What's a Lisl?

Writings and Rantings

DARE Disapproval

dareDrug education in schools downright sucks. That is all there is to it. My opinion? Drug education is important and needs to be taught; however, it needs to be improved greatly. For starters, the majority of it is straight up lies. My DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) program in my school lied to me. A lot. First and foremost, I was told on a regular basis about how much peer pressure there would be to do drugs in high school. This is can be described as nothing other than complete and utter bullshit. I am graduating high school in a few months and have not once been pressured into doing drugs nor do I know a single other student who has been pressured into doing drugs. This is not to say that I have not been around drugs. In fact, my town is known for its lovely heroin epidemic and I have been offered drugs on quite a few occasions. On these occasions the people offering the drugs were indeed peers, but there was absolutely no pressure involved whatsoever. The conversations were simple enough, they offered, I said no thanks, they responded with variations of one of three responses: 1. “Alright man, more for me,” 2. “More power to you, keep doing what you do,” and 3. “Okay, cool, but if you ever change your mind, you know where to find me.” Now of course, I cannot speak to the world beyond high school, but there does not seem to be a lot of pressure to do drugs, despite that being the main thing stressed in my drug education classes.

say noAnother problem is you learn exactly nothing. Granted, I have not had a drug education class in almost four years since they stop teaching it to us in middle school, but I can count on one hand the number of thing I remember, namely: high school is NOTHING BUT PEER PRESSURE, our DARE officer gave us candy, and drugs are bad, do not even touch a drug of any kind or you will die and your parents will disown your corpse. So, basically, I learned nothing, or at least nothing at all truthful and useful. I specifically remember spending an entire class period being told to repeat the word no at an increasing volume until our DARE officer was sufficiently pleased with the tone of authority in the voice of a bunch of sixth graders. We were told that we would need to use this ‘technique’ to get rid of people who wanted to force us to do drugs. There is so many things wrong with that, I do not even know where to begin. Now, screaming the word no may be very useful in certain situations, but not a single one of those cases was discussed, instead opting to focus on screaming at people who do not need to be screamed at.

Zero-toleranceSomething I keep coming across online is how DARE’s zero-tolerance policy towards drug and alcohol use is actually harmful, and as someone who has taken a DARE class, this is a perfectly legitimate observation. Drug education programs are completely and totally against drugs in such an extreme sense that it becomes counterproductive. They focus mainly on extreme cases like heroin and cocaine, telling you coming in contact with any of these types of substances is world ending for everyone. They tell you that taking any kind of drug at all ever is the end of your career, your dreams, your goals, and your life. Drugs are the forbidden fruit of the Garden of Eden and that is ridiculous. I will not get into my views on the legalization of marijuana just yet, but DARE treats it like poison rather than something potentially useful with a long history of helping people.

Side note- This is from the Rolling Stones road case that I took a picture of in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio on my trip there last week.

Side note- This is from the Rolling Stones road case that I took a picture of in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio on my trip there last week.

Drug education programs demonize drugs and drug users to such an extreme extent. Even recovered addicts are scorned in these classes for falling prey to the oh-so-evil world of drugs. In addition to all this, some parents believe that their children being taught in DARE classes in school absolves them of the responsibility to teach their children anything. This means that they are not getting the education at all, because they do not absorb what is being taught in these programs and when they do it is either wrong or, more often, has the opposite of its intended effect. The program has actually proven to be associated with an increase in drug use.

encouragementI have only been in one drug education class that helped, and it was less of a class and more of a support group. It was full of people that were addicted to drugs with a teacher that had been to jail many many times for many drug related and non-drug related offenses. To be clear, I was not in this group because I have a drug problem, I actually happened to be the only one there who had never had a drug problem, I sort of ended up there by chance. But anyway, that is beside the point. Everyone, including the teacher, sat in a circle and discussed all their run-ins with different types of drugs. I not only remember this class very clearly, but also remember every horror story as well as every “it was actually an awesome experience” story and it was the most I had ever learned about drugs in one sitting. Not only that, but I knew it was all true. There was no fluff about how terrible it was or how it would ruin your life. The teacher was encouraging, saying that recovery was possible, it did not have to ruin your life, just look at him, he was perfectly happy, rather than the usual “DON’T DO DRUGS THEY ARE EVIL AND LIFE RUINING AND RECOVERY IS IMPOSSIBLE AND IF YOU EVEN LOOK AT A DRUG YOUR LIFE IS OVER KISS HAPPINESS GOODBYE, IN FACT KISS YOUR LIFE GOODBYE YOU ARE AS GOOD AS DEAD.” Now, I will never truly understand just how difficult recovery is, I do know it is not by any means easy, but I still believe that encouraging words telling already addicted teens that it is possible is a much better tactic than attempting to preemptively horrify them.

