Tag Archives: short story

Losing a Passion

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I haven’t been writing, guys. At all.

Well I guess that’s a lie–I’ve written a few shitty poems. I’ve written a few magazine articles. But anything of real substance, vulnerability, skill? Nah.

I even thought about giving it up. Yeah, as in, giving up writing. Forever. Not the normal “I’m not good enough, I’ll never amount to anything, I’ll never be a famous author, fuck writing” thoughts that make you a writer. I’m talking black hole depression “I vow never to focus an ounce of energy on stringing words together ever, ever again.”

There are a few reasons for this disaster. I won’t go into those, but let’s just say I’ve been bumbling around for awhile now, and it’s starting to bug the hell out of me. Realization: I’ve never written “to be good enough, to amount to something, to be a famous author”…I’ve written to be true to myself as a person, to stay sane, to feel OK. I have not been any of those things as of late.

Anyway, I won’t allow myself to lose a passion. I may not ever self-publish again, I may not ever even finish another novel…but I’ll keep writing. Even if that means forcing myself to show up to Shut Up and Write! meet-ups at local coffee shops…the only girl in a private room full of old men writing memoirs.

[Sidenote: the group that was using the room before us was a “mens group”…I had to Google that shit. There are men who are emotionally secure enough to admit that they could use friends, mentors, advice, guidance…?! Whaaaaat? That’s badass. But you have to wonder…are they getting much accomplished without a woman in there, telling them what they’re doing wrong? Haha I kid, I kid…]

More on my new writers group. First of all, let me take back what I said about them all being old men. There is one who is not old, but rather, drop dead gorgeous. He is married. Of course. The rest are my grandfather’s age, with the same cranky jokes and wheezy laughs. Ron writes with a pen in a binder full of blank paper. Erwin talks about Chinese-Americans and the pressure they feel to succeed–so much pressure that two of his friends have committed suicide. He’s unsure whether this is short story-worthy. My eyes widen and I assure him it is. I want to read it NOW, actually.

This is going to be great for me.

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The House of Bottles

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Oh, just another incomplete short story. Don’t know where I’m goin’ with this. Also, I don’t know how to write dialogue in Pidgin. Oops. 

(Insert Awesome Title Here)

Kapiolani had dreams of escaping the house of bottles. All the dreams were different, but one thing always stayed the same—she would never cut her feet. She’d run and run and run, through all the rooms, over all the bottles, and her legs would just bounce off of the colored glass gracefully. Her toes were unscathed, her heels smooth and soft, her arches still white frowns against the floor.

The way she felt in the dream was the way she felt when she was dancing hula. The sway of her hips and wave-like motions of her arms reminded her of the way she looked in the dreams—so much like her mother. Or at least like the pictures she had seen. There was one in the living room with writing scrawled all over her mother’s body; the only piece not touching the faded black marker was her eyes. “Tanu,” it said, and then a fancy scribbling of Hawaiian words that Kapiolani pretended to know, “-Kainoa.”

Kapiolani would make up thousands of sentences that her mother could be writing to her father all over the pink bikini and brown skin. “I love you” or “I miss you” or “I want to have a beautiful daughter with you” or, her favorite, “I will never leave you, I will always return.” She never asked her dad what the message really said because she didn’t want to know. She would see her father staring at it sometimes though, and she’d want more than ever to leave the hall, run up to him, place her hand on his unshaven cheek, and ask the millions of questions she’d built up over the years. What was she like? Do I look like her? What did her voice sound like? What did she smell like? Could she cook? Could she hula? And what, please, what does the photograph say?

But then she’d see him take another swig of his drink or hear him curse something at the television and Kapiolani would shrink away, back into the hall, back into her room, away from the bottles and into the same dream.

Tonight, she fell asleep with her feet where her head usually lies. She does that sometimes when sleep seems farther away than the mainland. Her dad had those friends over again and they were laughing beer-filled laughs and coughing up smoke and spit. She could never sleep when they were over, clinking ice and eating her lunch that she’d packed and hidden in the back of the fridge.

“Where dat pretty daughtah, eh, Tanu?” Grunts and snorts and more glass hitting glass would follow and Kapiolani would lock her door. She learned a long time ago to do that. She never forgot.

