months | Teen Ink


September 4, 2017
By socialkaysualty PLATINUM, Dover, Delaware
socialkaysualty PLATINUM, Dover, Delaware
25 articles 0 photos 37 comments

Favorite Quote:
Let us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient etherized upon a table;
Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
The muttering retreats
Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels
And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:
Streets that follow like a tedious argument
Of insidious intent
To lead you to an overwhelming question ...
Oh, do not ask, “What is it?”
Let us go and make our visit.

In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo.

The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes,
The yellow smoke that rubs its muzzle on the window-panes,
Licked its tongue into the corners of the evening,
Lingered upon the pools that stand in drains,
Let fall upon its back the soot that falls from chimneys,
Slipped by the terrace, made a sudden leap,
And seeing that it was a soft October night,
Curled once about the house, and fell asleep.

And indeed there will be time
For the yellow smoke that slides along the street,
Rubbing its back upon the window-panes;
There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;
There will be time to murder and create,
And time for all the works and days of hands
That lift and drop a question on your plate;
Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions,
Before the taking of a toast and tea.

In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo.

And indeed there will be time
To wonder, “Do I dare?” and, “Do I dare?”
Time to turn back and descend the stair,
With a bald spot in the middle of my hair —
(They will say: “How his hair is growing thin!”)
My morning coat, my collar mounting firmly to the chin,
My necktie rich and modest, but asserted by a simple pin —
(They will say: “But how his arms and legs are thin!”)
Do I dare
Disturb the universe?
In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.

For I have known them all already, known them all:
Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons,
I have measured out my life with coffee spoons;
I know the voices dying with a dying fall
Beneath the music from a farther room.

So how should I presume?

And I have known the eyes already, known them all—
The eyes that fix you in a formulated phrase,
And when I am formulated, sprawling on a pin,
When I am pinned and wriggling on the wall,
Then how should I begin
To spit out all the butt-ends of my days and ways?

And how should I presume?

And I have known the arms already, known them all—
Arms that are braceleted and white and bare
(But in the lamplight, downed with light brown hair!)
Is it perfume from a dress
That makes me so digress?
Arms that lie along a table, or wrap about a shawl.

And should I then presume?

And how should I begin?

Shall I say, I have gone at dusk through narrow streets
And watched the smoke that rises from the pipes
Of lonely men in shirt-sleeves, leaning out of windows? ...

I should have been a pair of ragged claws
Scuttling across the floors of silent seas.

And the afternoon, the evening, sleeps so peacefully!
Smoothed by long fingers,
Asleep ... tired ... or it malingers,
Stretched on the floor, here beside you and me.
Should I, after tea and cakes and ices,
Have the strength to force the moment to its crisis?
But though I have wept and fasted, wept and prayed,
Though I have seen my head (grown slightly bald) brought in upon a platter,
I am no prophet — and here’s no great matter;
I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker,
And I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker,
And in short, I was afraid.

And would it have been worth it, after all,
After the cups, the marmalade, the tea,
Among the porcelain, among some talk of you and me,
Would it have been worth while,
To have bitten off the matter with a smile,
To have squeezed the universe into a ball
To roll it towards some overwhelming question,
To say: “I am Lazarus, come from the dead,
Come back to tell you all, I shall tell you all”—
If one, settling a pillow by her head

Should say: “That is not what I meant at all;

That is not it, at all.”

And would it have been worth it, after all,
Would it have been worth while,
After the sunsets and the dooryards and the sprinkled streets,
After the novels, after the teacups, after the skirts that trail along the floor—
And this, and so much more?—
It is impossible to say just what I mean!
But as if a magic lantern threw the nerves in patterns on a screen:
Would it have been worth while
If one, settling a pillow or throwing off a shawl,
And turning toward the window, should say:

“That is not it at all,

That is not what I meant, at all.”

No! I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be;
Am an attendant lord, one that will do
To swell a progress, start a scene or two,
Advise the prince; no doubt, an easy tool,
Deferential, glad to be of use,
Politic, cautious, and meticulous;
Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse;
At times, indeed, almost ridiculous—
Almost, at times, the Fool.

I grow old ... I grow old ...
I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.

Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?
I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.

I do not think that they will sing to me.

I have seen them riding seaward on the waves
Combing the white hair of the waves blown back
When the wind blows the water white and black.
We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown
Till human voices wake us, and we drown.

