Friday, July 6, 2012


I've come to the conclusion-- perhaps a bit late-- that the only way I stick to posting on blogs regularly is by setting a small goal every single day on a very very wide topic, like "my life."

Which means that this blog and the travel blog, , fall by the wayside.

It's bad. But there's got to be something better.

The trouble is, habit can only go so far with unpredictable schedules. Today we stayed in till 11am and then rushed off to the airport and got onto an airplane to get to Antananarivo, the Malagasy capital. (that's Madagascar).

Tomorrow we'll be up at who knows what hour to do who knows what-- i'm really hoping for autonomy, but that's not likely to happen. Oh, well. I'll have autonomy for almost the rest of my natural life, which is saying something.

But let me get back on track. While the content on Write Your World is slightly astounding… most of it is, shall we put it nicely, crap. The first few posts were good, and that was it. It doesn't bother me. It's more a writing exercise at the moment than anything else, and to be perfectly honest I'm a lazy person. If it got any harder I wouldn't be updating as often— of course, if it were 'a day in the life of Character X,' we might start talking. I'd be happy to write 500 word snippets of story every day.

… I am going to do that in 2013. It will be wonderful practice. A scene a day, or something. *Shrug*

As to goals. I made quite a few last December— 101 for the time period of 2012-mid 2014— but I haven't done any of them, and frankly I'm not too interesting in doing them. I tend to get slightly obsessive when confronted with challenges, though. I mellow out about a month into the year, and start setting slightly less crazy goals.

But now I'm starting to think. Why not stop setting goals and start creating habits? It's habits that are most important, right?

So, the habits, in order, to be performed daily:
- Write a 500-word world.
- Write at least 500 words of fiction.
- Edit fiction for 15 minutes.
- Write 100 words for a blog post, either outline or actual blog-post words.

Total time shouldn't be more than an hour, but will be more like 45, 50 minutes a day. And it shouldn't be too complicated to devote 45 minutes of my day to something. I tend to have a bit more time as it is.

It's going into place today, and it's going to stay in place until next January. You eat an elephant one bite at a time, and that's exactly how I'm going to catch up with all these blog posts. I'm still writing about Alice Springs, Australia— that was in early April, if I remember correctly.

So, onward! 

Monday, April 9, 2012


Today is a good day, and I feel verbose. There's no point in feeling verbose if you can't talk, so here's a random blog post all about how happy I'm feeling.

That and other things, by the way.

I have 624... or whatever... books on my GoodReads to-read list.

This is a really scary number. I've officially passed the "100-books-past-500-books" point. I think once you pass that, there is very little chance you'll get below 500 ever again. Ever. Each book leads to another fifteen books. Each person you know might have loved or hated a certain book... and then you have to read that book yourself, to find out why.

Since I have... 5 books to read and little time in which to accomplish the feat (we leave Sydney, and a great deal of books behind, at 8am on the 16th), I've made a plan.

I'll be reading a few books, prioritizing others, and setting lots of time limits in order to accomplish it. Vitamin-R, a new Mac application my wonderful daddy bought for me, will be helping. A lot.

Reading is going well. It's really strange/comforting to be taking notes while I read. For some reason, I feel a lot better about the fact that I might actually remember what I'm reading. On the other hand, I'm using up my notebook, and I can't carry around a notebook and a book and a pen around all the time.

This will have to be figured out. Even if my handwriting sucks, I tend to prefer handwriting to typing when I'm reading. It's more... simple, especially when I'm reading on a screen. Writing, on the other hand, is much simpler when I'm typing. I'm faster that way.[397 words

I feel really bouncy for absolutely no reason, and my head hurts a bit from trying to remember all the books I'm going to simply have to read now.

Does anyone else get this? It should be universal, I suffer from it so much. I have allusions to a billion different writers and books running around my head, along with a very, very certain-sure feeling that I simply have to read Ulysses now.

Back to How To Read Literature Like a Professor, Macbeth, and The Witch of Portobello! Wish me luck. Perhaps I might even start one of the last two tonight!

But I promised updates:

April 22nd (for me… for the rest of the world it will be April 21st at ten AM, to April 22nd at ten AM), I'll be participating in You'll Love This One!'s group Toppler.

The point of a toppler is to read books that are already on your shelves. To facilitate reading, there are certain awards which you can receive, from the most ridiculous to the most interesting.

