High ceilings

It’s that room with high ceilings.
Foreign.
I float near the rafters and merely observe.
Some people find themselves in this room,
but I just keep floating higher and higher.
I slowly lose myself and gravity’s anchor.
I twitch nervously.
Switch my weight from one foot to the other.
Eat the bread, drink the wine,
click-clack my way through the line,
but I don’t confess my sins.
Why should I?
I can’t empathize,
can’t relate,
can’t imagine.
Can’t close my eyes in prayer
and think someone’s listening to my minuscule thoughts.
There’s something about those high ceilings.
Each thought wanders around in an endless
whirlpool of air instead of water.
I try to scrawl them down onto the service program
but find little white space.
They’re trapped inside while I glide around.
Merely observing,
never taking part.
You feel at peace here.
You’ve found yourself.
I seem to be lost.
It’s a game of make believe
and I’m too much of a realist.

-E.M.S.
12/25/13
1:05 a.m.

Sibling camaraderie

There will be no Easter egg hunt tomorrow. Oh, and I didn’t buy much candy to put in the Easter baskets, thus I have no jelly beans.

Coloring eggs? Forget it. I’m not buying the kit.

 

…all of the above from my mother.

And I’m okay with it.

“When do we even stop doing Easter baskets?” My mom asked me while we ran errands today. It then dawned on me that we may be getting just a tad old for this.

Jordan’s 26; Trevor, 24; Adam, almost 22. Me? Nearly 19.5 (going on 30).

Good question, Mom. Because tomorrow’s just another day in my book, despite receiving a few goodies in a basket I’ll have to find somewhere outside. I am honestly looking forward the most to dinner and its abundance of leftovers.

We used to make Easter lists and lay them out on the coffee table in the family room next to our respective baskets the night before. We searched for baskets early in the morning before church. Tomorrow you’ll be lucky if we’re even out and about before noon, especially after the boys chugged beer after beer tonight.

“Maybe when the boys and I have kids of our own,” I told my mom to answer her question.

Until then, we’ll probably keep this simple sibling camaraderie alive. Just being together and laughing together is enough.

Dakota

That fall you took
can’t have been your last.
So many lie ahead for you…
right now is too soon; too fast.
Wake up, please please wake up.
 
You’re missed by all your friends.
We all know Dakota as “fun” –
you’re so passionate about acting –
you can’t possibly stay forever young.
Wake up, please please wake up.
 
Oh, the thinks you probably thought
as you fell, asking “Why?”
You missed a step and fell toward black
instead of taking a stair to the sky.
Wake up, please please wake up.
 
A week of your life has passed –
and you have been in the land of unknowing…
spring has arrived, wet and rainy…
but, for us and you, it’s still snowing.
Wake up, Dakota, wake up.

~E.M.S.

4/24/11

11:13 p.m.

I think it’s time I write about Dakota. I don’t think I ever have.

I got a text message a year ago tomorrow morning that said “Remember how you said you had a feeling something bad would happen to someone in our class?”

My heart stopped. I instantly thought someone had died. I had discussed this issue with my friend. A tragedy usually occurs in every class before graduation. It appears to be a right of passage at our school. I never dreamed it would actually happen.

Image courtesy of Lisa Reinard.

I grew up with Dakota. We were in the same Sunday school class all the way through. His elf ears used to make me giggle. When I dated his best friend (Christian, the guy from a couple posts ago), the three of us hung out a lot. We spent hours after school at Dakota’s house across the street from school. We were in countless theater productions together. Monkeys together in The Jungle Book Kids; he, Cat in the Hat, and me, Gertrude, in Seussical Jr.; kids together in Schoolhouse Rock Live! Jr... the list goes on from there. In the winter of 2011, I played his daughter, Anne, in Cheaper By The Dozen. There are so many memories from that play in particular. They are still fresh in my memory – some of the last memories I have of him.

Dakota had an accident; he fell and hit his head. The fall put him in a coma for months. When he finally got out of it, a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) took hold. He currently resides at ECMC, where he has been for a whole year now.

We had grown apart during the later years of high school (the break up with Christian seemed to do it), but still had a connection from the childhood we spent around each other. We loved Veggie Tales and used to acolyte together at church. I never thought of him as anything more than another brother.

The last time I saw him before the accident, he was walking down the hallway from the art rooms in the school. He wore a grey shirt, black pants and had his headphones on. We sort of nodded at each other, but I didn’t say anything. I figured his music was probably too loud (we always had similar taste in music). I’ve regretted that ever since.

