Tag Archives: relationships

Poems from the Plane: Christmas 2017

1:
Don’t ask me permission like it makes a difference.
Don’t pretend to need my blessing.
I’m no deciding factor.
Go ahead.
Put her on hospice care. It’s past time.
I don’t know why you’re insisting on picking me up from the airport.
Mom. I can take a cab, stay with your mom.

2:
I didn’t realize other people’s memories don’t work like mine.
I’ve combed it so often,
That very few are tinged with emotion any more,
It’s more of what do I remember,
And how was I feeling,
I’m like a third-party to my own mind.
I see what’s going on,
But offer no judgment to the woman there.

3:
The most intimate thing I’ve done?
Given him a sweater.
He said in a text message that he’s never the one to start something.
But I couldn’t tell, I was waiting.
I was literally laying in your bed watching videos on a ceiling projector.
We’ll see how I feel tomorrow about the kids thing.
A friend told me, don’t you want kids?
That shut me up.

4:
You know what I want for Christmas?
I want personal morality to apply to the workplace.
That’s just business. What does that mean?
Why is this okay?
Why is doing a good job, good work, the equivalent of holiness?
Why is competitiveness disgusting interpersonally, but accepted when you put on a blouse? Why is suddenly protecting your best interests more important than equality.
If corporations aren’t our new churches, we have loyalty to nothing else.

5:
I don’t want to go home.
I want to go back to having an apartment to myself with Netflix gratis.
The ability to leave lights on without impunity.
The noise volume regulation of a toddler.
Jacking-off squeak privileges.
And grabbing what I need from my room in a towel.

6:
She says she doesn’t see the point of her –
This is my brother’s girlfriend –
Why would they be together?
Jesus, have you ever been stupid abut how you feel?
Sometimes suitability is more about the answer being,
I don’t know I just do,
Than,
I admire his mind.
I think, to ask that, you must never have done, no, let yourself do something stupid for a feeling.
He likes the girl. Leave him alone.

7:
Dad called me to say,
Oh I missed out on spending time with the sweetie twin.
He would have taken the train to see me at my three hour layover.
You’re not serious. I’m not serious. We both know,
But the sentiment dad, is appreciated.
Even if it’s not to see me, but “your daughter.”

8:
That Midwest gray, I love you.
I’m from there.
Those lines from the sky, those grids, where everything is flat,
And the sky clouded for months.
You miss it.
How could you miss an itch in your ear?
I missed the normalcy.
I want what’s normal to me to be normal all around.
Gray sky in December is right in my head.

9:
I was so mad. Just mad. Why can’t god even decide to kill someone?
Why do we have to do it? Why are they waiting on me to let her die.
To discharge her. To new nurses with unlimited paid meds.
Who’s going to do her hair?
Mom, I’ll be your sounding board again, for your parent’s funeral speech.
I’ll get ready to put that pressure on another human when you yourself die.
In family tradition.

10:
I told him no one wants to hear they’re just like someone else.
How do I tell him that he has the wrong idea about me?
I am nothing like this woman, girl.
Except my silliness that comes out when I’m around you.
Don’t tell your girlfriend she reminds you of me.
I didn’t know I ranked that highly in your estimation of people,
But, keep it to yourself okay? Like the girl for being her.

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Ten Poems for Late December

1:
Know where I am?
Hawaii. On Christmas vacation paid for by my mom.
And so much has been happening,
So much has happened, and yet,
I can’t bring myself to write about it just now,
Because there’s palm trees out there
And water and sun.
In December.
So I’ll sit and watch this dragonfly a little longer.

2:
He didn’t tell me he had kids,
Little kids,
Like toddlers,
And do I get involved? Knowing either he’s a poor father?
Or he’s a good father, and he’s been hiding it from me.
I think I have to see where it goes.
Suddenly all the big little faults seem worse,

3:
I read dirty poems on the plane ride,
The whole time hoping the woman next to me couldn’t make out any words on my screen.
Like Please or Master,
Perl or Sweet.
So I switched to trying to sleep,
Alternating between playing music and how long can my battery last.
I accomplish nothing on plane rides.

