Pancake dreamed of dying and being carried away in a rainstorm, his body flush to the beat of whatever the sky poured over. He wanted the world small and flat in his palm. He planted herbs in his father’s yard when the moon had waxed so much it looked like a hole in the sky. The moon filtered light against the riverwater where bugs went to drown. Pancake pulled out bark and roots like they were small animals. Sometimes he listened for the bluest breath. He loved the moon and pretended it was nothing but his. The moon was his and everything was silver. The moon was his and the bugs couldn’t talk. If they could they would still bury their soft noses in the soil. Their faces grabbing the earth. The earth grabbing the herbs. The herbs grabbing the sky. The sky flush like the soft side of an egg yolk. Pancake reached for his own arms something weary, warm with dirt.




     I have somehow spent 30 minutes on the sidewalk, letting my jacket dip in slush, contemplating my first name. Perhaps this is why I am considered strange. Maybe it’s because I never trim my hair, and I look like I belong in a hippie costume on a Halloween bag at Ricky’s. Maybe it’s because I have the face of a guy who’s been driven to jail at least 6 times for “drunken disorderly conduct." (I think it’s mostly because of my beard... It’s always the beard.) Maybe it’s also because I have a shady face. Some people have faces that indicate how cute and happy they are. But my face is rather bland, I kinda look dead. I have cheekbones that are non existent, and thin almond shaped eyes, my eyebrows are big and as thick as caterpillars, and my beard is two shades darker than my hair. Maybe I’m strange because I’m lonely. I constantly feel isolated. I feel like I suffer from numbness. Not the type of numb most teenage girls claim to feel because they argue with their moms. Numb as in time flies before you, and no matter how hard you try to grasp it and cherish one second, it slips through your hands like sand in an hourglass. There’s no other way to put it: it’s fine though. I’m accommodated to living alone. I have enough silverware and plates for one person, and I have a king bed. I don’t share it though, it’s because I sleep in starfish and I am a 6’2 man with long arms and a Labrador who refuses to sleep in his own bed. I am used to living alone, that’s why I moved here. I dropped everything. I used to live with my brother, until I realized he only sheltered me out of pure pity. I can still hear him over the phone with his buddy, telling him how when ‘the embarrassment’ left to take a walk, his group of friends could come over. So I bought a one way ticket to Paris, and grabbed my wallet and laptop. I also grabbed his cash, that’s what he gets for being ‘the most welcoming brother in the world.’ And here I am.
     Back to my point, don’t think I am some depressed fool. I am happy. I am lonely and happy. Sometimes, however, loneliness does eat you up and consume you. That, my friend, is how life works. Loneliness is never easy. I do enjoy being lonely sometimes, it makes my writing process a lot easier, and you never have to clean your home after welcoming guests, considering I don’t have guests. At least, I think I’m happy.
     The sky was still glaucous, since it was barely 7. The stars were still visible through the foggy sky, turning a pale shade of gray blue. It looked the same shade as the water in Claude Monet’s “Lily Pads”. I love that painting, and I love art for that matter. I find a refuge in art, the colors and styles warm me up. But I hate cubism. My hate for cubism has always existed ever since I was a mere boy. The look of it drives me insane, it’s difficult to understand. And since I perceive myself as a simplistic human being, I don’t like to overthink. Cubism=Overthinking. That’s the only math I can do. But coming back to what I was saying earlier, I like art. Especially impressionism. It’s simple. I’m simplistic although I’m not simple. I’m picky, but I think rather simplistically, although sometimes I tend to drift off into some type of madness, and I talk to myself too much (I think this writing proves it). Art is easy. You can buy a ticket for any museum under 20 Euros, and you can sit in there all day. It’s perception. It’s judgment. But it’s never bad judgment. You can sit in the gallery you prefer, sit on the floor or bench. You don’t have to properly formulate or express what you think to another person. How you see art is your own little secret. It’s nobody else’s business. You can hate an overrated piece without being interrogated. Except when you see the Mona Lisa. The Louvre
 is lovely and all, don’t get me wrong, but that “Joconde” thing is way too overrated. And she’s not even that pretty. I don’t see what all the fuss is all about. I swear the room they ‘preserve’ it in gives any person claustrophobia. I say preserve ironically because I doubt all that photography and dioxygen helps it out. It probably just ruins it. That’s alright though, they will have space for another piece, that deserves such a cherished this spot.
     From what you’ve heard, I probably sound as mean as the grinch who stole Christmas, or just some negative creep. Well I’m a lot more than a negative creep. I’m a great negative creep. I am essential. No, I don’t inflate my own ego, but honestly, I know I’m right. The world needs people like me. We can’t live in a world full of overly peppy and happy people. We need corny dressed weirdos who are blunt and honest. It’d be cool to live in a fully happy world, there’d probably be less controversy and less war. That’s not right. Don’t get me wrong, the world doesn’t need dictators. But it needs sarcastic people who wear ironic ugly sweater vests, or overly thick specs. Or men in their 30s who avoid economic discussion and have no intention to be stockbrokers.



Emily Zhang is a student from Maryland. Her writing has been recognized by the Adroit Journal and the Kenyon Review.

Zoé Gamet is a sixteen year old student and aspiring writer living in New York City. Living in such an absurd city inspires her to write about the things she sees everyday.