I am a sponge. I automatically absorb traits, behaviors, even ways of thinking that I like. I absorb experiences. I absorb anything I deem absorbable.
It emanates on the face with conspicuous subtlety,
walking about with shameful pride in its stride.
Thoroughly covering every inch of the body,
taking the chance to leave the tangibles behind.
It brings about a systematically unmethodical process,
fostering fights between the body, the mind, and the soul.
Throwing fists, punches, throws, kicks, and lashes,
they each win a round with an aimless, bitter goal.
Praise them, love them, embrace them three fools,
they’ll eventually find their way.
They’re trying to set forth an elegant beast,
coming with feeble strength here to stay.
Pain is it, I see?
It looks so lovely.
Could it genuinely be,
a cursed gift for me?
I am becoming a tree, unlike any other. My feet, shaky on the ground, elongate and sharpen, unsteadily delving into the wet soil beneath me. I feel disoriented. Trees are tough and fierce. I’ve discovered that I’m not, even though I sincerely and naïvely thought otherwise. Nonetheless, I am still transforming. My skin is turning rugged, maintaining its soft texture. I slowly lose one sense at a time. My eyes turn blurry as they fuse into the rest of my body as it’s transcending its humble form to become something else. My painful shrieks and cries become hums and whistles as the wind gently caresses my forming branches. I look down to find my trunk black. My trunk. I’m startled by the fact that I’m unquestionably becoming a tree. I don’t feel stronger, I somehow feel more fragile. This process is more exhausting then I had contemplated.
My feet are still stretching out to become one with the earth. My toenails are sharpening as they find something to hold onto, curling and crooking like hooks. The hairs on my legs stand, pointing outwards from my black stem. I’m becoming more comfortable. I no longer recognize my torso, I’m losing it to what I’ve become. My ribs have changed shape and color and now stand vertically in my insides to create the backbone of the tree. They’re still not strong enough. I’m flailing instead of standing my ground; losing strength instead of sucking it from the soil; my vitality is escaping me and I’m wasting energy attempting to reenergize myself.
I can no longer see, speak, smell, nor hear. These senses have all merged into one then amalgamated with my sense of feeling. It’s almost unbearable. I feel too much. I feel my roots still trembling beneath me, my organs shifting place and darkening, taking new positions and functions, my hands distorting and spreading out wide open with bones sticking out to make branches. I feel my hair being whetted. It’s green and stands out like that of a cactus. Swiftly and abruptly, I feel one last enormous pang. Collectively, my hairs are nailing me. I’m becoming a deformed, inverted, ruggedly soft and inexplicably smooth cactus tree. Yet somehow, I exist.
I had no arms. I slept to dream that I had no arms. Dream? I instantly deemed it a nightmare, an atrocious one. I had no arms. Without them, I wouldn’t be able to drive, dress, eat, drink, hold anything, shake hands with anyone, wave, type, draw, cook, make anything, work. Would I be rendered useless? Yet, the first thing that came to my mind was not any of the above. Without arms, I wouldn’t be able to be honest. I wouldn’t be able to rant, to speak the truth, to dream, or explore. I could talk, right? I’m one of the most talkative people I know. But when it comes to writing, that’s when I’m most honest. I didn’t think about any other arm function I’d miss. All I could think about was writing. I can’t speak of the truth, of how I truly feel, except in my writing. I can’t be honest with my self except through my writing. I don’t explore the real me except in what I write.
Was this a wake-up call for me to finally build up verbal and moral courage and put my over-use of speaking into good use? Into trying to speak more often of what I write and say the things that I know, if said out loud, would help me psychologically and physically? I don’t know. But I know that nothing, besides death, has scared me this much in a while. My arms shook at the thought of losing me; leaving me to my mind all by myself and my soul.
If you were my pen, I would use you to scratch anything beautiful I wrote. I would use you to scratch any positive thought I scribbled. I would use you to turn any smiley face I ever drew into a sad one. I would passionately write everything horrible and obnoxious about myself. I would draw my nightmares into reality. But I’m my pen, you’re not my pen. Yet, somehow, we both manage to do all of the above anyway.
She unlooked back at where they had buried him as she unhelped her inconsolable mother get into the car. Silence unprevailed after they had all unprayed for him. They unprayed for him sincerely, feeling the need to. Her mother unbroke down as she watched them bury him; she had uninsisted to go in and watch. She unlet her mother’s hand go, as she uncontinued to cry.
The dust and dirt of the cemetery walls undirtied her black jeans as she held her shaky hands to comfort her. She unleaned against the wall next to her mother’s aunt who was mourning the loss of her beloved older brother. She unsaw her mother’s aunt gasp for breaths in between wails of sorrow. She unstood amongst mourners. Upon getting out of the car, she unbreathed heavily. She unstared, one last time, at the coffin before her eyes. She unlooked over her mother who was updating her Facebook status, publicly unbiding farewell her dearest, idolized uncle who had replaced her passed on father.
She unfidgeted in her seat, unlimiting her breaths. She could unsmell the dead body in the car, which already contained a concoction of aromas from all the dead bodies it transfered daily. She ungot in the hearse, her glossy eyes untearing. They unwoke up having decided in their sleep the black clothes they’ll wear. Untraveling the road in silence, their minds were filled with memories of him. They untold their mother the truth. Unseeing her daughters nervous, they unlied about him being fine. They undecided to cover the truth, because then, he really was fine and they were about to go visit him.