4:
Did you know you can get constipated from stress?
I didn’t.
You think it was the travelling to my mother’s house?
Then to Hawaii for Christmas to meet with relatives.
My money problems?
Putting my grandmother in hospice care?
Having to hear my mother tell me she doesn’t want her to go.
What do you say to that?
I’m not asking you, I’m asking God.
What do you tell your mother when she says,
“I don’t want my mom to go?”
Huh?
I want an answer.
Why isn’t she dead already so we can start grieving?

5:
She’s not capable of handling it.
She can’t.
She doesn’t have enough unselfish juice to take care of other people,
It has to rebound onto someone else.
Here she is telling me,
It was so hard.
Like I don’t know.
Like I haven’t seen this before.
How do I have sympathy for this woman, my sister, who had to take care of my mom taking care of her mom for three days?
That’s it. Three days.
It was so hard. Why aren’t we more sympathetic towards her?
The kindness isn’t there. I keep looking, hoping to find somewhere, that caring.
But instead I find anger directed toward whoever is present. Me.
She will never see it as anything other than relating to her needs.
I need to stop judging her for what she can’t do.

6:
We’re going to talk about it for a minute.
No one gave me a sex talk.
My mom says she gave me one.
She didn’t.
I went through sex ed in a conservative Christian school,
So sex was evil and you were going to hell.
I was told I was a piece of scotch tape,
The first time mattered, but if you keep sticking that piece over and over on your skin it didn’t hurt anymore, you weren’t worth as much. As a woman. Because your tape lost it’s ability to pull hair off your arm.
I had a beer with my friend yesterday,
She hasn’t talked to anyone. She says she’ll research it online.
I told her to see an OBGYN, they are there to treat you like a sheep. Ask the questions, they won’t judge you for it, they’ve seen weirder. You are a number. It’s perfect.
Why are women allowed to have painful, uncomfortable experiences because no tells them it shouldn’t hurt?
Why did the woman teaching high schoolers sex ed not know that oral can transfer stds?
What is so wrong about facts and information?
It’s my body. Tell me about it’s bones and what they do.
About it’s blood flows and cycles.
Tell me that it’s okay I don’t want to be on birth control.
Tell me it’s okay that I don’t want to be regulated.
Tell me it’s okay that I don’t like tampons,
Cups, or iuds,
Shaving my bikini line or the hair on my toes,
Tell me it’s okay to be unsure about being confident.

7:
I’m a failure and I’m breaking down.
I can’t keep working this job.
But I can’t apply, it’s so hard for me to apply.
I can’t keep living with my sister.
I can’t keep avoiding getting a higher ed degree.
I want a house to put my stuff.
Magically, mystically I want to not work and have money.
I’m just so tired.
But I don’t have references because I’m too shy and scared to ask.
This old cycle, I’ve been here before.
Hello old friend. Glad you’re back.
Take the place of dying relatives and alcoholic aunts.

8:
She said he raised a fist at her,
After telling her to mind her own business,
He has a point,
But at age 67 you’d think he’d be able to regulate emotions,
And say what he needs to say without yelling.
He’s incapable of understanding other people have feelings.
I just avoid him now. I take an active indifference for the years of pain he caused me.
But he threatened to hit my sister, I didn’t see it.
And she was furious.
She was more mad that mom wasn’t on her side.

9:
I found it,
I was sitting with mom and my sister and her husband at a pie restaurant.
I was upset we had to wait an extra thirty minutes.
I was being quiet. Trying to be contained,
And they mocked me for it.
Mocked my feelings.
Teasing me, taking pictures, telling me to make that face again it would make a good meme.
Mom didn’t say anything.
She said I was “in a bad mood” and being a “bee-bee” because she wouldn’t say bitch.
My sister would make faces and say, “don’t take my head off”
Anytime I show any negative emotions.
Somehow when I’m upset I get mocked, but when anyone else is upset they get avoided and respected.
Just because you think it’s a silly thing to be upset about.
This right here. This is why I can’t share how I feel.
And she did this to me.
I just hadn’t seen it in such a long time. It took me a minute to recognize it.

10:
I needed to rage at god and no one was available.
I had to the apartment to myself, an opportunity to get drunk,
And no one returned my call.
I wanted to be mad at god for dementia,
For families,
For airplane turbulence and grief,
And I didn’t have any friends.
So I sat by myself on the computer.
While I packed, and daydreamed about how excited my mom would be if I were pregnant.

