'Who am I' she asks : A creative explosion of paradoxical remarks the student replied.





Would relapse be those mornings I wake up too soon
to find that you were on the cusp of my imagination.
It seems to make more sense before I confess aloud
these longings that seem so ridiculous now.
I feel like I’ve been drunk or high,
but what it really is, is to wake up;
you’re not here anymore.



“One should always be drunk. That’s all that matters…But with what? With wine, with poetry, or with virtue, as you choose. But get drunk.” – Charles Baudelaire

3 glasses of wine into our happy hour night, and I was gesturing quite freely with my male companion. Radical ideas are on the table. Friendly reminder is given; honey, I’m gay.

And we’re back on track in the meandering of life talks.

Like any good friend, we recap on my break up. I used to be embarrassed that I had flown overseas to meet somebody. With two cats in tow, it really feels like I’m meeting the epitome of desperate cat lady.

With this precedent, it almost doesn’t need explaining how I ended up in the corner of my closet floor crying unstoppably for 2 hours. Yet I woke up today and saw this as the best thing that could happen.

People battle ever so precariously the duality between love and hate. Sometimes when we are so enraged and tormented by what we desire most, it can feel like this archaic idea of [insert:love] has abandoned us. For a road blocked writer, the spell of language can appear to curse us instead with these unfinished sentences and untitled thoughts. With love, it can be a humiliating process.

I thought this when I said, “I know I’m only 20, and I’ll meet plenty of people, but I liked being in a relationship. I just did.”

My friend shrugged, having lived his 20’s in the throes of hedonism. He shrugged and looked at me as if he was just waiting for me to prove it.

He told me anecdotes between how his 70yr old father is dating a 25 yr old; how sexism and prejudice works for people to revolt against a leader that would date an older women but nobody bats an eye for the opposite; how hard it is to even make platonic friends because people don’t want to step out there and really know you. Yet we love all the same. For those that look past themselves and their unequaled embarrassment for their anger/tears, we dream of harmony and partnership despite ourselves. Maybe there’s not enough of us who admit that aloud because I certainly don’t hear it enough.

It’s not as though we are unaffected. It is quite possible, and at times very real, that I may be just in love with the idea of love. Like any form of endearment, I could easily lose myself. This time I did plunge in. I was sincere and it hurts.

In my drunken state, as the tears started on the bus ride home, I gripped my cellphone to keep the world from tilting. Angrily, defiantly texting my girlfriend who’s been having just as hard of a time being a spokesperson for love; struggling to find herself as a new mom and wife. I desperately wrote to her as I’d want from a true artist : a delivery of their own unassailable truth from their uttermost raw being. Not even called a faith in love, because we lose hope in our individual art too and we will need someone else’s bold defiance. And in their times of needs, we somehow find it in ourselves to step up and find that brave part of ourselves to share.

We plod on in making connections and hopefully laugh at ourselves for our sadness when we’ve stood back up from our closet floors.

It is a little past half my day and my eyes have finally reset themselves from being swollen. I swept my hair back and laughed with the bartender this morning, joking about being drunk last night.

Feel attractive again. That’s how love works. We wouldn’t be able to live with ourselves otherwise.

“Accept what life offers you and try to drink from every cup. All wines should be tasted; some should only be sipped, but with others, drink the whole bottle.” – Pualo Coelho

The Concept of Kindness


Getting these words for this post really began in the twilight dawn of a vertical hang over that strictly forbade me sleep for a solid good two hours. I suppose I was so out of it that even having dreamed of a freaky ghost story did not sober me up as it would usually.

It’s a stupid thing to get drunk at the bar and not handle your liquor too well. Before this year I have never understood what it is about alcohol that drew people to them. I saw it as an escapism, I judged people who could not speak their mind without some liquid courage. I believed in owning your words with a clear conscious and whatever may be from them may be. Except I didn’t do that last night. I spent those long dawn hours thinking of what I could have done instead and what to do here on out. To be clear guys, I fucked up.

I realized a few things from waking up to watch the Mindy Project on my phone (yes, I needed a pick me up) – that it wasn’t the concept of losing somebody that scares me, it was the concept of not having fulfilled this sense of fullness in my life that I have most likely imposed on myself. Perhaps it doesn’t make much sense from the get go. Many people remind me that I am young and that it takes time to grow into ourselves. They look at how far I’ve come in my living situation to my work front and my friends that I am doing well for myself. Maybe this is the part of me that wants more than that – it’s just that I’ve been single-handedly spearheading to find my own place and do the very things that people did not believe I could do, it gets a little lonely. No, I am not alone. I spent the morning talking to the very two friends who had to witness me throw up from a cab and pay the driver double the amount for me to get home safely. To be fair to their wasted money, I threw up in the cab too. Classy. I am not alone, but the feeling of loneliness is something different.

This isn’t really the part that I fucked up on though. You see, I’m probably just running around in circles again. Things made so much more sense in my semi-conscious mind while I was up in the vertical. What had I wanted to say was that I let my demon out again, and with her, alcohol just makes her tongue that much sharper. It wrecks all filters that I would otherwise put up and rationality to even put effort into stopping myself from blaming the person I am seeing. People ask me if I am happy, my mother particularly is concerned to be sure I am happy with this person. I feel I am happy, though I feel that I don’t allow myself to be happy.

