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last fall i stole my friend down by the tama river. we sang. we danced. we skipped dead fish like rocks and watched them get swallowed by the undertow. we got sick off of bad chinese food and went skinny-dipping and then a week later she drowned herself.

her uncle was a yakuza, i think, but he really just wanted to be al pacino or something. anyway, she loved him a lot. maybe that’s why she went down the way she went down; cement shoes. not real cement, but it was the same idea. she had two cloth bags with yellow-painted cinderblocks inside, and they were tied to her ankles like the prisoners’ chains from o brother where art thou.

in my mind’s eye i can see her, limping dreadfully close to the edge of the current, her left hand gripping at her breasts through a loose t-shirt. kneeling by the wastelands, elbows in the gravel, crawling forward out into the water. angry like a dermis under wool, all teeth and salt and sand. sleepy, submissive, sublimated.

and then just sinking. just like that.

i’d gotten a text from her asking me to meet her down by the river again. she said i was the only one she could trust. she said she was crossing over the sanzu. i thought to myself she’s not even buddhist, and then i clutched at my phone and ran. i don’t remember getting on and off the train, or texting her back are you drunk? and stay where you are.

the water wasn’t deep. it was only about ten feet or so. there were three heavy lines in the dirt from where she’d dragged her feet and head—there must have been an easier way for her to die. less meaningful, more mangled. i wish she hadn’t put herself through the trouble. i wish i wish i wish a lot of things.

i followed the lines down into the river. i called out her name. i ducked downward—the water was fucking freezing. but i felt something, soft like an underbelly beneath my foot, and it crawled its whole self all up into my gut like a hookworm. i jerked northward, the sting of water in my throat and in my eyes. i floated on the surface there, coughing and hacking, and then drilled my body right back under.

the rest of me was up there on the waterline though. still floating.

her body was heavy, and her right foot was tangled in thick riverweeds. i couldn’t pull her out, i could barely even see, but by this point i knew it was her. i knew. who else could it be? i panicked, crawled back to shore, threw up a couple of times, and called 119. while i waited, i kept on thinking to myself she’s still under, she’s still under. i sat out on the rocks by the river, my clothes soaking wet, and i think i could’ve fallen asleep there, far below the center of the sun, if the sirens hadn’t knuckled down and corkscrewed me out of it.

it wasn’t difficult for them to get her out. it made me feel kind of jealous, honestly—they called my parents, tried to send me home, but i’d wanted to see the body. her limbs were small, knotted, and very very quiet. her eye sockets hunched forward and shut, her mouth a plane of land. it’s all so vivid a memory, and yet i can really only recall two things with great certainty:

when they found her, she was sleeping with the fishes.

when they found her, her hair was in her eyes.
death is not a metaphor; death is not a meaning.

(or: your body can speak if you've got nothing to say).

edit: yelLS I GOT ANOTHER DD OH GOD WHAT I DON'T UNDERSTAND.
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Daily Deviation

Given 2013-12-07
:iconladybrookecelebwen:
LadyBrookeCelebwen Featured By Owner May 23, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
*A late congrats on the DD. :P I just saw it today.
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:iconladybrookecelebwen:
LadyBrookeCelebwen Featured By Owner May 23, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh, this is so sad but wonderfully written! :) Congrats on the DD!
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:iconmagnius159:
Magnius159 Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Very nice to see this get DD :)
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:icontaschasan:
Taschasan Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
That was a really excellent piece, truly wonderful.

(The only thing I don't understand is the second part of the last line: "her hair was in her eyes." What does it mean?)
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:iconmindlessthinker:
MindlessThinker Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2013   Writer
i think that what it 'means' is open to interpretation. i'm not one of those people who makes a conscious effort to make my writing 'deep' or anything. i just write what comes to mind and it's pretty stream of consciousness tbh. 

admittedly i think there's a lot more to the last line than what shows on the surface, but think of it this way; instead of asking 'what does it mean', read it and let it resonate with you until it means something to you. who gives a shit what it means to me; i'm just the writer. you're the lens.

