It’s the raw intensity of the lyrics that matches my rasping voice and tired eyes, sitting alone in the dirty freshman dorm common area. The song repeats automatically. The lyrics, reading like an epitaph, balance me between self indulgent grief and reserved denial. I want this feeling to end quickly but I don’t want to grieve over a friend that’s still here. The song runs through my headphones: I had a friend who died for something he really loved. I had a friend who stood for none of the above.
Internet intelligence interpreting ideals in itemized illustrations. Plus your personality into your periodic habitat instantaneously hound those heaped into haphazard happiness. But the broken boy beaten by better of belligerent “best friends” was bested by an asthmatic beauty. She broke the bounded burned he would board up because she was different. She would smile and he would too. She would ask for his scars. She would flip the monitor on. Yet, young years yearn to add. Given a guaranteed time, he gave up, she grew away.
BEFORE I DIE
You’re wading through the deep snow led only by the soft white light and the deep still silhouettes in front of you. The light snow separates midway to your knees as you press on. The only things you can hear are the snow crunching under your feet and your slightly labored breathing. You are surrounded by a collection of trees and plant life that managed to stick their heads above the gentle wrath of winter. The harshness of snow is lost on your warm body and almost feels welcome. You’re beginning to tire and look out into the blue-white glaze. You see a deep shadow on the ground, broken in its darkness by the water passing, reflecting what it can of the night sky. You stop and follow this creek with your eyes. The waters quiet splashing seems only to get louder as you face the hill itself. You assume there is less snow somewhere on the hill and decide to follow this small creek.
Your legs begin to burn a bit as you press upward. By the time you reach the top, nearly encased in darkness with the moon’s light hidden behind, only the night sky is left in view. You stop and feel as though this is as good as place as any to stare in silence.
You have blindly walked into yourself and now are looking for something. In the spectral and unreal you look to find something real. A physical manifest of what, of who, of why.
CHRIS KENNEDY is a surfer from the New Jersey coast. He is a computer science major at Drexel University and is currently working on a short novel. He was a member of Rachel Wenrick’s 2015-16 Writers Room independent study.