“So, do it. Decide. Is this the life you want to live? Is this the person you want to love? Is this the best you can be? Can you be stronger? Kinder? More Compassionate? Decide. Breathe in. Breathe out and decide”—
“The one thing I didn’t like was being terribly shy. An incredibly shy person. And so I overcompensated. I thought that if I gave myself an alarming kind of reputation then I would have to learn to defend myself and therefore come out of myself”—David Bowie (via h-o-r-n-g-r-y)
I’ve recently come to the conclusion that maybe I give too much of myself to the wrong people and then as a result never enough to those that truly matter. The problem is that I can never see the threshold until it’s over. I hope that one day I gather up the courage to show enough of myself to the right people, because at the end of the day those are the only ones who truly matter. I hope that one day soon I can show you that there is more of me to give. And I’ll know at that exact moment that you were worth every minute of it, my one moment to finally let you know that it has been a privilege to let you in. Time can only tell, can only tell as to how much you mean to me. You are amazing and I wish you could believe in it as much as I do.
It's moments like these that I realise I am so lonely, not alone as I surround myself with beautiful people to avoid it. It's also these moments that I realise after all this time, I really fucking miss you.
So about a month ago I uploaded a short story called the Trials of the Past for a creative writing unit that I am currently studying at university. For my second piece I had to re-edit and re-submit it. So here it is, enjoy.
Trials of the Past
Anne shuffled into the bathroom pausing briefly in front of the mirror; she barely recognised herself these days. Each day had appeared to take its toll as she closely examined the lines that now streaked her tired face. Her once dark brown hair that had reminded her of rich chocolate was now a faded memory taken over by the grey stricken muck that now replaced it. The only thing that seemed familiar to her was the emerald green eyes that always seemed to show more emotion than anticipated. She remembered the first day they had moved here, the light that had shone in his eyes, the creases that formed at the sides of his cheeks as he smiled at her, his eagerness to tackle whatever the city folk might throw at them evident in his face. She had always admired his thrill for life and the comfort that she had felt in facing the crowds with him by her side. Anne quickly steadied herself as she grasped the hand basin, it had been a week since she had thought about him and it was enough to take her by surprise. She knew now that his memory would stay with her for the rest of the day, she sighed deeply at the thought of it, at the thought of him. Once his image had faded from her vision she shuffled her way to the front door and braced herself for yet another dreary day. It was the stepping out that was always the hardest for Anne, as the fear of being swallowed up in to the sea of bodies plagued her mind. The faceless mass of people scared her as they all seemed to be pushing their way to somewhere better, only ever stopping to throw the remnants of their liquid breakfasts in the bin or to put out the light of their cancer sticks as she liked to call them. Slowly she joined the mass and began her journey deeper in to the heart of the city centre. Apart from a few passing grumbles that she had in time learnt to ignore, there was no real sense of familiarity. It was this particular characteristic of the city life that troubled her greatly, no matter how many times she walked the same path to the Maxwell Café there was no real sense of intimacy. No two faces were the same and there were no features that she was able to recognise; and so in time she began to stop looking and allowed herself to slip slowly in to the background.
The ritualistic nature of her daily travels over the last month had been something that Anne was able to find some form of comfort in, it wasn’t the travel as such but more the thought of being greeted by the lipstick stained smile of the waitress, Ella. Anne had become reliant upon the kind way in which the waitress had taken to her, ways that went far beyond the traditional description of what being a waitress entailed. The truth was that Anne normally found most forms of social interaction difficult these days and as a result avoided it as much as possible only ever speaking when spoken to or when it seemed necessary, however with Ella it was different. She smiled as she reflected on the way that Ella always made sure table twenty was free for her to take refuge once she had arrived and Anne also admired the way that the young waitress never questioned her simple culinary choices but instead chuckled at the small jokes that they had shared about it. It was these daily behaviours that had established the grounds for Anne to consider Ella in some respects a friend, and it was this that allowed her to face the crowds every morning. It was these reflections that caused her to think about how Albert would have liked the café as much as she did, as it had all the characteristics that he thought a café should have; just enough light so that you weren’t eating your food in the dark or from the glare of the sun. There was always enough people dining to know that the food must be good and teamed with these rhythms of conversation and the clanging of cutlery to plates are the soft melodies of Frank Sinatra that always seem to be playing somewhere in the background, Anne had also come to the conclusion that he too would have been just as fond of the waitress as she had come to be.
