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01 - Introduction
02 – Your first love
03 – Your parents (this is long as HELL
04 - What you ate today
05 - Your definition of love
06 - Your day
07 - Your best friend


08 - A moment

It's the year 2000, mid-October, and my life is nothing like I ever thought it would be. I'm so far away from just about everyone I care for and recently started working a depressing and menial job that robbed me of my brilliant eggplant hair. Every morning is an exercise in coercion; I berate myself until I get out of bed (my mother's uncomfortable couch) and drag my feet through the rest of the day.

Every night, after I've gotten home from work, I race down the stairs and to the mailbox. I've been waiting weeks endless and breathless for word from the British Consulate. All I need is a single piece of paper indicating approval and the pause may be lifted from life and allow me to begin again. Every day the mail is delivered, I check. Every day the mail is delivered, there is nothing there. The walk to the mailbox is beginning to drive me mad. Flutterings of panic and anxiety, nothing I am much of a stranger to, fill my stomach and I hope against all sane hope that tonight will be the night.

This night, I'm standing unmoving in front of the mailbox. The key is in my hand, I can feel its metal chill working its way through my fingers. Autumn is setting in, the death of summer at last, and the sun has been below the horizon for the past fifteen minutes, leaving the sky velvety dark in its wake. All around is quiet, still. I pull the air around me into my throat, my nose, my lungs, and feel the crackling leaf and smoldering fireplace perfume burn that I look for every year.

October has always been my favorite month, not just because my birthday and Halloween both reside within its doors, but it has a dark, animal sensuality that I was attracted to even as a child. Spring and summer are full of new life, bright-eyed and hopeful at the dawn of a new day. But, autumn? Autumn is a church bell tolling in the distance, it's a reminder that none of this is permanent. Autumn tells us with sly eyes to enjoy our brief pleasures while we still may, as they will slowly be eclipsed by the onslaught of winter. Winter is coming, autumn tells us. Learn to build your nest.

That almost frantic, almost desperate, edge adds a sharp tooth to catch the skin when enjoying anything during this time. A frenzied quality adding savor. Enjoy it while you've got it; there are no apples sweeter than those crunched in autumn, after all.

Without even opening the little door to the mailbox, I know there's nothing in there and that stark knowledge pricks the insides of my eyelids with hot tears. Another day passed of heart-dulling boredom and banality, another night of isolation. I feel low and plodding, infected by the mundane. I've been trying to remain optimistic, something my body and brain are naturally adverse to. I've been trying to convince myself that if I'm patient enough, everything I ever wanted would fall into my lap, ripe plums for the picking.

But, there is a small voice curled tight in the back of my skull and it knows how this will all play out. It's whispering even now, as I reach my hand towards the mailbox and lay it flat against its corrugated sharky surface. It's telling me that I'm never leaving this place, that I'm stuck here forever, and it's all my fault. I can feel its sick glee rubbing raw against my occipital bone. I've got no one to thank for this but myself.

I turn and flee the scene with shaking hands, guilt spreading through my chest and that dull knowing pulsing against my skin.

09 – Your beliefs
10 – What you wore today
11 – Your siblings
12 – What’s in your bag
13 – This week
14 – What you wore today
15 – Your dreams
16 – Your first kiss
17 – Your favorite memory
18 – Your favorite birthday
19 – Something you regret
20 – This month
21 – Another moment
22 – Something that upsets you
23 – Something that makes you feel better
24 – Something that makes you cry
25 – A first
26 – Your fears
27 – Your favorite place
28 – Something that you miss
29 – Your aspirations
30 – One last moment
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thejunipertree

January 2011

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