“The Morning After”

I stared up at the painting in absolute disgust and disconnect. I could not believe I actually painted such a monstrosity. It just did not feel like me. I could just barely remember sitting in a dark room, painting the reflection of my leg in a broken mirror. My leg, folded underneath me, battered and bruised and bloodied, covered in fresh cuts and old scars, was pictured on a background of bright pinks and blues, covered in the cracks of the mirror, chipped and falling apart. It was my least favorite piece in the gallery, but there it was, too busy and too bright in some spots and way too dark in others and just hideous.

“It’s beautiful.” The voice came from somewhere next to me, but I could not tell who from. A crowd had gathered around me and my painting. They were staring, and I felt so exposed, as if they were staring and judging my actual leg instead of a painting of it.

“What?” I don’t know why I asked, or who I was asking. I heard what they said loud and clear. I just did not want to accept it.

“It’s beautiful,” I could not tell if it was the same voice repeating for my benefit, or a different one, repeating because they agreed. Both options made me feel sick. The voice continued, “Absolutely gorgeous. What do you call it?”

I had not considered this. I had not thought up a name. Nothing had a name in my world. Not people, not places, not paintings, especially not my paintings. Names had no purpose, no meaning. Giving something a name, assigning it a set of letters to call it by, it was all pointless. Your name is not who you are, and these paintings had no concept of who they were anyway. It made no difference to them what they were called, just as it made no difference to me. I considered voicing this opinion to my inquirer, but it was a nonconformist answer, and this was an artsy person. Artsy people love nonconformity, cling to it, proclaim it as if it were superior knowledge. I did not want to give them that satisfaction, so I blurted out what sounded right, my words rich with the lovely scent of conformity, “The Morning After.”

That was all I said. Three little words and their brains started running, practically audibly. You just had to listen. You could hear the little square gears in their head spinning forward, reeling out of control and grinding together, trying to fit, pretending they fit, but not making any real connections. Above that you could hear the chatter. They spoke among themselves in small groups, arguing the meaning behind the title. The title I gave no thought to was creating its own thoughts, springing to life in each person’s mind and spewing out of their mouths. It was gross.

They asked each other questions, then responded indignantly with more questions, as though one person’s question had more tremendous answers, making the question, and therefore the asker, far superior.

‘The morning after what?’ One person would ask, to which another would respond, ‘No, no, no, the morning after whom?’ at which everyone would ooh and aah as though it was some sort of breakthrough rather than another, dumber question.

They continued asking their questions and answering with ‘deeper’ questions, going in circles without coming up with any answers. None of them thought to ask me what I meant. They looked to themselves to find my meaning. I thought that was idiotic; I was standing right next to them, holding the answers they looked for, yet they ignored me. It was as if they knew that even I did not truly know what I meant. How could I? And if I knew, I was not so sure I would have told them.

I took a step backwards, then another. I noticed the crowd part slightly behind me, people moving out of my way without even realizing they were doing it. I continued to walk backwards until I had left the crowd that surrounded ‘The Morning After’ and could see not just the back of that crowd, but also the ones surrounding every other painting. Everyone was chattering quietly, but combined it was so loud. Not like rock concert loud, or even large crowds whispering loud, more like that single fly buzzing around your room on a quiet day loud.

A reporter approached me, asking if I was the artist and if I could answer some questions. I said that I could, but I would not. Then, I left. I walked right out of the gallery, walking to the corner and hailing a cab. I was done. My manager called a few times, texted a few more, the messages getting increasingly more urgent, every message after the fourth completely in caps, and every voicemail a strange attempt at yelling while whispering. I turned my phone off. I left, and I never looked back

I don’t like the ending, so I will probably change it or add to it one day, I just wanted to get something posted since it has been a while.

Vexing Vaccines

Warning: what I am about to say is highly controversial. If you do not like what I have to say, please feel free to email me with facts and proof as to why I am wrong; however, if you are incapable of producing real evidence, and simply email me to berate and castigate me, then kindly do not hit send. I will not reply, and would appreciate your vile words not clogging my inbox. If you do have something factual to say and manage to prove me wrong or sway my opinion, I will not be afraid to admit it, so please, your feedback is welcome.

Vaccinations. Something everyone with an opinion claims to be an expert on without having done any real research. Once upon a time, someone made a phony publication claiming that vaccines can cause autism. Since then, that publication has been disproven, debunked, and in all other ways shattered. There is now actual, solid, and most importantly real proof that shows quite clearly that vaccines do not and did not cause autism. It is simply not a thing. Yet, people read one little fake article making this radical claim and suddenly they take it as gospel.

