This morning I found myself asking: how much of life’s circumstances should I accept in order to keep my peace? And what should I take a stand for?

Should I just accept with a smile on my face that my mother signed me up for a meditation event without my consent? Not that I am adverse to meditation nor am I estranged from the practice. It is under the forced circumstance that I believe I must adhere to show my support that irritates me; that I was given no regard nor consideration that I may not want to go to this event or that I had made any plans of my own.

Now I will not fault myself to forget that my mother has … a different set of mental structure. She’s up, she’s down, she’s planning meditation seminars without my consent. So should I endearingly shrug this off and just happily consent to being dragged down to one of her endeavors toward inner peace?

I do want her support of my endeavors (though they lack in fervor) and for her to come to my recitals; should I not pomote and encourage her strides to self happiness?

Of course I should. I only ask that she cconsider me, my time in her steps towards her enlightenment. So I will keep my tongue still for now; go down gently in to that good night.

But later I will gently tell her about herself and request she not do this …again.

As soon as people tell me their high perception of me I immediately feel guilty because I don’t want to let them down.

The book bag

I didn’t consider that you would say no. Not such a big deal to me. But you are your own person; don’t you have a right to your limitations and boundaries.

That’s my problem, I’m to malleable. You can do whatever you want to me as long as you don’t hurt me. And if you do you better say sorry.

I have rules but I’m flexible. I have limits that I’ve learned to create but very little boundaries.

I need rigidity.

No’s.

No.

No.

No.

I need…

What?

What did you say to me?

Oh your lips were smiling but your teeth were chattering.

Or maybe I’m seeing things. My mind plays tricks on me when I’m in a room full of vipers,

I mean a room full of lambs,

I mean a room full of lions.

I mean…

Damn, it changes every time.

Over time its the same thing.

At the same time it’s a different.

Every time it’s the same burn in the back of my skull any time you turn your head to your friend.

Shit, I’m turning my head too much again.

I see her walk past you and then I passed you and your thoughts about her ways couldn’t wait to get pass your lips so they harassed you.

The stares, the whispers, barricades, the favorites, the ancients, the ain’t shits…

It’s all debited.

I feel wiped out.

My empty vault has pennies lying all around.

Anybody want change? I’m trying to clear out-

What you say?

Oh, sorry.

I thought I heard you say something.

When he kisses me I feel God’s lips.

If death be the only true demonstration of love than you are slain for me time again.

How is it you race death with the same speed?

For if death never stops then you never stop dying for me.

Them and Us

She could feel them watching her. She knew she shouldn’t have came. Even sitting with her legs crossed – usually a sign of awareness and excitement – seemed to create a dent in the ground; pressing into the wood foundation with the heaviness that set upon her shoulders. A heaviness that they could all see.

“I’d never thought I’d say this Claire but … quiet looks good on you.”

Of course he’d notice. Fourteen years of seeing her face contorted in confusion, wet in tears and pouting in defiance – he’d never not notice. She wanted to hide now. But she would have been mad if he had said nothing.

She stared into the thick rimmed glasses she encouraged him to get back in high school. The transparent amber was accentuating his light brown eyes and dark brown skin. Granted, they weren’t the exact same pair but she still demanded a thank you for every “girl that went gaga over his goggles,” as she put it.

“I feel off balance,” Claire somberly announced to the group.

“Off balance how,” this was not the comforting voice of her best friend. This was one of curiosity; a note out of tune with the melody of the small group. She hated the sound.

Claire slowly shifted her eyes from the old fashioned ottoman that held her friend to the hanging hem of bright powdery red. From there she took her time wiping the defiance from her face as she met Lev’s eyes.

“I’m not sure.”

Lev’s eyes held her – black and un -moving as if they already knew all she would have to say. Who does he think he is?

She looked away and aimed to say without feeling, “I don’t know.”

“We’ve been studying too much!”

Jelly returned with a normal size mug of hot chocolate. It was early December but she didn’t drink it for warmth. There were many warm summer days a cup of hot cocoa accompanied the girls conversation about boys or teachers or just about anything. Claire reached as if to ask for some. Jelly shot her ways glance and gingerly sat on the couch.

“You need something,” Jelly asked as feigning ignorance.

Claire feigned a pain staked chest.

You’ll be alright. Now boys and … girl we need a break. It’s five – we’ve been at it since three. And I’m getting the heeby jeebies.”

“Probably the sugar,” said Lev.

“Spell heeby jeebies,” Adam chimed in.

“Sugar free,” Jelly says between sips. “And H – E – E – B JEEBIES!”

Jelly laughs until symphonic jingle rings through the house.

“PIZZAAA!” Jelly screams in a voice that weakly resembles a football player getting pumped up for a game.

“I guess it is time to take a break. How about it Dan?”

Dan didn’t care about studying. His head lay against the top of the lazy boy with his mouth stretched wide. Long limbs sprawling out over its fabric. The sessions were just so he could spend time with his friends. He said he needed to be around his real family after Adam died, the golden boy of his family. After Adam’s death, Dan claimed to know what truly mattered. He was graduating just to appease his parents – the only thing they were adamant about.

Claire didn’t bother saying his name again. She knew he would pop up when the scent of pizza reached the basement.