i should be packing for thanksgiving instead of writing.
It must be the busiest day of my life.
I drove to the doctor, weight, flu shot, blood drawn, stern warnings.
I drove to work. Late, meetings, inadequacies.
I had to get the oil changed before I left.
The first place was full, second I had to wait with a dead cell phone battery.
My car warned me the battery in my key was low.
Dealt with more people.
Made pumpkin cookies.
Cleaned up from the cookies.
Made pudding. Mashed persimmons.
Ate a salad. See above, doctor.
Edited. Communicated. Felt used.
Still more to do.
Still running late, behind, slow.
I’ll forget something when I’m packing.
Socks, I think it will be you this year.
I’m visiting my dad with his brown basement carpet,
I don’t think I’ve ever been warm on a Thanksgiving.
I always want a sweater, but am scared for my sleeves.
And something always tastes like it’s come cold from a can.
If I add more things to my list, maybe I don’t have to go.
I clean the apartment,
So when I get back, I won’t be as depressed.
That’s going to work.
There’s a woman who wears my cowboy boots,
And doesn’t shift her feet when she wears them,
Her socks match,
Her hair curls in curly fry ringlets,
And she doesn’t suck in her breath remembering
The terrible things she’s done.
And she doesn’t have that ring of pudge under her bra strap either.
yes it’s eight minute past midnight, but it’s still today to me
I don’t have time for mayo.
I can get mustard on bread fast.
With my piece of cheese and two pieces of watery turkey.
I shove it in the ziplock bag that isn’t ziplock,
The kind you have to fold-over.
I stick it in my purse, because my lunch bag smells from the garlic chicken
And I’m embarrassed.
Embarrassed I have to take my lunch.
I have a running list in my head,
Probably mostly forgotten,
Of the things I need to do and remember,
And really not forget,
I try to number them,
And tell myself to remember when I wake up.
These four things.
My roommate hasn’t turned the heat on yet.
I’d like to dream about thoughts, become better, ethical.
But I’m too cold.
I’m sleeping with a scarf on.
I’m going to choke myself to death because I can’t bring myself to turn the heat on.
If I turn it on, maybe she’ll start charging me more for rent.
Then I’ll have to move,
I’ll have to move in the cold.
It must be my fault they leave.
Don’t they know I’d just keep talking?
I push them away on accident.
I want them to fight to stay with me, but
They never do,
Because they’re not sure how I feel,
Because if I show how I feel,
And then they’ll know they have the upper-hand too.
He wanted something.
He wanted me to pass on a word for him to the higher-ups,
Who like me, because I’m small.
I thought he was being kind,
So I passed on his message,
Felt a little sad,
And won’t let him cross over into “people I like” territory.
Out of the three of us, I made the best grades in High School.
They might be smarter, better with sciences, have oozing scores,
But it was me, and only me,
Who got into every school I applied to.
Who didn’t have to take out college loans,
And who’s mother never asked which school would you like to go to,
But took the only option.
Please don’t watch me work.
If you don’t let me goof off for the few seconds I have of my own,
It’ll take longer in the long run.
Please leave me alone.
I don’t want to be a bother.
These people who feel bad for their existence.
Always excusing, never fussing, scared that being loud will make them
Owe someone else.
And that’s the worst. Isn’t it
It snowed for the first time today. I used to think that made it a magical day.
I’m fifteen again, because I’m talking to my mother.
She says, “don’t be snippy with me just because you’re hungry.”
I wasn’t that hungry.
But no comment can be made against her.
Unless you have empirical, documented evidence.
It’ll still be your fault though,
How dare you bring this up and make her feel bad,
Don’t you know what she’s going through?
I just shut down. Then get yelled at for being quiet.
Why don’t you talk to me anymore?
Let me tell you what complaining does,
You smug bastard.
I’m coping when I complain.
Coping means dealing with it,
To deal with it I have to say it,
To say it, I have to sound whiny sometimes,
There’s no way around it.
I need to say it out loud,
I have to process, grind, smear, and stutter.
If you don’t let me, I’ll push my tongue to the roof of my mouth,
Clench my jaw so my molars stick out,
And not let you in anymore.
I sing sexy songs to myself in the mirror
And pretend to be Shirley Bassey, and have hips,
And a big bowling voice.
Then I remember something he told me once,
I quiet, and check my forehead for new wrinkles,
And tell myself I won’t do that again.
I saw my grandmother today.
My mom wanted to take a picture,
To post online.
I said no.
When I have a definite opinion,
And you don’t respect it.
I left my dog with my parents,
She looked so happy to see me,
She’s a dog.
She made me feel loved,
She doesn’t know any better.
I had to leave her behind,
I had to go home,
I’m so sorry.
I make all these rules for myself.
If he calls you again at three in the morning, drunk,
Only pick up the phone if you’ve done something that day.
Wait at least two minutes before responding to texts.
