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Hush, Be Still

He wraps his warm arms

Around my shaking shoulders,

Sharing his heat with me

As we hide together

Under a quilt sewn

By someone long dead.

I can just make out

The bright glittering

Of his dark blue eyes,

Can barely see the curve of his lips

Just before they descend

Upon my creased brow.

“Hush,” he mutters,

“Hush, be still.

Horrors felt shall soon disperse

Amongst those who deserve

Our terror more than us.”

Unable to calm myself,

I curl closer to his chest

And let the steady rhythm

Of his thumping heart

Lull me into a fitful sleep

Made sweeter by his presence.

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Settle Down

My parents, younger siblings and I went apple picking today, something we haven’t done in a while. Certainly not in three years; we haven’t gone and picked apples since we moved.

I’m typically a fairly predictable person: I don’t want to go outside, I don’t want to associate with anybody, I just want to stay in my bedroom and read/write/be generally antisocial. I enjoy my life as a hermit, thank you very much.

Apple picking, though, brings out a different Carissa. There are quite a few things that make me react as drastically as the pristine perfection of a nice, gritty apple plucked from a bowing tree, but few have the same nostalgic affect (effect? I don’t know…); I have more than a handful of bubbly, happy memories of reaching ever higher for that absolutely gorgeous red apple, biting into the crisp white flesh of an unwashed fruit, surrounded by towering trees that dwarf my small frame……

I must admit, though, that this time was a slight disappointment to those memories.

That’s not to say that the apples weren’t delicious, that I didn’t thoroughly enjoy myself. I did. However, the apple farm (is that what they’re called?) has become industrialized, marketed, whatever you want to call it, since the last time we visited. They rely on dumb tourists now, who want to watch pig races and milk cows and taste-test cider and ride ziplines and maybe pick a couple apples for the hell of it.

We went to pick apples because it’s fun to feel self-sufficient, to wash and polish those imperfect perfections rather than buying some waxed mess from the supermarket. I mean, it’s not as though we aren’t going to actually USE the apples; my mom plans on making apple cider, apple crisps, apple fritters, apple pies, apple juice… But this particular apple place (B.J. Reece Orchards, in Elijay) had only one tiny little portion of their orchard open, and the apples there were either too small to bother with, too high to pick, or splattered on the ground. Luckily, we managed to get a peck of half-decent apples, but the rest we just bought pre-packaged in their apple house.

Downsides to this trip: we drove a few hours to pick apples for about thirty minutes, they did not even have Granny Smith apples (at ALL!), and it was warm for October. And my siblings were extremely obnoxious in the car, which caused a headache and a bruise on my ribs.

Upsides to this trip: there were multiple, but most importantly: APPLE DONUTS. On top of that, we bought delicious apples, cold apple cider, raw peanuts (we make our own boiled peanuts now- yum!), an enormous cabbage, a trip into memory lane, and the realization that not every good experience ought to remain untainted by reality, because sometimes disappointment is liberating.

If the good is not quite as wonderful as we remember, is not everything better than it feels?

Unsteady

I plan on complaining right now. Go figure, right?

So, for those who don’t know (and none of you do), I have an absolutely shitty relationship with my mom. I suppose that there have been a couple pretty big mistakes I’ve made that lended to this, but all in all I’m not honestly that bad of a kid, in comparison to some of the crap people I know do. I mean, I spend 80% of my free time writing. There’s not much trouble to get into just writing all the time (unless you’re somebody like E. L. James, who I am most certainly not).

And, seriously, I’m fifteen. I’m supposed to make stupid mistakes and fall in love and ignore authority and figure out who the hell I am as an individual.

There’s a lot done in my house that severely undermines my ability to figure that out. First of all, the laptop I’m working right now is sitting in my kitchen. In my kitchen. You try enjoying some (occasionally naughty) fanfiction while you’re sitting in your goddamn kitchen with your parents and two siblings walking past constantly. Second, my mom has some spy software on the computer that gives her access to everything I do online. I don’t know the extent of what she can and cannot see, but let me just point out that she’s made an account on almost every single website I’m on just to keep up with what I’m doing. Third, I’m not allowed to go anywhere. It takes a million years of begging and pleading to do anything, and even then I often have to pull out of whatever the plans were at the last minute. I haven’t gone anywhere with friends, just me and friends, since January. I haven’t had a sleepover since December of 2012. Fourth, I have no privacy. My parents come into my room at all hours of the night and occasionally decide to ransack my belongings. These are seriously a few grains of salt to the dozens of other examples I could give.

But I seriously think I’ve reached the end of my rope.

I’ve known for a while that Mom gets a notification whenever I text or get a text. She uses it to make sure I’m not texting during school, which I guess I sort of understand but at the same time, if my teachers don’t care then I personally don’t think she should, either.

However, it has recently come to my attention that Mom also has the ability to read every. single. one. of my text messages.

Of course, my first thought was an enormous Oh. Fuck. My second thought was a garbled mess. My third: Garrett’s going to panic.

See, I’m a teenager. I like to flirt with my boyfriend and complain to my best friends and discuss sex and tattoos and moving out and college and I curse. A lot. More than all that, though, I like to have a little bit of fucking privacy.

I’m not perfect. Nor have I ever pretended to be. But this… this crosses a line. When my thoughts and my emotions can’t be private, I’m ready to fuck over everything and just leave.

Back to My Roots

This was written for Writing 201: Poetry

Cracked sidewalk,

Running beside overgrown bushes

That moan under the weight

Of immense unknown blossoms.

It leads me to my own home,

Where he waits alone

Under the stone archway.

His hipbone protrudes;

I can see it through his shirt,

Which I’m sure he’s sprayed

With his sweet cologne.

I can almost hear his deep groan,

Muttered into my ear as I attone

For having flown away from our safe zone.