Today in one of my classes I was asked whether I’d rather be deaf or blind and I found myself contemplating it all day; torn between my two loves: the written word and the spoken word.
In reading great literature I become a thousand men and yet remain myself … I see with myriad eyes, but is still I that see … I transcend myself; and am never more myself than when I do.
Character Sketch (of me)
People anxiously walked by the life guard station with their flip-flops and oversized towels anxiously waiting to absorb the sun’s rays; to be taken with the crash of ocean waves and a bed of warm sand. But as they strolled past the station door, their carefree anticipation was turned to uneasy apprehension. They heard a 15 year old boy screaming in agony—gasping for all the air in the room and convulsing in a chair. His foot was in scalding hot water, blood and stringy black venom seeping from the deep cut on his foot. Around him was his mother and his older brother, holding him, assuring him that everything would be alright. He was experiencing the worst physical pain he had felt up to that point; and no pain he would feel after would ever quite compare.
I know the weight of his pain because I am that 15 year old boy. My brother and I were kings earlier that day. We strutted onto Huntington beach early in the morning, before any other kids were splashing around in our water, before the water had been stirred. The cold water slapped up against our chests as we ventured farther and farther. My brother’s head shot around as soon as he heard me let out my first shriek. I told him something had just pinched me. As we got closer to the shoreline I took my foot, which was becoming sorer and sorer, out of the water only to find it erupting with blood from a very deep wound. “Something bit me!” I shouted. By the time we reached dry sand I could not walk, and I realized this “bite” was getting progressively more painful. My parents, who were bathing in the sun, looked down and let out a lighthearted laugh, assuming I was pulling some melodramatic stunt once again. However, once they saw the lifeguard rushing towards me their smirks were quickly erased.
He was squirting water on my wound and as he saw me tense up every few seconds he came to know exactly what had happened. He broke the news, “You’ve been stung by a sting ray. We have to get your foot in some hot water and try to get as much venom out of there was we can.” My brother picked me up and started walking quickly toward the lifeguard station. As the lifeguards set me in a chair and got a bucket of hot water for my foot, they explained how stingray venom worked. The stringy black venom was attacking my tissue and causing my nerves to tightly contract. One of the smug female lifeguards in an attempt to be funny was saying, “Oh! Now you’ll be able to relate to your wife someday as you’re holding her hand and she is having your child.” Through my screams of agony I desperately wanted to tell her to fuck off, but I didn’t have the heart to be so rude, even if I was praying for a quick death to end the pain. The scalding hot water was supposedly breaking up the venom, restraining the amount of damage it could wreak on my tissue cells.
Through all of my agonizing screams, between the contractions, my mother caught a slight smirk on my face. Gazing at me in disbelief, she couldn’t figure out what could possibly be putting a smile on my face. Teeth still clenched, between the frequent contractions I explained to her how lucky I was. “Honestly, how many people have experienced this pain? How many people know what it feels like to be stung by a stingray! This will be an amazing story for me to tell the rest of my life.”
And so it has been. At 15 I knew that my life was nothing more than an epic story following arcs of satisfied and unsatisfied wants. So now, whether it be a fun trip to Italy or a serious volunteer job in Kazakhstan, I am looking to go; to get out of the place I’m in and get somewhere new so I can cover myself with new experiences—so my life can one day be a story everyone is dying to read.
Song of You
Stylistically inspired by Walt Whitman
Lyrically inspired by Leah Thomas
I am those eyes that long to see you
to gaze through your intoxicating beauty
to gaze at the depths of all you are.
Your self sings to me,
Your breath clings to me,
Awaking feelings from the apathetic night.
And I sing a song in return.
I am those ears that long to hear you
to listen in on the arguments of your heart
to listen to the song erupting from your delicate lips.
Celebrating the impossible reality of a love so real.
I am those arms that long to hold you.
to wrap around your sacred body
to wrap around your perfect soul
to wrap around and contain you
knowing you can never be contained.
Yes, I long to be filled with you,
and eternally refuse to let you go.
I am that heart that beats for you.
Ceaselessly, endlessly, eternally for you.
I sing a beat, a palpitation
of pressure and pulsation
A beat becoming the unaccompanied song of love.
I am that heart that beats for you.
Singing the song of you.
And only you.