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Suddenly Alone

Legs stagger

Steel stilts that merely act as legs

I ponder, “When did I get this tall?”

 

I reach my destination

do business

flush toilet

go to sink

wash hands

look into mirror…

 

With water still running

With hands soaped

With eyes wide open

I ask him who he is

 

We meet at the mirror and I glare

Faces nearly touching

Flaws glow:

Bumps, dryness, unnatural facial hair

I recoil in shock as I unmistakably hear,

 

“You’re so handsome!”

“You have a girlfriend, don’t you?”

“What would it be like to be you –“

 

Burning with rage I stop him

with a sharp stab of my finger

 

You want to be

This?

You’ve forgotten this face was

Bright, shining and smiling day by day,

Emanating joy and innocence

We could hold like a

Sphere of pure, white light

In the palm of our hands

 

What would it be like to

Be me now, you say?

 

I jerk away

Slamming the door and find

Tears falling from my eyes.

 

I left him alone

Unchanged, forever reflecting

The face of betrayal

By his only trusted friend.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Art by Brent Lynch)

 

He almost takes a sip when He hears

Her order. Skeptical of Her class, He

peers at Her, only to be caught by Her

lush glow. She has already made the

 

first move. One point for Her. He

breaks this trance to make the next.

Confidence seeps through His cigar.

He lights it with a crisp, and draws

 

Her gaze to His. One point for Him.

The bartender interrupts their game

and hands Her a martini. The smooth,

silk garment slides down Her arm,

 

shoulder to wrist, like a river effortlessly

flows across ground. He is pulled. Two

points for Her. But somehow His body

resists and anchors itself to His own

 

glistening drink. The bartender fades,

along with the sound of polishing wine

glasses, and a silent chasm forms

between them. They wait–

 

He smokes his cigar to fill Himself

with what pride remains, but it

vanishes like the smoke He exhales

into the dying air. He looks at Her

and sees a goddess giving life to His

 

heart. He sets down His cigar. He pries

His hand from the martini. And He

Takes the first step into the space

between.

Breathing turns to fiendish growls.

Shoulders hunch and my back rises

A despicable creature.

 

I scan the endless forest

Surrounding me to ensure solitude.

A sweet breeze attempts to help,

But uninvited, is instead

Received by moaning trees.

 

Impatient eyes fall on the path

My journey into darkness continues.

A ferocious cry explodes from my chest

Like that of a beast in captivity,

Frantically demanding release.

 

My face becomes distorted as this

Ominous presence

Materializes from within.

Hideous, I think,

Unlike anything I could imagine

And at this realization, I stop.

 

My heart beating rapidly.

This thing inside me,

Seeming to have come

From darkness itself.

 

Unless

 

It has always been a part of me.

Dormant like a dog

Performing the only trick he was taught–

To play dead–

Since he was born.

Legs stagger

Steel stilts that merely act as legs

I ponder, “When did I get this tall?”

 

I reach my destination

do business

flush toilet

go to sink

wash hands

look into mirror…

 

With water still running

With hands soaped

With eyes wide open

I ask him who he is

 

We meet at the mirror and I glare

Faces nearly touching

Flaws glow:

Bumps, dryness, unnatural facial hair

I recoil in shock as I unmistakably hear,

 

“You’re so handsome!”

“You have a girlfriend, don’t you?”

“What would it be like to be you –“

 

Burning with rage I stop him

with a sharp stab of my finger

 

You want to be

This?

You’ve forgotten this face was

Bright, shining and smiling day by day,

Emanating joy and innocence

We could hold like a

Sphere of pure, white light

In the palm of our hands

 

What would it be like to

Be me now, you say?

 

I jerk away

Slam the door, and find

Tears falling from my eyes

 

Leaving

Him alone

Unchanged, forever

Reflecting the face of

Betrayal by his

Only trusted friend.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Art by Brent Lynch)

 

He almost takes a sip when He hears

Her order. Skeptical of Her class, He

peers at Her, only to be caught by Her

lush glow. She has already made the

 

first move. One point for Her. He

breaks this trance to make the next.

Confidence seeps through His cigar.

