o captain! my captain!

your mama likes me & she doesn't like anyone
your dumb, drunk friends don’t care for me & always told you so. (we need to talk // waterparks)

we need to talk, i tell you, in the backseat of a dim bus, in a hallway with the lights off, in the middle of a vacant parking lot at one in the morning. & we do, but we never say anything that matters. it’s always i don’t know how to start this conversation & i don’t think it’ll last & i don’t want to give you false hope. we’re endlessly circling the point, which is that i love what you are but not who you are.

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i feel sick every time we talk, like i might throw up my heart onto the ground between us. i ignore your messages as long as i can & i don’t look you in the eyes anymore, not after that. but i still end up listening to antique love songs with you on long drives home from a city i used to live in. you make me feel so young, the music promises, sickly sweet; put your head on my shoulder. so i do because you’re warm compared to the autumn air clinging to our skin, & your cologne makes me dizzy. i tell myself that it doesn’t mean anything, that we are asleep or drunk or thinking about other people. but the truth is, it’s hard to think about him when it’s your heartbeat singing in my ear.

did i tell you that when you held my hand, i closed my eyes & pretended you were someone else, or did i only say it in my head?

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i can’t recall how many times i’ve gotten that i think we need to talk about last night text from you. but we speak with words, not feelings, so it doesn’t even make a difference. trying to be honest with you is like tiptoeing around the truth.

you intimidate me: leather jackets & a voice too deep for your age & injuries you refuse to explain. i’ve told you so, & maybe you thought i was flirting again. but i don’t feel any butterflies with you, just anxiety. if i could speak to you without the words getting stuck in my throat, this is what i would tell you:

– i remember seeing you cry in the hallway on the phone. my heart shattered that day in the summer & it has ached for you ever since.

– every time i look at you, your face is different; sometimes your eyes are soft & other times, you see right through me. your eyes shift colors in my memories. your features rearrange themselves like a puzzle that’s never quite completed. i think it has to mean something.

– your cousin made sure i knew that you go through girls quicker than the weather changes in a southern summer. it didn’t matter to me because i didn’t care about you at all.

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you treat me differently depending on who we’re with. you only pay attention to me when we’re alone or your ex is watching us. i’m sick of it, sick of my clothes smelling like you, sick of saying yes every time you want me to come over. i want to kiss you & i want you to go ahead & move to the city & i want to forget how guilty i feel when i’m with you. i want for us to talk with feelings instead of words & for you to understand what i mean when i say that i wish i didn’t know your middle name.

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i think that i am the worst person alive because i let you cook dinner for me & i wore your jacket when i wasn’t even cold & i asked to watch a horror movie so i would have an excuse to fall asleep on your chest. i know the way to all three of your houses & i pretended to really consider it when you asked me to stay the night. i don’t even love you at all. i am so used to having my own heart get broken that i never realized i could be doing it to you.


a scatterbrained, unedited mess i wrote at one in the morning. i wish i could be honest with the people i care about. i wish you hadn’t walked me back to the stadium that night after the game because i am not myself when i am alone with you.

xo apollo

eye for an eye as long as yours ends up black

three cheers for sweet revenge

 

i have been told that i am being dramatic or too violent
that i need to be brave and let it go
i have even heard the word forgiveness
maybe my bravery is bloody knuckles, angry tears
and making myself impossible to ignore
i will not back down until you get what you deserve

i am sick of being ashamed
i do not care anymore if i ruin your life
i swear that i will scream my head off if i hear
but he’s such a sweetheart
one more time

here’s how this game works:
a girl, crying and shaking, is brushed to the side
because the cherub-faced, dimpled boy
says she’s making it up; he would never do such a thing
everyone forgets because how could those soft hands ever hide claws?
i have not had the pleasure of forgetting
i see him when i am awake
when i am asleep
i am tired, i am tired, i am tired

i could have sworn that i was over it
i didn’t shake from the dread of waiting and remembering
i didn’t flinch at a longing hand on my skin
i was learning how to be close again
i could have said that i didn’t daydream about hurting him
and almost have meant it

so here’s why i’ve been practicing my right hook again:
you spread a fire fueled by your hatred for me
twisting the story so that i was the crazy one
but isn’t manipulation what you do best?
i close my eyes and see your fake tears
you need to make it up to me echoes inside my head

yesterday you laughed and said spiteful things to my face
it felt like a knife slashing across the cheek
like venom burning my veins
if we still spoke, i would have two things to tell you:
who the hell do you think you are
and sorry about your eye
i think you’ll look better with a shiner, anyway

xo apollo

 

my skincare routine (for dry skin)

i just adore skincare. doing my skincare routine at the end of the day while listening to music is one of my favorite ways to relax. my skin is pretty sensitive and dry, so the products i use generally focus on hydrating and cleansing.

