Lauren. 22. Montreal.
Lapsed filmmaker, lazy poet, and old soul.
No time to talk. I’ve got the president on the phone, a narwhal on the barbecue, and a novel to write.
22 and still wondering why.
Shoot me down.
A lot of people say endings are the hardest part to write. I can’t write a beginning to save my life.
I wish I could go back in time and tell my child self not to tear off the tags of her Beanie Babies because she’ll really need the money someday. Then again, I can’t ignore the memory of how she felt when the first tag ripped from the little mouse Cheezer, and she knew the rest needed to go so he wouldn’t feel left out.
Why does sleep paralysis have to be a thing? It happens to me on a weekly basis and it’s always so traumatizing.
So the novel that’s been kicking my ass for the last few years has finally decided to cooperate and let me write it.
"Sometimes I feel like I’m a spoof of what I used to be."
Before I can relate to you the creepy events of my adolescence, there are two facts you must understand:
At our first home, my mom would be unrecognizable masquerading as whatever fiendish monster she chose for Halloween, and encouraged us to follow suit. She would walk my brother and I through the dark neighborhoods when we went trick-or-treating in our small town, making sure to visit that one street that was lined with abandoned houses.
When friends would visit, my dad would put on his best Peter Lorre impression. He would tell them to behave, or risk being imprisoned in the dungeon and experimented on in the secret laboratory. At one point, he purchased an abandoned farm he planned to fix up and sell, letting my brother and I tag along to play in the ruins.
Horror movies were always allowed, ouija boards and tarot cards were anticipated birthday gifts, thunderstorms were cherished, and they never hid from us the fact that the previous owner of the house had died in our swimming pool and some suspected her son had killed her.
Looking back, it seems like they were always encouraging us to accept and perhaps even celebrate life’s darker, harsher little quirks. To smile when an old door slowly creaks open or when the moon distorts the shadows across our bedroom walls. To know Death walks idly behind us all and that it’s perfectly okay.
And those were the first seven years of my life. It seemed strange at the time considering we lived in a small Canadian town in the middle of nowhere, where the worst thing imaginable was someone not apologizing for stepping on your toe. But then we moved.
The house is outside an even smaller town, so far away from anything that the only traffic the long, dead-end street gets is from residents, wild turkeys, and wandering dogs. Most houses are pulled far back from the street, half shrouded by thick patches of woods, and the only point of interest within walking distance is a cemetery. It’s the kind of place you really don’t want to be stuck during a blizzard with no power or cellular reception while a blood-thirsty serial killer is on the loose.
Home was thirty-six acres of quiet farmland and forest, and still is when I choose to visit my parents a few times every year. But to this day, I find it difficult to be at ease there, especially if I’m left alone. Nothing strange has happened there for many years now, but we cannot forget what did happen when we moved in fifteen years ago…
I don’t want a hero or a knight in shining armor. I want a partner in crime.
FRIENDFRIENDFRIENDFRIEND! What name can I put to this friendly gray face? :)
I’m going to use this blog more often. While life is busy, the TWC has these magical powers of motivation and people that I dearly miss. Hello again!
Have you counted the moons
since you were last bruised,
since she composed a psalm
in the hollow of shared breaths?
I did declare, to the ether,
her grave shall know company
and the universe will not flinch.
Circles and squares
compare and contrast
alternatives to auteurs,
a level paper…
what works? Bored.
Worse than Mary Ellen
frequency, overtone, cardioid —
I don’t understand.
Dedicated to Michelle for giving me the prompt “a flower, a dragon, and a girl” back in March of 2012, and Josh for reading the beginning and encouraging an ending. It’s been a long journey, and I hope the ending you choose does not disappoint.
Nowhere in the middle of somewhere, you confront the beast.
But first your eyes flutter in a struggle against consciousness and finally open up to the night. You are standing at the very edge of a great precipice, overlooking a wide valley set ablaze. The screams from below are caught in the leering cliffs that tower around the land, and are righteously smothered.
You blink. Do you know what that feeling is? Some form of pity? You wonder how many children are crying below for their mothers, how many men are tearing each other apart in the madness. Snow is falling, light against your cheek.
The crackling seizes your attention, a buzzing bee at your ear, and you turn around. Foul smoke from a blazing pyre rises up to immeasurable heights like the departing souls of the piled remains, disappearing into the starless black sky and surely into the stratosphere…
You would move toward it. You would seek comfort in its warmth were it not for the beast.
My head played in the clouds
until gravity weighed in;
now with barrel to the temple,
I’ll shoot for the stars.