I haven’t been able to make it to ECMC since August. Last time I saw him, he was starting to twitch his body parts. His feet moved. His chest moved up and down with each breath intake. Like any other person with brain damage, his arms were bent with his hands up near his face.

He’s still at ECMC and is making progress every day. It’s very sad to see his – and his family’s – life on hold.

Having a friend like Dakota can open your eyes. We take a lot of simple things for granted; simple things that are very hard for Dakota.

The bracelet on my wrist reminds me of you every single day, Dakota. I will not – and can’t ever – forget the day my bad feeling came true.

I was given this bracelet on June 24, 2011. I have not taken it off since.

Don’t “go with the flow”

These days I live in a world where people quote lines from movies constantly. Maybe I am bitter about this because I do not tell stories or quote movie lines very well, but it gets annoying when I ask a question and someone responds with a line from Stepbrothers or Juno or The Dark Knight. It’s as if there are no more original thoughts anymore… it’s like everyone has their own personal screenwriter. I guess people just piss me off in general.

Am I the only person in this world with confidence? When I first brought my knitting to school, everyone laughed at me – but was I discouraged? No. I kept bringing it to school despite what people thought or think. If you like something, don’t be afraid to express it. Liking something makes you who you are and what’s wrong with showing who you are? Watch me walk down the hallway in what people call my “hooker” boots and my adorable Tripp skirt. Sure, people will stare, but do you know what they are really thinking? I think that they are wishing they could do something like that; dress like that; be who they really are. I can tell when someone has their shield up…and it’s kind of disappointing. I am kind of sick of taking the initiative. There are too many people that just “go with the flow.”

I have a friend who has changed a lot in the past year. Sure, I have changed too, but I haven’t changed what I believe in or my sense of humor or anything. My friend (he has been a friend for years) recently discovered his love for God. He goes to this church that sucks people in (at least, I think they do) every Sunday, and for the extra teen things that they do. I think of it as a cult. Going to church (should church be capitalized? ‘Cause I really don’t think it should be) so often has changed him completely. It’s as if he thinks he needs to be righteous all the time and do the right thing. If we gossip around him he gets pissed off. Oh, but when he wishes to gossip, it’s okay. I really miss who he was before he became super religious. Before he started bugging me about going to church. I feel like he has a wall up, and it needs to come down. I wish to knock it down, but we fight everyday over stupid things, and I never get the chance. I am very opinionated, and he can’t seem to accept my opinion, so he gets all cheesed off when I say mine. When he says his, I consider it. I don’t really know about him anymore. He is a completely different person these days. I don’t know what happened.

Anyway, yeah, people piss me off. Most people are selfish and it drives me nuts. I may not seem like it, but I think about other things besides myself. I am concerned about world hunger (which is why I visit the Free Rice website often), the economy – I was even thinking about how I was complaining about having to wake up early to go to school this week. Then I thought about it and here’s what I came up with: here I am complaining about going to school to be with friends when there is some kid who has to wake up early to go to school and gets beat up everyday and comes home covered with bruises that his/her parents don’t even notice. Yeah, suddenly waking up early to go to a place where I have friends and am at no risk whatsoever of being beaten up (unless I piss someone off) doesn’t sound too bad.

I have scratched the two resolutions I wanted to tackle. I can’t just quit everything cold turkey – I will ease into breaking free from my habits. Right now I am trying to be extremely thoughtful. And people still piss me off.

Play progress: day three

For the past three days, I have been brainstorming my play-to-be. The deadline is January 7th and yes, I am feeling the stress crush me. Maybe if I had not have put it off this long I would be better off… Naw…I do my best work after taking some time to procrastinate.

Day one I created my characters. I came up with their names, stated their current age, created life behind the otherwise meaningless name, and gave some thought as to what the heck this play was going to be about. Well, I think I finally settled on one of my ideas.

One idea was to write about the secret lives of nuns – what they do when they are not attending church, praying, or just endlessly worshiping this “God.” It was to be all about how they have accounts on XBOX live and enjoy blowing things up on Grand Theft Auto, or shooting people in Call of Duty and Halo. The funny thing was that they were going to be extremely good at said video games. They could probably kick my ass… and yes, I know that they are only characters in my mind.

I honestly cannot remember my other ideas (I have them written down somewhere…I do not feel like getting up to find them), but I think that the one I have ended up with is going to be successful. It started out as one thing, shifted into something else, and now it has resulted in a play that is completely different and yet extremely similar to my original idea. I have a great start on ACT II, and shall post said play once I am finished writing the whole play. Until then, I shall post day-to-day updates to showcase my progress. I have to finish by next Wednesday, so this won’t be going on forever, do not worry.