He lights it with a crisp, and draws

 

Her gaze to His. One point for Him.

The bartender interrupts their game

and hands Her a martini. The smooth,

silk garment slides down Her arm,

 

shoulder to wrist, like a river effortlessly

flows across ground. He is pulled. Two

points for Her. But somehow His body

resists and anchors itself to His own

 

glistening drink. The bartender fades,

along with the sound of polishing wine

glasses, and a silent chasm forms

between them. They wait–

 

He smokes his cigar to fill Himself

with what pride remains, but it

vanishes like the smoke He exhales

into the dying air. He looks at Her

and sees a goddess giving life to His

 

heart. He sets down His cigar. He pries

His hand from the martini. He takes

the first step into the space between.

 

(Hate) Me

Breathing turns to fiendish growls.

Shoulders hunch and my back rises

A despicable creature.

 

I scan the endless forest

Surrounding me to ensure solitude.

A sweet breeze attempts to help,

But uninvited, is instead

Received by moaning trees.

 

Impatient eyes fall on the path

My journey into darkness continues.

A ferocious cry explodes from my chest

Like that of a beast in captivity,

Frantically demanding release.

 

My face becomes distorted as this

Ominous presence

Materializes from within.

Hideous, I think,

Unlike anything I could imagine

And at this realization, I stop.

 

My heart beating rapidly.

This thing inside me,

Seeming to have come

From darkness itself.

 

Unless

 

It has always been a part of me.

Dormant like a dog

Performing the only trick he was taught–

To play dead–

Since he was born.

I’m safe because of his rules. I tip-toe

into his room at night and gaze at his

trophies, sparkling like crystals, sleeping snug

in the warmth of a lamp. I reach for one

and wrap my arms around it, rocking it

gently side-to-side, talking to it like

daddy always does. But then his shadow

looms over me. My body freezes. I

turn, but don’t see daddy’s Hollywood smile.

 

Sometimes daddy cares too much. Spanking hurts

him more. My own Hollywood smile appears

as I look at the hot bruises left by

my fault, and realize how much he loves

such a terrible, bad boy like me.

Due to the Reverse Seniority policy that has been implemented in the Housing program for the University of Michigan, as an incoming junior, I am currently homeless. As I was hopelessly searching for apartments on-campus, I came about an absolutely amazing and innovative apartment in New York City, and drooled at its perfection. Check it out:

That’s just unfair. Check out the rest of the apartment here.

In all honesty, when I read the very first sentence of this short story, “Lately I don’t dream about Anthony. I dream about the rotary.” my expectations were set pretty low. Before finishing a page of the story, I already had an expectation that the plot would be cliche, unimpressive, and simply, boring. “A plot about a relationship between a girl and a guy? A plot about a rotary?” I thought skeptically. Giving the short story a chance, however, I soon realized the depth of meaning within the story I had initially thought to be so simple. Despite the plot weighing heavily on the seemingly bland topic of a rotary, the powerful effect that this factor had on a deeper meaning of the story is incredible.

Constantly throughout the story, the main character’s internal conflict with driving through a rotary is paralleled so well with her unwillingness to get involved with her boyfriend Anthony sexually. If this short story was merely about the conflict between the main character and Anthony, I feel that it would be portrayed much less effectively. The plot of the main character’s situation with the rotary serves as a great analogy to that of her relationship with Anthony, and describes it with much more depth than the method of trying to describe the relationship directly. What I expected to be so irrelevant and ineffective turned out to be vital in making this short story have a lasting effect. Now that I think about it, everything that the author has written serves an important purpose for the meaning of the story. Especially the colloquial tone that the main character uses in itself portrays her personality more effectively, and therefore, helps to complicate the meaning of the entire story. Taking even the inherently simple and uncreative and using it in a completely unexpected way proves to be very creative in Dessen’s short story. This method also reminds me of poetry, how a situation or object is described in ways never before explained.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m always amazed by the talent of artists. Absolutely inspirational for my poetry, let alone all the things that I do. Wish I could do what they do though, haha.

Others like this:

http://www.mentalfloss.com/blogs/archives/97070