words in blood, like flowers
i sleep. i dream. i make up things that i would never say. i say them very quietly.
Quinn is about to start crying. About 99% of the time, you’re patient and kind and loving, but today you’re about to head out the door to a call-back, and sometimes, despite yourself, you cannot understand her mercurial days—though they are, now, few and far between.
“I’m sorry,” she says, sitting down in the middle of the floor of your bedroom. You know this means her body isn’t quite located correctly with the earth.
“Quinn, I have to go,” you say.
She sniffles, stretches her back—which has been getting progressively more painful lately, which you think is a combination of winter and the fact that she’s not had back surgery in seven years—and her lip starts to tremble. “It feels like you’re leaving.”
You try to not be frustrated, because she’s your fiancé and you understand the implications of the darker parts of Quinn, but this is one of the most important auditions in your life so far, and nothing out of the ordinary had happened the past few days to trigger anything in Quinn, at least that you know of. It’s probably a combination of adrenaline and exhaustion that makes you say, “Jesus fuck, Quinn, I’m going to marry you. I can’t deal with your shit right now,” before you turn on your heels and walk out of the front door without looking back.
[sad drabble, faberry, current universe. ffn.]
elegy to glass
when she comes to kiss you, wrap yourself in white paper or what sheets and pull her close to stain whatever you imagined was the thing still keeping you clean. crash your body over hers. seastorm your wrists. shipwreck your intestines. shipwreck your past. the future has wet and dry sand. make your bed in it. clutch the memory with both hands. push it over her chest. rub it until it dissolves. find the holes. badger your hands under her skin. the bumps on her heart will language themselves.
—“spilling apples” by anis mojgani
The most you know at the moment is that you’re coughing up blood. It’s red on your pink dress and you cannot breathe so you keep coughing and coughing, and someone somewhere is saying something to you, or trying to say something to you. You’ve swallowed glass. You suppose you are trying to cough it up but it is stuck as shards and tearing your lungs.
You’re coughing up blood, and you are sure this is how you’ll be remembered after you die.
[the people we love make clumsy, shaking, graceful humans. the waiting. the reclamation. a combination of various requests:
1. aria, emily, & hanna talking to spencer about sexuality, quinn, love, etc.
2. frannie & quinn discussing life and specifically faberry. also sisters.
3. santana & rachel speaking about faberry. santana being santana.
ffn if you want. title from a gorgeous art piece by johanna billing]
This is How We Walk on the Moon
you’d come to earth again
you say, I’ve been
to the door & wept;
it says, what door
—Brenda Hillman, “December Moon”
It’s probably logical that it happens in a hospital waiting room. You’re all home over Columbus Day weekend—Aria from Amherst, Hanna from Parsons, Emily from Notre Dame—and Aria’s brother calls her from his friend’s house and says he broke his arm but he’s drunk and he’ll get in trouble if he calls their parents so he sort of needs her to come take him to the hospital so he can sober up.
Since you don’t get to see too much of each other—it’s junior year and you’re all getting increasingly busier—you decide to go together; plus you’re already used to waiting rooms. To waiting.
[drabble of quinn coming out to judy, as requested.]
the dawn was breaking the bones of your heart like twigs.
You squish the bee with the toe of your shoe enough so that it’s almost dead. On the back porch of your big frozen house in summer, you’re tired. It’s almost time to go back to Yale, the old books and tall castles and the stifling sense that your brain is becoming more of this foreign thing that is connected much too closely to your body, jungle-green and startled.
so it’s summer, so it’s suicide, so we’re helpless in sleep and struggling at the bottom of the pool.
She tastes like smoke. Not in the glamorous Audrey Hepburn 1960s sort of way, but like she’d be more than willing to burn you with the heat beneath it, summer pre-rain heady. You’re in the alley behind the small art house theater, those dripping bricks, the forever loose asphalt, the cracks.
The Dialectics of Moral Consciousness
We are all going forward. None of us are going back.
—Richard Siken, “Snow and Dirty Rain”
Rachel visits four days before the fall semester begins: New York is overwhelming; she’s not seen Quinn since May.
but the blue-and-amber backs had matched the world they lived in for one terrifying moment. and the violent orange they changed to was beautiful only because we’d memorized the other color, knew what they had been.
—Brenda Hillman, Loose Sugar
The flu knocks Quinn on her ass. This alone amuses Santana, because in theory it really shouldn’t—Quinn has been through surgeries, lung infections, physical therapy. Those things, though, worry Santana: swollen purple scars, those stitches, small craters from IVs in the tops of Quinn’s hands.
