Monday, February 19, 2007


how many times is that weird guy going to walk past my table?
why can't i concentrate on my paper?
how many times am i going to re-read that e-mail?
why don't i want to go to class?
why do people have to tell me things 434,433,672,732,773,786,894,144,993,999 times before i believe them?
why is my mother being mean to me? why is she nice to me when i am sad, and mean to me when i am happy?
can i please have one week off school?
if i had a time machine, would i use it?
why can i not be more organized?
why am i so impatient?
am i as big an idiot as i think i am?
can i please smack the staring eejit that is gaping at me right now?
if i skip class, will i fail?
if you are reading this, why?

Friday, February 16, 2007


last december, my old boyfriend and i went to chicago to see better than ezra at the house of blues. it was a good time, even though on the way there, i started to get sick as hell, and it only got worse. we stayed at a beautiful bed and breakfast in wicker park, and fell in love with the city.

we planned to leave sunday night, and our last stop sunday was the famous shedd aquarium. it was beautiful, but one single thing stuck in my mind.

the jellyfish.

they were in a tank on the end, and they were the most beautiful things i had ever seen. their transparency; the way they moved; the way they were colorful, yet colorless; the strange and eerie shape of their bodies suspended in water; their different sizes, some huge, some no larger than the head of a pin...i was transfixed, literally frozen, and i had to be pulled away to other people could finally enjoy the jellyfish.

i walked away amazed, and said, "you know, they are only so beautiful in that water. they are in their element. if you walked on the beach and saw a jellyfish on the sand, you'd gag. it would be one of the ugliest things you ever saw."

i tried and tried to get him to understand exactly how important this was, what exactly it meant, but in the medication and sickness brain fog, i was weak and tired, and figured i could just wait and explain it later.

later never really came.

last night, i couldn't sleep because of those jellyfish. they haunted me.

last night, i was a jellyfish. maybe i have changed a little, but lauren snapped a photo of me, and i was so surprised that i didn't look anything like i thought i would.

last november, there was an entire night's worth of photos taken of me that can only be described as "jellyfish on the beach."

this is starting to sound superficial, and that isn't the point. i need to wrap it up.

i wish more than anything that i could have felt so happy before. i really do. i don't know why i didn't, or what was different, or why i wasn't "in my element," or why i felt like that jellyfish on the beach. i just did. it still upsets me, and it will for a long time. and i'm sorry.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

last year, today

on this day last year, i had a job that i hated.

on my way there, my camry died.

it died for good.

i had to clean out the trunk, and as a testament to how often i clean out my car, there were layers of the past three years of my life, waiting to be rediscovered.

on top, the natasha bedingfield cd that i listened to on repeat. one song, "unwritten," over and over. i'm always the girl that gets stuck on a song until everyone around me gets sick of it.

then, a paper tiara from new years 2006, that jerry from the crowne plaza swiped for me off a guest table in the ballroom, because i absolutely had to have one. that night, when i showed back up at 4 a.m., tom the night auditor gave me the key to the honeymoon suite, and i still think he did it on purpose. how embarrassing that was. that paper tiara is still in a box, which i sincerely hope is still being taken care of. i'm always the girl who wants to stay out all night on new year's eve.

under that, a bag of clothes and dishes from the day i left joey's house and moved back in to the apartment on wilmington. cesare was living there at the time, and we watched dvd's and ate cold stone creamery and basked in our misery. i slept on my bathroom floor for days. i was always the girl who was pretty bad at dealing with heartache.

another layer: wild oats polo shirt, wrinkled and balled up. a job i loved and hated at the same time. as i walked out on my last day, i felt a weight lift off my shoulders at the same time that i started to cry. i was always the girl who was bad at saying goodbye.

an old sticky, dirty pink yoga mat. when i started paying for yearly membership at the studio, they started supplying a mat each day. i no longer needed to use an icky sticky mat. i rolled up the mat that had taken me through my first year of classes and abandoned it in the trunk. i was always the girl who remembered where she came from.

at the bottom, a pair of angel wings from a halloween costume. in october 2003 (when the car was fairly new and clean) i left a party, and since i couldn't drive while wearing wings, i put them in the trunk and made my way home, to my old apartment on wilmington, to sing gavin degraw songs and 3am and sit at my old wooden leaf table by my french doors. i was always the girl who was upset that she only got to be an angel for one day.

at the bottom, in with the spare tire: an old quarter, likely from the previous owner.

i still have it.

i'm still the girl who holds on to things.


the busy airport felt strangely like home; the noise displaced the silence n her head. she clutched her suitcase in one hand and a small mobile telephone in the other, wanting a distraction but unsure who to call. all of her lifelines were hundreds of miles away, and they may as well have been light years away.

people of varied expressions and styles of dress passed her by in every direction. everyone was in a hurry, even those in tropical vacation attire. she meandered along, staring out the long windows at the gigantic jets, turning her gaze ever now and then towards the tourists and business travelers to her left. she didn't pay attention to the constant jostle of hurried traffic passing her or the sea of voices surrounding her auditory space. the phone in her hand rang and vibrated, and she started as if from a trance. she glanced at the display, hit "ignore," and picked up her pace.

