soft and sweet; let her bloom in oversaturated shades of orange and purple. let her be stupid, and innocent, for as long as she can bear it. ’cause it won’t last for long. and someday, she’ll rot into the ground. she’ll scrub the dirt off her cheeks, and feel secrets twist up into a knot in her throat. it’ll be dollar bills and delicate fingertips, and familiar faces on the wall. it’ll be piano songs, and a tennis games, where no one wins. let her be silly, let her dance, and sing. let her live every awkward phase and stubborn mistake in all its glory, and listen to music with the volume too loud. let her paint her skin with pinterest poetry, ’cause it makes her feel like floating, like bleeding in the sink; and it’s never as pretty in real life as it is in your head. let her be ugly, ’cause there’s something to who we are when no one’s watching. let her punch the shower curtain, and laugh at jokes that don’t make sense, and play with the ghosts out back, where we buried the guinea pig in seventh grade. let her tears make mud out of dirt. let her live it all again.

There’s this really scene in The Office where Andy says something along the lines of “I wish we knew we were living in the good old days before they ended.” (It’s been a while since I watched that show, but as I recall, in context it’s a lot less touching, because Andy is acting like a jerk by the time he says that. Anyway, I digress.) But I think I do know–because the past few months, I’ve had this weird feeling that I’m gonna be kicking myself in a few years for not living this time of my life to the fullest; gonna look back on it and wish I could do it all again. Like these things are only going to seem remarkable in retrospect, which is like, ninety percent of my life summed up. I might write something about that.

Anyway. I’ve been thinking a lot about nostalgia–and this weird feeling of nostalgia I’ve been getting for the present of late, and this is what came out of it.


i had this dream last night

i was walking through my grandmother’s house, the one we sold

way back in the day

when the summers burned bright

and life slipped through my fingers in a drunken haze

that new taylor swift song on the radio

but the carpet had been ripped up

and the paintings were destroyed

and i couldn’t find her garden, through the noise

and there were strangers in her walls

there were new shows on the tv

she’d have hated it if she saw, i think

and all i wanted

was the smell of potpourri

the perfect white carpet

and the floral couch in the living room

wanted someone to tell me

it wasn’t all just a memory

hallowed ground no longer my own

in the dream, there were slivers in my feet

and broken ceramic on the floor

they were cutting down the hedges

and pulling out the ferns

and i was sitting in the attic

sweat dripping down my spine

i was fading by the second

flickering fingertips and melting skin

eyes glazed over, watching it crumble

down to sawdust, and cement

the barest skeleton of a home

she’s leaving, now

and i don’t have the heart to watch her go

I really did have a dream like this–it was super weird, and I was pretty messed up over it for quite a few days. I almost never have dreams–or, remember them, anyway. When I remember them, it’s always either absolutely nonsensical, or earth-shattering emotional revelations with absolutely no in-between.

safety blanket

a short piece about fanfiction and growing up

let’s start at the beggining.

when i was ten years old

i mean six

i mean four

i mean twenty-five

doesn’t matter

cause you were there for me

you were soft pages

and escapist fantasy

you were home

you were family

and you didn’t always do it perfectly

but you taught me that love won out

that i could be anything i wanted

that messing up was okay

you held me together, all these years

and that’s gotta count for something, babe

and god, you were there

when the sky was black in the costco parking lot

and i didn’t have anyone to turn to

you were gentle

and you were kind

at a time when i didn’t know that kind of love was possible

and for that, i’m always gonna be grateful

’cause you sung me to sleep

you held me close to your chest

you let me be a kid, for just a couple minutes a day

and when things got bad

i made shadow puppets on the floor

and those imaginary friends, they always told me

that i didn’t have to be afraid anymore

i gave you my heart

and my soul

until i don’t know who i am without you

until the world seems grey without you

until i’m not sure if i’ll ever stop

sleeping with teddy bears

and writing stories about magic

cause you were my safety blanket

when the ceiling crumpled

you held it up like atlas

you gave me the courage i needed to find my way through

and darling, i’m scared

ladybug, i don’t know what i’ll do without you

and my friends will probably laugh

and roll their eyes

’cause they weren’t held together by school-safe glue and craft glitter

for most of their lives

’cause they know how to grow, and change

and leave the thing they love most in the world behind

sweetheart, i’m not ready to grow up

but this twin sized bed is getting smaller by the day

and thumbprint cookies just don’t taste the same

I grew up obsessing over books and stories I liked. Fanfiction was how I learned to write, and it’s still close to my heart. I honestly don’t know where I’d be now without it. It’s made me a better writer, and as I get older, I feel like I have to let it go. I don’t want to be 30 and still desperately clinging to book series I read in middle school. But… honestly, I’ve lost a lot of things, and right now, I don’t think I can stand to let one more go. I don’t think I want to.

A part of me is… a little scared, honestly. That I’m never gonna make my own stories, as good as the ones I could make in a borrowed world.