It was five years ago when we met of the side of Monaco
If and When
There's a sea, a city, then her,
All waiting for home and a happy place,
Each caved by impatience, importance and imperfection
That they're sick of waiting, and yet
There's hope there, I hope.
Although there's fear there, I fear.
A fear that hope is too far away
And a hope that fear will be far enough away,
Fear is bitter fruit, so let's not.
Hope is a well-thumbed book and we can,
It's a plan, or a laugh or a song, or a day
Without eyes, just words and a laugh.
You're waiting for a day to say "I deserve it"
But it isn't the bones and the pain and the hate that you need,
It's a boat across the sea to the city.
We all got facebook friends
long lists without an end
writing on walls, messages
pc n phones; supping beverages
but the generation before
true friendship, knew the score
no walls to write on days
you had no choice but gaze
into the eyes of those
in your company you chose
easier to judge your company
idiots would stick out completely
and those you trusted with
life, love, energy, all of it
allowed them through your door
to write on your souls wall
and if you let my dad in
he would not stop scribbling
If you interacted with dad
he always made you glad
always helped when he could
whatever your neighbourhood
also always full of love
plucking heart strings; so proud of
friendship then, so much deeper
social interaction so much sweeter
give undesirables a wide berth
more solid friendships given birth
more local friend bases too
built with love, compassion, truth
constructed with things in common
forming a solid foundation
to shape lasting friendships too
bound with a strong emotional glue
not present in social networking
face to face friendship abandoning
lot to answer for, modern technology
tho easy to spread yourself too thinly
easy to talk across the globe
the joys of skyping don’t you know
not the same as personal interaction
gives the soul ultimate satisfaction
Some of my friends are so f*ckin funny!
They say the most ridiculous things.
I can't help but to get a chuckle.
And that's part of why they are my friends.
There's nothing more that I enjoy,
Than a good full belly laugh.
So when a friend engages me with that kind of tickle.
Its a friendship I know is gonna last.
(Lovingly dedicated to my dog Hedge who loved cats as much as I do)
So the afternoon sun is just streaming through the window and hitting me right in the eye when I finally get up and move my seat. The smell in the waiting room was nauseating to say the least. People with congested lungs coughing stink mixing with an unidentifiable odor made it difficult to take a deep breath. After tolerating all this for nearly forty-five minutes I was about to leave when the receptionist called my name…I was almost grateful even though she’d mangled the pronunciation.
I handed her my filled-out paperwork and she motioned with her well-manicured hand for me to walk through the swinging door into no-man’s land. It was the door that everyone craned their necks to look through every time someone opened it, hoping for a clue as to what really went on behind it…morbidly curious to know what were they in for in there.
It was nothing unfathomable as I noted after entering the hallway with many small rooms on either side. Just a clinic….no mystery. A young girl with a genuine smile wearing a red and white striped blouse under a white apron and white shoes that made absolutely no sound when she walked, directed me to one of the small rooms to yet again wait. We communicated with head nods and grins only. I thought it was a little strange.
She left me standing there with no order to disrobe or sit pending the doctor’s arrival..which was sure to be at least another forty-five minutes. So, I made myself at home and sat on the examining bench and began to idly dump out the contents of my purse and pick out the crumpled, empty gum wrappers for the trash bin. The usual I-have-no-idea-where-that-came-from lint spilled out as well making a mess on the clean strip of butcher paper. Oh well.
As luck would have it the doctor appeared nontraditionally early and the first thing he did was frown at the soiled bench….not a good start. I quickly began to reload my purse and apologize at the same time hoping to distract his attention away from the flurry of lint and hair that I mindlessly brushed onto his pristine floor. I could feel my face heat up with uncharacteristic embarrassment. Fuck it. He could afford a vacuum cleaner and someone to operate it for him. I began to sweat.
After a five-minute exam, which didn’t require removal of any clothing, he concluded I had a “touch of the flu”. Hmm, a touch eh? I felt like shit…more like a punch in the gut than a touch. But, I was in no mood to argue the fact so I pretended to be pleased with his diagnosis and commented on having only been “touched” and was “grateful since the waiting room was so full of people who were actually sick!” He grunted at my sarcasm and scribbled some Greek words on a few pages of his little pad, left them on the bench for me to pick up instead of handing them to me and then abruptly left the room. “Grumpy old fucker”, I thought to myself as I made my way down the hallway back to the receptionist’s desk. It took her exactly four minutes to finally stop typing and answering the phone to turn around and acknowledge me. Evidently clearing one’s throat loudly was a costly act because the more I did it the slower she seemed to move. Without a glance up to see the face of whom she was robbing she set the price at “$85. Cash or credit card?”. The phone rang…good thing too because had she heard what I mumbled about her and the bill she probably would have had a shit fit right then and there in front of all those sickos still camping out in the smelly waiting room. I knew it was pointless to protest so I counted out exactly eighty-four dollars from my wallet, forty pennies, six nickels and a quarter for a grand total of $85. She took two more calls for appointments that she seemed to begrudgingly to fill and then called a new victim to enter through the swing door.
