“When he says
He doesn’t love you anymore,
Roll your shoulders back
And look him in the eye
Even when it feels like your ribs
Are breaking inward, like spider legs.
When he digs up old aches
That he swore he forgave you for,
And ask him why he didn’t leave you sooner.
Ignore the way the words feel like sandpaper
Running all the way up your throat to your mouth.
When he blames you
For mistakes that wear his face,
Do not scream.
Do not cry.
Tell him that there are boys
Who would be proud to say they’d loved you.
Tell him that in two years
You won’t even remember his name
And don’t let him see the way you can taste your own lie.
When he leaves
Ignore the howling in your blood
And do not get up after him.
Not even to lock the door.
Do not, do not
Smell his shirts when you box them up
To give them back.
Swear off dating when you realize
You’re chasing ghosts that wear his smile.
It’s okay to cry over him.
It’s even okay to forgive him.
But do not go back to him.
If he did not know how to love you the first time,
He won’t know how to do it the next.”—How To Pretend It Doesn’t Hurt, by Ashe Vernon (via latenightcornerstore)
“I’m sitting here thinking of all the things I wanted to apologize to you for. All the pain we caused each other. Everything I put on you. Everything I needed you to be or needed you to say. I’m sorry for that. I’ll always love you because we grew up together. You helped make me who I am. I just wanted you to know, there will be a piece of you in me always. And I’m grateful for that. Whatever someone you become and wherever you are in the world, I’m sending you love. You’re my friend to the end.”—Her (2013)
“you fall asleep with his fingertips burning through your skin and you can still feel his teeth pressed against yours long after he’s dropped you off at home and his voice lights up in your head and pushes away everything that could possibly be bad. He’s everything now. And god everything tastes so good. But six months later you come home shaking, followed by a trail of blood and teardrops, and your happiness is leaking out of you into a puddle on the floor and you’re down on your knees trying to shove it all back into your chest while you scream “OH GOD MOM HE KISSED HER OH GOD””—my sixth grade english teacher told me not to make anyone my world and I thought she was crazy till last night (via extrasad)
“Remember that night we flew crashing through your window? Lying on your bedroom floor, covered in glass, you turned to me and laughed, this is only for the night, but you knew that right? I was laughing so hard that I could only say yes, yes, yes. Yes. But the next morning I was sick off of your dead name and throwing up the remaining pieces of your window pane. Do you remember that? I wouldn’t be surprised if you didn’t. I locked you out of the room and told you to come back in a few hours, when everything wasn’t such a mess. Yes like: yes, I do not care how you treat me, go right ahead and run that shard across my throat. Yes, it’s fine, I don’t mind the blood. Why not? Yes. Yes. Yes, like, yes I am going to think about this for some time. Yes like, of course it hurts, why wouldn’t it hurt? Yes, like, why the hell didn’t I say no? But words never seem too heavy until they’ve already been said.”—Yes, Yes, Yes | Lora Mathis (via lora-mathis)
That I put out this open invitation like I do every year!!!
Anyone who wants to come to the james dean festival can crash with me! We can drive around and I’ll show you his grave, his house, his school and all his hang out spots!! We can late night ouija at his grave cause all the cops know me and like me and we can have a good chill ass time so COME HANG OUT WITH ME AND JIMMY!
I am walking in the city when I see him. Sixteen, with a cigarette in mouth. Wearing a white shirt with stains in the underarms. Knock-off Wayfarers tucked into the collar. Hair slicked back. He is pulling a comb from his pocket and out comes a lighter too. He smirks, flips his comb open, lights his cigarette and then, while looking off into the distance, finally answers my question. “Yes,” he says, “I’ve got a lighter.”