Yes, there are dangerous ingredients in vaccines, such as thimerosal, formaldehyde, and aluminum. They are in there, being injected into your system. They are gross and they are scary, but they are not a problem in the doses they are given at. There is more aluminum in breast milk and baby formula than in vaccines. According to procon.org, “Paul Offit, MD, notes that children are exposed to more bacteria, viruses, toxins, and other harmful substances in one day of normal activity than are in vaccines.” This leaves the main problem to be thimerosal, which is given in such small doses that it is completely safe.

But that is not the only problem with the argument of those who oppose vaccinations. Of course, I am completely against any legislature that serves to take away an individual’s rights; however, the government has a legitimate reason for wanting to “intervene in personal medical choices”—this reason being that some children are physically incapable of getting vaccinated and are dependent completely on those who can be vaccinated getting vaccinated. There is innumerable immunodeficiencies that could lead to a child being incapable to get a vaccine while also making that child more susceptible to the exact disease that they cannot be vaccinated for.

Of course, this has caused people to argue that the government is deeming one child more important than another. To that I say this: “Shut the hell up.” I realize that this is not a valid argument, but it needs to be said. Yes, the government is upsetting your right to control your own health care, but they are also trying to protect the life of a child. The government is trying to keep your child from getting sick while at the same time protect other already sick children from dying. In addition to this, if you are incapable of making the decision to protect your child, if you are blatantly saying “there is something that will keep my child safe, but I do not want them to have it because I do not like the way the government is handling the way it is being given out,” then maybe you do not deserve the right to make health care decisions on behalf of that child. Go ahead, protest as much as you want against the way it is being handled, but do it in a way that does not put countless children, including the ones dependent on you at risk.

Death and Destiny

This is based on a post from tumblr about an alternate universe where everything is black and white until you meet your soulmate and the color goes away when they die.

Sunday, April 19, 7:32 AM—Red Pebble Place

Bananas? Check. Bread? Check. Pizza? Double check. Three grocery bags sitting on two boxes of pizza I intended to carry a short four blocks. They were reasonably heavy, but I did not mind. The air was clear—as clear as it gets in such a dirty city—and the air was warm, but not too warm. There was a breeze and the sun was way too bright and I wished I remembered my sunglasses, that is, until it started to fade. I noticed the sun fading first, not getting duller, but losing its color. Fading from a yellow light to a blinding colorless orb. I glanced around, hoping to see some evidence that I was not the only one seeing this. All I saw was fading around the edges of my vision. The color was draining out in a circle, slowly, very slowly, and then faster until all I had left was a pinprick of color within a lady’s shirt, bright orange. Then, in an instant, it was gone.

That is when I realized what must have happened. That is also when I dropped everything in my arms and started running. I did not know where I was running to, but I was running, down the first block, the second block, the third block. I screamed in what felt like anguish. I realized I did not know where I was running to and stopped, only then noticing the tears streaming down my face. A few people looked at me, some with confusion, many with understanding, most with pity.

I breathed in, breathed out, breathed back in again. That’s it. I was alone in the world. Alone and colorblind in a world where only your true soulmate can bring color into your life. And that could only mean one thing: my soulmate had died. There was no more chances for us to meet again. No more reasons to look back on memories of the night color came into my world. No more instances of wondering if the person walking past me on the street was who I was looking for.

That is when the colors came back, a rainbow flash spreading out from the center of my vision and recoloring everything. I stumbled backwards, shocking and disoriented by the sudden change in my vision, but relieved.

Most people knew who their soulmate was from the second they saw the colors. One look in their soulmates eyes and that is the first color they see. The first colors I saw was a drunken blur in a mass of people as I fell to the ground. Everything was so blurry and I passed out so quickly, surrounded by so many people that I had no idea who it could have possibly been. When I woke up the colors amplified my hangover, and most people from the party were gone, never to be seen again.

But this, this was a whole new experience. This time I could feel the colors coming back to my eyes, tingling like when your limbs fall asleep. My whole brain filled with a sort of fuzz and it was like I could really see for the first time, though nothing looked different then it had before I had lost color and yet, everything looked different, fresher somehow.

Then, in an instant, it was gone again. It did not fade this time, just simply blinked out, gone. I froze in the middle of the sidewalk, standing dumbfounded. One time I could let pass as a trick of the eye, a moment of confusion, but twice in under a minute? Either my soulmate was fading in and out of life, or something was very wrong with my eyes.

I pushed my way to the edge of the sidewalk, hailing a cab and jumping in as it pulled up, closing the door before it even stopped moving. The color was coming back again, I could feel it, and my god was it tedious.

