Monday, December 16, 2013

Truth and Consequence

I've toyed with the notion of tearing a page from this place.
A gift of paper folded into paper.

I would sit cross-legged, facing him, and slide it over the (sometimes preposterous distance of) wrinkled bedsheets between my knees and his fingers.

A piece of me.

He would lift it up and carefully unwrap it, meeting my eyes for a moment before looking down to find that he is holding my insides between thumb and forefinger.

I imagine his furrowed brow trying to translate.. to make sense of the context for a time much longer than required to read it through.
Did you write this? he might think aloud.
Is it true? because he won't remember.

And what do you suppose he would do with the tiny story I gave to him?
Would he find value? Or indifference?
Would he find me there? Or just strung out words?

No one knows about this sanctuary of mine. Not Jack. Not Laila. Not my little sister (who might be too wrapped up in her own life to read for the sake of being a part of mine, but who should one day stumble into this darkness because we are two old souls lost in time).

I could delete that last paragraph. That would tidy it up -- a little nip/tuck into something simple, something more complimentary of the Christmas packaging.

I might die forever in the sins of such omission. 
Would you?

Sunday, December 8, 2013


You are the most incredible woman I've ever met. 

Those eyes, dramatically painted in the color of royalty with lashes for days,
a pale shoulder slipping through an oversized neckline -

She will pull you in
and lift you up
and the world falls away
because you are the only person that matters

Mon amour...

You might become addicted to that rolling high
of everything she embodies
for you -
a challenge and a novelty, adventure and good fortune-
undeniably there is no one like her in the world -

yet suspicious
of all who came before and after 

you may find yourself
passionately compelled 
to snatch her down and smash her up
claiming a piece for yourself
before she gets to thinking
she's got it all


Saturday, October 26, 2013


I used to gasp and feign surprise, fingers brushing my collar bone. 
I can't believe you remembered, I would say sweetly. 

Season and space were irrelevant when the clock flipped. 
Twenty one minutes after ten. 
Ten twenty one.
Day or night. 

Happy birthday, baby! He would turn to me and smile so brightly he made strangers believe it was true. 

Of course it was a silly second of nonsense. But even then he was unhappy because my "birthday" came around twice in a normal day and his only once in the afternoon. 

I wonder if he still plays the game. For how many days or months or years will he silently think of me when the clock strikes while she is none the wiser?

Friday, September 13, 2013


She likes to feel the slow swell of freedom from the source.
Flooding from the spout to drown the day, hot vapors swirl overhead, clinging to quiet lips and settling into ghostly shadows on the glass. Flushed thighs demarcate a vulnerable shade of pink and she slips her toes beneath the tumbling heat

thankful to be alone.

Hooded eyes are cloaked with careless smudges of this morning's mascara but she does not bother. Legs slide against one another, smiling because they are smooth. Fitzgerald propped on the seat (desperate to be devoured) - but languid arms are heavy.

And when this rescue burns cold, it is cast into a scientific spiral of pity and lavender, recklessly slurping and sucking as she stands - it is gone. Saturated foot prints soaking into the hardwood prove that this sort of solitude is fleeting.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Patronizing Crocodile

Patronizing crocodile,
Your tears cool, condescending
And merciless in shadows.

Water stained wine glass brimming
With sins of omission near
Cracked lips awkwardly twisted.

Little faith paper thin now
Wet and soft will not suspend
You over anyone.


Sunday, June 16, 2013

A Hard Sell

The Day I Met My Dad

Rustling little dress,
Mom laughed but polka dots would
Prove I was awesome.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013


It was supposed to be a simple reunion -
    two old friends quietly taking solace in the infrequent luxury of being richly understood
    kindred spirits content to walk about in the candor of daytime shadows

How was I to know he would pour his heart out to Laila the night I introduced them?

He's in love with you! she laughed with wide eyes. Like... madly in love. 

What had I done?

Monday, June 10, 2013

Crazy Making

As luck would have it, 
fate was cruel.
Departing like vectors,
their sacraments and separations
did compose deceptive serendipity
and spurious connections.


He practically booked a plane ticket the night I told him what S.B. had done. 

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Have Your Cake

She gripped the railing and spoke to her left hand.

Maybe next time I should leave it at home.

I glanced at her ring finger, but said nothing. I already knew she was bothered.

