Activated

“Activated,” “All Things Considered” and “Drugstore Backpack”

Corie Johnson

“Activated,” “All Things Considered” and “Drugstore Backpack”

Activated

There isn’t such thing as flat emerald and agreeing to a suicide pact with a falsely familiar stranger is not worth the novelty. We are all children of divorce.  Olive, teach me the art of being quaint. Show me how to construct the soundproof walls you’ve built for proper use to love as loudly as we do. I’m growing tired of warranted noise complaints and I believe you have perfected the skill. Your unscathed hands prove this. I stand in the bold face of the sun, let sweat pour violently down my eyelashes,  drip into my salty eyes and tell myself it is crying in reverse. The body reclaiming tears that have unrightfully fallen. I refuse sad endings unless they are in film form and did you know that upon unveiling each layer at the center of a Russian nesting doll, you can, given the right luck,  find what you consider love to be? That and (without or without luck) an insurmountably small and daft looking wooden doll.

All Things Considered

I want to write something big about a small suburb on the outskirts of Fresno where I spent two years on a peninsula of peach and grape fields. I want to write something small about a hospital in Culver City and its glitter bubble lettered “WELCOME TO SURGERY” banner which I find to be comical in retrospect or the bulletin board that featured a pink piece of printer paper penetrated by two push pins that read  “Employee of  The Month” and below it, a not-a-square-but-also-not-a-rectangle shaped mirror. I could let you in on how if you tell the nurses you’re prescribed Xanax they’ll pop two into your hand without checking to see if you’re lying. If you’re seeking reassurance or comfort, never ask an anesthesiologist what their process is because it includes “and then you stop breathing.” Maybe something of moderate size could be written about the hiccuping periods of life where decently sized portions of my abnormally thick hair would be released from my scalp into my bruising hands while showering and watching it clog the drain and perhaps go as far as to mention how it feels to unclog an abused shower drain every evening and an approximate number of how many latex gloves were put to use.  For two decades I was out cold by 7, up by 5 and a year of my mornings have been wasted by dressing and undressing myself in each article of clothing I owned to make sure they weren’t any tighter than the day before which resulted in a crying fit and stepping on and off of a scale 5 times no matter how the clothes ended up draping my endlessly morphing body. I’d leave out the part about scabies, they’re just as tragic and disgusting as they sound but there might be a demographic that would be thrilled to read about having an accidental pet boar. We weren’t fans of one another.

Drugstore Backpack

Third time's a charm made of that cheap and upon further inspection, ugly metal. The kind you

tap your nails on and in return greets you with the slightest echo and when connected to a bracelet tints

your wrist swamp green for 3 to 5 days. I prefer to over-indulge in my cigarettes in the brighter, taller

patch of

grass slightly adjacent from my building and directly across from the periwinkle building stuffed with my

one to three hundred neighbors depending on the time of year and time of day. Locking doors are reserved for special occasions. Sell your mint condition coffee table for less than half the retail cost, it isn’t serving you. Whelm it over and take my light suggestion to walk hand in hand alongside your mind back to lighter than a feather days. You walked into an unfamiliar kitchen, grabbed a fork and then, drenched in convincing performative confidence, combed it through your sweat-damp hair.

About the Author

Corie Johnson

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Corie Johnson is a writer, comedian, artist and Enneagram type 4 “living” in Los Angeles. She has been published in PeachFuzz Magazine and a couple of other things, she promises.