Tag Archives: poetry

Folding Laundry

When I was a kid, probably 9 or 10, I visited my grandma up north. And I was her little helper, always. Made sure my cousins that she watched while my aunts/uncles were at work were fed, entertained, disciplined, bathed, had their diapers changed, didn’t break more than one thing a day.

I kept my eyes on the sink when she was filling it up to do the dishes just in case she forgot to turn the water off, which she always did, even before her memory and mobility depleted. I stood right next to her, well, 2 feet away because she didn’t want me to get burned, when she made food and asked her to teach me again when I got older. And I helped her fold laundry.

And I don’t know why, but I thoroughly remember this one moment from being 9 or 10 when she finally decided to teach me how to fold laundry “correctly.” I sat on the edge of her bed and began to fold and she let me do it my way until I got around to every type of clothing from that load of laundry, and then she undid it all. I was crushed because I was so proud to help and had breezed through it [and there were so many clothes and I just wanted to be done. I’ve always just wanted to get mundane tasks over with but have the feeling of accomplishment from getting them done.] I didn’t say anything, because I never spoke up when I was younger, but she saw the look that was on my face.

And she didn’t sympathize. She said, “now, you did a good job. I appreciate your help, don’t think that I don’t, but if you’re going to do this, you need to do it right and learn how to as early as possible.” So she started with underwear, because you always do those first. Then onto shirts and then pants. One by one, showed me how and explained and showed every detail, and had me pick up the same type of clothing and fold with her. And I remember pants especially, she folded them in half and used her finger to hook the crotch out, and I felt uncomfortable with it because anything pertaining to sexuality made me feel “wrong,” and I still don’t know why. But I had to or else I couldn’t move on. And she could tell that I was hesitant and didn’t question, just told me that it was necessary and it’s okay. And I did it. And it was no longer strange after three pairs of pants.

And goodness, I don’t know why there was so much laundry when she had such an averaged sized, old fashioned washer and dryer, but I would never question that woman’s capabilities.

 

Eventually, we got to towels, and I didn’t get to those yet because we didn’t fold towels with clothes, but remember that I was SO reluctant the whole time folding my first one. And she just held her tongue until I finished one, and then showed me her very specific way. It was the “only” way to fold a towel, for her. She was a very specific, not picky, woman.

And even if her house didn’t have to be spotless and what not, it had to be particular- I learned that quickly. After we finished all of it and had it all set in the way that pleased her, she said to me, “see how good it all looks? That wasn’t so bad. You did a great job and I appreciate your help so much.” followed by, as she told me every time that I visited, “you’re going to be such a good mother. You take care of people.” followed with her predictable abruptness, “now get your ass up, ya doodlebug, let’s go.”

Now, that is all that I remember. We could have gone and watched Law & Order: SVU, which ended up being my favorite years later though I forgot that we used to watch it together, and it thrilled her when I told her that I watch it and love it about 3 years ago, or we could have gone and made food. I don’t know.

What I know is, again, that that woman taught me something. She taught me that it’s okay to be precise, and okay to fuck up and that it’s important to let people mess up, but not leave it and go fix it behind their backs later. She taught me to confront others when they do something wrong, and show them the right (best) way to as well as to make sure that they can accomplish it themselves and to talk to them and work with them, not at them. Not around them. She taught me not to shame for simple wrong doings, and taught me to still show appreciation and admiration for other’s efforts even if it’s not what you want/expect.

That woman always taught me something, and even if she seemed harsh, she wasn’t. Not with me. Or at least, I never perceived it as harsh. It was the only way that she knew how to care, and I admire that.

Love fiercely or not at all.

It doesn’t make you aggressive; it doesn’t make you harsh. She was compassionate, especially with me, always. I was her little helper and she was my best friend. And she never failed to teach me something.

And, I mean, she simply taught me how to fold laundry. So many lessons learned from folding laundry.

 

~Megan Chruszczyk

 

(~excerpt from my novel in the process of being written and I still have yet to know where or how to place this, but it matters)

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“I’m Sorry” Was Mandatory

It’s a little gloomy outside, but it’s still beautiful 

It’s windy and overcast, but weeds are still sprout and I find myself longing to rip up every dandelion and wish to take a trip back to an early 2000’s summer with a swift exhale 

I want to be single digit age without a single care in the world

I want to be rolling down the hilly, hole ridden lot across the street from the 2nd move of our fresh start after leaving my father single digit years ago

I want to be playing pretend in some silly, always original game that my siblings and I concocted, in an antecedent time of my siblings deciding that they can live without me- instead of pretending like I’m alright with the feeling of being only a half step above disposable to them

