Queen of Hearts

The village where I spent my boyhood years had an unwritten mantra amongst the children, it existed before my family moved there generations before and will continue long after I am dead. Be careful what you wish for. It was a law, a saying and a threat. It goes in accordance with another lore, which states that if a person pure of heart believes anything strong enough, it will come true. Almost like a wish.  I never thought much of it before, but it became the forefront of my thoughts after a winter that changed my life. The night exceeds all scientific possibility and the village of Efrose still contains inexplicable mysteries which turn into stories. 

In my youth, I was particularly fond of magic. It inspired an odd sense of hope and no one can deny that it holds a childlike wonder. The one trick that enamoured me was the disappearing act. I never saw a trapdoor or other cheap tricks; it was simple, a person was there and the next second by some divine miracle, they no longer were: magic.

My best friend at the time — probably the best friend I ever had, a better friend than any I’ve made well into my adult years — was a girl named Reina. That wasn’t her real name, there was another story. This story like all others entwine into each other, so I must bore you with some details.

Her real name was Olivia but she hated being called that, in addition to Liv, Ollie or any other rendition you can muster . One day by pure instinct, I called her Reina. She looked at me confused, like I was stupid. I got flustered quickly and felt a strong urge to explain myself. “My mum reads me a story about a strong princess who ran away with a knight. Her name is Reina — it means queen. So even if she wasn’t the queen of that kingdom, she was still a queen by name. That’s what my mum said at least. It just reminds me of you. Sorry.” I look down at my shoes when I noted that she looked sad due to the tears forming in her eyes, however, upon reflection it was quite the opposite.

She put her hands on my face, looking at me with those glassy eyes, and said, “you truly are an Angel.” Now would be a good time to mention that my eccentric parents named me Angel. She kissed my forehead and we proceeded to play like we always did.  Shortly after that event the name stuck and everyone called her Reina.

We were inseparable. While the other kids in our class would tease me for expressing high praise for the magical arts, she would encourage it and remind me why I loved it. She made sure no one laughed at me.

At that age, I never understood why she would not want to return home, or why she had bruises on her body. I never understood why sometimes she would flinch when anyone came close to her. At that age, all I thought was that her life was awesome because she never had a curfew and would spend all day trying to play. She would spend days on end at my house or hide in the park. I understand it now. But it’s too late.

She was my partner in crime and on occasion my lovely assistant. The most notable case, brings us to the winter of 2000. We were 11, preparing for the school’s talent show. I remember the nerves, and how I would joke that Reina had a spidey sense for it. She had a knack of soothing me and on that night Reina simply said, “I believe in you.” 

With that my nerves dissipated. “Believe in me but the magic is a trick, which we have practised to perfection.” 

“Remember, if you believe strong enough anything can come true. Like Peter Pan and fairies. Believe in the magic.”

Backstage was a flurry of parents fussing over their children. Reina’s parents were not there so she gave her seats to my family. While the other kid’s parents primped them, she was alone. The teachers and parents often gave her sympathetic looks coupled with inaudible muttering. She smiled at me as though she couldn’t see them. “I really wish I could disappear sometimes,” she muttered to herself.

When the show commenced, it was a mashup of offkey singers and out of time dancers. We were the last kids to go on, not for our talent but because we were the only act that was different. It went as practised, we did our card tricks without a hitch, pulled a coin out from behind unsuspecting audience members ears, turned water into ice immediately and made a ring defy gravity by going up a string. Finally, time for the big finish: make my lovely assistant disappear.

We had it planned: there was a small space underneath the stage where Reina could hide, mimicking a trapdoor. We placed the box on top with a false bottom. She walked in the box with a large smile, her face shone brighter every time the audience would clap. She whispered to me just as I closed the door, “this is the happiest day of my life. Thank you for being my best friend.”

