Tag Archives: question

A Lover’s Lament

19 Jun

A Lover’s Lament, or “I Am Confused.”

I am confused, dear lover. I am confused how you could choose to throw me away like trash, while I am only just now beginning to slough off the skin of our life together like so many dead cells become love litter. The detritus of memories rots there on the floor, as every day I am forced to trample it underfoot as if it were nothing, and I were not worried in every moment that something will snag and I will trip. Too often, so often, I fall anyway. I am confused, dear lover.

I am confused, dear lover. I am confused how you could not be at every moment distracted, wondering where the new rush of air through one more hole you hadn’t noticed in yourself is coming from. Does not your body ache from the pock marks of so many barbed associations? Are you not left with new emptiness and crevices as the once fertile ground of your soul dries and cracks with a terrible opening groan? Do not you feel as if there are parts of you missing? Are you not spending every waking and sleeping moment searching for where they have gone and how you could possibly, desperately, ever in your life or your death get them back again? Are you not dying from the nothing of where you used to be filled? I tremble every second, wondering if this will be the time when my increasingly paltry skeleton crumbles. Did I not make up just as much of you? I am confused, dear lover.

I am confused, dear lover. I am confused how you could have escaped the shroud of insanity that is slowly settling over me as I see your ghost at every turn. My mind breaks just a little more every time I must exorcise your demons, finding again a phantom that must be released from a particular way of flicking my hand, or tilting my voice, or arranging my face. I do not know whether it is better to slowly tease away where you have interwoven with every fiber of my being in an attempt to salvage what is left of the original cloth, or if I should just cry to hell and remove the stuff of both you and me with a slaughter of tearing, unforgiving attrition. It’s not like I would be left any more frayed than I am becoming now. I am surprised, from the way that your fingers used to interlock with mine, that you are not finding yourself similarly ragged. I am confused, dear lover.

Oh dear lover, I am confused.


What Happens When You Have Facebook Friends from Treatment

12 Nov

There’s something about having facebook friends from treatment. It’s an odd sort of dynamic, because I don’t think other people have it, those people that haven’t sat in a room full of twelve other girls and shared their deepest secrets and cried their eyes out in front of all of them, and then moved on and discharged and never talked to a single one of those twelve other girls ever again.

Sure, maybe we’ll do the occasional photo “like” when it randomly shows up in our feed. But if that photo contains any portion of the body of that girl from treatment, that’s when the scrutiny begins.

Are they fatter? Do they look like they’ve lost weight? Can you still see the little pudge of skin between their breasts and their arms? Are their cheek bones showing more than when you last saw them? How about the collar bones? And the color in their face? Are their arms still carrying the appropriate amount of flab, or do they look like they’ve gotten a little bloated from purging again? Were they brave enough to instagram a pic of their meal? Are they still calling attention the fact that oh man, they ordered fries? Or have they gone a little food-crazy on their wall, posting pictures of ever-increasing portion sizes you worry they haven’t even noticed?

Where are they in this love affair with starvation and stuffing?

You haven’t seen or talked to them in six months. But because their new profile picture popped up as you scrolled through the detritus of other people’s lives, you stop and wonder all that, in a matter of mere microseconds.

Or maybe you don’t. Maybe you hurriedly flick your mouse pad or your down arrow key, because for all that work you did learning to deal with feelings, this picture of someone you cried your eyes out to and then never talked to again – and who, identically, never talked to you – this picture makes you just a little too uncomfortable.

But still, even if you ignore it, there is something to being facebook friends with girls from treatment. Because even if you ignore it, even if you shove that image that flashed across your retina and branded you once again with feelings you thought you could choose to ignore, the question will still be there. It will still nag, day in and day out, at that part of your brain that remembers sitting that room crying your eyes out in front of those twelve other girls.

How are they doing?

The Omniscience Chronicles: Dari and Micah

21 Feb

She shuffled uncomfortably. “Sometimes people have a hard time with me.”

Micah looked at her curiously. “Why?”

“I’m blazingly honest.” She hopped down from the side of his bed. “If you ask me a question, I’m not going to skirt around with niceties. You’re going to get the real answer, whether you wanted it or not.”

“Isn’t that what everybody does?”

Dari burst out laughing. “You actually think that? Micah, wake up. People don’t really want to know what you have to say these days. They want some nice gloss of a response that imparts absolutely no information whatsoever so they can feel good about acknowledging you and then move on with their life with as little disruption as possible.”


“I’m sorry,” Dari’s voice softened. She put a hand on Micah’s shoulder. “It’s that blazingly honest thing again. I don’t know how to how to account for people’s sensitivities. I kind of just bowl you right over.”

Micah shook his head. “My fault for being so naïve,” he said gruffly.

Dari looked away. Her eyes dropped to the ground. “Naïveté isn’t so regrettable,” she said quietly. “Better than knowing everything and just walking around jaded all the time.”

Micah helped her snap her bra back on. “Life’s ruined for you, isn’t it?”

