couldn't get it into my head --
the rhythm of goodbye.

March 28, 2008, approx. 10:00 PM.

He stops walking.
The hustle and bustle of the city surrounds him, cars blazing past, people talking, horns blaring, noise upon noise upon noise. And yet...and yet he swears he just heard his name called. Like somebody is looking for him.
He looks to his right, then his left; nobody looks familiar. This area doesn't look familiar. When did he get to Herald Square? The only way he's able to tell is because the Macy's signs are still lit up, and the M34 bus still runs at this time of night.
At this time of night -- he thought he was back in Washington Heights. How did he get all the way down here?
"Well, don't you look lost."
He jumps and turns toward the voice. Nobody there. He adjusts his hat and heavy jacket; it's cold, even in March. New York rivals Chicago for windy, dark days. Life near Lake Erie has prepared him for this, though.
He's more concerned about where that voice is coming from.
"Over here." This time, with a chuckle. He follows the voice and ducks under the Empire State Building's entrance, an overhang regally lit. There are two guards, and plenty of tourists, but still nobody else. It's late. His ears are playing tricks on him. He shoves his hands into his pockets and looks at his reflection in the window -- short stature, skinny build, coat's too big for him. Stringy black hair kept short, blue -- wait.
His eyes are brown.
He jumps a foot away from the glass, then turns -- and there he is. Tall, formidable, in a white uniform with blue stripes. A police officer with snow white hair and piercing blue eyes that are so blue, he thinks they're green. They probably are green.
The man with the white hair speaks again. "Nice night for a walk in Herald Square, am I right?"
The boy holds his distance. Strangers usually don't talk to him. He's quiet enough that he can slip by somebody unnoticed. He doesn't want to be noticed. But he's done this college stint in New York City since September, and he can handle anything...right?
He puts up his fists. "Stand back."
"Oh, I have no intention of hurting you. It's just that you looked so familiar." Snow White looks deep in thought. "Am I right, Aki-chan?"
HIs now blue eyes widen. Before he knows it, his memories take him back -- to the girl with braids in her long brown hair and starry blue eyes, the girl who drew in her spare time and apparently created music, though he had never bothered to listen to it. The way she listened to him. The way he had played with her, sat next to her...kissed her. The times he stayed up until two in the morning. The fights they had, the lies he told, the feelings of rejection. He had felt justified back then. She was wrong. He was sure of it. If she couldn't handle it, she could leave.
But there is a man here, in Herald Square, right in front of him, with white hair and a commanding presence about him, and he had just called him Aki-chan. A name only she knew. A name she had given him.
It couldn't be.
"You're not one of...them, are you?"
The white haired man laughs. "You deduce well, Aki-chan. I'm aware that she tried to tell you. I'm also aware that you didn't listen."
Aki-chan fumes. "Who are you to --"
"Are you aware that she's in this city, right now?"
He freezes. That girl -- his smiling girl, the one he lost -- she was here? In New York City? He feels his heart leap. Where is she?
But he can't just ask that. He can't really go to see her, no matter where she is. She is a woman, after all, and he is a man. They have their divisions, their separations. That is, after all, how it should be --
"She's up there." The white haired man points up. "Eighty six stories up, on the lower observation deck. Jesse's up there with her. And so am I, in one form or another."
Aki-chan stops breathing. "How do you know all of this?" Even though he already knows the answer.
Another laugh. "Let's just say I watch out for her. She's very important to me, just like she's very important to you, Aki-chan."
He blushes. "Is she really up there?"
"Of course she is. I wouldn't lie to you. She's on a class trip, all the way from little old Oxford." The white haired man crosses his arms. His green eyes do not leave Aki-chan. "To be honest, she picked up two free postcards in the lobby. One for her, and one for you. I don't know if she'll ever mail yours, but she's been thinking of you the entire trip. Wondering if she'll somehow run into you, even though it's such a big city."
His knees buckle.
She wasn't kidding.
What she said -- that night --
could it be true?
He looks up at the landing's brightly lit ceiling. Eighty six stories separate him and the one person who has cared about him. He left her for society, lied to get her off of his case. A victim of circumstance. She tried to push his limits, and he had pushed her away.
But now -- now that she is so close -- what can he do? There is nothing he can do. Tradition prevents that.
He hears his name again. In a girl's voice. Aki-chan? He has never actually heard her voice before, but he knows it's her. And he can't control what he is feeling anymore.
It's too late. I'm too late.
Can you hear me? It's me, Aki-chan! I'm sorry! I'm so sorry...

