Flash Fiction Reading & Analysis (The Creeper ~ Sage of Tarkus) (VIDEO)

Features “The Creeper” and “Sage of Tarkus”
from The Artist, The Muse on Amazon.com

Being Abnormal

Being Abnormal by Valerie Parente

It’s just lonely…
when you’re not allowed to express pain
because you’re the mentally ill girl who can’t be taken seriously,
when you’re not allowed to drive the freeway
because no one has faith in the skills you’ve achieved,
when you’re not allowed to paint your face
because you never give in to a normal level of intimacy,
when you’re not allowed to respond to hate
because defending your mental state is a luxury,
when you’re not allowed to remember heartbreak
because normal people don’t take this long to grieve,
when you’re not allowed to cut to the chase
because only crazy people act with so much honesty.

It just gets kind of lonely inside my brain
when even your loved ones can’t understand how you operate,
because I know that my honest-to-God pain only frustrates,
adding a whole new layer to what should be normal heartbreak.
I guess what I’m trying to say
is that ordinary things like a broken heart or a common sickness
are a lot harder to cope with when you have a mental illness
because people always have a million rational reasons for why you’re incorrect
but your hyper-sensitive mind has never been dictated by such logic.

– Valerie Parente (10-9-2020)

I’m The Bad Guy

I’m The Bad Guy by Valerie Parente

I’m the bad guy
because I knew how to use my words to paint a picture of how it felt inside.
I’m the bad guy
because I wanted someone I cared about to have a permanent place in my life.
Somehow I’m the bitch and cold-hearted
because I removed myself so you could have the relationship that you wanted.
I’m the bitch and a creep
because losing all the good times devastated me.
I’m the psycho and a trouble-maker
for the tumultuous sadness I’ve put to paper.

I guess it just amazes me that to this day
I’m the one with all the blame
for the hyper-sensitivity I put on display,
the thing about me you once called a strength.
And you might ask “Why is she not over this yet?
Why can’t she shut up and just forget?”
But who cares? This is anonymous.
If its hard to read, that’s your own conscience.

I’m doing better in so many ways
but I think that as the seasons change
it reminds me of the old days
and that brings back a lot of pain
because nothing destroyed me more than when I left
well aware that I was about to lose a good friend
and every now and then I just need to express
the very worst feelings that once felt the best
because it’s still confusing to comprehend.

I want nothing but the ability to cope
with the scars that once marked my hope
and I’m not sure why I even have to explain myself
to the very people who ridiculed my mental health.

– Valerie Parente (10-3-2020)

Pick A Side

Pick A Side by Valerie Parente

I’m either a threat or I’m a mess.
This cannot be a dual process.
Because you say that I’m problematic
and then in the very same breath
that I have no influence on your conscience.
You cannot have it both ways,
I’m either intelligent or I’m crazed.
And if you think I’m a combination of both
then you’re in support of the role I chose.

– Valerie Parente (10-2-2020)

There’s Clearly Something Wrong With Me But I Kind of Don’t Care Anymore

There’s Clearly Something Wrong With Me But I Kind of Don’t Care Anymore
by Valerie Parente

I once had a date try to kiss me
I shoved him off of me ever so quickly.
I once had a man grab me by the waist
I ran off before I could see the embarrassment on his face.
I once had a guy hold my hand on a walk
all I could think was “I can’t wait to wash him off”.
I once had a movie night with a boy that drove me crazy
I was pissed when he interrupted every scene trying to touch me.
I once had a guy ask me for a kiss
I was so damn uncomfortable I purposely missed.
I once had a boy text me over and over about his day
I didn’t add him in my contacts in the hopes he’d go away.
Not once, not twice, not even three times
did I go out of my way to make a fool of these guys
because when someone sees romantic potential in me
you can bet I’ll try to sabatoge it immediately.

– Valerie Parente (9-21-2020)

The Romance Experiment

The Romance Experiment by Valerie Parente

I hate trying to make my love life seem relevant
with this nonsense in the world known as The Romance Experiment.
It’s when I give someone a chance
before I get the chance to vomit
then I vehemently try to stop it
and don’t give you any options
back and forth with what I’m wanting
because one second I’m terrified of being alone
then the next second I’m terrified of being anything but my own.
Yes it sure is fun, my love,
trying to get intimate with me
and when I say I want intimacy
I mean intellectually.

– Valerie Parente (9-21-2020)

Sick Cycle

Sick Cycle by Valerie Parente

The fear of intimacy comes from the fear of touch
and the fear of touch comes from the fear of germs
and the fear of germs comes from the fear of intimacy
and I’m stuck in a sick cycle of social chastity.

– Valerie Parente (9-20-2020)