Passionate Seekers

Empty sex, soulless endeavors and failed attempts at trying to find ourselves somewhere buried beneath all the shit we were drowning in. He called me a bitch in front of the kid and I didn’t like that so I reached out and socked him right in the chin. “I don’t need this. Why am I even here?” Only I knew why I was there. He had this freedom my tiny inexperienced little fingers just wanted to grasp and never let go of. Only thing is his freedom came with a price he wasn’t willing to share. The previous day we were all cuddled up watching Nemo. Snacks mingled with kisses. Things were quiet and I told him why I liked him and he told me why he liked me. It’s for reasons I can’t recall because there’s something about toxic relationships that make the good times fade much quicker than the worst. You gotta dig a little deeper to find the nice girl hidden behind the slutty bitch. There was this one time we made dinner together, daughter in high chair, music on, and bare feet tapped against the black and white tiles. We danced and sang terrible lyrics and smiled in fear that tomorrow was nipping at our heels. And it nipped. I tell him he’s useless, he tells me I’m a whore. We go back and forth till the socking happened. Shitty, I know. That may have been one of those nights I lost a handful of pearls on the floor of some other guys bedroom. We just wanted the release, you know. I’m not sure either of us ever got it.

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This Black Lacey Number

 

Saschia Johnson

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Nova’s Tenth Birthday

I walk in after speeding to get my daughter’s cake which was the most beautiful thing I’ve seen since Willy Wonka, and notice the tables aren’t ready. The plates are still in plastic wrap and so are the table clothes. Panic struck me like a piano falling from a third floor apartment. I hate dishing out commands, but it had to be done as quickly and gently as possible. I’m at least trying to have cake table ready because that’s the thing these days. But plastic wrap and boxes and purses keep appearing on there. My mind is everywhere trying to do everything at once. Finally got the table set and the cake table decent. Kids are every where and since it was three or four different communities some kids were left out but so goes life. I finally get the cake table decorated with gifts (which I’m super grateful for). We round up the kids and prepare for the feast to begin which is a giant subway grinder neatly divided between four tables. The tables are adorned with a fairy, blue, and gold theme. You’d think feeding the beast (beast as in a mass of children shoved into a small room) would tame it, but let me tell you I’ve created a monster. My daughter (of course) begins some chant that sounded something like “pop-the-balloon” and you should have seen the fear in the adults faces when they came together in unison. My plan was to keep it moving by lighting the candles on the cake. So I grab the cake which was pretty heavy and lug it over in front of my daughter. The chanting grows louder and there’s an air in the room (which would properly be described as fear) of what was going to happen next. And somehow it shifted, it was no longer about popping a balloon. I pull out a match and whoosh a gust of wind which I think came from the thunderous chanting, blew out the match. I now realize why people can’t light things in horror films. I search the room for my closest friend who mind you has military experience and she gives me these eyes. They were big and I gave her the eyes like Save me. And I waved the matches as if they were a white flag. She (eventually) came to my side and we lit the candles together and the chanting slowed. Because fire does that. And then together they sang happy birthday in a way I was much more comfortable with. Thank God for best friends and creating monsters, because without them stories like these would never be written.

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The candy cake by Tina 🙂

 

Intellect

The words to save me are trapped inside my lungs. Yes, I have them, but my lack of intellect has shoved them into place. It’s not the intellect itself that I lack it’s the motivation to use it. Words words words they’re art. They’ve got meaning even without intellect. See. Who needs to think.

-Saschia Johnson

 

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Sleepy from nothing

Sleepy from nothing. Just sleepy. Maybe from thinking. Or maybe I ate the wrong thing but I’m too sleepy to care enough to figure it out. My brain is foggy and my eyelids are heavy. The future is weighing me down but the past doesn’t bite too bad anymore. I could have just adjusted to the bites. But it’s no problem. I ate my veggies and naked chicken. I did eat a White Truffle doughnut. Shame, but I made sure to eat it early. I tried to reach my 10k steps but I’m just so tired. It really weighs down on me. Is this complaining? I think it’s complaining. I’m happy with my life I tell ya. I love it very much. But this sleepiness just won’t shift. Is it depression? Have I not gotten enough sun. Maybe it’s my period. It was probably the doughnut. 

-Saschia Johnson

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between the carpet and the comforter

By: Michael Morlock

curled up on the floor, surrounded by toys, crawling under your daughters blanket just to try and be close to the things you love the most, and it’s still only you, alone, smothering beneath the coloured comforter, neck at a harsh angle, face burning against the coarse carpet, willing and wishing for something, anything to come fill you up, but you’re still empty, like the crib, like your cupped upturned hand, like the passing days with no child or partner to hold on to, to help you hold on. vision is rope. and the further you try to make it extend the more frayed it becomes. 20/20 summed up when all is said and done is 40. that’s only a few more years from now and the rope seems pretty thin and faulty on certain days. days frequently named “too often”. “all the time” in the parlance of childish over-exaggerated speaking. if there are even words. not just mumbles. whispers. thoughts which never quite reach the mouth to find their way out and you no longer comprehend the difference or the fact that these things only are spoken in your head, and you wonder why no one hears you anymore. did they ever? if a person falls for longer then a short rest, do they make a sound anyone can hear over the raucous din of their own lives?
will we even notice the passing of one another as we travel on our journey? or do we not recognize the ones who’ve lost direction until it’s too late?
loneliness burrows deep, undermines the roots of trees, the foundations of structures, the will of even the strongest souls.
so much of life is the slow dirt crumble waiting for the cave in.