Sunday, April 19, 7:32 AM—Earl M. Davidson Memorial Hospital

The party was okay, nothing more than expected, a bunch of drunk people falling all over each other, laughing and drinking and gossiping and drinking. I was bored, as I anticipated I would be, but my friends demanded that I go out and meet people. I did not see the purpose, but I tagged along to amuse them. Someone started to fall and I glanced over, only for a second before a crowd engulfed them. That was when a spark came into my vision, then another, then another. Little sparks that hurt like pinpricks and flashed like fireworks crackled across my eyes, leaving a mess of color in their wake. At first everything was a rainbow of colors, then quickly the colors regained their shape, forming themselves to people’s clothes, their faces, their cups. I saw that some peoples’ clothing did not match and some people had obnoxiously colored makeup that greatly contrasted their clothes, making a displeasing combination.

It was all so new and exciting and—had I even made eye contact with anyone? I must have! Yet, I could not think of who, did not recall seeing anyone’s eyes, except maybe…The person who fell! My head snapped back towards the place where the crowd had gathered, but they had all dissipated and whoever had fallen was gone.

I awoke from my memory and opened my eyes, not remembering closing them and saw a white ceiling. I looked around, the world was still in color, had been since the party so many months ago. My arms were covered in little tubes and I was surrounded by doctors, all wearing different colored scrubs. Someone in blue spoke, I think they might have been shouting, but they sounded like they were under water. I could just make out, “Can you hear me? Can you hear me?” I tried to nod, but my neck was stiff and everything hurt, so I settled for a pained groan instead.

Someone else, someone in a puke green color looked straight in my eyes and calmly said, “You just died, we brought you back. Can you tell us your name?” I groaned in response, the doctor simply nodded and responded, “Do you remember what happened?” I tried to groan again, but the noise caught in my throat.

My vision started to blur, the white ceiling and multicolored scrubs all becoming one mess of gray, then black, then nothingness. An endless void of colorless space.

Then it was back. It did not fade, or spark, or blur back into existence. My whole vision, color and all was back in a split second, no flash or crackle to announce its reappearance. It was back without fuss, and it was clearer than ever.

Sunday, April 19, 7:35 AM—Lonely Maple Lane (Three blocks from Red Pebble Place)

“I need you to take me to the nearest hospital.”

“Okay, just don’t bleed in my cab, I just got it cleaned.”

“What? I…Oh, no, I’m not injured, I’m just looking for someone.”

We pulled away from the curb and my hands fluttered in my lap nervously. I thought about the groceries I had dropped, hoping someone deserving found them and wondering when I would find time to buy more. That was when I started thinking, finally realizing what I was doing. Was I really going to spend my whole day searching every hospital in the city looking for someone who could be anywhere in the world? The notion that I could find this mystery person based on simply knowing that they had died twice in the past three minutes and come back to life both times was absolutely asinine. I mean, I believe in fate as much as anyone who could see color, but this was pushing my luck.

By the time I had come to the rational decision to turn back around and just go home, we were already at the hospital, so I figured, well, why the hell not? It was worth a shot, right? So, I paid the cab driver and walked inside.

I have never really liked hospitals, and have liked human interaction even less. I walked up to the front desk, but did not say anything at first. What do you even say? After a minute or two of blankly staring at the nurses behind the desk before saying the only thing that came to mind, “So, this is going to sound weird, but I am looking for someone who died, came back, died again, and came back again, like, a couple of minutes ago. I don’t know who I just…”

“Your colors faded twice, didn’t they?” A young, attractive nurse with a sympathetic smile said to me and I could practically see the pity dripping from the words.

“I…yeah. Yeah they did. Is there someone here who…you know…?”

Another nurse nodded excitedly, wearing the expression people normally wear after introducing someone to their soulmate and half shouting, “Room 236.”

Sunday, April 19, 7:42 AM— Earl M. Davidson Memorial Hospital Room 236

The doctors were filtering out one by one, slowly, each telling me the same advice in different ways. Once they were gone, I lifted my shirt, slowly exposing my stomach to see clean white bandages, one spot of red above and to the right of my belly button. No one had told me what happened, and I could just barely remember something sharp piercing my stomach, but I could not remember what. I continued to stare at the bandages, wondering what had happened.

“That can’t be pleasant.” I heard the voice from the door and it did not sound like it was underwater anymore. In fact, it sounded clearer than anything, and when I saw the person standing in the doorway, the colors I saw were brighter than ever.

Stay. On. Topic.