But three weeks before Quinn’s final year at Yale is about to start, and Santana gets a text with about fifty pouting emoticons followed by I have the flu from Quinn, she starts to laugh.
[fragments, college, eventual fabrastings. healing that looks like anguish. title, quote from leigh stein’s dispatch from the future. listen to open by rhye if you’d like]
how to mend a broken heart with vengeance
were they keeping us alive for our poetry? of course not. they were keeping us alive for our lungs.
The first thing you ever read about coming out is a piece of flash fiction, whose title and author you will later forget. It is about a boy whose father catches him kissing another boy behind their house, in a swarm of mosquitoes, and the boy sits and listens to his parents yell about sexuality and love from the porch as he pets his dog, a golden retriever.
The story ends like that, and years later you will be most struck with the feeling of kissing someone in a swarm of mosquitoes, the bugs clinging all over your skin.
[fabrastings bros. faberry romance. college things. references from katherine larson’s poetry collection, radial symmetry. listen to julia stone’s ‘bloodbuzz ohio’.]
crypsis and mimicry
i used to believe that science was only concerned with certainty. later i recognized its mystery. there isn’t language for it—the way i can see you when you are shining. our roots crypsis, our wings mimicry.
‘I’m going to tell you a secret,’ Quinn says, sloshing around whatever lame-ass, lightweight drink she has in her hand. You’re at a party—you’re each other’s respective dates, although you’re not dating. ‘Spencer.’ She nudges you with her elbow.
i know people are talking about last night’s episode, and i just have issues with the complete causality of anything with quinn, with one thing leading to a death in general (like that).
when i was in high school, different things saved my life at least once a week—a song, a book, an old friend, meeting someone new. i just think that it’s important to acknowledge that, the fact that no matter who you are, what you’re doing, what you’re struggling with (which is a real thing, don’t doubt that), there are incredibly beautiful things out there, things that make life bright and full, no matter how painful that may be.
and for me, i think it’s sad to put that onto one particular group of other people. it should be up to everyone—every person you meet has a whole set of dialectics: They are both happy and sad, and can inhabit so many other things. people are beautiful because they’re full of hurt, people are beautiful because they’re full of laughter; people are beautiful because they exist. don’t doubt your impact, but remember you’re worth something intangibly infinite too.
[quinn/yale prof headcanon. title from regina spektor’s ‘one more time with feeling.’ reference from richard siken.]
one more time with feeling (your stitches are all out, but your scars are healing wrong)
you’re in the eighth grade. you know these things. you know how to ride a dirt bike, and you know how to do long division, and you know a boy who likes boys is a dead boy, unless he keeps his mouth shut, which is what you didn’t do, because you are weak and hollow and it doesn’t matter anymore.
—’a primer for small weird loves’ by richard siken
You only talk about Lacan on the first day of Psych 101 because you’re nervous. And, okay, sure, it’s also because your professor, one Lauren Baxter, PhD, is attractive and young, with long dark wild hair and her left arm covered in a colorful tattoo sleeve. She’s exciting and funny and the thought crosses your mind that she doesn’t know you have a child, that she doesn’t know you spent half of senior year learning how to walk again.
She doesn’t know you at all.
When you make an introductory comment about Lacanian melancholia, she smiles at you. She has blue eyes. She has dimples. She turns to the chalk board and you watch her hips, think about sin and grace. There is chalk on Lauren’s hands, white and pure and fleeting.
oh, long complicated answer, lol.
i think she’s beautiful. and not because she looks beautiful—although she does—but because she’s here. idk, for me quinn is someone who has overcome a lot. not to be cliche or anything, but in my imagination i love who quinn grows up to be, although there are certainly some bumpy moments along the road. but i think quinn is smart, and gifted, and damaged, and brave, and can be kind and loyal, and those are things that are lovable, and that make people lovable. i think she’s also determined.
i guess in my book quinn is quirky too, like, especially once she stops worrying so much about what other people think about her. she likes poems and singing and i like to think she picks up the guitar for fun and spends sunday mornings in bed with a girl she wants to wake up next to, laughing and dozing off before they meet friends for brunch. i guess that’s the quinn i want, because i think she’s earned that life, she deserves that life.
if i had to describe quinn succinctly, i’d say she’s one of the characters i think most deserves a happy ending.