Saturday, March 17, 2007

this is what i mean

she's a bit off, i'd say. lately she's been staring off into space, or looking at strangers, fantasizing about them, but she doesn't want to be like that at all. she moves awkwardly on crowded dance floors but is graceful at the center of a silent room, and can't easily make eye contact right away but tends to do well with body contact. she might be in love with a character from a novel and she is convinced he exists in her life and has been ever since she first read the damn thing. she likes the feeling of starving and coming home to eat if it has been a good night. she has crazy dreams of losing earrings and uncontrollable cars. she won't buy toilet paper but she will buy too many new clothes, and too many new books. her life is like a modern day "kubla khan" but what is life for if not for dreaming and imagining? she does so many things just to be ironic and sarcastic and seeks out the one person who might just understand even a small part of many people misconstrue those things...she is tired of unfulfilled dreams. the best things in her life are things that have happened by complete random human error or accident or serendipity or whatever you want to call it. she is too captivated by mirrors, by others' eyes, by movement. she is easily distracted at the wrong times. she is

Monday, March 12, 2007

can't take it

i fear
you thought
the perfect me would be
me now (not then)
but me ... now


e n e r g y

memories philosophy thoughts words dreams



but with an "off" button

Sunday, March 11, 2007

an old one

on a saturday in january, she decided that she was going to jump out the window. it was only 3 stories up, but there was nothing but concrete below, and she knew how to swan dive.
she opened the window and looked down. cold wind rushed into the bedroom and made her step back. walking over to the dresser, she plucked a coin out of a jar of golden dollars. back at the window, she stuck the entire top half of her body out, stretched out her arm, and held the coin between her thumb and forefinger. she released it, hoping to see it make impact with the sidewalk. it fell in front of a white-haired man with a large nose and sloe eyes behind thick glasses. he bent over, picked it up, and examined it in a gloved hand. he began to look up, and she quickly flattened herself against the window frame, like spies do in the movies. tears welled up in her eyes as she saw the old man's sad face transform into a smile.
she stuck the top half of her body out of the window again. she looked right, then left, then down at the people walking by. people with dogs, people alone, people with children. going to work, going to the store, going home. the busy city street lulled her for a moment, and as soon as she snapped out of it, she dashed back across the room and grabbed the entire jar of golden dollars.
back at the window, she sat the jar on the floor and picked out a coin. after a quick look down, she stuck her hand out and dropped it. "that," she thought, "is for my overbearing asshole of a boss." she picked out another one, put her hand out the window, and dropped it without looking. "that is for the stupid guy who cheated on me with not one but three other women." another coin. "that is for the headache i get every single day." she took a step back and launched a coin as if it were a tiny frisbee. it made a ping sound as it hit a streetlight. she giggled. "for the medical bills i am still paying off, even though the doctors did nothing for me." she flicked one out between her thumb and ring finger, the way kids flick pennies. it hit the wheel of a passing car. "for people who make rude comments under the guise of 'helping'."
she kept tossing and flinging golden dollars out the window until the jar had only one coin left. she replaced the jar on the dresser and went to bed, about fifty dollars poorer, but fifty burdens lighter.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

i'm bringing...old apartment back?

i want to move back to my old apartment.

i moved here for a lot of wrong reasons, and a very few right ones. a few more good things have made themselves known since i moved in, but this place still does not feel like home. a lot of things have changed since i moved in, and i still miss my old home. i feel like i became "me" in my old place, and i am sorely tempted to call my old landlord and ask if there is a vacancy in my old building.

i miss the multiple windows, the hardwood floors, the archways, and the fact that nobody cared when i sang "you and i both" at the top of my lungs at 6am on saturday mornings while doing dishes. i miss the never-ending hot water, the pink bathroom, carondelet park, the window above my kitchen sink, and so many memories.

i remember the break-in, and telling the police that i was leaving: "i'm gonna be late for yoga." they were stunned.
i remember listening to the streets, and being asked if it was "gangsta rap."
i remember "watching" wicker park.
i remember coming home and screaming into a towel.
i actually do remember cutting that memory foam thing.
i remember stumbling home and singing gavin degraw into my freezer full of lean cuisines.
i remember the summer of fifty first dates.
i remember that no wallet fiasco.
i remember marley.
i remember coming home from hawaii, feeling defeated, to find so many surprises.
i remember coming back to that apartment to mend a broken heart, to find a mess, and building it all back up again, and making it home again.
i remember so many other things.
i remember moving out, trying not to cry, and crying, and thinking, "this is just not the last time i will see this place, i know it."

now. living where i live now has advantages. the big one is this: i am ONE MILE AWAY from my yoga studio, and a short distance from forest park, whole foods, and a lot of other things i do or enjoy. ONE MILE FROM YOGA. that saves time, gas, stress, and energy.

but i have...carpet. ugh. and neighbors that cook nasty-ass-smelling chitlins. the rent is almost twice as high. it is smaller, and the floor squeaks.

and it doesn't feel like home.

i originally moved here thinking i would only stay until this may. i had a plan. but everything has changed now.

i lived in that old apartment for three years. i miss it. i miss it a LOT.
one phone call is all i would need to make to find out if i could move back in may.

what should i do, readers?
honestly? it's the yoga studio that's doing it for me. i can walk there now.
i'm afraid to move back because i don't want to be a 15 minute drive from my yoga studio.

give me a comment. help me out. what should i do?

stay here? try to go back? find a new home?


