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June 2017

Coin Laundry

It is seven in the morning. The sun barely grazes her fingers across the horizon’s bare back, and she kisses his shoulder as if she is afraid to wake him. Soon, though, he will open his eyes and rumble the lakes and rivers to life; he will start tsunamis; he will open reservoirs. The sun savors this loving silence until she can no longer.

The laundromat is quiet except for the metallic tinkling of the intercom. My mother has been alert (she’s always fueled by Dunkin’ Donuts caffeine) since 4:00 AM, heart thumping rapidly since she unsealed her eyes. The hairs on her arms stand upright like millions of masts, and her muscles are rolling oceans still tense from the fight she had with my father last night. She wrings her hands and shifts her feet.

I sit in a cold, plastic chair. A water bottle I had coerced from the vending machine sits unopened on the floor, condensing into a pool of water between my mother and me. Groggily, I watch the puddle shift and expand, crawling toward the chrome appliances.

My eyelids droop downward like old fabric and my head sinks forward as if I am about to fold in half. I think about the whirring of machinery; my little shoulders slump into the chair and my head bobs forward. I am slipping in and out of reality. The world is a washing machine. I can make out the faint tapping of my mother’s impatient foot, the jingling of the quarters in her purse. People fall and fold into each other; they tangle and unknot; the suds between them shift and squish. It is a slippery kind of relationship.

I wonder why the continents don’t slide in their places across frictionless planes. After all, the world’s people cling to one another with Dawn Soap arms. Their skins rub and slip, warm flesh against warm flesh, popping watery bubbles. And, after the sliding is over, after the fingers rake through sudsy hair, a new body tumbles into another, and He begins a new cycle.

Some people claim the world began with the Big Bang.

I say that God simply pushed a coin into a laundry mat.

 

Written by Hannah Butcher
©2BorNot2B. All rights reserved.

Leaving For England (Balancing Risks and Rewards)

Happy Wednesday!

I know I have not posted in a while, and I deeply apologize for that. This month has been so incredibly busy, especially as I’ve been preparing for a trip overseas. I did mention this a few posts back, but in case you missed it, I will be leaving the states in just a few days to study English literature in the UK.

As a girl who has never set foot outside of the Western hemisphere, I am very much terrified of taking such a large leap. The whole prospect is petrifying. In movies, travelers are always so confident in who they are, so strong in their knowledge. Then, there’s me: a seventeen-year-old who barely knows herself. Insecurities tangle inside me and the thorns threaten to prick my lungs. Simply thinking about traveling alone sends my stomach twisting into knots.

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However, despite my doubts, I am anticipating this trip to be the start of a fruitful travelling career.  I know that going to England will be one heck of an opportunity, and I’m very excited to be able to grasp it and learn about our most influential literary artists as I go.

There are big questions I am often asked: Will you be safe in England right now? Why are you going to a country that has weathered so much terrorism this month alone? Why are you willingly taking so many risks? 

My counter question is this: Why not? 

The rewards of collecting new memories in a foreign country far outweigh the risks of another terrorist attack. The rewards include education, freedom, experience, inspiration, and culture. These are priceless things that no one can take away from you.

Right now, millions of hearts and prayers go out to London, England, and all victims of terrorism. I know that this will be enough to protect me.

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I hope to write more for you all while I’m away. I’m excited to share my experiences, and perhaps I’ll write a bit of original pieces as well. Maybe England will be the perfect piece of inspiration I’ve needed for so long.

If you have any travel experiences, advice, or add-ons of your own, feel free to leave them in the comments below! As always, I’d love to hear from you.

May Writing Contest Winner

I would like to congratulate Temidayo for being May’s prose winner of the 2B or Not 2B website! This piece especially stood out to me due to its modern applications. Massive, global societal issues exist, yet they are merely glanced over by the media and Western culture. I hope you will enjoy this piece as much as I did.

You can explore Temidayo’s blog and her other works here.

Every month there will be a new winner pertaining to all genres of writing, so keep a lookout for new artists featured on this blog!

 

The Chibok Girls
by Temidayo

April 14th was the third anniversary of the kidnapping of 276 girls, from the Government Girls Secondary School, school dormitories, in Chibok, Nigeria. This poem is a cry for the safe return of the rest of the 195 girls that have yet to return.

It’s been three years now. Three years since the 276 girls were taken by force, in the dark of the night from the place that was the foundation of their aspirations. It’s been three years since 195 girls have last seen their families.

It is hard to comprehend. Always has been. It is difficult comprehending how people said that human beings could celebrate the kidnapping of girls on the path of a better future. It is difficult comprehending why the government has yet to rescue the 195 of them. However, it’s a luxury for those whose problem is to comprehend how such an evil could happen, and not in how it had happened to them.

There are things many of us will fail to fully understand. The emotion the parents feel when the next girl, who was managed to make it back home, isn’t their daughter. The emotion a mother feels when her daughter comes back with a baby although she is almost half the age, her Mother was when she had her first child. The agony some of the girls felt losing their babies while escaping.

However, despite the mess, a few thing are clear. Justice shall prevail, we are not afraid, and we shall #BringBackOurGirls.

 

 

Photo Courtesy: CNN Stephanie Busari, Nima Elbagir and Sebastiaan Knoops

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