I headed straight for the pharmacy located conveniently around the corner to fill the prescriptions so benevolently given by the doctor. But, as I thumbed through them on my way up to the door I noticed that one was for cough syrup for the cough I didn’t have and one was for a type of anti-biotics, which I already had at home and one was for friggin’ Tylenol.
I skipped the pharmacy and went home to my nice warm bed, my cat Mimi and a pot of tea and lemon.
I recorded the miserable events of the day in my journal from the comfort of my comforter and treated the cat to a can of tuna for dinner. I decided to have a bowl of meso soup with over-cooked rice noodles and medicate myself with a nice hot tottie….went over like a led balloon as far as my stomach was concerned but it did knock me completely out until 9 o’clock the next morning.
I sat up pretty groggy thinking I was late for work…but, graciously the Universe had planned that today would be Saturday. My aches and fever were gone and I felt brand new after a light breakfast of toast and tea.
But, there laid Mimi flapping her tail like she always did just before she hurled up something horrible. I placed my face down next to hers to inquire of her if she felt sick. She answered with an indignant “meow” and nipped at my hand as I stroked her fur. I supposed that to her I was no different than the imposing doctor I had relinquished my entertainment budget for the month to the day before.
It seemed as though I had cured myself but transferred my illness to my cat.
Spent the day spoon-feeding Mimi her favorite vanilla soymilk and sushi wrapped in seaweed. She remained there on my pillow lapping up the attention she’d earned by making me feel guilty for getting her sick…I’m sure that’s how she saw it.
By that evening she was fit to fiddle with the best of them and smiled her kitty-smile at me, which was an expression of her gratitude for having carryied her through her dark hour. “What goes around comes around.”, I told her.
As it turned neither Mimi nor I needed anything beyond each other and home sweet home…which is by far always the best medicine in the world.
My hands have a bluish tint to them thanks to the cold and I can barely feel the homemade cigarette between my fingers. Laurie is lying next to me on the large, scratchy blanket slowly puffing on hers. She learned to make them with tea from a Youtube video. They’re not half bad but she looks better smoking them than I do.
I turn over onto my back and rest my face against her shoulder.
“Ya know, this would be a very movie-like situation if we weren’t turning into giant icicles,” I say as I stare at the quivering stars.
Laurie laughs too loud and covers her mouth. We both quickly look over at her house to make sure no one woke up.
“Jordan, look it’s a shooting star.” She points to the sky, her cig leaving behind twirly trails of smoke.
I grab her freezing hand in mine and smile. I close my eyes and take a deep breath of icy air.
“What did you wish for?” I ask her. I hold my cigarette between my forefinger and my thumb.
“That we won’t get caught.”
“What? Smoking or running away?” I turn to face her.
“Running away,” she says. “Have you figured out where you want to go? We can’t stay in one spot, but we’ll still go to L.A.”
I roll over onto my stomach and pick at a splinter in my thumb.
“I’ve been thinking, and I don’t think we should go through with it. It’s not worth the punishment. I mean, our parents would never trust us again. It wouldn’t be a big deal if we were gonna run away for forever, but we’re coming back. And I’m sure they’d find us anyway.”
I don’t look at Laurie as she sits up and stares at me.
“Jordan, you can’t be serious. I need this. We need this,” she says. She cranes her neck to try and get me to look at her.
“Fine. I’ll go alone.”
Is she serious, right now? I can’t believe her. Always the drama queen.
I don’t say a word but breathe in the bitter smoke from my cig and blow it out through my teeth.
“Well, some friend you are. I guess I see your true colors now. I thought you cared, Jordan. I guess I was wrong.” She tucks her legs up to her chin and places her crossed arms on top of them.
I roll my eyes underneath my fringe.
“I do care, Laurie. It’s just that I’m not willing to risk my freedom for temporary freedom. And what would we even be able to do? We’re 15 not 21.”
“That’s why we’ll bring Devon. He’s 20.”
