George’s Great Big Lesson
A sound under his bed jolted George awake.
His eyes grew wide, and his body started to shake.
“Is it a ghost or a monster?” he thought with dread.
But a soft meow told him it was only Fred.
Leaning over his bed, George saw two green eyes.
Fred meowed again, and George let out a sigh.
“Time for school!” Mom shouted from the door.
“Why, oh why, can’t I just sleep some more?”
He glanced at the clock. It was ten past seven.
If only he were a grownup, he could sleep till eleven!
“Why, oh why, couldn’t it be a snow day?”
Then he could stay at home and play, play, play.
Sleepy and tired, George stumbled into the kitchen.
He was running late, and his bag’s zipper had broken.
“Quickly, George,” Mom said, handing him a glass of grape juice.
“Have some cereal and one of those fruits.”
He took a banana and the juice to the counter.
Then stared at his favorite box of cereal, empty, and turned over.
“Mom, Sarah finished the cereal. I have nothing to eat!”
“There are other cereals,” Sarah said. “Why not try the wheat?”
George’s face got hot, and he wanted to cry.
“I don’t like those. Why did you have to eat mine?”
George glared at his sister, who was now licking her spoon.
“I’ll get some more later,” said Mom. “Hurry, we have to leave soon.”
Grabbing his banana and juice, George sat down, feeling hurt.
And half of the grape juice spilled all over his shirt.
“Oh, George,” Mom said, her face in shock.
“Go and change quickly. It’s almost eight o’clock!”
Embarrassed and angry, George ran back to his room.
He hoped the horrible morning would end really soon.
Back in the kitchen, clean and fed, he reached for his backpack, and a piece of paper fell instead.
It had a list of words for his spelling quiz. It was supposed to be today, and he hadn’t practiced!
His eyes filled with tears, and this time they fell.
“Why, oh why, did I even leave my bed?”
“George, what’s wrong?” Mom asked, frowning.
“I forgot I had a spelling test, and it’s been the worst morning!”
Pulling him into a hug, Mom kissed his cheek.
“We all have bad mornings, sweetheart. It’s how we face it that’s key.
If you take a deep breath and think positively, you’ll see.
The more you focus on something good, the better you’ll feel.”
George thought for a second and concluded that, yes.
Whenever he thought about good moments, he always felt his best.
But— “Mom, I haven’t studied, though. What about my quiz?”
“Just do your best, sweetheart, and use this as a lesson for your next test.”
George smiled and felt the day get a little bit brighter.
And as he walked to the door, his footsteps felt lighter.
He may not ace his spelling quiz, but he will definitely do his best.
And bad mornings don’t equal bad days; it only takes a moment to correct.
Happyness – Where Art Thou?
If you try to find happiness outside of yourself with people or things, then it is fleeting, and it’s not true happiness. This is surfaced. True happiness lies within. And in order to be happy with people and the things around you, you first have to be happy with yourself.
So, here are some steps to being truly happy:
- Sit down and get to know who you are… people spend their entire lives with themselves, and some leave this world not even knowing who they truly are. Get to know yourself. How do you do this? Talk to yourself… If you find that you’re reacting a certain way to something, ask yourself why you do that. Mind you, an external voice won’t answer but keep asking yourself questions and you will eventually get answers. No one knows you better than yourself.
- Like yourself. This is sadly not as easy as it sounds. But here’s the crazy thing… If you find that you don’t like yourself, then you’re doing something or some things that you know isn’t/aren’t aligned with who you really are. Find out what those things are and avoid doing them. Not liking yourself is never just a surfaced thing like – being too fat or skinny or short or tall or pale or dark. These are all surfaced, and this surfaced dislike is coming from somewhere deeper – sit down, be patient with yourself and figure it out. Aren’t you worth it?
- Happiness for all. Once you start to love yourself, you will find that being truly happy is not a fabled existence. Once you’d gotten to know yourself, you’d have found out what makes you feel good and what makes you feel shitty. In order to have true happiness, you should constantly be aware of steps 1-3 and ceaselessly put those steps into play. This is a continuous journey, once you stop any of those 3 points, there’s a good chance your inner feeling of happiness will become stilted and stuck. But, being happy is not something that’s difficult – you just have to be patient with yourself and follow your little joys every day. And, before you know it, you’ll be living a happy life.
