The Darkness

Darkness has consumed me,
I walk around but I cannot see,
I hear laughter but it’s out of reach,
Joy holds out its hand,
But I am too numb to hold it.

There is beauty in sadness,
It’s artwork in a vast museum,
But I am too empty to understand it,
And the lights have all gone out.

A Hollow Heart II

I thought I had learned. I thought I was smarter. Instead, I look around the corner and see myself making the same damn mistakes again.

It’s been a year since I let my guard down. I’ve slowly been repairing my hollow heart. I still turn my head when I see him. I feel emptier when I see them together.

Yet you made things easier. You gave me hope. I could finally picture a future without him. Where it would be us, hand-in-hand, with the world behind us muted.

You were my dream girl, a little too perfect. Your dark hair and red lips were my definition of beauty. Your wit and intelligence rendered me speechless. All the makeup in the world could not cover my blushes when I would see you. I finally thought I had a chance at love.

When you told me you liked another,

I almost crashed my car.

I didn’t though, I kept driving . Crashing would interrupt our plans. We had to sit in a barely-lit cafe and do our homework. My hollow heart could not get in the way.

My heart did not shatter like last year, instead it slowly drained. You could tell I was sad, but I just blamed it on the dreary weather. I just let you talk and talk and talk while I ruminated in my corner. We were finally close, but I couldn’t have you.

I can’t blame you,

I couldn’t blame him,

and it isn’t me,

timing and luck are not my friends,

but you’ll still be a friend, won’t you?

I couldn’t be a friend to him,

but I’m stronger this time.

You talked about hanging out again when I drove you home. You still want me in your life, and I want to be in yours. You just kept talking and talking and talking. It should have been annoying, but it wasn’t.

“I’ll see you again?” You asked.

I nodded, “Of course.”

“Also, one last thing,” You added before getting out of my car, “Is it okay if we don’t go back to that cafe again?”

I smiled the same smile I perfected last year and said, “Of course.”  

Then you walked off,  beaming and bursting with your lively energy. I hung back for a moment, watching, and thinking about if I could handle a third heartbreak next year.

The Iowa Caucus

If you are remotely interested in American politics, then you have been hearing a lot about the Iowa Caucus. Why is Iowa, a small Midwestern state, so important to the Primaries? And what future does it hold for candidates like Bernie Sanders?

I spoke to my political science teacher about this, and he made certain points very clear. Smaller states mean that politicians will do more ‘personal’ campaigning, such as in-person events, breakfasts, etc. The Midwest is also not as ‘politically set’ as California or Texas, so it is a good way of measuring how the country feels about change. Other states could move their caucuses up to be more important, but it is better to spread out the process.

What does this mean for candidates like Bernie Sanders? Would the Midwest reject his “radical” ideas? Surprisingly, he is currently leading the polls in Iowa, with Biden a little behind. Bernie has been experiencing a surge lately, although Biden is still leading in polls nationwide. It has truly become a close race. The question is whether or not America wants to return to more moderate politics, or experiment with new policies.

I would recommend looking up the caucus dates for your state. Some primaries are closed, so you will have to register for a specific party in order to participate. In my state, Washington, primaries are open, so you do not need a party affiliation to vote.

Although you may feel like you have no voice, you really do! One vote may not seem like a lot, but considering that Bernie received $34.5 million from 5 million individual donors, you really do make a difference.

I will not tell you how to vote, but I will always urge you to vote.

Strawberry Blonde

There is something so beautiful about vulnerability, particularly vulnerability in love. There is nothing more terrifying and wonderful than letting down all barriers and fully committing to another person. You are exposing yourself to pain and hurt, but also complete love and affection. If that love is lost, then you at least have memories to mend the gap in your heart. You can remember a time when that love was reciprocated and complete. It is the worst type of pain, but there is beauty in it.

            Perhaps I am a masochist, but I want the pain of reciprocated love. I want to know my tears were wasted on someone who once loved me back, not someone who hardly ever thought of me or, even worse, loved me in a different way. Perhaps that was even a worse type of pain, receiving the wrong type of love.

            Admittedly, I have never been in a real relationship, so I could be wrong. But I have been in love, I am in love, so I must know something. I do not know if my love is reciprocated, it’s not something you really ask. “Do you love me back?” That sounds pathetic, doesn’t it? I still ask though. I ask in the songs that I sing, the poetry that I write, the way I stare at her… It all screams “do you love me? Do you love me?” I never get an answer back. I never expected one

            I am holding back information, of course. I haven’t revealed everything about my love. Right now, it seems like a bad romance movie where the audience screams “confess how you feel, you idiot!” It’s never that simple. I wish it were that simple. I wish I could look her in her eyes and tell her the truth. I wish she would repeat it back to me, with a smile on her perfect, red lips. I would run my hand through her dark hair and smile then laugh and laugh and then cry tears of joy. She would laugh too and pull me into a hug. I’d be laughing and crying and look like a total fool but she wouldn’t care, because she loved me. She would love me. I would repeat “I love you, I love you, I love you…” and she would say “I know, I know I know” and then kiss me. We would kiss, and kiss, and kiss, and kiss, and kiss, and kiss.