Ten Poems (12-10-17)

1:
Let’s go find lunch.
Like it’s hiding in the bushes,
Like it will appear if we can seek it out.
If we say the right incantation, poof, it appears.
Only a few of a restaurants have it.
This lunch thing.
You must find it first.
Find my lost lunch.
Is it in my bag?
On the grass?
In my hat?
I don’t know. We must seek it out.

2:
What is this hope of new romance?
Aren’t we too practical for this nonsense?
Here I am talking to my friend on the phone while I’m wandering my room,
Folding laundry, cricking my neck, friend in my ear,
What are you supposed to do on a third date?
She googled what to expect.
She says it’s going well.
That he’s shy, so each time she learns something new.
And she likes him.
And he likes her.
I tell her that’s great. I’m so happy for her.
Even if they can only meet at weird times because he works the night-shift.
I tell her I went dancing, and ate pho with a new boy.
I like him I think.
Like the nervous you get when you know a painting is going well,
You don’t want to ruin it.
So you proceed very slowly,
And try and shush down the hope and the future plans your brain has decided to spring on you.

3:
I play a video and get told to use headphones.
But they can talk and make tea unencumbered.
I am the one to subdue because I am the interloper,
The quiet person who pays rent, and won’t be staying,
Don’t make room on the bathroom counter,
Or in your daily routine.
Let us find a box for you and your things.

4:
I haven’t applied for new jobs.
I think about it, and chicken out.
I get home and cry because I have no energy left.
I can do it on the weekend.
Yet here I am.
Reading instead.
Trying and failing to make a list of what I need to get done.

5:
Here is this woman,
This wonderful woman,
Sitting across from me, sipping her cider with spices,
In a black coffee mug,
Snacking on Norwegian wreath cookies,
Telling me about what she studies,
With passion in her voice, and no shame.
She’s telling me engagements are different in Egypt,
In her culture,
Because there is no premarital sex,
They are often shorter,
But also less serious.
It is not a sure thing, once you’ve been engaged.
But the man is still expected to provide financially,
Basically afford a flat,
So the time engaged depends on money more than anything else,
And the expense of the wedding.
She doesn’t get to tell me more,
I have to drive the people who invited me along home,
And I think,
We could have been friends.
Those funny, subtle shifts, of timing, friends, and circumstance.
We should be friends.
I want to hear about her fiancé, who cannot see.
I want to hear about growing up in Britain,
I want another chance from fate, to sit down in a green plush chair caddy-corner to her,
And hear more about life, from someone else.

6:
The boys I meet now,
I cannot just trust my own opinion,
I use the other people’s voices in my head as counterbalance.
What would my mom say of this person?
Would my best friend turn up her nose?
If I introduced him to my people,
Would he fit in?
This is what I ask myself,
Because, suddenly, my own opinion needs bolstering,
And my own thoughts need support braces.

7:
Here I am in the car again, so I can talk privately.
Yes, I’m cold, but I can’t be overheard.
I made it home from the party okay.
I got pretty claustrophobic, but I made it out.
No, I don’t know why I still talk to you either,
I think you’ve always known you liked me more than I liked you.
I’m hanging on now because of my abandonment issues.
I will leave you once I find someone better,
You know it. I warned you. I gave you a chance to stake a claim.
I think I’m your out too,
I give you someone to think about when you’re tired and lonely,
Which is better than nothing from afar without your glasses on.

8:
Hello, it is I,
The person hiding in the tread of your shoes,
Congratulations, I have finally shrunk to the size you think I need to be,
Leave me alone now please.
Let me do things wrong or right in my own way,
Way down here,
Out of your notice.
Let me fail, please, without commentary,
It’s so hard to keep my shields up at full maximum for so long,
To repeal all the insults, jokes, teasing, and jibes, that I can and could do better, if only.

9:
She says she only wants to date,
She’s not taking care of anyone.
So many men, she tells me,
At that age, are only looking for someone to take care of them.
She’s done that already.
But who will take care of her, I wonder to myself,
But her mind and body are good,
So maybe, she takes care of her.
A nice thought.

10:
I can think to myself,
People are all the same,
As often as I want.
But when I was driving in Texas after the snowfall,
No one slowed down over the bridges.
When I called my friend to tell him how to steer out of a fishtail,
He ignored me,
I have front-wheel drive he said.
No one here knows how to use defrosters.
And again, I had those stranger’s thoughts.
I don’t fit in.
I have no home to go back to.