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Michael Morlock, a father, artist, and time traveler from New England. You can find him @themancalledmorlock

 

First Attempt

 

It’s the middle of the night and my mom has me wrapped tight in a bundle of blankies carrying me to the car. Mom tells me it’s ok with a kiss on my forehead and tucks me into my car seat. I don’t wake up til the car comes to a stop. All I can see is a huge brick building. The three of us, mom brother and I, stagger to the door only to find it locked. It won’t open again till 7am. We pile back in the car and find a grocery store to munch on snacks till the building opens. She was so sure going to the shelter was the right thing to do, and nothing could stop her. See, mom had been raped for most of her life and found the strength to leave the house to create a new future for my brother and I. A bag of corn chips, cookies, and a jar of artichoke hearts later, it was finally 6:45am. Brick building again, only it isn’t as scary during the day. We head in leaving the blankies in the car. Inside, up a couple flights of stairs, we come to a huge open area. There’s people walking around and kids playing tag inside. Blinding lights and a lady with a clip board calls us in just like the doctor’s office. When the door closes it gets surprisingly quiet. The colorful toy garage catches my eye first, but then there’s a play kitchen with fake food. That absorbs most of my attention. Mom interrupts my preparation of a huge meal including a whole turkey with sprinkles, mashed potatoes (no gravy), and cookies all mixed together in one large bowl. And even though I wasn’t finished, I hand the bowl to mom and offer her a taste. Mom takes a quick taste. She’s in a rush and places the bowl back on the stove. We had to hurry and gather our things from the car so the lady could show us where we’d sleep tonight.

 

 

“This Black Lacy Number”

*Trigger Warning* people-3063217_1280

Looking through her closet she’s feeling like a million bucks. Dragging hanger to hanger to hanger till she finds this little black lacy number he’ll love. She’s been home all day, he’ll know that. The house is clean, and his favorite dinner is cooked and plated in the fridge. It’s late when he gets home but she’s had a great day. She won’t let anything get her down. She read some meme on the internet that said,

“Today’s a new day.”

and it inspired her. He stumbles in the front door and doubt flashes through her like a demon on roller skates. When she forces herself to unfreeze, because she’s made a plan, she walks over to help him to where ever he wants to go. He’s happy to see her,

“Hi baby.” He leans in to kiss her with his lips drenched in drunken saliva.

Maybe this will be a good night. Sitting at the dinner table, he makes the corny jokes she loves and tells her of that one time, when he was young, hanging out with his cousins. How together they built the highest Lego tower ever. He went on

“We used to watch Hook, Hook would always win. It was either that, or Indian In The Cupboard.”

She smiles at him thirsty for more. If she sits quiet and still enough maybe he’ll keep going. He looks up. It’s like it’s the first time he’s seen her all night. And that fog, it’s gone.

“What the fuck are you wearing?”

“I put it on for you. Don’t you like it?” She says. She stands up with her hands on her hips swirling around for him.

“You been hanging out with dudes all day haven’t you. That’s what this shit’s all about.” He trails off in shame.

“What?” She’s caught off guard. “No, I’ve been home all day.”

“Go change, you look like shit,” he demands, “and fix your hair.”  Getting up from the table, he turns his back to her, and places his plate in the sink.

“Are you serious? I did this for you.” Her arms are out palms facing him.

“You’re a fucking whore,” shaking his head, “you didn’t do shit for me.”

She’s defeated much faster than she had planned. She thought she could do better this time, but she goes to grab her pajama pants and t-shirt.

“I did this shit for you,” she yells out at him on her way to the bathroom. Fuck him,” she says to herself. She turns the shower on with a squeak and sits on the toilet seat debating whether she wants to cry, convince him, or just go to sleep. With her still sitting there, he walks into the bathroom and wraps his hands over her collar bones digging his thumbs in.

“I don’t want to see you wearing shit like that again. You wanna show dudes your tits? Huh?

“Ow, you’re hurting me.” She’s trying to hide her pain even while confessing that it hurts.

“You didn’t answer me,” he says. His face in hers, thumbs digging deeper.

She turns her face away and pushes back. “No, I don’t.”

He lets go with a shove making her body slam into the back of the toilet and walks out of the bathroom without shutting the door.

“And watch your language,” he yells from the living room. “I don’t like you talking like that.”

She replaced the lid to the back of the toilet, and slips into the shower for bed.

 

by: Saschia Johnson