Strangers. Lovers. Enemies. Friends. Liars.

Because we weren’t official, does that mean I can’t mourn the loss of you?

Because you aren’t mine, does that mean I can’t seethe seeing you live, just fine, without me?

Because so much time has existed before me and will go on, without interruption, upon my unexpected exile, does that mean I am alone in feeling like our time together was significant?

Can I have, and lose, something that I never had permission to call mine?

I want my life story to be more than the bars I solicited, conversations tainted with alcohol and too hazy to recall, men that have entered and exited my life.

I can’t stand the sound of your voice, and it’s the only comfort I’ll take. Like cream in my coffee… you’re familiar, you’re an addiction, I hate you, you’re killing me, and I need you… and all you give me in return are momentary thrills, as I work to fight off the side effects as soon as you’ve left me. I’m thirsty.

I can’t believe I won’t even be a footnote in the book of your life…. You were so important to me. Mountainous change. Profound experiences and lessons. Loving and fighting and laughing and living passionately.

But there aren’t even pictures. There isn’t even proof of the scars you’ve left behind. This mess I’ve had to clean on my own. There is no evidence that I was ever a name on your breath, a waist in your arms, a taste on your tongue, an image in those goddamn brown eyes.


It’s not fair how quickly I disappeared from you. How deeply you cut into me.


I start keeping time with you.

850 days since our first kiss.

139 days later, I left you for the first time.

Nearly a year since I saw you last.

 

You became my compass.

He is 400 miles North.

He is 13,000 miles East.

I left my heart 700 miles South West of here.

My memories are a 15 hour drive away.

My identity is a 3 hour plane ride.

… my life is far gone…


I’ve learned to live without you, but you’re always just a breath away… a lonely night. An extra shot of whiskey. A New York skyline, a zydeco band, a salty Bahama ocean breeze. A whisper of your name, a familiar tune on the radio, a memory as I walk the streets of Manhattan.


A Facebook notification flashes the news:

EXTRA! EXTRA!

HE’S FINE. HE’S LIVING WITHOUT YOU, HAPPILY, NOT THINKING ABOUT YOU.YOU’RE NOT IMPORTANT. YOU HAVE NOTHING TO SHARE.  YOU’VE GAINED WEIGHT. YOU’RE NOT DOING MUCH IN YOUR LIFE RIGHT NOW. SHE’S PRETTIER THAN YOU. SHE’S FITTER THAN YOU. THEY ALL ARE. YOU’RE BORING. NOTHING YOU HAVE TO SAY IS NEW. YOUR WRITING IS DULL AND UNINVENTIVE. YOU’RE ALMOST 25 AND UNEXCITING.  YOU HAVE NOTHING TO OFFER. TO THE INTERNET. TO HIM. TO YOURSELF. TO THE WORLD. NO ONE NOTICED THAT YOU’RE NOT EVEN THERE. YOU WEAR YOUR HEART ON YOUR SLEEVE. YOU ARE ALONE IN YOUR AFFECTION AND THE ONLY FEELINGS YOU CAN EVOKE IN OTHERS ARE PHYSICAL. YOU’VE SERVED YOUR PURPOSE AND NOW HE’S GONE. IT’S A REPETITIVE PROCESS AND IT NEVER ENDS… YOU’RE STUCK IN A CYCLE OF FEELING AND EMOTING AND RELEASING AND BECOMING VULNERABLE… AND IT CRASHES AND BURNS AGAIN. IT CAN’T BE GENUINE IF IT HAPPENS EVERY TIME.

…DID I MENTION YOU’RE FAT NOW? THAT HIGH CAMERA ANGLE ISN’T HIDING YOUR DOUBLE CHIN AND LOVE HANDLES. NICE TRY. FILTERS AREN’T MAGIC.

Reality, Future, Loneliness and 236 others like this.


 

Morning Pages

Somewhere between Astoria, Queens and SoHo in the early morning hours. You know, those 2 hours between still, dead night and early morning light… when morning commuters share the train with the those suffering from last night’s party…

A girl tries to settle her heart with “Morning Pages” (longhand, stream of consciousness writings done first thing in the morning). It doesn’t last long.


10/12/15

Morning vs. Mourning…

Perhaps we know there are no endings, only new beginnings.  It’s time for mine.

