Through and Out Again

August 2, 2019

I didn’t mean to go back.

It had been years since I was even allowed to, years since the last close call that marked my decision not to return. Not that I was given a choice— the door had been closed to me ever since.

I don’t know what changed. But sure enough, while my team was deployed across the grounds and everything was set, I looked up to see the entrance tantalizingly ajar. A single air conditioning vent in my room, partially unscrewed, the shadows of stored objects making themselves known.

I was alone, still hooked to my comms, and not needed for the rest of the mission. I figured it would be a minor distraction at worst— at best, I was wrong, and it was no more than a tactically-sound exit from the room I was holed up in. So I climbed, taking little notice of the dust brushing onto my clothes, past an old necklace that looked familiar, dusted copies of books whose titles I did not recognize, paintings and posters from decades ago. I got to a place I could stand, eyes sweeping the attic-like room unsure of what to pick up first.

She would like this place. It’s perfect for exploring.

A step forward, however, and it was attic no more. I had gone too far, slipped back toward a world I did not think I would see again. Back into a role I did not understand, though I knew it would be dangerous to admit it.

I was dressed in a tux this time. The bay windows showed nighttime, and I could both see and hear the distant crashing of waves on the shore. With a wry smile, I thought of how funny it was that such a gorgeous property existed technically so close to our apartment with the thin walls and lack of space. For a colonial moment, I wondered if I could not bring my family here instead.

Then it started, and I remembered the reason why even I had vowed never to return. She walked in, older now, but still beautiful. Dark, wavy hair cascaded down her back, and her black dressed shimmered as she walked towards me. I was rooted to the spot in panic; it was too late to hide.

“There you are! You look nice. Are you ready to go?”

I nodded, wondering how on earth I was going to escape this time. “I just… need the bathroom a second.”

“…You aren’t going to disappear on me again are you?”

I laugh, trying to be casual as I walk toward what I hope is salvation. “No, no.”

She follows, clearly not believing me after last time. Right into the bathroom with me. Now this is just ridiculous.

I make a show of fixing my bow tie while she scrolls through her phone, leaning against the bathroom door. Sighing inwardly, I turn to her. “Shall we?”

Just as we emerge, someone else joins us. Him, I don’t remember, which only serves to worsen the situation. “So,” he drawls lazily, a drink he’d helped himself to already in hand. “Shall we?”

She clearly knows him, smiling and making idle conversation in a language I know I’m supposed to understand.

When I think they’ve lowered their guards down just enough, distracted as they are by each other, I do something that still shames me. I bolt.

No words of excuse, no stammering explanation, no waiting to wherever we’re supposed to be going. I just run out through the only open window onto the patio, leap across the board walk, and keep sprinting into the shopping mall ahead.

Panting, I finally use my comms. “I need an extraction, quickly.”

There’s no response, but just as I hit a sports clothing store on my left, a clerk calls out, “In here! Colored changing room!”

I don’t break my pace as I veer inside, rapidly drawing curtain after curtain to find the right changing room, confusing the hell out of the people hovering outside. There’s more than one fucking “colored” changing room.

Just as I think it, my luck shifts and I find the right one.


June 24, 2019

The palace would have been immaculate, if not for the bodies.

Gleaming marble floors, polished banisters, light spilling in from the few stained glass windows unobscured by thick curtains. It was beautiful.

But those damn statues of death everywhere…

I had been on excursions like this before. All of us had, as part of our training— a full tour of the sites of the old war.

But this place… This place was different.

Nowhere else could you still see the soldiers, frozen mid-battle. Nowhere else could you see the last of the rival royal families as they fought or fled, locked in the last move they ever made, the last breath they ever took.

The last of the vampires, cursed to a second death that wasn’t death.

It had been eons since the spell was cast, with a strength of magic never seen before or since. And to this day, no one has been able answer the questions of why, from where, by whom… and most importantly, for how long. Fear and superstition abound across the kingdom, many still believing the vampires would one day awaken.

The point of the visit was to dispel those myths, and see for ourselves what truly became of the titans of old. Walking amongst them, however, it was hard to hold on to the objectivity required of a historian. The stories I had been told growing up replayed unbidden in my mind, and while I usually shied away from superstition and fancy, I could not shake the unease that had wrapped itself around my heart from the moment we entered.