Ten Poems (11-12-17)

1:
We don’t have souls; we’re just our bodies.
Not much better than ants,
Smarter, with a larger, more complex society,
But you kill us and we go away.
There isn’t some spirit that survives.
It’s all very simple, he told me.
And I thought he had no sense of the silliness of life.

2:
We sat in the back far corner of a studying-type bubble tea place.
I don’t think I’m the person he invites out to go drinking.
But, I could be myself with him for a minute, which was great, because I was sullen and being assholeish.
I used crude language to be fun.
I updated him about my life, my dates, my non-ending sinus infection, and my fears.
I listened while he had to remind himself to come back to his body, because his depression would take him somewhere else.
I laughed at his stories, and his breakups, hookups, and drug use.
It was nice to be friends for a minute.
To think to myself, we’re friends, I can do this.
I can buy life insurance,
And have tea, normal-like, and find a way to make it.

3:

4:
He gave her what she wanted.
That’s the refrain.
She wanted another child.
She told me, my mother,
She was thinking about getting a donor, if she didn’t find someone.
Were we not enough?
Are my sister and I not enough?
Is that why my brother gets more money and attention?
He’s the boy. The youngest, the one really wanted?
She told me when she forgot she was talking to me.
They were getting divorced soon anyway,
She said there was no way.
I’m thinking I was the one last try, the goodbye, or the accident.
At the same time she was mock-trial arguing women’s reproductive rights at her law school,
She chose to have me.
And I sit here on a Sunday afternoon wondering what I’ll do by accident,
And what I’ll get because I want it, one way or the other.

5:
I wore a tank top that showed my bra
So he would look at my cleavage.
It’s the one thing about me I thought he might like
But if I’m resorting to skin,
It means I’m desperate.
I’m not sure which shows more strength,
The persistence of trying without hope
Or the courage to have confidence in what’s left of my body.

6:
Will I be my mother and have no long-term close friends?
Will I have no one to hang out with on Sunday nights?
Because I want that.
The casual, they just show up.
I’m tired of having to plan it.
I know it comes with time, trust.
But I want a click, I want luck, I want safety.
I guess I’m sacrificing the opportunity for something better, to settle safe.
I think I’m okay with that.

7:
Be proud of your failures.
What an un-American thing to say.
Us, the people who can’t take seriously the things we didn’t do ourselves.
Unless you’re talking to businessmen who are telling you about how to build a better life using these three principles,
I don’t see anyone taking that to heart.
I see them pretending to brag about the things they did that went wrong,
To fool themselves into an excuse for bragging, and follow step three written in the first book they’ve read in years.

8:
It’s like she forgot she left.
She was telling me how bad dad was to her when we were little,
With a casual wave, before you remember.
I told her, when it was just me and dad,
When she was in school,
He was calmer by then.
She looked at me in shock,
Still never seeing that other people have lives too,
That might be just as important, painful, or meaningful.

9:
I don’t open up to him, I don’t feel safe.
I like him, I’m attracted, but I don’t feel I can be myself.
Is that because he’s more attractive?
Or because my body knows he’ll hurt me, and it’s keeping me tucked away,
The me who has no boundaries.

10:
I’ve been staring at a age-spot that appeared on my hand.
I remember the wart that was there for years and years.
The constant shame of my hand, the constant hiding.
Right there over the third knuckle.
How often I would pick it apart, hoping I could make it go away without showing anyone.
Without creating another problem for my mother.
Who tried to ice-burn it away with some over-the-counter contraption she picked up on her way home when she was only going to the grocery store for one thing.
I was fifteen before we went to the skin doctor and the third thing he tried made it vanish.
And I wonder if his spot on my hand if from the cream they used.
If this is a delayed reaction, to the fact I hid my shame,
And didn’t tell anyone about what was wrong until years later.

Ten Poems (11-7-17)

1:
I can’t be honest with you,
I got enough sleep last night.
My usual self-medication hasn’t worked. My brain isn’t foggy.
All I can do is sit here and calculate all the ways in which I made mistakes are wrong,
And be hungry even though I just ate.
I can’t seem to write.
So I’ll just tell you what happened to me this week.