There is a road, but that is all there is. It extends upwards (downwards?), pushing towards where the sky (ground?) would be if there was one. It twist and bends and curves and spirals into itself. On either side, there is nothingness. I do not know how I how I got here, yet no one ever truly knows how they get anywhere. I remember nothing about my life, about myself, and there is a pain in my head as though those memories were ripped out by force, straight through the front (back? side?). I look down, or at least, I think I do, everything is so twisted. I cannot see my body, only the road beneath me (above me?). I do not have a body or a head or eyes, so how do I see? I am a floating mass of consciousness, of energy. I walk forward, but I do not walk, for I have no legs. I travel, somehow, through space in a direction I perceive to be forward on a road I perceive to be beneath me. I was once told that the only thing I can be sure of the existence of is my own consciousness, but I am not so sure. This road beneath (above? next to?) me is solid, but not real. It does not truly exist. Though, it does, within my consciousness. If I can only be sure of the existence of my own consciousness, does that make me sure of the road because it is part of my consciousness, but not your consciousness because it is within my own? I know the road is not real, but within my consciousness, it exists.

But to you, your consciousness exists, and to me, you exist as a figment perceived (created?) by my consciousness. If my consciousness created your consciousness, but your consciousness is not within my own—this is to say, I am not conscious of your consciousness– is your consciousness also existing, but not real, or real, but not existing? And who are you? This all knowing figment who I question, despite you knowing no more than me for having been created (perceived?) by me, or rather, my consciousness? No. You must be me, part of me, though I am not you, for I do not know of your consciousness. So do I ask you because you know more? As part of my consciousness, you know my consciousness, yet maintain your own, making you doubly conscious, but me only barely conscious by comparison. Does this make you my superior? Or, as part of me, my subordinate?

Yet, none of this makes any sense. I guess that is the curse of this realm. Everything is so clear, while, all at once, everything is so ridiculously blurry. There is so much I know and so much I could never imagine knowing that all contradicts. I know that I am here, but I do not know where I am, so here seems to be a moot point. I know that I am conscious, but I do not know what consciousness is, so there is no need to be aware of that consciousness. I know that I am telling these things to you, asking things of you, but I do not know who you are, or if you even exist. Forgive me, I am terribly confused and I—I am asking forgiveness of an unknown being who may not even exist. Huh. What a strange world. What a strange existence. How increasingly strange everything has become.

I write this down, knowing you will read it, knowing you will not know the answers to my questions, without knowing who or why or how. And how do I write? With no arms or hands or fingers or any writing utensil to speak of, I write. With my consciousness. In my consciousness. I am conscious that I write, yet not how or why.

Though, I am off topic. My consciousness seems to have gotten lost in pondering itself. Lost. That’s what I am. Lost on a lone path, with no forks or dead ends or wrong turns to make. The road, winding as it may be, is the only entity in the vicinity, so how did I get so lost? It seems to be a parallel to the lives you and I lead. We have a distinct, obvious path, yet we are lost on it.

Stay. On. Topic. And who said that? Who whispered it in my (lack of) ear? Who is keeping me on my path? What is stopping me from just taking that step, that one little step, right off the edge?

So, I do it. I take my step and at first, I am falling. I am falling so fast and the road has shot so far above my head that I can no longer see any of it, even the bits that twisted downwards (upwards?). The whole thing has disappeared out of sight. There are walls, the sides of the roads, on every side of me, forming a sphere enclosing me so I know longer wonder what way is up because every way is up.

My consciousness fades, out of itself, out of existence. For how long, I have no idea, though it feels like an eternity, and at once only a split second. When it comes back, I am standing (existing?) on the road exactly where I started, or, at least, it appears to be exactly where I started, though who knows if anything here is as it appears. Do you? Is that why I ask you these questions? Why my consciousness chose you to read this? Is it because you know the answers?

Stay. On. Topic. Where is that coming from!? I must know. It seems to come from everywhere, like the sphere of walls. It emanates from the road and the nothingness and it surrounds me, envelopes me.

Stay. On. Topic. What is this topic that I am supposed to stay on? How am I supposed to keep on a topic if I do not know what this topic is? And, of course, how—

Stay. On. Topic. What—

Stay. On. Topic. Who—

Stay. On. Topic. How—

Stay. On. Topic.

Stay. On. Topic.

Stay. On. Topic.

And suddenly I cannot breath. Was I breathing before? That seems to not make a difference, what I was doing before because now I am suffocating. I am fading again, but in a more…harsh way than before, this time something sharp fluctuating at my center and my edges dulling, thinning out like cookie dough pressed too thin, or smoke retreating in an open room.

The sharpness is fading now too and I am fading with it, quickly dissipating into the emptiness, the nothingness. I am becoming nothing. Was I ever something? If I was, I am transforming now, becoming so much nothing. Transforming. Becoming. Now, I am nothing.

