this is not fact, it's fiction.


"Let's play a game."
"Walter, it's cold. It's fricking cold."
"It's not that bad. C'mon, it'll warm you up."
"Setting yourself on fire isn't my idea of a game."
"It's not that." He pulls a pack of Marlboros out of his right jacket pocket. 
"We're going to get high?"
"Nah. It's a deck of cards." He opens the top flap and reveals them to me. I don't have a response. 
"So here's the deal" -- he sniffles and grabs his nose for a moment -- "you call a card. Any card. Twos, threes, fours; jacks, Kings; aces, e.t.c... And pull it from the stack. And if you get the one you picked, I'm in love with you."
"Does it matter which suit?"
"Do you say it out loud?"
"See, that's stupid. Because if we both know, it takes away the element of surprise. Or secret knowledge."
"Nah, it's fun!"
"Have you played it before?"
"Just made it up," he tilts his head skyward and through the faint light I see the shadow of the bags under his eyes. 
"Cmon, let's go." He says, shuffling the cards on the sawdust ground and filleting them out to me for picking.
I sigh, rolling my eyes. I doubt he can see that. I doubt he can see a lot of things. 
"Seven," I say, reaching for the middle of the stack. I retrieve a six. 
"Ahhhhhhh," his laugh is hoarse from all that screaming. It sounds even better than before. "Cmon, go again."
I draw a second time, pulling out a six.
"Ssss," he hisses. "Tough. You were so close."
"Just go," I retort, taking a swig of my beer. 
"You sound dumb when you say that."
"Shut up. Two." He draws. Jack. He draws again. Joker. 
"This is no fun," I groan. "I bet everyone else is far away by now." 
"It's your turn."
"Ten." I draw a jack. I draw again from the same spot and get a ten. 
"Looks like you're on a roll."
Two more rounds and we haven't guessed right once. He stops drawing twice just to see if I fail in the same way, and I do. I almost forget the point of this game, then--
"Dayum, girl," he laughs, his face coming out of the dark. "This must be some kind of miracle or something. You always draw one away from the number you called. Sometimes even from the same place in the deck."
"What are you trying to prove?"
"I'm not proving anything. It's your hand. I'm just saying you were sooo close. And you missed it."
"Okay," I let out a shallow breath, retreating further into the dark so he can't see my lip beginning to quiver. 
"I don't want to play anymore."
"Why, because you lost?"
"You lost too!" I say bitterly. 
"Alright, alright," he retreats. "One last go for me. Five."
"That's my favourite number."
"Then this is your lucky day."
He draws. The moon comes into view. We both look at the card, we look up. Our souls catch fire. 

i want to tell you something. i played this game by myself while my church family was playing just dance after the ball dropped (what a stupid tradition, if you ask me. it wreaks of innuendo, but it's still kinda funny). i got the exact outcomes the girl (i've named her jourdan) did in this story. and to be perfectly honest, it's not a good game to play. in fact, i think it's very damaging. i wrote this on a whim in the car on the way home after the party. i was listening to paramore and la dispute and everything was pitch black except my phone screen. and i've decided it's to be for the girl who commented here so long ago, about the boy. and i know it's not as optimistic as my other poetry but what i want you to know is, i've spent a long time, on and off, doting over the idea of having someone who liked me. and like you said, though you know Jesus is all you need, it's hard not believing you need a boy too. and it's not easy to unthink that problematic behaviour that's been passed on from friends and older relatives. but i want you to take care of yourself. i want you to know that i have been on this earth eighteen years and though i've begun to receive nice compliments and some notice, i'm still very much on my own. and now, in a world where women are saying you are strong and independent and don't need anyone, it's easy to feel bad for wanting someone. so whoever you are, whatever your situation, don't feel bad about it. but who you are isn't a direct function of who likes you. does that make sense? you can't force yourself to unlike someone or unwant them. but you have to take care of yourself. you have to. so i love you, i hope you're doing well, you're special and i'm so sorry to get this to you so late, but i hope you see it.

happy new year, darlings.
-kiss kiss kiss, heavens to betsy-


tell me it's okay to be happy now, because i'm happy now.

i did want to write a post on thursday. or friday. or probably thursday leading into friday, because friday was my 18th birthday and i wanted to tell you how i cried a little bit and listened to paramore from eleven to midnight and had a final and the best. burgers. ever. but i didn't know what to say. and then i forgot i was going to post. and then i didn't. so now it's sunday, or maybe it's almost monday, or maybe it already is monday (but now it's almost tuesday), i'm not sure. but i'm here, and instead of telling you how i felt, i wanted to show you something someone did for me. 