We were dancers in the night, but it’s time for me to move on and make love to the morning, give in to her succulent kiss, her igniting touch… she sheds light in the darkness and reveals a new world. My new love.

I am exposed.

My skin sucks to her warmth, her rays bring me the color my life has lacked for so long.

Sorrows once drowned in celebratory whiskey shots of youth, high heels and drunken declarations of love… are now invigorated and repurposed in the buzz of my morning dark roast. (I love you, coffee, I do.)

She sees me without shadows; in the morning sun there is nowhere to hide.

In the morning sun, the flowers stretch yearningly to the nourishment they need. I begin to bloom.

The night’s thumping bass is replaced by morning songbirds.

In the night, the memories recall,

call,

calling me to

crawl

back,

return

to the life in shadows.

Blindness.

I hide beneath the covers, and await the warm embrace of my love, the first kiss of mourning rays… I can’t breathe in the waterfall of memories as I call

recall.

Remember.

the nights before.

Flooding my bed…. in the waking rays.

I try sleep through the night. Shut my eyes…

But find myself here, again.


10/13/15

I didn’t move to NYC to be a full-time slave waitress. I’m a fucking cliche. A number.

But I haven’t even tried. I haven’t been auditioning. At all.

This new project is a true gift… a huge wake-up call to how out of shape I’ve gotten creatively.

I’m stifling out here… in this restaurant. Letting people label me as insignificant. Letting myself drown in a gray stew of ordinary. Unnoticed. Unimportant.

…I treated myself that way.

…I let him treat me that way.

Worst of all… I believed it.

I want to explore the sights and sounds of New York that inspired me a lifetime ago from miles away, but I find myself growing cold to the place of which I’ve hardly made an acquaintance. I hope I get to work on time. It hardly seems fair to not be able to sleep all night, wake up 4+ hours before work and STILL be late… I’ll “create” being on time. [Author’s Note: I didn’t]

I don’t want to go. I’m starting to loath this place. I don’t like how negative I can get for no logical reason…

…but here I go.


10/14/15

I am exhausted. So. Fucking. Exhausted.

And bloated. Damn beer.

But happy. And inspired. And excited for the future. I have no reason to doubt this director, right? He never doubts himself… and he’s gotten very, very fair with that.

A model to live by.

Discipline seems to be my biggest lesson right now. Self discipline, especially. I am in control. For so long when HE and I were in the thick of it, and even while on tour, I complained on feeling like I didn’t have control. Like everything was happening to me. And though I spent the majority of 2015 reading about how life is about perspective and action, for the first time, my heart believes it.

I need a massage.

Or a message? Was that what the director’s talk was about last night? The beers? Running into Paul Haggis? Is this the beginning of everything I was destined for?

[Author’s Note: It was]

Pumpkins

THE CHALLENGE: My friends gave me a subject, a line, a word or an idea and I agreed to write about it  for exactly one hour. Stream of consciousness. Unedited.

…And whether it is finished or not, I post it.


#1

Pumpkins- Kathryn Connors 

Start: 10:00 PM

End: (with lots of interruptions) 11:00 PM


My knees were beginning to ache against the hardwood floors.

I had been sitting for hours, legs folded under me, with a photo album in my lap. I wasn’t sure what I was searching for… furiously flipping through the yellowed and dusty pages for pieces of myself that I had never known. Old glossy, floppy Kodak memories reflected the ceiling fan light of my childhood bedroom.

She went to her deathbed still clinging onto secrets she felt I needed to be protected from. My mom, I mean.

My brother and I were clearing the house today. The landlord was itching at the opportunity to put the dilapidated structure back on the market.

“I can get two Mexican families in there for twice the rent”, he spat just days before. A sensitive and heart-felt remark of condolence at her wake…. just feet from the open casket. He had been our landlord for nearly 30 years. We had him over for Christmas dinner.

This was the house where I grew up. Hell, I was born in the living room.

My childhood was going to be signed away for a monthly fee.

I guess it didn’t matter, anyway. I hadn’t lived within 100 miles of home in almost a decade.

I had come into her bedroom, alone, trying to move the bed by myself (unsuccessfully), before collapsing onto the floor, breathless and confirming that I am completely out of shape. That’s when I saw it: A photo album under the bed.