She pulled up her skirt and tugged at the snagged zipper. “Pretty much. Humans aren’t supposed to know all things, Micah. Takes the wonder out of everything. Well, just about everything…” She slipped her t-shirt over her head and tugged it down around her waist.

Micah paused where he was buttoning his jeans back together. “That’s why you do this, isn’t it? It’s the only thing you have left. Raw experience.”

Dari nodded silently. “Even then, knowing exactly how my biology is going to respond to each manipulation… there’s no element of surprise. Expectation reduced down to an algorithm… takes the intimacy out of it. And my body knows it, too. My senses are starting to dull. My dopamine receptors are slowly being pruned away, never being able to register more reward than anticipated, because my anticipations are always correct. I’m slowly being stripped of my ability to register pleasure.” Dari laughed darkly. “And where will that leave me? A cynical old maid who knows too much for her own good.”

Micah looked at her bashfully. “I’d still like you.”

Dari laughed again. “No you wouldn’t. You only think you would. Eventually you’d learn to spurn me. You’re a poet, Micah. The flowery kind. You walk around finding lovely images to compose into attempts at truth. And while you get halfway there, you stop short and end up still firmly within the bounds of falsity. You delude yourself into believing in your own constructions, making you one of the billions living on this planet who never really understand anything. And you know that I’d never stop pointing that out to you, either, because you, with your own strange compulsions, can never stop asking me what I think. No, Micah. You’d come to hate me.”

“Gee, thanks for the compliment. Glad you have such faith in people.”

“Faith,” Dari spat out the word as if it left a bad taste in her mouth. “What use have I for faith?”

Micah stared at her closely. Then, slowly, realization dawned on his face. “They didn’t give you a choice, did they?”

Dari plopped back down onto the bed. “No, they didn’t. I was a class-5 citizen, Micah. Experimental stock, only one step above shark bait. And I’m a girl. Our crop was short on females, which made me a valuable commodity. Not to be wasted on just any scientific venture. No, I was allowed no say in what experiment I went to. I was slotted for a top-priority religio-scientific assay from birth.”

“The Omniscience question.”

Dari nodded. “Scientists have long since accepted that humans are made in the image of God. Ultimate goodness, generosity of Optimized Altruism, the ability to tolerate paradoxes – all that shit has already been proven as Enhanceable Qualities of the Almighty.” Micah looked at her quizzically. Dari rolled her eyes. “Characteristics of God present in humans as a result of the whole “made in His image” deal that we can draw out and maximize as a part of our general personalities, idiot. Honestly, don’t you keep up with current events?” Without waiting for answer – given that she already knew it- Dari went on, “Anyways, in recent centuries, the Priesthood of Logical Ends has been getting rather ambitious. The PLE figured that if we could master some of the Almighty’s qualities, then shouldn’t we be able to master all of them, even the ones formerly thought to be reserved only for the Big Guy himself?”

Micah nodded slowly, understanding. “Hence the Omniscience project.”

“The Omnipresence project actually came first,” Dari bubbled, “but most people don’t know about that one because it ended up being a big flop. Turns out we’re too tied to our matter, in this life at least, for us to be too many places at once. Quarks apparently don’t take too kindly to being cut in half, even if only momentarily. I hear the snap that happens when your matter realizes it’s been Twinned and promptly fuses itself back together is highly unpleasant. Test subjects kept dying of pain.” Dari chewed on her lip and looked thoughtful for a moment. “But if they could figure out how to reconcile a few more digits of the Existence Coefficient with the remainder of the Quotient of Perceived Momentum, they might have it… Anyhoo, doesn’t matter,” Dari said brightly. “The PLE never ends up figuring it out. They pray very hard about it for a couple of dedicated decades and then decide that it’s impossible.”

Micah stared at her for a moment, too stunned to say anything. He considered asking another question and then thought the better of it.

Dari giggled. “Anyways,” she said, snatching her sweater off the ground, “I should be going.”

Micah leaned over and kissed her deeply on the neck. “Dari,” he murmured, wrapping his arms around her so she couldn’t leave, “there is a God then?”

Dari leaned into his shoulder. “Of course, stupid.”

Micah thought very hard. He knew he could only keep her there for so long. “Why does he let bad things happen?”

Dari squirmed. “Because.”

“Because why?”

“No,” Dari shifted so she was facing him. “That’s all there is. Just – because.” Micah raised an eyebrow at her, waiting. “Look,” she said, annoyed, “just because I know everything doesn’t mean I understand it.” She wriggled her way out of his arms. “I really have to go now.”

She turned to leave but Micah caught her by the hand. She whipped around, but there was something in the way that Micah was looking at her that stayed her tongue. He met her eyes and held them in his steady gaze.

“Dari,” Micah’s voice broke as he said the word. “Dari, why you?”

Dari didn’t say anything. Instead, she only shook her head sadly, leaned in close and silently kissed Micah on the cheek. Micah let go of her hand. Dari walked quickly towards the door. She was just reaching for the door handle when Micah called out to her again.

“Dari,” he said her name gently, so gently, “what’s the answer?

Dari turned and stared at him. “Micah… there isn’t one.”