A taped-together photo of her mother rested gingerly below her pillow. It had been rescued from the trash after Tanu had gone on a ripping rampage one night. He never touched the framed one in the living room, but this one was Kapiolani’s second favorite. It used to be under a magnet on the freezer. Her mother, lips red like ahi, was kissing a tiny, tiny forehead that held a tiny, tiny red like ahi headband. These two, this mother and daughter, they looked magical, Kapio thought. They looked unstoppable together. Like ancient Hawaiian royalty or something.

Eventually, maybe after a short, whispered conversation with the photograph, she’d fall asleep. Tonight, she waited until she heard the heavy drunken footsteps leave the house of bottles. Her mind was almost lost in the dream when, “KAPIO! WHERE YOU AT?” jolted her up to a sitting position. The picture fell from her chest to the floor.

…to be finished. One day.

Flighty

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Newest idea that I’d love to write a full novel around…thoughts?

Flighty

 It wasn’t that I loved planes, per say, or even that I loved airports, or flying, or small cups of ginger ale and tiny packages of peanuts.

It was the people. That feeling you get waiting in a gate, when you look around and see the complete and utter clusterfuck of people milling and sitting and iPhoning. You feel like they’re all so important, like they must all be so important to someone out there. Why else would they be flying, right? From the strictly business woman attached to her Blackberry and diet coke to the teenager picking at his braces. You’re surrounded by complete strangers who are probably nothing like you and yet—they’re sitting in the same shitty pleather chairs, or walking on the same shitty carpet, or staring out the same huge window. They’re all waiting on the same thing you are—a huge metal bird to take them away from this place to somewhere new. It doesn’t mean excitement—I’m sure as hell never flying to Paris or anything. But still. They’re getting the hell out of DFW and landing somewhere else entirely (even if it is just Houston). Maybe it’s just for the weekend. Shit, maybe it’s just for the day. But still. They’re there with their neck pillows and briefcases and carry-ons and they heard “Please have your ID’s and boarding passes out and ready!” just as many times as you did. And it’s just fascinating. Of course, other people think I’m a little crazy. You might be one of those people. But think about it. Just really stop and think about it.

It’s the best place to people-watch. Great yellow purse. Hideous red dress. What is he thinking with that toupee? Is she serious with that green lipstick? Oh. My. God. Now that is a beautiful man. Oh, and three beautiful children. Dammit.

The easiest place to have something in common with someone. “Oh, your flight to Austin was delayed? Yeah, same with mine to Phoenix. Why do they never seem to have their shit together here?”

The best place to eavesdrop. “I just couldn’t believe her. I’m disgusted,” the woman next to me whispered. Did she know she was still very audible? “Not only did she admit to the cellophane thing, but when she brought the peanut butter out, she had the chocolate syrup too! Sick freak. That’s the last time I find a roommate on Craigslist.”

The best place to completely be yourself without giving a shit what anyone thinks. After all, they’re about to hop on a plane and be thousands of miles away from you. I’ve literally sat and sobbed for hours waiting for a flight to LaGuardia. No one judged me, no one really even gave me a second look. I appreciate the level everyone is on in airports. There’s a “Do whatever the fuck you want as long as you’re not smuggling bombs” unwritten rule that I, and millions of others, I’m sure, take full advantage of. I’ve seen a chick shave her legs in a tiny bathroom sink. I’ve seen a man sit in the food court, take off his suit jacket, and start preparing his drag outfit, presumably to fit the needs of his next destination. It’s brilliant!

And that doesn’t even scratch the surface—I haven’t even mentioned the part where you actually board the plane. That’s where the real fun begins. Sure, I’ve had boring flights. Flights where I don’t sit next to anyone, flights I sleep through, flights everyone but me sleeps through. But more often than not, I walk away with a great story about the person grazing elbows with me.

So one day, I decided to start recording. It was just a silly thing at first, like a “funny quotes” page. Then it turned into more of a journal. Then I started blogging. And then I got the phone call. Did I want to write a book?

I had written a few “serious” posts, you know, the sort of posts that actually used a bit of my Journalism degree. One was about a 65-year-old man flying to meet his old high school sweetheart after they reconnected on Facebook. Another was about a 12-year-old girl who gave me two hours of an incessant rant about flying across the country every other holiday now that her parents were divorced. But most of my blogs were ridiculous; only meant to leave a reader rolling on the ground, pitying me for sitting next to such a catastrophe of a person. One in particular was about my eight-hour flight to Honolulu for my sister’s destination wedding (unless you’re loaded and therefore going to pay, please don’t do this to your friends and family) in which I sat in between two overweight men, both drinking mai tais like they were shots of water.

