Bare Bulbs


She pulled some old foil from a paper bag filled with trash. The paper bag had been serving as a trash can in her home – by Home, she was living in a glorified garden shed with a single, bare light bulb hanging from the ceiling. She slept on a naked mattress that may have been mistakenly placed there at some point – no framework, no sheets, nothing to give intention. Beetles often would crawl through baseboards, up her walls, and greet her face to face in bed. Foil in hand, she fashioned it into a makeshift spoon – her family back home kept calling to see if they needed anything. She always said no. Ashamed to admit that her single can of beans would be opened with a pocket knife and consumed cold with a spoon made from the old seal of a long forgotten tub of yogurt. Underneath a bare light bulb, in a garden shed, on top of a hill, in a city that reeked of placidity.

His face contorted by anger, screaming something about how ungrateful they were. She hit pause on the moment, collecting herself. Just how many times had she found herself in this place; A man, a mother’s lover, threatening her safety with harsh words and violence? How many more times would she let it happen? Unpause. He grabs a cup and throws it against the kitchen wall in her direction, it was a gift from her grandma. The answer was “no more”. A sister was having convulsions in the corner, nothing had ever filled her with so much rage. No one should treat them like this. Trembling, sobbing, her older sister being enclosed with a hug. No more. No more. He had run from the scene, perhaps to cleanse himself of the murder he had just committed, yet he still yelled. You better fucking leave or I’ll make you regret it. / A threat. / The last threat. / Fucking try me, little bitch. / No response. / Coward. / Her sister’s eyes were glossed over, all but black. A voidness she had never encountered before. Running upstairs, she grabbed the first duffel bag she saw and stuffed it with clothing – she would never come back. She wasn’t sure where she was going, but she would not stay here.




Rose early, falling late, never feeling completely awake. Cup of coffee at 7:08. Another in class. Lunch consisted of a chocolate shake and fries you didn’t want to finish. All of the mindless busy work in Spanish made a you want to claw the fleshy balls of eye out of your head.

Showered when you got home, did your makeup, washed the work clothes.

Stole a moment to glance at your bare face in the mirror. Admiring the freckles. The growing hair. The blueness of your eyes.

Had to leave for work. But you left early. Anxiety takes over when you can’t find your inner peace.

You found out that last night the guy you like came into work really stoned with his friends. Unsure why it hurts you, but it does. It’s like this foxtail that has worked it’s way into your chest and slowly it inches toward your heart – and you feel every second of its golden betrayal.

But then you remember, Santana is single. She’s still that girl you fell in love with. Moving to Santa Cruz, won’t be far from you in San Francisco. She’s cute. Artistic. Even if you gave her space, you still think she’s amazing.

That puts a smile on your face. She is the one you wrote that sonnet about. Her eyes of dawn. Your heart gets warm at the thought of her.

Fuck. I can’t do this. I can’t move from one person to the next. I mean, Leo was the distraction from Santana. I really consciously moved on using him.

And then it became something I couldn’t control, something darker.

And arguably I used Santana to get over Charley to get over Santana to get over Xavier who I used to get over Talon who I used to cope with moving and starting at a new school my junior year of high school.

So are my feelings for leo just an elaborate way of avoiding dealing with my sense of loss over moving to a new place? Displacing my emotional struggles by finding happiness in a false emotional bind?

Because I used Sam to cope with my parents separation and eventual divorce. To get over Sam I used a bunch of guys I don’t remember, and then Cadence.

I decided to be single because I had jumped from one person to the next since I was fourteen. Now that I have been single for seventeen months, I’m realizing the issue is deeper. It’s not just relationships, I jump from person to person emotionally too. Fall in love with one, but then get rejected and turn right around and pick someone new, doing it over and over, sometimes picking the same person twice, sometimes they are entirely new.

Some, like poor Zach, I have knowingly strung along even when I wasn’t interested in them, just to have someone there.

Just to have someone holding me on the beach at 11pm. Bonfires. Knowing he really, sincerely liked me.

Daniel. He won’t admit it, but I have to. I was only ever interested in feeling like someone cared. He gave me that.

Do I use emotional attraction to others as something to divert my emotional pain off my everyday life?

I don’t know but I want a double double. Fries.

I want a heated blanket.

Fresh, warm, chocolate chip cookies.

Comfort food. Netflix. More things I use as temporary bandaids on my emotional struggles.

Now we can add weed and alcohol and prescriptions to that list as well.

More people should be concerned.

Sometimes I imagine what it will be like for someone to go back over this shit if I ever actually kill myself. Will they be like “wow how didn’t we see the signs?” Or something?

Who knows. Who cares. I’m going to sleep.

At The End of The Day

Blame, Domestic Violence, Family, fathers, feminism, forgotten, fuck you, Future, home, Hope, Humanist, Journal, no trust, Personal

Who does Bryan think he is? To come downstairs and start raising his voice at me in my house, on the one day I have off from school and other activities.

Sure, our house wasn’t clean, but I was going to clean it. I made a To Do list and cleaning the whole house was on there..

But instead of rationally discussing the fact that there was a dirty pan on the stove and the floor could stand to be swept, he yelled at me. He threw something across the room and saying “go ahead and run away” as I packed up my things so I could do my homework in peace.

On that note, I shouldn’t have to fucking worry about being able to do my homework on a saturday when it’s just me there with my moms boyfriend. I shouldn’t have to think twice about having to come home when it will just be him and I there. He can’t control his temper, he has anger outbursts. He spanks kendra out of anger when Riley and I have expressed our discomfort with it, when we have talked to our mom and told her how we feel.

I shouldn’t have to feel like my mom won’t listen to me because she will automatically take sides with Bryan. She doesn’t hear what I have to say, or she does but she doesn’t care that her boyfriend makes my life uncomfortable. That he makes me uncomfortable in my own home.

I am valid in feeling like my mother’s boyfriend should not raise his voice at me when I am alone with him. I am valid in feeling that my mom does not care about my emotions when she sides with him. Just because my mom does not agree with me, just because my mom does not hear me, just because my mom is choosing to stay with a man who has hurt all of her children, does not make my opinions, feelings, or ideas invalid.

At the end of the day, I am just a sixteen year old who wants her mother to care about her.

At the end of the day, I am just a sixteen year old who could really use a parent with good judgement.

At the end of the day, I just want to feel like someone has my best interest at heart.

No One Believes Us

Awareness, Domestic Violence, Hope, Journal, Memories, Personal, Poetry

The monster who crept the hallways at midnight,

in a drunken state, blood red eyes, putrid breath.

He raised his hand, I covered my head.

Silent tears were wept as I heard footsteps come down the hall,

Nervous energy, a dark cloud crept over our home.

terrified children, ignorant children,

but we were scared and battered, thinking no one cared.

How does he still control me? I thought we got away years ago. But I can still feel his hand, right before it hit my cheek.

People, they don’t believe us.

They think I tell lies.

He got to them first,

got them on his side,

charming them with his new haircut, clean shaved,

Telling them he’d changed.

Now no one believes us.

Sent us to therapy, said that’d be enough.

but I lay awake at night, hyperventilating, tears streaming down my face,

just because I thought I heard something coming down the hallway.

No one believes us,

To them it’s just about the money

The lawyers bills and court documents,

it’s just a case.

Children and custody,

Splitting the furnishings.

But at one point it was about a scared little girl,

crying in her room.

It was about the family who had a monster, just behind the front door.