For example, in the February Toppler (theme: classics), one award was for reading a book written during or before 1st century BC. In April (theme: read books you've wanted to for quite some time), one award is for reading a book in a new way. I have a fantastic idea for how I'm going to read The Old Man and the Sea, by Ernest Hemingway. I won't say a word now, though.

The fact that it's on a Sunday, that I told my dad the toppler would be on the 21st, and the idea that this particular one is of a 24-hour variety (thus necessitating a loong day spent at home) makes my parents wonder, yet again, exactly from whose side of the family I descend. It doesn't bother me. I'm going to enjoy myself with Wuthering Heights, The Sun Also Rises, The Old Man and the Sea, and as much of Ulysses as I can.

The motivation for choosing these particular books is because of the awards. Otherwise, I'd be reading The Absentee, And Then There Were None, etc, which are for another challenge (which finishes June 30th, and which I've read only 2/13 books for. Lovely, eh?). It's all planned out, particularly how I'll actually (hopefully) sleep in on Saturday.

And I'll be blogging during my break times— about a great deal of things, probably, including how tired I am. It will be very interesting, for posterity, to find out what on earth I was thinking at 17.

Monday, April 2, 2012


I must be a really bad person because I haven't even attempted to figure out what to post here for the past two months.

I'm not going to attempt to explain why (it's a mix of plain laziness and a lack of will), but I will say that I'm not going to worry about it.

I'm seventeen years old. I've decided I'm not going to bog my life down with things until I absolutely have to. I'm on the road trip of a lifetime and I'm not going to worry about anything except writing my worlds and reading all the books I can before college.

Which brings me to the fact that, even though I've finally almost-kind-of gotten out of the Riddle Rose rut I've been in since early January, and though I haven't read The Absentee, which has been on the to-read list since late January, I'm not going to worry about it.

Instead, I'm going to focus on finishing the books I've picked up in New Zealand backpacking camp book exchanges. These are the greatest inventions known to mankind.

And I'm going to focus on reviewing those books.

And then I'm going to figure out how to make them qualify as proper blog posts.

Or, in another turn of events, I'm going to finish Riddle Rose. And then I'm going to drop it for a while, perhaps pick it back up in a year or two when I feel properly fortified enough with forgetfulness to read it through. When I finish Riddle Rose, possibly by the end of April, I'm going to work on Pirate Prince. And when I finish that, possibly by the end of May, I'm going to get ready to write a proper novelette. I'm going to aim for 60,000 words for Camp NaNoWriMo, I'm going to figure out what works for me best-- I'm not going to plan the ending, I'm not even going to plan out the first chapter-- just a few characters and a basic plot line. Once I write the first chapter, I'll figure out what happens next. I might even blog about the writing of it.

Or, perhaps, I'll just stare at my laptop screen and reread the PDFs I have on it. It may not be a particularly productive use of time, but... I'm still seventeen, and I won't have the time to do this when I'm eighteen next time this year.

I'll be in college. I still have no idea what I want to study-- perhaps something with education or development. It seems so much easier now to just head off to college than it was five months ago.


What's the fate of this blog going to be?

- Temporary updates on my reading life, rants on reading life, ideas as to why I want to read so many books, books people should read, books I've read and reviews of them... etc.

- Temporary updates on my writing life, rants on writing life, rants as to why I think I can actually write a story... story ideas, possible other stuff.

- Temporary updates on life in general-- like stuff I'm going to do with it.

Sunday, January 29, 2012


Some of the first memories I have of reading are in my parents' bedroom in St. Louis, 'reading' books like Are You My Mother? And Oink! The truth is, I'd memorized them. But I was so proud of myself, knowing how to read at three or four or however old I was.

At eight I was reading all sorts of books from our book cases— we'd started ordering books from Scholastic Inc., for homeschooling, and we got boxes of books before the schoolyear started.

It was… amazing, how many books came. I loved reading. I'd go to the library and read there too.

At ten I started reading animal books. I'm talking 'how to train your dog books,' or 'rabbit care' books. I read about gerbils. I read about budgies, cockatoos, cats, horses… most of the books being from the adult section of the library.

At fourteen though, interest in reading started dimming. I couldn't find books to interest me (looking back on that I wonder how). Though I was still reading, it was nowhere near the book or so a week/month I had been reading before.

I had hit a slump. I didn't notice this slump— I was doing school, having projects (I always had projects, whether it was running an adoptable on or creating a breeding system for a creature I'd just designed), watching TV and surfing the internet (PonyIsland.Net was an obsession of a sort, and probably amounted for more than a bit of my non-reading).

