I loved picking out the dandelions and blowing them, wondering would they grant me a wish? Telling me cats got nine lives on the blacktop. I got to where I am today, an awkward medial position framed by disillusionment and progress, one motivates the other. You have to live in the moment, I tell myself all the time, but my mind won’t stop wavering between past and fiction, dismissing the present. What good is the present? Using the tips of my index and middle finger I try to part my chin to make it less pronounced, I don’t want a chin at all. Most people want a chin. Why do I care? I want to be candid, for my words to ring true, for people to hear my speech with ears perked up instead of drooped down like they are.
Nebulous recollection, bird calls in the woods, of noticing how blue the sky can be, of my grandma greeting me when I got off the bus, of manufactured words and people and products telling me my feelings are wrong. Hyper focused on analyzing contradistinctions between soap products. My mind reverts to the cycle and retreats to seraphic arms, wings, celestial memories, an airplane skittering across the sky to The Zombies. Indefinite pause, subway system, stopping in your shoes, losing confidence. My foundations were blundered by insights I don’t want to share. My mind was an intrepid ruler, it is now flabby and faltering. I need you, I am going to see you again someday.
Didn’t want to get out of bed for weeks, and here I am with motorized toes.
I’d rather die yesterday than have to die today, the white candle wax pointed to my future. Ornate patterns on ornamental spinning, shining, shimmering, flashing, lights on trees, eloping in the woods, running into a mailbox, living in my room, you could do it, we could do it, it could happen forever. Trusting nothing, not the words, phrases you hear, tape loops on the screen, washed-away minds integrated to evanescence, couldn’t allow myself to slip away, from her arms, from your arms. Let the candle wax tell me, don’t let it shine into me, outside of me, inside me, my enemy, the problematic proclivity, I can see me, I can hear you.
Words pop like zits and I could hear my grandma singing to The Beatles on the leather chair.
Joshua Gonsalves is a student at School One. His story “Whiteheads II” is published as part of Write Rhode Island’s Our Lives Now project.