It was red, and the binding was almost completely destroyed from use. The cover was holding on by mere threads. On the inside of the cover was a message written in faded marker:

The Lyons Family. 1991.


I found myself on the floor, what felt like hours later, stuck on the third page, entranced. There was only one image and an inscription. I traced the photo with my finger, feeling my way through the mystery. This whole album was from before I could form memories… and I had never seen it before. No one had ever mentioned it.

“October 31st, 1991. My sweet little pumpkins. E (left) and M (right).”

The caption was written on a lined-sticky note, blue ink, my mother’s sharp, thin cursive leaning slightly to the right. Precise; to scale. You could measure the script for accuracy and find no flaw. Reading her handwriting caused one to inadvertently raise an eyebrow and straighten their posture. Regardless of the subject at hand, the precision created an impression of confidence equivalent to a Stephen Hawking publication.

E, that was definitely me. Emily. I am Emily.

My mom always told me that all the photos of me before I was a year old were destroyed. A “baby-pulled-the undeveloped-film-out-of-the-camera” story. (Yes, there was a time, before the digital/internet age in which our memories were much more fragile… and an unsupervised baby could destroy all photographic evidence of a young family). And video? Well, somehow those were recorded over on our $200 VCR. They said either me or my brother did that… I don’t remember. It just became fact. I was content with the fact that I wouldn’t have a picture of me, fresh and slimy in my first moments of life or timeless moments captured of me learning to walk, crawl, talk-

But, I’m a summer baby. July. 1991. This is October.

That’s… 3 months.

In the picture, it’s the living room. This living room, I recognize it. The familiar blue couch looks new, before we got our dog, Stanley. Before I tried to paint my nails when I was 6. Before several years’ worth of “The floor is lava” completely deflated the cushioning of the arm rest. When the back cushions still maintained their square shape. When a cloth couch was acceptable to keep in a modern family’s living room.

There, in the corner, is my brother. He has to be… three years old? He’s dressed as Snoopy, clinging to my Mom and looking shyly at the camera from behind her long, thin legs. He’s jack-o-lantern plastic bucket lay at his side, hanging loosely and smiling mostly to our white carpet.

….I always thought that carpet was a light brown…

Mom looks happy, and thin. Sharp angles of her jaw and cheekbones made her the mold most models try to pour themselves into. She’s dressed in a red tee shirt, high waisted (awful and so late 80s) jeans, a blue blanket in her right arm, held to her cheek. Her long, straight blonde hair is pulled into a low ponytail. She is playfully biting her thumb and flirtatiously looking at the camera.

oh my god..

…is she a sexy Linus?  

Jesus, a family theme. A family Peanuts theme.

I cringed.

On the couch, just to the left of mom, were two babies, dressed as tiny pumpkins. They sat in their fat in the way that babies under 6 months do… you know, before they can really hold themselves up or do much of anything. They sort of leaned both on the back of the couch and on each other. The one on the left looked like it was seconds away from falling completely over onto the other.

They looked exactly alike. E, me, Emily… the dumb baby on the left about to fall over (typical). And on the right-

…who is this other baby?

Who is M?

 

 

 

 

One-Offs Pt. 2

February 2016

#13

3w3D

Remember when we fell, tumbling, swirling in a twister of young, wild uninhibited love? We couldn’t question it, we didn’t mention it, our hearts were louder than our minds. We could hear the protest of logic against our wild ride.

You and I….

Back when we were “you and I”… attractive, active, fearless and careless.

We were a fucking mess.

Magically, mystically, intertwined and in my mind we were

One.

We trusted. We lusted. We knew everything was okay, everyday. I believed so strongly in you, the things you do. The dreams and things we believed. Wholeheartedly. You and me. We were so magnetic. Energetic. Knetic.

Everyone said. You took my hand and lead. Reassured me. Called me “baby”.

No, we aren’t crazy. Just…. Maybe….

This was it.

Pure. True. Bliss…

What did I miss?

#16

I eat though I am not hungry.

I drink though I am not thirsty.

Maybe because I know I need to fill

All the emptiness inside me.

I take it all on

Fill it to the brim, then cram in more.

Maybe if I shove enough in

I can purge this sickness (sadness) from my core.