To paraphrase this as I had to with my friends: when someone gifts you a beautifully aesthetic ceramic art piece, it’s brightly glazed and smoothly hardened. When you glance at the beautiful craftsmanship and the delicacy of care put into it’s design, the artist then tells you of its resiliency too, which is suppose to add to its value. And just because it is so beautiful and because they say it won’t break, what do you do but to drop it and see for yourself. Perhaps the first time it won’t. Doesn’t even hold a scratch. Then the second time it doesn’t either. But then the third puts a crack, or a dent, or an imprint of your crazy anxiety and the fourth may just rip it all apart.

Now I may be melodramatic, because this man has proven to me throughout all the times I have had my freak outs that it has never touched him the same way morality wrecks me. Things supposedly slide from his plate from today onto the next day; a clean slate. In the same way that I am grateful for this easygoing attitude in life, I can’t help but defeat myself in matters which concern my trust towards himself in relation to me. I sit there and wonder where it is that I have gone wrong, where it was that made me so anxiety driven to start conjuring up nonsense in my head again. Aren’t there suppose to be any warning signs to tell you that you have gone off the rails again and that this is all in your head? How do you stop hurting somebody else to hurt yourself?

My girlfriend tells me that maybe I should just be single for awhile. My guy friend asked me something I could not answer but want to know about : So, why do you think you keep breaking it?

I suppose I don’t understand the concept of kindness. Nor do I see myself in the warmth of trust and dependency. It’s not that I don’t want to, but it would appear in these recent cases my body literally and mentally revolts against it altogether. Of course I would love to have a partner to trust and confide in. In all honestly, neither ends scare me that much to think that he would leave me. After having been hit on on multiple occasions by guys in non-drunken states (to declare formally), at the very least for now, my sense of erotic validity is confirmed. Leave that as it may. I suppose it isn’t a big deal in the long run of things, I mean that’s why I’ve always told myself I was in the scene for – the long run – anything else was a waste of my time and money. Yet I can’t seem to keep my shit together if we don’t see each other in a week, or bring myself to feel that I haven’t taken away from any of his happiness in taking his time. And as all of these things whirl wind together in my head, to make it go away all that I have to confess is that I have been very happy with this person, and he has been kind to me, and for whatever the turn out this time, I have been happy. That’s the catch though, it’s only not scary when you don’t believe there is hope at hand and you simply let things fall as they may. What of when you’re in the middle of battling for things and you want to win? Fuck if I know.

He did keep his words from last night though, he texted me goodnight though he hung up on me earlier that evening. All I thought about as I stumbled out of my drunken steaming shower was that I was thankful he kept that part of my trust. Brittle as it may be.

The Smell of Spirits

So the bill is settled – drunk people scare the shit out of me.

I don’t know if its my supposed anxiety or that it just plain smells bad. Please, someone, do tell – what’s that they call – the burn in your throat that supposedly sweetens into mortal elixir? Tell me again, like they do in the books. I haven’t been convinced.

So when my roommate came back home (ever so briefly) tonight with her two slightly drunken friends, the inner alarms went off. What’s wrong with me? Maybe I just have trust issues. What else is new, Duck. Or suppose the fact that I could not help recalling the most recent memory (which would be now 2 years ago) when I was last surrounded by any sort of semi or entirely retarded inebriated adults, I was surrounded by the feeling of sex.

Maybe I’m just afraid of sex. But that’s a whole ‘nother can of worms.

Well, so the story goes: they caught me. Ever so glamorously pulverized by my many excessive and pretentious pillows, struggling to operate a new scanner. With just the regular visit of a crime investigation down your pants and shower hair. Every woman knows how beautiful you feel then.

It wasn’t so bad. There were no come ons. The perfectly nicely smelly drunk French boy/man came to sit beside me to at first aid with the scanner, while my roommate and her other half chatted playfully in the bedroom in French. I struggled a little bit with the perverse thought of them just going down at it right then and there. I think I read too much. We all do, hoping for the most ridiculous situation. Thankfully, my roommate is a 5 foot 2′ inches awesome drunkard that handles it like a 6 foot 2 man. But dear lord, I can hear him pee for the next 3 minutes and thought to myself when was the last time I had two practically complete strangers stand in my home at 1am in the morning? To which might I add, would be kindly discovered was not flushed properly. Although in this case I suppose one ought to focus on the positive – at least he tried.

Meanwhile back at the couch, the nicely smelly drunk French boy/man, whose name I have already forgotten struggled with his English and all I can think about is that, damn, now my pillows are going to smell. But how do you wash those that come with the cover as its first skin? Struggles.

I’m just ready to throw my glass of milk at him if he happens to throws a drunken kung fu punch my way. I don’t know, drunk people are weird. That’s right – my glass of righteously half drank milk that has been advised to be finished two days ago and is being drunk unhabitually and unsocialably by an almost 19 year old. God, I just love my life.

As it appears, after some more Frenchness, they decided to leave for the night. Who knows. Maybe anxiety is contagious.

Off they went – but not before the more drunk French man/boy with my roommate decided to slip his sweater back on in the living room and walk towards me to give me a European goodbye. Two awkward close encounters on both sides of my cheeks and we have survived the evening.

I hear my roommate brusquely tell him to be quiet and leave – all in French of course – I’m just supposing.

So first of all, why do I have a roommate – well the Duck just moved, again. But she’ll brag shamelessly about how much she adores herself and the new place next time. Not like you asked or anything. And second, why is she scanning stuff – for another opportunity to brag show love on Mother’s Day by personally selecting and scanning roughly 800 photos to put on the digital picture frame purchased.

I’ve got 768 more photos to go, and I’m just staring at the ones that my parents took of Asian transvestites putting on a theatrical show. Damn, I feel ashamed to be a woman.

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celeste lee cloud

writer & artist

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