Amanda Westbrook. 20. West Palm Beach, FL. All I want is the sea.

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  • makes trips to Sonic for me for my special banana cream pie shake, just to see me smile
  • gently rubs my back before we fall asleep in each other’s arms
  • takes me to the sea when i have no words for him
  • holds me in the shower when my jack daniel’s can’t comfort me any longer and i end up sobbing about old problems that still plague the abysses of my mind
  • gives me my space, but always reminds me he’s there, still in love
  • is easily the most intelligent man i know (save for my father)
  • grows his beard out for me even when he reminds me constantly that it’s painful as all hell
  • meows back at me when i purr and meow at him
  • responds to my stupid whimsical pet names, my favorite being “my pretty princess cat!”
  • lets me terrorize his cats with love
  • always tries to make the simplest of trips into a mini-adventure
  • tells me i’m beautiful when i make ugly faces
  • jokes around as much as i do
  • lets me touch his butt
  • urges me to continue living my life and i think that’s most important of all because if i have him and he has me and we have each other, i fear nothing.

There are so many thoughts that run through this uncensored mind of mine and I have absolutely no say in any of it. I can’t turn it off, I can’t ignore it, and so I sit and deal with each problem as my mind creates them. And believe me, my mind never runs out of new material. May be the same problems, but there are always new factors to be considered and seriously mulled over until my eyes give way to the darkness. Five oh’ five in the fucking morning, and here I sit, eyes trained on the ceiling, dealing with another fucking problem.

My fingers twitch and itch to type my feelings. My throat feels horrendously tight. I try to clear it several times before I realize it’s a lost cause and I give up trying. Still one more tiny ahem spouts out through my semi-parted lips. They are chapped. Blistered. The cold affects them so. Licking them worsens the condition they’re in, but I can’t help it. It’s habit. My goddamned fingers are trembling. Trembling because they need to type so much. They need to explain everything. They need to rationalize this fucking feeling I have. When I first layed my wide eyes on you. They wanted immediately. They wanted everything to do with you.

My fingers don’t tremble as much now, but if I had your hand, they would never tremble again. I feel better. Putting some fucking sense down. It doesn’t even make any sense at all.

I start shaking again, but I realized now, your hand is cupped in mine. Is it possible I ended up with everything I dreamed could be?

Mother always stated, fight for what you want, fight until your little heart gives out. What if fighting isn’t the best option? What does one do then?

The sea snatched the unsuspecting child. It swept him out of his anxious stance and carried him until he lost sight of the shore. He put up a meek fight, a child’s fight. He kicked. He punched and splashed. The waves slammed into him, repeatedly. Knocked his soul out of him. Sucked his spirit out. He was not the same child when the sea returned him to the shore. Placed him gently back on his feet, even splashed his hair, equivalent to a pat on the head. The boy grew up and was never the same. He grew up with calloused skin. Salted. He was different. Winded.

I crafted it carefully, whittled my intricate designs throughout the page. My print lied snug in the pages, like sleeping lions in their den. Disturbed they roar and rattle their cages. Disturbed, they rattle the mind.

I stared into the loops and crosses of the dream catcher I made when I was nine. It still hangs above my bed. Purple base, white string, pink feathers, grey star, moon, and clouds. After all this time, I can’t recall one time it spared me from a nightmare. It sucked none of the negativity from my dreamland. I believe I crafted it incorrectly. Stupid nine year-old self.

I have a propensity to drink too much. I grew up watching my parents slam drink after drink and I swore I would never let alcohol pass my innocent lips. I grew up watching my grandparents inhale cigarette after cigarette, smoke lingering in the air above their heads, settling in their hair, my hair, my clothes, their clothes. I swore I detested it so much, I would never touch a cigarette to my innocent lips. Yet I smoke regularly, letting the smoke drift in my body and escape through my nostrils. My older sister mocked me, condescendingly telling me that it was just natural, that she did it and she liked it. She said it was in our genes. Well, I know now that’s bullshit, but I do enjoy the inhibitors. They make me forget about those younger days. I’ll forget them all eventually.

I wish I could plunge my hovering knife into society’s back.

I whispered in the darkness to the ominous stranger. He lingered by my closet and I was fully aware and alert of his presence and the danger he conveyed. I whispered on. He was growing impatient with my prattling and started ripping my clothes from the hangers and spewing them this way and that. I continued, only an octave above the ruckus he was making. He grew angrier at my futherance and stomped over to where I lied. He raised his molded, decrepit finger to my lips, leaned in close - close enough that I could taste his soured breath in my mouth, (I was sure I would hurl) - and released a prolonged “shh” onto my face. My eyes teared when I knew he was upon me. What could I do then? My babble had gotten me in a predicament again. He dragged his finger from my lips down my night shirt, idled there against my bare chest.
He plucked his finger up suddenly and reached in his black frock. “Aah, here it is. Now we can start the festivities, my dear dear beauty.” A box of matches. The figure removed his fedora and placed it on my stomach. “We shall light up.” And with that, he flicked his wrist in a way that sounded as if it had snapped, and the match was ablaze. “Here’s to the new year, beauty.” He tossed the match right on top of me and by god, I couldn’t move. All I could do was continue to whisper. It burned a hole in my chest so deep. It seeped right through my body, through the mattress, dropping down to the floor. It sizzled out. The circle that the fire left smoldered. I winced as I fingered at it, and the man, farther back now, just grinned. “Dear. We are one and the same now.” He dropped his head low and graciously lent out his hand. I didn’t know what choice I had, so I returned a hand into his. He whisked me out of my burnt bed and where we went - it was hotter.

Thoughts from the corner, thoughts from the coroner.

Affording space at a cost.

Waging war in my control system. Tiny cannon fire slices through the cortex. Small horses trod around up there, imprinting hoof marks in the squishy areas. I can feel this jumble going on. Gunpowder coats the whole battle area; any sparks from you and the whole goddamn thing could go to hell. Suddenly, a stray wind from the ear canal lets in a whisper. A whisper of your name. Time seemed to slow and a ticking sound grew louder. That baby went up like a firework on the Fourth of July.

I practically inhaled the iced flask, spilling most of it down my chin. I wiped the escaped liquor off with the back of my sleeve. I was so out of breath that it hurt to swallow.
“How’s that rye going down?” He commented, more likely than not because of my current facial expression.
“Just right, I reckon. I didn’t really taste much at’all.” I spit the frothy slaver from the edge of my lips, pursed and took another enormous gulp. I slammed the rest of the booze, only a couple of sips, and set the flask gingerly on the wooden table. “Thanks fer your troubles, sir.”


I have set aside some things. Take the plant I keep on my bedroom windowsill; it’s yours. I also want you to have my fish, I know he’s always been fond of you. I figure you will both get chilled in the winter, so please keep each other company.

How are things over there? I haven’t heard back in awhile. I bet it’s warm. It’s unreasonably bitter here. My skin is never without goosebumps, my nose never without a small drip, like my leaky bathroom faucet. I would love to hear back before the sky turns too dark here. We haven’t much time. I love you and hope to hear back.

xoxo, yours