The vampires may have been cursed to stillness, but the stillness did not feel like the lifelessness of death… It felt like the crouch of a tiger, waiting to strike.

“What fools.”

…Clearly, I was the only one who felt this way.

“Quiet, Garrick. We still don’t know whether they can hear us.”

“I don’t care. It’s not like they can do anything about what we say. And they were idiots, fighting amongst one another like uncivilized rats rather than the superior race they claimed to be.”

With each word Garrick flung so carelessly, my panic rose.

“Garrick,” I hissed, eyes darting to the statues closest to us. Of course, they had to be the former princes, the Wairf’s wings gleaming, the Pyr’s sword still raised to cut them off. “Not. here.”

Always one to enjoy making things uncomfortable, Garrick laughed. “Fine, out in the courtyard then. I have something to show you all anyway.”

I followed, more relieved to be out of earshot of the vampires to be concerned about whatever Garrick had planned.

Until I heard the screech.

I’d read the records. I had pored over the descriptions of our former kin, and the noises they’d make to strike fear in their enemies during battle.

But I never, ever thought I would live to hear a Wairf’s scream.

I whirled to face Garrick, who was far-too-smugly leaning against the garden wall. “What have you done?”

His smirk made me wish I was close enough to plunge my sword into him.

“I made a better vampire.”

My heart was plunging to the depths of hell as he continued to speak.

“I borrowed some DNA, and I cast a little spell. They were stupid. Wairfs… Pyrs… Even the names. It didn’t matter. It doesn’t matter. They fought for nothing, just so one could claim superiority when neither deserved it. Combined, however… Combined they create a new breed. Stronger than both. Smarter than both. And released right here, for them to see where their petty war got them.”

As if timed, the hybrid’s shadow cast over us as he flew screeching through the open palace doors.

The elders are going to be so mad when they wake up.

And suddenly I knew. They were going to wake. They were going to wake because of what Garrick had done, and our people would pay.

“You idiot!”

I ran. The king would be the first. The others were already beginning to stir, droplets of their entrapment dripping to nothingness. But I had to find King Alareiks.

Behind me, the demon screeched again, looping overhead. Garrick’s magic was nowhere near as advanced as his ego, yet even I could see that his creation was truly a hybrid. The strong wings and tail of a Wairf, the lean musculature of the Pyr, the standard wolf’s head of the advanced Pyr warrior who transforms in battle.

It would have been impressive, if it wasn’t so damn stupid.

He found King Alareiks before I did, landing on the balcony overlooking the ballroom just as I skidded in, his eyes shifting between me and the nearly-awakened King of Wairfs. I kept him in my field of vision as I approached, eyes cast down as was the old custom.

For Keeps

June 13, 2019

This is yours to keep.

This moment, soon-to-be memory, soon-to-be faded dream. This caress of words, so soft you might break. This whisper of touch, so loud your voice shakes. This weight. Not burden, just the knowing: you’re safe.

It cannot last. Fear will creep. Reality seeps. Present gently wars with future and past.

But for now, there is this.

And this is yours to keep.

After the War

2nd June 2019

You joined the fight so you could stop feeling helpless. And yet now, as the world crumbles around you, the anguish is worse than it’s ever been. All you can do is watch, and follow, as they drag them into the chamber, chained and blindfolded, silent in the face of death. Your allies. Your friends.

You curse the powers that drew you to the war in the first place. Being unseen, unheard unless made aware, was incredibly useful for intelligence gathering, for stealth missions where slit throats were better than the cacophony of gunfire. But now, though desperate to be seen, desperate to show that you haven’t abandoned them, desperate to die by their side, something within you – always beyond your control – won’t let you.

The anguish gives way to anger. You scream, but the soldiers calmly piling your friends in a room too white to be pure remain impassive. Just following their orders, unknowing, unseeing. You follow them out the door.

“You’ll kill them! You’ll kill children and old men! But you won’t kill me? Not young enough? Not old enough? Look at me!”

Nothing. Not from them. Not from your friends.

Then a small gasp from behind you. The doctor heard something. She sees something. You whirl, are on her in a second, a knife nearly severing the artery on the side of her neck before you realize with horror that she’s pregnant. They’d send someone pregnant to do this, someone carrying life to take it clinically and without thought. Does her line even deserve to go on, if she’s here? But no. You won’t kill a child. A mother. Not even one of theirs.