He jumps; looking up, he sees the white haired man has knelt by his side, putting one hand on his shoulder. His green eyes are still on Aki-chan. "I'm going to give you one chance," he says. "While this is still fresh. While you still remember how to feel something other than what you've been taught. While you're still outside your fence. This is the only chance we'll get." He takes a deep breath. "Aki-chan...what do you really want?"
Nobody has ever asked him that before. Really asked him, not about food or clothing preferences, but about his life plan. About what he really wanted to do. He has always assumed he'll go into business, start a family, live in happiness in Cleveland for his years. Until this past summer, and the heartbreak that followed. A childhood dream lived out, shattered at the end.
And she was there, heartbroken as well. She had picked up his pieces and made him whole again, and he hadn't ever realized that...until now.
She had written a song about it. About that summer. She had even sent it to him, until he had told her he couldn't listen to it and she insisted he destroy it.
"More than anything..." His words come out uneasy in the cold March wind. "More than anything, I want to hear her sing."
The man touches Aki-chan's lips with his finger, and he can now see the green in his eyes. He gasps as a shiver runs down his spine. It's an electricity he's never felt before. Uncomfortable. This man can read him like a book.
Who is he -- who is really? What relation does he have to her? Is he -- is he really her --
"If you can't hear her sing, then you can become her voice." Then, wings spread wide, and Aki-chan is caught in the shadow of feathers, long white feathers with soft down, real feathers that rise and fall as the white haired man breathes.
"I'm dreaming," he says. "She isn't really here. She hates me."
"Oh, quite the contrary," the man turned angel says back. "It may be a while. She isn't ready yet. You're not ready yet. I can't tell the future, but I can make sure you meet again, make sure she sings to you. Would you like that?"
Aki-chan nods. Any disbelief is beyond him. Her angel is in front of him. "Yes."
"Well, then." And Aki-chan feels the angel's lips graze his forehead, and then his hat is gone, naked before the Lord, turned inside out and invisible by those green eyes. For God's messenger has been sent to this lonely lost boy, and this is all real, and maybe he's wrong, and maybe she really will sing for him someday.
He feels his eyelids go heavy and hears the angel's words. "Fight for what you want, Aki-chan. Not just for you, but for her. Because when you come back, you'll be coming back as someone special, as someone she loves. I have a feeling you'll be a great present to her when she needs you most."
Aki-chan's last words are just a breath. "What will I be?"
Micky smiles. "Her muse."
memorialrainbow: (Default)
"I have come to a realization about Orthodox Jews."
"Yes, they missed the boat. Yes, they have some unfair rules (IMHO). No, I don't think they are, as my friend mentioned, "misinformed women-haters" (long story). They *are* nuts. There are some things I will never understand about them."
"And yet...they are some of the most fun, wonderful, and loveable people around."
"...Well, one of them, anyway..."

I wonder --
in the spring, when I go, will I see you?
memorialrainbow: (Default)
I'm happy to be alive. I'm happy to be here.

Runaway, here to stay
Could you be scared of me?

When bad memories from the past resurface themselves, you can be nervous about that. You can run away from those memories, though. You can put bad memories in the past, and keep the memories you want. The love. The dreams.

What's to hide? Just my pride
A few words in any key

When I still catch my breath when someone mentions his name, and then I remember...he's never speaking to me again. But isn't that what you said, over a similar misunderstanding?

Can't be seen by day
I've locked myself away
But close your eyes, hear me inside

This is one of my favorite songs. I wrote it for you, you see. I wrote a *lot* of songs for you, actually. Even when you left, I couldn't get you off my mind. I knew you couldn't hear my voice, so I wrote you this song.

Can't escape
Only wake
From a good dream gone wrong

I wrote Dual about you, too. In the original press, it features Jesse and me in a car, talking with a police officer about all the songs we have stored in the trunk of our car. We're told that we can't take them into the next country, and I insist we keep the musical pieces, the ones I don't sing on. "Now what?" "I don't know, got any ideas?" And that's when I start playing.