I turn the key in your door and open it as the sunlight illuminates particles of dust in the air. Papers, shoes, discarded clothing, yogurt containers, magazines, and water bottles: the detritus of a life litter the floor. I step in, close the door, and make my way around the studio apartment, methodically turning on every light. I get to the corner where the bed once was. Now, there is only a clean rectangle of carpet, untouched since the day you moved in.
I remember that day, you smiling down at me from the balcony as you hoisted a huge crate up with ropes. It was the hottest day in August, and it had rained that morning. I stood beneath you on the ground, sweating from the effort of attaching the ropes to the crate.
“What the hell is in that crate?” I laughed.
“Shoes,” you yelled down.
“All that work for shoes!”
“I like shoes. They last forever. My feet have stopped growing. If you take care of shoes, they last a lifetime,” you replied.
I am glad the bed has been removed. Your father told me they found you on the bed, fully dressed, wearing makeup, holding a plush turtle and a CD compilation. There was an empty wine bottle on the night stand, next to an empty generic sleeping pill bottle. The words,“unlovable. misunderstood. invisible.” were written in blue ink on your left arm, on the pale skin above your wrist. There was no letter.
Your family asked me to come take anything I wanted, anything I would like to have to remember our life together. I sit down among a pile of your clothing, your favorite pink coat sighing dejectedly under my weight. I feel like a fraud. They have no idea that five days ago, I told you that I could not handle your sadness any more, and that I was exiting your life forever. They have no idea that you gave me back a huge box of things that remind me of our life together. They have no idea that every single thing in this apartment reminds me of our life together, and that the secret will tear at me for an eternity.
I feel a sudden rage at all these things that you thought would make you happy. So many things, scattered across the floor. I stand and start kicking at things: clothes, makeup, books, shoes, jewelry, until I am one with all the stuff, one of the things that just could not make your sadness go away. I scream and scream until my throat hurts and finally I lay down, sobbing, on your pink, vintage sofa-patterned coat, and inhale your scent. I wanted to try harder. I still want to try harder, and I hate it that now I can’t. Across the room, I see the plants that you loved so much, still alive and reaching for the sun, and I think that is ridiculously unfair.
In the past few days, people would see me, and ask how I was. “It’s not your fault,” they would all say. Any response I could have possibly had was lost in the canyon of despair inside me. I opened my mouth but my vocal cords would freeze, and a few perfunctory words would force themselves out like concrete bricks crashing to the floor.
I want to tell you these things; that it’s you that I need to help ease this pain, but it’s too late to say anything that I need to say. I begin to pick up the pieces of a life and put them together, hoping it will somehow start to make sense.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

invisible: a saga

i drive to the store in my messy old car, not caring that the trash in the passenger side is spilling over into the driver's side. it won't matter anymore, after tonight. nothing will matter anymore, after tonight.

the flourescent lights make the blue veins in my hands look even more prominent as they clutch the black handle on the cart. i wheel it slowly through the produce aisle like any normal shopper would, picking things up and putting them back down. baby carrots...i don't need baby carrots. little fruit cups...i fight back tears as i place the stupid thing back on the shelf. i pick up my pace as i make my way towards the other end of the store.

i take an inordinate amount of time in the wine aisle. red? white? pink? pink wine? really? what does pink wine even taste like? pink wine seems appropriate. how much does it cost? does that even really matter, right now? one of the employees walks by at a snail's pace and gives me the eye, as if it is odd for a well-dressed young woman with bloodshot eyes and an empty cart to be buying wine on a friday night. screw off, asshole, i think. you know nothing, and you can just keep on walking. i put the bottle of pink wine in the cart and make my way to the cashier.

"wine matches your coat," she says as i show her my ID. i try to smile but the tears fight it away. i'm sure she thinks i'm a well-dressed alcoholic who has fallen off the wagon, but again, i don't care, and she doesn't know my story, and she's just another face in another place. she has her own story, and i'm sure that in another world, i would love to hear it. but right now, i only have one goal, and the first step to that is getting out of here with this pink bottle and getting back home. i swipe my visa and walk out, $30 poorer and one bottle of wine richer. i don't even like wine. i hope i'll be able to finish it.

i make my other stop and head home. home. what a sad word for this place, i think. i remember what i recently thought of as "home." somewhere i will never, ever be again. a place i will miss sorely for eternity. a safe place that isn't even really a "place." for now, though, i struggle to unlock my door, and let myself in my apartment, and welcome myself to the only home i have.

i take off my pink vintage-sofa patterned coat and lay it on the floor. i sit on my bed with my wine and other things and look into my closet. the trunk full of shoes spills over on to the floor and mingles with some shirts that i don't have the energy to hang up. the floor is littered with papers and yogurt containers. my phone is somewhere in there, the battery long dead. my computer is on, the e-mail program up. i am tempted to give it one last look, but it will only confirm what i don't want to know.

i realize that i look pretty rough and get up and head to the bathroom. my hair is a mess. i pick up the scissors and go to work, making my bangs short. i always wanted short bangs. soon, the sink is full of hair and my face is framed with fringe. i look like a baby doll. i put on some make-up. i find a new t-shirt in the drawer, one i was supposed to wear on a trip, that never fit before. i guess losing my appetite had some advantages. i look in the mirror. sadly, i finally think i look good. i sit on the bed again.

i open the bottle of wine and take an experimental sip. gross. i knew it would be gross. i have to drink it, though. i guess that's what i get for choosing a wine based on my favorite color.

there are so many things i want to say, but i fear that i have said them all already, and they are met with resistant ears. i tried so hard. i am not what you think. tomorrow...i think. i can say it all tomorrow.

note to readers: this is the "other half" of a story i wrote and am trying to get published in the literary journal at my school. unfortunately, i can't publish that actual story here, because posting it online counts as "publishing" it, and then it wouldn't be eligible for publishing in the literary journal. i'll keep everyone posted on whether or not the thing makes it in. the original was much better, in my opinion. shorter, and more emotional, and just...better. more revealing, more to the point.