i have this really cute lilliputian friend name rachel. we've never met, but we've bonded over [failed] writing extravaganzas, our mutual love for british-born actors (her: asa butterfield, me: tom hiddleston), and intellectually stimulating conversations. incidentally, up until a few weeks ago, we hadn't been talking much because of school and life and whatnot, but we just now finished a conversation that felt as though we'd never stop talking. she's a great person, you guys. she helps me see different perspectives on things and makes me want to look at them again so i be sure for myself. and she's really nice, and she tells good stories about funny/odd/sometimes sad experiences and maybe that's what you should write about, rachel. you should write about you, because even though you may not think it's worthy of a new york bestselling title, there are still things about you that cannot be replicated into other people's lives. so she wrote me one of those article things that you see about celebrities in those magazines, kind of as a way to show where she thinks i'll be within the next five to ten years. i read it aloud to helayna last sunday and she agrees that this is super accurate and special and i never want to let it go, so. 

without further ado (and an obligatory break into a new paragraph), i give you one of the nicest things someone has given me. 

also here's a selfie because i think it's fitting. (i guess you can say i'm a pinup girl now. my hair is green and i am a self-proclaimed housewife, so there's that.) (also i got a phone, praise.)

At Pizza Hut with Jocelyn Chambers

“Can we meet over pizza?” That’s the first thing Jocelyn Chambers asks me as we’re arranging our rendezvous over the phone. Even though I’m lactose-intolerant and rarely eat pizza, I let her know that yes, we’ll meet over pizza and I’ll probably bring something I can eat. I ask if her if she minds, and she says, “No, not at all.” We agree to meet after her concert at the Civic Center in Portland, Maine and go to the nearest Pizza Hut location. I get myself a ticket to her concert, despite the fact that I rarely attend concerts. But I love symphonies. I witness Jocelyn put on one of the most raw, emotional, and epiphany-producing shows I’ve seen in a long time before I meet her outside. We hug and greet each other; it’s the first time we’ve met in person, but we talk like we’re just old friends catching up. Jocelyn is nearly six feet tall in heels, towering over my five-foot-two stature, and she dresses like 1950s pinup glory. Her hair and makeup are impeccable. She has a soothing, slightly raspy that’s half fairy princess and half film noir siren. “So how about that pizza?” She asks with a breathless smile. We get in my car and I drive her to Pizza Hut.

Jocelyn is nothing short of talented. She’s dabbled not only in film composing, but in writing, photography, blogging, painting, singing, short film directing and poetry. She works hard at everything she does, and it’s paid off; her book The Era of Mixed Feelings, which features contributions from other teenagers describing their experiences as teenagers, has received endless accolades in the book industry. Not only that, but she scored an Oscar nomination for composing the score to the coming-of-age drama A Word Made Flesh, making her the first black woman to earn that honor. “I’m still reeling over it,” she says. “It almost seems unreal. Like it’s just a dream or something.”

Once we get to Pizza Hut, Jocelyn orders a personal pizza that takes nearly forever to come out, as is tradition with pizza hut, and she does not hesitate to dig right in. We sit in silence for a little bit, Jocelyn eating her pizza and me eating a leftover veggie burger that I brought with me, but it doesn’t feel like an awkward silence desperate to be filled. It’s like we have nonverbally communicated that right now, eating comes first and talking will come later. When we’re finished with our meals, I ask her how she’s been lately. “Busy,” she says without skipping a heartbeat. “But it’s a good kind of busy. I’m doing what I love and I couldn’t be happier about that.” One thing’s for sure, she’s keeping herself occupied while anticipating the Academy Awards coming up in a month; she’s been performing concerts at multiple locations around the country, making her debut performance at the Madison Square Garden in two days, updating her Tumblr blog with stunning photography and profound quotes, and documenting her strong outfit/hair/makeup game on Instagram. Even what Jocelyn does in her spare time isn’t done in a mediocre fashion; she’s fully and completely in love with what she does. It’s that full-on passion for everything she does that has earned her an Oscar nomination and a spot on the top of the New York Times Bestseller list. “People have always told me, ‘Jocee you can’t do that, Jocee that’s not possible.’” She says about the people back home in Texas. “But they were wrong. When I show up at the Oscars, I’ll look straight into the camera and smile and wave to the people who put me down. I don’t believe them anymore. At this point in my life, I feel like I can do anything.”

i wish i could tell you how much this means to me.

-kiss kiss kiss, i'm reaching as i sink down into light-
{pea ess: another title via paramore's self-titled deluxe.}


the screening.

every wednesday at 5pm, i go to a movie screening in the geology building for my RTF class. i usually sit where what i guess the theatre majors call stage right--but really my left, by myself with a frosty or leftover vitamin water or a pint of bluebell. i haven't exactly made a good enough friend who i can sit with consistently. everyone has their own group of people. i'm generally just there.

this week's screening was accompanied by a soft drizzle outside the auditorium doors. most everyone was in sweatpants or those awkward garbage bag things that keep you from getting wet. it was a lot colder than what we were all used to and i guess we didn't know how to handle it. i wore a black cape with grey roses in front and a black dress with my black bag and black umbrella. they say black is supposed to keep the heat in, but it didn't really do anything of the sort. at the very most, i looked decent. and most of the time, we sacrifice warmth for decency.

but i'm not taking a philosophy class, so please ignore the last three or so sentences. also, i'd had my first salted caramel latte that day. it was delicious. the last few sips are the best part.