Haven't you forgotten we're all ordinary men?
Though you've had enough, I won't give up

I also wrote Memory Eraser about you. And Fantoccino. And Encore, where the D.V.Crew raps *specifically* for you. And I'm sure there are a good few songs I am forgetting. I even tried on purpose to write an album for you, just so I could ship it all the way to New York City. In 2008, when I came here, I half-expected to see you on the street corner. When I moved here, I kept looking for you. I'm *STILL* looking for you, even though you're more than likely long gone.

I wish that you could hear my song
When did distance make the words go wrong

And now you're here.

But now I know this much is true
When the sun fades I will find you

"More than anything...I wanted to hear you sing."

More than anything...I wanted to see your smiling face again. I wanted to know you had forgiven me. And in one way or another, you have. That smile, those brown eyes turned blue, the hat. You haven't given up who you are, and you've only become some thing more. I can't explain it. I gave up explaining it a long time ago. But I know better now.

My days of roaming are done...because I found you.

You'll hear me in your dreams.

When the bad memories come for me, I turn and I run into your arms. And then, I sing for you. I'll always sing for you.

תודה רבה
memorialrainbow: (Default)

Can I get my 2011 back? 2012 has kind of sucked so far. I got the floor pulled out from under me on the five train -- late, late, FUCKING LATE. And my new work schedule, while I like it, has me dog-tired.

I'd like to talk about two things tonight.

The first is food.

Oh, em, gee. I just went to Fairway to get some perishables and I'm so glad I did. I feel so much better now that I've arrived home with tomatoes and celery. I'm pretty sure I'm obsessed with both; so tonight for dinner I had chicken salad with celery, along with about a half a tin of grape tomatoes (addicting!!!) and a bit of hummus and ranch. I'm slowly getting used to hummus. It's weird, but good. I just have to tell myself it's peas. Right? Maybe?

The other thing I'm noticing is that I'm not who I once was.

There's a disappointing difference between Ohio-Emily and New York-Emily. When I see me in Ohio, I see me in Brookover, hanging out in my apartment, eating food and watching TV and sitting down. When I see me in New York, I see me running to the ferry. Every time. That's just one of the things that has changed. Before all of this happened, I thought I was incapable of change. I was going around in the same circle, over and over again, the same rut and everything.

When everything started happening that summer, when my life changed...I can't explain it. Even now, a half of a year later. Although there is someone I need to thank for it -- and that person really is Dylan. See, if Dylan hadn't been such a dick and moved to Madison this summer to pursue his dreams, I wouldn't have gotten so pissed off at him. And I mean, I was really pissed off at him, because I had spent all that time waiting for him to graduate from Miami and NOW HE WAS LEAVING ME FOR AN ENTIRE SUMMER. What had happened to us going together?

But I figured, hey, he could go and get his foot in the door, and then either he can come home and stop dreaming those crazy dreams or he could become rich and famous and move me out there. And so I let it slide. Until I realized that by letting Dylan move, I had lost my riding buddy. And there was no way in hell I was going to let the summer pass me by without going to the Point at least once.

That was mid-June, when I saddled up my car and went to Cedar Point all by myself, because I could. The extreme success of that trip (known as the Royal Tour) led to the road trip to Madison for New Years. (For those of you who have lived under a rock, my New Year is July 16th at 10:00 PM. Every year. Don't ask why. There's a Chinese New Year, there's a Jewish New Year, and I get my own, too.) During this trip, I learned a lot about myself -- that I could drive with an eyelash in my eye, that I was capable of driving a car cross-state, and most importantly, that I could go to New York City all by myself. That was, honestly, the scariest thing I'd ever done.

(It was also during this trip that the 'ride warrior' idea that Cedar Fair has so fantastically planted in everybody's mind took root, and the entire drive home was spent immersed in a post-apocalyptic Point with a New York chick named after a coaster. YES, THUNDERBOLT, I AM LOOKING AT YOU.)

But more about that scary thing. I feel like my entire life, I've been able to hide behind what's easy, because I do it so well. I'm talking about my music. Whenever it came up, for a choice or what not, I was like, "Oh, I'll just do music with my life." It was never hard, because music was like breathing. So I went through life without a lot of trouble. The first trouble I really came up against was when I didn't want to become famous, so I moved home after graduating from Miami and started working at the Job. And even then, all I did was beat myself up.

