Art…

 

For some Wish was mereason I love drawing this girl.

I do see myself, but I also see someone I wish I was. Its like this girl is at war with herself, this one in particular…

She is confident but shy. She is simple but vibrant. She is peaceful, but containing her wild side.

I feel this way all the time. Wanting to be one thing but afraid what will be the repercussion. No matter how I portray myself I am terrified.

So to me this picture is saying, “Be Brave…” which is what I say every morning I begin my day.

(Also I wish my hair was this color…)

The Eating Machine.

I have been doing this calorie counting app for about 2 months now. I am not using it as a way to diet or lose weight I was just more curious about what I was eating. As an athlete I could eat anything and it didn’t matter. But now as I eat this Greek Honey Yogurt I ponder on why I am eating it….

I’m hungry! And even if it takes up 300 of my calorie intake I will eat it anyways. Because I am one weird eating machine…

Saturday I ate the right amount of calories and I stayed the same weight. Monday I ate not enough calories and I gained weight. And Yesterday I ate too many calories (insert evil laugh, “Mwahahaha”) and I lost a pound. I don’t get it. Even my brother told me I was eating too much for dinner, but I was hungry so I ate it all! 

I know it won’t be like this forever, but I still find it odd…the funny part is the app graphs your weight as chart, and mine looks like jagged/vampire teeth…

I know this is a weird post, but it’s what was on my mind at the moment…It’s kinda funny to me. 🙂

A Story: Part 10

A Story: Part 9

Sun…the brightest sun yet pierces my eyelids. The beach again; I had wished I might dream about the forest. Strange…I know that day was reality and not a dream; I can feel the stabbing splinters in my knees from the mulch. Also, I have had many dreams of the sky and I have never imagined it so blue. There were small hints pink, purple, and yellow hues hinted through the sky. The soft white clouds seemed to float aimlessly through the breeze without a care. It was peaceful; it was adventure. Instead, I know I am back on that stupid nightmare beach; again, probably to be tortured by my mind, David, or both.

Blaring heat surges through my body, and I press my body deeper into the cloth beneath me; it must be Danny’s.  “Danny…” tears whirl up inside me as I think about that little boy who didn’t know there was a reality beyond that evil red door. He never experienced the sky, birds, or sounds of peace. He lives inside me, but never free…just like me.

Far off steps come towards me; slow and softly, trying to sneak towards me. “David…” my body tightens and I grip the material beneath me and my palms begin sweating. They said my neck was from someone powerful; could David be this powerful? “Is that why he lives in my brain, but still lingers in the foreground never surrendering?” The pain and worry stir my head into chaos.

The steps keep coming, and I can no longer take the suspense. My eye open and I lunge up and prepare…

“David…” his mangled but strong body comes towards me. He looks to be alive but dead in all senses. He looks strong though in this ugly state. And he continues towards me not faltering or stumbling this time, but slow and steady towards his prey.

“David? What do you want?” my body is wavering, so I dig my feet deeper into the sand. That will hold me for a while. “David!?!”

He is about ten feet away and he stops. His dead eyes travel up to mine and they stare deep inside me. His arms tense and he bring his hands up level with my neck and his hands tense into talons. Then he continues towards me.

My mind is blurring and my limbs are wavering, but I hold my ground. “David! Stop. Talk to me.”

He stops. His eyes flicker a moment before continuing his march…

“David?” this human who has tried to kill me several times, and been the cause of other’s deaths…I step towards him.

He stops suddenly and his face contorts to an expression of…fear. He steps back once too, to regain his balance. His eyes spark life and they search my face. His body is tense and looks to be in a state of fight or flight.

“David?” I keep moving towards him. Small enough steps to keep a distance just in case, but I continue to close the gap. “David…” what was that…The smallest of tears ran down his face before he whisked it away from my sight.  “David?” and I extend my palm towards him.

He stands stilled in his tensed perch; he looks to be at war with himself. I am only a few steps away and I can hear the raspy whisper of his breath. I can see the blood and mud smeared skin. I can smell the many smells he has been covered with. “How long has he been like this? Is this what it is like in my dreams for the many essences in my mind…? Danny…?” my mind beginning to fog.

