Sad Smiles

A year ago, I returned to New York from an amazing trip to Spain. A year ago also marks when I was hospitalized shortly after coming home due to contracting a bacterial infection overseas. It was a pretty traumatic experience, and one that I didn’t tell most people out of a fear that they’d think I was just seeking attention. However, there were also some parts which looking back, make me smile.

I talk about the worst of it first.

I went to a doctor’s office after being sick for a little while. Since I was out of the country a few days prior, and the Ebola fear was still in the air, I was sitting in the waiting room wearing a bright purple rain jacket and, under a secretary’s orders, a huge surgical mask that was way too big for my head. Everyone in the waiting room was staring at me. All eyes were my way as I left too, holding a tub to vomit in, running for the car. A very memorable time.

My resting heart rate was way too fast and my fingers were purple from dehydration, and no one in the emergency room could really figure out what was wrong with me, so I was admitted into the pediatric center, being 16 at the time.

My experience? Well, I don’t remember much but what I can recall is about a thousand different people saying “So you were in Spain? How was it?” and a thousand more saying “I can’t seem to find a vein” while pocking me with needles.

It took an ultrasound, something that made me feel extremely uncomfortable and awkward, a CT scan, something that forced me to drink this nasty dye liquid, and a line of 3rd year residents staring intently at me like I was an orangutan at a zoo, to figure out what was wrong with me. A bacterial infection.

The diagnosis wasn’t very promising either, since it seemed like every hour a different resident trying their best to mimic bedside manner told me that infections like mine seen in other cases have shut down kidneys, and that if I have renal failure right now, I’ll probably die.

IMG_4592
I became good friends with the IV pole. We did everything together.

Being in the pediatric center, I also had this woman who would come in and try and cheer me up, or something. She’d constantly try to get me to go into the playroom, like she was a cashier coaxing me into signing up for the discount card. “We have a Wii” she said. “I feel like shit” my eyes would reply. The only way I could seem to make her go away was agreeing to a stack of crossword puzzles and word searches.

These word searches would make me smile, however; just for a different reason.

I was given a pencil, obviously, and when I got bored of finding the profane words in the jumbles for hours, I started doodling and writing on the backs of the papers. I did some of my personal comic strip ‘The problematic situation’, and some of trees. I wrote some jargon extensively. All I had was time.

But I also wrote a poem. It was during this interesting time in my life, and not just because I was being forced by every technician to re-account all my time in Spain, or have dozens of needles stuck in me, but it was interesting for, you know, personal reasons. So I wrote this poem. And that’s all I was going to share on this blog post, but it needed context, and the actual context is nothing more than my shy, awkwardness at the time this was written.

Here it is:

Hospital poem.jpg
I can be a pretty nervous person, with real life interactions and witty text messages.

So, that’s my story of the time I was in a hospital, thought I was going to die, got slightly better, and wrote a poem. Things have definitely changed in a year, and looking back I feel sad and smiley at the same time. However, as great as 2015 was, I’m in a place where looking forward is in my best interests. Perhaps in a year this blog post will be nothing more than a sad, smiley piece of nostalgia as well.

 

Beige

I’m starting to feel sick again.

It isn’t the gooey darkness in my heart, no, now

It is beige like a balance beam.

I’m teetering on the edge of the cliff, this time

I’m close to falling, unlikely to fully regain stability.

It’s just who I am; been this way awhile now.

It’s just something I deal with, once in a while

I’m within the inebriated beigeness so I sit and ponder some.

I’m lost in the swirling complexities that could be.

It’s without reason that I drown in sand, breath in water, and

It’s without reason I respire, only half alive.

I’m alive, my heart beats with every unfair rhythm, and

I’m breathing, just under the pressure of the sand.

It’s with thoughts that I find small treatment, only treatment, as

It’s far from being a curable ailment.

I’m on a balance beam, and this time, it is foggy, this time,

I’m not sure I’ll stay beige.

Everything is bland, unflavored. Everything is beige and feels like sandpaper. I’m not here… I am floating somewhere else, somewhere dark and beige and lifeless. I don’t like it here. It hurts my chest.

-Excerpt from Solomon, a novel by Kylie Eileen

You can read Solomon here

Red Flash Drive

Red flash drive

You contain everything

Over 150,00 words

And I lost you

And with your death

I am also buried

Because the universe hates me

That is a micro-poem I posted on Twitter a few days ago. I have lost my red flash drive, and no one understands how I feel. And this post is mainly going to turn into a rant. And I literally feel dead because my life is an epic action film, where the flash drive contains everything.

An epic action film where the only plot is of a girl, walking away out of a room, and then a jump shot to her crying because after exhausting all resources, the flash drive is most likely never going to be found. It’s a sad film, and most people will walk out of the theatre, and not for the good reasons like the best depicted war scene ever. No, this isn’t Saving Private Red Flash drive, this is a sad tale of Kylie being stupid and making people walk away, because they simply don’t understand my cinematographic art.