Upon hearing those words, I said to the audience, “I love Reina. She is my best friend.” The door was closed but I was sure she could hear me. The big reveal to the audience which showed she had disappeared resulted in a massive round of applause. I just imagined how happy she would be to hear it. The finale should have shown Reina reappear. Should have. “Now ladies and gentlemen. I need some help to get Reina back. Reina. Reina.” I made motions to encourage them to chant. Now everyone was chanting Reina’s name, including the kids that would ridicule us and even the teachers who knew of the trick. I opened the door to reveal Reina. But she wasn’t there. I closed it and tried again. 

Panic struck me, maybe she was stuck, I thought. I dropped to the floor and removed the false bottom. The space was empty. There was no sign of Reina in the school or town of Efrose. Everyone searched for her but to no avail. Her parents never pushed to find her and moved out of the village not long after she went missing. The people soon forgot about her after that. Reina was a whisper in the wind and the village would never see her again. She had truly disappeared.

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My Greatest Fear

My biggest fear is giving up. More than I already have.

I still have some fight left in me.

I don’t fear spiders or heights but watching someone I know give up, slowly turning into a shell of what once was. That scared the shit out of me.

Not feeling like smiling or talking. Or even dying.

To have stories told of how great they were, the potential they held, and only seeing them as a fraction of this person. Dreams gone, backed into a corner.

My greatest fear is once again feeling nothing, that makes giving up so easy. 

Depersonalisation

A small disclaimer: this is what I once felt and the rest of the clarity is defined by the internet. If I am wrong call me the fuck out.

My closest experience: I had a period of, well I am not sure. First it started off as anger, which I guess I always had, later this turned into sadness. I would have the odd brief moments where I felt good, then quickly I just wanted to cry and hide for no reason at all. It then manifested into nothing. I would be with my friends or family but everything felt so surreal, as if I were watching my life and wasn’t living it. It was all very odd to say the least.

I am not saying I had depersonalisation but it was the closest thing I could find and with my vague experience and the internet, it will help me write my characters.

Depersonalisation Disorder (DPD) is experiencing things as unreal or detached from a situation, it can also be the abundance of emotion. People with this disorder feel disconnected from themselves (leading to a disruption of self-awareness and resulting in emotional numbness). [In some cases it can feel as if the individual is watching their life as a movie rather than being part of that world.]

People often experience DPD during a panic attack, as this is their peak level of anxiety. It acts as a coping mechanism during high levels of stress.

It can be due to stress, trauma, depression or use of recreational drugs, sometimes even personality traits. It is not uncommon, affecting 1-2% of the population.

I’d recommend further reading in the form of: https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/your-stories/depersonalisation-my-four-months-of-terror/#.XJ_x_pj7TIU

Now lets lighten the mood with some trivia:

  • The word “depersonalisation” was first used in a 1880 Journal Intime entry by Henri Frèdèric Amiel
  • A movie called Numb starring Matthew Perry was released in 2007, which deals with the directors (Harris Goldberg) experience in battling DPD
  • People often associate Van Gogh’s “Scream” with DPD