My palm touches David’s jawline, and he face is cold and rough. He looks old and worn this close, and his eyes show a hint of sadness. There is a track in the mud upon his face where the tear scurried down. My face inches from his…his body begins to shake…either fear or…

“David? Speak to me…” I say in the softest voice, not wanting to scare or change his mood.

“J…J…Jan…”

“JANE!” an invisible hand grasps my shoulder and pulls me back into reality.

My eyes open instantly and I am back in that dampened tree trunk room. A pair of hands still shaking my shoulders to awaken me.

“Stop it!” and I shove the hands away without thinking.

The body falls of the bed, and onto the floor.

A thud is all I hear. “David?” I think before anything else…why did I have to come back now…

“Are you all right?” the voice, from the body still sitting on the floor asks.

The voice brings me back into reality, the voice…Liam.

I swing my body towards his form and produce my chest over the ledge of the bed, just above him. He sits there collapsed on the floor, head down with his long locks cascading around his face.

Liam… “Umm…uh…”

His head jolts up and his eyes look directly into mine, like he can see through me. His hair falls down around his neck and he sits there without noise looking at me.

Without know why I fling my body back away from him, his eyes seemed to pierce my soul. No one has ever look as intently and focused at me before. It made my chest well up inside, but also with a mixed in feeling of fear.  I sit holding my knees frantically in the middle of the bed, trying to calm myself.

Liam’s body moves, and he stands before me. His body towers next to me, and it seems like if he were to extend a little more he would hit his head on the ceiling. He stands there awkwardly a moment before sitting on the edge of the bed next to me.

Every movement he makes I notice…the way his hand places itself within inches of my foot to brace his body. How as he releases a long breath his back slumps and relaxes ever so slightly. How when he breaths his hair flutters from his breath. How his eyes search my face then the room, before focusing again on me.

“Liam…” I say and his eyes jump to mine, his eyes alive and excited. But more like and excited fear.

“I didn’t know if you would remember or not,” his voice is different from before, deeper but more like a whisper.

Silence fills this little room. Even with another person to gain so much more info I feel like I can and cannot trust him. I want to know more, but I do not want to be lied to by him. “Liam? Why did you pull me out of my dreams?” The only thing I can think of to ask…

His face changes slightly, “Sorry for the harsh awakening. I tried to wake you but you didn’t respond and I was worried you were gone. The only way I could think of was to wake you was with force. Are you alright?”

So he didn’t wake me because of my dream, but because I did not wake. Strange it seemed like he was pulling me out of my dream by force to end it. Realizing I hadn’t answered him, “I am fine, I just wanted to finish my dream…” never knew I would ever say that about my nightmare beach…

“Was it a good dream? I am sorry to take you out of your peace.” His eyes clouded with sadness.

“It was an interesting one. Just an experience I wanted to know how it would end…but it’s fine, really.” Trying to end this conversation, because I don’t want to have to lie to him about anymore dreams.

Silence again creeps into the room. I feel content with the silence, because I don’t want to start another conversation and Liam seems to be a war with his mind. Instead, I watch his eyes change. They go from a sadness, to excitement, to fear, to determination, to nothing in seconds. His eyes are still the beautiful orange color. With every different emotion the ablaze in his eyes liquefies and switches to another. They seem to dance and spark with his emotions. His body lets out another breath and his eyes focus again on mine.

However, my eyes were already staring into his so when his eyes meet mine they show excitement and a hint of fear at once, making the flames sparkle. We sit there in silence pouring into each other’s eyes. Trying to discern anything without speaking.

“Jane…” he says…

“Liam…what are you doing?” a voice enters the atmosphere and our bodies tense. Liam turns to face to voice, as he does his body reveals the small girl from before standing in the door frame. She is holding a bowl of water and a towel over her arm. A small whiff of honey and peaches seeps into the room.

“Penny…” Liam says without thought…and he sharply turns towards me. The small girl of honey and peaches, drops the bowl, sloshing the water all over the ground, and the bowl clatters unbroken. Liam’s body is over me. His eyes dance with fear. “Jane…you must not say you know her name. Please, don’t call her by name!”

The voice of the old man comes into the room as Liam pulls his body away from mine. The old man is just that an old man. But his body suggest much pain and war, but it also shows his strong nature and stubbornness. His arms and legs are scarred and beaten. But he still looks strong enough to kill if need be. “Child are you alright?” he asks the small fragile girl, as she stand carelessly stilled and frozen with fear.