At fifteen, I started having 'required reading.' In the first two weeks of school, I read the Iliad and Shogun (James Clavell), and lost interest in reading for quite some time. In fact, I was so burned out from Shogun (it was… okay. And I read it in three days. 1200 pages in three days.)

I think I read about 20 books in 2010— some of them I've reread since then (Sex, Time, and Power I read October 2011).

One of the best books of 2010 was The Importance of Being Earnest. Yes, it's a play. It's bound in hardcopy. It counts as a book.

In December 2010, though, my cousin Ioana re-introduced me to GoodReads. A friend had sent me a link to it years ago, but I couldn't understand the system at the time, and I think it was much uglier than it is now.

And with the 2011 reading challenge came the idea: 

Can I read 100 books in a year?

I decided to.

I started reading Cișmigiu & Co., a Romanian novel about a young man in highschool in the 1940s. It took me a month to finish the two-part book (the volume also contained another novel by Grigore Băjenaru, Bună Dimineața, Baieti!, which is about being a young schoolteacher), but in the end I managed it.

And then I started reading in earnest. 100 books that year meant about two books a week. 

Until May, I was behind schedule. I read three books in January (two of which were more like 100 pages than actual books), one in February, and finished Cismigiu & Co in March. In April I finished Bună Dimineața, Baieti!

And while we were on the road to Boston for the Religious Olympics (which I won, thus saving my parents a lot of money for what was the best summer camp week ever).

I read 9 books in April (including getting conned into reading The Beach by my dad.)

In May I hated Grapes of Wrath and loved East of Eden, devoured Water for Elephants in time to go see the movie (which was lovely). I discovered Russian novels and raced through Crime and Punishment in three days.

I read Graceling, which is a young adult novel about two people who are graced with a certain strength. The protagonist is graced with Killing, and she meets Po, who's graced with Fighting. The concept of rings in this book was what made it memorable.

I read Nicholas Sparks from May until June, read War and Peace from May to June (marking the first "I'm sick of saying I'm still reading this book so I'm going to finish it" read). I loved Anna Karenina, cried over Gone With the Wind (again), and went into July with The Taming of Lord Astor, which had an interesting instance of dresses making men think a certain way.

July also marked reading The Idiot and The Brothers Karamazov, both by Dostoevsky. I read The Book Thief, which was… amazing.

Other highlights of the year were reading Ubersleep and Kurt Vonnegut. I read a lot of Lois Lowry in August, gave up on One Day, and adored Juliet and A Comedy of Errors.
I managed to finish Middlemarch, which was another "I'm sick of saying I'm still reading this…" book, and Steve Jobs, which was… interesting.

Some of the best books of this year included The Phantom of the Opera, which made me laugh out loud. Room haunted me.

At some point during July, when I'd caught up to schedule, I decided to read 150 books. And then contemplated 175.

But that didn't happen. So I left the goal off for 2012.

And that promptly fell through the roof. In the first two weeks, I found a storage of Judith McNaught novels— romance (only one of the most captivating genres ever)— and devoured 17 books in 15 days.

Clearly, there was a way to read three hundred books or more on this trip.

And it's been great so far.

I'm at a total of 24 books this year, and it's only Day 29!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Some Thoughts on Editing

Up until two weeks ago, if asked whether or not I liked editing, I would have replied with a most definite no.

Now, I'm not so sure.

See… I've been writing Riddle Rose, and when I reached Chapter 9 I realized that there were a few things I wanted to change in the first three chapters before I posted Chapter 9.

And so I went and rewrote all of Chapter 1. I feel a lot better about it now, but I still have Chapters 2 and 3 to edit.

And all of a sudden, I don't want to keep writing until I've hammered out the first eight chapters.

This has never happened to me before. I wrote part of Chapter 10 because I had this lovely idea… but after I finished it I realized it really had nothing to do with the main story line, and that it was probably better off out of the book.

When did this happen? When did my inner editor suddenly get so much power? I don't remember the muse letting him in. I don't remember letting him in.

I never used to edit. Maybe a cursory typo check… but never for real, except when I tried to edit the disastrous remains of what was NaNo'09 (it was so disastrous it didn't have an acceptable title, which NaNo'08 did have). And that was painful. There was no story line beyond following the very strange story of Edward.

But now Riddle Rose does have a story line. It has characters and they have actual motivations now (I think. I was always crap at figuring them out), with a plot that might be somewhat predictable. But I don't care so much if it's predictable— it's fun to write.