“How can I help them? Where are the keys?” You press the knife in just a little more, just enough to make her think she’s going to die. “Where?”

“Next room over,” she chokes out. “They always keep the keys in the next room over, to collect the chains once it’s done.”

You let her go. Grab the gauze on the tray next to her and wrap it around her throat. She says nothing, and you know she won’t betray you.

Then you’re there. Some focus, a short run, and you’re in the next room but you’re not alone. The keys are in the general’s hand but there’s no time for stealth, no time to make sure you’re still unseen. You grab. She resists, grabs for you, calls for guards, but you wrench yourself away.

You will not fail them. Not when you’re so close.

Out the room. Back to the next. Hands working fast, keys shaking and chains clinking to the floor. You can hear the guards – much less impassive now as they rush towards you all – but you don’t care as long as they get out first.

You drag them away, weary, broken, confused, but running for the lives they so nearly lost.
Then it’s over. The war.

The rubble remains. The ash still in the air despite how many months it’s been. Despite people out amongst the ruins everyday, trying to rebuild.

There’s a new leader now. You remember him. Fought with him, once. He’ll be good for the world. Already trying to make amends.

You listen to him speak, simple words from a man who spent more time using his hands. The world listens. All over, from crumbling skyscrapers to burnt villages.

You know they do, because you turn and walk away, find yourself in Tokyo, his words echoing in Japanese through the larger-than-life holograms.

Another step. The same in Russia.

Another step. The same in Dubai.

It feels like a movie. Cut-scene after cut-scene. Nation after nation. Showing what remains of the world as they listen to the one person who can give them hope.

You come to the street of the last battle. Where you struggled so hard to save your friends. The barricades have been removed, but it’s not much of a road, still. Still churned up concrete and stains you want to forget. You can’t breathe. You can’t move. But you can’t leave.

So you scream, rushing forward, seeing the horses and the enemies on top of them again, dark helmets and vests, before you’re back to reality, and the lights on top of shotguns turn into lanterns as food deliveries are made.

Food. Food sounds nice.

You wander, finally deciding on a small family-owned place. But when you walk in you realize you’re still crying. Turn just as the little boy locks eyes with yours. Curious. Concerned. Then he runs past you, yelling for his parents as you ignore him and rush to the bathroom, pour water over your face again and again.

You need to get clean, but you know you’ll never feel pure again. Still, you take off your suit, ignore the scars on your skin, try to cool your burning skin with wet cloth.

You’re about to get dressed again when she bursts in. Clearly the locks here are useless. You avoid her eye, grabbing your clothes and hoping she’ll just leave.

She looks scared. You hate that you notice. You know it means you’ll do something about it.

She notices you then. Takes a breath, puts on a charming smile. Glances at your body then lays a hand on your chest, groping. “I didn’t know you were a woman under there. That’s kind of exciting. What if we…”

You don’t let her finish. You grip her wrist, move it away. “You and I both know that I’m not your type.” You don’t tell her you’re offended she thought this what she needed to do, to get help from a soldier. You don’t tell her you’ve been used and manipulated enough to not want something as sacred as this tainted by transaction. You don’t tell her she’s pretty, and tempting, and that you might have let her continue her thought in another life, one where she wasn’t so obviously straight.

Instead, you say, “I heard the boy. I know you’re all in trouble. Just let me get dressed.”

She sighs out a thank you, grateful and ashamed in one breath. You ignore it.

You put your clothes back on, listening to the noises outside. Loud, confident men barking orders and laughs and making the waitresses squeal in fear. You know the gangs that have emerged since the war. You know the way they’ve clawed into small businesses like this one.

You wonder if that was partly why you walked in here.

Then you walk out the door, to the large center table, and you remind yourself what it’s like not to feel helpless.

Small Comfort

Jan 4th, 2013 10:57:21pm

I am not a magician, but I know how to make myself disappear.

I can vanish. Whenever I want. In broad daylight or in the cover of dark nights. I can go away and never be seen again by those I do not want to be seen by. They will never hear from me, never learn my fate, always wonder. Should I ever decide to ease their angst and let them know I am still alive, still well, they will never be able to trace the call.

I know how to hide. How to survive. How to fight and defend and make the most out of so very, very little. I am smart. I can plan this down to the smallest detail and come out of it a winner in the art of being missed. What a delicate, decadent art it is.