2:
I broke down in my sisters kitchen chopping vegetables on a black floor tile counter.
I called my mom.
I’m not good enough mom,
I’m breaking.
She said, have you tried painting? Or buying something for yourself?
I needed someone to sit with me while I coped.
The things I thought were all I needed to be okay turn out to not be enough.
I just want someone to care about me.
I just want to do something in an office.
I just want space to cook, and enough heat to not be cold.
I want enough jeans that fit without holes.
But I’m still not okay. And it’s not fair.

3:
I planted plants.
I paid too much for the bag of dirt.
If I can keep something else alive,
I can keep myself alive.
My friend got a cat even with her allergies.
Homeless people with dogs tend to be better off.
Something about dirt and full circles,
But really, it was the first time in a while I’ve wanted to do something,
So I did it. Hoping I’d want to do more things in the future, instead of just more sleep.

4:
My Dad’s slipping.
He says I’ve told him that before. He didn’t know it was getting worse.
Of course it’s getting worse. This kind of thing doesn’t get better.
Am I not important enough for him to keep details straight?
Or is part of his brain dying?
He doesn’t understand how to tell me it will be okay.
He doesn’t understand how to comfort.
I don’t know which one of these will break us, but it’s around one of these corners.

5:
I met someone off an app for coffee at my least favorite coffee house.
We both get bored at live music.
He seems nice.
Not attractive, but nice.
And now we play my favorite game called,
What will I do to eff this up?
Text too early?
Sing along to songs?
Be ugly with double thigh dips?
Forget to drive you back to your car?
How will you Seinfeld me out of your life?
Go give me something small about myself to mull over for a couple weeks.

6:
My sister says I don’t need a lot from other people.
I’m pretty self-sufficient.
That can intimidate some people.
I bought life-insurance today.
Is that what she means?
I monitor my credit score, and don’t have debt, so one will love me.
Here you can have my paid-off car and my healthy relationship with my brother.
Can I have a date for my work Christmas party?

7:
I love romance novels.
I have to read them on a half-empty brain or I get mad at the sexism and assaults.
A refuge is predictability. It’s calmness because nothing will go wrong worse than you can imagine.
There’s so little secure in my life. I want someone else’s love to have a plotted existence.
I want structure to give me meaning in what I see everyday, so I find that in trashy books.

8:
I misplayed at cards on Wednesday night.
I shouldn’t have been cocky or smiley happy because we were winning.
He huffed away mad.
I forgot to hide myself, and I was shot down for it.
It’s not unusual.
I’m always mad that they’re people.
I want them to be people I already know.
And I want them to like me because I’m perfect.

9:
I made a pineapple upside-down cake.
That was the highlight of things I did I’d never done before last week.
I remember when I tried to do something new everyday so that I could tell the days apart.
I see people, and naturally compare myself, and say, wow look at that. They’re experiencing life. I want that. And instead, I arrange pineapples on brown sugar for my brother-in-law.
I cut cherries precisely in half, instead of falling in love.
I change the recipe just a little bit because you should mix the butter and sugar together before adding the flour.
I don’t take a road trip. I don’t spend money.
I save money for later in life when my back will hurt worse,
And I’ll feel guilty for not having lived while I was young.

10:
I only lived there a year.
My sister reminds me, like somehow I didn’t earn anything.
Like experience is something to earn.
Like she knows I can’t claim a place because I was there a little less than 400 days.
Don’t be dramatic, you’re just the same as me, she says.
You’re life doesn’t have my value.
Look what I’ve done in that time instead.

Ten Poems (10-28-17)

1:
I live with accidental consequences of the things I did right.
I cleaned the wood paneling along the floor,
Now I clean along the chip on the wood paneling on the floor.
I didn’t have that relationship, I didn’t move to California with him.
But I never met his friends, never did something stupid,
Never tried to save something I knew would die.
I know you live with your mistakes,
But you live with the successes too.

2:
I wish she would be clear with me,
But I don’t have the courage to be straight with her.
Isn’t that just the way it goes.

3:
I met a German
I think, maybe I’m too silly for him.
He did not laugh,
But he sort of chuffed once.
He was not handsome,
But he was safe, and wanted me to like him.
And he’ll beat himself up later about the silly things he said.

4:
How did I get myself up this morning?
More importantly, when will that will give out?
And it’s always a just barely,
So close to a not.
That’s why I always felt guilty of my accomplishments in college,
They were just barelys instead of easily and because of hard work.