It's just that I have this very real fear that if I finish it, I won't want to edit it. It' s happened this way with every thing I've written— I finish and then I don't want to edit.

But Riddle Rose deserves a chance, so I'm editing as I go.

And now I'm starting to wonder if perhaps I didn't make the wrong choice. On the one hand… I've finished writing at least six novels, and edited none of them. 

That's going to change in March, with NaNoEdMo coming along, but I'm trying to figure out how I can edit.

But now I'm starting to wonder… editing at the cost of writing? I'm still writing, but does it really work to write so little on a story? I was writing maybe a chapter a week at the beginning, and now I've put even that on pause so I can edit.

Is this normal? Is it just because I'm writing by chapters, with a separate chapter per Scrivener document? Is it because I'm writing so slowly? Is it because I've dubbed it my 'pet project' and I want it to be as good as it can be? Is it because I've decided to 'learn' how to edit?

Or is it all of these things?

Or is it that I'm simply more interested in these sorts of things now than I ever was before?

Whatever it is…

I guess it's quite good— at least I'm finally going to have a proper ending to a story. XD

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Short Story: The Staircase

This particular story was inspired by Kit's Writing Life post on taking the stairs, which you can read here.

Thanks, Kit!


I come in through the back door, like I always do— I never got around to fixing the stick in the front door— and I hang up the key to the ornate silver lock on the nail your father banged into the wall when he and your mother moved out.

"Hello." I say to your picture on the wall, smiling at your smile, looking away when I meet your eyes because it's too painful to remember right now.

I go about my usual routine when I come home from work… pouring myself a drink and then pouring you one, just so I don't feel so lonely. We chink glasses together, though you don't say anything, and I drain my glass and then yours, because you'll never touch a glass again.

I watch the news, flicking the channels because I'm bored, letting the drinks seep in and give me a hazy sense of well-being that I know will disappear the second I start climbing the stairs.

I brush my teeth in the downstairs bathroom like I have since that, because our two sinks in our bathroom have even more memories than the staircase does.

I linger around downstairs, arranging things in an attempt to stall going upstairs, but then the clock chimes twelve and I know tomorrow will be worse if I don't go to bed now.

I think about getting some sheets out of the closet and sleeping on the sofa, but your eyes are everywhere, and the sofa has memories too, and that portrait of you that your kid sister drew and sent to me last week is there, telling me I'm being stupid.

I resign myself to sleeping in the bedroom, even though it's so lonely without you there I can't fall asleep until two unless I take a sleeping pill. It's too late to take a sleeping pill now, though— I have the early shift in the morning.

The staircase looms over me. The door to our bedroom is on the right as one reaches the top of the landing. I take a deep breath, preparing myself.

Climbing the staircase has gotten harder nowadays. Maybe it's the pain in my knees, or maybe it's all the memories we've infused into them, but climbing the staircase each night gets harder every day.

You probably wouldn't believe me if I told you though… you're so practical that way.

The first step always hits me like the first time I saw you across the room. Your eyes crinkled when you saw me staring at you, and your hand raised its drink. I'd never been so infatuated, but I didn't stop to think about the consequences, and in what seemed like years I finally managed to introduce myself. You grinned and stuck out your hand and said, without any sort of artfulness, "Pleased to meet you."

That's the first step. Sometimes it's the easiest, because I can remember you at the beginning, when we had no idea what was coming afterward… but sometimes it's the hardest, because if it weren't for me, you'd still be crinkling your eyes at people across the room.

I shudder today— today the first step will be the hardest— and I move up to the second. The second was our first date. We kissed on this step on our fifth date… the one when your parents were still peeking out the living room to make sure we didn't do anything stupid. The one where your kid sister was looking down from the balcony to see when you'd come up and talk to her. Your kid sister… I can't even talk to her nowadays when I think of this second step.

But I linger… because your lips were always so soft and your breath was always so sweet, and I want to have it near me along with the teasing words you always used to tell me when I said your family was making me nervous.

At the third step things are getting easier. The next few are always easier… these are the good times, the times when we used to laugh and things were such a whirl of happiness I couldn't stop myself from grinning. Not even at work, when my boss was being what you used to call an asshole, without even considering what an asshole I was to the guy in return. You never seemed to notice the bad things about me, though. I always found that sort of strange…

Never mind. The third step is hard too. The third step is our first argument— the first real, drawn-out one. I can't even remember what it was about, except that I wouldn't talk to you for a week afterward… and then you showed up at the door with flowers.