“The pleasure isn’t in doing the thing, the pleasure is in planning it.” 
― John Green, Paper Towns

So instead of leaving, I plan. When things get hard and all I want is to walk out the door, I step back, breathe deep, and plan it. Every detail. How it’ll work. What will happen. The consequences good and bad. The freedom. The fear. Then I am okay.

Not because I am a coward who plans and plans yet never follows through, but because I know that the day is coming, with increasing velocity, when I will have to choose. Choose between scheming some more, or saying “fuck it” and walking out of a life I never wanted to live in the first place.

And when that day comes, best believe I am not going to let it screw up the life I do want to lead when I decide to walk out the door. I will know exactly where I am going, and how I’m going to get there. It may not all go according to the things I will scribble into notebooks on days I long for the pages to come alive and suck me in already. Nothing ever does. But the big parts will, because they have to, because I will make it so.

Then the pleasure will be both in the planning and in the doing, and I will be gone.

Life is Good

Sept 24 2012

I am currently sitting at one of the computers in the library of my university. That feels strange to say. My “university”. It would not be exaggeration if I said there have been times when I thought I’d never make it this far, both in terms of my life expectancy and the actual affordability of such an education.

Yet here I am. Still alive. At one of the most prestigious universities in this country, and one of the top 500 in the world. I did not do this alone. I did not make it here alone. To say that I did would be self-centered, not to mention ridiculous. But I refuse to sell myself short anymore and say that I didn’t have something to do with it.

I am here because I want to be. Because I pushed, and pulled, and broke, and put myself back together, examined, looked before jumping, jumped before looking, and sometimes even flew for a glorious while. I am here because in this moment, it is where I am meant to be.

There is no need for me to back-read past posts to know how many times I have written about renewed strength, renewed hope and determination and desire to make my life my own. To start my life over on my terms. There is no need for me to play memories through my mind of how I failed, each of those times. Those bursts of energy were necessary; they gave me the boost I needed at the time in order to hold on, to keep going and working for something better. Yet they were merely shooting stars, flying brilliant and dazzling across the sky before crashing and dying out.

Over the past couple of months or so, there has been a shift inside me. I’ve tried to write about it numerous times, without ever being able to find the words. It started slow. Things that would normally have bothered me, didn’t as much, or rolled off my shoulders entirely. I found myself slightly more patient, more understanding, towards my family, my friends, and most surprising of all, myself. I was not happy… but I was okay. Not sad, not resentful, bitter, hurt… Just okay.

At first, I thought that that which I had both feared and wished for most had finally come to be: I’d lost all emotion, so nothing could faze me. The foreign feeling made it so where even that possibility was merely accepted and shrugged off. Then I realised it was more than that. I still felt; I was merely less excitable, more capable, more careful with how I allowed myself to feel.

For all my life, controlling myself used to be denying urges and emotions from ever being seen or heard. Silencing myself, hiding, making myself small, invisible, out of the way, not a burden…

Somehow, controlling myself has now become what I choose to let myself be affected by. An ability every one longs for, is told to have, and so few achieve.

Negative emotions still come through me, but the moment I choose to, I can let it go so easily it makes me wonder how I found it so hard before. I allow myself the validity of my emotion, then I breathe deep and just let it go. And when I need to articulate, I do, confidently and without giving a damn how it’ll be received by the other party.

Whatever comes my way, I am ready to face. I see my life now really isn’t so bad, and I’ve come to accept the (albeit restricting) downsides with the up. I feel less pressure to escape escape get out escape get away and more willing to do things at my own pace, in my own time, while making the best of and tweaking the life I have now. My desire for more than this still lives within me, but it is fueled with both passion and practicality. I am not burdening and taking myself to task for things that are not in my control yet, or perhaps never will be. I am not stressing myself out with responsibilities that are not my own.

In short, these past couple of months I have been transforming from within, without actively pursuing this transformation. I feel older, wiser, yet not in the jaded sense. Merely in the sense that I have come through a phase in my life, understood its lesson, and am finally ready for the next. I am so much more confident, so much more self-accepting, and so, so grateful for it all.

I am not happy yet. That’s okay. I am content. And for now, that is good enough.

Aug 1st, 2012 4:39:00am

I’m not really sure what to say here. I’m not really sure why I’m even here to begin with, on this page, talking about my uncertainty about things that don’t matter. Maybe I just need an outlet. A stream of conscious thought to flow out of me so my head doesn’t feel so cluttered with noises I can’t make out.