5:
I want to have done something I’ve never done before.
To have an experience, another story,
To keep me warm.
Maybe I’ll poach an egg.
And bake a new cake.
To stop this wanting to have a place of my own, with a person of my own.

6:
I don’t know what I’m doing.
Here. Now. With this life.
I’m so aware of how precious health is,
Because I’m coughing up a storm.
But now what do I do with this awareness?
I ask the question we all ask,
What now?

7:
He talks to me in the morning,
And he’s like a brother.
He was raised with sisters, I can tell.
He makes faces at me when we both try to stay awake at work,
He sends me silly gifs in gchat,
He’s human and honest in my little machine corner.
And he’ll play catch, whereas no one else will run with the sarcasm stories of,
Of yes of course I took my pony into work.

8:
I cannot make you love your body.
I am sorry I do not have this power.
I cannot rearrange the features of your face to make you happy.
I can’t make you look good in leggings.
I can tell you that all your parts work, that you are you. That if you weren’t you, you wouldn’t be you. You’re the youest you around.
I can tell you that your whole line of ancestors has produced a human that is capable of achieving in this world. That the vehicle for doing this is your body.
But you don’t care.
I don’t know what you want.
To be prettier?
To be thinner?
To be less chubby?
I can tell you how to accomplish these goals. But if you are not happy with who you are, no matter how the outside changes, you will never be happy.
You can always start over, but you bring yourself with you wherever you go.
The doctor doesn’t say you’re fat.
I don’t think your fat.
Who says you’re fat?
Your husband does not care. He says you look good.
Your mother would think you were fat if you were a sheet of paper from the side.
It is only you.
I cannot help you with this.

9:
God I would love to be thinner than her.
It would somehow be divine recompense for the years she yelled at us, took out her anger at us,
For not looking the way she wanted.
For the puking, and the food judging, for the snide remarks about bowls of chips.
It provokes the cat smile, doesn’t it? I could finally do something better than her.
Because she always has to be smarter, prettier, with a better looking man.
Just the one time, wouldn’t it be nice, to be first in something.
But I’m sure she could make me feel guilty for being fat in the first place.
And I’m equally positive I’ll never get in that good of shape.

10:
I call my mom for support.
I needed that support, and my sister cannot offer a shoulder to cry on.
She’s too harsh for that.
Harsh is a good word, I think.
I’m sure the love is there, but it is regulated, and used with a purpose.
My mom will tell me about all the suns and moons I am,
And babble at me when I need it,
To feel at home.

Ten Poems (10-02-17)

1:
Why is it that it’s so much easier to be the one liked more?
And once you know you like someone more than they like you, you cling.
I should speak for myself. I cling. I am cling. I am dryer sheet.
I want them to like me.
Maybe I should give up, and never like anyone again.
Or be less fat.

2:
I think the brain that decides it’s going to wear my skin while I’m on my period,
Has very different taste in men than I do.
It says, this one is safe.
Then this thought will appear, it says
I want to rest my legs on theirs.
But when I meet them the next day, I can’t figure out what it is about them
I liked.
And I think I’m the practical monster all over again.
She who only sees people as a means to scarcely allocated resources.

3:
They’re younger than me.
I didn’t think it mattered. I’ve always been on the other side of that.
But I sat at lunch today, in the cafeteriatorium,
They got all the names of all the country stars wrong,
And I was “never minded” by a guy younger than me for not answering immediately.
I wasn’t myself.
Because I can’t be myself at work and still have a job,
More so, though, to me, they’re still college kids,
Taking about how they learned something new that changed their lives,
And wondering why something can’t be said out loud.
I have more important things than that group, and I’m not sure that they do.
It’s like they haven’t hurt anyone yet, and they don’t know how much future hurt they’re already carrying around.

4:
My father is paying my offering money again.
When we were little, he would run down from the pulpit and hand us each a dollar,
Sitting there huddled in the first pew.
To put in the offering plate.
He asks me each week on the phone if I need money.
He sends me a dog-eared twenty and a five brochure folded in an old bulletin.
This week I put my cash in my white envelope, then in the heavy, rust flecked plate,
And it felt like I was sitting in the same pew all over again.
My father taking two seconds out of his important work to rush down the steps, and give his girls money to make sure they were part of the congregation.
Separating us from them and connecting us to others at the same time.
Like he’s always done,
Teach me how other people think,
And how everyone else is wrong.
He’s never been able to see from a smaller perspective, and he misses out on the insights idiots can make.
Which is why he never understood my embarrassment at having to be the one getting money from the dad’s last-minute pocket.