As we poured out of the dance club, sultry on sexual overtone, we politely declined offers for an extended evening. Beyond steamy smoke and mirrors, I assured ambitious amateurs that our phone numbers would do them no good.

A few steps away, Laila was exposed under the jaundiced glow of a street lamp. The multifaceted cut so carefully selected for her would glimmer under even the grimiest bulb.

Man, don't waste your time. She's married. 

The corners of her smile fell a little.
Anyone could see this was new to her.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Just Visiting -

Laila sleeps.

Her long copper hair is sprawled across the pillow and she breathes slowly, nullifying our morning agenda. Today is her birthday, though, so I don't wake her up.

We spent Saturday night marching up and down Chestnut Street in heels, avoiding the sewer grates and hugging our bodies until we had imbibed enough canned heat to feel warm from the inside. Swirling inside a dark and crowded little dance club, Laila and I sweated out the alcohol with a mixture of house and hip hop, surreptitiously slipping between men, and occasionally breaking for a burst of cool night air. Outside, we made small talk with the door man and patronized all of the boys wearing glasses without prescription lenses. (Most of these boys were also in plaid.) Coquettish banter with almost everyone waiting in line meant that no one was a stranger when we plunged back into the cacophony of the crowd.

The city is alive and we are fresh with the freedom of interlopers.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013


sugar is smoking
by Jason Schneiderman

it's amazing how death
is always around the corner,
or not even so far away
as that, hiding in the little pleasures
that some of us would go
so far as to say
are the only things
keeping us alive 


Now there's a thought.
So, what keeps me alive?
< blinking cursor >

Well, what could be taken from me that might make life unlivable?

< .. blink .. blink .. blink .. >

The obvious answer is involuntary heart beats and respiration.

breathe in. 
           breathe out
breathe in. 
           breathe out

No, no. That's not what I mean.
< .. blink .. blink .. blink .. >

What do I live for? 
< .. blink .. blink .. blink .. >

Honestly now. What keeps me going?

< .. blink .. Do you even want to keep going? .. blink .. >

Hold up. Of course I want to keep living. That's not what this is about.

The things I love are innumerable. I inhale deeply when sipping herbal tea at just the right temperature. I toss and turn without nightly terrier snuggles and I miss his acquiescence to my intermittent but smothering kisses. My heart stills when Jack tells me... well, anything, or when his lips brush my neck without any words at all.

I could begin recount them - my loves - but I fear that will not answer the question.

I have been through hell and back, you see. The house I built will fall. The people I love withdraw. The place I finally felt at home is in the rear-view mirror. And then what? Then should I say that I have nothing? No reason to live? What is the answer when you are a flower of a thousand petals left standing alone?

It is not the heavenly solitude of a morning walk under a canopy of live oaks. It is not the velvety rump of a brand new foal nor the way morning fog settles close to the ground so that grazing horses become apparitions in the sunrise. Not the indulgent fragrance of cinnamon wafting from the Mexican bakery. Not the low and slow lament of a wistful violin. It is not the creamy weight of extravagant stationary. Not the covert surprises in my luggage. Not Texas.

The answer, instead, is in the corolla of a lotus flower. For every petal that falls, there is another unfolding from within. To have a thousand petals is the richest guarantee that I will not be reduced to a sticky, quavering stamen after the blossom has been pulled, plucked or perished, one petal at a time.

he loves me
          he loves me not...
he loves me
          he loves me not...

It is not the herbal tea. It is not Jack, nor is it the terrier (though he is my favorite thing on the planet). But it is the delicate, linked array of all these loves that is keeping me alive. That keeps me going. That keeps life from becoming altogether unlivable.

As long as I love a thousand things, I am free of the weight of the world.
As long as I love a thousand things, I should be happy to die hiding in life's little pleasures.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Fourteen Ghosts

I am sipping from a cool, flimsy plastic water bottle that feels utterly out of place. A dank scent settles in the air space between floral patterned drapes and other pieces. It is a feature that single handedly betrays the age of this house. A polished brass chandelier is suspended, motionless. Smooth, antique bar back chairs are tucked around the perimeter of a burnished mahogany dining table. I am perched at the head, playing host to fourteen ghosts.

