night number 3

So.. this is the third night in a row that I’ve had a dream like this. A kill or be killed dream.
The first two weren’t organized the same, but I still feel like this was related. Some kind of continuation…

But this time, I was part of an army- all pretty young like me.
We traveled through really dense fog or mist of some sort that had horrible visibility, in a giant group.
Our leader was named “Hero”.
And we had a collection of little dolls that represented real people. They would be brought as “spectators”- representing our loved ones and innocents back home.
And if something happened to the doll- it happened to the person.. So it was in no way a good thing. It was cause for anxiety.
We would march to a location where we suspected the enemy.
Then we would line up- out soldiers split in half, each half facing the other like a sickening mirror. Then the lasers would touch you; a small iridescent beam hitting your chest- it’s color giving orders. Green was safe- you were to stand back and watch things unfold. Usually on the ship (which was black and rusty and cloaked so as not to be seen). Red was active- you were part of the attack/defense on this particular wave. Purple was special- you would be given individual orders for your current mission. Generally something like a sniper or enemy infiltration.
And you did as your color indicated. I don’t know yet what the repercussions for failure to comply are, but they’re obviously not good if I didn’t notice anyone ignoring their orders.
I had dolls for some of my family members in Japan. Luckily I had an officer as a friend who would watch over them for me. When I had that sickly feeling that we weren’t alone he gave them to me and I raced backwards, down the old stone stairs, to my host mother Emi, who was not a fighter but for some reason made to join us on this damned pilgrimage.
I headed back, fighting off the first wave from a distance. Not doing too much for I was not purple.

After the first wave we regrouped, facing each other, and I did not receive a color.  Panic settled over me. I asked those around me and they looked sympathetic, saying they hadnt seen anything on me either.

Then the next wave hit and I moved impulsively.
Like I had received orders my conscious self hadn’t been aware of.
I was purple. But not a simple assignment had been forced upon me. I was no mere  sniper.
I bolted.
I ran full-force towards the attack.
I spotted a particular target, incredibly muscular with a wild look in his eyes and a demonic demeanor. He was way too confident and had eyes such a bright aqua-blue color that they seemed to be lit from behind.
I followed him around the corner of a black metal monstrosity (the form and use of the building I could not tell) and saw him take down a purple before I got there. He held his victim in his inhumanly strong arms, putting his mouth to a particular spot on his neck, and breathing in- as if pulling the vein to the surface of the skin with a vacuum until the man fell limp. I assumed the carotid artery had burst with the pressure.
I barreled into him, with an insane lack of fear. We tumbled around for a bit, and I was shocked to realize he wore no armor. He held me as he did his last victim, and I made sure he couldn’t reach my neck. In fact I went after his. Before his grip ensnared me too tightly, I wrapped me legs around him to gain some leverage.  I searched for the same approximate place on his neck and I bit, and I bit hard. I could notice the shock register in his muscles. But damn it, what was this guy made of? He was crushing some other pressure point of mine as I bit down, fighting the blackness of unconsciousness while trying to send him into that dark place first.
And finally I felt my teeth pierce through, and he started to go limp, but kept on attacking me- so I didn’t stop there. I bit down with all the force I could muster as his grip slowly weakened, but those eyes. Thy never changed. They were simply disturbing.
I stared into them, biting, until they finally shut.
I grabbed him by one of his ridiculously thick arms. Holy shit- did I seriously knock him out? I was suddenly panicking that he’d wake up as I moved him, and that I wouldn’t be able to fend him off a second time.
I quickly dragged him out into the fray, which was unsettlingly empty. I searched for the ship to drag him to, which was confusing since I COULDN’T SEE IT. I was waved over by a slightly aged gentleman, obviously a higher ranked officer, so I headed to him as my deadweight luggage fitfully began his return to consciousness.
When I was close other men appeared to take him off my hands; I had reached the ship. But those uniforms- the hell? They weren’t of our military’s.
Damn it.
This was an enemy ship.
I was so confused- what the hell was going on? Why were they doing this? I was obviously not one of their own.
The man who had flagged me down gave me a warm drink and a towel. We watched as my captive was detained in a glass cylinder.
Inhuman indeed.
Apparently this army had been using experimental procedures on select soldiers, enhancing their capabilities with the risk of serious side effects. Only those deemed the most fit, stable, and worthy contenders were chosen to be lab rats.
And were immediately  released into the field.
This one I had brought back was not selected for these qualities. He was a hotheaded scrawny soldier with an ego unfit for his weak body. Why had he been allowed to change?
It hadn’t gone well. When he was injected the aqua color came to his eyes and shone through his veins. His spindly left arm had torn itself completely off just above the elbow, but when medical assistants stepped closer to intervene, the word “no” could be heard amidst his screaming. His body contorted and his muscles spasmed, the “whites” of his eyes bulged and glowed that sick aqua color as they rolled to the back of his head. His skin took on a grossly blue hue and thickened like rubber. His arm snaked around and contorted, obviously the most painful part of this stage, as his bones cracked and jutted forth; a new arm grew into place.
This was how he went out.
This was the monster I had somehow managed to take down.
And for some reason was being helped by his creators?
Some secret faction of the enemy’s side that wasn’t exactly.. Enemy.
The man brought me further back in the ship and asked if I had a way of contacting my officers. I mentioned the military sanctioned phone I carried and pulled it out of a pocket in my uniform. It was a small black flip phone that glowed red. I opened it and chose the contact “Hero”. My benefactor guided me to a small restroom behind the office, telling me to be quiet and keep an eye on the lock.
I entered, locked, and dialed. Standing against the dark wall, facing the door I had come through.
The ringing stopped but I heard no voice. I spoke quietly into the device telling of my placement on an enemy ship. I did not want to be reported dead.. Also I wanted to get the hell out.
A girl knocked on the door and I asked for a minute. She was polite and walked away.
I redialed and while leaving my second message, a second girl came around. This one not so polite. She asked “are you talking to someone?” And wouldn’t just let me be. She ended up sneaking something Into the lock, drawing a piece of the mechanics back until it opened, and barged her way in. She was a tall blonde girl with a long ponytail. Obviously an officers daughter as she was too clean for fighting and too self absorbed to be treated less than daddy’s little princess.
She crossed her arms and challenged my words, but somehow I got her to drop the suspicion and she led me back to her place like a stray dog.  A new toy to play with.
We crossed borders to a new ship; a civilian ship. She led me to her home, a bright Victorian with wide staircases, lively paint and warm blankets  tossed over homey couches.
She led me up a staircase to her room, obviously hungry for a friend her own age. Surprisingly nonchalant. She didnt care that I was in fatigues ripped and covered in mud and blood. Luckily so much so that you couldn’t tell that they were distributed by another military.
Her family was packing that night to go on a vacation. She wanted to go to the gym and since I said I needed to get back to that other ship soon she said she’d take me to see the “institutional” gym on the way since it was located on that ship.