5:
Suddenly there seems to be so much time.
I wonder if, thinking back, we’ll say those were the days when we were young and silly,
Before we settled down. I’m so glad we settled down.
Or if, instead, I’ll think back to a minor thing I said while I wasn’t paying attention,
A relationship version of nicking a parked car with my sideview mirror,
A slipsecond of not paying attention,
That causes us to never speak again.
Maybe I’ll call you up, in twenty years to see how you are,
To see if you got what you wanted.
It’s turning over the next card in blackjack to see if you could have made five-under-twenty-one,
I want to check to see if I made the right decision, even if I can’t change it now.

6:
God, what did he say to me?
Hang on, let me find it.
I don’t ever want you to go. Hopelessly devoted I think I am.

My head processed the annoying grammar before it read the emotion.
I think he’s lying. But he doesn’t know he’s lying.
I don’t think anyone can predict their emotions like that.
But, the happy part of my brain says, what if he’s right?
That’s creepy, says me who learned that my terrible step-father only went on a first date with my mother after waiting outside her building for weeks.
He seems to like me?
Is this a self-confidence issue with myself? Do I not think people are capable of liking me?
I might have heard this before, but maybe those other cases don’t apply to this one.

We’re different social classes, which you don’t think is important, but it is.
But wait, I’m arguing about a different issues, instead of this one.
What is the issue?
I don’t know what to do about him liking me. And this makes it seem like he really does like me. Love me.

But that phrase gives me all the power doesn’t it?
He doesn’t want me to leave.
I like that.
But at the same time, I’m still more comfortable with the boy planning out the dates and taking care of me. It’s work to be the one in control.
I can’t have the power and still expect him to make the decision though? Can I?
Maybe it’ll be more nonsense he’s said with all the other things.
Or maybe he means it. Or maybe he doesn’t know how to say what he really feels?
I can’t know him better than himself though? Can I?

7:
Everyday I have to drive on a fast, crowded, four-lane twisty, hilly road to get to work.
They test teslas cars on that road.
In the left lane, I’ll be passing a gardening truck with hedges sticking out past my dotted line,
I have to take a deep breath to keep my hands steady. The cars coming south are inches from my mirrors around the curve, past the rich, tech-money houses.
The first time I drove it, I said I would smile every time I rode on it.
Now I wish it were a flat line.
I wish a mountain were a flat line.
That’s how much I dread work. I don’t want any more of my attention directed in that direction.

8:
My brain can’t stop telling me all the ways this could go wrong.
Over and over to be rejected by an automated resume-reading machine.
I want a nice job, one I don’t hate.
I should go back to school, be in debt, but happier in the long-run.
But I don’t have anyone to give me recommendation letters, and it’s too late to ask, and I haven’t taken the test, and I’ll have to wait a whole other year.
And I’m wasting another year of my life.
I’m mad at myself for not knowing what it is I want to do, for not taking the time to figure this out when I was younger. I want it to just happen, I want someone to make the decision for me. I don’t want this responsibly.
I paid my car insurance today isn’t that enough?

9:
My mother is coming to visit.
Suddenly I’m fat and slovenly.
My job is bad, and my clothes have holes.
I should have children already, read more, and wear more makeup.
I want her to buy me food, and not judge me.
That would be the perfect mom, wouldn’t it?
But very unlike my mother.

10:
She gets so angry, and I don’t know how to handle it.
It’s the same anger from when we were kids.
I have issues dealing with anger because of her, because of this.
I cower. Instantly. And it pisses me off.
I get yelled at for being angry, and she gets everyone to move out of her way.
She would tell you it’s because she’s great.
And I’m sure she is.
I just want her to go away, so I don’t have to put up a front all the time,
And have all my emotions just so in place.
My feelings don’t go in slots. And sometimes I have to feel them later,
There’s nothing wrong with me.
Don’t mock me for my feelings. I am right to have them. They are right to exist.
The reason this dialogue even exists in my head is because of you.