It is good to be away for a while, but this isn't quite what I expected. Gradually, I have learned the cadence of the house. I anticipate its creaky floorboards. Hollow clunking of pipes within the walls no longer triggers me to glance over my shoulder as I work. This is the last weekend I'll spend alone here because Laila is coming to visit next weekend, and Jack will be here to accompany me on the long drive home.

I wonder if you have to choose a single place to haunt. As a ghost, I mean. Or do you get to flutter between all of the places you loved? Is there a limit to the places a phantom might join you for dinner?

Thursday, May 9, 2013


The page is from a pale lavender memo pad. I found it today, buried deeply in a box within a box. Today, I find it simple and naked, but unadulterated and sweet.

It was my first semester at college. I was still mixed up in some sort of complicated high school romance. (I don't believe high school sweethearts should stay together.) I wondered innocently what else the world would offer as I wrote the lines, propped up on an elbow and facing the wall. I remember the twin sized dormitory mattress, firm and uneven, covered in some sort of vinyl that would creak with every move. The mattress didn't bother me then because I had wrapped it up in the most predictable of leopard pattern sheets.

I was 19 years old.
How both everything and nothing have changed.

I like red painted toenails
     and independence
I like classic glamour
     and using words like
I like feeling alive
     and music
I like learning people
     and being comfortable.

Don't lie to me

I want you to feel
my energy and
taste my passion

I like to be dramatic

     and honest

Be sincere with me

because I will love
I am genuine. 

Monday, May 6, 2013

For A Moment

Eyes open, fleeting
void - but I can not recall
his birthday at all;

However, I dare
suspect October haunts him
like a hologram.

Monday, April 29, 2013

This Won't Be The Last -

First there is hope, shaded by silent promises and the warmth of being wrapped up in his arms.

This is followed by a pristine moment of clarity. 
(I had forgotten what serenity feels like.)

Clarity forges indifference to shield the war-wise heart, but leads directly to disappointment anyway. Thunder grinds away without the calm of rain. 

Sadness sets up and smolders deep inside, where there's no room for tears. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013


Dreamy eyes open slowly
to baritone grumbles,
long and lowly,
crawling across the sky.

Ashen light soaks through thin blinds
and perfectly triangular ears
listen -
regarding the morning rain.

He is brave,
but he settles more tightly into
the hollow of my belly


it is pouring -
at the end of a concrete hallway
as I stand before floor to ceiling glass
I wish the water would
swallow me whole.

Sunday, April 14, 2013


Mike strummed an amplified version of the Bridal Chorus at my request. He watched from the periphery with the guitar balanced on his thigh. After we said our vows, there was an enthusiastic mixture of chords and electric melody, airborne right along with white flowers and cheers.

I've not a single picture of myself with Michael on my wedding day.

S.B. and I left for a two week honeymoon in Greece while Mike got married the following Saturday to a girl named Megan. She was a lifeguard and practiced American Sign Language over dinner. She went to school for certification in Special Education. I didn't make it to their wedding, but from photos I remember the distinct and awkward tan lines plunging upwards from her strapless gown.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

We are all liars.

Michael: Lulu, I'm sorry. 
Michael: Don't ask me to explain it, just know that I am sorry.
Received @1:18 am

I guess I'm not even going to ask.


I haven't talked to Mike since last fall, when I sent him a text message on the long drive home from Toronto. Of course, text would not convey how sobbing tears blurred the midnight traffic while the night weighed down empty and endless. Why was I crying?

Me: Its a shame that our friendship is ruined.
Me: I could really use a kindred spirit right about now.
Michael: It's not ruined.
Michael: You know you can always talk to me.
Me: But I won't. We won't. I'm just sorry, that's all.

We went to high school together but weren't friends until college. His apartment was near the highway and we used to stay up all night on Flaming Dr. Pepper shots and Metallica. A pyramid of Keystone cans displayed on the end table near the front door. Rooms littered with computer parts and guitars. My best friend Jennie was secretly in love with him, but I was the one who slept with him years ago - the night after he broke up with his girlfriend. Jennie never found out.

I wonder sometimes if he didn't just stay suspended there, not knowing how to forget.