I can't even remember that, to be honest. I can't remember anything but the tulips. I do remember telling you I'd always liked tulips, but I didn't think you'd recall it. It was in a passing conversation, not even an important one, and we were probably dead tired after exams.

You always studied so hard… I never did. You seemed to want to make something of yourself, but I'd always just wanted to be spoiled.

You spoiled me. I remember all the ways you used to spoil me. The fourth step always makes me smile and cry a bit— you used to bring me little trinkets you'd found, or little things you'd made with your hands… I still have them. I have them up everywhere. After… after that, I took them all out of the boxes and the drawers and off the shelves, and I have them all on a shrine.

You'd laugh if you could see it, but it's there. I'll never forget you with that shrine.

Sometimes I'm afraid I will… it's when things get too hard to bear and I get cowardly.

And then I can't remember that little scar you have just above your temple— I scratched you once and I've never been able to forget it… you laughed when it happened, but then the blood came pouring.

I'd forgotten how much blood there can be from a head wound. And then you laughed when I tried to wash it off, and you laughed— you always used to laugh so much… but I can't… don't want to remember these things. I miss you too much and nothing's coming out the way it should any more. Everything reminds me of you, dammit. Everything. Even my breakfast cereal. Even that breakfast cereal you always told me wasn't healthy enough. You were always so conscientious… you always worried about my health…

My family's had a history of early death due to— but enough about death. Suddenly I hate this fourth step. What business does it have reminding me of you? Sometimes, when I get to the fifth step, I want to forget. I want to forget everything that you ever were or ever represented, or all the reasons I loved you. The fifth step is when we had our second real argument… it's when you finally stopped shouting and broke down and told me we were getting married.

I couldn't believe you when you said that— I'd been rushing up these steps, and then you stopped me and said, "Come back down. We're getting married. Today. Now. I can't keep waiting for you."

I thought you were crazy and I told you so, but then I sat down on this fifth step, looking down at you, hating you for making me feel as if you meant it.

"I mean it." You said, your eyes smiling and crinkling the way they did when we met… and it hit me just as hard as the first time.

On the sixth step, after we got married and your parents had moved out— they'd always wanted to move out… this damn house probably held just as many memories for them as it does for me now, on the sixth step you kept saying you loved me, and all I could think of was taking your clothes off.

I wish I could hear your voice now… saying those words again. I miss you so much. I miss hearing your laugh at lunch— you always came home for lunch…

And I miss you when you cry at sentimental bits in movies— even more when you try to pass it off as dust in your eye because you think crying's babyish. You always did think that. Sometimes I watch your favorite movies just to torture myself.

The seventh step is the little things. Your toothbrush next to mine, the hairs in the shower and on the sink. The smell of your deodorant.

That stupid way you had of saying hello when you came from work…

The way you slung your clothes off when you were tired, leaving them haphazardly on the floor. For me to clean up. Sometimes I hated cleaning up after you.

Sometimes I wonder if I'll ever feel the way you made me feel.

The eighth step is the last easy step. After this… everything falls apart. I try and stand here as long as possible… partially to give my knees a rest, partially to stave off the loneliness that comes with the ninth step. The ninth step is the most painful after the twelfth. The ninth step always makes me shudder and hate everything that's ever happened to us.

But I'm still on the eighth step, and I can't fix anything about what's coming afterward.

Sometimes I want to turn around and go right back down the stairs. I sometimes have… sometimes when I don't have the courage to keep going… but there's pictures of you everywhere downstairs, laughing, taunting eyes that make me keep taking steps, even when all I want to do… all I ever wanted to do, is be near you. 

The eighth step is the bliss when you found out we were pregnant. You couldn't do anything but rush around and tell everyone you knew— "We're pregnant," you'd said, beaming, your arm around me. You always wanted to touch some part of me, especially when you were emotional. 

The baby was supposed to come in May. We spent so much time at the baby stores… you used to pick out everything that you thought the baby would like— yellow, because we wanted to be surprised… you used to laugh at my choices for carriers… always thought they were so pointless. You wanted to hold our baby all the time, you said, and you laughed when I said your arms would get tired.

You made plans, you stopped me from making too many.

It's a happy pain, this remembering, but my heart isn't as good as it used to be— it can't take this as much as it could— and I step up one more step.

