i’m having trouble getting past the it’s okay to make mistakes phase of writing
It’s an old wound,
Annoyingly, still hurting.
But, she knows the name of his roommate,
And what classes he’s taking,
What food they serve at his dorm,
What he’s doing with his money.
She’s planning to pack a first-aid box for him.
They’ve ordered his laptop.
He’ll pay them back.
She’s rearranging her schedule around for his move-in date.
To my heart, the mundane details she knows,
Are quiet proof that she loves him more.
Her time, the thing I always wanted from her,
She gives so freely to the last of her kids.
Sure, there are other people out there being lonely too,
But you can’t have a cup of tea with them
And take apart your day,
Piece by piece and song by song.
If you don’t say what you’re thinking,
Are you still being yourself?
If you stop yourself enough times, do you keep thinking it,
Or have you changed your ways for good?
If I never say the snarky thing I’m thinking,
Do I become the quiet thing I’ve always tried to be?
I remember in college a boy with Justin Bieber hair,
Telling me to stop saying sorry,
I could only say sorry in response.
Really I wanted to say,
I can say whatever the hell I want, to whomever I choose.
But I didn’t have the balls.
Doughy. I feel like a whale.
Like they only look at me because I’m new in such a small town.
But on the other hand, none of the women here have that beauty complex you see
In the lower 48,
The constant, I’m not thin enough talk, just doesn’t happen up here.
Useless. I’m useless.
These hands do nothing.
This brain, such an expensive brain, sits there on idle.
This body has started decaying,
And I can’t bring myself to care.
more to come
They wouldn’t cross me, and they’re true.
I’m not friends with the wishy-washy people.
I’m friends with the weirdos.
And I don’t think you understand exactly what that means.
I’m the most traditionally stable of the bunch. We get stared at when we go out.
I won’t make the easy friend.
My people contemplate suicide on a daily basis, and wax rhapsodic about why they stay alive.
They get tattoos of little hearts that say – “always keep fighting,”
They tell me they stay alive because they don’t want their families sad.
I’ve set up google alerts for their names, deceased.
My red-haired Paul Bunyan, I’ve been watching his twin sister’s facebook, waiting.
I’m friends with the people who will tell me how they’re really feeling, because they’re braver than I am.
Who tell me about their visits to the restaurant brothels of Thailand, who tell me more and more outrageous things, poke me with a stick, see how long it takes me to freak.
But they never judge me. They’ll tell me I’m stupid, that I’m not living up to what I could be, that I should try relaxing.
Thinking about it, the thing they have in common is that they’ve never given me that – you’re crazy look, the one that says – I don’t understand you, you’re weird to me.
I figured it out,
You asked about my favorite book, and said I was just like your teacher because I fell in love with things. Now I remember being that age, and not loving anything, and being worried I’d never have hopes or dreams. But I do now.
It’s a book written by the same woman who wrote 101 Dalmatians
About these two sisters before the second war in England.
It was the first time I remember reading something I had experienced. It was so wonderful to see, to read, someone else explain exactly why I felt the way I felt.
She couldn’t bring herself to love the man her sister had her hands on before her.
And these were the silly problems, the problems you got to think about before all the men started dying again.
I couldn’t bring myself to love the man who loved my sister. I had that problem. Just like her.
I remember being just like her.
Just like someone for the first time.
I think I have a dreams now,
I want my cabin in the middle of nowhere that’s within driving distance of a coke slushie machine, it’ll have a wrap-around porch and a rocking chair, and those thick, tapestry like throw blankets. And tea. Lots of tea.
And warm lights, none of these white, fluorescent things.
And I’ll do hospice work, and maybe take in foster kids. And I’ll have books piled everywhere. I’ll be able to make mistakes there. That’s what will be great.
I think that’s true. I think people you can make mistakes in front of, are the best creative partners.
Who you know won’t mock you.
Or who will go along with you on your journeys. Those are the best.
Together, we do good stuff.
I cried when I got the check my father sent me,
And cried harder when the post office lost the next one.
I get frustrated that I can’t qualify for benefits because I have savings.
Then I give up. And say I’ll just live in debt. It’s easier.
