We must not always talk in the market place of what happens to us in the forest.

Nathaniel Hawthorne



I tap my fingernails against the clipboard on my lap. The sound echoes through the dark dreariness of empty space. It’s darker than the darkest night, yet I can see the cold metal chair across from me. It’s in disrepair and the paint has chipped from use. My legs are quivering as I bite my lip in anticipation. I look up from the emptiness lying below me. Kurt is there. He surveys me with a long drag of his cigarette. His faded jeans are wrinkled and torn at both knees. A pilly sweater covers his thin figure. His hair is dirty and bedraggled and he smells musty like antiques in a basement. I am in awe of his presence. He carries a bitter scowl offset by a delicate glow encasing him.

“You’re here, Mr. Cobain,” I manage to whisper.

“Call me Kurt. I’m twenty seven for fuck’s sale, not a corporate asshole in a business suit,” he snickers. His use of the English language is a slap in the face. I take a deep breath as I’m about to ask him the one question I’ve been persuing my whole career.

“Well, Kurt.” Calling him by his first name itches my tongue. “Why on earth did you kill yourself?’

“All you people are just fucking dying to know aren’t you? It wasn’t Courtney or Frances or my fans.” He shrugs. “I got cool, ok. My creativity wasn’t worth shit anymore. I explained why. Maybe you should go read my note again, kid. There’s no secret meaning. I’m not worth overthinking about. You can only stay true to your music style for so long. I was done after Smells Like Teen Spirit, I really was.”

I feel anger boil through to my brain. He wasn’t telling me anything, I didn’t already know. He was so arrogant, so self-righteous. This was an interview. He seemed to think I was here for his own entertainment.

“You should just leave, kid. I’m no good for anyone. I’m an empathetic fuck-up. Stay in school,” he continues. Smoke emerges from the corner of his mouth. Kurt coughs loudly.

“For someone who’s put on such a pedestal, you’re very rude. I don’t think you’re fair. You left Courtney and Frances with no warning. Your wife and your daughter. What the hell?” I shout.

For the first time, the corners of his mouth form a smirk. He even utters a hearty laugh that shakes the darkness from all angles. His tone softens.

“I like you, kid. I had an attitude like yours. It got me killed.” He laughs extremely hard, like it’s the best joke he’s ever heard.

“My name is Bethany.”

“Ok, kid. What do you want?”. I settle with the fact that he’s not going to call me by my name.

“Why did you shop at the Salvation Army, even as a profitable musician?”

“I liked saving money, being frugal, the whole America dream. It wasn’t a trend for me. It was a part of my life fame couldn’t change,” he answers.

As I scribble on my clipboard, Kurt gets up and swaggers away in that childlike walk he never grew out of. He winks. He quickly dissipates into nothingness. Disappointed, I sigh into the darkness. On my clipboard, in stressed, jagged lettering, is the sentence “God is gay.” In the distance, the grungy riffs of “Smells Like Teen Spirit” sound through the emptiness with a loneliness that electrifies my heart.

Accepting People

In life we meet different people, with different names and stories and backgrounds. Some you are better off knowing as little about them as possible and some you are better of knowing their life story. As you get to know any person over time, they’ll say things you don’t agree with, do things you don’t approve of, and have different motives than you. But what’s important is not arguing with them for what you think is right, but accepting that that is how they are going to live their lives and be successful in their own way.

Night Sky

The speckled sky,
Night lost in time,
Brings your face closer to mine,
The silent calm,
Is the slight touch on my palm,
And I know how to feel.

The world it dances,
In love’s cruel stances,
To make me what I’m not,
As my eyes are lost deep in thought.

My Declaration of Independence

When in the course of dating life, it becomes necessary to openly express my disapproval of breakups via text message, then the reasons for this separation should be declared.

I hold these truths to be self-evident: – that breakups should take place in the company of the significant other; that I shall obtain the right to punch my significant other in unmentionable places; that I shall be able to shout profane language in his company afterward; that I may see him crumble to the ground at the thought of life without me; that he will pay in full for his heartless actions.

The history of the breakups via txt message is a history of repeated offenses:

they have subjected me to endless nights without closure, pondering the real reason he ended the relationship;

they have caused me to feel violent emotions of rage and woeful loneliness;

they have made me waste hours on end searching Google for remedies to my broken heart;

they have resulted in me calling my best friends at odd hours to have them reassure me that I can “do better”;

they have ended in gluttonous consumption of ice cream and other tasty treats;

they have caused me to sit by my communication device for an eternity, waiting for an apologetic reply;

they have tempted me to send witty, devious message to my ex ;

they have made me wonder why he thinks I deserve to be treated in this manner;

they have destroyed my confidence in the security of any relationship.

        In every state of these oppressions I have held back my emotions; I have assured myself that this would never happen again; I have responded with understanding and acceptance, I have not let it bring down my spirit; I have let it go without hesitance.

        I, therefore, the teenage girl solemnly publish and declare independence from breakups via text message.