A Journey

He speaks, “I sat on a ship waiting for the storm to take its toll. The people they asked if this would be their last home. I shouted and cried, yes! Indeed this the end of their lives! But I seek new lands, how stubborn of me!

So the storm began –the tepid seas quickly changed and became, the most vicious of seas
And my god did I fear, the worst to come!

But just as the pouring and shaking was reaching its worst, and the waves they clashed upon on our poor hearth,
A serpent evil, slithered onboard, and in its evil, whispered a song.

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Fake — Part 1

I write, “Mother, Father, I’m running away from home! I no longer wish to see the tears roll down your faces. Is much too much for much of me.

I wish for clearer skies and wishful breezes, the kind that lift one’s spirit, despite one’s body being seldom lifted.

I move to Vancouver tomorrow, I do not wish to be spoken to, I do not wish to hear from you.

I hope you will respect this final wish as I do not know how long I will need.

Bye,
Isaac”


I leave the flimsy sheet of paper on my wooden desk at home. The airplane ticket is already booked, I just need to head to the airport.

I call my friend who’s supposed to be picking me up. The other end rings several times, then drops to mailbox. I shrug and grab my backpack and the gym bag I packed the night before, I head out the door and begin walking.

I think, “People can’t be depended on. This much I know is true. So true, that I can not even depend on myself.

What is wrong… that I could have what I think is good and still be felt as wrong?”

My phone rings, my friend has called back. I pick up.

She speaks, “Hey, sorry about that, was still in the gym. Are you leaving early?”

I shake my head, “On time.”

“Oh, sorry, sorry I’m running home right now, I’ll pick you up?”

I hang up. I think, “People can’t be depended on. How many excuses, how many lies! Told over and over again, this: the greatest lie –the last time.

How short-sighted can humans be? Terribly so, terribly so.”

My phone rings. I hesitate, I want to leave it, yet I squarely pick up.

I speak, “So…”

A different voice speaks, “This is your Mom. What the hell are you doing?”

“Mom, I don’t want to talk about this right now.”

“You’re making me worried! You shouldn’t do that, you’re my son. Aren’t son and mother always supposed to be happy?

I’m coming home, will you stay?”

“I’m leaving Mom,” I hang up.

I go to my friend’s contact and delete her from my phone. Several more calls come to my phone. I silence them and continue walking.

I think.

They never saw the painting

I speak, “Ten long nights I weathered storms, and in these storms I told my adventures that came.

The crowd they gathered, to hear my words. And how they looked with rapture, as my words would fill their passing days.

With each word more people came, until the whole street was filled, with those listening to my speech.

Alas, the hours past, and the time to reveal my masterpiece was upon me. I bit my lip, a nervousness compounded, this was my fate.

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Revenge

Just the other day I left my gym bag in a stairwell. I was going to sleep there for the night, and I didn’t want to lug my gym bag around while I got shit-faced drunk in Koreatown (everyone has a right to alcohol) so I just left it in plain sight. I figured no one would touch it, but I even left my name and phone number incase.

Of course, I got back that night… and someone touched it. Worse yet, I could imagine them now assuming my identity –wearing the 12 pieces of underwear I had, 6 pairs of socks, a few of my favorite button downs, some neutral colored pants, and my external hard drive.

My fault for carrying the external hard drive. But still –we’re talking countless hours of future entertainment for my future self (not porn –sicko). There’s a lot of angsty journal writing and pictures on that drive. So whoever has it, please value the sanctity of my brain and don’t violate all my deepest, darkest memories. Or do and then make me into a meme. Either way, enjoy the clothes.

That was a rough night, knowing that humans could be so cruel. You see, people don’t care about you, and that’s a great first realization when you’re first growing up. It’s like getting the magical I don’t give a fuck card and tossing it at everyone because you realize they couldn’t care less.

But then later when you’re 40 and alone or some other trope cliche about never finding the love of your life, that’s when you realize… you wish someone did give a damn about you. Of course, not all those bad things about you, but come on, at least care about something. That would feel good, and I’ll even buy you flowers in exchange.

