Why I Write

There is nothing that keeps me awake at night more than words. Because of them, I toss and turn ceaselessly, hoping not to disturb my mom as she snores softly beside me. I try to stop the words from flashing through my mind as they build phrases then sentences then paragraphs until, finally, I give in. The words don’t stop unless they become something I can’t wait to put on paper.

“I’ll write this in my next article,” I think to myself. “Maybe, just maybe, I can make a difference.”

And that’s what I can do with words. Every day I walk into my journalism class, though I am exhausted by the strings of words that kept me awake the night before, I choose to use them for good. Some people find freedom speeding down the highway at midnight, but I find freedom in my writing. What I cannot say, I know I can write. I use that freedom not only to express my innermost thoughts but to try and move the people in my community to make a difference in their lives and in the lives of others.

Whether I’m writing about teenage homelessness in South Florida or the endless bloodshed in Syria, I find great satisfaction in keeping the students of my school and the local community educated about issues going on in the world. Creating conversation excites me. It moves me to write even more, seeking to find local stories in the globality of my writing and, vice versa, scavenging ways to make my local stories more global.

I spend most nights sitting in front of my computer screen, fussing over comma splices and fragmented sentences because I want my message to come across eloquently; I work hard so that my readers can indulge sentence after sentence without interruption as I immerse them across seas and into the battlefields where the greatest violations of human rights occur. Then I shift them back into reality, showing them that there is something that can be done, something that they, themselves, can do.

And so, as my mom sleeps quietly beside me, I rise from our bed and pick up my laptop. I sit in the bathtub so that the click-clack of the keys do not wake her and I turn down the harsh glare of the brightness to a soft glow. I allow my thoughts to take hold of my fingers and I type away into the night where the world unfolds before me, beckoning to be put in words.

Halloween is Here

“It’s that time of year again—the time when we seek the darkness, only to have the unknown hiding in the shadows come out and scare the bejeezus out of us. It’s the time when little children innocently put their hands in bowls full of candy and run when terrifying house decorations come to life; it’s the time when ghost stories are shared amongst the youth, making them tremble in fear.

The month of Halloween has finally arrived, and, as always, people are excited”

Source: Halloween is Here

Airplanes

You know what I love most?

When everybody is asleep

and the streets are quiet and empty.

Your thoughts are in full swing

when suddenly

a plane flies over your house.

Even your mind is quiet

as you anticipate the end of the loud roar.

And in that very moment

it’s just you and the plane

and the thought of where it

may take you someday.

 

AP Biology Musings

It has only been three years, yet I feel like I have been in high school forever—a painful, agonizing eternity. And what’s worse than sitting in a desk day after day, wishing and hoping to leave this purgatory? Finally getting to leave, cap and gown in hand, only to have the rest of our lives pass us by in a heart beat…

“You! Explain to the class what the electron transport train is.”

And just like that, I’m back in this godforsaken chair.  I clear my throat and proceed to answer Mr. Sullivan’s question. Erm, demand.

“Uh. A chain that transports electrons?”

With a furrow of the brows, Mr. Sullivan turns to the person sitting next me. As if on cue, Pepper fluffs her hair as she explains in full detail about something that I will probably never encounter again in my life—at least not as an English major. Satisfied that one person in the class has been paying attention, Mr. Sullivan turns back to the board where his doodles of indecipherable biological processes awaited him. And I…returned to my journal.

What Haunts Me

The red carpet path, down the aisle, towards the one

is where I fear I’ll walk alone.

The absence of an absent father, a daughter of none.

White, wedding gowns.  Wet with tears.

Droplets of regret. Longing for love.

Who will walk me down the aisle?

My uncle, my cousin, my brother? Perhaps, my mother.

But not even she can fill the you-shaped hole

in my chest.

Fine Lines

Poems have been the subject of my english class for the past 3 weeks now. And despite how much I thought I’d dislike poems, I actually enjoy them. Consequently, the following is an assignment that I had a little too much fun with. 

To love is to see

To love is to see through all my regrets,

The pain from underneath my chest, and it’s

Endless distress. Oh, how, I want to dress

My best for you, though I can’t quite admit

That I am not the one for you—it’s true.

Bright pearls, tight curls, rich worlds. That is not me.

And with these words I leave your world askew:

You see, we just can’t be. For that I’m sorry.

 

To hate is to adore too much, so much.

And there remains a line, too fine, because

I love. You hate. And we’ll never be enough.

And so I leave you here with your drink, your crutch,

As I decide to walk away from us.

The Murder House of Lucy Brooks

A strange girl about my age stood on the corner; the corner of the living room in which I was standing. This living room, along with the rest of the house, has been kept in a time capsule since the 1920s— as was the girl.

She had a short boyish haircut which ironically accentuated her female features.  Her hair was midnight black and her skin was pale from powder. Her eyebrows were plucked into a soft arch darkened by a black eyebrow pencil, which seems like one of the many makeup tools she used. Her lips were bloody red and her upper lip had the shape of the loopy part of a lower case m. Her cheeks had a hint of cotton candy pink. A porcelain doll would be envious of her. When I saw her eyes, I was thrown back. They were violet. Never in my life have I seen violet eyes. I stared at them in wonder as she stared at me back.