I want to say to her, no,
I won’t be jerked around.
You want to be my friend, then be my friend,
Don’t waver in the wind like a pussy.
I’m tired of this.
I’ll give you allowances, here and there, and wiggle room for not knowing me, and feeling uncomfortable, but I have to be around people who are stronger than me, because I need the strength they give.
So, either be here when I need you or get out of my way.
I do so many things poorly, and nothing well.
But if I spent all my time, and had one great accomplishment,
Someone would still do it better.
They gave me a cedar rose and now my jacket smells like campfire smoke and cedar.
My house smells like campfire smoke and cedar.
He used to smell like gasoline.
My couch used to smell like vinegar and yellow Clorox wipes.
If my cold weren’t here I’d smell charred chorizo.
My mother called on my birthday.
She did the thing I love, but have always been to scared to tell her I love,
In case she’ll stop.
She tells me stories about when I was a baby.
And it was just me and her.
About when I was born,
And how pretty I was, and how loved.
Every year it makes me cry, because I like to think of my mother as a person who only causes harm,
But she loves us so much. And sometimes she lets it show through.
And it makes me miss my mom.
Editor’s Note: I’m offering these cute little flowers as an apology for a lack of posting new material in keeping with my schedule. I’ll be double posting this Monday to Wednesday. So if you get emails when I publish, expect more than usual this week from me.
it’s all too loud
I miss my family.
It’s not something I thought I would ever say.
But, today, oddly enough,
I’m sitting here imagining what life would be like,
What today would look like if I were back home.
It wouldn’t look like this. I would be stronger. I wouldn’t have let myself stay in bed all day. I would have actually done something.
I would be drinking a lemon shake-up,
Sitting on the prairie, sweating, playing cards, trying to keep the blanket flat.
I’d be miserable, I’d have been worried about it on the 3rd. Did we pack, will we run out of things to do, who’s going to get angry?
And worried about how we would all handle it. Would we have enough lawn chairs, would someone embarrass me, how often would I have to dodge the crowds, how bored would I be?
We’d eat sandwiches, or if Mom managed to manage her money correctly that month, we’d have fried chicken in a bucket that was a little soggy from being in the cooler. And it’d be mad at myself for being fat. And hot.
And the symphony would take forever to start, but I’d never be able to get lost in the music.
Because there would be something I would want to change, to make it better. Someway I could be less uncomfortable. I’d still be holding a grudge for something someone said in the car that I didn’t say anything about at the time.
But, I’d take the pictures that I’d file away with all the other fourth of july pictures that I’ve taken for years. And they would look the same.
I’d know what was going on.
I told myself last Christmas that I couldn’t go to my father’s again without a buffer.
I needed someone to come with me, stand with me. Be the in between.
Because I couldn’t take it otherwise.
Now, I don’t know.
Maybe I could go again, just me.
I have a little more understanding, I think, after this year.
I’m glad that happened.
It was terrible, but in a terrible way, I’m glad his wife died, because I got to read this beautiful piece of poetry. I got to feel something I wouldn’t have otherwise felt. So, I’m glad.
Maybe it’s a bit Kantian to say,
Like thanking God for the fall of Rome because all those cats have a place to live,
But, something beautiful is sometimes worth a sacrifice?
Or does that make me a bad person?
It’s such a gift to be raised in a city.
You don’t even know.
I know how to walk down a block and have the look that makes homeless people not bother me.
I don’t get scared in crowds.
I can figure it out.
I know what street signs looks like.
I’ll be fine, if I decide to move back to a place with a stoplight.
I got mad at my mother for posting my picture on Facebook.
I had asked her not to, she did it anyway.
She thought, well just one, because it was graduation.
I said, this is why I didn’t let take my photo. Because she would do whatever she wanted without asking permission.
She didn’t ask me.
It was the right kind of mad. I don’t get that often. Totally in my square, right to be mad, no later repercussions for doing it wrong or anything. God I was so mad. It was beautiful.
Why do people always not see me as a person?
It’s not fair.
Can’t you tell I’m scared?
I like to be invited to things.
I’m not good enough.