Going into that city by myself...that was the scariest thing I had ever done. It reminded me of the first time I got on the Vortex. Anything else was like not living. I had to do it.

Back to my story, and then I'll talk more about how life = hard. If it weren't for Dylan, I wouldn't have driven to Madison and discovered all those things about myself. I really am capable of more than I thought. That's what I told myself then.

And then, in the space of one night...something really, seriously catastrophic happened. I don't like talking about it. Some people have an idea. TTR readers know what it is. It's a secret. And it has nothing to do with Dylan. But what happened that Thursday night was so life-changing that I had no choice but to move to New York as a result. What I had lost was so important that I couldn't wait to find it again.

That part of my life has been completed, and as a result, I'm now here. The Ohio Emily mentality is long gone. And Dylan is still here. He still pisses me off, and he pisses me off a lot, actually. But I love him. The cycle of hatred and misunderstanding has been broken, and I am confident in saying that Dylan isn't going anywhere.

He's that into me.

From what I've learned this summer, I want life to be hard. I want to take ownership and understand how life works, to do my own taxes and pay my own rent and not have anybody else do it for me. To 'drive myself.' Whatever that takes, I'll get there. I'll become a published author, and I want to work on my career in music, too. Not a fame-based career, something more along the lines of teaching or writing professionally. Something to keep me going until I find my way.

Until then, I have the Job. I understand that writing takes time. So I better get good at this Job -- not because it's something to do, but because I really do like it. And I love being there. It's enough that I think I'll move to the Island -- I still hate it, and I'd want to live close to the ferry, but not in a house, Aoiko. And perhaps from here, I can really, truly rebuild my life the way I want it.

I have Dylan to thank for that. I really do. I love you, so much. I normally don't gush about it a whole lot, and especially not on this blog. You changed me, sweetheart, for the better. Thank you.

And to you. You know who you are. You showed me that my life could be rebuilt, with the truth. I would follow you, and I will follow you, no matter where you go.

Because of you, I am never alone.

Thank you.
memorialrainbow: (Default)
More than anything...

What would you say to that? What would you want more than anything? What if one person, just one person, came to you and requested something of you? What would you do then?

It's hard to explain what I'm thinking. How about I put it this way -- how about I tell it in a story? Yes, that's what I'll do; even though it might sound cryptic, it's what I want to write.

Three years ago, I met somebody. We shared something in common, and because of that, we grew closer. We were good friends, actually, come to think of it. But what happened afterward...I couldn't forgive for it. I couldn't remember.

I wrote. I wrote in my sadness, I wrote hoping that this person would hear me. I wrote songs about dreams, and singing, and the loss of memory. I had hoped that someday, everything could be made right. When I walked these faded streets, when I rode, when I soared, I think...I think still, a little part of me wished...

Now what?

Under the green night sky, I saw you standing there, looking away from me.

I'm used to your sleeping face at two in the morning,
your dear appearance.

No matter what, I can't forget everything --
no matter how hard I try to forget.
In my dreams, I take one last picture.
It's bittersweet.

But --
"I love you. I love you. I love you."
I'm glad, even if that's all there is.

When we kissed in the rain,
the memories tied us together.
I know this won't last forever -- I can't explain this well --
but since I met you, every day has become a brilliant star.

I can't help but wonder --
when I go in the spring, will I meet you?

But --
"I love you. I love you. I love you."
You gave me happiness.
"I love you. I love you. I love you!"
Even if that's all --

Decorating this tiny room are two smiling faces --
a photograph of love.
memorialrainbow: (Default)
I had an interesting conversation with my friend Doug over text today. Somehow, we got to talking about dreams.

Doug: What's the six train about?
Me: It's a cryptic thing. But it basically means that I've found my dream. And it's on the five, not the six.
Doug: But you keep taking the 6? (Thank you for stating the obvious, you silly puppy you.)
Me: That's why the six is late. When I got back to town after vacation, I took the two to the end of the line, where the five stops as well. I got some answers there. Some of them cryptic, yes, but others make more sense.
Doug: Sounds like you've learned some good things.
Me: So whatcha gonna do once you're done with your student teaching?
Doug: Good question. Wishing I knew what dreams to chase.
Me: Hm. I think you just need to take your own train to the end of the line. Chances are you already know what you want but there are doubts, fears, set ways that keep you from getting there. Me, I was lucky. I had a life changing event happen to me that moved me and fast. But it doesn't happen like that all the time. Think back to the last time that you were afraid. Like, you did what you wanted and no matter what you didn't hold back...I'm sure there should be at least one point in your life when you acted without thinking of what others were thinking of you.
Doug: Yeah. You're probably right.
Me: I am right.

