with (or without) you

          I AM AFRAID OF SCHOOL,

          I AM BOTHERED BY THIS EMPTY FEELING THAT THIS BOOK LEFT IN MY STOMACH AND IN MY HEART, 

          I KEEP THINKING ABOUT YOU,

          MY STITCHES COME OUT TOMORROW,

          AND

          i am scared.

          not really about my stitches. i am scared of… humans. what a horrible book. i honestly don’t know why i read it. and you know, it wasn’t even that bad. but for me it was. i feel i have lost more innocence in one go than i ever have. and i think that’s the hole that i am feeling. the feeling to really cry. the feeling that i want to rewind, to’ve not read that book. icky. that’s the word to describe how i feel. icky. by the way: the way i’m going on makes it sound like it’s the first few chapters of a clockwork orange (i only read the first few and had to stop in sheer disgust)– it’s not. it’s a simple little book. it’s only the perks of being a wallflower. but i didn’t see any perks. i must have missed them. but i really wish that i hadn’t started looking for them in the first place.

          i am sorry if you are feeling lost at this point… but it’s starting to bother me too much to explain any further for those of you who’ve never even heard of it. mostly, though, i just want you to know to not read that book if you can help it. and if you have already read it, please do not be angry that i dislike it so. i can see how people would be so taken with it, and in some scenes i was taken with it. but i guess i am too christiany to be completely taken with it. i guess i care too much for the fictional character’s soul to actually enjoy the book.

          anyway…

          a topiary fell on my head at work. (i work at michael’s. the arts and crafts store.) yes. a topiary. and i got eight stitches. and the anaesthesia is the part that hurts the most, ironically. i was handing / kinda tossing this topiary up into the hands of my boss (who told me to toss it, by the way), who was on the ladder. she was shelving the new fall floral crap. (yes. crap. what ELSE do you call FAKE PLANTS?!) well. she missed. unfortunately for me and my face, i caught it perfectly. the resin-type [SQUARE-SHAPED, might i add] pot gashed me on the forehead, about an inch below my hairline. if it were turned vertically, it would be about where harry’s lighting bolt scar is. (yes. i realise how much of a nerd i really am.) 

          i was ok for the whole thing. i didn’t look in the mirror as i rinsed my face in the sink. i concentrated on completely unrelated things as i pressed the cold compress onto the open wound. i had enough wits about me to recite my address, my home telephone and mother’s telephone, to my boss, who filled out paperwork while my parents came as soon as she reached them. i sang songs in the waiting room of the walk-in clinic. i was conscious enough to remember that the fairly attractive young man beside me was named James and he worked for a gift basket place. i was also conscious enough to realise how silly it was that i should be thinking about fairly attractive boys at a time like this. and i was even more conscious enough to remember a certain friend — E — who notices things like that as well, and i even recalled a trip to san francisco when she and my mum and i toured the two locations of the school i’d like to attend later on, and at the second location, E and i both took note of another fairly attractive young man and his name (Boris). 

          i almost fell asleep lying on the gurney, thinking about trips and fairly attractive young men and other such things, but then the nurse came and asked when my last tetanus shot was and i told her, through angry, held back tears, that i had no idea, hoping my tone would imply that i didn’t have time for this, and that even getting stitches was pushing it, nurse-lady. but, of course, i stayed put, moved to the other gurney when asked. and stayed put more. and got my tetanus shot (i thought about horses, and my friend daniel, for that one). and stayed put. and got blinded by that bright light that the doctor needed. and stayed put– even though it felt like he was burning another cut into my head (which i actually think he may have done) when he applied the anaesthesia. and tried to cry and breathe deep at the same time. and got annoyed when the doctor said that i was hyperventilating. and stayed put. and felt the needle and thread ANYWAY, despite the painkiller. and stayed put… you get the idea.

          and now, four days later, it is the eve before my stitches are removed. in about nine hours i will be lying, once again, on the gurney, in the walk-in clinic, having my stitches removed by a rather nice doctor who has white hair to match his white scrub coat and his white sneakers.


          i feel much better now that i’ve written it all out…. sometimes you just need to talk about things to have them not bother you…. I think I will use capitalisation now. There. That’s refreshing.

