Only Sixteen

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Only Sixteen.”

I was only 16. By that time of my life I’d already learnt one of the biggest lessons of my lifetime: trust no one but yourself. 

I was alone. I’d walk the streets of the heavily graffitied city and maybe even leave a mark of my own. I was alone and I was angry. Really angry.

To my arrogance I had blamed my loneliness on my parents; with whom I had become increasingly hostile with as of late. Argument after argument. I got tired of it all so I left. Thinking I could do it all on my own. 

Ha! Pure arrogance right there. I couldn’t survive a week on the streets without turning to questionable means of survival.

You name it I can guarantee you I have done it. It was a desperate couple of months. You’d have done the same.

About a month after, on the eve of my 16th birthday I met a boy. A man it seemed. But how can one call him a man given the cowardice that was his very soul? I thought he was kind. I thought he meant all he said. Ignorance. It was all ignorance. 

I gave him comfort, food and shelter all that he needed in exchange for one thing: he’d soothe my loneliness. 

I won’t lie, he did. However momentarily. Then it all came crashing down upon me when I stumbled to the morning and reached my hand over to feel his brown hair. Nothing. There was nothing there. The bastard left. I searched around the home I had made for myself to find that a large amount of the belongings I had scoured from around town had been taken. He not only stole my trust and in turn my faith in all, but the things that I had worked so hard for.

I was sixteen. Only sixteen.

The Tale of a Serotonin Junkie – A Short Story

Ever since I was a child I’d always loved the feeling of the warm sun hitting my skin. As a teenager I’d sink my feet right into the sand as I’d wait for my skin to tan. Years later I’d always return to that same beach. A sort of pilgrimage if you will. It was a nice reminder of the beautiful earth that lay sprawled amongst the chaos of humanity’s own creation. It seems we are constantly running away from ourselves. We go to work, lead boring lives just to escape it one day. Life was made to be lived and all we seem to do is slave over it. Die before we’ve even gotten the chance to live. I guess you could say I’m still just the same free spirit that I was in my youth. Some people never change. Some realise and mature, accept their role in the world and work 9 to 5, 5 days a week. Some die young; crash and burn before they get the chance to turn 30. Others never loose that spark but remain part of the community. Then there’s me: I’ve always just been a serotonin junkie. 

Dear Stigma:

I have depression, general anxiety disorder and a whole other buffet of various anxieties. But my depression’s always been the one that embarrassed me most. There was a reason why I was always afraid to even utter the word ‘depression’ let alone admit to my own depression that it did in fact exist.

About a year ago now, I was eerily close to suicide. I was prepared and willing to swallow boxes of all the various prescription only medications I had at my disposal. Sure, I know, I know, overdoses are the most common form of suicide, yet wield the least ‘successful’ results. That’s right, I did my research. But you see, I had an ace up my sleeve. I’d been diagnosed with ADD as a kid and still take the medication when needed. With the anti depressants I had already owned, the ADD medications, sleeping tablets and various pain killers I was sure I was at an advantage when compared to my adversaries. I, funnily enough was not strong enough to follow through. I went to sleep that night giving myself an ultimatum and left it all to chance. It takes a certain strength to willingly end your life. It’s strange to say given the stigma, but it’s true. To put the gun to your head is on thing, but to pull the trigger is another. 

I spent the next couple of months weaving in and out of psychiatrist appointments and psychologist, the lot and in secret taking my frustrations out on my arm with various items. One desperate attempt included a pen lid.

I often hide my arm under a sleeve. I am ashamed still that I had come to that. Every so often with a liberal and forgetful, tantalisingly human movement of my arm in which my sleeve falls down to wherever it may. Whenever I catch someone glancing at my arm. Whenever I feel vulnerable I feel ashamed at myself.

I however have chosen to push past the embarrassment. Every time I feel a situation calls for it I bring out the obligatory speech which explains my history and eventually extends the hand to those who need it. To those I suspect might be in a similar boat to what I had been. The stigma itself is terrifying. 

It is the stigma associated with it that made me feel so weak for succumbing to it, in bowing down and bending to it’s will. It is the reason why I fell so far. The stigma must go. I refuse to stop being open about my experiences until all are comfortable in having the conversation. 

Writer’s Block

Get out! Get out!
Infernal mist that shrouds my mind in confusion.
Leave me now! You pesky puck of sorts.
Writer’s block holds my pencil and pen.
It hides my paper and restrains my hands from typing.
I want to write see; but I don’t know what to write.
Even now I can feel my interest fading.
Damn you writer’s block. Damn you.

The Unwritten Rules Of Social Media #1

I just so happened to be scrolling through my Instagram last night and liked a few posts by the ‘obligatory follows’ A.K.A that one weird friend you have to follow because they followed you or that cousin you have to talk to every holiday. In doing so I realised something: there’s a sort of etiquette with social media that you have to follow or you’ll look like an ass.