We lost the baby in November. I'm not sure who was more heartbroken, you or I, when the doctor came in and shook his head. Your hand was clutching mine, or maybe my hand was clutching yours, and we couldn't believe it, even when the doctor explained that falling down these stairs— damn these stairs!

We didn't use stairs without holding tight to each other for months afterward.

We couldn't, not after the baby. We put away all the clothes we'd bought for our little one at about the same time we stopped clutching hands when we climbed the stairs.

"If we ever try again," you said fiercely, "the new baby won't have this baby's clothes. These are this baby's."

I felt the same way, so I didn't say anything.

The tenth step got easier, and things went along admirably. We went back to work— started saving up for more vacation time for the next baby.

On the eleventh step it was our fifth anniversary. I loved seeing your face light up in the morning. You looked so happy, so sleepy, and I couldn't stop myself from kissing you good morning longer than I usually did.

"Hello." You said, your eyes crinkling.

Sometimes I wish I'd never met you when I get to this eleventh step. If I hadn't met you, I wouldn't be climbing this staircase. My heart wouldn't be pounding like this, and my throat wouldn't feel so raw.

Sometimes I think I should sell the house, but you made me promise in the hospital — I hate that word now — that I wouldn't. And I haven't broken a promise I've made to you yet.

I'm still keeping my marriage vows after— but I don't want to think about that before I have to.

I ascend to the twelfth step.

The grief is still just as bad as it was when we went over the embankment. I was driving. I should have been looking where we were going, but I wasn't— we were both just as devastated as we'd been on the ninth step, and you weren't looking at me very much. Tears were blurring my eyes, but you were in a worse state than I was, and you couldn't drive.

We should have stayed in the parking lot of that damned hospital, but we couldn't stand the place.

We were driving home, and I looked over at you, and all of a sudden the car lurched.

And then I was awake in the ambulance and they were telling me I had to talk to you… and that's when you made me promise I wouldn't give up, and that I'd not sell the house…

 I remember telling you not to talk, trying to make you be quiet with a kiss, but you wouldn't stop talking, wouldn't stop telling me that you loved me, and my brain couldn't comprehend anything at that moment except that your head was bleeding more than it had when I scratched it.

"PROMISE ME," you said in an awful whisper, "that you won't… give up."

I promised. What was there to give up on?

Now I know.

Your hand went limp in mine, and for a second I couldn't understand it.

And then I did and all this grief came crashing down on me.

I was numb.

Then, when I wasn't numb any longer, when I realized I had to go back to work and pretend as if nothing had happened… but it had happened.

And everyone knew it. Everyone was looking at me with these… pitying stares.

I took a leave of absence and I almost gave up.

Your eyes… I covered them all up. The entire house was black. The only color was in the yellow liquid I poured into my glass every night. Sometimes even the liquid was black.

Sometimes I realized that something wasn't right… that this reeked of 'giving up,' but I couldn't make myself stop.

Numbness was better. Numbness was ten times better than that soul-ache.

You would have laughed, maybe, to hear me say 'soul-ache,' and thinking of that made me remember my promise.

I got back to life. I don't know how I did it, except I had this damn determination to do it so I wouldn't break my promise.

I'm on the thirteenth step now… have been since I realized you wanted me to go on without you.

Without you… they're the loneliest words I've ever heard. I turn around to look back at the stairs. At the bottom your portrait is there, only you're smiling at me as if you know I understand now.

I don't want to understand. Going on without you… I want to be with you, even if it's in oblivion. In numbness I can do that, but I sense sometimes that you'd be disappointed if you knew I was numbing the pain.

But then, you never quite understood soul-ache. You always smiled when you heard about it. You never had it. Your parents are alive… your mother has your eyes when she smiles. I don't see your parents any more, by the way. 

Sometimes I wonder what you'd have done if you'd been in my place and I'd been in yours.

Your eyes tell me the answer. You would have let yourself slip down the stairs. I'd have hated you for it. You wouldn't have cared.

I look down at the stairs for a moment, contemplating jumping over the balustrade. My knees aren't good enough to jump, but maybe I can crash down on the carpet underneath.

Then I remember you hated getting that carpet dirty, and I realize I don't have the courage.

It's a dilemma. I don't have the courage to go on living without you… but I don't have the courage to die to be with you.

Maybe some day I'll get out of this limbo… be able to stop contemplating falling down over that balustrade every time I reach the thirteenth step. Every time I reach the landing.

Maybe some day I won't feel so empty.