And, you know, I wish that I was just feeling sorry for myself, but the truth hurts like those scraped knees when we’d wipe out on our shared pink Razor scooter and the bikes that my ma won in a contest one Christmas 

I’d like, for a summer, to go back to my older sis deciding on a whim to go bike riding in the too-long Arrowhead Lake trail or my younger sis and I randomly going to the parks in town, walking everywhere, because we couldn’t sit still. For hours on end. Back before I stole a cigarette at 16 “just to try” and got addicted at 17, and 3 years later not having stopped since

Back when I was told that drinking too much pop is bad for me, before my first drink at 15 on the way back down south from an annual visit to Chicago, and before I got drunk for the first time on the floor of a shared hotel room on the day of my dad’s wedding, with my ex best friend pouring the shots and my family all asleep just one bed over, oblivious 

I want those dozen weeks to live in the comfort of a time when saying” I’m sorry” for hurting each other’s feelings was mandatory and I knew what I did wrong
But I should’ve predicted,or at least, expected that adulthood would be something along these lines, considering that my younger sis used to walk up and hit me just so I’d hit her back and she could get me in trouble. And now, it’s just emotional blows out of nowhere, and I haven’t hit back in years. Yet I still have to ignore her remarks like she inexplicably ignores me.

I want sit down family dinners of home cooked meals, but now I swear that we’re all just roommates who live off of fast food and gas station sandwiches

I want back the fights, because at least they acted like I exist, and storming out to walk the familiar streets. But we’ve been in the 5th house since our fresh start and all that I go on are repetitive route drives that I’m so sick of. I could live here another 4 years, god forbid, and still never have this town figured out up and down 

Give me only 3ft of hallway to my sister’s room, only separated by one dilapidating accordion door and a doorway of flower shaped plastic beads

Before I knew that there was a word for my darkness, before my void and sadness had a name.

~ Megan

Beautiful Beings

​”His breath got taken away while I couldn’t breathe at all and he sank into me with every contact of skin to skin. Even if just a finger first start to my shoulder, it’s not just that he himself was drawn in, but he couldn’t not melt into me. So much that he had to let my body somehow become a part of his. Our hair was two different completely different, but tangled together, the strands simply appeared to be made from the same beautiful being. My heart just beat out of my fucking chest and he would seemingly try to touch his to mine, like they did not synchronize or even communicate only by sound. The two just met as old friends who’d become strangers, and spoke at the same time but still understood one another though our minds had just been introduced.” ~ Megan Chruszczyk

Diary of the Girl Who Everyone Wants

I see a lot of posts about girls and women wanting to be the embodiment of desire:

To be the girl who is guaranteed a second glance, or a few, when they walk past men and women: not realizing that feeling like you’re constantly under a fucking microscope, that having more good days than bad sure as hell makes people think that a rough day for you gives them an open invitation to make commentary about your appearance, that even on your good days, someone is staring at you picking apart every single flaw that you are already fully aware of, yourself.

The girl who sweeps a sad boy off of his feet, after the girl who he thought that he was going to marry shattered his heart, and makes him feel better: not realizing that I don’t go home after “going home” with him and know that I’m the one who his heart longs for. I’m just a body. A good time. A fucking distraction, but not simply human. I’m the one who makes him feel special for a week, until she makes him heartsick again because the way that I delicately exhaled my cigarette reminded him of the way that he first kissed her lips 9 months ago on the same porch swing.

I hear complaints wrapped all in between longing about how these people don’t want to be just another face in the crowd, another wallflower, another body filling up the room: not realizing that I’d kill to blend it, to be looked over, to be lost in the crowd like I’m lost in my own fucking head. Overlook me, merely just as a passerby and not like you overlooked my budding feelings for him and him and the boy before that.

How they want to be the ultimate objects of lust: not realizing that I’m so sick and disgusted with being solely an object. I’m a huge step up from their hand, but I might as well be because he’s even less emotionally connected to me than he is to himself. I don’t want lust, oh my god, I want to scream, is what I want. Lust has no mercy and in turn, neither do I. But I want to love, maybe, and to be loved. To feel special for longer than a goddamn week only to be dropped faster than a dried out pen when he’s in a hurry to write down his feelings for her.

How they want to be the one who people have jealous conversations about as they walk away from flashing a smile and looking whomever is undressing them with their eyes up and down: not realizing that I want to wear anything, everything, without being looked at like an expensive suit that he’s looking to buy on his first date with the girl that’ll make his heart skip a beat when she’ll first call him “baby.” Or like the porn star who he fantasizes about when they get into a fight and he’s sleeping alone for a while. I’m looking them up and down to read their body language, hoping that, maybe this time, it won’t be so confident and obvious of their one sided intentions.

