Dancing on Graves 

I remember the first funeral I went to. It was for some distant relative that I had never met, but my dad told me we had to pay our respects anyway. 

My cousins and I were squirming in our seats as the service began. My father saw that we weren’t going to settle down anytime soon and told us to go for a walk, hoping that would keep us busy for a while. We ran off before he could finish telling us to be quiet and keep to ourselves. 

All the adults were attending the service, and we took full advantage of the fact that no one was keeping a direct eye on us. We jumped over graves, ran after one another at full speed, and perhaps worst of all… We had a contest to see who could find the prettiest flower bouquet (we couldn’t understand why there were so many nice flowers just laying on the ground). 

With our arms full of bouquets, we sat on a hill overlooking all the little grey slabs. And while we were arguing about who won the flower contest, an old man walked up to us. He had a hat on that hid his facial expressions and even though we didn’t fully understand what we had done, guilt and fear were still written on each of our faces. 

But when the man took off his hat, he only smiled and told us what joy we had brought him. He told us he came to the cemetery every week to visit his wife. I asked him if she worked there. His smile was sad as he said, “something like that my dear.” He handed me the flowers he had brought with him. I thanked the man as I excitedly added them to my collection. 

He told us again how happy we had made him, he said he was always sad when he came here. That the cemetery was too quiet, “children should dance on graves more often.” He said as he turned to leave. 

Obeying his wishes, we kept on dancing. 

Ode to Morris

My uncle named Morris after the cat from the nine lives commercial. They were almost identical. He had told his girlfriend at the time, “you can get a cat, just please don’t let it be an orange one.” She of course fell in love with the sad orange furball at the pound and had to bring him home. 

Morris and I were the best of friends. Everytime our car pulled into my uncle’s driveway, Morris would run to greet me, meowing all the way. My uncle knew he would never be able to split us up, so whenever I was visiting Morris was allowed indoors. He used to purr so loud I’d have to turn up the tv. 

I give that cat props for putting up with me. I’d drag him along on every adventure (trips to the bathroom, climbing the avocado tree in the backyard, and trying to befriend all the other neighborhood cats.. to name a few). He was also the star of my original TV show, which was filmed on my father’s flip phone, called Morris the Great and Wonderful where he would sit and look into the camera with little interest.  

When I think back to my fondest childhood memories, they are always the ones spent with that heroic cat (and when I say heroic, I mean it. He saved me from many hours of boredom). I’m sad to say I don’t even have a picture of him, what I wouldn’t give to get my hands on a copy of that TV show I made. Whenever I’m missing him I look up Morris from the nine lives commercial (I highly recommend you do the same) and pretend it’s my Morry. 

So here’s to you Morris. Thank you for putting up with me. And I’m sorry that sometimes you had to hide on the roof because I was bugging you too much. But you never bit or scratched me. You never even hissed. It’s like you understood I needed you to be my friend. And you were a damn good one. 

I love you Morris. 

The Waves 

I moved to Florida from California last August. I had never even stepped foot in the state, but I packed up my entire life and moved here all the same. Adjusting to a brand new life in a strange new state is way harder than I had ever imagined. 

When I’m asked the question ‘where do you live?’ It’s hard for me to say Florida. Not because I forget I’m no longer in Cali, it’s because I still refuse to call it home. Everything is so different here, It almost feels as if I’m in another country altogether.

The people are different, the weather is horrid, and even the food makes me question what planet I landed on. I’m still not 100% sure what grits are. I find myself missing home more often than not, I am gaining a new perspective but in doing so I feel like I’m losing my grip on what I know. 

Florida makes me feel so alone, lost, and confused. I want my In and Out burger and to see a Los Angeles Kings game. I want to go hiking again (I’m still not over the fact that Florida has no mountains, I really should have done my research before moving here). I want my comfortable seventy degree weather, but unfortunately Florida has none of these things. 

When Florida is just too much Florida for me to handle, I always end up at the beach. It’s the one place where I don’t feel so lost. Yes, even the beaches aren’t the same. The sand is finer and white. The ocean water is not the same numbing cold as it was back home, even the seagulls look different. 

But the one thing that will always remain the same, is the crash of the waves. That sound grounds me. It pulls me towards clarity. I can breathe a little easier when the air is filled with salt. The beach calms me and takes me home. It also reminds me that if I can accept the changes of the beach; the sand, the water, the birds.. I can accept the differences that Florida has to offer me. 

When I stand with my toes in the sand, eyes closed, just listening to the waves.. I realize that I have to stop fighting Florida. Will Florida ever be home? Probably not. But I can make the most of my time spent here. I can tour the old cities, go to Disney World, and maybe even try gator tail. 

California will always be my heart and soul. My childhood is there along with my fondest memories. But If I stop fighting Florida I think we can become friends, maybe even friends with benefits. I can make new memories here, I can grow wiser and older here, and home will always be just a plane ticket away. Now quick before I change my mind, someone grab me the grits. 

Silence 

I love places that demand peace and quiet. Like a library on a Tuesday morning. Or an empty forest. Silence is something that needs to be respected more often. 

So many times people trip over their words, because they can’t find the right ones to use. Maybe you can’t find them for a reason. Maybe there are no words. 

Sometimes, there should be no words. How many times have you said something and instantly regretted it? Let the silence fill what you cannot, we will both be better off.

Lost

I want to get lost and stay lost. I want nothing more than to travel to every square inch of this world. Let me lose myself to the beauty of the mountains and the calm of the ocean. In the forests and the small towns. I will be nothing to nobody, but everything to myself. I will walk by unnoticed, but will notice everything. I will be a stranger to you, but at least i won’t be a stranger to me. I want all the eyes i see to glance over me, not giving a second thought. I will be a stranger in the wind, but the wind will be no stranger to me. Give me the gift of anonymity. Give me the freedom of an open road and i’ll never be back. Just give me the chance to be gone, and i’ll take it.

Where is home?

The entire house is soaked in my tears, the walls are stained with my blood. Home is where I’m forced to remember

The carpet is matted with dread. The drapes are tattered and tangled with my anger. Home is where my hatred is. 

My shame is under the broken pile of plates in the kitchen.My guilt is in the oven, but it’s still scorching my insides. Home is where my monstrosities hide. 

The tile in the bathroom is cracked from my suicide attempt. I’m too afraid to look in the backyard. Home is where I’ve come to die.

Lock the Door 

He carries the pipe wrapped in black socks to the bathroom. I hear the click of the lock. He thinks I don’t know, but I found the clear little crystals in his underwear drawer. But he’s just fine.

She avoided my gaze as she walked into the bathroom. I heard the click of the lock. She thought I didn’t know, but I could still make out the sounds over the repeated flushing. Goodbye lunch. But she’s just fine.

I hold the blade in my hand as I walk into the bathroom. I lock the door. Click. Nobody knows as the blade slides across my skin, leaving red track lines. But I’m just fine.

At least we have the decency to lock the door. We are all just fine.