College Consternation

In less than 24 hours, I will find out how the rest of my life will proceed. Everyone has turning points in their life, points at which everything changes. Tomorrow, March 20th, may be one of those points for me. How do I know? Let me explain.

In middle school, towards the end, I started researching colleges. I wanted to go to the best school I could for my chosen career. I researched for hours and hours. Then, I found it. The perfect college. The class structure was perfect. The size was perfect. The location was perfect. The program for my chosen field was perfect. Everything about this place was flawless. I forgot all of my other plans, plans to leave the country, travel the world, go to community college first to save money so I could travel, or any other possibility. Every other suggestion, every possibility suddenly became an impossibility. The only thing that was possible was going to this school.

The next year, the start of high school, I put my plan to achieve my goal into action. High SAT scores, good grades, lots of extra-curricular activities, that was my plan. But, nothing ever goes as planned. My grades fell, my SAT scores were fantastic, but not fantastic enough, the extra-curricular activities I had chosen took up so much time that I could not add others. I was busy all hours, and yet still not good enough. Though, it was more than just my resume that was faltering from my plan. My mental health declined more and my physical health has never been too terribly fabulous, and I gave up. I stopped trying. Then, I remembered how important this was to me. I did as much as I could after that, though I am still not sure it was enough.

I applied, of course, and went and spoke to some people who may or may not be completely useless at their jobs, but do have a lot of knowledge on the subject, access to insider information. These people, my school guidance counselors, checked one of their silly computer programs that do their job for them. They told me that every student who has gone to our school has gotten into this college if they applied and they all had equal or worse grades and SAT scores. This should have made me feel better, but my confidence did not change.

I had applied early action, and they promised the decisions would be in before Christmas. My decision came. I had been wait listed. For those who do not know, this means I was not accepted or rejected, they were just pushing off my decision, waiting a little longer to tell me. All I wanted was to know if my life was still on schedule or if I had to change my whole plan. I was told we had to wait until April. April 1st. So, I waited.

To say that I have thought about it every day since would be a gross understatement. This has been my obsession for four years, and for months that obsession has become worse. It felt more urgent. On Tuesday, I told my mother that I had 15 days left. Of course, I had been counting down the days since I got my last decision, or rather, indecision. That is when my mother opened twitter on her phone, showing me a tweet from the admissions office that she had found three days before. It simply said that the admissions decision date had been moved to March 20th. My 15 days shrank to 4 in the blink of an eye. I did not know how to react, so I just cried. I have been an absolute emotional wreck ever since.

My fate, my future, a decision that has been one of the most important things in my life, now rests in the hands of an admissions board full of people who do not know me, who I have never met. They do not know me, who I am, how important this is to me. There is no way they could know. They just see letters and numbers and stiffly written autobiographies that do not show my true self or my need to get accepted. My life is dependent on these admissions officers and there is nothing I can do about it. It is too late to change my grades or sores or words or anything that can influence their decision. Honestly, the decision is probably already made, I just have not seen it yet.

I feel like my heart might explode. The worst part is, when the decision comes, I do not know if I will be able to open it. If it is a no, I will be devastated. If it is a yes, well, I may not stop smiling until I graduate there. Though, I am not sure if I am prepared for such extreme emotions at all. I do not know if I could handle such a severe heartbreak. But, tomorrow will come, and I will eventually open it and then…then who knows what comes next.

Only once before have I experienced a very similar situation. When I got into my current high school, when my acceptance letter came, I was about half as nervous as I am now, and I thought that I could never be more nervous in my life. Obviously, I got in, so that one at least went well. I opened my acceptance letter and I screamed and bounced and laughed. All my nerves had dissipated and I had achieved my goal. That immediately put my next one into play. Now I am concerned it will all be for nothing.

So, the point, I guess, summed up in as short as I can is simply that I am more afraid right now than I have ever been in my life and there is nothing I can do at this point to change my situation. I am horrified and I can think of nothing but how desperately I want to get in to this school and how very incredibly unlikely it is. This is all I want and I cannot do anything to improve my chances and I am so so afraid.

Photographic Memories

Sometimes I have assignments for school, and sometimes my mom reads them, and sometimes she tells me to post them here. So that is what I am doing.

Photographs have never held much importance to me. I would rather live in the moment than look back at pictures of what I missed from behind the camera. Though, there is a subject, a person, that memories and photographs are all I have left. But the memories are faded and warped by desire for them to be better than they were, more objects of my own creation than true memories, yet the photographs have stayed just the same, capturing the moment as flawlessly as possible, not distorted by time. These photographs hold all of the image, all of the emotion, all of the memory in the most unwavering way possible.

