Late Night Writing

Why is it easier to write late at night?
Or in the very early morning.
After the sun has long vanished
But hours before light reappears.

Are rays of light penetrating
To my mind’s inner workings?
Am I paranoid
Or just damn tired?

The thoughts come slower
But more deliberately.
With certainty,
Justification, and purpose.

They creep upon me
Like facts I had been ignoring.
But by computer screen light and darkness
Their honesty is striking.

Did the words decide to play this late?
Or did I beg them to
Because it’s easier being truthful
When there’s no one to reveal the truth to.

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Lifeling

She thought she was okay. The tears rushing down her face seemed to say otherwise.

Why won’t this let me be? Why won’t I let myself be? Clare thought to herself. She was always thinking to herself, speaking truths and half truths and outright lies. But who was there to check her? No one else heard the snide remarks, the reprimands, the pitiful whimpers.

Or did they?

She could never tell. But usually she told herself they didn’t, or didn’t care. As if her emotions were of any monumental concern to anyone else. Puh-lease bitch. She thought to herself once again. Why you?

There was definitely something wrong. NO! The thought charged forward. Don’t you FUCKING CRY….Again. The again dropped off as her eyes blurred, once again.

I’m a strong woman. She often told herself. I am a badass bitch come down from on high like the fucking hammer of Thor! But once the empty arrogance retreated to its tiny bitch haven in her brain the unbidden thoughts returned.

That’s how Clare knew the truths from the half truths and the lies. The truth reared its depression prone head whenever it damn well felt like sauntering up to consciousness. The confidence had to be fabricated and forced upon her thoughts. The empowering thoughts never came unbidden, they were sent for with envoys, banners, and entreaties. And they could only be disturbed to respond a small percentage of the time they were beckoned.

When the boasts didn’t answer a summon the truth only became stronger. Weakling. Clare usually got that one unbidden. You’ve lost the courage to speak to anyone but yourself. A vicious voice would often say. Well, hello then lovely. Fancy seeing you here. It would jest.

She would jest. She had to force herself to admit that all of the voices were actually her. I really am a bitch. That brought the first smile to her face for days.

If people had noticed her smile they probably would have stared in awe. Stand and bow, bitch.

She had the urge to buy a Butterfinger from the vending machine. Clare had some self control, I mean, she did send envoys to her own brain. That was the small shred of dignity she retained. It didn’t really make her feel dignified. But people complimented her on it. “You’re so healthy!” and “I wish I had the discipline to exercise like you do!” No one could say anything about her personality, so they used the only material given them: Clare’s legs. “Man I would kill for those legs!” Was a favorite.

In truth Clare only restrained from gluttondom because she wanted to punish herself. It was a perfect way to show you had control, moulding the parts of your body that could be altered without a scalpel. Now I just need to take up knifing, she thought. Then I’ll really be in control. What a sick fuck, she thought next. That was more accurate.

The only other time Clare felt any relief was when she was singing. Alone. No one else would hear that wailing. Only the walls of her shower and the confines of her car echoed back to her.

The water could drown her out. The car could stifle her bellowing, when her notes would suddenly shatter and her tears broke free. She could choke to herself, allow her recovery to come when it pleased.

She hardly ever wiped her face anymore. She let the wetness evaporate on its own. The streaks were another shield. No one would bother her with a salty face. Why get trapped into the sad sack saga of a complete stranger. It’s so much easier to go about your day with nothing but your blind ambition and sense of self importance guiding you.

There was one thing that truly cheered her. She knew how to be alone.

Not everyone can do that, be alone. Some take it as a sign that they’re not worthy of attention, that they drive people away. Clare on the other hand boasted about her aloneness. Never loneliness, she was not lonely. There is a difference.

Clare could while away the hours as well as a cat could. She identified with feline nature, independent, sassy, almost effortless in her daily happenings. She didn’t think that this was a bad habit. Who wouldn’t want to be able to entertain, or at least occupy, themselves for hours on end? Life went by slowly and quickly in the same instance, and Clare thought there was something to that. As if she had unlocked the key to life itself.

Well, she wouldn’t go that far. She still cried at random junctures without apparent cause. She couldn’t claim to be the advisory to the world, much less to any single sap who would listen to her.

She would often read; magazines, novels, non fiction, science journals, even instruction manuals. Sometimes she retained the information with startling clarity, and other times her eyes would just glaze over and she would enjoy the simple physical act of reading. She found people left her alone more often when she read in the public places she was required to visit. No one wants to be that dick that interrupts an intellectual act.

Other times she would stare out of her dusty window above her bed. Again, sometimes processing information with great focus and sometimes completely shutting out the world and all of its petty stimuluses.

What really got her through her emotion filled days was the fact that nothing mattered much. She would die, just as all would die. She would live, just as people were meant to live. She could comfortably couple with solitude for the rest of her days without impact.

In the end, she was nothing more than a speck of carbon living out its life sentence on earth. No matter what decisions she made she would always have an expiration date. There was an odd comfort in that, but a comfort all the same. Viva la insignificant! She smiled.

Flags Abound at Annual Ceremony

China Night at Mizzou

The Missouri Atlas

China Night merges culture of Shanghai University students with MU students

By Shy Hardiman

If you weren’t at the Missouri Theatre at 7 p.m. on Sept. 21, then you missed out on a blend of Asian acrobatics, sequined gowns, and colorful culture. But good thing you’re here, because we’ve got the scoop on how the evening went down.

Shanghai University’s student dance troupe, just hours before its performance, arrived for Mizzou’s China Night. No sign of jet lag was visible as the dancers performed traditional dance routines then were rushed away backstage to do a quick costume change.

From the Yi Ethnic Dance where the dancers gently swayed left to right while playfully incorporating umbrellas, to the Tujia Ethnic Dance where their feet never seemed to stop moving, there was not an inactive moment on stage.

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Photos: Annual China Night Celebration

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