the bank of blue screens sat up ahead. she walked towards them with a new purpose. it only took her a moment to find that flight number 923 was still departing on schedule. another glance at the phone still gripped in her palm confirmed that she still had a ridiculous four hours to full before she could even begin to board her flight. time to buy some novels, drink a lot of coffee, forget the reason she was even here.

walking slowly once again, she noticed that there were more people moving along alone than in groups. that comforted her for a moment, then disgusted her. why should i take comfort that anyone else is alone? she pulled a small mp3 player from her purse and and finally let go of the phone, tossing it in the pocket where her headphones had been. after choosing a song, she entered the bookstore, offering a half smile to the cashier.

she blissfully passed half an hour browsing the shelves, losing herself in other people's words. when she had almost forgotten where she was, she felt her phone vibrating in her purse. again, she ignored it, but it brought her back to the present. after purchasing a few novels and magazines, she wheeled her suitcase out of the store and down the corridor to the restroom.

the fluorescent lights and cheap mirrors did her no favors. she sat her suitcase in the corner and stepped close to the mirror, examining her eyes. i look old. i'm 23. how appropriate. i feel old. i shouldn't be doing this. she looked down and washed her hands, thinking about how that didn't matter, that "should," because she just wasn't sure she was even happy anymore. she dashed out of the restroom before the mirror could capture her again.

a small, low-lit coffee shop sat up on the left. she parked on a small overstuffed chair and opened a thick novel, enjoying the anonymity offered by the airport. thousands of people rushing past, carrying their life stories in bags and briefcases, wearing outfits and expressions that only told pieces of their novels. people-watching proved more interesting than the book, and the remaining hours faded quickly.

inhaling, she reached for her purse and suitcase. it was time to go. a panic seized her as she realized that something was very wrong. where the hell is my suitcase? it's gone. she jumped up off the chair, grabbed her purse, and ran for the restroom. i left it in the restroom. shit.

i'm not going to panic, i'm not going to cry.
she ran into the restroom, shoved past the line of women, ignoring the startled protests and rude cries. the suitcase wasn't there. of course it wasn't there.

she ran to the customer service desk for her airline. somebody must have turned it in. dumb luck was on her side; there wasn't a long line.

the customer service agent looked up at the harried young woman.

"i need you to help me. i've lost my suitcase." she pulled her driver's license out of her purse, along with her boarding pass.
"i'm sure someone has turned it in. what is your name, ma'am? can you describe your bag for me? what was in it?"
"i'm...emily...harris." she said it haltingly, as if it were an alias. "it' suitcase. you know. clothes and...things?" she handed the teenage customer service agent her ID and boarding pass. "i'm on flight 923 to..."
"it's okay, i have your information right here. i'll be right back."

she walked over to the bank of uncomfortable chairs and sat down. there really wasn't anything else she could do now. the flight was boarding, and her suitcase was lost. if someone had stolen it, then she would have to change her entire plan. maybe that was the entire point. then again...

"miss...mrs. harris?"
shit. so much for anonymous. thanks for reminding me.
the customer service agent walked toward her, the suitcase in tow.
it's here. the suitcase is here.
"someone turned your bag in about an hour ago. unfortunately, any unattended bags are subject to search, so..."
"it's all right," she interrupted him. "thank you."
"your flight is still boarding. you can make it."
"thank you. actually...can you tell me where to find the nearest rental car desk?"
the boy gave her a strange look along with the directions.

she stopped along the way to open her suitcase and mail the letter to the address she recognized as home .
i'm going to mail this letter, and then rent a car. i'm going to drive back, and stop if i feel the need to stop. i'm going to play a game with fate here, and whichever makes it back first-me, or the letter-that's what's going to decide what happens. whatever happens, i'm not getting on that plane.
she dropped the letter in the mailbox, reached into her purse, and turned the phone off. she had a long drive ahead of her, and she had a feeling that she wasn't going to want to stop.

a side note to readers:
i write a lot in class, when i am supposed to be paying attention. i don't go back and edit, so forgive any weirdness or incompleteness. this isn't meant to be "fit to publish." this is what goes through my head when i'm less than amused by what's in front of me.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

(finally) inspired by poetry

i have a confession.

i don't like the whole romantic poetry thing-the classics-that we are studying in british literature right now.

but i was inspired by a piece we read today in class.

keats wrote "the eve of st. agnes" sometime around 1819. i'll admit to not reading the entire poem, but my professor sums it up like this:

madeline lives ina dream world, fantasizing about a dream lover and some perfect life that makes her happy, but doesn't exist. porphyro wants to come along and redeem her from this spell (and sure, he has impure thoughts in his mind as well, ha.) however, in his reality, there is no joy without pain. if you really love somebody, you will have to deal with reality (in the poem, mortality figures heavily.)
it is because of this that my professor calls keats the "romantic realist."
the question he posed was this: " is porphyro doing madeline a favor, or ruining her bliss?"
because, she was happy in her dream world...