I don’t know when it’s enough

I never want to stop

I indulge in you, all of you… addicted to the feeding, unaware of the consequences

Waistline expanding, body rejecting.

Until I am alone, hurting, processing, overindulging, overdosing.

They tell me to stop. They tell me to slow down.

No one can take in and on so much.

You’re what I need to survive and you’re killing me.

#17

A tank full of gas, a heart full of adventure.

24 years down, 360 miles to go…

#20

Scar tissue disguised and decorated as battle scars

Badges of honor. For heroics. For bravery.

Proof I survived you.

Proof that the deepest wounds will close.

Even if it’s too ugly, grotesque to face head-on.  I can heal, too.

Makes your stomach churn to see the mutilation

My complacent self-infliction…Silence lead to my victimization.

The body is merely a vessel.

The soul is indestructable.

My oozing flesh scares them away.

Good.

The wounds will only survive to my saliva.

Self-soothing with a rough, wet, tongue.

Needle and thread. Needle and thread.

Cut me splice me with lies that you said.

Suture the wounds, Sanitize the scene

Close the flesh, you won’t infect me again.

Burn off the ends, watch the memories fall away

Bring life back to the heart tissue; dead, cold gray.

Put on the gloves, handle the old heart with care

Dispose of the biohazard, destroyed beyond all repair.

Needle and thread. Needle and thread.

Hardly alive, but not quite dead.

#1

One look was all it took

To start dreaming with you.

One glance and I’m entranced;

My life has begun anew.

One wink, now I think

What love birds sing is true:

All you need is one, from “The One”

To forever be two.

I’ll never be “just one” again…

Now that I’ve found you.

#29- ‘Lone. Pt 1

Another unfinished one… scribbled down today in a coffee shop.


He fumbled with the zipper of his hoodie, heart pounding, mind racing. He looked in the mirror

I look fucking ridiculous.

He traded in his usual Italian Leather Oxford Bals for a pair of nice sneakers. At least, he thought they were nice… he paid enough for them. A shoe that had no other fucntion than to match his shirt (His son has stressed the importance of this).

His son. Jesus.

He’s closer in age than we are.

He didn’t actually ask her age… he assumed, and hoped, that she had at least a few years on his oldest son… 27? 24? 21? He pushed the thought out of his head.

Youth looks the same.

Besides, she hadn’t asked his age, either. In fact, she never commented on the generational gap.

He tugged down on the hoodie so that it smoothed the curves and valleys of his mountainous middle: expanding from his chest sharply, steeply climbing past his waist before sloping over into a cliff, an overhang above his belt line that quaked with every step. It seemed counterintuitive to wear more clothing to appear to have less mass… or at least, smoother, more compact mass.

Still, he refused to wear pants above the waist; he wasn’t that old.

He threw his hands deep into the pockets of his blue hoodie and cocked his left hip, leading with his right foot. He stared at the reflection. Unrecognizable. Was he trying too hard? Would she see right through the costume of youth and see the sad, old man underneath?

The multi-colored graffiti on the white tee-shirt peered above the half-risen zipper, but he wasn’t entirely sure if it was words or an image. He hoped she wouldn’t ask about it.

His hair and beard were littered with gray. It was thinner than before. If you caught him at the right angle from behind, with his guard down, you could see through to his scalp. But he wasn’t going to let that happen. He grabbed a generous heap of moose and began the tedious process of manipulating what little hair he had left to cover where it would no longer grow.

His beard was freshly trimmed into a 20 year old memory of a jawline. He combed the dark brown dye through sections with precision; creating shadows and contours against the stark white contrast of a man a quarter of his age and half his size.

He readjusted himself in the dark wash jeans. He wasn’t entirely sure of the fit; the elastic band of his boxers stretched across where his hips became wider than his thighs. The jeans began 3-4 inches below that, the back pockets outlining his upper thigh. All of this purposeful mis-fitting was covered by the tee-shirt (that no one would fully see) and the blue hoodie to make him look more…compact…

…and to match these fucking shoes.

He nipped and tugged at the fabric masterpiece until he was satisfied, and completed his ensemble with a couple of sprays the cologne his wife had gifted him for one of their anniversaries… before he was gray.

…She didn’t call to say she’d pick up the last of her stuff today.

TO BE CONTINUED.