Well, there was no one giving me flowers this morning. But there was a semi-elderly looking woman that walked up to me in a proposed panic. She started talking about how her grandmother was having a heart attack in the hospital, how she needed to drive home, how she just happened to have no gas in her car, just happened to not have any money on her, and just happened to choose to talk to me.

Now let me get this straight –what if she is telling the truth? But don’t you see, that’s exactly what they want you to think! Don’t do it man! Fight the system! Power to the people! Fuck manners!

Anyways, I’m talking to this lady. She wants me to feel bad for her, she walked straight up to me. Why? Because I have the babiest baby face ever. And when you have that going for you and small hands well… it makes you look real innocent, real approachable, and real easy to take advantage of.

Ahem –thanks to you lady, all nice guys are forever jaded at their lives.

“Sir please, I’m putting my pride down… look I’m having a panic attack. I just –can you help me?”
“How can I help?” I raise my eyebrows.
“I just need some mon–”
“How much?”
“Sir, don’t distance yourself from me. Look, I’ll pay you back, I just need -”
“How much?”
She takes a step back, “$80.”
“I can’t help you,” I begin walking away.
She begins walking with me, “Oh but please sir, anything! Anything!”

I stop walking, it’s a long walk to campus… she’ll walk the whole way with me! She’ll actually walk the whole –fuck this. I reach into my left pocket where my makeshift wallet is (a piece of cardboard and a rubber band holding my debit card and some dollar bills) and take out the dollar bills.

I look at her, “Here,” and hand her about 4 dollars.
“Thank you sir, ” her voice is clear, apparently devoid of any panic from getting four dollars.
I nod my head and walk away.

I think about what just happened. I like homeless people more than that lady. At least they are straightforward. They ask for your money, and if you say no, they leave and ask someone else. It’s honest. Yet here was this lady, posing as someone who was really in need, in trouble, and it was all a con to her.

Yet at the same time I couldn’t fault her. It was a convincing show, and she did put away something to act like that. Maybe not pride, but that’s not something everyone would do.

A person from a group of six calls out to me.
“Hey! Hey you!” he’s holding an iPhone in his hand.
“Yah yah, I gotchu,” I say.
“Thanks man.”
I take a couple photos as they pose in front of the newly constructed building at UCLA on Westwood Boulevard.

Freedom

I found myself one day
wrapped up in a cage.

I stared around my surroundings
and to my senses I felt pain.

The forest air relaxed around me
but breathing I heard on the forest plain.

What’s this metal cage that surrounds me?
And where am I, I implored.


And beyond a large oak tree
stepped a little girl who held a key.

I beckoned her name!
I shouted so fiercely!
Oh but did I scare the child away?

She looked on at me with a childish gaze
But what, did she put me in this cage?

And squarely in that moment,
we began to hear the pant of horses’ hooves
strangely men sounded, across a river brook.

Along the forest path a new cage dawned
and was dropped on the ground
with a man inside, sleeping at once.

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For My Dad

Regret
By this time in my life, I’d hoped to have overcome enough struggles to have found some Truth. And I have, but if there’s anything I know, is that man deceives himself.

My Dad called me yesterday. He’d just gotten home from China recently and was excited to see me; I wasn’t there.

I’d left to LA in pursuit of. And in my pursuing it meant that I had to leave home earlier than he expected, earlier than I expected. Regardless, I left, he came home, I wasn’t there, he called, and we agreed that he would come up to LA for my birthday.

He called me last night and said he would be in LA tomorrow night. I’d lost track of time over the weekend, it hadn’t realized tomorrow was my birthday. I checked my phone –close enough, two days before my birthday.

I questioned if he was staying for the weekend. And he continually affirmed that we were just getting dinner. Just getting dinner?

A pang of guilt washed over me, and I thought of myself. I didn’t want my Father to drive all the way from NorCal to SoCal just to see me for one dinner.