She cannot or will not answer him. The man’s eyes travel from hers, to Liam’s, to mine. His eyes are dark blue, with a hint of brown. But mostly darkness produces from his eyes, and they tear into mine in search of a reason.  I look away, because I don’t want him to know anything about me, I don’t trust his eyes.

Liam is the first to speak, “I am sorry for the commotion. She,” gesturing to Penny, “did not expect me to be in here. She was startled by my presence and so she dropped the bowl.”

Liam said that quite effectively and without wavering. He is an excellent liar…The old man seemed to buy the story and his body relaxed a small amount. His eyes still lingered over my body and I could feel his glare barring down into me. However, he turned back to Penny.

She was not a good liar, her body was still shaking with fear and she seemed to be about to burst into tears…

“So, who are you?” my voice breaks before her sobs do. Liam’s body stiffens and Penny’s face contorts to fear, but it silences her sobs.

The old man turns back to me, and I prepare my eyes for his intensive gaze. His eyes drill into me; his expression telling me I will not know this answer. He steps towards me and the room seems to shrink in size. He is larger than he looked and as he came forward his body straighten to almost match Liam’s height. Liam still stands beside my bed, but his body tries to stay firm in this man’s way; however, as the old man nears Liam moves to give way to the man’s destination.

I feel so small on this bed, as the old man towers over me. Liam is no longer able to be seen around this massive body, and Penny is silent. The man hesitates slightly before racing out a hand to clasp my shoulder.

All my strength is gone, but I can feel everything. A whirling fire soars through my body. It’s like a current of pain reaching ever crevasse of my figure. It feels like a snake is slithering through my veins in search of something. I lose all sense of sight and I fall into darkness, but I am still conscious. My essence falls into my subconscious and, “What…?”

There in my mind stands an apparition of the old man. He is wandering into my thoughts searching for something. “How is this possible?” I think to myself hoping he is not able to hear my thoughts. Every step the man takes I can feel. I can feel his eyes drill into my memories. However, I close off the tunnel to my dreams. Those are mine. I stand from afar watching him. He aimlessly wanders, but he is determined…

“This must be strange for you?”

“That voice… David,” and David’s body metalizes beside me. I feel fear, anger, and sadness towards him. “How…why…?”

He just looks at me, and I know he won’t answer. “How do you like someone else wandering inside your brain who is alive still?”

True. All the lives inside my brain are there because I put them there, this man is here because he put himself here. “David,”

He doesn’t acknowledge me, but he does smile a wicked smile in the old man’s direction. Without moving David vanishes and appears behind the old man.

“DON’T!” My voice cuts across to the old man and he vanishes before David’s hands clasp his throat. All around me is fading and all I see is David’s body bowing towards me like, he is commending his action for me in some way. Again darkness fills my mind and I lay alone in blackness.

“What happened?” Liam’s voice enters the void. “Are you alright?”

A scuffle and noises come too as my eyesight returns. There in the chair next to bed is the old man. But he looks smaller and fragile; he looks to be fifty years older. Liam is next to him trying to revive him. Penny is across the room getting more water. She returns to place a wet cloth on his forehead and she mumbles something and the old man surrenders to the cold water. His body relaxes and sinks into the chair.

I am flat on my back laying on the bed. I lift my head to see better, and Liam sees my movement. He quickly moves to my side and whispers in my ear, his breath warm, “lay quietly, do not stir until we move him…I will come back.” He lifts his head and his eyes find mine; he is telling the truth. I close my eyes and lay stilled upon the bed. But my eyes stay sharp listening to my surroundings.

“Come quickly!” Liam calls out and feet shuffle down the stairs and many new bodies enter the room. “Take him to his own room,” Liam says, as his body slowly moves out of the room.

I feel alone again. Grunts and winces sound next to me as I can sense many men lift the old man to carry him from the room. I lay as perfectly still as possible.  But before the forms move away one says, “She is beautiful.” I wonder to whom he was speaking…

The bodies carefully leave the room and climb the stairs; I hear them until they are too far and I am again left in silence. I am unsure if I am alone so I stay laying, eyes closed, and alone in this room until Liam returns.