Image result for numb 2007  Image result for van gogh scream

The Midnight Healer

This is from the first chapter of my WIP, which is a story within a story.
The story told of a healer, so great at her job, that it was believed she could grant wishes and cast spells. She would credit her herbs which were harvested under the moon, she claimed the moon amplified their medicinal qualities. She was well-known for abilities, along with the immeasurable kindness she carried in her heart. Thus making her beauty incomparable to any, causing many suitors to swoon after her despite the fact she was a widow with three young children. She could not bear children with her only love, the irony that the only thing she could not cure was his infertility. She was a mother without children, the cruellest trick life played on her. Alas, she was not discouraged and would later bring in the strays which came to her.
After the loss of her great and only love, suitors flocked to their lonely island to meet her, despite the deserts and oceans crossed, she would decline every opportunity presented to her. Coming from far and wide, all more impressive than the last; rich men, beautiful men, famous men. None of these mattered to the woman, not even when a prince was among one of these well-travelled types. A spoilt, dastardly prince, nonetheless, called this by his own people but he hoped that with the proposal, he would finally garner the approval which would gain him his throne. After yet another rejection, the rude prince cursed the healer, referring to her as a “clear commoner”; much like the many born in his village. Suffice to say the prince was run out of town after he tried to strike her.
Another account told of a traveller, who washed upon their lonely island. He had nothing; nothing to live for, not even memories to rely upon, his consciousness didn’t even return until a week of being on the island. The woman nursed him, as she had done for many others. When he awoke, looking into her kind eyes, he was driven to insanity by his perceived love for her and without even knowing what belongings were, he knew he must have her.
It is important to note that despite the differing accounts, this particular part has a unanimous ending. The amnesiac faced countless rejections and in his disillusioned state he started to believe she would become his if she could understand his loss. In that epiphany he set ablaze to her house, the flames consumed the home that her past love had built, containing the many memories that her family provided her and her almost-magic herbs. The house taken hostage by the inferno, also imprisoned the most precious lives she had come to mother. The soft-spoken peaceful lady immersed in a blind rage and drove the nearest sharp object through his heart, killing him where he stood. In the dead of the night under the brightest of stars she wept, mourning the life she lived and the children she raised. Every soul in the village heard her, even the animals were startled by the sound of a mother mourning her children. Despite the loud cries, not one person saw her, not that night nor the nights which followed. Even when sky was clear, the moon could not be seen, disappearing in the night along with the healer. Each night they would search in complete darkness. Finally one night, long after her children’s bodies were extracted and buried, the weeping which struck sorrow in the hearts of every man, woman and child stopped and with that the moon was finally sighted, radiant and alive.

I Guess This Is My Life Now

Eyes fluttering open before dawn,

Continuing the endeavour till way after dusk,

I sometimes forget what that fire looks like,

How much it burns,

It’s so odd how the memories feel so distant,

What if this isn’t the life I wanted?

 

 

But am I

smart enough

strong enough

bothered enough

to break out this perpetual circle of disdain and futility

Why Are We So Afraid of Feeling?

I know this is not true for everyone, especially since I am posting this on a site for writers who live off emotions and empathy. Also some people are more emotional than others and are more willing to share this with others; which I admire in a strange way. I am often quite taken aback by this, I wonder how they can be so open with someone who they still deem to be a stranger, yet still are willing to disclose such intimate details of their lives. In contrast to myself who, for the longest time, wasn’t able to share with my closest friends that I couldn’t be around them sometimes because I would rather be at home in solitude, staring at the ceiling as tears ran down my face. Even to this day when I mention these less than amusing events, I laugh it off as a joke. That doesn’t sound healthy but that is how I cope. That is how I don’t fall back into that state because it beats not acknowledging it at all.

The only way I recovered from those times was by talking about it, and even if I talk about it in a lighter tone, it helps. But why was I so scared of talking about it prior to this? Why was I so prideful not to talk about my emotions and prefer to sit in a dark room rather than come to terms with my own emotions?

Did I think I was weak for having these emotions?

Did I think I was strong to not accept these feelings?

Was I worried people would think I was weak?

Why did that matter?

Since when was acting like a human a bad thing?

It seems that basic things such as emotions and empathy are deemed as weaknesses.

And I struggle with this preconception so much.

However I’m learning.

Slowly.

A Rare Display of Some Much Needed Positivity

I’m trying to dash a little positivity and self love on my blog (and life) instead of it being littered with cynicism and self deprication, which has been on it for years. So for the usual self pitying posts and sad thoughts read anything else on my blog except this one post. I will still be as cynical as ever but I can put it on hold for one post.

In theory, 2018 should be a hard year for me. Someone like me who is a little bit of a loose cannon emotionally, this should have been a toughie. It was like starting from zero. I graduated in 2017 and had failed to secure a job in the new year and continued a job where people severely annoy me (not the workers, they alright but never underestimate the stupidity of the general public).
I work part time with so much time in between, whilst all my friends are either working full time or are still studying. While I have all this free time by myself, I should feel alone or I should feel empty. Especially when all my life I have been busy Monday to Saturday. It was easy to feel sad.