…tbc 🙂

The Yellow of You

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Short story I wrote in college: the assignment was to write about our death from someone else’s perspective. Morbid, right? But I always tend to enjoy any excuse to be emo and dramatic:)

The Yellow of You

“I love you more than all the eyelashes in the world.” You were so random sometimes.

“You’re never out of new ones, are you?” I brushed your bangs away from your eyes, but they soon fell back into place.

“You should try it, it’s very satisfying.”

“Alright. I love you more than all the freckles in the world.” I’m not very original, you were the poet. But hey, I thought it was cute.

“Weak.”

“Oh c’mon, everyone knows there’s more freckles than eyelashes in the world.”

“Are you kidding me? There are millions of people who don’t have one single freckle.”

“Yeah but then there are other people covered in them.”

“But it doesn’t matter because everyone has eyelashes.”

“That is false. Besides, have you ever counted your eyelashes? Not that many.”

“Have you ever counted your freckles? You have way more eyelashes.”

You were probably right, but I thought I was fighting a fair fight. “Are you forgetting about the ones on my butt?”

“No, those are my favorite.”

You smiled that smile where the creases of your mouth formed fake dimples. I loved those. You always said your body tried so hard to produce something you had always wanted. I told you one day that they weren’t that special, that in Chemistry, we learned they were actually a dominant trait. You didn’t care. You got pissed, ranting about how you would have a boring recessive gene.

I probably would’ve come up with something better than freckles if I would have known. I would’ve done a lot of things. But we finally rolled out of bed and said goodbye. I only pecked your lips, thinking how late I already was for work. But you understood. You didn’t like it when I messed up your vanilla lip gloss anyway.

What college student still wears vanilla lip gloss? You’d punch me and say “This college student.”

You waved out of your window as I sped down the highway and the next time I’d see you wouldn’t be in fake dimples and sticky kisses. I only ever saw fragments of your favorite yellow dress caught in some of the glass and metal.

They said I didn’t need to identify the body, that they used your teeth or something. How CSI right? All they really mean is that the body’s too messed up and they don’t want me going psycho. As if seeing you would’ve made it harder than it already was. As if I already didn’t have a picture in my head of what you looked like. I had seen blood, it was hard to miss. So what would’ve been the difference? But I guess I’m just saying that. I probably would have gone psycho. Trying to piece you back together or something. I mean, for God’s sake, I didn’t even believe them when they said you were dead. I wanted to play fucking doctor, grab some Toys R US stethoscope from my younger brother and find your heartbeat.

I kept on thinking about time and how it all matters. The cliché, what if I would have been with her for five more minutes? Then you would’ve been on the highway five minutes later, and then there’d be no wreck. Or you’d be stuck in traffic because of a wreck killing somebody else’s girlfriend. But seriously, what if I would’ve kissed you goodbye one more time? A long, 30-second kiss. Taking off all of your Bath and Body Works “Cake Icing.” Would that have made a difference?

Someone had taken your shoes and placed them neatly by a police car.

“Young man, I think it’s time you head home,” some officer gripped my shoulder. I could feel his wedding band through my shirt and I wanted so badly to be standing in front of you in a white dress instead of you covered up with a white sheet.

I was hugging the yellow flats I bought you that year I worked at Journey’s for minimum wage. You told me that was the stupidest job ever for a “white male college junior.” You told me to go apply at a bank, and I finally did.

“Did you hear me, son?”

I glanced at the 52 card pickup of “Monty the Mazda.” You always had to name your cars. And then I headed home to curl up in bed, surrounded by everything you had ever left at my apartment.

Eventually, I took the shoes off my desk and put them in the box in my closet with all of our pictures. You forgot to take the sticker off the left one, I did that for you. It was dirty and faded, $24.99 Size 7. Later, I took the sticker out of the trash and smoothed it back on the bottom of the heel. One of the corners refused to stick, curling up, no matter how many times I laid it flat. I kissed it over and over for hours, tears soaking into every inch of yellow.