He had beautiful hands. It’s so clearly captured in my head: the way he has his back to me, sketching, and all I can see is the curve of his shoulders and his arm sweeping across the page.

I really miss him. Jimmying out a screw in the hard drive with his credit card. Wiping his mouth with the back of his hand. Just bits and pieces of memories now. The warmth of his palm on my lower back as he guided me around drunk people on the street. Soft projector light on his face. The way he smiled and waved at me for the last time as the elevator doors closed, and I felt the emptiness rush around me like the air in a subway tunnel. I don’t know what to call what we had. We were obviously drawn to each other but maybe I was too young. Almost ten years apart. I was seventeen. He was beautiful.

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There’s people in this world without access to clean water, I muse, depressed at the state our world is in. I sink to the floor to cry quietly about the ignorant society I live in for another thirty minutes, then raise my head to turn off the shower.

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Fantasia 2011
16” x 22”
mixed media
Something I made a while back when I was really into psychedelics

where you wake up in just a t-shirt and your face is oily and you look around groggily, not sure when sleep took you. Sit up and stretch, grope around for your piece because you’re not wearing your contacts.

Take a hit. Cough. Another.

Ten minutes later and you’re feeling pretty good except your tongue feels like it’s covered in velvet so you get up to brush your teeth and splash some water on your face and put on your glasses. Pad barefoot to the kitchen in hopes of some coffee, though who would have made it you don’t know. Sure enough, coffeepot’s empty.


There is, however, a pack of cigarettes lying on the counter. Marbolo Reds. Nice.

Open the fridge and take a swig of orange juice, forgetting you brushed your teeth earlier. Shit! The weed’s not helping much - or is it? You can’t decide, it kind of feels like it would taste good but you’re high so the intensified flavor confuses you. Tentatively you take another sip. That one was better. A little bit has slopped down your shirt but it’s no big, you were going to shower anyways. Wait, weren’t you going to do something first? What was that again…? You stare blankly around in the kitchen until your eyes settle on the Reds. Huh, the Reds…

Oh yeah, you were gonna have a smoke. Chuckling to yourself you wipe your chin where a little bit of OJ splashed and grab the pack. Is it yours? No, you don’t smoke Reds. Whose fucking cigarettes are these?

Whatever. You stick one in your mouth and walk over to the balcony. It’s pretty bright out - shit, what time is it? Did you check when you woke up? You forget. The wall clock says 6…7…..wait, that’s the long hand. Stupid. It’s 2pm. Not bad at all, it beats last Saturday when you slept past lunch and well into dinner. Huh, dinner. Should you wait til dinner to eat or eat lunch now? Or maybe a light snack? Your stomach rumbles. Food would taste so good right now. Oh shit man. Munchies. You drool slightly in anticipation and realize you’re half-in, half-out of the balcony with an increasingly wet cigarette between your lips. Ha, ha, you stupid girl you. Shaking your head, you close the screen door after you as you step out into the sunshine.

Aaaagh, sunshine. You squint and knock over a half-empty 40 as the sun assaults your eyes.

It’s nice to smoke a different brand now and then you muse as you light it and take a drag. Oh yes. The first cigarette of the day. You lean against the balcony edge and look down at the slightly dodgy alley it looks over, wishing that your balcony had a better view than a slightly dodgy alley but not that worried about it. The sun’s too bright still so you squat on the floor with your back to it, finishing the cigarette with your eyes half-closed. You grind what’s left of it into the wetness that sloshed out of the 40 you knocked over a few minutes ago and draw a pattern with it before you realize that’s fucking gross but it’s okay because you’re high.

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The wind howled outside like a small child with a splinter might; in addition to the annoying wail - or maybe because of it - the skies were more furious than a normal angry person. In this way the setting was casually yet tastefully established, and the writer could move on to character development.

Inside her room on the second floor the artist was slapping paint onto the canvas the way a person might want to slap a child for crying about a splinter. Emily, the artist, didn’t look a day over fifty. That’s because she was twenty-one, and painting was her passion along with books, avocados, and other artsy things that were trendy but high in the good kind of fat. She had curly black hair, brown eyes, and two siblings, but mostly she was small. Being small, however, did not deter her from seeking the important things in life unless it was a book on the top shelf, but she could always use a chair for that. In fact it was only because she was standing on a chair now that she could reach the top of the 12 by 25 in. canvas she was slathering paint on. She didn’t like standing on chairs any more than she liked excessive commas in a paragraph, but she had to use them because there was no other way to string a list of words together without looking illiterate.

So anyways she was painting, standing on the floor and not on a chair because sometimes writers have to lie to be interesting (and also because no human is that small. You shouldn’t believe everything you read) and slathering blue onto what one must assume was the sky because we’re back to third-person now. Suddenly a blinding streak of lightning flashed across the sky, illuminating the tiny room. A tree crashed somewhere in the distance and Emily let out a cry as a particularly strong gust of wind slammed the shutters open, tearing the palette from her fingers–

And then the writer had writer’s block, freezing this scene in time as she threw her laptop across the room in a fit of anger and dove into a pile of coke.

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