at this particular screening, we watched sunset blvd, because in class we were covering italian neorealism and coming to the era of film noir. we've watched a lot of classic movies this semester, and i have to say they're nothing like i expected (citizen kane was kind of a downer, but the technology was great) but sunset blvd was so good (albeit dark) that i can successfully say it's one of my favourite movies. maybe the weather or the overall droopiness of the day had something to do with it. either way, i thought it was great.

i feel really bad now, though, because i'm not really here to talk about citizen kane or sunset blvd. or anything like that. i'm here because i think i've found out something very important. and i just so happen to have found that out after the screening of sunset.

i usually leave the auditorium after everyone regroups with their friends to talk about the movie. this week was no different. i walked into the hall, stopping to button my cape and adjust my purse and when i continued towards the door i caught part of a conversation these two girls were having near one of the artifact cases. i know there's something to be said about hearing things in context versus out of context, but i haven't gotten it out of my mind.

so she's like "i'm thinking 'you're sixteen years old! you don't know anything!'" and the other girl is like "ugh, i hate sixteen year olds" and i'm thinking "were you not just that age yourself? how can you say something like that about someone who's likely said the same thing about you?" and i realize this is where the disconnect between adults and adolescents begin. in college, the ideals and responsibilities of adulthood are thrust upon us (more by our peers than our professors), and we're suddenly expected to behave as though high school and everything before it is a distant memory, that this is it: this is where the journey ends--i am an adult now and everything i have waited for has somehow become insignificant. the freshmen are still so... fresh that they retain parts of who they were before they came here but somewhere along the line they lose it. they are subconsciously swallowing the idea that they are only 17 or 18 or 19, they who they are doesn't encompass every age they've been or every year they've been alive. does that make sense to you? maybe the reason why there is such a gap between adults and teens is in order to be accepted into a new society, you have to leave part of yourself behind. and as a freshman (and equally a sophomore), i don't want to do that. as a junior or a senior i don't want to do that. at any age during my life i don't want to be the person that looks down on others because it's not socially acceptable. i keep seeing people post and reblog the following: "be the person you needed when you were younger." how can you be the person you needed when somehow, you forget that person even exists?

i guess i'm saying no matter where you are in your life, whether you've graduated college or graduated kindergarten, remember who you are. 
don't ridicule that person now, don't ridicule them later. we always complain that people don't understand us. don't be the person people complain about.

-kiss kiss kiss, all you gotta do is say-


i don't even know myself at all, i thought i would be happy by now.

original photo

i do not know how to preface this, so i won't. this is for my secret series, for the girl who does not know how to get away from things.
sometimes you don't have to run. sometimes you have to take it step by step.
"I was clean for over a year, and everything was going great. I was beginning to understand Who I was and what made me that way, and I was really enjoying it. I felt like a new person. And then I woke up last Saturday and I knew something was wrong. I could feel it. It was back. I guess I should tell you what I mean by this: I was addicted to pornography for quite a long time. I don't remember how it happened, I just know that it did. Sometimes, I couldn't sleep at night because the urge was so strong. I couldn't look at people because I wondered what would happen if they found out and I swear I thought they would all hate me. People only talk about hypersexualized men and how their porn addictions are pretty much normal for them now, but they never mention that it can happen to girls, too. I think that was the worst part about it. That I was an outlier to the normal but I still felt so ashamed. I used to think I ruined myself for marriage and I kept promising myself I wouldn't do it anymore. But last week I heard something keep saying "you're going to do it before the end of the day. You will." I had lasted so long, and I even made a list of fun things that kept me occupied instead, but it didn't work. As you can guess, I watched porn again last Saturday. Every single thing I promised I wouldn't do. Afterward, I cried so hard. I wanted to die. And then I went to church the next morning. I just want to get as far away from last Saturday as possible, but I don't know how. This isn't how I wanted to say this, but I guess that's better than not saying anything, right? Please don't hate me too much."
a list of things to do instead of watching porn:
1. check the weather forecast for the next week. 
2. plan your outfits accordingly. 
3. do something you have done in a long time, like putting a bunch of random ingredients together and hoping they create a great meal.
4. think about how proud you are of yourself. 
5. watch something from your childhood, like the powerpuff girls or canadian dramas from the late 1980s. 
6. ask your friends what books they're reading and why you're missing out by not reading them. 
7. take all your old t-shirts out of your closet and youtube ways to restyle them.
8. or, create completely new ones instead. 
9. whatever you do, don't engage with the voice that tells you you will, you will watch porn before the day is out.
10. listen to me, i know how it feels to be on top of the world and then give into something that isn't good for you and hit rock bottom. because that is literally what it feels like and you wish you could take it back but all you can do is move forward. keep moving forward. count one day without watching porn and keep going in such a way that you allow yourself to count another one. and another. and another. and after awhile, allow yourself to forget.

because being on top of the world is so much better than being in it. and whatever you do, don't let the world be on top of you.
i love you. please don't hate yourself too much.

-kiss kiss kiss, gotta let it happen-
{pea ess: title via paramore's 'last hope' which is relevant as heq.}
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