Finally she arrived at the Maxwell a little out of breath as well as a little dishevelled as she had to pick up the pace to avoid her consumption in to the crowd, there had been a lot more people out and about this morning which made Anne more nervous than usual. She began to make her way over to table twenty, stopping half way there. She hadn’t noticed until now that a young couple was occupying what she had come to know as her table.
'How strange' she heard herself say as she stood there in confusion glancing around to find some form of an explanation; others seated at surrounding tables were starting to stare at her so she decided to quickly sit elsewhere until the matter could be sorted out, surely Ella wouldn’t of done this to her, it was at that moment that Anne realised that she hadn’t seen Ella on her way in. Anne was soon startled out of her confusion by the presence of an unfamiliar waitress.
“What did you want to order” the waitress asked impatiently.
Taken aback by the waitress’s tone Anne replied quietly ‘if it’s not too much of a hassle I was wondering if you could tell me where Ella is today, maybe she could come and take my order?’
The waitress sighed in annoyance ‘look it’s going to be pretty difficult for Ella to take your order today, or any other day for that matter because as of yesterday she doesn’t work here anymore, she quit. Now that we have that matter all cleared up either let me take your order or you can find somewhere and someone else to annoy.’
‘She never mentioned that she was leaving, do you know why?’
‘Look lady I don’t have time to play twenty questions with every customer that comes in here asking where Ella is or why she quit, if you can’t tell the café is extremely busy this morning and Ella quitting hasn’t helped the situation by any means, now instead of asking I’ll put it bluntly either order something or I’m going to have to ask you to leave so that someone who wants to order a meal can, you got me?’
Anne couldn’t believe what she was encountering but she knew that she had to respond quickly to avoid any more confrontation with the waitress; all she had asked was where Ella was she hardly thought that it was fuel for an attack.
‘Well I guess I’ll just have to order my usual then won’t I.’
This seemed to tip the waitress over the edge and before Anne could finish her sentence the waitress interjected ‘well I don’t know that’s up to you to decide now isn’t it, as we’ve established I’m not Ella, I don’t know who you are or what your usual is, and to be honest I don’t care much for people like you wasting my time with a series of pointless questions or cryptic responses, I have asked you twice what it is that you would like to order and both times you have failed to tell me what it is you want, so I’m sorry but I’m going to have to ask you to leave as we have a group of people who would actually like to order off of the menu, come back when you know what it is you want, have a nice day.’
Just like that the waitress stormed off leaving Anne to gather her belongings and forcing her to leave the one place that she had felt welcomed. Once again Anne had to prepare herself to face the crowd alone. She glanced back briefly into the café wondering how quickly her safety net had been ripped away from her; a tear streaked her face as the unfortunate events forced her to come to terms with her loneliness. She made her way back on to her morning route this time continuing past the rickety gate of her weathered house. The walk was long and slow as she struggled her way up the concrete road, her steps becoming more laboured the further she climbed. It had only been a couple of days since she had made this particular trek and she was amazed at how quickly her body had come to reject it. Eventually she arrived at her destination; one which always met her with grief. She shuffled through the cast iron gates and made her way to the bench that sat in front of Albert. She looked at the words ‘In loving Memory’ and sat in silence for a while. Albert was the one that embraced change with open arms not her, and now she was faced with it everywhere she went. Albert was gone she couldn’t deny it any longer but now so was Ella. Then there was the Maxwell, it had been her shelter from all those faceless inhabitants and after today Anne knew that she couldn’t go back there. Not after the way she had been spoken to and certainly not without Ella. Where would she go now? She knew she had to do something, Albert wouldn’t have wanted her to be this unhappy and she certainly couldn’t stand it anymore either. With that she blew Albert a kiss and marched her way back down the path in which she had come. For the first time Anne wasn’t bothered by the concrete dwellers that faced her, for once she wasn’t worried about getting lost amongst the sea of suits. She wasn’t sure what had overcome her, but Anne was determined to fix this mess that she had somehow fallen into. Albert had always told her that ‘if you’re unhappy with life love all you have to do is ask why and change it’, and for the first time in her life Anne knew she would.