I hear a shuffle of steps across the room, but without knowing who I lay stilled and frozen.  I am terrified, because I don’t want to die. Steps continue towards me and a hand places itself caringly over my mouth. My eyes open and there is Liam, suppressing my mouth to tell me to be quiet. His eyes are glazed over; I cannot read his feelings. He removes the hand and he collapses onto the bed again beside me. This time, however, his body hunches over and he rests his head between his knees to slow his breathing. I resituate myself into a more upright position so I can witness everything. My head swirls slightly. Penny comes through the doorway with another bowl and she carries it to table beside me. She places one wet towel on Liam’s neck, and then she sponges way my sweat from my brow and chest. She sits there in silence eyes cast downward wiping away. Liam’s breathing slows and his backs cracks releasing tension, but stays hunched over.

Penny drapes a new wet cloth over his neck and he sighs deeply. She seems better than before but her baby blue eyes seem sad and vacant. No one says anything, and it seems like they will not. I try to sit content that they came back but I cannot. My emotions will not let me, and my boil begins to boil. “What happened just now?”

My question cuts through the moment of peace and stillness. I feel like I just poked the belly of the beast. Liam’s back lifts and sits up straight; holding a breathing, stretching his muscles, and then releasing it his body slumps once again before turning to me. Penny seems to bow out and she leaves the room. Liam’s eyes are vibrant once again, but filled with fear and anger.

I cannot discern if the emotions are directed for me of at me. He looks straight into my eyes and his flame seems to ooze into my soul. He stares down into me, and I feel my body pulling away, but before I can his hands clasp my shoulders and pull me towards him. I am inches from his face and his breath soaks into my flesh…

“What did you just do?” Liam says point blank at me, furiously.

“What!?!…” I about to speak…

Liam’s hands grip tighter and he shoves me against the bed frame, and my back digs into the metal bars. He is strong, stronger than I imagined. I cannot move. His face inches from mine. His lips move, but I hear nothing. Penny is next to us and she is mouthing something. Liam falls away from me, and my mind fogs. Penny handles my body back onto the bed. I drift away into darkness with a lingering smell of honey and peaches.

Fight.

Fight…can be brutal, casual, abusive, exciting, debates, physical, empowering, mental, determination, childish, or just a fight.

I have heard many and experienced all of these types; I am sure I forgot some or I have not yet had the pleasure of experiencing them…

A fight can be in many different ways. It does not just mean a physical altercation with another physical body. I have experienced the brutal fight, but this one I was the controller behind the brutality. I know this makes it sound like I did something stupid but to me it was when I would race. In a 50 Freestyle it is a fight to win. In other races you can set your own goal and race your own race, but in a 50…you have to fight back against the other swimmers and hit the wall before them. So, if you want to be the winner you have to do many things, all at once perfectly, without screw up. It is the hardest race for most athletes and only the best get to race it in the big leagues.

So to me the brutal part in the fight to the wall was lack of oxygen. You must hold your breath, while sprinting, while fighting, while losing consciousness, until you hit the wall. And the controller or boss of your lack of oxygen is yourself. You have to want “it” more than air. You have to want to see black spots in your vision and win before you can have that healthy breath of oxygen.

I remember my coach always telling me to stop breathing. I thought that was kind of funny, because that’s something you say when you are extremely mad and you want the person to drop dead. But as a swimmer you hear this all the time. It is a natural thing to hear. My response every time was, “I know, I know…” I am sure my coaches were annoyed at me at some points of my career, but I am also sure they were excited when I swam. Because swimming was my fight. It was what drove me to wake up every day. It made me want to be an athlete. It has made me fight for want I want in life.

But it has also made me a passionate coach. This year I get to coach the varsity team; everything is faster, quicker and more intense. Not as intense as when I swam but way higher than JV. But, I can get a little too invested in my athletes lives. Some of them are swimming to stay in shape for polo season. Some are staying in shape for the summer. Some girls just want a good tan for that beach day. Some swimmers like swimming as a fun sport, but don’t have the drive. But I do have a handful that personally told me they want to be the best they can be, and they will work hard to be the best.

So, to tie in the breath control thing…we had a swim meet yesterday and I put all of them in the 200 Freestyle Relay so they could all do a 50. But also, relays have so much more pressure to them; they were one of my favorite parts of the sport. Because if you messed up your own individual race it was just “your” bad. But if you messed up on a relay or went to slow you lost if for yourself and three of your other teammates.