God, I wish it were that simple.

Maybe it would be different if I looked like her.

            I remember looking at myself in the mirror when I was child and cursing myself for being so ugly. She was the apex of beauty, she hadn’t one imperfection. My face wasn’t even interesting enough to be homely, I was just plain. She never cared about my looks though. I thought I was ugly, so I assumed everyone else thought so as well.

            I tried so hard to look like her. I would put on lipstick to match her naturally red lips. I would try to curl my straight hair. I even tried to give myself fake freckles. I could’ve resented her for her beauty, but she was so sweet. She would smile and wipe my lipstick off and say, “If you want to do something different, that’s fine, but it should represent who you are.”

I think it was around that time that I started to fall in love with her.

When I was younger, I thought I just wanted to be her.

            I would always be so chirpy after hanging out with her. I would tell my mother about all the fun we had together and how I wished I could spend every moment with her. Her home had this particular smell. I could never describe it, so I called it the smell of fresh spring. It would always linger on my clothing after we spent time together. It was like bringing her home with me. The scent almost made me dizzy with happiness.

            When it was Spring, we would drink tea outside and pretend to be princesses or secret agents or whatever our hearts desired. She had such a creative mind. She would come up with wild stories, and I would follow along, speechless, amazed. I thought if I were quiet then I would be able to learn from, that I would able to create my own stories. Now I realized that all I wanted was to be a part of hers.

            It was such a sweet and innocent childhood. I wish more than anything to go back. I wish I were again ignorant of the feelings I had.

Boys made things complicated.

            I liked them well enough. Some were very cute. Some were very kind. Most were not. I could not blame them, they were experiencing everything at once as well. Boys did not pay much attention to me. I looked fine enough, but I was too quiet. No one went out of their way to talk to the plain, silent girl.

            They really liked her though. That was fine, I never felt jealous. Boys liking cute girls was normal, how could I be upset? I probably would have been mad if it were a girl though. I would be devastated. That would mean she weighed her options and picked another girl over me. That would be soul-crushing. I couldn’t compare to boys, so I didn’t get upset.

            I didn’t get upset because she was holding hands in the hallway with her new boyfriend. I didn’t get upset because she was kissing him in the back of his mustang. I didn’t get upset when they slow-danced at homecoming. I didn’t get upset because they were saying “I love you” and I could tell that she was truly, deeply in love. The reason I cried at night so hard that my pillow had to be replaced was not because of all that.

It was because she wasn’t doing that with me.

I tell myself that affection is different with girls.

            It’s not weird we cuddle. We don’t get strange looks if our hugs linger or if we hold hands. We can give each other kisses on the cheek. She can take her shirt off in front of me. We can wear each other’s clothes. We call tell each other “I love you.” It doesn’t mean anything, because, at the end of the day, she does the same with him.

Rejection would have been easier.

            I wish she would just tell me “no.” I wish she would just sit me down and tell me that it would never happen.  I know I have to confess in order to be rejected, but she has to be able to tell. She’s my best friend, isn’t it obvious?

            Sometimes I feel like she teases me.  Sometimes, when she’s putting on my makeup, she gets so close and her mouth’s right by mine and I can feel her breath and it takes all of my strength to hold back. She has to be tempting me, she has to be. She doesn’t get that close with our other friends. I continue to hold back and back until she says “I’m done.” She moves away, and I look into her eyes and, if I look deep enough, it’s like she’s asking me “what stopped you?”

My first “relationship” did not go well.

            I did not like him. He was fine enough. He was cute and smart and charming. To any other girl, he would be enough. We went on dates, we held hands in the hallway, we kissed in his car, we slow danced. Dating him felt like completing a series of tasks or checking off boxes on a check-list. I didn’t hate the relationship, but I didn’t love it either. Was this what heterosexual love felt like? No, it had to be better, she seemed happier.

            I broke things off as soon as he mentioned sex. I couldn’t lead him on any longer, the guilt was consuming me. He understood, he probably thought I was a prude. He was probably right. I didn’t know how I felt about sex. I couldn’t picture myself having sex, especially with her. I felt that was going too far.