Because I'm cool like that XD

I've been thinking, while sitting here listening to my favorite music, getting ready for flexibility training and wishing I could just jump out of my window and fly. What will I do tomorrow? The same things I am doing tonight, but I will be free. I'll probably stay up late and do a few extra things. I recorded some tonight, did some lines, and I'll hopefully work on writing, too.

It's these little things that I guess I can find a way to live for. The smile on your face, the way my heart feels, the path I know I'm chasing. I'm so far away, but I'm so close. If I can keep chasing the dream, that's how I will keep running.

To you.

I don't want the express to stop.
memorialrainbow: (rin)
I dream, I wake up, I go through my day, I dream, I wake up. This is my life these days.
I dreamed that I was on stage, behind the Korg, as you stood in front playing your guitar and singing out loud. I hit every note the way I needed to, in perfect unison, with the crowd cheering and praising until the power went out and when I opened my eyes, you weren't there.
I dreamed that you brought pizza into the radio station and almost dropped it when you saw me. We talked for hours, catching up, talking about old times and trading stories. But when I opened my eyes, my boss was standing outside the van, cell phone in hands and a blank look on his face.
I dreamed that we were dancing together, and you took my hand and whirled me around to the music. I dreamed that I took your last name, that we strung the red thread of fate around our fingers, and swore we would never be apart. Until you said you were sorry and I stared at the ceiling, praying for you to come back.
I dreamed that I was back on your couch, Diet Sunkist in hand, as we watched the movie. I closed my eyes and felt the sugar high and you led me through that night, and when I woke up, the can was gone and my mother was scolding me for being a bad girl.
I dreamed that you were still talking to me again. I dreamed that you put your arm around me and kissed me like you used to, and I stole that hat off of your head and you let me keep it. I dreamed that you weren't critical of me, like you once used to be, and that you never, ever lied to me. I still wish you hadn't.
I dreamed of Tuesday mornings and late nights, of Christmas lights and penguins and trust that was broken, of a reality that wasn't a dream. I dreamed that, when we talked on the Eiffel Tower, that you changed your mind. I woke up and we both cried.
I dreamed that I stopped losing people. I dreamed that you came back and decided that you were going to love me, and me alone. I dreamed that I met you at the altar and we swore we would love each other forever. But that's just a dream. That could never happen.
I had another dream recently. I was riding the one train home from Washington Heights, and you texted me saying you were in Times Square. I wasn't sure how you had gotten all the way from the edge of the world to Times Square. All I knew was that I could catch an express train at 96th Street to get to you quicker. I woke up, and I wasn't even in New York City, but I could still feel your smile on my lips.
This time, when I'm awake, I will go to Times Square and become your knight in shining armor, because some dreams deserve to come true.

Those of you who read TTR might want to go there too.
memorialrainbow: (Default)
I don't want to lose this love or give it, give it up
In the winter, my heart sways in the hot wind
Even now, I still don't believe the words.
But they remain stuck in my mind

We can't meet; I wonder where my feelings are
I want to see you, but I'm having trouble finding my phone
Even though I wish the distance between us would close soon
What could I possibly send to you, unpredictable boy?

I think of writing a haiku; I want to find where your heart is
One, two, three -- slowly, the final train goes by
"Ah, I've got some free time now" -- is this my chance to see you?
Pushing the buttons little by little
I close my eyes and pray for a reply as I send my feelings to you.

"Hey, hey, what are you up to now?"
"I thought I'd go to sleep soon."
But I don't want to sleep at all.
This is our conflict in the empty dead of night.
I suppose it's a natural high: is today already a good night?
He's such a selfish person, but he's the one I love
Good night -- good morning? -- this season isn't over yet.

I don't want his attention to be taken away from me,
for it to be given up.
In this season when the hot air rises from the subway,
I wipe away my tears.
Even now, I still don't believe
the words that are stuck in my head.
memorialrainbow: (rin2)
I haven't written in here in a month or so. Read more... )

February 2017



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