- After learning to like yourself, now what you do is love yourself. Treat yourself like you treat a loved one. Appreciate yourself, do things that you like to do, and find and follow whatever makes you feel good in a positive way. Over time, you’ll find that you can call yourself one of your best friends. You know who you are, you appreciate yourself and you love yourself.
A Day Like Any Other
My day began like any other, except now that my boyfriend is staying with me in my tiny apartment for three months – I’m awakened by the sound of the refrigerator door opening, glass clicking and the burst of acidic air from a bottle of coke. Ah yes, just… peeking through one eye at the time… forty-five minutes before my alarm goes off – the joys of cohabitating. Don’t get me wrong, I love that he’s visiting me on the other side of the planet, but my morning side was never made of rainbow and sunshine. As far as I’m concerned, no human contact before 10 a.m. should be a well-enforced law – well, except for early morning sex. That’s great. No talking, no cuddling, just fucking, and then you roll over and go back to sleep.
Anyway, at this point I tried to salvage a little more sleep, although I already knew it was more wishful thinking than realistic. But before I could go back to the already forgotten land of dreams, I smelt the distinct odor of tobacco. Ok, I give up. Literally rolling from my bed I automatically reached for the remote to turn on the heat – morning rituals, plus cold, equals “fuck work I’m going back to bed.” And we definitely can’t have that (too often) now can we?
After some coffee, grilled cheese, getting my hair to look functionally decent, watching a few cartoons and having a smoke – I realized that almost two hours had passed and I was already (almost) late. So I grabbed a dress threw it on and ran out the door. Soon enough, after looking down, I realized that my previously-unworn-dress was way shorter than I’d anticipated, barely reaching mid-thigh on my 5’10” legs and somehow even shorter in the back. Yup, this will definitely not work around teenagers.
While practically running the 10-minute walking distance to my destination and clutching my coat around me like a protective armor, I called my apartment phone which was picked up on the third ring with a cheery “moshi moshi.” I couldn’t help smiling at his noble attempt. “Could you bring me a pair of pants…?” I asked, dodging a co-worker’s eye contact and slipping stealthily into a nearby bathroom.
Just a day like any other.
Another quiet morning has passed where, upon tumbling out of bed, I muse to myself, “what the hell was that dream?” Not that I don’t appreciate the memory of my flights and celestial fancies, but sometimes I truly have to wonder what my subconscious is up to when I delve into these otherworlds.
Sitting on the outskirts of my mind, I look around my tiny apartment and feel the closeness of everything choking me back into my safety net. That slumber that never leaves. It’s sort of like my security blanket – always there to rock me into submission.
Going into auto-pilot, my morning glides from task to task, continuously the same yet somewhat different. I can never seem to do the same exact thing twice.
Sometimes time plays tricks on me, telling me we’re cool and will roll together. But as soon as complacency sits in, I’m tossed in a whirlwind of ticks and missing beats. I can never get mad though, I know time sits still and I’m the one that flows. Still, these moments remain, almost like a reminder of my movement between these planes – forever on the move, yet remaining the same.
Occasionally, I would sit as still as possible and relish in the shifts that exist with and through me. I’m in a million different places right now – how many people know this?
So, back in my apartment, my home away from home, I try to stay with time and have friendly conversations to appease as I go through the motions.
And soon, sometimes too soon, I greet the morning that sits on the outside of my door.
The Theory of Love
Love – such a tricky thing. Where does it come from? Why do we experience it? And, is it really the root of all evil? Ok, maybe that last question is a bit off, but love does hold a certain kind of je ne sais quoi that makes it easy to theorize until we’re personally satisfied.
We all have our stories and different approaches when it comes to love – some try to avoid it at all cost, many search for it with an almost obsessive passion, and others, well, they just leave it to fate.
Scientists suffice that the brain produces its own substances that are involved in bonding. That it’s thanks to certain chemicals and hormones why your heart swoops. According to science, there are a variety of different neurochemical processes and external stimuli that have to click in the right complex and the right sequence for someone to fall in love. Plausible…possibly… But one cannot help thinking that the beauty of love is not just because of neurotransmitters and chemicals like serotonin and dopamine. That’s not very romantic now is it? And love is supposed to be this amazing, romantic thing, right?