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Freedom

A man sits in a prison cell by himself
holding a butter knife behind his back
he speaks to himself.

My mymoy- my!! AToday tod-ey! tody is the dayyyyy
“Quiet you fool! –You’re going let them hear. Don’t let them. Don’t let them”

A door from beyond the corridor creaks open
then slams shut –a beep sounds, it locks.
Footsteps march on the concrete, slowly
while a set of keys jingle with the footsteps.

The guard stops in front of the man’s cell
looks at him briefly up and down
then shakes his head.

The guard speaks, “You’ve been a good prisoner. So as per the law, I have to set you free today. Would you like to say anything before I open the gates?”

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The Lonely Lion

Once upon a time, there was great big lion that all the animal kingdom feared. Anywhere he’d go, the animals would run away. Our lion didn’t know why though, he didn’t know he was so feared. All he wanted to do, was make his first friend.

He’d run around the safari, looking for friends, but everywhere he went no one would stay. Sometimes he’d sneak up real close to an animal and say, “HEELLLOO!” real loud so they could hear him. But it never worked out, and at the end of the day, they’d always run away.

One day, as he sat and rested, he saw a bird flying high above over him. Normally he’d tried to say hi, but it was so far away, he let it fly. He stood perfectly still and after a few moments, the bird flew closer to him. He still didn’t move but watched more intently now. Would this perhaps be his first fellow friend? And then, as if the gods had heard his question, the bird flew so close it landed on his nose! Can’t believing his luck, the lion jumped up and said hi! HI friend! First friend of mine! But as soon as he did, the bird screeched an awful screech and flew away quite quickly indeed.

The lion sat back down. It was getting late. Maybe he was meant to simply be alone. But no! He wasn’t done trying yet, he’d think of a plan! He knew just the one. He’d do just what he’d done, it’d almost worked perfectly. He’d stay perfectly still, no matter the cause. He simply wait and wait, no matter how long. If that’s what it took, to make a friend, in this safari land.

When he woke up, his tummy was grumbling. When was the last time, he’d gone out to eat? It didn’t matter, today was the day. He sat still and waited. Several hours passed, nothing happened. Our lion became frustrated, but he was patient.

The sun began setting, maybe it was time to retire. But then suddenly, he heard a roar from just past the spire. Over the hill, the sound of hooves and panting. And after a moment, he saw them, running in tandem. A zebra and a lion! But the zebra was much quicker than the other lion. And in short notice, the zebra got away and the other lion sat and caught her breath.

She was beautiful, he thought to himself. He’d never seen another lion before. And that roar he heard, was that hers? It was really quite scary; he was sorry he overheard. He had so many questions for the female lion, he wanted to roar and say hello! But he remembered his plan, stay patient, not bad.

A few hours passed and it was almost night. The female lion had taken a while to catch her breath, and this whole time this male lion was staring at her. He’d simply stared and stared, no words, no motion. So she figured it was time, for some feminine action.

She strolled up lazily to the man of no action. She circled him a few times, but still he didn’t move. She resolved then, to take it another step further. She got right up next to him, their noses almost touched. And just like that, she extended her tongue and licked him. Oh and how excited he was! A lick on the nose? Oh goody oh woah! But he was still unsure. Was he supposed to say hello? He opened his mouth slightly, he almost said it. But he was too afraid, to ruin this great moment.

The female lion spoke instead, she was quite confused and upset, “Hello? Are you there or am I here? Is this a joke or what’s gone broke?” He didn’t reply, he kept to his patience. After all, he’d received his first hello. But suddenly, the female lion walked away. She simply turned her tail and then ran to escape. Our lion tried calling out to her, “Wait!” But it was too late. She didn’t hear him, and she’d gone off and escaped.

How cruel was his fate, so close to his first mate! But now he knew, exactly what to do. He had the formula, the secret to it all. All he had to do was wait, wait just like he did today. But when they say hello, be immediate to respond hello. This was the secret, and he was quite pleased with himself. Tomorrow he’d surely, make his first friend.