Acceptance Speech

ver·sa·tile adjective \ˈvər-sə-təl, especially British -ˌtī(-ə)l\
     1 :   changing or fluctuating readily : variable
     2 :   embracing a variety of subjects, fields, or skills; also : turning with ease from one thing to another
     3 a (1) : capable of turning forward or backward : reversible (2) : capable of moving laterally and up and down
        b of an anther : having the filaments attached at or near the middle so as to swing freely
     4 :   having many uses or applications

Maija of The Sequined World, along with  my doppleganger namesake Loulou of Sugarstorm, have both graciously named me for the Versatile Blogger Award. Now, I'm new to this game and don't really know what awards are for other than spreading love. So, it's in that vein I play along.

As I have mentioned time and again, it is always (always) nice to know that someone, no matter how far, connects with what I might write. I am small and minimally consequential on most days; However, I would be lying if I said there wasn't some validation in blogging to you - essential strangers. But you know that.

The acceptance of the versatile blogger award comes with stipulations (like any quality chain letter). Here they are:
  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you with a link back to their site.
  2. List 7 interesting things about yourself.
  3. Link to 15 (or 7, or whatever) blogs that you would like to nominate for the award yourself.

About me?
1. You can find everything you need to know right here. It's all true. Out of chronology, maybe, but still burning in a layover of blank space, waiting to be snuffed out in words.
2. I am not sure I'll ever love anyone like I love my dog. His name is Newton. Like Sir Isaac fruit and cake.
3. I am both liberated and lonely.
4. I am envious of adult children who have healthy relationships with their parents. I often wonder how much is my own fault.
5. I love to cook, yet I just ate jelly beans for dinner.
6. I believe the best sex of my life will happen in my 30s.
7. They way I feel the morning after only three glasses of wine can only mean that I damaged my liver beyond repair while I was in college. 
And now, for the bloggers. The girls above stole a couple of my very favorites already, but there are many I like to follow. I'm going to limit my list to three for now.

S. at .As Far As The Eye Can See. for her script of love and heartbreak that speaks to me even when I'm not sure how.
Keith at Musings of an Unapologetic Dreamer for his little insights into the every day.
Sara at Raging euphemisms because I'm addicted to her story.


Thursday, March 21, 2013


Derailed, crestfallen
character; It is
unbelievable (at best)

how I capsized when
fact flooded the banks.
I glared at myself, guilty.

Friday, March 15, 2013


His insecurities manifested themselves leisurely, with lies emerging one by one like bloated bodies in the Mississippi. Each individual spoonful he lifted to my lips tasted most bitter, yet bite sized and always served with an alibi shooter. Nourished on deceit, I did not notice how thin I had become. Compromise. The slivers of a once perfect self shaved and contoured to compliment another person. Edges rounded, curves adjusted. Microscopic pieces so slowly eroded away that I could not recognize my own skeleton at the end of the day, piled there at his feet.

But the cruel thing was, it felt like the mistake was mine, for trusting you.
David Levithan, The Lover's Dictionary

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Know Your Role

The truth is that he simply didn't like the way our names looked together on the outside of an envelope. 

Mr. and Dr. S. B.

It is the reason he drank whiskey from the bottle while I was at work.
It is the reason he flipped coffee tables at 2 am and apologized in the afternoon.
It is the reason he threw Christmas gifts at me one by one and then begged me to open them. 
It is the reason he growled into my subconscious after dark. You are a dirty bitch.

But for a moment, I believed him.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

La Dolce Vita

slick city streets slide through the glass
cateye sluggish squint slimming the haze of midnight
highway daubed with drifting design
my mouth is slippery in drink
declarations dubiously tethered between my ears
emancipate themselves, cascading through my parted lips
spilling into the dashboard
wretched hands folded inconsequential
unworthy of any ceremonious change
i will never be enough
for you
for anyone

liquid lull of resignation and windshield wipers
eschewing the plea
forehead against the window
i close my eyes
dissipating into la dolce vita

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Tiny Elephant

Explicit bits of conversation weave in and out, moth-eaten in the fabric of us. Casual mentions of things to come - hiking in Cusco, grazing horses through the kitchen window, sunning on the Marbella coast, entrepreneurial wine bars...

Let go.
Just breathe.
Live now.

Dreamy paradigms prove difficult to live by when flirting with the future feels a little like lying. A deeply grooved proboscis wraps around my heart and tightens its grip when I insinuate someday. Ashed gray uncertainty deftly tugs me backwards when I slip.

Sans plans for the subsequent, what's the point?
The sex is good.
At what price am I lying to myself?

He wants to stay. Born and raised. And hell - we all know what I think of the snow.