Then there’s the things I’m uncertain about that do matter. Things I can’t talk about yet, because it’s all up in the air at the moment and I’m scared voicing anything will send it all crashing down. Then there’s uncertainty about that, about whether actually letting out what’s bothering me really will jinx things or whether superstition and my own guarded self are just sabotaging me again.

Every decision I’ve ever made has brought more bad than good, even those I truly followed my instincts on. I have no doubt they were meant to happen, but I wonder why my choices are meant to bring such grief… where it fits into the “Plan”, if there even is such a thing.  It all.. hurts.

There are just days where I wake up and wonder what the hell I’m doing with my life. Where is it meant to go and whether I’m helping myself get there, or just making one wrong turn after another hoping I’ll get there eventually. My life feels like a series of stumbles and near-misses (while some are all-out disasters), a series of wandering around blind and terrified that the next step is going to be off a cliff I never even knew was there, with sheer dumb luck being the only thing that’s prevented it so far.

I don’t know what to choose, or how to choose for that matter. Whether I’m guided by instinct or stupidity. Whether I need to distance myself for the good of those I care about or keep trying and hope I don’t fuck it all up.

I’m not sure of anything. And really, that’s what hurts and terrifies me the most.

“Don’t Over-think, Just Do.”

Jul 8th, 2012 9:19:50pm

Since I was deemed “officially a lady” and “too old to be mucking about outside” a few years ago, I’ve been limited in what I can and can not do, and how often I can do them. I went from being outdoors everyday jumping around, playing sports and even just making grocery runs to being cooped up at home day in, day out. The only times I am allowed outside were when I went to school, the rare (and constantly becoming rarer) occasions I am allowed to go out with friends, or family outings that generally consist of a whole lot of bickering and not a lot of family time.

Over the years, new rules have continued popping up and it’s like the older I get, the tighter the leash around my neck. This has made me angry, frustrated, and depressed. It has made me feel like a caged animal, with so much pent up energy and nowhere to release it. Attempts to argue have been shot down, further attempts discouraged by threats of banning me from the internet and television which is where I am apparently learning this “insolent”, “rude” and “disrespectful” behaviour. So I obeyed. Have been obeying.

Today, I went out just for me, just to the park. Yet the entire walk I felt self-conscious, exposed, unsafe. Many times I just wanted to turn around and go back home. Every one seemed to be looking at me. Even through the windows of the buildings around. I was too out in the open and it made me insecure.

That’s when it hit me, really hit me, the damage I and my unwitting parents had done. I have been inside so long that even something as simple as walking to the park is out of my comfort zone and makes me squirm inside all the way there. I feel slightly safer when someone’s with me. I can hide. But alone and I feel too vulnerable. This is bad, and it needs to change fast.

Bit by bit, I need to get back to who I was. When I was younger I genuinely did not care. I cherished every opportunity to go outside and be wild and let out energy that seems to build as soon as it’s released. This was not meant for me, this constantly-indoors thing. It’s been wasting away my soul. I am the sporty, outdoorsy tomboy who needs physical activity. Every accidental scrape or bruise is  a thing of pride, not irritation. It’s a mark that I was out there doing something and I got away with nothing but a couple of scratches.

I love movement. I need movement. If I don’t get it, the resentment builds, and the energy builds, and it leads to this: an insecure, scared little girl.

It is not going to be easy. My family will oppose me nearly every step of the way. Just today, when I came home my mom questioned me about where I went, why, and why I did not ask her permission. She had been asleep. I had told my sister where I was going. It was the PARK. Yet even this needs to be under her and my father’s control and I am sick of it. I can not do it anymore.

I plan to move away and live independently. I plan to travel and see the world. Yet how can I do that when just being outside in my own neighbourhood, in the country I’ve lived in since I was six, scares me? It has to change. I will change it.

No more fear and blind obedience. No more over-thinking everything. Just action. I will do, not think about doing yet fear it yet talk myself out of it then hate myself and regret it all.

Three Words, Eight Letters

Apr 12th, 2013 5:29:13pm

Words are strange, fickle things. They’re a lot like people that way. They have the power to hurt and to heal, to hide and to reveal, to break and to mend, to create and to destroy. They can become hollow from overuse, from repetition, from lies. Or said by the right person they can be and mean everything. And just like people, the marks left by words are often not visible.

