Category Archives: People

Pull Me Up On Your Stupid Boat

The bottle of wine Noelle got for ten bucks is already empty. She’s not too concerned because it was a two for one deal and there’s plenty left in the second bottle. Everyone else is gone, was already gone out somewhere when she got in from another night of doodling at the library, occasionally stopping to scribble in her notebook or type something to seem like she was doing homework.

Her phone chirps with a notification: Dani Laurent and 5 others have checked in at Chuck’s Tavern.

“Fan-friggin-tastic,” Noelle slurs as she attempts to toss the phone on the table. It clatters to the floor and the back comes off. She reaches down to gather it up and it takes 5 minutes to line up the little pegs and click it back into place. “Damn childproof…” she mumbles, trailing off as sudden inspiration hits her.

She stumbles down the hall after dropping the bottle on the couch, dodging discarded glitter shirts and spilled drinks from the girls getting ready to leave, until she reaches her room. Sitting at the shaky desk she opens her lap top and runs the home movie program. The camera turns on and she stares at herself in the frame. Bloodshot eyes try to focus on her place on the screen and her hair is a big halo of uncombed, unwashed, curls. She presses RECORD and the haze seems to fade.

“You know, when I met you guys, you were the kind of people I always wanted to be friends with. The kids who do whacky shit and don’t care, yet still get their crap done, a little group, a clan of cool weirdoes who lit up this whole town.”

Noelle paused as her mind went into overdrive compiling a list of things the wine thought needed to be said.

“You’re all watching me drown. I know you are. You can’t say ‘no Elley we aren’t what are you talking about you’re totally on the couch and whatnot’ because I am legit drowning and you clowns won’t pull me up on your stupid boat. Your little stupid Shiny People Boat where everybody is shiny and sparkly and…and whatever,” she said, losing her train of thought.

“I’m drunk in case you can’t tell. I started at about nine this morning after I ate your cereal. Quick question: is it really a start if you were already hung over? That’s a rhetorical philosophical question in case you couldn’t tell…idiots.”

She surprises herself with a burp and leans her head to one shoulder before readjusting her position.

“I listen to all of your voices yapping about how you’re soooo grown up now, you’re twenty-one and you’ve got all your shit together. You aren’t a “babysitter”. Well you know what? YOU are the baby. Constantly one-upping the next person on how self-sufficient you think you are while failing to notice you have no clue how to function without instruction.”

Noelle paused as some part of her brain sent out little pings of “Hypocrite! Hypocrite!” as if an alarm system had been triggered.

“None of us know what we’re doing,” she mumbled, “but am I the only one scared by that?”

To be continued….

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Puppet Strings

Pulling me in all directions, yes they’ve got me contorted and stretched beyond comprehension.

What do I believe-Who do I like-Why am I standing here-How can I stand this or that

I am fluid, easing into one shape and then another in a matter of seconds-two different people in one and neither is in control of the body.

A mind pulled in all directions but still lucid enough to remember the days before the strings

-and where they hid the scissors.

 

 

 

Currently Listening To:

 

I really like this artist and this song. Has anyone else listened to her album in full?

 

 

Curious Stranger

I was 11 or 12 years old. It was my first summer camp, not a sleep-away camp just a theater camp at the local field house. I hated it, public speaking made me want to keel over but my mom made me do it. I guess she wanted me to find some courage and confidence.

Some of us were sitting under a tree, I was sitting on the perimeter of the group trying desperately to be included when suddenly he appeared. I looked up at the shadow cast across us to see a boy the likes of which I’d never seen before. The others seemed to know him and greeted him, but their conversation escaped me because we were locked in eye contact.

His eyes were a hazel brown, like his skin, but his hair was super fine and curly implying mixed heritage. It was also dyed bright yellow and tied back in a bushy pony tail. I had never seen such an individual. His clothes didn’t look like they came from Kohls, like mine did, he’d probably done the unthinkable (to me) and picked them out himself at the mall.

It was the most intense minute of so of my life, yet no one else seemed to notice. He occasionally flicked his eyes over to the girl who was addressing him, but for the most part we were locked in eye contact. When they stopped talking, he walked away and I never saw him again that summer.

