joella

United States

she/her | high school | wasian | enfp

"i breathe color into deflated rubber lungs, a latex fairy godmother"

formerly ★ white mountains ★

Message to Readers

inspired by poetri's "a history of growing up", although I don't do it justice. go check it out
https://bit.ly/2ZxhQRm
I wrote this in one sitting and didn't even read it over...I'll probably end up unpublishing it to edit once I find a ton of mistakes.

a history in five stanzas

May 27, 2020

FREE WRITING

18
I.  fringed halo of soft brown curls, eyes like liquid pools of chocolate
    ready to soak up the world;
    introvert par excellence, you sat back and observed, absorbed. you
    watched your surroundings like scientists spying on a near-extinct species
    of tigers in the wild; fascination and curiosity and maybe
    a tinge of desperation, even then you knew
    probably somewhere in your subconsciousness that you would never quite
    fit in. (but it didn't bother you. you relished your differences, reveled in 
    your almond eyes and "gifted" mind, how you could be
    simultaneously loved and hated by every authority figure. it came with the territory,
    and you marked yours with the ferocity of the aforementioned wild tigers)
 
II.  you learned how to banter, how to flirt, you could snap back at anyone with wit
    as sharp as the yellow no.2 you tried to stick behind your ear; in retrospect
    you were an oddity in every meaning of the word, an aberration
    an anomaly ("creative genius" is another word for "eccentric")
    starred in your homemade plays in nonny's basement: bedsheet backdrops
    and decade-old powdered blush and bronzer and did I mention. you also
    ran a spa, complete with a plastic green bucket filled with multi-colored marbles,
    sensory delight for your toddler cousins
    and perpetual pain in the neck for your aunt and grandparents, who grimaced gamely and
    went along for the ride
    (you caked them in makeup and they played prince charming. you were cinderella,
    crowned in sticky-fingered glory)

III. lord knows how you became the leader of the pack but you did,
    polymer playground in primary colors swarming with little girls clothed in navy 
    and white; they are playing one of the many games you spun out of the top of your head.
    begged for a typewriter for your eighth birthday, of course they obliged, you were
    the sun in the solar system of joella, so your little fingers sped
    nimbly across the keys every day. sixty-eight single spaced pages in two months,
    you were convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that you'd write a book (you
    deeply disappoint your past self. but you have come to terms with it.)
    this mechanical machine by brother birthed a new era in 
    basement play, you now ran a full-fledged school, with report cards and 
    spelling tests and yes. even a dunce cap (no. I don't know how you came up with that.)

IV. you crushed hard, the boy with the tousled sandy waves who grew up alongside you in 
    your backyard became the sole object of your focused admiration almost overnight,
    petty cat fights over nothing with the self-anointed class queen. your friends
    told you she was jealous (on one hand you thought "I know" and on the other the quieter side
    of your subconscious said "of what?") stick-on earrings in neon purple and bubblegum pink,
    any adhesive you could get ahold of soon adorned your ears. no one told you how weird
    it looked, kind of like the impromptu side bangs (yes. you were the main character. this is not 
    always a good thing, joella.) jaiden liked you back and it was the elementary version of 
    hot girl summer, an amateur love story, you wrote poetry on the bus rides home
    when you weren't talking to him (he brought you a lollipop and offered to carry your books.
    your cheeks were perpetually flushed a deep mauve)

V. and we could continue, no doubt, anachronistically recounting the many reasons you have
    to be embarrassed for the younger you,
    but the many twisted paths we weave through tangled vines all lead to the same place. it is
    you, not monochrome but alarmingly (to the aforementioned younger you) conformist. what she does not
    know is that you don't need to douse yourself in neon shades and crusade against flower headbands 
    just because everyone else in enamored with the trend; individuality means not being influenced either way
    (specifically not doing something because everyone else does it is not the antithesis of peer pressure, but
    rather its stealthy counterpart)
    you eschew the expectations of decades past; the present is, after all, all you have
welcome to my tea party. I have both donuts and peanut butter cookies (as well as self-tanner. see previous footnotes.) please stay and dine with me. (sunny, mia, chrys, poetri- don't be late. the food is for you.)

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  • May 27, 2020 - 11:38am (Now Viewing)

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25 Comments
  • Chloe :) <3

    Replying: Contest Results are Out! https://writetheworld.com/groups/1/shared/178685/version/356929


    4 months ago
  • poetri

    this is a piece i shall never fail to com back to. just gorgeous. <3
    (i think i've already commented once lol sorryyyy)


    4 months ago
  • sunny.v

    replying: awww of course! that’s so sweet to say <3 it was jun lei’s challenge! i had to spread the love too


    5 months ago
  • The Midnight One

    My goodness this is wonderful... The imagery! Your writing is something else, I swear.


    5 months ago
  • Emi

    Oh my gosh, this is both hilarious and really relatable. I did literally the same thing when I was little—refuse to like something just because everyone else liked it. (I still do it sometimes.)


    5 months ago
  • ElsaRee

    AMAZING!!!! I LOVED it!!