But tomorrow came and past, no animal played in his show. He was still friendless, and now hungrier too. Tomorrow he would hunt, he was neglecting his food. But still a certain sadness, hung over him like gloom.

He woke up and began searching for his food. He walked around lazily and not in the mood. But then he spotted, out in the open. The very same zebra, the female lion had been hunting! Surely this was it, another route to friendship. If he could kill the zebra, then surely she’d be indebted. She would have to come by, and then he could say hi! That was all that was needed, to complete his plan by the night.

So resolved once again, he sneaked around the safari grass. He wanted to make sure, he’d catch this old ass. Then he began nearing, he was almost ready to pounce. But in that hair of a moment, he felt a paw tap him once.

He turned around, and as he did, the zebra noticed and ran away. He was furious, but saw none other than the female lion in his face. “WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!?” Our lion pronounced. “Can’t you see I was busy? You silly loose louse!” But the female lion was not amused, and responded in kind, “Oh so now you can talk! You billy blind… blind…” The female lion had no proper comeback, and took a moment to recover from her mental wounds.

Our lion, recovering from the sudden event, realized he’d failed to capture the zebra. He was feeling overwhelmed, none of his plans were panning out. He would never have a friend because he couldn’t say hi. No matter what he did, it’d always be ruined. He sat down and began to cry, he tried and tried, but it was no use this time. He would be friendless, he was sure this time.

He looked at her briefly, but decided not to say anything. She wouldn’t understand, he was less than a man. He began walking away, he would return home and sleep. That was all he wanted now, weary and beat.

The female lion walked alongside him, a worry in her eyes. What was bothering him, was all she had in mind. “I didn’t mean the words I said!” The female lion said quite kind. “But really what’s the purpose, in not speaking what’s on your mind?”

Our lion turned to look at her, was she really still here? “I cannot say what I want because I lack the pride.” The zebra he needed, to say hi to her, flashed in his mind.

“Well that’s silly my dear, really I’ve forgiven you here,” she said. “I really just don’t understand, what’s hurting you near.” She was being so patient, maybe it was worth it to try. He decided to tell her, to recount all that he’d tried. He even told her about the little bird he scared. When he was done, he looked in her eyes. Would she believe him? It was quite hard to find. After all, he felt silly, having ignored her that night.

But what she said was unexpected, she did not tell him he failed. She only said, “Listen, there’s only two of us kind. There’s only two lions that roar, and that’s all in this world. You can’t go saying hi, to everyone else.”

Now our lion was confused, what did she mean? Could he really not be friends, with anyone else? What was wrong with saying hi? To everyone else. Wasn’t that what this world was about? To spread cheer and good kind? But then she responded, “with no one else my dear, they wouldn’t understand. We lions are lions, and lions we’ll stay. Everyone else, they’ll always run away.”

This was true he thought, but then why was she here? Why did she choose, to not run away? He began to understand. That night he had stared. The simple realization, that he wasn’t scared. That they were two lions, sharing this world, and what else mattered, since it was just them two. He blurted out, “but then you mean to say, that I could have said hey! That on that nightly day, I need not have wait.”

She nodded her head, “Yes my darling, isn’t that great? We lions are lions, we share this land as mates.”

But he wasn’t sure, he wanted friends of all shapes. What good was it, if he could only say hi to her? Why was it the case, that he was destined to one fate? He stared in her eyes, he looked for a sign. Was this his first friend? They’d walked quite a bit.

And as if hearing the call, our God gave a sign. And our lovely female lion, gave a great big ol’ lick to her kind. It was a pact, a sign of friendship indeed. And what could our lion do, but return what he had received? He licked the female lion, and that was that sirs. Maybe he could accept, a friendship such as theirs. The two lions walked in tandem to their home. A small homely pond. Maybe this was nature’s way of saying, all would be found.