“What is your idea of perfect happiness?” A wiry game show host sits on a couch in a staged living room. He holds his microphone out, hoping to record everything.
The tv remote blinks. Flashes of green scan the room for any chance of reception. He wants control. He wants excitement. He never wants to feel that shrug of indifference that comes with the heavy sigh of boredom. But how can he say his idea of happiness is to be able to change scenes at the click of a button? Where is his loyalty?
He remembers the night he was so enamoured with Paris Hilton. Her long, delicate legs had stepped out of the limo, one at a time, so gracefully. Her skirt glimmered from the bright lights of the paparazzi. She was so glamorous. How could he not watch her every night for weeks as she graced his presence on the tv? She was perfect.
And then there was that one day. He took one quick look at her long blond hair and knew that it was over. Maybe it was the way she smiled – so quiet and distant. Or maybe it was that he knew every move she would make ahead of time. Whatever it was, he didn’t feel the same way about her as he once did. Her face looked old and in that familiar way, he felt the pull to change. He needed something new. Something exciting. He changed the channel.
The tv remote stared straight into the announcers eyes and said, without blinking, “the ability to change.”
When we first met it was like love at first sight. I still remember our late nights out on the town. Back when all we did was go out and dance and have fun everything seemed so innocent. But it couldn’t stay that way. I remember the first night you came over. We were on the porch together, gazing at the stars and pondering the thoughts of the universe. You were so cool – not trying to impress anyone, you let your faults be known. I was okay with it. It’s not like we were exclusive.
But then there was that one day after statistics class. I was frustrated, tired, annoyed with life and you were there. Waiting for me. I told you I couldn’t see you right now, I had to have time to cool off. I had to have my space for a minute. You persisted. You kept telling me you needed me and it was in that moment that I gave in.
It was like you were addicted to the weaknesses in my life. The moments where I felt anxious, upset, depressed or just lonely. You were always around when I needed you, you lived off those times.
You grew demanding. You wanted more money. You wanted more time. You wanted something that I could barely give, but did anyway. When I tried to leave you, you kept coming back. I would see you everywhere. In the neon lit convenient store down the block. In bars we used to go to. Even my porch seemed haunted by you.
I know we’re in an unhealthy relationship. I know I suck when I’m around you. But I just want to say, for all the times I said I hate you, I’ll never fully mean it. There’s always a part of me that lights up.
I tried asking the Mousse out yesterday. It’s lonely with no one else in the medicine cabinet besides us. Her smell is like that of a coconut and a peach mixed with something scientific and brilliant. I had been staring at her for the past 3 weeks, but she never notices. Instead, she’s the carefree type that is too in her own world to bother with anyone else’s. She’s suave and comes into any situation with a confidence that she’s going to stand her ground. I admire her.
“Hi,” The minute I said it, I knew it was a mistake. What would I say? I hadn’t done this in years. “I was wondering if you’d like to get out of here sometime? With me,” God I was so stupid. Of course I meant with me. “If that’s okay,” I added.
She stared at me for a minute and said nothing. I could feel the seconds on the clock ticking away with such a cocky and arrogant march. The shelf we were standing on suddenly felt harder than before and I swear to God we were tilting just a little to the left. And then she burst into laughter. Full on gales of high pitched giggles surrounded and echoed the entire bathroom. Everyone could hear.
“You’re like… how old?” She then straightened up and tried to compose herself. “It’s just so unnatural.” It’s always the young, organic, ones that move with such ease. Although I know I’ve been shelved, I still feel like we could have made the best out of a sticky situation.
Flat feet as flat as slippers sitting not standing, following the floor. Edging around the purple velvet of soft shoes for soft people. Voices as quiet as doves.
If lavender had feelings it would feel like my shoes. Weak in the sole and strong in the body. Its issues are no more complicated than the gray sound of white noise. Echoing in between ears, it’s hushed like the ocean. An ocean of static thoughts. I can barely feel their sharper points edging around their themes. Situations. Dire elations. Concepts and provocative cornered conversations. Instead thoughts are soft and round, fuzzy with a calm knowledge that this could continue forever.
Flat feet as flat as slippers, saving not sharing, their voices seep into the carpet. Slippers don’t pronounce the thoughts they think in color. Instead they are darters and martyrs to their uncomplicated shape.
Sweet swallowing eye lids of coal, why won’t you unstick? Switching memories for dreams, you take me on a ride where objects are particles of brain dust puffed up into imaginary ‘things.’ The kind that people don’t want to look at. An abandoned guitar. A torn out sheet of paper. A photograph too bright from exposure. What things are left burning from memory to sight? When will eye lids lift their vision to the light? I can’t tell what’s there when everything is white. A shine shifts in practice.