but if you're curious, i'll tell you how i think of it: when your hair hangs in your eyes, usually your vision is obscured. you're not seeing the whole picture. there's bars and gaps and pieces of things where that picture should be, and you're brain tries to put those pieces together to form something coherent but most of the time its nothing like what's really in front of you.

take that as you will.
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:iconer49563:
er49563 Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2013  Student General Artist
I like you.  That is all.  xD
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:iconmindlessthinker:
MindlessThinker Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2013   Writer
:blush:
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:icontaschasan:
Taschasan Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Ah, OK, thank you very much for the explanation. (It should have come to my mind, since especially in German one even says "die Haare in den Augen haben", instead of "in front of"...)
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:iconforgottenbydarkness:
ForgottenByDarkness Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2013
This strikes a chord inside me. Maybe it is because my turbulent past, dealing with the depression that still haunts me.....such strong words, such wonderful writing.... This was a most definitely well-earned DD. I will be favoriting this, and hopefully more will read it and have it strike them too.
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:iconxrekiii:
xRekiii Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2013
Love that ease of flow in the first paragraph leading to her drowning! What a graceful punch to the feels
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:iconmindlessthinker:
MindlessThinker Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2013   Writer
'a graceful punch to the feels'

i'm cataloguing that as a witness testimony to my general personhood.
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:iconlintu47:
lintu47 Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Congrats on the DD! :dalove:
Have a nice day! :heart:
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:iconintroverted-ghost:
introverted-ghost Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2013   Writer
I love those last two lines.
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:icon0hgravity:
0hgravity Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
great piece. sucked me right in.

congrats on the DD.
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:iconeremitik:
Eremitik Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2013
Congratulations on the DD!
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:iconundomiel321:
Undomiel321 Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Amazing! So powerful. I'll probably have to read this several times. Congrats on the DLD!
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:icondailylitdeviations:
DailyLitDeviations Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2013
Your wonderful literary work has been chosen to be featured by DLD (Daily Literature Deviations) and has been selected as our “Pick of the Day”. It is featured in a news article here and on our main page.

Keep writing and keep creating.
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:iconmindlessthinker:
MindlessThinker Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2013   Writer
ohgoshthankyou!!
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:iconjuniorel:
juniorel Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2013   Writer
Your use of language in this makes it so beautiful. You paint with words incredibly well.
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:iconsleyf:
Sleyf Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Hi! :wave:
Congratulations, this piece has been featured in our Weekly Round-up!
:iconyaayplz:
Thanks for writing it and choosing to submit it to us too :heart:
From the Admin Team
:iconwritersink:
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:iconmindlessthinker:
MindlessThinker Featured By Owner Nov 18, 2013   Writer
hhhTHANK YOU? i always get stupidly surprised when people like my work enough to feature it places....
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:iconsleyf:
Sleyf Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
You're welcome! It was this or Chickenheart in an epic battle for a feature
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:iconeremitik:
Eremitik Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2013
Death is a meaning to some people.

Seldom do I come across a piece of writing where I have such difficulty pinpointing exactly why it stands out to me. This is one such piece- from the slightly quirky narration, to the cadence of your words and sentences, to the imagery, everything works so well together to make this piece a unique and interesting read without one thing in particular taking the spot light.

Well done. :iconbowplz:
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:iconglossolalias:
glossolalias Featured By Owner Oct 13, 2013
you are gifted.
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:iconmindlessthinker:
MindlessThinker Featured By Owner Oct 13, 2013   Writer
oh gosh. thank you :blush:
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:icongoose-fat:
goose-fat Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2013   Writer
!!!!
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:iconayeaye12:
AyeAye12 Featured By Owner Oct 8, 2013  Student Writer
Poignant, but damn well written.
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:iconnymphoproblematic:
nymphoproblematic Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2013
Powerful.
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:iconbark:
Bark Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2013  Professional Writer
Damn, what an overwhelming read.
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:iconmindlessthinker:
MindlessThinker Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2013   Writer
i'm going to stifle the urge to apologize like i always fucking do when people say these things about my writing and say thank you instead :heart:
Reply
:iconbark:
Bark Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2013  Professional Writer
Good! Keep doing that, your work is always excellent!
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