“He won’t come. And, dude, that might be illegal. He could get in trouble for running away with a couple of minors.” I stand up and stomp on the butt of my cigarette with my boot. “And since he won’t come we can’t go because he’s the one that drives.”
“I’ll be able to drive in a few months, legally that is.”
“Then fine. Go alone. Suit yourself.” I stand up and adjust my cookie monster beanie that I borrowed from Laurie’s younger brother. “Life isn’t as bad as you think, ya know? All you can do is create great moments like these ones and make sure reality’s not allowed in for a little while. I hope you have fun. See you in the morning.” I lean down and kiss her head.
I climb down the ladder and smile at her.
She doesn’t smile back.
I was your friend
until the end
My heart can not mend
I have nothing to lend
I wish you would have listened
now nothing glistens
Its feels like you were bitten
I wish your story could be rewritten
I hate how they talked you into taking those pills
To you it looked like a thrill
I just didn't want to see you killed
Than you lied there so still
Your face went blue
The doctors tried to save you
Your parents couldn't beileve it was true
Everyone shock there heads when they knew
Everyone was sad for a few days
But to them you were just a phase
But I couldn't forget you in anyway
Your memory will always stay
I’m sitting in the middle of the street in my bathing suit with my younger sister and our two friends. We live in a small town up in the mountains where everybody walks to where they need to go, so we’re not gonna get run over. We’re pretending to be fairies and the asphalt is so hot that you could squish it with your finger.
I sat poking the street and squinted upwards as I heard footsteps.
“Who’s that?” my best friend, Aly asks me. She closes one eye and her mouth is in a confused snarl.
I shrug. “I dunno.” I go back to poking the asphalt.
Our town is supposed to be a secret and I don’t like it when people find it.
The stranger keeps walking towards us. This one was just a boy, about our age.
“Hi,” he says. He’s tan and has hair that almost matches his skin. His teeth are crooked and he has scabs on his hands.
“Hi,” my little sister says as she waves at him. All of us look at each other. The boy just stands there staring at us. None of us looks at him.
“I gotta go home now. Bye guys. Come on Hope,” I say as I get up and take my little sisters hand. Aly and her younger sister wave goodbye and leave the boy alone in the street. Hope and I get home and spread ourselves out on the living room floor.
“Who is he? Have you seen him before?” I ask and spit on a scratch on my knee.
“No.” Hope shakes her head full of dark hair.
“You don’t think he lives here do you? I hope not.”
Someone knocks on our front door. No one ever uses our front door. They always use the backdoor that never closes unless you slam it.
I get up to answer it. I see through the shades the shape of a young boy.
“I think it’s the boy.” I open the door. “Hi.”
“What’s your name?” he asks me.
“Melody. What’s yours?”
“Jimmy, but you can call me PJ,” he says as he pushes his way past me and walks into our house.
I look at Hope and raise my eyebrows. I accidentally slam the door. I really don’t like this kid. I sigh and stick out my chin.
“I’ll be right back. I need to ask my mom a question,” I say and walk to my parent’s room. “Mom, there’s this kid in our house and I don’t know who he is.”
“What?” my mom asks me.
“Aly and me and Hope and Lala met him today and we don’t know who he is.”
“He’s probably the new neighbors.” She walks to the bedroom door and glances outside to look at PJ.
“Oh,” I say. I dig my big toe into the carpet.
“What’s the matter?” She looks back at me.
“He’s gonna ruin our group. We have fun when it’s just us. He keeps trying to play with us and we don’t want him to.” I look down and make my mouth a rainbow shape.
“Melody, that’s not very nice.”
I scrunch my nose at her and leave.
I see PJ in our kitchen, going through our fridge. He grabs the snack I was saving for later and sits down at our table.
I blink slowly as I watch him eat my food. I feel a bump pop into my throat.
What the heck is he doing? That’s my snack.
I stand still and breathe through my mouth.
A few hours pass by and he’s still bugging me.
I hear another knock on the door. Someone’s at the front door. I open it up and see a short lady with puffy red hair holding a cigarette in one hand and her cell phone in the other.
She’s gotta be the new neighbors. Everyone knows you don’t get cel service up here.
“Hello, I’m Linda,” she says as she smiles. Her hands are shaking and she doesn’t look at me when she talks. “I’m looking for a little boy named PJ.”
My mom suddenly pops up out of nowhere like she does and smiles at the strange lady.
“Yeah, he’s here. I’ll go get him,” my mom says as she walks away to my room which he’s taken over.
