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We’ve Only Just Begun, Frankie

“We’ve only just begun to live, White lace and promises, A kiss for luck and we’re on our way…” “We’ve only begun,” I sang in a hushed declaration. I sat in an empty pew, staring at the water-stained carpet below me. Completely ignoring the horrific sight that stood guard before me, which was my father’s human remains now bounded within a large green urn I bought off of Amazon.com. The oblong container sat atop a white roman column, even though it was clearly made of Styrofoam, at the front of the half-empty room.

Crunchy Jeans

These days, post-untimely-death of my father, I tend to research the lives and unexpected deaths of pop culture icons. Not because I’m some sort of diehard fan of Prince, Karen Carpenter, or even James Dean, but because I don’t want their short yet influential lives to be forgotten by the world. Like my father’s death, their deaths were far too soon and left the world reveling in the stage of “what could have been” if only they had lived longer. I love to read about the people who knew these icons as they recount harrowing lessons and stories.

Mr. Sandman, Please Bring Me a Xanax

As the small wind up clock ticks along with the slow decline of the afternoon sun, small bursts of anxiety begin to rise within me. Nighttime, three years after acquiring PTSD, bring only those aching realities of a life lost forever. I genuinely miss my daily Xanax, who was my call me no matter what time, day or night, and I’ll be there best friend. The tiny oblong shaped pill, once placed ever so gently under my tongue, would melt into a chalky paste before I swallowed.

Baby Mama, Please No Drama

It had been such a dry summer. South Florida’s long June days burned fields of jagged-tipped grass into a withered crisp. The air felt stale along the Intracoastal of the Indian River. The beaches reeked of shriveled seaweed along the blazing sands of its shore. Withered was also the state of my love life, as I was again single and clueless as to why there was no man who wanted to give me the kind of love I craved. Whether it be in the nightclubs of downtown Clematis Street, or the doomed dates formed from the wasteland of online dating, I was unable to find a good guy. I was at the end of my emotional love candle, with only a bit of wick left before complete burnout.

Defeat, Denial, and Downton Abbey

It was supposed to be a good day. It should have been a nice, relaxing day of touring a museum dedicated to one of my favorite TV shows, Downton Abbey. The show had unknowingly been my saving grace that last year while I was grieving the untimely death of my father to cancer. Instead of running that film reel in my mind of my dad gasping for air one last time, I threw myself into the lives of the Crawley family and their luxurious lives of British aristocracy. My mother, who had not only lost her husband but also began her own battle with cancer merely two weeks after his death, also became engulfed in the Downton Abbey world. It was our fantastical escape from the cruel reality of what our lives had become. Lady Mary, the English Countryside, and the glamourous early twentieth century beckoned to me. Hours upon hours were spent watching episodes until the early morning. I couldn’t allow my mind to focus on anything but this show. My reality was not allowed to interrupt for any other reason than if my Mother needed a back rub and pep talk before falling back asleep in the early morning hours.

Two Apples a Day, Keeps the Pounds Away

When I was seventeen, my daily food consumption consisted of two apples per day, nothing more and nothing less. Every single calorie that I ate was tracked, measured, and promptly exterminated like a nasty virus through rigorous exercise. Every aspect of my life revolved around numbers: calories in, calories out, how many minutes on the treadmill, the numeric size of my jeans, and how many days until I could eat “bad” foods once again.

Drawer of Diamonds

After collapsing onto the hairy chest of her boss Henry Peterson, Margaret Thompson felt all her stress slowly disappear with every heavy breath that she took in rapidly. Breathing through her gasping mouth, she tried to get the stench of sweat and sex away from her nose. As she rested her smooth cheek at the base of his scratchy throat, beads of sweat from her forehead began to soak into her thick black curls. She would have to take a long hot shower, complete with her pricey peach shampoo to wash away the stench that now covered her body. As she ran her fingers down her hair, she almost gagged by how disgusting her greasy hair felt.

Bruno Poetry

I’ve always loved the complexity of fall. Only one season makes me feel alive, one that allows my roots to entangle Into Earth’s soil. Winter, spring, and summer seasons drag on like an eternal ring of waiting. Curtains are pulled open from my dusty windows and the feeling of love and happiness overcomes me, like flames to a burning house. Coolness in the air, salty breeze from Matanzas Bay, and the hour of twilight that shines through thick Spanish moss. Ancient oak trees cover my s

Silent Mother

Hot winds of sand and dirt blow across my hooves. Branches of trees shake and rustle against my slender face. My elongated neck sways left to right searching for my herd. I want to call out, but I’m mute. My My round growing belly begins to ache with pain. Kicking from my insides. Sleep is not a priority. All I can think of, water. Herd senses pain and watch as my one destiny that I have waited for begins. I put my head next to hers and clean her dry. Mewing, mewing, mewing. Only sound sh

The Garden

He will never fully recover. He will always be sick and he will always be weak from the disease, Doctor Johnson told my father in that cold outpatient room of our local hospital. He would have to try to build a new life for himself. Comfort and daily joy came from watering his blooming garden in a single corner of our backyard with the green rubber hose, which was old and leaked in every direction. The flowers and plants were high as our crooked fence, and their roots entangled our soil. The patch of square soiled ground was filled with juicy tomatoes, sunflowers which my mother adored, and thick lilacs that resembled his many bruises from chemo treatments.

Creation By Destruction

A great poet once wrote we are created by being destroyed. If this is true than my mother has been created more than once in her lifetime. In fact, mother has been created so many times by destruction that she probably holds a special spot in the honorary “created by being destroyed” club. Mother lost her father when she was sixteen because of a drunken joy ride on a scooter that led him straight into the side of a Walgreens. Could you imagine that? A drunken man riding a scooter and then sudden

Turd Mines

It’s time to suit up in my tight spandex yoga pants, which masterfully disguise my thunder thighs. I struggle to pull down my moisture repellent lavender shirt, to cover my love handles, as it slides down my already sweaty back. I sit on the edge of my bed and begin to roll my long white gym socks onto my legs, like an 18th century prostitute composing herself. These socks prevent my walking shoes from tearing apart the skin at my tender ankles. Throwing my hair up into a high ponytail, I look like a chubby version of Ariana Grande. I grab my fully charged and fully stocked IPOD while pacing myself for what’s next.

Gone, Daddy, Gone

Dad, it’s been one year since you died. And this past year, I’ve had to go through violent battles for emotional stability inside my head because of it. These confrontations have destroyed who I once was. The Bethany you loved and kissed goodbye with your thick mustache tickling my skin as you pulled away from our embrace, is gone. The strong young woman who could take on anything wedged in her way, has become a crumpled-up shell of a human being who cowers in the corner, afraid of even the smallest inconvenience. Bethany has been replaced with someone I’m unfamiliar with. She’s a stranger that my body attacks daily through panic attacks, leaving me utterly spent and completely useless. I often wonder during these attacks if it’s my time to go, to leave this world and become death’s newest club member.

Spinning Into Oblivion

As I hold the sweaty hand of my brother Jim, Mother is praying loudly as the countdown creeps anxiously closer. The entire neighborhood stands inside of our home, waiting for the end. The feeling of helplessness flows through every fiber of my being as the earth spins faster with every tick of the grandfather clock in our living room. It’s funny though, how everyone has come together in these final moments. Prejudice, pride, and hate have now been replaced with fear, faith, and regret.
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