Will I break his heart, too?

Oh, Hush now. We have weekend plans.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Post Script Incrimination


She's plain. 
The groom's grandfather described my dear friend to a stranger. She shakes her head and insists that it's because she doesn't wear flashy jewelry or red lipstick.

There's always a warm one waiting somewhere. 
Ten minutes before the ceremony, and with a toothy grin, his brother hints that Jason's freedom isn't entirely sold.

I withheld judgement. I supported. I bought the amethyst dress. I flew to Texas and assured myself that foreboding could be dismissed. I curled her hair and I stood beside her. I smiled and laughed. I carried her flowers. I brought her red wine and bustled her dress. I twirled the little girls who told me I looked like Barbie. I danced with her new husband.

Deflating in coach on the way home, hushed criticisms resonate. My eyes are tired and, instead of working, I stare out the window at the snow covered acres below.

 Lord knows I am jaded, but I have never left a wedding feeling quite like this.

Dear Katie,
My sweet, brown eyed friend,
Please know that you are golden. You are strong. 
You deserve the best life has to offer. 
P.S. If he hurts you, I will kill him. 

Sunday, March 3, 2013


Jason asked me to marry him.  

Her voice was thin and distant. The immediate swell of disquietude was respectfully hidden by a thousand miles and a cell phone. Through my teeth, I told her that I was happy. I may have even forced an invisible smile.

I said yes. 

Katie was my housemate for a year or two during grad school. Back then, we both needed each other. My courage. Her sanity. Red wine and tomato bruschetta for dinner every night. She was good for me. But even then, I knew she needed me more.

You're going to be there, right? 

Only four months ago he left her to "figure things out." But she was buried deep beyond the jurisdiction of reasonable advice by then. Now he asked for a commitment she had already made. In a precipitate both belated and breakneck, we exhaled into the space between us.

Of course

Saturday, March 2, 2013


SB: Hi.
SB: I just wonder if you ever think about me.
SB: You don't have to answer.

A Sonnet from the Archive of Love's Failures, Volumes 1-3.5 Million
by Anne Boyer

If you were once inside my circle of love

and from this circle are now excluded,
and all my love's citizens I love more than you,
if you were once my lover but I've stopped
letting you, what is the view from outside

my love's limit? Does my love's interior emit
upward and cut into night? Do my charms,
investigations, and illnesses issue to the dark
that circles my circle? Do they bother

your sleep? And if you were once my friend
and are now my villainous foe, what stories
do you tell about how stupid those days
when I cared for you? Because I tell stories

of how you must tremble at my love's terrible walls,
how the memory of its interior you must always be eroding

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Welcome back?

Hello, Midwest.
And you are snowing.

Last week was unintentionally unplugged. No internet. No laptop. No work. And shitty cell reception somewhere between San Antonio and the bay.

I may not know where home is, but I will always feel grounded by a warm breeze, the scent of a saddle shop, apple moonshine and two-stepping down the sidewalk.

I miss Texas. 
I don't belong here.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Body Cumbersome

My legs wet sandbags.
My eyelids leaded curtains.
My bones rusted gears. 

This hour of the morning doesn't come easy, but it does come fast.
My calves are aching from leading four hours of lecture in four inch heels. Why did I do that? 

Eavesdropping on the students one day, Nina overheard them list my name in the "Top Three Hottest Teachers" category. I laughed out loud. 

How easily these corn-fed boys are trapped into ranking beauty by blonde highlights and knee high boots. Would they think so highly of me if they heard my dirty mouth? If they knew my secrets? If they saw my body covered in ink? Certainly not if they heard me sing the words to Razorblade like I mean it.  

Those boys have no idea how truly fucking beautiful I am. 

And yet, I wake up early to scrape away the sand, peel off the lead and paint over the rust. I apply a new face and dress up as if my mother had ever taught me how to be pretty. 

Monday, February 11, 2013


First a hum, and then a whir, and then the ringing. The commotion of daylight will drown it out, but that tinny reverberation worst offends a battered heart sleeping alone.  

In silent penumbra

she whispers across the barren. 

What do you do if the ink blot doesn't turn into a puddle, and then a lake, and then an ocean? What do you do then? 

I can tell she already knows the answer. 

You find relief in knowing you will not drown today.

Saturday, February 9, 2013


Not another word had been spoken. Yet, there it was.