There is one specific photograph that I cherish above others, a photograph that holds no emotion, only a pure, raw subject with a clear purpose: to preserve the memory of a moment I will never get back. It has two subjects. It highlights one of my last happy moments with one of its subjects, and the first happy memory with the second. The first, primary focus subject is a man. The secondary, a baby, small and round and sleeping. Both emotionless faces, one because it has yet to discover what emotion is, the other because time has demolished its perception of emotions, dulled their feel and purpose.

The man in the photograph is my Opa—German for grandfather. By the time this photograph was taken he was already very, very sick. You can tell by the look on his face. You can see in the deep wrinkles outlining his mouth that he is being eaten alive from the inside and his life is fading right before the camera lens. He does not smile, though most would in the occasion, and his eyes convey no happiness behind the thick glasses that warp their size into small black marbles. If anything, he looks confused. As if he has no idea how he got to where he was, in this moment, holding this baby. Though, the rest of him has more purpose than it would most days. In place of his normal white t-shirt and sweatpants with horribly sewn on pockets, he wears a white undershirt, with a blue and white vertical striped collared shirt covering it, and a grey vest with brown leather shoulders and flaps with brown buttons with tan thread holding them against the vest over that.

His incredibly thin hair is combed straight back, dirty blond at the top of his head and white around the ears. His ears are long and hooked around the top are the glasses that obstruct most of his face with their thin silver frames. Aside from the lines around his mouth, his face has few wrinkles. His face almost looks puffy, very round and slightly tinged red.

There is much less to be said for the appearance of the child in the man’s arms. It is sleeping, not ready to face the world. You cannot tell, but it is a little girl, with almost a full head of wispy, silky hair thinly covering her very round, pink head and sticking out in all directions. Her eyes are puffy and there is the faintest whisper of eyebrows right above them, as if they were drawn on with a pencil. Her nose is almost as round as the rest of her face, barely protruding from her swollen cheeks. She has a very small, very pink mouth that is also mostly hidden next to her cheeks thanks to the angle of the camera. There is a blanket wrapped around her entire body, then looping up around her head, so you can see nothing else. The blanket is white, with baby blue figures on it that almost match the color of the stripes on the man’s shirt. It is too folded and wrinkled to tell what the shapes on the blanket are. She is a cute baby, I guess, considering most at that age just look like potatoes. This is my little sister.

Behind the people, there is a brownish-tannish curtain hanging down to their left and behind them to the right there is a red chair holding a black camera bag with a single white stripe, a blue towel, and a grey and white plaid, fleece blanket, a corner in the wall behind that. The walls are hospital room white.

One man dies rapidly while a young girl who has yet to live rests in his arm. The perfect image of birth and death, come together, holding each other in their equivalent bewilderment at the world around them.


Qualitative Quirks

If you have not noticed, I draw a lot of my inspiration from random internet resources and generators. The challenge I gave myself for this story was to generate five quirks from a character quirks generator and incorporate the first five I get into a very short story without the story revolving around any of those traits. The traits I received will be revealed at the end and you can determine how well I used them.

There was a mansion at the end of my street. When I was little, I would pretend that horrible things happened there and that no one that entered ever came out alive. This was far from the truth; the family of six that lived there was seen entering and exiting the premises all the time, I just happened to ignore them. The one time I did see them, they were leaving to go to a local restaurant. I pretended they were ghosts, wandering out to see what they could, before returning to haunt the mansion.

Once, when I was a teenager, I met the youngest girl who lived in the house. I did not know she lived there. I still do not know that she lived there, technically. But I technically do not know a lot of things that I actually know now.

The older I got, the more I despised those younger than me. The bigger the age gap, the more I hated them, hatred an exponential function with respect to age gap. Y approaches infinity as x approaches my current age. A simple equation. I always loved math. I was good at it to say the least. Aced all of my classes. That’s why I never had kids. Not because I aced math, of course, but because I hate children.

When I got really old, I moved into the mansion at the end of my street. I was too old to ever leave, I had groceries and other essentials delivered. I sat inside all day and kept up my old illusions that I would never leave alive. I kept that illusion until it was no longer an illusion, and I took my last breath, dying in that house.

When I first moved in, they told me that there was something wrong with the pipes. That I could not drink water straight from the tap unless I boiled it. I assured them it would not be a problem seeing as I only drink milk, but I would boil it for making ice. I liked it better that way anyway; boiling the water made the ice crystal clear which contrasted wonderfully in the cloudiness of the milk.