There are many things that I say too much. Things I repeat again and again because I sometimes feel they’re constantly forgotten, or disregarded as folly. Sometimes, it’s because I have no idea what else to say. Mostly, though, I repeat things because I feel they need to be heard, and why try to say it differently when this particular phrasing says it so well? But it often scares me, the thought that maybe I repeat things because there’s no more to me than that. That perhaps those words make up my entire being in a nutshell, and that I do not evolve, do not advance, do not learn. That one day, all I’ll essentially be is a broken record, constantly left behind because who ever wants to hear the same things over and over again? They lose their value, when spoken long enough, do they not?

There are many things that I say too much. “I love you” used to be one of them. People don’t realise how driven I am by love. And when they do, it scares them, so they pretend not to notice. I guess I love too much, and perhaps too openly, and it’s hard for me to understand why everyone craves acceptance, understanding, unconditional love, yet run away from it when offered, unable to believe its existence to be more than a dream, unable to grasp the fact that it’s here to stay. It’s hard for me to get that. But then… I do get it. I get it more than I give myself credit for, because hey, I’m actually the same.
Hypocritical or self-deluded or both, you tell me. And so before (or maybe I was too late, I know not) the words “I love you” became hollow, draining, too terrifying to bear, more a burden than a comfort, I stopped saying it as much.

At least, not in words.

If you look closely enough, however, you’ll see it. Hidden in my greetings and my goodbyes. In the way I smile at you. In the way I’ll poke fun but then apologise profusely if I think I’ve taken it even a smidgen too far. In my offers of help, my pathetic words of comfort, my attempts at encouragement, my random phone calls or messages or links.
It’s there, my friends. In everything I do. With me always hoping that you see it. That you understand its presence. That I’m leaving my mark, a good mark, even if it’s not visible, and will never be to me.

Hello. (I love you.)

Asking if you’re okay. (I love you.)

Listening to you speak, no matter the topic, as I smile and nod and urge you to continue in my own little ways, paying closer attention than you might think. (I love you.)

Helping with something. Trying to cheer you up. Distracting you without prying. Letting you rant. Walking on the outside of the pavement, just in case. Offering whatever I can, like my jacket when you’re cold. (I love you. I love you. I love you. I love you. I love you.)

Remembering little things about you and showing you that I remember, when the circumstance arises.  (I love you.)

Goodbye. (And I love you.)

P.S: And to all you strangers, to all you fighting your battles with the world and yourselves, trying to find happiness or struggling to survive…

To all you beautiful, incredible people:

I love you all, too.

I Am Lost Tonight.

May 4th, 2012 3:48:00am

This is my light. This blog is where I post of hope, of strength, of one-day freedom and the lessons learned in between it all. This is where I write my way to the truth within me.
Yet tonight’s truth is that I am weary. Emotionally, as well as physically. And that’s okay, too. Because I am not giving in to despair, else this is not where I would retreat to. It’s okay to be tired, to be lost, as long as you still have hope that it won’t last.

It never lasts.

My heart is strong, despite the pieces it has been broken into. Despite the dust of powdered blood and muscle it has been crushed into. It knows how to repair itself enough to continue to function, to hope, to love, to beat for me and those around me.
Ask me my favourite part of me and I will not point to my eyes or my lips, my hands or my hips, my legs or stomach or thighs, instead opening the caverns of my chest and holding out my heart for you to see. I will proudly point out the scars and show you what I have survived. I will let you hold it so you can feel the force with which it still beats, hopeful and determined as ever.

Yet there are some nights… like tonight… where it slows. Where the damage that can’t be seen begins to act up and weakens me, just for a little while. An arthritis of the soul. There is so much I hold inside me that it is all an unrecognisable lump now. I can’t tell one source of ache from the other, like a ball made from chewed-up gum or different coloured play-dough. There are times where I will want to cry for apparently no reason at all, no trigger, no cause.

There are things inside me that are still broken and on nights like this, it shows.
Yet by morning I will wake and the shadows will have retreated. I will breathe as free and deep as I possibly can again. My heart will return to its resilient beat, feeding me dreams and hopes and plans for a future that is entirely my own, untainted and unaffected by anyone else.

So yes, I am lost tonight.

But it won’t last.

It never lasts.