*the above stuff, after the colon, came from my notes, just so you all know...*


isn't that what i have said all along?

nothing, and nobody, is ever going to be perfect. you can hope, but things are sometimes hard, and really, in the end, it's how you deal with it that matters.

i've admitted that i'm a dreamer. i have no problem with that. but honestly, the danger of imagination is the disappointment when the world doesn't live up to your dreams. what then? you keep dreaming. reality can definitely live up to it-maybe not when you expect it-but it will. and the great moments live in between ones that may not be so great. it just works that way. you can 't just walk away from something saying, " well, we had some great times, but it wasn't easy enough," thinking something else easier is going to come along and take you by storm. really. maybe it'll just get harder...and it won't be so good. maybe "some" great times will turn into no great times, and then what? but maybe i'm wrong. at this point, i hope i am. wrong. i really, really do.

i woke up painfully early this morning (think 4:45 am) with an idea in my mind. i regret not writing it down, because i went back to sleep and now the idea is kind of lost, but i still have a few echoes of it bouncing around.

i'll admit that it's hard for me to walk away. my life has, thus far, consisted of a lot of "don't look back" decisions (flashback to showing up at the claims office and tossing all my stuff into a box, only stopping to talk on instant messenger for a few minutes...) but when it's not my decision? i'm lost. i'm completely chained down. in my half-asleep reverie, i half-dreamed about walking away...that it's hard, but it just seems easier... i guess the thought i woke up with this morning was that without realizing it, i'm walking, and i have some sort of direction, too.

Monday, February 12, 2007


when i moved into my apartment, i put some photographs up on my refrigerator with those magnetic clips. one large one took up the center of my freezer for over five months. a few weeks ago, i tearfully tore it down and shoved it into a large macy's bag along with many other things i could no longer bear to look at or own. since then, i have had an empty clip on my freezer door that keeps falling down every time i open the freezer, which is daily, when i retrieve my pink nalgene bottle for yoga.i have been wondering what the hell to put in that clip. i certainly don't need another photograph of myself, as i have at least four "solo" photographs up there (from colorado and such) and it seems a bit vain. i don't really like a cluttered fridge, but that clip falling every day was getting on my nerves, and the empty spot was reminding me of something that i needed to put behind me. tonight, it hit me. there is a song by the fray that i have loved for a long time. it is called "look after you," and i thought i knew exactly what the song meant. now i'm not so sure, but there is one line that i pondered over for a long time. he says, "forgive the urgency, but hurry up and wait..."what the hell does that mean? i kept thinking. i mean, honestly. well, my fridge now displays a ripped-out piece of notebook paper reminding me to "hurry up and wait," because now i think i kind of know what that means.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

let's start with a piece i wrote in late summer 2005

this is an old "micro-fiction" piece from a while back...i posted this on the old blog, and i still love it. re-reading it now is almost frightening, because i was a lot less comfortable in my own skin back then...sure, i haven't made it to 100% comfortable, and maybe not even 75%, but this little paragraph sounds like a living hell, and i was in it. i didn't even realize how far i had come until i read this again just now.

i added the little "secret" at the end, as i often did in the past. i do that at the end of my posts, so be on the lookout.

"when i grow up i wanna be a socialite"
*she unlocks the door at 3:19 a.m. and steps into the frigid stream from the window unit across the room. it was a good night. ignoring the voice in her head telling her "no," she walks into the kitchen. distracted for a moment, she looks at her reflection in the darkened window, a youthful pixie with pigtails. she steps closer, leans on the sink, and sees the fine lines beneath her eyes, the faint but present furrow between her brows. there is a vase of dying tulips on the counter, a testament to the fact that someone cares in some way. she doesn't know why, doesn't want to know how. oblivion may be good at this point. she steps back again to view her whole body in the window. how did she let herself get this way? does she hate herself that much, or did someone hurt her so much that she feels unworthy of feeling good, feeling attractive? either way, she decides, it stops now. it is time for a change. this time will be different. no more excuses. she retreats to the bedroom and undresses, falls on the bed. her mind is full of thoughts: the night, how she acted, what she said, what she heard. she analyzes things too much. she needs peace. she needs something concrete, because a fuzzy reflection in a dark window isn't something she can fully grasp.*

my secret: i think people would know me more, understand me better if they read what i write…but i am afraid to suggest it sometimes

i'm here now. for now.

well. myspace is fun, and all, but i'm not generating the traffic i want, and it's a different kind of audience.
my old blog at wordpress wouldn't let me delete some of the more crazy rants that i composed during a hard time, and while i can't just forget that time ever existed...i don't want to make that all public for everyone to read and wonder "what the hell happened to her?"
therefore, i am up and running again, this time on blogger. we'll see if i actually keep up with this one.
a word of warning-i like to write, a lot-but i lose motivation if i don't get comments. so keep 'em coming, people. you are my inspiration. really.