obviously, there are tons of products out there that would likely give you better results, but those are all too expensive for me to use on a regular basis. i pick my products based on how affordable they are and if they still produce good results.

i’ve linked to each product that i talk about, and they’re arranged in the order that i use them.


| daily products |

cetaphil gentle foaming cleanser it’s not sticky, there’s no scent, it’s not drying, and it doesn’t irritate my skin at all (and for someone with sensitive skin, that’s rather rare). it also takes off makeup really easily without a lot of scrubbing.

Image result for lush tea tree water

LUSH tea tree water toneri don’t currently use this, because it’s a little too expensive for me to keep as a staple part of my skincare routine. but i tried it out last summer and really loved it. it’s infused with tea tree oil, which is useful for treating breakouts. also, it just feels so refreshing on my face and gets rid of any extra dirt or makeup that my cleanser didn’t wash off.

toners aren’t a necessary part of a skincare routine, but if you’re interested in improving your skin and you have some extra money, i would definitely recommend this one.

clean & clear essentials dual action facial moisturizeri first used this moisturizer all the way back in early middle school and it’s still my favorite. i think there’s a fine line between moisturizers being too heavy or not doing their job, and this one is right in the middle. it soaks in easily and soothes red or dry spots.

olay complete all day moisturizer with sunscreen SPF 15 personally, i think this moisturizer is a little too heavy, and it takes too much effort to rub into my skin, which is why i only use it in the summertime. if i know i’m going to be outside all day and don’t want to get burned, i’ll put a little bit of this on with my clean & clear moisturizer.

clean & clear advantage acne spot treatmentbecause i have dry skin, spot treatments are sort of intimidating. i want to dry out any blemishes, but i also don’t want to make my skin even more desert-like. this product is a bit of a miracle worker because it reduces swelling/redness overnight.

| favorite masks |

freeman feeling beautiful manuka honey & tea tree oil clay mask & cleanser – this is my absolute favorite mask right now! personally, i think the tea tree oil scent takes a little bit of time to get used to, but overall it smells very clean and refreshing. it dries ridiculously fast and is really light, although it does take some scrubbing to get off. the freeman website says it’s helpful for oily or acne-prone skin. the only thing about this mask that’s disappointing to me is that it’s white instead of yellow, which is what i was expecting. and that’s not really an issue with the product itself, that’s just me being sad that it’s not a pretty color.

yes to tomatoes detoxifying charcoal mud maskthis mask is specifically designed to treat acne, so i use it whenever i’m having a breakout. it leaves my skin really soft and reduces the swelling of blemishes. my only complaint is that the charcoal sometimes stains my sink and towels a light gray, but it comes off with a bit of scrubbing.

freeman feeling beautiful avocado & oatmeal clay maskthis mask has a slight oatmeal scent to it and is a gorgeous sky blue color. it dries very quickly and feels like it’s barely on your face at all. also, you don’t need to scrub at all to rinse it off. it’ll wash off easily with just a bit of water. this mask leaves me feeling very relaxed, and with super soft skin. also, i’m pretty sure that i read on the freeman website that it’s supposed to help with acne.


so that’s my skincare routine! let me know if the comments if you’ve tried out any of these products, and what your skincare routine is, if you have one.

xo apollo

life, i guess (5)

legg

hello everybody! it’s been a long time since i last posted and i am here to explain why.

my summer has been a whirlwind. i got a job as a handicraft instructor at a boy scout camp (aka my favorite place on earth) and was there for seven and a half weeks: half a week for training, six on staff, and one as a camper with my AHG troop. then band camp started the week i got back from work. so i’ve been super busy and haven’t gotten a chance to post anything because of how insane my schedule has been. now that camp is over and i actually have a stable wifi connection again, i’m hoping to get back to posting regularly.

now it’s time for some general life updates, i.e. what have i been doing recently besides camp?