I shuddered.

I broke the eerie eye contact and noticed her clothes for the first time. I didn’t notice before that she was wearing what seemed to be the remains of a once elegant and a once ivory colored dress. Now it was torn and looked as if it was dragged through dirt. The dress was modest, reaching just below the knees where dirty earth-caked pearls lined along the hem disappearing into ruffled fabric towards the back.  The dress was accessorized with long necklaces of the same deathly pearls.

Suddenly, a dark color of red caught my attention; it was to her side. I leaned to the side and saw even more red. Then the realization came to me… dried blood decorated the back of her dress. I gasped and took a few steps back, bumping into the tourists behind me. They were annoyed by me. Couldn’t they see her too? I looked back to her disturbingly doll-like face. A large teardrop was halfway down her cheek. She then turned slowly, exposing the large gash still oozing fresh blood and walked into the wall disappearing right before me. I was flabbergasted. What did I just see? I looked down to my brochure; in bold cursive words the title said “The murder house of Lucy Brooks.”

It’s a Dog-Eat-Dog World

I was in the backyard, digging up my cache of stolen goodies when I smelled her. Her scent was one that I never encountered before: a sweet yet woodsy smell.  I followed the trail of the odor, keeping my head up high to catch a stronger wiff of her. I trotted towards the front of the house and there she was, standing at Sam’s doorstep while swaying back and forth. I was overjoyed with excitement. So much so that my whole body wiggled as I ran towards her. Oh goody! I thought. A guest! A guest! But right when I was about to nudge my head on the left side of her leg, she jumped back and hit me with her purse. Instantly, I growled. Instantly, Sam opened the door to smack me on the head. My tail found itself between my hind legs as I watched him invite her inside, closing the door on my nose.

Immediately I ran to the backyard. I squeezed in through the doggy door and immediately caught a wiff of my attacker’s scent and meandered through the house in search of her. I entered the living room and found the wretched beast on my spot at the couch. Oh, how that boiled my blood. Who dares to strike me and claim what is mine? I watched her from across the living room until Sam joined her on the couch with a bottle of wine. Why must Sam be fooled by her pretty exterior? Seeing him googly eyed over this woman disgusted me. I wanted to get rid of her.

The next day she visited again. Again she would make Sam push me aside. She wore a knee-lengthed dress and it was cute, as humans would say, but I ran to her and tore the lower part of her flower patterned dress. Ha! That’ll teach her, I thought. But Sam didn’t understand that I was trying to protect him. He pushed me out the front door into the scorching Floridian sun where I would pace back and forth plotting my next revenge.

Just then I heard a rustle in the rose bushes. My ears perked up and detected the source of the sound. It was a grey rat—the perfect gift for our little guest. I entered the house again through the back door with the rat limp in my mouth. I happily trotted into the living room and placed the rat at the foot of the couch. Then I hid. Five minutes later, came the beast into the living room and sat on the couch in my spot, precisely where I placed my surprise. As I expected, the most shrilling scream engulfed the quiet of the house. Right when I was about to bark my declaration of victory, I felt a violent tug at my collar. It was Sam and he was dragging me outside—outside to the shed. He pushed me in and waved his finger at me, “Bad dog!” and shut the door leaving me in the darkness. Alone.  I guess I didn’t win this battle after all.

Seconds

I wrote this in my English class today and now I have to extend it to 500 words, but it feels so perfect the way it is now. Sigh. Wish me luck. 

I remember it well. I was walking to the drugstore on 5th avenue when you brushed past me, touching my arm for only a moment before you were gone—like many others have before. But this time it was different. I couldn’t help but feel that I was meant to know your name, that I was meant to call it out and bring you back to me, but I didn’t. I didn’t because you were the stranger and I was the unlucky pedestrian that you walked past, gracing my life only for a second. A second. That’s all the time in the world for you to turn it upside down. And you did.

Alejandro

There he was, standing before me after five years of wondering how he’s been, who he’s been with, and if I had ever crossed his mind.

His short haircut transformed to one similar to mine—long cascading waves. There was only one difference: he had pink highlights. His smile was the same though; it was the same smile that I wanted to kiss when I was merely 11 years old. But this time, his lips were coated in bright red lipstick. The t-shirts and khaki capris he wore when we were kids gave way to a tight mini-dress meant to accentuate his almost non-existent curves.

As I walked closer and closer to him, I watched him talk to a group of tall, flat-chested girls with abnormally broad shoulders. When he laughed, he bashfully hid his smile behind his hand. When he spoke, his voice strained as he tried to speak an octave higher. When he stood, he shifted his weight from one hip to the other.

I was so close now that I could narrow the distance between us with three wide steps, but I hesitated. They were all so beautiful: each carried themselves with class, elegance, and confidence. They were sure of themselves; their search for identity resolved long ago.

I took a deep breath and finally closed the distance between us.

“Alejandro,” I began. “Remember me?” My heart fluttered when the young boy I had once known and loved flipped his hair in my direction.

“Just call me Alex,” she said.