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It starts with a gravel road which becomes a city street, and then a plane, a bus, and then a ferry. Last October I found myself in a Seattle bar with maps covering the walls, lost in a sea of possibilities. For an evening I almost felt free, but I knew when I returned home, I would continue to drive down this dirt road to my murky bathwater existence.

I was raised in a strict Christian household. You could say I’m the black sheep in the family who has always taken a different path, who needed antidepressants in high school to numb myself to the confinements religion had on me. I moved back home this year to save on rent, but to live at home means I have to go to church every Sunday.

Well, last Sunday was especially bad driving home from church. I had to take my own car to church because, after the service, I had to have a “meeting” with an elder who was basically making sure that I’m not wandering off the path that leads to salvation.

“Are you seeing anyone? If you are, I hope he isn’t another nonbeliever.”

He asked about sex: am I remaining “pure?” I’m doomed if I lie, doomed if I tell the truth. I’m doomed because of the truth.

He’ll probably never know that our conversation that day caused me to almost drive my car into a ditch on my way home.

See, to be strapped behind a seatbelt in this car is to be strapped by religion into this lie that I live—strapped down like road-kill to road after dozens of cars have driven over you. You can drag a dead deer from the road, and eventually the rain will wash the blood away. But what about my body, tied down and powerless?

These years of lying have turned into cars piled up in a junkyard. Well, the cars are collapsing, and the sound of the metal clanking is equivalent to the noise in my head.

So it was raining and I didn’t turn on the windshield wipers. I let the tears fall without wiping. Blurs of brake lights ahead and I considered not applying my brakes. This is me trying

to hold the smoke

holding my neck

as I choke. This is the connecting pipe between my mouth and stomach, which is basically just a sewer where I keep all this shit contained.

This is the road between city and home. And aren’t the lights in the distance sparkling especially pretty tonight as the tears in my eyes give the city a bokeh effect.

This is the streetlight that just stays yellow. The green light says I’m doomed if I go, but the red light says it’s worse if I stay.

I followed the shiver as it travelled down my spine, which took me to the exit that merged me onto the highway instead of taking that no-exit dirt road home. Maybe I’ll go back to Seattle, I thought, to The Noble Fir—where I can trace the bodies of water on a map with my fingers, as the man buying me drinks traces my body with his.
I am finding it very hard to leave this time. Something about the way everything is placed—with a thin layer of dust. The chips in the paint, the cracks in the wallpaper. I can’t imagine picking everything up and moving it all. The objects are heavy with the weight of childhood.

The damage is irreversible. The buttons on this machine cannot be unpressed. When you talk to me, I become a closed system. I can only talk to you when you are not talking about God.

It is the two lights I come home to early in the night, beaming from two different windows. The yellow light in the living room from where my dad sits when he’s on the computer or watching TV. The paler, more florescent one in the TV room where my mother sits. These are the lights I have to get away from.

The light from my father, my mother—this is going to sound strange, but it can be heard in the slicing of the bow on a violin. I hear the dissembling of my childhood. For me to learn violin is to play back the sound, to be reconnected to it. Examine and interpret.
to
think
about

you is
to dip
a teabag

into a cup
sip, drink, spill
its contents onto

the counter, which then
drips onto the floor.
a tea ring stains

the interior as
a reminder i
can always leave

but can
never forget
there's you

to
think
about
These organ pipes have forgotten
how to breathe; the ones in our
bodies are no better. Crinkled corn
husks, wrinkled paper hands that can

still recall the warmth of a body, of
dreams. Heat that lingers and
lifts—dissipates into still air,
into hands reaching for what was

almost forgotten. A moldy mattress

deflates.

We are trapped in a cellar
of fermented memories.

We’re pressed to pages of the
past, trapped in a crack of rotting
wallpaper. Lichen and moss gather
into the keys of the organ. In our throats

we’ve collected ten years
worth of dust. Moths decompose
on a carpet of crusted leaves.

We were once those moths.
Denton Church, Abandoned Early 1960's
lil something I wrote for one of my writing classes
Loading...
Reached for the lightning
to find it was the distance
of your hand from mine.

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Awasteof-paint's Profile Picture
Awasteof-paint
michele
Artist
Canada
"i am a lazy, self-indulgent little girl,
who is making herself crazy."

last fm: www.last.fm/user/butwhenidream
Interests
anyone part of a writing community they're really enjoying? wanting to try something new that is more targeted towards writers.

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:iconcybershmunky:
cybershmunky Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2016
:rose:
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:icondeclanewan123:
declanewan123 Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2016
hey mich
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:iconhypnicjerks:
hypnicjerks Featured By Owner Apr 15, 2016
thank you for the favorite!
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:iconbipolarbeardisorder:
BipolarBearDisorder Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
it's good to see your writing back up on here

welcome back 
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(1 Reply)
:iconthe-chemical-factory:
the-chemical-factory Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
i got your book in the mail like 10 minutes ago!
i haven't started reading it yet but i'm excited to start :) 
(also, i love the font - just gotta throw that out there) 
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(1 Reply)
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