But on Wednesday, before the meet, we worked on breath control, I gave them an easy set, however the catch was that they could only take two breaths. Some of them they looked at me like I was crazy or it was an impossible task. You should only be taking 1-3 breaths in a 50. I always took 1 so 3 is giving them a buffer. I would say on average that 15 of my 22 athletes take on average 8 breaths in their 50…sometimes more like 11. So to some of them it seemed impossible. But I wanted to challenge that handful of people who like swimming but have never been challenged…they thought I was crazy, but they still attempted it…

They found that when you don’t breathe you push yourself harder to make it to that wall before you take that extra breath you don’t really need. If you put your head down and let your limbs pull your body to the finish the race will be over before you know it. As of right now, for them, it is only a 23-25 sec race. You only have this much time or less to be perfect. So if you take one factor out, breathing, then there is less to worry about. One less thing to have in your mind as you race and fight for the finish makes it that much easier to succeed. The fight is a fight to the finish…

Fight

Random.

While walking to my job I heard this statement. Yes I was eves dropping on a conversation, but the man said to a woman while walking their dog…

“A life without love, is what?”

I heard this and I thought about my own life…I have family, friends, colleagues, athletes, and most importantly God. My life is full of love! 

But then I thought about his statement; I pondered whether he was talking about her life or his…even without family or friends or others I have God. I prayed in that moment that God would help them.

Even if it was a hypothetical statement it still struck me…

A life without love, is what?…

…no name…

Immediately as the cold tip of the sharp needle punctured my skin my blood began to boil. Electricity flowed through my veins awakening something dormant inside me. My eyes glued shut,but I could still sense the brightness engulfing my body; my skin was oozing warmth like a bright light hovered over me trying to burn my flesh away. I could hear the small hushed remarks from the figures around me, but I could also hear the rusty swings stirring at the park across the street. I could smell the cologne of the doctor standing nearest to me, but also the secretary’s perfume from the lobby downstairs. “What is happening to me?”

I gently pry my eyes open, even though it feels like they are being sliced apart to produced my sight. However, once the pain is gone I look straight through the light and directly into the bulb. I can see the electrical current running from one wire to the other. I focused on it and I could hear the low hum surging through the quiet.

I search for something identifiable, my mind twisting and turning. My subconscious trying to discern between the chaos and reality.

I try to stand but my limbs are secured to the icy table. The confinements hold me captive upon the firm fiery table.

I need to be free; I need to move freely. Again my blood stirs, but this time it goes above and beyond, and it melts away the straps holding my wrists and feet. I expand my arms to raise my rib cage so much it tears the bind across my chest. My air-way is larger and the pain is less. All this movement though causes my mind to spin and blur. However, the pulsing in my arms and thighs jets adrenaline to my brain, clearing all the chaos and noise. Now I can hear my breathing and panicked heart.

I feel small yet large at the same time…The figures around me seem so large as their hands search for my freed body. They want to tie me down again… “I won’t let you!”

I swing one arm left at the doctors and their bodies fly across the room; their bodies smash into the wall and crumble to the floor. They lay lifeless. I feel the bodies to my right move away from my side, but just in case I swing in their general direction.

My fist comes in contact with a face, and a yelp escapes their lungs before dropping unconsciously to the ground.

I brace my body as I stand before what’s left of the staff. My body is surging with energy, giving my distorted heart one goal…escape. The figures flee from my presence, and I clamor through the white hallways in search of the heavenly sign…EXIT. This door leads to freedom and peace…

I run towards this door without hesitation. However, before reaching the knob of life a sharp pain stabs into my right shoulder. Reaching around with one hand in search of the damage…a dart. “No…”

Stumbling a few steps forward, I tumble to the ground. The stone tiled floor slams into my rib cage, forehead, and knees sending pain throughout my entire system. I only have strength in my hands and I dig my nails and palms into the floor and try to pull my body towards the door. Sweat pours off of my face and onto the floor, making the ground slick and easier to slide across. I come to the threshold of freedom. I push my body up…My eyes at the same height as the knob…

But another sharp pain hits my lower back. It feels like a knife being twisted and turned in my spine. My blood thickens and I slowly fall to the floor. My muscles are stone, and my head is a whirlwind of chaos.

In those last moments, all I remember are my tears cascading down my face, and the soft noise as each tear hits the floor…drop…drop..drop…

Drop