I thought about him sometimes afterward, he was so different than anyone else I had ever met. Even more artsy than the theater geeks in training. But fate granted me a chance to be courageous next summer during art camp. I spotted a hazel boy with deep red curly hair in a bushy pony tail making his way to the fountain. I tried to time my descent from the top of the hill with his progress from the baseball diamonds, but alas, he got his water and left before I could reach the fountain. I should have started walking sooner, but I was never good at calculating distances. I should have called out to him, but I wasn’t good at maintaining a courageous front.

Desensitized and Detached

*Edited/clarified statement in blue bold.

 

Does watching violent movies inspire violence in the real world? – Daily Prompt

The prevalence of violence in today’s movies has desensitized a number of people to blood and gore, but has in no way truly inspired real world violence, rather it has made violence something to be expected. Violence in movies falls under two large categories: violent acts meant as a ‘gross-out’ or ‘scream factor’ and those meant as comedic effect. The prevalence of the former category is what many critics of society use as a scapegoat for criminal acts in lieu of demanding people take responsibility for their thoughts and actions.

The Dark Knight Rises, The Town, Criminal Minds, Call of Duty. All of these movies, shows, and video games have been blamed as the reason for recent violent crimes. The flaw in the argument that watching The Town will make you gather some friends and rob a couple armored trucks, shooting anyone who gets in the way, is that it does not take in to account two things. The first being that people robbed banks and armored trucks before the movie came out (in fact the movie was inspired by actual criminal activity from the town’s real-life residents), and the second being that there is no point in any movie or video game when the action is paused and the actor faces the camera to say ‘Now you do this just like I did’.  People who have the kind of darkness inside them from which violent acts are born are going to do something bad regardless of what shoot-em-up movie is playing in theaters.

What is really at play is the growing desensitizing of the masses to violence. It’s on the movie screen, it’s on the news, it’s happening across the street and now you have to call 911. People have become detached from reality in the sense that they don’t feel what they’re watching. Severed limbs are cause for cheers and critiques of what shade of red the fake blood was compared to other movies. People forget to keep in mind that these are bad things when it is happening on screen; and when it happens in real life most of those people will comment along the lines of ‘That sort of thing happens all the time now’. There is no more outrage when something terrible happens, it has become the norm. That is not to say that witnessed violence is never met with sadness or outrage, but that hearing about something that happened in another neighborhood, city, or state has less of an emotional impact on the person watching the news (assuming the victims are strangers). In my opinion, the ongoing violence of the past ~10 years or so has made some people come to expect to hear about something bad happening on the news at 9: we’ve become detached from the belief or expectation for a ‘civilized society’ or ‘industrial nation’ to be humane, some people going so far as to force themselves to become emotionally numb to cope with the violence.

It is important not to forget that despite this detachment or ‘what can you do?’ attitude a lot of people have towards violence, certainly does not make violence acceptable. The danger is when violent movies or other media is used as a scapegoat. At the end of the day, unless some Liam Neeson character was holding a gun to your head the entire day, everything you did that day was your choice. People choose to be nice or to be cruel and society needs to hold people accountable for the impulses they choose to act on. Could a violent film give someone an idea of a way to harm someone? Sure, but the person chooses to then harm someone in the same manner. As long as someone is living in contact with society, they are going to be influenced by something. It is how individuals react to those influences that matters. One person can see a film about an abused woman and decide to campaign against domestic violence. Another person might view the movie and think that because it happened in a movie, that justifies them doing the same thing in their own home. The latter simply shouldn’t be the case, but this is not a perfect world.

When it comes down to it, do violent movies have an influence on people? Certainly, but they do not force people to be violent. Violence is a choice born out of an evil mindset or in some cases a mental illness that inhibits the person from distinguishing right from wrong or simply controlling their impulses. To blame a violent movie for real world violence is to say to people that they are not responsible for their own decisions, and cannot think for themselves.

corrupted eyes

They have corrupted eyes that see what the talking heads want them to see;

images of past actions and violent ties their eyes have never seen filed under FACT.

Instead of seeing people we are trained to see colors-

white good, brown terrorist, bronze illegal, black savage.

And many of us will un-train our eyes, yes,

but too many follow along blind to reason with closed heart and open mouth.

How many remember that day in kindergarten: It’s what’s on the inside that counts.

The teacher said it true but the TV said Ignore her

now we fear melanin and clothes not found at the local mall

and cast stones because a forum post said it was ok.

What happened to clean eyes who saw what the teacher wanted them to see?

New friend, regular girl, somebody’s kid, busy student.

Eyes connected to a thinking brain running a beating heart

that looked beyond the surface, and only saw color as color.