Don’t get your hopes up again.
Don’t remember how much you miss him.
Don’t keep staring at his picture.
Why do i have to be an adult?
Yesterday it was a frozen pizza, the crappy kind, with the thin crust
And the too thick pepperoni.
The day before it was finishing my Netflix movie.
I couldn’t think of something to get me through,
I didn’t have the –
If I get this done, I’ll be one step closer to,
If I just make it through this,
Only a few more hours until,
Then I can,
Then I will,
Then I’ll be able to.
But I got to the end just the same.
Regulars are only depressing in bars and Starbucks
I want to be a regular in a little café
Run by a mom and grandpa
Where they know what I want,
And what not to ask,
A family with food,
That’s what I want.
I wanted to share what happened, what I was feeling,
But I’m remembering those times,
Something I’ve said,
Something I spit, unguarded which has come back to say hello.
Oh, well, I remember you having this problem before,
Geez, you complain about this all the time,
Didn’t you say you didn’t like him anymore?
So I have to read, then re-read what I share,
Anything I say will be used against me later,
So I have to shut up now.
I have so much patience for anyone who isn’t him.
I will understand, sympathize, nod my head,
For anyone who hasn’t yelled at me,
Blamed me for no reason,
And taught me I was wrong,
For anyone else I’ll understand why they can’t eat pho,
Or enter a Vietnamese restaurant,
To him I thiink,
Be racist in front of someone who cares.
I wait for the snap.
I meet someone, they seem kind,
And calm, sweet, sharing, and generous.
I wait for them to get mad,
So I can see what they do when they’re unguarded,
Before I can let them in.
And no one’s made it so far.
I’ve never noticed that self-confidence gets you any farther.
So what if I don’t think I can do that,
It doesn’t mean I’m not good at my job,
Or I can’t drive in my lines.
It means I won’t brag,
And don’t make fuss.
Isn’t that what the world needs more?
Thoughts from my mother:
If we had gotten divorced I don’t think he would have gotten into college.
He’s saying sorry a lot more. He’s getting better.
He doesn’t yell as much anymore, and I got him to go the Y with me last week.
I’ll start texting the girls everyday to get in the habit, so when he goes off to school,
He’ll keep talking to me.
Halloween, all-saints day, day of the dead, time-change, and I need more sleep.
There are probably a thousand places I could navigate again without thinking about.
A whole big long list.
I wouldn’t have to look up maps. I wouldn’t have to double check my direction.
I’d just know.
I know which direction to turn in my house without thinking about it, even if I haven’t been home in years.
I wonder what my brain is doing with all that knowledge while I’m forgetting I know it.
He was the sort of man who I could have told to go to the store for me,
Who would have forgotten what exactly he was supposed to buy, and get beer instead
And I would lightly yell at him,
Just glad he’d done something for me. Because sometimes I don’t like being strong.
I wish I just had one problem, like the women in novels
A big, honking, thing of a thing
That could be easily solved by a man,
A sense of humor
And really good, very detailed, sex.
Then I’d be perfect after that got solved.
Every time I go back to visit my family
I see my mother involved with my brother’s life.
She can name all his friends, all his friend’s moms.
She knows which colleges he applied for,
She knows how much homework he finished,
And what he has to get done tomorrow,
And how much gas is in his car.
And which of his friends are dating, and when play rehearsals are.
It makes me want to cry.
Why didn’t you care so much about me?
Why wasn’t I good enough?
I pack my books in old Keurig cups cardboard boxes.
That way they’re stackable, and not too heavy.
I have to decide:
Am I taking Tolkien, or would he be ok by himself?
Matilda is coming, there’s no doubt about that.
Leaves of Grass I can find online, but I like holding.
Auden has to come, he’d be lonely otherwise.
Princess Bride is comfort self material, check.
Eyre, Emma, Pratchett, and O’Henry are a shelf by themselves.
Dianna Wynne Jones got me through the summer of ’11
I can’t leave her.
My people travel well. They don’t complain unless it’s raining.
I told you,
You’d leave me,
Don’t you remember?
I said, you’ll get tired of me,
Like they all do,
Up and down you said no.
But I waited.
And there you went.
I like being up early.
I don’t like waking up early.
My time of day is when it’s quiet.
A couple bugs still up,
And twelve dollar Target lamps,
Laptops, and wifi,
And Arnold Palmers.
I had someone to meet at 6:45.
I got off work at 5.
I couldn’t afford to get something to eat,
In a café where I could sit.
Starbucks. I could sit and work, but not get anything cheap to snack on.
I brought a book with me, if I could find a place.
I drove around and got lost,
And my phone kept telling me where to turn.
I can’t afford to waste this gas,
But I couldn’t find a place to pull over,
Is this what it’s like being homeless?
Trying to find quiet, where no one will bother you
Until you have somewhere to be at a specific time?
Shampoo aisles suck up a lot of time.
So do craft stores.