“Yokee” by Coolbiere. A.
I love this photograph. Something about it seems so explicitly human.
HOLY SHIT. i have chills.
watch, it’s powerful.
this is amazing.
Charlie Chaplin is my main man.
Blue and yellow on a palette:
Will you make the sky? Or the ocean?
A ladder and a tree:
Will you pick the fruits? Or make a treehouse?
The homeless man and his dog:
Will you give him spare pocket change? Or take a photograph and make thousands?
An official test result:
Will you use it to your benefit? Or lie to make yourself “better”?
Time passing and passing time:
Will you make the best of it? Or will you let it slip through your fingers?
The girl you adore:
Will you keep her closer? Or push her away?
The boy you love:
Will you let him know? Or wait for everything to fall apart?
i was driving my mother’s car through dark precipitation. the air was heavy, and it was still sinking. i rounded a bend, pulled into a large driveway, and froze. pain overtook me, an inescapable cold pierced through my skin and bones. i could not scream.
and then it was gone. i made myself get out of the car and entered the main building to the huge estate—an entire neighborhood was part of someone’s fifty-acre property.
i ran up the wide, old oak stairs to the attic where i was told my room was. the attic was massive and had four beds, each on a level that was one step down from the floor level. the beds were queen sized and had yellow sheets on all of them. lamps poking out of the walls gave the attic a calm yellow glow. the cream carpet covered the floor, but i could not feel it. after the cold had caused my nerves so much distress, i did not physically feel anything anymore. nothing but the agonizing cold.
a friend of mine ran up to me, grinning, stating that she wanted the bed that i was currently looking at. i smiled, because i had not chosen that one, i was only sizing up the windows. i turned to a bed at the corner of the room, lower than the rest, that had tall windows for a wall. i decided it would be mine.
another friend, a very dear past friend, asked me to come to their place to visit her and two others. i agreed hastily, for i had not seen them in years. i ran over, not wearing shoes, re-playing a forewarning that the temperatures outside were low enough to kill. i swiftly made my way over there, my heart racing, knowing that if i had spent any more time in the cold i would have been dead.
my dear friend and i shared a long embrace. she looked older somehow, as if she had matured to an age that her body did not fully suit. “everyone says they like it better this way,” she remarked, meaning her hair cut. i agreed.
i was informed that i was at this place to be part of a study that was being conducted in one of the buildings. newsflashes and headlines from the paper blinked in front of me. there was an experiment on human beings going on here.
i walked through a gigantic refrigerator. above me, beside me, all around me, emaciated human bodies hung from the ceiling, their stringy skin stretched on hooks. i could see muscle and tendon from their ripped open bellies and chests.
then there was ben. he was an eastern man who had died, but was now being kept alive through various tubes and hoses entering the stretched pieces of skin. his eyes were wide, lidless, and staring blankly at nothing. everyone that was staying on the estate disagreed strongly with what the scientists were doing to him. we wanted benny to be treated as humanely as possible—we wanted him to stay dead.
i dropped down to my knees and roared at the scientists who stood at the entrance of the experiment building. a friend of mine joined me. i felt a crowd of people behind me, growing in voice and number, and as the sun began to cast its pale shadows against the ivory victorian buildings, we chased the scientists back into their lab.
let the lights fall down,
feel the floor rise up,
and fill the air with universal emotion.
smoke spirals wrap
around each starstruck wrist,
in the thick air,
heavy with electric adrenaline.
fluorescents guide swaying bodies
and swinging hips
as the heartbeat to the night
keeps all pulsing
as one organism
that lives by
the endless river
of untainted expression.
i turned around to face the person who had spoken to me. he was an older man; that, or he was younger and had experienced more than a man his age should. his skin, like chocolate satin, folded and wrinkled around his wide, triangular smile. he leaned down on his walker, picking it up from its rubber feet and setting it down in calm rhythm.
“hello,” i replied.
“no disrespect, but you’re a beautiful young lady,” he nodded as we passed each other.
“thank you,” i smiled sheepishly.
“no, thank you!” his smile broadened and he tipped his cap in my direction. i grinned, confused, back. i caught his expression as the distance between us grew, our paths leading us in polar opposite directions.
with my refilled drink in my hands i tilted the straw towards my lips and drank in carbonated sweetness, wondering why that kind of compassionate recognition between strangers wasn’t more common and, if it were, why this moment seemed so precious. the simplicity of warmheartedness amongst everyday people would never cease to send my woeful image of humanity spiraling to the ground. kindhearted strangers in briefly intimate interactions keep this world sane.
our universe is built in dualities.