The waves rocked back and forth over my bare feet. I dug my toes into the sand and let the water touch my ankles. The salty breeze rustled through my hair, causing chills to crawl up my spine.
The water was very cold against my skin; I wondered if I should have chosen a different place for this shoot. Summer was nearly over and the air was growing slowly colder. Today, it was just the temperature where it was too chilly to swim.
I sighed and pressed the camera once more to my face, squeezing one eye shut and snapping a picture. The lens clicked. I pulled away and looked at the screen, my heart melting. The photo was a perfect capture of Elle's hair flying elegantly in front of her face, just barely hiding the smile that spread from cheek to cheek. I glanced back up and watched her twirl, her dress spinning around her. Her laughter rang out like a bell against the monotonous noise of the ocean. If she wanted to, she could easily be a model.
Elle tucked a lock of auburn hair behind her ear and watched the foam collect around her feet. I smiled to myself. Then, she glanced up at me. Her cheeks were rosy, eyes wide and filled with wonder. I flashed a lopsided grin, trying to focus on breathing.
"How was that one?" she asked exhilaratedly.
"It was amazing," I cleared my throat. "I mean great. It was great."
"Can I see?"
I nodded and she flounced over to me. I pulled the picture up and she leaned in closer. My eyes fluttered shut as I breathed in her flowery scent.
"Aw, Oliver!" Elle squealed. "This looks so good. You're so talented."
I laughed softly. "Thank you."
"Hey, lovebirds!" a voice called from behind me.
I turned around. My best friend Quincy sat leaning back on the towel, a smirk plastered on her face. She and Justin were giggling to each other.
"We're not lovebirds," my cheeks reddened.
She rolled her eyes.
"Whatever. It's getting cold. Want to head back?"
Elle and I looked at each other.
"Sure," she responded after a moment, shrugging and turning to me. "Oliver, what about you?"
"Okay," I said.
They stood and rolled up the towel as Elle and I walked towards them. She was practically dancing alongside me, humming as we went. Her personality was basically a reflection of pure happiness all the time.
We all traversed to the car, dumping our bags and towels into the trunk. Quincy and Justin slid in the backseat and Elle sat in the passenger's. I zipped my camera back into its case and closed the trunk.
"Ready, guys?" I asked, climbing behind the wheel.
"This was so fun! I want to do another photoshoot soon," Elle gushed.
I started the car and smiled at her. "Yeah."
"I just enjoyed the beach. That ice cream was bomb," Justin added.
Quincy laughed. The ignition roared softly to life and I backed out of our parking spot.
"Elle, you're in charge of music."
She nodded and reached out to turn the dials on my radio. She flipped through the stations until she found one that came through clearly.
"I love this song," Quincy said.
Elle glanced behind her shoulder.
The love of my life laughed and rolled down her window. She stuck her arm out and sang softly along to the words. I stared over at her, my eyes drinking in her porcelain skin and freckles. Her other arm was resting in between us, fingers tapping to the beat. I nearly reached out and touched her hand. It took all my might to resist the urge. I just wanted to feel my fingers graze the surface of her skin once more; it had been so long since I had held her.
The tips of my fingers turned white as I gripped the steering wheel tighter, trying to tune out the song.
It was "Yellow," by Coldplay.
I attempted to focus on the road, but began to feel sick to my stomach.
This was our song.
There was a time, months ago, when I'd lay with Elle in the bed of her dad's truck and watch the constellations. She'd sing this song to me and trace the lines on the palm of my hand with her pale fingers. I could never get the sound of her melodic voice and the feeling of her skin on mine out of my mind.
I looked over at Elle desperately. Her eyes were closed, a soft smile placed on her lips. She was perfectly content, and I wondered if she even remembered what this song was.
I tried to shake myself of the feeling in the pit of my stomach. After all, it had been months since she broke up with me. I should be over it. But I still hadn't healed.
I tore my eyes away from her and directed them back to the road, trying to look indifferent. She seemed fine. I'd had a lot of practice with pretending I didn't care, just for the sake of keeping her as a friend. I wasn't going to let our old relationship ruin the perfect friendship we had. I refused to lose her.
I didn't realize my eyes had fallen on her again. The sky was slowly growing into different warm hues that reflected gently off her skin. She looked angelic. I shook my head. What was wrong with me?
I trained my eyes back in front of me and willed myself not to look over at her again.
The song finally ended and I let out a breath I didn't even know I was holding.

The author's comments:

the neverending feeling of heartbreak, put into words from the point of view of Oliver Lean.

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