Rule #1: You Must Like Even The Worst Of Photos

You must like the photo they just posted of a cheesy quote (or worse! A cheesy quote which titles a selfie *shudders*) that had more work done on it than Jocelyn Wildenstein and was attacked by a barrage of crappy Instagram filters playing tag team. Regardless of whether you truly like the photo or not you must like it. I was once scrolling through Instagram and up popped a weirdly angled black and white filtered selfie captioned by the lyrics of ‘Say Something’ by A Great Big World featuring Christina Aguilera followed by a blushing emoji. Now I have no idea what the actual fuck they meant by posting that. I figure it was some ambiguous hint to friends or possible ex-boyfriend, but honestly your guess is as good as mine. Now what did I do? I liked that photo. Why did I like that photo? Because I had to. Thank you, internet. I can barely handle a social situation in real life. Now I have to abide by rules that make me feel like a moron on the Internet too? Thanks. I appreciate it.

The Last Letter – A Poem

 Once I loved
A soul I hated
For my heart he painted
The colour of gold

The crows they grew
Walking along the creases
Bordering those ageing, emerald eyes

His thin lips they smiled
Showing the years of laughter
Forming those obvious little lines
However, smothered by his salty stubble

His calloused hands
Clutching mine all those years ago
In painful silence we witnessed
The landslide as it fell

His coffee stained hair
Cut short and fluffy to touch
Forever only dusted with hints of silver
Which he had always wanted

Pity, how his eyes would quickly darken
And his hair turn to grease
His hands turn to bones
Only held up by the veins

I watched as the man I loved slowly turn to dust
Aching to be cradled in the comforting arms of God
And; It was all my fault

I remember the day he acted
Upon those tempting thoughts of hatred
Staining that old library door

His green eyes shone no more
His thin lips showed no expression
His face was cold and numb
He hung from the ceiling
As he welcomed Death’s greedy grip

I crumpled to that cursed floor
Waves of sorrow flooded through the inconsolable bellows
Those salty tears forever stained on my lips

I looked up, to the broken man before me
The man with the laughter lines hidden behind his bushy beard
I leaned in for one last kiss
A loud sob in every breath
I had never wanted this

I look over past his shoulder
To his well-loved mahogany desk
A glance of white, a note I see
In his writing, addressed to me:

“Once I loved
A soul I hated
For my heart she painted
The colour of gold”

I Just Spent The Last Half Hour Shaving My Legs.

Yes. You read that right. I did in fact spend the last last half an hour shaving my legs. Do I live in the Stone Age? No. How ’bout a rock? Surprisingly that’s a no too. Then why did you just spend the last half hour shaving your legs then Lana? Enlighten us! Well, my shaver broke. Well, somewhat. 

So, a couple of weeks ago I was shaving my legs, with an electric shaver, in the shower. Yes, I know, I’m an idiot. That was a recipe for disaster. I’m very well aware of that. But that’s besides the point. Now, I am of course blessed with the grace and the coordination of a Greek god. So much so infact that a tennis ball could be whirling at my face, hit it and fall to the ground, then a couple of seconds later I’ll react with a confused “what?!” Proceed to walk away, but find myself tripping over that yellow, fluffy, fluro ball of death instead.

Now I, and my grace, accidentally dropped the buzzing electric shaver onto the pool of a shower floor. It then fell open and the batteries flew out. Like two very angsty teenage birds flying away from the nest. I then freaked out, put it back together and forgot about it. 

[Flash forward to about a week later]

“Why must my legs have hair?” Reluctantly, I go to shave my legs. Same old, same old. While doing so I notice a strange brown-orange-yellow coloured fluid pouring out of the shaver and on to my legs. Battery acid. Hooray. 

[Now flash forward to the next week]

“Screw this! I have to do it! My calves are starting to look like the Amazon!” I must shave my legs. But how? I have an idea. The electric shaver contains all I need to shave my legs, sans a battery. The battery and the motor just make my job easier. I can manipulate the actual razor bit in order to shave my legs. It works. Not very well. Or fast. But it works nonetheless. So I park my butt on the floor and get to work and slowly slowly trim down the Amazon to a local forest. That’s good enough for me at this point in time. 

I was reflecting later on why on earth I felt such a need to trim my legs and remove the hair. It’s just hair. It’s meant to be there. Right? Ha! Oh innocent little female you! No, it’s not. You must have legs that are as smooth as silk. No hair must be seen. Because, well you see, we don’t really have a good reason besides it looks better? Can you settle for that?

No, unhealthy modern beauty standards. I cannot settle for that. I’m not going to go on a feminist rampage and refuse to shave my legs and armpits and braid my pubic hair. I prefer to have shaven legs. Though, why would it matter whether I did or I didn’t anyway? Why must I? Tell me. I’d really like to know.