Two years later, I skip gym class and find a boy sitting on a snowy tree stump just past the school gate. He is 18, with a large wool peacoat thrown over his lean body. A bit of pudge sticks out from under his wrinkled white dress shirt. I see him drinking beer after beer, and smiling larger with each one. I shiver and walk past him, until he calls out, “Hey, you got somewhere to be?” I turn around. “Not really, no.” He scoots over, making room for me on the stump. “Want to take a seat?” I sit down slowly and offer him a slight smile. He takes a sip of his beer-cheap stuff, likely stolen-turns away from me to burp and then excuses himself, and then says, “Cigarette?”
At the end of the school year, I see my boyfriend lighting a cigarette in his car after an exam. “You smoke now?” I ask. I am so annoyed with him. He tries so hard to be something that should take no effort at all. I have to look out the window to keep from cringing at his deliberately untucked shirt, artfully messy hair, and now the cigarette posed perfectly between his “just chapped enough” lips. “I’m stressed,” he spits back at me. I study the snow and roll my eyes. When he’s finished, he starts the car and puts on a smooth jazz station, tapping his fingers on the steering wheel to the song. Three months earlier, I tried to take him to a jazz bar and he told me everything I liked was “old-ladyish and weird.” When we reach his house, I get out after him and then steal his pack. Later that night, he heads to his car to “think” and then comes back a few minutes later with his hands shoved deep inside his pockets. “That was fast,” I say. “Yeah, I just had to get some fresh air,” he says, while slipping into bed, smelling of nothing but pine. He is snoring in two seconds, so happy to be relieved of his smoking habit that he’s fallen asleep half-smiling. I look at him for a few seconds, then slip out of the covers, grab his pack from my jacket pocket, and go outside. I return smelling of tobacco and pine.
A few years later, I take myself out to a bar and see a man putting his cigarette into his mouth, flicking his lighter, and smiling at me as he inhales. A cloud of smoke is blown into my face as he asks me my name. I give him a fake one. I don’t feel too much like myself anyway-eighteen, and standing on a street congested with bars and traffic at two a.m. We go into the upper level of the closest bar and inside, he buys me “whatever’s on the tap” with the change in his pocket. “Honey,” he says. “Honey, what are you doing in a place like this?” He is combing his hair as he says this, and I am suspicious that he is only looking into my eyes in hopes of seeing his reflection. I laugh in response. To this, he declares, “I need a smoke break.” He opens his pack, puts one in-between his teeth, and then offers one to me. I shake my head. “Suit yourself,” he says. “I won’t be too long. Otherwise I’ll start to miss you.” I watch him walk down the stairs as I sip the last of my beer. I am about to join him when I notice a back door. I check my watch, then walk down the bar’s fire escape and go home. He can’t miss what he doesn’t know.
That night, with my elbows resting on my fire escape, I light a cigarette and look at the sleeping city. Hot red lights, trucks unloading in the dark, the occasional scream of a car horn cutting through the stars. I suck in deeply, hold the smoke in my throat for so long that I almost forget it’s there, and then exhale. Gone. I am secondhand smoke. I have been breathed out by so many mouths that the stale smell of me clings to your clothes. I am in your new girlfriend’s hair when she comes home from the bar. I am floating outside your window when you return to our old apartment. And I am blackening your lungs one touch at a time.
“You just might not understand it yet. But it’s cool. Family is super cool. Going home to one girl every night is super cool. Just going home and getting on the floor and playing with your child is super cool. Not wearing a red leather jacket, and just looking like a dad and shit, is like super cool. Having someone that I can call Mom again. That shit is super cool.”—Kanye West (via nickelcobalt)
“Then no matter where you are, in a crowded restaurant or on some desolate street or even in the comforts of your own home, you’ll watch yourself dismantle every assurance you ever lived by. You’ll stand aside as a great complexity intrudes, tearing apart, piece by piece, all your carefully conceived denials, whether deliberate or unconscious. And then for better or worse you’ll turn, unable to resist, though try to resist you still will, fighting with everything you’ve got not to face the thing you most dread, what is now, what will be, what has always come before, the creature you truly are, the creature we all are, buried in the nameless black of a name.
And then the nightmares will begin.”—Mark Z. Danielewski, “House of Leaves” (via quackenbuschlight)