The Coasters

I once was something, but I never changed so now

I coast.

Everything is fine and nothing is wrong so now

I sit.

On a table. Next to magazines someone may have read or may have not.

Just depending.

_

On ambition or the idea of a prospect, not object, in the somewhat near

Future.

But it’s close.

Or so they think and so they read,

The New Yorker.

_

Some say I’m smug because I don’t want something

Undefinable. Just sustainable.

Something that is already here and secure and normal

Not ambitious. 

They say I’m lazy.

_

Not particularly interesting. 

But full of promise and intellect and the energy to do more.

But I don’t.

And that irks them,

While I sit on the table fulfilling the lightest.

The easiest.

The most basic of basic necessities. 

The Lantern

I want to be just like the other two. This is my dream. When I close my eyes and see who I really am, I know I’m exactly like them. 

I really am just like the other two. We’re the same color. We have the same movements. I just haven’t clicked on for awhile.

Once I click on, I know we’ll be the same. It just takes a certain Je ne sais quoi. Once I click on, I’ll have the same light. We’ll all beam brightly together.

I would be just like the other two if I could figure out the switch. It was once turned on, I swear. One of them said I was so much brighter. The other one didn’t say a thing. If I could just remember how to press the right button, we’d literally all be the same.

I heard one of them say to the other that our room was a complete dump. I asked why, but they said I wouldn’t get it. I thought about asking again later on, but I’m glad I can’t see what they know.

The Rat Poison

The bellies of the beasts with the sickness and the death mated from each other’s navel gazing.

“Look how beautiful we are,” said the first to the second.

She was long and sleek with the coat of a rat. She had a head like one of a peacock. Tall feathers sprouted from her scalp. Like bright ideas they pointed high. All she could think of was the beauty of herself and the ideas, like her feathers, moved beyond her.

“It’s almost too much.” The second stared at his chest. He was made from multiple red hearts. Thumping in unison, he was a strong and steady rhythm: his body marched only for himself. With the blood of a thousand sons, his energy spiked mountains. His body was a gift from the Gods. He stared at his stomach, swollen from a feast, but suddenly noticed a hole.

“What is that?” The first said to the second. She pointed at her own belly in shame. She, too, had a tiny black hole and it was tunneling to the center of her core. She was sure she would have noticed had it been there before, but absent of its memory, she gazed. A dark emptiness went straight through her gut. A coldness spread wide.

The second stared at himself, his worry starting to grow. Poking their eyes as far inside as possible, each beast could not find the whole problem.

“Do you see anything?” The first asked the second.

“I see nothing.” The second said to the first.

The idea of a vast emptiness in the pit of such perfection was enough to make a grown beast cry. They curled their claws to reach and pry, but there was nothing to truly hold on to. They reached for themselves, but could not hold on. So they reached for each other in vain.

“I think I feel something.” The second said to the first.

After digging into crevices further against her flesh, he felt the sudden movement of acid. Unlike possible organs nourished in the blood of a belly, this was a wetness that was frozen.

Frantic with a mix of repulsion and curiosity, the second beast tried to melt her.

“What are you doing?” She asked with no answer. He was finding himself inside.

The acid crept closer to the ridges of her body, but it never once warmed to his touch. When it stung the sides of his clawed and gnarled fingers, he immediately retracted in pain.

The acid had melted. Trailing against his skin, it tunneled through his stomach for the chance of an easy spot. His own body was contaminated. Like a hollowed out fish with a lifeless disposition, he could feel the clearing of his hearts.

One heart stopped beating. And then another. His strength began to fade.

“What have you done?” He said to the first, but she had no answer to give him. “You’ve infected me. You’ve made me sick. You’ve given me your own poison.”

She stared at the beast, now scrawny and deflated and shook her head side to side. “I’ve got nothing of my own. I’ve got nothing to give. Whatever poison you have was your own.”

The Doll

Photograph by Dan Schleifer

The Doll

Age: Ambiguous

Sex: Maybe

Location: Your grandfather’s attic

Best Song: Somebody’s Watching Me – Rockwell

Looking For: You, obviously. I don’t know what happened or why I’m here, but this whole thing is really messed up. I take back everything I said about American Girl Dolls. Just come and get me. 

Dream Date: I was going to say something dumb and ironic like a long walk on the beach, but really – that would be great right now. 

Best Memory: I was riding my bike through South Africa with the wind in my hair. That was also my last memory. Really any memories besides this one are cool with me. You like cheeseburgers, right? Do you want to get a cheeseburger? Or maybe some clothes. I love clothes.

Pets? Teddy can stay here.  

Ideal Look: I don’t know what you were wearing when we broke up, but honestly even if you shaved your head and lost sixty pounds I’m cool with it as long as you show up. Seriously. I won’t even talk about your grandfather. 

Favorite Hobbies: I’d like it if you ran. 

My Book Is Coming Out Soon

Hey guys,

My new Object Relations book is coming out very soon. If anyone would like to read a free online copy in advance, I’ll be giving out books to blog readers until January 28th. Please email me. Rebeccacoleslee@gmail.com

Thank you so much for your loyalty. I know some of you guys have been reading for several years and it really means a lot to me.

Updated: you can purchase my book here.

The Pain Reliever

Expectation:

Will relieve pain. All pain.

Heartbreak from immature brat who found someone better. Bruised pride from begging Jayson to cover her rent. Soreness from best friend who ‘could’t’ let me crash with him. Twisted arm from agreeing to live with other friend in roach infested apartment. Throbbing headache from hearing her complain about vintage Beastie Boys CDs that are not played too loudly. Burned by the desire we share every Tuesday in the laundry room. Burned because she’s friends with the brat who found someone better. A pain in the neck from explaining she’s not really a brat. Stiffed on the rent money when she, too, moves out.

Headache gone.

The Paper Clips

By the desk near the fax machine that nobody really wants, there is a special drawer for paper clips and erasers. It’s in the corner, like an afterthought, just like the paper clips themselves. Only slide projectors and viewing screens can be seen up front, but it wasn’t worth the fight for visibility. 

Paper clips like their unobtrusive, low-commitment-oriented life. The front of the room is too bright. Really the only ones that like center stage are the kind of assholes that run for a political office. Even local law has mirrors for windows.

Paper will become obsolete, the up-fronters say. As if this is something I want to hear. Monitors are popular, but they’ll die off too. Who doesn’t remember Elmo?

It’s the importance, the integrity of the position that really matters. Not the actual position. There is no twisting involved with a screen. Lazy by nature, they demonstrate the shapes and activity that only in-betweeners have. 

Not the display. Not the object on display. Paper clips fit somewhere in the middle. 

Don’t you worry about being replaced?

The up-fronters think honesty and tact are two separate things. 

I look at the stapler. He’s still here. I look at the rubber bands. They’re still here too. I try to find the pencil sharpener, but it’s not in the desk. The erasers are on borrowed time.