That’s why many of us find it so easy to believe that we are destined to be with someone – that one mate for our soul. We meet, fall in love, and (for those who are a bit dreamy) live happily ever after. But is that really love? Is it really that beautiful romantic thing that so many of us crave to find with that one special person? Or, is it something of a more sinister nature? I mean, many have died because of love; and a heartbreak – oh a heartbreak can be the worst kind of pain. Still, we search – whether intentionally or not, we all have, at one point or another, been a slave to those four letters.
We cannot orchestrate falling in love with someone, either it’ll happen or it won’t. And many times we’re not even aware of that exact moment when it does happen. If you think you do, then you, my friend, are reaching because when you sit down and really think about it you will find that it’s not actually that exact instant when you fell in love that you remember, but it’s the epiphanic moment when you realized that it had, in fact, already happened.
Maybe its chemicals dancing up a storm in our brains, or maybe it’s a fateful connection on a soul level. Whatever it is, the bottom line remains – it’s called falling in love for a reason. Because once you’re in, baby, and I mean truly in, it can be one of the most heart-wrenching and agonising experiences to get out of. But, hey, don’t let that deter you from enjoying it when it does happen. Love, despite the pain and suffering that goes along with it, does hold the absolute best feeling you’ll ever have in this lifetime – especially when the person that you’re in love with loves you back with just as much passion, or more.
As the blood seeped through my fingers i thought of the truth. Wherever one may go, and whatever they might try, the demise of happiness and all the pretty things is inevitable.
I fell to my knees, struggling for air and felt a pinch in my lungs each time i stole a breath. We were so close, inside and out, that’s how we knew each other. We were each other’s lives – or, at least, that’s what i thought.
It finally came out – was it a whisper or a choked cough from someone else? I no longer recognized my voice.
She simply looked at me and smiled. That smile that I knew for so long – so many years… but there was something different. There was something of an evil twist to it now, it wasn’t at all the sweet taunting smile that i was used to.
She stepped closer to me and knelt so her face was inches from mine – and still holding the gun, she whispered, “i love you still,” and licked the blood that trickled down the corner of my dried lips.
Questioningly my eyes searched her face, looking for answers that i knew weren’t going to be there. She was always so good at hiding her feelings.
Sighing, she sat back on her heels and started fondling with the gun.
Who was this person? This was not my best friend, the person i knew since childhood.
She had apparently known where to shoot – not to kill me quickly – but to inflict long seeping pain. It was excruciating, i couldn’t hold back the tears as the pain seemed to have suddenly become blinding.
So much blood, I was losing too much blood.
Taking a shallow breath, i swallowed and tried to hold back the panic – I would not go to death weeping.
“I love you still,” she repeated – this time with more persistence in her voice. Her eyes were cold now, staring into me. And i wondered absently how eyes like that could know love.
“I never wanted it to come to this, but certain things just can’t be helped, sweetling.” She ran a finger down my cheek as she said this, and i flinched without thought.
Sighing, she crooned, “You’ll always be a part of me, sweetling.”
Before i could retort at her sentiments and childhood nickname – i felt it. It was slow. Seemingly travelling from my very core. It was death. He was here. Creeping through my body… whispering to me… and breathing down my neck as he hovered overhead… waiting.
My time has come and i will not fight it.
“Know this before you go,” she said to me. “All you had to do was open up and embrace what was real. I was always there. How could you not have seen how much i love you? How much i truly love you? He is no good. No good for you.” She shook her head slowly, staring off – straight through me.
“No one can have you. You are mine now, forever and always.”
She came closer then, and i did not move. I could not move. I felt faint, and the pain was now unbearable. I wanted to go and yearned for it to just end. Then, her lips touched mine… so soft. They lingered and teased, bruising seductively. And i, underneath the pain and ever so subtly felt a tinge of deep pleasure being awoken. If i wasn’t so ‘in-tuned’ i wouldn’t have noticed it.
But before the eyes of this newfound yearning could flutter awake, she slowly pulled away. Her lips leaving mine – uncovered and empty. My soul went with her, i knew. She had taken my last breath. And with the words “I love you still” echoing in my head…. I embraced the grave.