The one who seduces with a effortless smirk and makes breaking hearts look as mechanical as breathing: not knowing that I smirk because I don’t know how to smile and holy hell what I’d give to genuinely be able to, once. I’d love to even remember the last time that I did and didn’t feel guilty for it. And I wish that I didn’t break a single heart in my lifetime but it seems like the only thing that I’m ever able to reciprocate with my completely septic heart and rotten intentions and terrifying mind.

Babe, do you even realize just what in the hell that you’re asking for? What the fuck that you’re wasting your hours day dreaming about?

I can imagine that when it hits you that this is coming from the girl who “everyone wants,” that I won’t get much sympathy; but baby, I’m not asking for that nor do I need it.

I just want you to be careful what you wish for.

If someone would’ve told me that wishes do come true, I would’ve ran like hell away from all of those 11:11’s and shooting stars and pathetic prayers. 

Love, the girl who everyone wants but the girl who nobody loves

~Megan

Numbing Numbness (Life of a Writer)

​I can’t say that I feel anything for anyone. Nothing real, at least. 

“I miss you”s and “I love you”s have become so, for lack of a more unique word, empty. Hugs and kisses and sex feel good but not down to my seemingly broken soul. I wish that I could drown out these thoughts with the music and birds and kids playing and car alarm going off right now, but they whisper so softly that it’s almost like a fucking shriek. And I just wanna scream and burn away the painful words that’ll creep their way up my throat with cigarettes and the drip. But the vices can’t save me by drowning me anymore. This is the kind of numbness and disassociation and self confusion that I can’t fuck away. I can’t buzz away; I can’t smoke out of my body. Or snort out of my fucking mind. I’m so sick of being this sick. Was I born this ill? Why do my diseases and conditions have to affect me inside and out?

I miss being held and feeling like I was cured. But it only lasts as long as I can get used to somebody’s body and then the touch of their skin makes me uncomfortable in mine and then I feel disease ridden all over again. I hope to forget about this and read it over two years from now and wonder how long it’s been since I felt so hopeless and lost. But I seem to only get worse with every forgotten passage and lose articulation as time passes. 

I wish that he could save me or, god forbid, another he in my life… but I’ve been told and have told others that you can only save yourself. 

But what a fucking hypocritical cliché because I don’t have the slightest clue of what that means or where to even begin. 

I’m so scared, so fucking terrified and petrified that I will always have to self medicate to pretend to cope with so much fucking pain. I hurt so constantly and so deeply and it subsequently makes me feel more inclined to take it upon myself to dull it.

How in the hell does anyone think that they’re supposed to numb their numbness? 

I don’t think that a writer realizes just how much pain that they’re in until they unload after paper silence for months. It’s such a freeing entrapment.

I feel that I’ve made some sort of breakthrough yet I’ve just dug myself into an even more gaping emotional and mental whole. What a fucking morose contradictory art. 

I don’t know what I want to do or be. I’m afraid that I have no fucking clue of who I am, but I’m more afraid that I know exactly who I am. I think that the latter is more horrifying. 

How the fuck is this any way to live? How in the world is this a life?
~Megan Chruszczyk

For Me

Depression, for me, was crying with every bite that I took because it’s been 2 weeks and I still have no appetite and I couldn’t get out of bed even if I wanted to…which I seldom ever did.
My body was a ticking time bomb that was about to shut off rather than go off at any moment if I didn’t try to gulp down sips of water that I didn’t want- because that meant that I’d have to suffer through another day of feeling nothing. Hah, fucked up doesn’t even touch the word “depression.” I was so close to booking a stay at our nearest hospital. Whether medical or psychiatric,  I don’t even want to know.
Depression was sitting on my bedroom floor after seven benadryl and half a bottle of zzquil, somewhat muffled-ly hearing my mom beg me not to make her bury me
And then hearing those words replay again and again and again in the back of my fucked up head as I did even more reckless things.
I didn’t want to die, not consciously. I don’t know if subconsciously either, but in this case, ignorance is bliss.
All that I know is that I didn’t want to be, somedays. And I wanted to feel, literally anything, others.
Depression was hopelessness in THE most terrifying sense of the word. And clearly, that word is pretty fucking scary.
Depression was my worst enemy.
And my most reliable companion.

~Megan

I Do It For You

And I’m aware that the bottles don’t empty themselves
But I’ll pour it up and mix it up and sip on whatever that would be collecting dust on the shelves
I’ll lose you in my life if that’s the price that I have to pay for you to stop losing yourself
I wish that I could lie and tell you that I don’t love you more than myself
But I have to pour out something once more…
I love you more than anyone else

~Megan