            I knew she had sex before, she had spoken about it. The biggest praise she would give a guy was “alright.” I felt bad for her, she deserved better than alright. Not that I could promise her any better. To be honest, I didn’t even know how it would work. I would try, we would try. We would make it work.

            Again, I tried not to think about sex. It was too personal. Thinking about it felt like a violation of privacy.

Break-ups were always difficult.

            I hated seeing her cry. She would always fall quickly and love hard. Nobody could match her passion. I wished she would find a guy who loved her as much as she loved him. That was difficult at our age though, so I couldn’t completely blame her ex’s. She could be too kind, too sweet. I could tell her to toughen up, but what’s wrong with kindness and sweetness?

            After she finished crying, we’d talk about anything else. We would watch bad television or gossip. If the weather was nice, we’d have tea outside, like when we were younger. I remember once, she looked into my eyes and said, “If you were a boy, then we would never break up.”

            I didn’t respond.

Singing was my way of confessing.

            I’d sing to her. Love songs. Nondescript, vague songs that could be about anyone. I wrote them, I wrote dozens, all full of passion, yet they were not about anyone.

            “How could they not be about anyone?” She would ask.

            I’d smile and say, “They are about the world. They are about the love I have for everyone.”

            She’d smile back. She knew I was lying, but she never pressed on.

“Sing to me,” She said suddenly.

            I smirked, “What? No please?” and I would begin anyway.

            She would usually look away when I sang. She’d be looking out the window or the ceiling or she’d lay with her eyes closed. I knew she was listening, she was just processing the lyrics in her own way.

            This time, she was looking at me. I felt my chest tighten. It felt too real. I blushed and wanted to look away, but I couldn’t. It was just a song.

            It’s not look she looked at me any different when I sang “I love you.”

            It’s not like her eyes were finally betraying the truth,

            It’s not like it was the most intimate moment of my life.

            It wasn’t, because it was not real.

            It wasn’t, because it couldn’t be

            But it was.

I wanted to faint

            It was real. She hadn’t said anything, but I could tell. I moved closer to her. I hesitated at first, but I touched her hand. She let me, as always, but it was different. I was looking at her, really looking, and it was there. It was in her eyes.

            Was it always there? Was I always afraid to look?

            With a big smile, I continued to sing “I love you, I love you, I love you…”

            And she finally replied.

Thank You for 200 Followers!

I want to thank all 200 of my followers for following my blog! 200 may not seem like a lot compared to other blogs, but it’s actually quite a large number. Think about it! 200 people read my poetry, my short stories, and my opinions, and they actually like it. I presume they like it, otherwise why are they still following?

I have had this blog for over a year now. It was around this time last year that I got around 30 followers. I now have 7x that amount! I do not imagine I will ever become a professional blogger, but now I know that my voice will be heard. I have much more confidence in my writing abilities and it is thanks to all of you!

School has started again, so my work load may prevent me from writing frequently. I will still try to keep up with posting a few times a month. Once more, thank you for following. It’s nice knowing that I’m not screaming into the void 🙂

The Witcher: Season 1 Review

It was out of boredom that I decided to watch The Witcher. I had nothing else to do and Netflix was promoting it heavily. Having never read the books nor played the games, I did not expect much. Critics gave it low ratings, and I heard that it was cheaply made. However, The Witcher was a pleasant surprise and, by the end of the season, I was craving more.

This will be a no-spoiler review, as I want newcomers to watch this series unspoiled. The basic plot is that Cintra, a fictional city, is under attack from Nilfgaard. Queen Calanthe tells her granddaughter, Cirilla, to find the Witcher known as Geralt of Rivia. Meanwhile, Yennefer is a powerful mage who works her way through the courts and becomes a valuable asset to the war.

Again, this is the very basic plot. There are various other characters as well. A fan-favorite is Jaskier, a bard who composes the series’ famous song “Toss a Coin to your Witcher”. Despite the serious plot, the series isn’t afraid of getting goofy. Jaskier is the main comedy relief, but even he knows when not to joke. The series never feels off tonally, it seems like all the writers and actors understood the series thoroughly before undergoing this project.

This is where the main draw comes in: Henry Cavill as Geralt. Cavill does an amazing job as Geralt. He captures the stoic nature of the Witcher,. His understanding of the character comes from the fact that he has played all the games and read all the books! Sometimes he does such a good job, that it feels like I am watching a long cut-scene from a video game (which is a good thing!).

I would recommend The Witcher to anyone, but especially to fans of fantasy. However, you don’t have to love fantasy to love The Witcher. Its strong characters, interesting plot, and amazing lore should be enough to attract any viewer. It’s also very Slavic, which is always a plus for me!