My mom comes back and PJ’s looking down at his mud covered boots.
“Thank you.” His mom smiles, grabs PJ’s arm and closes the door.
My mom breathes out for a long time, purses her lips and rubs the back of my head gently.
I hate it when she does mom-ish stuff like that.
A few weeks later I’m over at Aly’s house with our friend Sarah. She’s been on vacation for a while so we’re telling her all about PJ.
“Yeah, and then he-“ I’m cut off by Hope and Lala running towards us, screaming. They both reach us and point behind them.
“He’s coming. Hide. It’s PJ,” says Hope between pants.
Sarah looks at us wide eyed and we all run to the garage.
“Get in, get in. Hurry up.” I push Hope inside but leave the door open just a bit and peek outside. PJ walks into Aly’s yard and starts to wander around.
“What’s he doing?” Sarah asks me.
“He’s sitting down,” I say.
“Ok, we should go out,” I say. Aly’s mouth falls open, a few strands of her sandy blonde hair are sticking inside her mouth. “He’s not gonna leave till a long time so we should just go out now.”
As I open up the door PJ turns around and smiles at us.
I roll my eyes, and we all walk to Aly’s front door.
“Hey! Wait for me!” he says.
I stop walking and poke my cheek with my tongue.
“I can’t today. I have a cold.” I say as I turn to face him and fake a cough.
“Yeah, me too,” Aly says. She coughs too. I poke Hope in the ribs. She coughs, then Lala does.
“What about you?” PJ points to Sarah. She looks down at the tips of her hair hanging towards the ground.
“She has one too.” I cough again. Sarah nods.
PJ frowns at all of us.
“Yeah, me too.” He coughs.
I squeeze my jaw tight and my stomach feels warm and heavy.
“Ok, we’ll play with you. Just let us eat lunch. Aly’s mom is making it for us.” I turn away and run towards her house. We walk inside Aly’s house and go to her room.
“Alright, we need a plan,” I say as I slowly look at my friends. “Here’s what we’re gonna do.” I motion them closer. “We’re gonna pretend that we can’t see him. So, like, we walk around and play with each other but act like he’s not there. It’ll make him really mad.” I smile and lean back on my heels. All of the girls smile back at me and nod.
We walk back outside, giggling.
“So whad’ya guys wanna play?” PJ asks us.
We ignore him.
“So what do you wanna play? How about faeries?” I say. I try not to look at PJ to see his reaction.
“I don’t wanna play faeries,” he says.
“Did someone say something? What’s that noise?” Aly asks.
“I don’t know,” Hope says.
We all start to walk away from PJ and snicker.
“Where’ya going? Hey guys, I thought we were gonna play.” He walks up to us and pushes me. I still ignore him.
We keep moving away from him and for a little bit he follows us, but suddenly I don’t hear his footsteps anymore. I smile at Aly, she smiles back; but then we see PJ run past us, crying. We all stop walking.
All of us look at each other and then down at the gravel.
“It was your idea,” Hope says.
“I know.” I frown at her. I scooch my mouth over to one side of my face and grumble.
I follow PJ.
I jog a little ways until I catch up to him. I see him dart around the corner near my house. He runs into a house I’ve never even noticed before. It’s small and blue.
I slowly go up to the door, but I don’t knock because I hear people yelling from inside.
“Shut up, kid! I’m tryin’ to talk. Why’re you crying?!” says a man.
“Please stop screaming! PJ would you get outta here? Me and Kraig are tryin’ to have talk.” I hear the Linda lady say.
“But, mom, I-“ she cuts him off.
“I don’t give a damn, PJ! You’re tryin’ mamma’s patience. Now please, get the heck outta here.”
I don’t hear anything for a few seconds. But then the man swears. He says all the bad words I know and some that mom says I’m too young to know.
“Nobody wants you around, kid! Go bother someone else with your snotty nose and whimpering or else you’ll eat outside again tonight!”
I flinch and bite my lip. I run away as I hear footsteps coming toward the door.
I stop in front of my house. Aly and the girls are still standing in the same spot waiting for me. I glance into the living room window of my house and see my mom vacuuming the carpet.
I make the same face mom did a few weeks ago when we met Miss Linda.
He said he didn't value our friendship.
Yet I did. For quite some time.
I'd been confused for most of the time.
As we had been friends only on line.
We joked a lot about silly things.
But we barely ever spoke seriously.
His spirit I held and loved so deep.
But it seems it's a friendship I'll not get to keep.