The death of the flash drive is the death of me

I suppose I should start from a small beginning, or something, even though I feel dead right now. A few months ago, my computer screen broke, and I’m no expert but since I had to hook up another monitor, I moved all my writing and documents onto a red flash drive. This was a good idea seeing as the lap top failed to work after a few days of being all bionically hooked up to something that was high-tech in 2006. The red flash drive was the back up.  And so for the next few months I’ve been writing on there, and during that time, I’ve successfully completed a 60,000 word work, give or take a few hundred. It was over 130 pages long, and was the sequel to Basil, which you can read in the Longer Works section of this blog, but you probably won’t.

After the sequel to Basil, titled Clover on the flash drive, I began some pieces that I have yet to finish. These range from 4-15 pages, so it isn’t a major loss, but the novel I wrote in 9th grade is on there, and the only other versions are ones with spelling errors and stuff, which are on my email. That was 61,225 words, I think. A short story trilogy, titled “The Insomniac” that I wrote in 2012, spanning around novel length all together, is on there and no where else. Now the others, including the trilogy, aren’t written well and they aren’t anything I’d let people read now that I’ve developed as a writer, but they’re important to me. I can remember something and go back and read about these characters and their lives.

When I talk to people in school, and even my mother, I see that no one understands how much time is put into writing something around 50,000 words. There are so many little short stories on that flash drive that I’ll end up forgetting about in years and never being able to feel the stories and characters again. The short story Clover was one of the most transparent things I’ve written, and I expressed myself in it and I felt everything I wrote. I felt the main characters and I felt what was going on. Letting that just fade off into nothing makes me fade off into nothing.

Without my writing, I am nothing.

And not even the so-called “writer” friends I have understand. I hate putting people under the bus, but they have no idea what it feels like to connect to a story and to write something that you put in your mind as art. Something that is art. They’re writing is like the Insomniac story I mentioned before. It is something I would be embarrassed to call my own. And I hate saying that but it’s true, and I am ranting. And the universe hates me.

I lost the flash drive at a small college, but security and an intern at my mother’s work who goes there can’t help me. The security desk has my phone number, and the intern looked all over the room I left it in. My mother says a college kid probably wiped it clean, but to do so one would have to go through everything. Can anyone be so awful that they would delete years of my life away? Probably.

And, yes, I know what comes next. “You should have put it on several flash drives”.

Do you know how many times I’ve heard that the past week? Almost every single person has said that to me. But, really, would you have taken the time to buy another flash drive and then copy all 50 or so documents onto it just for a back up in case you left it at a college at a Model United Nation’s conference? NO. You’re lying if that would have come to your mind. The flash drive was the back up. 

No one understands. Not a single person. And sympathy does nothing, because it’s easy to say “Aw bro I’m sorry your mom got murdered” but it means nothing when your mom also didn’t get murdered, bro. And it means nothing when people go “Yeah that sucks but you should have made other copies and put it in other places” because I’ve done everything in my power to get it back after my awful mistake. It’s as if people don’t see how much losing the red flash drive is killing me. My soul is literally breaking.

The flash drive was the back up.

I’ve said that so many times. I’ve been defending myself this whole time, and keeping my spirits up, but right now, I want to cry. And die. Because it isn’t just a red flash drive. It is literally years of my life. It is a story that I can’t retell. Some girl actually said to me “re-writing that is going to suck”. I can’t re-write my life. I don’t plan my stories, I have a thing called talent and I let them flow and waver and I can’t remember every single thing that happened in 60,000 words. No one understands, and I have to defend myself on a topic they automatically loose on because of what? Popularity?

The characters are dead. And they were part of me. So part of me is dead.

Part of me is dead. It isn’t the red flash drive, it is the lives they’ve lived and the part of me that feels them. A year after I wrote the Amleth Tales, which are also on here in the Longer Works and aren’t that great, I can still feel the characters in my heart. Do you ever have a good memory of something or someone, and you feel it in your heart? You literally feel it there in your heart?

That’s what it is like for what I’ve written. And when someone leaves my life, I feel the loss and grief, and sadly, these made up characters give me more pain than anyone who has ever left me. These just “made up” characters mean more to me than my friendships and family relationships. They are part of my life. Writing is the only thing I can do where I feel human, and reading the writing, I can remember who I am and who these just “made up” people are. They aren’t just me. They’re something so much bigger. And no one understands this.

The death of the flash drive is the death of me.

And I’m so angry, and sad, and I feel even more alone than I did before. Basically all of my life’s work is gone. And, I know, I’ll write more, or whatever, but the stories are important to me. Clover is important to me. Writing more doesn’t change that. Writing more doesn’t negate the time I’ve spent on the story and the life I’ve build within it. Writing more without anything to reflect back on doesn’t let me grow as a writer. And so, I’m angry and sad and alone.

And this is the end to my rant, I guess.

It isn’t just a flash drive. It is more than 200,000 words.

To give you perspective, this post doesn’t even break 1,400 words.

The death of the flash drive is the death of me.