– as i just mentioned, i had a summer job working at a boy scout camp! i miss it so so much. there are so many things i miss that i didn’t think i would, like the food and heat and uniforms. and then there are the obvious things, like my friends and the handicraft area and the surprisingly entertaining campers.

i taught an assortment of badges at handicraft, including space exploration, fingerprinting, pottery, basketry, indian lore, and art. i didn’t know much about the merit badges or the BSA going in, so i pretty much winged all my classes. we did stuff like nature journaling hikes and wrestling and launching rockets.

i’m absolutely working at camp again next year, and i’m planning on helping at winter camp and spring break camp, too. mostly for the free staff shirts they hand out to volunteers, but also because i love that place and i love my camp friends.

i’ll try to make a separate post about camp because this has been the best summer of my life so far and i want to remember it by writing everything down.

– i got a phone earlier this summer! and then managed to completely shatter the screen three weeks later in the Great Apple Pie Incident of 2019. i got it fixed but now nobody trusts me with my phone, or with fruity desserts.

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my bff & i being artsy

– in my scouting group (american heritage girls), there are level awards that you can earn for every rank. i’m working on the last level award right now, the dolley madison, and one of the things i need to do is put fifteen hours into planning and hosting an event/service project.

my project is painting a music-themed mural outside my school’s band room. i started working on it this week and i think it’s coming along pretty well. it’s going to have a list of previous band directors, the notes to our fight song, and little musicians in keith haring’s art style. i was hoping to have it finished by the time school starts, but that’s next week, so it probably won’t happen.

– this is my second year doing marching band, but it’s been such a different experience. i played in pit last season; this time i’m marching bass in the drumline. so i’m learning how to crabstep and do visuals and memorize drill, which is all very new and confusing. also, i had to miss one week of band camp because of scout camp, and that’s the week they worked on drill to the opener. i had to speed learn most of that movement earlier this week and it was exhausting. and then after i had gotten all of it down, we found out that our low battery captain has to switch schools, so our drill and music has to be rewritten for the third time.

our show this year is paranormal-themed, which i am ridiculously excited about. i’m also thrilled that i got into drumline this season, and i can’t wait to see friends from other bands at competitions. so while this season is already super stressful, i think it will be worth it.

– i used to make friendship bracelets all the time, and this summer i taught myself how to do it again. i can make really complicated patterns, like the watermelon one that took days to finish. i’m working on a really neat starry night bracelet now.

i call them bracelets, but i always, always wear them as anklets. i wish i could wear them on my wrist because that would show them off better, but i can’t stop messing with them if they’re there.

would anyone be interested in some bracelet tutorials?

– i go back to school on tuesday and i am really not ready. in case anyone doesn’t know, i was homeschooled for most of my life and this is going to be my second year of public school ever. last year was really hard because everything was new, so i’m hoping this time things will be a little bit easier.

other than the basic classes (english, math, history, gym), i’m taking horticulture, bio II honors (anatomy + physiology), spanish III, and biotechnology. i’m looking forward to the science and agriculture classes a lot. horticulture because plants are neato; bio II because i’m hoping to go into EMS when i’m older.


so that’s what my life has looked like recently! i’ve got a bunch of almost completed posts hanging out on my draft list, so some normal content (or as normal as my stuff can get) should be coming your way soon.

my summer has been absolutely amazing, but i’ve also missed this blogging community, and i’m happy to be back.

xo apollo

pyres & pills, hell & his hands

pictures by my mom

you are standing in a curbside graveyard on a foggy morning
it is ten days before christmas
you have never been so cold in your life
so that cold that you can feel the frost creeping over your fragile bones
you forgot your gloves so your knuckles are stained
the same pale, icy blue as the winter sky

rain from the heavens that mourns your innocence drips onto your cheeks
a murmured prayer of thanks to whichever ghosts or angels
are listening for disguising your sorrow from your best friend
she meanders through the rows of worn marble graves beside you
her fingers brush the wet headstones
as you walk through the downpour
she whispers the name of the departed as you go
when you ask why, she tells you
that people die twice
once when their heart stops beating
and again when their name is spoken for the last time

you can’t say that you agree
you feel as though you died that night one month ago
amidst the frigid mountains and fresh snow
yes, your haunted heart still forces blood through your veins
but have you truly felt alive since?
paranoia has made a home in your aching head
glancing over your shoulder and searching crowds
for that dimpled face that stalks you
in the nightmares that are more like memories
have become second nature
oh, how fear makes prey of us all

you imagine that you can feel his hands
under your rain jacket, and shiver
at your best friend’s imploring look, you say
i thought i felt a ghost, on my skin
and then, as you tremble once more like a tattered white flag in a storm
i think i’m getting hypothermia

the two of you leave the dead, but the past follows you home
i never felt safe with you


i’m over it, i’m over it, i’m over it, i’m over it.