photo 2 final

this is my final project for photo 2. It’s called the little things.
It’s not what I wanted, due to extreme time constraint and, well, the rushing of a busy life.
Not to mention Monday.. terrible, terrible Monday.

leeann

On Monday, my step-sister Leeann was the first person to get ahold of me and check to see if I was safe from the bombs.
I don’t think she’ll ever know just how much I appreciated that.
How incredibly glad I am to have her for a sister.

When I got her message, a flood of memories came back to me.
Of that day when my sisters and I stood in line to the left of my father’s casket, with his mother, brother, and sisters lined up with us.
All of these people were just coming in, making a big U-turn from the entrance, to the casket, and then down our line, giving out condolences like we were a group of kids and it was Halloween.
And I was still in shock. I was stone-faced.  I was numb.
And then I saw my stepsisters walk through the entrance of that room, that room that my legs itched to sprint out of.
And Leeann didn’t pause for a second.  She didn’t even stop and consider moving through that U-shaped line until she got to my sisters and I.
No, once she was in the room she kicked up her heels and ran straight across the room.
She ran straight over until she was suddenly plowing into me, holding me in a hug I will never forget.
And that was when my tears started to fall.

I felt sad, and I felt loved.

leather

My time in Japan impacted my life more than my friends and family really understand.
One afternoon our family in Nagasaki went out shopping, and we stopped by a friend’s, the incredibly talented Tomosuke Nakayama,  shop.  He’s an incredible artist, leather-worker and silversmith.
He had a small case in the middle of the shop with smaller items on display & for sale.  There were leather bracelets of different sizes, colors, and patterns, and I found one that I really liked.  I asked how much it was, and when I went for my wallet he motioned for me not to.  He pulled out the beginnings of the same kind of bracelet, and wove the leather into a beautiful pattern, right there for me.  He said it’s a gift, and wouldn’t let me pay him for it.

I wear this bracelet every day, and every time I see it I am once again touched by his kindness, and reminded of my loving families and friends in Japan.
It means so much to me, I don’t even know how I’d react if something happened to it.

guitar

There’s a reason why girls always love a man that plays guitar.
It’s not just “cool” or a show of talent; it’s one of the most soothing kinds of music out there.
One of the few belongings I possess from my father is one of his guitars.  Granted, it’s an old, cheaper one, it’s still mine, and it was his.
My sister Taryn has his Ovation, which is just an amazing piece of my childhood with him..
Every morning I would wake up early, so I would fetch my drawing pads and pencils, and head to the living room in our small apartment, where the windows made the room open and light. I would sit there, cross-legged, and draw until my father woke up, or my sisters came out to join me.
When my father woke up, he would go into the middle room (a room with our furnace and bookshelves between the kitchen and the living room) and take his ovation off of its stand, bringing it into the living room where he’d take a seat at the edge of the couch and play.
He played before breakfast, before brushing his teeth, before dressing.  He started his day with his guitar.
And I miss it so much.

dad mom ring

This is the ring that my mother wore while married to my father.
They were hippies, huh?
My father also had a heart engraved onto the inside.
Cute.

japan

My best friend in Japan sent me a package that arrived only a day or two before my birthday.
I  love her (and everyone else ) so much.

glasses

My eyesight isn’t all that bad, but when I first got my glasses, I was so happily surprised at all I could see.  That I could see leaves on the trees outside, instead of just a mass that I knew to be leaves.
This is because of my appreciation for sight; that I can see all the beauty that surrounds me in this world.

jacket

Kristen asked me to save this coat for her when she was 10 years old.  Dad

After my father died, I went back to the apartment, where his sisters and brother were already rummaging through his, and our (my sisters and mine) belongings..
To keep it short and simpler for you, my sisters and I weren’t allowed to keep much, not even of our own belongings.
But one thing that I did get was my father’s jacket.
He always had a leather jacket, and when we were ten years old, he retired one for another.
While “cleaning out” his closet, someone came across this old jacket, with a note in the pocket.

He had saved it for me.

scar

Scars.
They’re small.  They’re remnants of a wound, now closed.
In all technicality, they are a sign of being healed.
But they tend to have so much more to them than you would expect just from looking.

prescription

You would never know how medicated I was if you didn’t know me.

buzz lightyear

This belongs to my best friend, Michael.
His girlfriend gave him this Buzz Lightyear keychain years ago, and he wears it everyday, even though it’s so old that one of his wings has been ripped off, and the paint is partially removed from his face, leaving a pretty frightening visage behind.
But he loves her.
So much.