    5 months ago
  • babybluelamentations

    how in the world have i been living without your writing dear lord. the abundance of beautiful imagery in this piece has me shook to the highest level. i love the artistry of this piece so much; its presented wonderfully <3


    5 months ago
  • TerenNeret

    I am in love with everything in this poem - structure, enjambment, language, imagery ('polymer playground in primary colours' !!!) . So so sososososo impressed!


    5 months ago
  • delete

    WOAH! This is absolutely creative, talented and full of words I can’t think of off the top of my head. You conveyed the stages of growing up in an intriguing way. I especially like how on verse three, you talk about playing pretend school. I remember all those games of school back in the day lmao. Also the ending was great, as you reflect on the past most of the poem, then at at the last verse, you talk about going forward and looking to now. Nice contrast! I loved what you put out here.


    5 months ago
  • sunny.v

    replying: omg houston! yes, quite near where i live! i visit Houston very, very often for family, and it’s likely i’ll be there! do you have a nonpersonal/writing ig that i can dm u on? my writing ig is sunny.the.wordsmith if you do. if not tho, lol yes i be carrying those thread convos. (HAMILTON IS AMAZING. i always related to his personality in the musical.)


    5 months ago
  • sunny.v

    replying: you had “wasian” in your bio and then i read the “me in three’s” and i was like PHEW THIS IS DEFINITELY NOT HER. i live in suburban texas (specifically home of the Spurs ;) ) and whoa same time zone! i’ve been to Chicago to see Hamilton and it was really cool! to think that we were in the same city at one point, :(


    5 months ago
  • sunny.v

    replying: well first of all your comment is just so sweet as always. and second, haha, funny story, is that when i first joined...i thought that you were said person lol (seeing as she’s a writer). you guys have the same nickname so i was like. hm. and then i read your pieces and learned more about you and i was like phew definitely not! funny story.


    5 months ago
  • cherryn

    Replying: Yes, it can.


    5 months ago
  • sunny.v

    replying: :( jo you’re so sweet...i’m hanging in there, i’ll try to be strong! also...what the heck is happening with your caterpillar piece?? i genuinely can’t think of anything graphic in there that requires it to be taken down. maybe wtw really hates kimchi??


    5 months ago
  • Anne Blackwood

    Replying: So are you <3


    5 months ago
  • poetri

    Replying: YES! I am so happy you watched it it's literally the best movie ever. What did you think about the ending? Typically people don't understand why he did the end with an iphone (good old Baker with his iphone lol) except mybe as a tribute to Tangerine, his first movie, but it's not actually that at all! It's because that's Moonee's dream sequence, kind of like rhe end of la la land but it's a little girl so it isn't as immaculate as la la land...and even if it makes a pretty ending, we all know what's still gonna happen. That's what broke me. I laid on my bed trying to breathe normally and my gut ached after watching that. My friends tried to call me and witnessed it, now for the life of me I can't get them to watch it with me (ugh some people are just terrified of emotion) but I'm so glad you did. :)


    5 months ago
  • asta

    "(yes. you were the main character. this is not always a good thing, joella.)-- the BEST way to indicate this is to smirk, chuckle, and stare out of windows on rainy days.


    5 months ago
  • Ruthh

    Oh gosh this is absolutely stunning!!!!!! I love the tone of the narrative and the way you’ve structured it. The line ‘(yes. you were the main character. this is not
    always a good thing, joella.)’ was so good


    5 months ago
  • poetri

    YAY I'M HERE I LOVE THIS
    also literally so honored you wrote a piece based off one of mine...omg wat??? is life real? ahhh i love this!
    and since i'm bad at parties be prepared for dorky jokes and staying wayy later than i should lol but it's goodddd we all friends here ;)


    5 months ago
  • sunny.v

    you guys make me laugh way too hard. anne literally just went “i’m crashing the party” ANNE YOUR FOOD SENSITIVITIES WHAT’RE YOU DOING


    5 months ago
  • chrysanthemums&ink

    for me?! *takes one* well i guess i will—
    ah, what a beautiful retrospective. was going to comment something like: 'oh the nostalgia' but i realized these are your past memories, right? (from the typewriter part). oh isn't it strange how similar yet different all of our experiences are? gosh, this style is so uniquely yours and no one could write it the way you did.
    and V.? i... i can't really say in words how beautiful and breathtaking the way you tied it up was (even the coherence of my thinking is slipping). that last line and everything that lead up to it... i both physically (my typing is getting sloppy) and mentally CAN'T


    5 months ago
  • Anne Blackwood

    This is glorious.

    P.S. I'm crashing your party and disregarding my food sensitivities.


    5 months ago
  • sunny.v

    I’M NOT LATE TO THE TEA PARTY. i’m ready for a life change, baby. A REVOLUTION! bahahaha i can’t stop laughing at “hot girl summer” omg that’s literally the best line everrr
    “ you eschew the expectations of decades past; the present is, after all, all you have” literally the most gorgeous way to end ever. this is such a beautiful, beautiful, personal piece? you’re a genius. <3 now hand me those donuts and cookies


    5 months ago