xo apollo

8 books to kick off your summer reading

one of my favorite things about summer is the fact that i have so much free time to spend reading! i went to the library recently and checked out a bunch of summery books because they always make me feel happy and hopeful for the coming months. so for anyone who’s also looking for great summer reads, here are eight stories filled with adventure, sleepaway camps, beaches, and young love to keep you reading all summer long.

 

summer days & summer nights: twelve love stories by stephanie perkins – going into this collection of short stories, i was expecting cute, fluffy tales of young love. for the most part, that is not what i got. so many of these stories were melancholy and had bittersweet endings. personally, i think that all of the authors had the idea to make their story sad so that it would stand out from the rest, so then all of them ended up being a little bit miserable.

they aren’t all your basic straight contemporary romance either: there’s a range of genres (fantasy, horror, futuristic) and characters (interracial and lgbt+ couples, love interests with autism and depression, etc.). a theme that ran through most of them was a missing parent/broken family.

my favorite short stories from this collection were in ninety minutes, turn north, love is the last resort, and a thousand ways this could all go wrong.

bad magic by pseudonymous bosch – this is the first book of a series by one of my favorite authors. bosch’s books are always witty and engaging, with quirky characters you can’t help but root for. bad magic is about a boy named clay who gets sent to earth ranch, a summer camp for troubled kids on a volcanic island. but strange things keep happening at the camp — talking llamas, abandoned libraries, ghosts — and clay starts to wonder if there’s something more sinister going on at the island.

swing sideways by nanci turner stevenson – annie’s family is spending the summer in the countryside. while she’s exploring, annie meets california, a girl her age who’s staying on her grandfather’s farm. the two become friends and spend their summer trying to the ponies that california’s mom owned as a child, which the girls think are roaming the woods. it’s a touching story about eating disorders, loss, freedom, and friendship.

lemons by melissa savage – this middle grade story reminded me so much of the cartoon gravity falls, which is probably why i loved it so much. in lemons, a young girl named lemonade who’s lost her mother gets sent to live with her grandfather in a small town. her grandfather, charlie, owns a bigfoot-themed souvenir shop. there are lots of strange bigfoot-sightings throughout town, all of which are reported to the bigfoot detective agency, which lemonade finds herself working for. overall, it’s a sweet story about friendship, grief, and of course, bigfoot.

honor girl by maggie thrash – this is a graphic memoir about maggie falling in love with one of the counselors at her all-girl summer camp. what i loved about this was the nostalgic feel and how spot-on the camp culture was. the art isn’t stellar, but it fits the youthful feel of the story quite well. it felt like it had been plucked straight from the author’s diary, and the ending just about broke my heart.

love & gelato by jenna evans – traveling, mysteries, forbidden love, italian food — this wholesome YA romance has it all. the adorable love interest and gorgeous descriptions of italy will have you hooked from the start, and the drama and emotional twists will make you finish it. my only complaints are that i thought lina, the main character, was kind of rude, and it was so strange to me that the whole story took place in just a few days. but it’s still a cute book overall and i’ve met several people who say it’s their absolute favorite!

we were liars by e. lockhart – this is one of those books that you should go into knowing nothing, so i won’t say too much about it in fear of spoiling the killer twist at the end. but at its simplest, we were liars is about a group of four friends and the summers they spend with their families on their private island. the writing is so gorgeous, and the feeling of dread grows the closer you get to the end until you can barely think about anything else.

frannie and tru by karen hattrup – i finished this book a week or two ago, and it’s the one that really got me excited about summer. in this coming-of-age story, frannie little’s cousin tru is sent to stay with her family for the summer after a bad coming out experience. frannie has been hoping that with tru around, she’ll have the most exciting summer of her life, which is exactly what happens. this is a lyrical, introspective novel about secrets, racism, sexuality, and growing up. however, i do think it’s one of those books where you either adore it or everything about it annoys you, and i am most definitely in the love camp.


have you read any of these books? what are your recommendations for summer reading?

xo apollo