I am taking a creative writing class this term and it has been absolutely lovely. I’ve been doing so much technical writing that I forgot how much I love revving up the creative portion of my brain. I really wanted to share this story with people other than my professor and my work-shopping group. It had to be less than 500 words. Do you know how hard that is for me??

Oh, also, if you have any suggestions for titles, please let me know. I am the suck at titles. Here goes:

(runs and hides under bed, fearful that people will read it and fearful that people won’t)



(c) 2014

The balcony clings to the side of the building, a metal guard rail buttresses the concrete floor, holding tight. She stands on the balcony, looking out over the city, ignoring the bite of the teal metal on her forearms. The moonless sky draws everything into tighter contrast. Her eyes flit from landmark to landmark, not resting long, not wanting to remember.

To the left, she sees the amusement park where they had their first date, Ferris wheel twinkling orange-yellow-red as it rolls around. She hated everything about the wheel and its turning, but he convinced her to climb into the swinging seat. Her hands grasped the safety bar tightly as they started to curve up. By the end of the ride, he held her hand, her terror turned to the thrill of the first touch.

Her eyes move to the arc of the cathedral where they got married, its bronze cap a glowing beacon in the dark. The memory of the day comes unsolicited: the bright white of her gown, the flickering of candles dancing in his eyes, the alabaster unity candle that sealed the promise of forever. The brightness overwhelms her, compelling her eyes to move on.

The brightness dissolves when her eyes touch the blue and white of the hospital where they lost their first and only child. Only the murkiness of the room remains—the room where she ached, empty where she once was full: alone. Her eyes fly over the void in the center of the city where the child was laid to rest, the hollow place that she never visits.

Choking, she moves on. Her eyes jerk to the skyscraper in the middle of the city. Its neon outline has held her husband captive since that night that the light left them. The late night meetings, the weekend projects, and the network problems claim him more than she ever could. The building looms over the rest of the city. Looms over her life.

The lights blur as she holds back the tears. With a stifled sob, she turns her back to the city, blinking away the memories. All she wants to see is lightlessness. It is no use. The lights glimmer back at her on the glass from the arcadia doors.



Creative Commons License
Lights by E is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Connecting and Disconnecting

WARNING: Contains Sad


It has been a really rough June for me, and I am very ready for it to be over. I know that there is only about a week left, but that seems too long.I have been so incredibly busy finishing up my degree. I am taking two grad summer classes at the same time. One is a 6-week class and the other is a 4-week class. I spend so much time doing homework that my back aches from being on the computer all of the time. I will be done with my classes on July 1 and will have earned my Masters. While this is exciting in the abstract, it isn’t real enough. When June is over, it will be real.

The beginning of the month my aunt in Colorado passed away. It was a complete surprise. Two weeks earlier, I was sitting at her dining room table laughing and realizing how much she meant to me, how she was a huge part of my life growing up. You forget things like that when you live 10 hours away and always have things to do that don’t involve visiting other people. I left there, promising myself that I’d get out there more often. I still plan on doing so, but it will have to be to visit other family. She won’t be there.

I was there with my cousins and my uncle as they prepared everything for the memorial. It was bittersweet watching them comb through photographs, remembering and sharing stories. I was a part but also apart from them. They were my close family when I was a kid. We spent pretty much every weekend torturing each other, but we always knew that we had each other. When we moved away between my freshman and sophomore year, we lost touch. We all were wrapped up in our teenage lives, learning who we really were, and preparing for adulthood. Now, 25 years later, it is pretty much impossible to get back to that closeness, especially living so far away.

I miss that sort of connectedness. I need it desperately. I don’t know how to find it. I really don’t know how to keep it. My heart aches because I don’t have it.

I realized that, if I were to die today (knock on wood, pour salt over the shoulder, horseshoes, and luck rabbit’s feet that I don’t), there would be few people who would mourn me. I’m not saying that I don’t have people who love me, and I am not trying to say that the people who love me don’t matter. It’s just that I have so few people in my life. My immediate family would be unconsolable. I don’t make friends easily because I don’t trust people not to hurt me. The friends that I do have seem to move on. In my brain, I understand that it is normal for people to outgrow each other, but my heart still hurts when they withdraw.

I am sure this macabre thinking has a lot to do with exhaustion and the grieving process. So much of my life is uncertain right now. So far, I’ve been able to face it with optimism. Right now, though, I am just tired and wishing that I had a big group of friends and family to take my mind off of everything. I want to be connected.

I just don’t know how to make it happen and that scares me.