Stories · writing

The Cephalolad

There once was a cuttlefish named Inky, who, waiting to hatch, was very excited to explore the ocean with his brothers and sisters. Inky waited patiently in the comforting grotto, squinting through the thin film of his tiny universe as each egg around him gave a little pop! and out came a new baby cuttlefish, no bigger than your thumb. (note for Juba: kids’ fingers, even thumbs, are very small. So Inky is a lot smaller than your thumb, but just the right size and source of wonder for anyone of a more compact stature.)

Inky counted on his tentacles to pass the time, one, two, three, four, five, six, until suddenly… pop! Inky was shooting away toward his siblings. When he reached them, he was a little tired, so Inky watched as his brothers and sisters darted around, changing color and figuring out how to blend in with the things around them, which is how the cuttlefish do. Inky drifted towards one of his sisters, who was trying to match the color of some deep green seaweed she had found.

“I wanna try that!” Inky said, drifting closer. He squinted at the seaweed and then closed his eyes, concentrating as hard as he could, and when he opened them…nothing. Inky was the same grey color as before! But how could this be? He looked at the cuttlefish around him, not one the same shade of blue, orange, green, or purple. It seemed so easy for them! “Maybe you weren’t trying hard enough”, his sister shrugged her tentacles, which were a lovely shade of green. Inky frowned, starting to get a little worried.

He moved over to to his big brother, who was in the middle of blending in with a purple sea anemone. Inky was determined to get it right this time. He closed his eyes and concentrated as hard as he could, picturing the sharp spines and dark hues in front of him. When he opened them again, his brother was laughing, “how many spines do you think an anemone has, squid-for-brains? That’s like, ten too many!” He said, sporting a very purple and very correctly-numbered-amount of spikes on his back.

Inky turned an immediate shade of pink and scooted away, doing his best to smooth the bristles.

After unsuccessfully blending in with a coral reef, (turning what appeared to be checkerboard, rather than orange), and after interrupting (quite by accident) the neighbor mantis shrimp, who he mistook to be a colorful brother, Inky floated sadly to where his parents were floating watchfully nearby. He stared after his older siblings, all flitting about and changing every color imaginable in the blink of an eye.

“What’s wrong Inky? Why aren’t you playing with your brothers and sisters?” His mom drifted down to him. Inky told his parents how he couldn’t seem to blend in with anything. His dad laughed, which Inky did not think was very nice of him. “I think I might have an idea of what’s going on,” His dad held up two tentacles, “how many are there, Inky?”

Inky squinted for a long time before answering, “there are…three? No, four! I think…” He replied, not quite sure.

Inky’s parents gave each other a knowing look, and disappeared briefly into the grotto behind them. When they returned, his mom was carrying a pair of glasses! Inky hesitated, “what if everyone else thinks they’re silly?” He wondered.

“I promise they won’t! And even if they do, it doesn’t matter. What matters is what you need in order to succeed!” Inky’s mom said, chuckling at her own little joke, and placed the glasses over Inky’s eyes.

It was like taking a deep breath after a particularly nice nap. Everything was so bright and clear! Inky immediately tried blending in with the sand below him, turning a delightful sandy-tan. “It works!” He laughed, swimming off to show his siblings.

As soon as Inky jetted into the group, three of his siblings rushed over to see what their brother had on his face. Inky excitedly showed them how easily he could change now. Orange, green, red, purple, blue, polka-dot; he was a kaleidoscope of colors! His siblings ooed and awed, asking Inky if he could show them how to change colors so fast. One of his brothers asked if he could have glasses, too!

And so with time, Inky became well-known across the surrounding reefs, with astounding colors brighter than anyone else on the seabed.

Poems · writing

End of Semester

Monday is lazy

Tuesday is coffee

Wednesday is long

Thursday is happy

Friday is boring

Saturday is early

And Sunday is denial of it all happening over and over again into eternity.


That last line is more than slightly dramatic. I’m just really feeling the school schedule cycle and I’d like some control back. Or at least a car so that my radius of escape can be more than a few miles

Poems · writing

A Hot Pocket Haunting

Startled, dreary, drool sticking to me, I fall off the couch

What is that sound?

Why do I care?

I look. The microwave is singing.

No doubt bringing some molten cheese or other into being

But for a good minute all I can do is stare.

Wondering, pondering…

…what the fuck did I put in there??


Don’t you hate it when you put something in the microwave, and just…have absolutely no memory of it happening?

Poems · writing

Peaceful Observance

I want to fall asleep in the sun

Full of warmth and comfort

Impeded by no one

I want to feel the breeze on my skin

Surrounded by flowers,

Pollen-headed bees tumble lazily in.

I want to watch their slow dance,

Entranced by their diligence, their inability to wear pants,

And on the tops of their silly-heads

Two little antennae bumble about

Looking around for the next bloom to sniff out

(Do bumblebees have noses?)

There are questions I suppose(s) that will abound,

Human nature itself is sort of tumbling around.

And in grief, I think, we know this,

Though when that familiar friend leaves for the summer

We pretend not to notice

He was never there.