But for once I haven’t. Where I could feel sad and procrastinate and ignore my choices in life. This was truly the time for self reflection to which I still procrastinated. But guilt-free procrastination with no consequences, I didn’t know such a life existed.

Not too many people get to know themselves, understand what they want; instead life is thrust toward them without a breather. I still don’t know what I want but I’m closer.

I had no need to procrastinate so my creativity depleted in a very negative way. I learnt I do my best work when I really should not. But when in my life will I ever get this opportunity to do whatever I want? Wake up, write, do whatever, whenever. This was it. It was a new start.

I did apply for a lot of jobs with no outcome, just plenty of rejections. I have to admit I didn’t write or draw as much as I want because I was simply so uninspired but I didn’t just stay in bed and watch shows I don’t really care about.

Finally after many months of wihtholding exercise, it was time. Self improvement had to begin so self loathing could stop. No more self deprication, well only for humour purposes. Purely because I had so much time I didnt know what to do with, I started to exercise whenever I could, forcing myself to do it even when I didn’t want to. Eventually it became part of my schedule. And months on, I have never felt better. I have never been completely happy with my body, my stomach never be flat enough, my arms too much area of the bat wings, not having a singular chin. I lost a few kilos (not nearly as much as I wanted to) and felt good. The weight stopped being a problem, I didn’t have the need to contantly weigh myself because I was feeling good. I fit better in clothes, I fit into clothes which I couldn’t squeeze into for years. I couldn’t see too much of the impact but literally everyone else could. Regardless, I was getting more comfortable with my body even if I couldn’t see the results like everyone else. Then it happened, I was exercising one day. and I felt- MUSCLES. Like muscles I’ve never had before. It didnt matter that the weight was coming back because I liked how my body was turning out. Like I am a long way from my ideal and even though I am exercising, my diet needs to follow.

I was doing a good job keeping myself happy and healthy. I wasn’t feeling down or depressed. I genuinely felt good. It was like those years I spent feeling like shit were so distant. When, in reality, they really weren’t. The feeling of sadness seemed so strange to me, like even if I wasn’t happy, being sad was always automatically followed but now it was contentment and just living. With that mindset things felt like they were falling into place. I was getting somewhere on the job front too. I was getting some interviews and assessment centres and then eventually I got a job offer. An actual good job in engineering.

(Also why is it when I got a job more offers were coming through. Too little too late bud.)

That is pretty much my life right now. It hasn’t been too crazy or eventful. But its been good. I needed it.

Waking Up From A Nightmare

The long exasperated gasp from air,

Followed by the hyperventilating,

The moisture from your forehead and on the side of your eye a singular tear,

As you burrow further into the sheets the flood from your eyes are just beginning,

The lines between reality and fiction are blurred before the first light,

The nightmares may not be real,

But the tears, sweat, fear all cloud your sight,

And the fear is the truest existence you feel.

So in the end you wipe your eyes,

And whatever is coming from your nose,

Just to lay back waiting for sunrise,

Remembering why you no longer wish for dreams.

An Excerpt From Something I’ll Never Finish 

What has been written is what I found today in one of my notebooks for a character I created, who you will clearly see is very cynical and kind of mean. This must be at least 4 years old. 

It’s simple really. There is no real reason as to why I am who I am. No one has done me any real wrong. There aren’t any traumatic experiences on system for me either.

The real experiences occur everyday, the traumatic experience I talk of is life itself. How people are conquered, humans are fragile and stupid. I guess this is what makes me cynical because there is no reason to be happy. Happiness is just an illusion. Any person, any character in a book or any being in a movie will without fail wish for happiness and wish they could see a beauty in the world. They would gladly revoke everything they believe in and betray themselves for this illusion. Then, this is called a happily ever after.