That belt -

Nonchalantly hanging there. How long had it been hiding among the others?

Here is simple notion laden with mixed messages. Swirling in my muddled head, I can get lost. Misreading silent intentions, I am often wrong.

But he is a simple man.
Reel it in.

What was that?
Take each day as it comes.

And so the responsibility to trust in myself is on the agenda for today.

A pinpoint of love spreads slowly into an inkblot.

Friday, January 25, 2013


I unravel.

Parts once pressured under (or polished over) now boil to the surface. Not a foundation nor a filling fit for public consumption, but now they are steaming up the mirror. I cannot see through the fog. I no longer recognize the inside out girl in front of me.

The damage. The determination. The humor and the tears. The successes and the shortcomings. The memories. The reality. The imperfections and the honesty. The realization, gratefulness and anger. The incongruity and the lessons.

I am stumbling through this flea market where mine are not the only blemished goods for sale. It is a private gallery of low budget restorations. I pick the pieces up, and hold them to my body. I try them on for size. Why doesn't anything fit together anymore?

Sunday, January 20, 2013

More to life

The temperature dropped forty degrees overnight.
The wind is tenacious and such gossamer snowflakes don't stand a chance. Whipped back and forth in a haphazard track to the concrete, I sympathize.

This life is not mapped out. Evanescent forces stretch me in all directions.
If I can just get through the next 18 months...


"It is the very pursuit of happiness that thwarts happiness." - Viktor Frankl

Do you know the difference between a happy life and a meaningful one?
Know this: There is value in suffering.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Piece of Cake

He asked me to come anyway. Forget about things for a day and just have fun.


I think he is the only thing that can lift my mood.

Hair loosely pulled back and eyes lined black, I'm all casual and smiles. There's an overnight bag hidden in the car.

Rum and coke on a steady drip since early afternoon. A late night game of Texas Hold Em.

Immediately behind the closed door, he pulls me close. I let him. His mouth finds me with an unfamiliar urgency, fingers sliding down to tug at my belt.

This is too easy.

Friday, January 11, 2013

The rational thing

"When you're dreaming with a broken heart,
the waking up is the hardest part.
You roll outta bed, and down on your knees,
and for a moment, you can hardly breathe."

-John Mayer

It was something we both knew all along.
But over two days, the facts and expectations and inherent uncertainties of staying together slowly rose to the surface of the space between us and congealed into reality. 

We must be practical. 

I love him. 
And he loves me. 
I trust him

So there are endless roads to heartache, it seems. 
My head is pounding. 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Out of sync

Though I've never seen him wear it himself, I'm quite certain it should be retired from his wardrobe. It might be better suited to cinch dad jeans for a trip to the grocery store.

"I never said you could have it," he laughs.

I peer back at him, corrected.
For an instant I am hurt. I consider handing it back to him.

Instead, he watches while I continue to thread the worn leather around the waist of my cargo skinnies. Its silver plated buckle is tarnished and some of the stitching is frayed. There are palpable grooves just past the most frequently used notches. Of a recent and awkward vintage and with no monetary value, I think it suits me.

I smile and shake my head at him. He leans down to kiss me.

Resting on my hips, the belt is unexpected. Curious. Not trendy, but interesting. Unlike those marketed alongside brand new "boyfriend jeans" and boxy, oversize sweaters. But I wonder if the comfort in this belt, my boyfriend's belt, is now gone.

Later, as I get ready for bed, I carefully spiral it around my hand and slip it into his overnight bag while he brushes his teeth.

After all,
it doesn't belong

to me.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

From red to green

"Red crayons - the fat kind that little kids can hold," he explained.
Stop lights.
Cooked lobsters.
Beating hearts.

"I'm green now, so there's no reason to behave that way ever again. I just need some more colors to fill the palette."

I steered from his cerebral chromatism towards more tangible things.
"Have you found your social security card?"

"You know I can't enter any federal buildings. The frequency is just too high."

"But you can mail in the application for a replacement, right?"

"When I get close, you can literally see the smoke coming out of my ears."

I chatted with him for another twenty minutes or so, trying to keep a positive tone. It's like entertaining two separate conversations - my half anchored in reality and his half abuzz with sights, sounds and reactions that no one else can sense.

Through the delusions and scattered rambling, I know he's still in there.
He is my big brother.