“Stop saying sorry. Say thank you instead. When you say, “sorry for being a jerk” the other person is forced to either call you a jerk or say it wasnt a big deal. Instead, say “thank you for being so patient with me” so the other person has a reason to say they love you.”—I saw this gem on Reddit tonight. It was posted under a topic of “What ‘little’ things you can do to improve your relationship with your significant other.” I’m definitely taking this piece of advice with me into my next relationship. (via blakebaggott)
So this year I have undertaken my first unit in creative writing as an add on to my degree. We had to write an excerpt from a short story and so here it is for you all! Hope you enjoy it as much as I did writing it. X
Trials of the Pass
Anne shuffled into the bathroom pausing briefly in front of the mirror, she barely recognised herself these days. Each day had appeared to take their toll as she closely examined the lines that now streaked her tired face. Her once dark brown hair that had reminded her of rich chocolate was now a faded memory taken over by the grey stricken muck that now replaced it. The only thing that seemed familiar to her was those emerald green eyes that always seemed to show more emotion than anticipated. She remembered the first day they had moved here, the light that had shone in his eyes, the creases that formed at the sides of his cheeks as he smiled at her eager to tackle whatever the city folk might throw at them. She had always admired his thrill for life and the comfort that she had felt in facing the crowds with him by her side. Anne quickly steadied herself as she grasped the hand basin, it had been a week since she had thought about him and it was enough to take her by surprise. She knew now that his memory would haunt her for the rest of the day creeping up on her when she least expected it, she sighed deeply at the thought of it, at the thought of him. Once his image had faded from her vision she shuffled her way to the front door and braced herself for yet another dreary day. It was the stepping out that was always the hardest for Anne as the fear of being swallowed up in to the sea of bodies plagued her mind. The faceless mass of people scared her as they all seemed to be pushing their way to somewhere better only ever stopping to throw the remnants of their liquid breakfasts in the bin or to put out the light of their cancer sticks as she liked to call them. Slowly she joined the mass and began her journey deeper into the heart of the city center. Apart from a few passing grumbles that she had in time had learnt to ignore, there was no real sense of familiarity. It was this particular characteristic of the city life that troubled her greatly, no matter how many times she walked the same path to the Maxwell Cafe there was no real sense of intimacy. No two faces were the same and there were no features that she was able to recognise; and so in time she began to stop looking and allowed herself to slip slowly in to the background. Finally she arrived at the Maxwell a little out of breath as well as a little dishevelled as she had to pick up the pace to avoid her consumption in to the crowd, there had been a lot more people out and about this morning which made Anne more nervous than usual. Leaving her fear at the door she headed inside and over to the pleasantly small table, and nestled herself into the comfort that that the seat was able to provide her. It wasn’t the first time that Anne had ventured to where she was now patiently waiting for the delivery of her menu; in fact Anne had been coming to the Maxwell Cafe for well over a month now. Each day taking refuge at the exact same table, number twenty.
Just like she thought there he was creeping up on her again, she was thinking about how Albert would of liked this cafe as it had all the characteristics that he had thought a cafe should have; just enough light so that you weren’t eating your food in the dark or from the glare of the sun, enough people were dining to know that the food is good and accompanying this rhythm of conversation and the clanging of cutlery to plates are the soft melodies of Frank Sinatra playing somewhere in the background. Anne secretly never cared much for Sinatra but she always made sure at dinner time that she had the tape playing just so that she could watch him smile as he nodded his head swiftly in time to the music. “Good morning Anne, how are you today? Would you like me to place an order for your usual or would you like to take a look at the menu this time?” Startled by the waitresses presence Anne was snapped back to reality once again leaving the memories of Albert behind. She quickly replied in a somewhat awkward manner “Oh, hie Ella, ah yes I’m ok thanks, how are you? Ah no I don’t think I’ll look at the menu today I’ll just get my usual for breakfast thanks”. The waitress smiled sweetly as she replied “only ok, that’s no good Anne I hope it picks up for you, me oh I’m great thanks I honestly couldn’t be better, well maybe if I wasn’t at work” she chuckled melodically at her attempt at a joke and assured Anne that it wouldn’t be too long a wait until her food would be served.