I am dead now, of course. As a sort of compensation for suffering through life as long as I did, I received unlimited knowledge the second I passed. I never liked that word, ‘passed’. It was like I was simply walking by something, rather than something as dramatic as death. Not that it matters what words I do not like anymore, now that I have infinite knowledge. Or words I like. Like porcupine. I always loved the word porcupine. Not the physical animal itself, I had never seen one before, so I had no reason to harbor this particular fondness. It was the word. The shape of it, the feel of it, the way it rolls off your tongue. P-o-r-c-u-p-i-n-e. Nice.

Infinite knowledge is not exactly all it is made out to be. I cannot move or see or hear. I have completely transformed into this shapeless, massless puddle of energy and thought. I have all this knowledge, but nothing to do with it. I do not have any more questions; therefore, I have no more purpose. It was almost better to suffer through life than float around without drive or reason.

Just imagine doing both… Anyway, the traits I received were: hates children; strongly dislikes any form of leadership; will not drink anything without ice in it; drinks milk ONLY; has a misplaced affection for the word ‘porcupine’. I might add more to this later, but maybe not. I always say I am going to write more and then get distracted by new projects… maybe though… Anyway, thanks for reading.

American Acculturation

whereareyoufrom01In America, the question “where are you from?” gets a wide variety of answers. Very Few people will respond with “America.” Most people will say something involving a lot of countries and percentages no one really cares about. I personally just respond with, “I’m German” and leave it at that. It has recently come to my attention that Americans are the only people that do this. The reason seems simple to me. It is not that we are not proud to be from America, some people are dangerously proud of it. But America is a melting pot. We do not have our own culture, we take bits and pieces from the rest of the world.

usa-gerI was raised with the German culture deeply ingrained as part of my life, from the language, to the food, clothing, and the way I live everyday life, though my mother is many things, but mostly Native American. I say I am German not because that was the country I was born in, but because that was the culture I was raised in. I went to Germany to visit family a few years ago and there was very few instances in which I did not understand or fit into the culture. (The only cases I can think of was when we got parking ticket and when we were asked about German politics. I don’t even follow American politics.) German culture has always been a huge part of my life, just as tons of other cultures have been part of other Americans’ lives.

melting_potAmerica does not have a culture of its own, so we make a jumble of other cultures and call it our own. It’s a bit of a mess sometimes, but it keeps things interesting. This is another reason why I have such a big problem with Americans not accepting the culture of others, even of other Americans. The amount of times I have heard people say, “Go back to your own country,” makes me absolutely sick. I am sure this is not only a problem in America, but I can only speak for what I know. What I know is this: America, the self-proclaimed “land of the free,” who preaches “liberty and justice for all,” does not even bother practicing what it preaches.

culturesPeople are told  constantly to learn to speak English before they come to America, despite America not having an official language. This infuriates me. Americans are rude and flat out mean to anyone who displays their culture outside of their own home, which is absolutely ridiculous. We have no culture of our own, yet reject that of others, like people in America are simply to live without it. We have our own food (kind of) and landmarks and things to see and sometimes, but rarely, our own style, but we have not been around long enough to have things that only happen with time, like traditions and language and values. We are a messy mish mosh of other cultures, lifestyles derived from all over the world, yet we reject other people who stick with one culture. It’s wrong and hypocritical and just plain ridiculous.

Motivation Meltdown

motivationI have a motivation problem. My parents have always known. It is much more than just a motivation problem though and it stems from something much bigger. I have been to doctors and therapists that have boiled it down to a simple diagnosis: “generalized anxiety disorder” with a fun splash of “depression” induced by the prior. I have tried to get into things. From instruments to a million types of arts and crafts to sports but nothing sticks. I play percussive instruments and I draw and I build robots and try to keep myself occupied but, I do not love anything enough to truly bring myself to care.

coping-skillsOne word mental health people use a lot is ‘cope’. I hate the word cope almost as much as I hate the word unison. I hate the word unison because I pronounce it differently in my head than I do when I speak and it gives me a headache. I hat the word cope because it is not enough. The Free Dictionary says that cope means “to contend with difficulties and act to overcome them.” It’s acting to overcome something without ever doing it. It’s hitting a brick wall over and over again, only making little dents without ever breaking through the wall, watching your hands bleed as you just keep punching and never getting anywhere. It is maintaining breathing without ever moving. It is surviving without ever living. It is how I am going through my life every second of every day and I hate it.

cant-copeThere are people out there living. They are doing things they love because they have something that they love to do. They are living life and I hate them for it because I am infinitely envious. I want to wake up in the mornings with purpose and drive and will to live and I just don’t have that. I don’t have the capacity for motivation and I am so sick and tired of not having motivation but I don’t have the motivation to do anything about it. It makes me want to scream and cry and rip every hair out of my head, but I cannot find the life to do any of those things. I cannot find the life to do anything.