Without a care, I lie among the roses,

Prick my fingers on the thorns

I will never pick them.

I watch the bumblebees tumble around

Stories · writing

A Conversation

I feel stuck here, sometimes.

“Where?”

Earth? I guess?

“Couldn’t you just leave?”

I mean, sure, but what if I get to space and I get fat from carbon dioxide inflating my body or something

“I don’t think that’s how that works.”

You don’t know everything. Plus I might end up missing home probably.

“Have you ever left?”

Not really.

“Then how would you know?”

That sounds like a trick question. I did say I wasn’t totally sure.

“Well, if you want to leave, but you don’t want to go to space, maybe you could go on a vacation.”

Doesn’t that cost money?

“Why would I know that.”

You’re supposed to be super smart!

“Like you said, I don’t know everything, and I choose particularly not to know about money.”

Oh.

“So what are you going to do?”

I don’t know. Probably just stare at the sky for a couple more hours instead of everything else.

“I see.”

You can sit with me if you want

“Sounds like an acceptable plan.”

Poems · writing

Sara

My teeth scrape across my glasses

They prickle against my cheeks

I squint and I sigh but I try not to cry as they poke the inside of my eyelids

What a horrible sight to see!

A girl with such teeth like me!

In the wrong place, upside of my face, where fluttering lashes should be!

Winking is so very painful.

Sleeping is always a gamble

Butterfly kisses? Don’t get me started.

I tried it once, now he’s dearly departed,

And all that is left here is me


This is a completely silly poem I wrote to prove a point to someone. I thought you guys would get a kick out of it

writing

Thoughts on: Pain

So, pain. It’s relative. I mean, everything is, but for some reason when someone is going through a lot, our tendency is to say stuff like, “Hey well, at least you have your health!” Or, “It’ll get better, just be grateful it’s not worse”, things like that.

This is…kinda shitty. Yes, thank you for reminding me I have both arms. Yes, I know the world doesn’t revolve around my pain, I know I’m not unique in that, I know.

What would be more productive, though, is acknowledging the fact that people experience all different levels and all different kinds of hardship.

Someone has a falling out with a friend? Their feelings are valid. Someone else loses a pet? Those feelings are valid, too, and no one gets to decide how long or short any kind of grieving period is. We as people love solutions. Cut and dry ways to “fix” things, but that’s just not how humans work. You can only get so far with that kind of problem solving, which is why I love and hate self help books.

I love them, because there are so many kinds for so many people. I also hate them because, more often than not, they’re prescribed as a kind of “fix-all”, like those all-in-one cold medicines. “Cures all symptoms. Fast relief!” Like, sure, my nose is clear, but I’ve also been staring at this wall for the last twenty minutes wondering what flavor Pepsi is.

Figuring yourself out is…never ending. People are different, and there is no single solution for hard times. It’s trial and error, and something that worked last time might not work for whatever you’re going through now.

Something I heard from a lady earlier tonight really stuck with me, though, and (at least for now) her advice has changed my perspective in my own troubles.

It’s basically that, when you’re saddled with a lot of pain, and you find yourself asking “why”, hoping, praying for better circumstances or some kind of change, it’s better to look at yourself.

Most of the time we don’t have a choice over what goes on in our lives, and that can be really devastating, that lack of control. So her thing was, “there’s a reason for everything”.

Okay, alright, I can feel the eye rolls. Just hold on, geez!

There’s a reason for everything, and sometimes the thing you need to focus on changing is not actually the circumstances, but you. All suffering is not in vain, so since you can rarely change something you don’t like, it only makes sense to focus on improving yourself.

When things are all good, when you’re happy? It’s hard to change. Definitely not impossible, but it’s hard to find motivation. You don’t want to fuck it up by going around making tweaks to yourself and whatever. You want to enjoy the happiness you have.

So once you’re thrown into chaos, your heart kind of clenches up and (I know I personally do this) you throw a pity party for yourself. That does just about nothing, though. By all means, be sad. Pain is relative, remember, but once you start looking for solutions, maybe look to yourself first instead of your situation.

And, obviously, if your situation is that you’re choking in a restaurant or something, that’s not the time to be doing any soul searching. Get to a hospital, you maniac, stop writing things down in your Feelings journal.

But yeah so, if things in your life are out of control, and you feel like nothing matters, you’re right!

Okay, kidding, sorry. Two jokes in a row. Bad form.

It’s kind of true, though. You don’t have control over how people receive your words, and sometimes you don’t have any way to fix things going on in your life. The only thing you really have control over is you.

You decide how you receive pain and what you’re going to do with it. Take advantage of whatever shit has been thrown your way and use it to become a truer version of yourself! It probably won’t change your situation(s), but at least you’ll know yourself a little better.

Obviously, this is a universal solution, being able to change yourself through pain, so you’re welcome for this discovery of mine.

What?? Are you seriously going to just accept that after everything I said? God. You need more help than I do. Fortunately, I know of a self help book that did wonders for a friend of mine I can recommend to you…