          Tomorrow I also get to go the ocean. Just for the day. But it will help so much. I’m so excited. I hope that I don’t get my hopes up too high, but I’ve been waiting so long for a trip out of town (and only got to take one other so far this summer, also a day trip) that it’s too late not to get my hopes up. Ah, well… it will be nice, it will help. It’s the ocean. It’s [almost] always nice, and it always helps.

          So… away I go. I leave you with two poems I wrote recently. I am slightly copying the style of Bradley Hathaway (who is lovely), in case you were curious. And if not, oh well. They are odd. I hope they don’t worry you. They probably won’t. I am just thinking too much again….

Thank you for your time, and for putting up with my lower case E. E. Cummings phase.
-olivia


As I sit with my hand on the door, trying to force myself to leave

what I REALLY meant to say was
I LIKE YOU
but
instead,
I shake my head
tell you I am fine
(which is code
for
NOT REALLY FINE
AT ALL)
and
make
myself
          get out of your car
          go inside
and
          go

to bed
directly to bed
do not pass Go
do not collect 200 dollars
and the only comfort 
I can find
(aside from shelving candles
at my job)
is that
you
might
POSSIBLY
JUST MAYBE
will
Call Me
tomorrow
(after work)
to tell me
about
how it went
with
that OTHER girl;
the one
you were asking me
my opinion on
as we lay
on the playground
under the stars,
under the swings,
next to the slides–
remember that?
and you handed me a cigarette
and lit it
and said
“it’s okay
if
you don’t
smoke it.”
and as I lay there
staring
at the burning tip
of the cigerette
between
my fingers
an arm’s length away
I thought:
…I sure do know how to pick ’em…


Doormat

I want so much
to do
what is right—
BUT
I do not
know
what to
say
think
feel
when I
am
near you;
is that
OK?
I don’t know.
And just
what
is it supposed to mean
when you
     rest your head in my arms,
     share your jacket,
     entwine your hands with mine,
     and
     say you’ll call me 
one day,
and then
don’t
act accordingly
the next  ?

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5 Responses to “with (or without) you”

  1. Capnmaff Says:

    When do leave?

  2. EliRiello Says:

    I really like the poems!  Especially the last line of the first one…
    And I’m glad there was a fairly attractive boy to distract you from things, even though none could be, I think, as attractive as Boris.  =S
    Did you have a lovely day in the sand?
    xoxoE

  3. sarahgrin Says:

    Hi LingLong!
      You are my favourite sister.  I am glad to see those poems all up in lights now…. I remember way back in the day when they were in your notebook, and now they’re all grown up and ?well, you know the rest.
      I think you need not be afraid of school.  You’re going to be really good at it, even though you don’t think you will be.  It’ll be weird at first, because you have to figure out how to complete assignments (it sounds so easy, right? I mean, that’s the whole point of going, right?).  But once you find your feet and get used to fulfilling the requirements that your professors give you, you’ll realise that you can do it creatively.  You can write an informative essay and make it meaningful.  In fact, I’m looking forward to seeing what you come up with, you brilliant girl, you.
      And I loved your non-capitalisation and your transition to capitalisation.  It was so great!  “There.  That’s refreshing.”  Brilliant!
      I had a dream last night that you were out of town or staying over at someone’s house or living somewhere else.  In my dream I woke up and you weren’t at home, and I thought, “Oh yeah…. she’s not here today.”
      That’s all probably for now.  I’ll see you probably like when I go down the hall or something.
    Your favourite sister,Sarah

  4. EthanByUntitled Says:

    Holy crap! I leave xanga for a couple weeks and you get bashed in the head and meet fairly attractive young men in hospitals and go to the ocean!
    Sheesh!
    Liv-oh-ly, this was my favorite post of yours in a long time. Because you wrote it so well, and it told what you were trying to say so well, and I wanted to give you an ice cream cone and punch rude doctors and so forth.
    If there is no hope, then it will make the heart sick. It’s an unwavering truth that applies to life and fiction.
    I like your first poem THHHIIISSSS MUUUCCCHHH.
    And if anyone says to the contrary I will WINDMILL KICK THEM IN THE FACE, BECAUSE I AM HARDCORE.

  5. tangerined Says:

    I think it’s interesting that you capitalized e.e. cummings. Not that it’s wrong to capitalize it, just interesting is all. And I truly enjoyed reading this entry. Good bye for now. Love.

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