Anne always looked forward to her conversations with Ella, no matter how fleeting, the truth was that Anne normally found most forms of social interaction difficult these days and as a result avoided it as much as possible only ever speaking when spoken to or when it seemed necessary. However with Ella it was different, she wasn’t sure if maybe it was simply that she was just good at her job or if there was more to the situation the she realised. Anne examined Ella watching closely as she bustled around the other tables leaving a trail of smiles in her wake. It was hard not to smile when you were around such a charismatic character as Ella; Anne too had caught herself similarly to that of the other customers smiling after some of their conversations. An action that now felt somewhat foreign to her. Ella however always seemed to be smiling; it was one of those smiles that lit up the entire face, her bright red lipstick stained lips was an image that Anne could never forget. And one that she admired. Anne many a times had examined Ella like she had done to herself earlier that morning. She was a pretty young lady Anne had thought, and over time she had come to the conclusion that Ella wasn’t plain like she was; she supposed that Ella was what the youth might refer to as trendy; always sporting bold necklaces and other jewellery that seemed to match the particular shade of lipstick that she had selected for the day, her lush blonde hair was always pinned neatly on the top of her head providing Anne with a constant reminder as to how old she was becoming. Before Anne could get too lost in thought Ella had returned to the table and in one swift movement she placed the plate in front of her, and just as quickly as she had arrived she was gone leaving Anne to eat her breakfast in peace.
She looked at the plate closely, one piece of dry toast; two eggs slightly runny; one piece of crunchy bacon and to the side the most important component a dish filled with barbeque sauce. She loved barbeque sauce and had for as long as she could remember. She ate it with just about everything and chuckled slightly at the comments that Albert had always made about her need for it, her defence was that it was the only thing that made her meals interesting. It was the only argument that they both were able to agree on. She shook the thoughts away before taking a bite of toast. Anne had actually many a time thought about looking at the menu to see if there was something a bit more adventurous that she could try but she just couldn’t bring herself to do it. She’d become content with her choice and she couldn’t see the point in ordering something that she potentially may not like; and it was this truth that allowed Anne to forget about how boring or plain her meal may seem because in all honesty it suited her just fine. She had come to terms with her simplicity a long time ago and her breakfast was now just one reflection of it. She didn’t see the point in dressing up in fancy clothes and applying masks of make-up, she was happy with her plain white shirt and black slacks just as she was happy with her plain culinary decisions. The reality of the matter was that she’d come to rely heavily upon the safety that these routines provided, and so she sat in silence at table twenty watching the waves of people passing by slowly scraping up every mouthful until like Albert it was gone.
“Don’t get mad. Don’t get even. Get stronger, faster, and more powerful. Fill yourself with
knowledge and empathy and an indomitable spirit because no one else can do that for you.
In the end, it’s your life, your choice, and your world. Give 110%, always.”—Apollo Anton Ohno (via franki-e)
So I guess for me I am proud that I tried. Not crying over spilled milk is hard but if anything it’s taught me to keep my heart strong and to be content with the fact that I tried even though there was a risk of failing. This new found confidence in myself has made me hopeful and I know I can hold my head high and just forget it. There’s someone out there and when it happens it’ll happen. I’ve always been one to hold on to shit whether that be people, clothing, junk, books etc. never in an out of control way more the stigma or emotion behind them. I love to remember and sometimes find it difficult to forget it, even when I know it’s best. So for now I’ll happily take this new outlook and simply forget and move on, knowing that I am a better person because of it.