And now for something entirely different….

Remember that game everyone seems to have played as kids where you pretended the floor was hot lava or a shark-infested ocean or some such, thus requiring you to circumnavigate the room without touching the floor? At my house that game usually involved my bed being a pirate ship, which necessitated much jumping back and forth from my closet (always a good hiding place) to my bed. I’m not sure why the jumping was required, but it was a lot of fun. Even better was playing this game at camp, where there were all sorts of interesting obstacles like bunk beds and storage units and multiple doors – somehow swinging on the door with your feet on the doorknob always featured prominently in the safest path around the room.

I’m not entirely sure why I thought of that a couple of times this weekend – except that I came to the realization that if my bookcases were a little sturdier, I could TOTALLY circumnavigate my entire apartment, no problem.


unreality tv

Stripped of my dignity, I laid in the hospital bed under a heated blanket, my belly marked with an x to indicate the source of the pain, my eyes red with tears. The lab technician and I talked about the Cubs – he offered me a bigger needle, and I said that while some masochism is inherent to Cubs fandom, it doesn’t extend to physical pain for me. We laughed, and I winced. Later, after the exam, after hours spent in that bed alone, after hearing the paddles in use down the hall, hearing the labored breathing of the woman in the next bed, I tried to meditate with my legs crossed, the tears again streaming down my cheeks. I cursed all men with the exception of the nurse – he said no, I could hate him too. I told him he’d been too wonderful – and he offered to stick me with another needle if I needed another reason to hate men. I laughed again, this time in less pain but more heartache. I have never felt so alone.

21 Things I Want In A Lover

after Alanis

1. Do you have a healthy relationship with your parents and siblings?
2. Are you polite and kind to waiters/waitresses?
3. Do you smell nice (or at least memorable in a good way)?
4. Are you secretly an asshole in disguise?
5. Do you read works of substance (more than the sports page) regularly?
6. Can you spend an afternoon being quiet without getting uncomfortable?
7. Do you have a healthy appetite for the ridiculous?
8. Are you honest and faithful?
9. Have you had enough life to learn what you’re really looking for?
10. Is education important to you?
11. Can you be ready to leave the house in under ten minutes?
12. Do you enjoy both really good and really terrible music?
13. Can you imagine a future beyond the end of the week?
14. Do you possess both a boundless optimism and a heavy sarcastic tone?
15. Will you talk about what you’re really thinking, even if it’s horrendously shallow and silly or deep as the ocean?
16. Do you have any desire to wander the world?
17. Can you understand the difference between privacy and secrecy, and manage the former without treading into the latter?
18. Do you drink coffee?
19. Are you uninhibited in bed?
20. …more than three times a day?
21. Do you have a faith?

These are 21 things that I want in a lover
Not necessarily needs but qualities that I prefer
I figure I can describe it since I have a choice in the matter
These are 21 things I choose to choose in a lover

I have so much work to do tonight, but for the last hour I’ve been sitting in front of my computer, watching the debates and trying to focus. I’m trying to make sense of everything in my head – everything I need to sell in the words I desperately need to squeeze out. For once my heart is steady but my mind is in a million places. How to coherently and professionally say “I need to be in this program because I feel like it will give my career the direction that it needs to find the place where my heart’s desires and the world’s needs meet”?

dream lights

I’m constantly amazed at how so many conflicting things can easily coexist within me. This afternoon I went to the grocery store and wandered the aisles for at least an hour, picking out things that appealed to my taste buds, planning meals for only me. I bought wine, and I drove home with the windows down, singing along with the radio and loving – loving – my life. I turned my music up loud and danced around my apartment – I made a beautiful dinner – I smiled a lot for no particular reason.

I watched TV tonight when I should’ve been working, and they played a Damien song on Crossing Jordan. I haven’t been able to listen to Damien for weeks, and I lost it a little bit, sitting here on the couch alone.

You know what? I want to be a kid for a while. I realize 24 is a little old for kid behavior, but you know what I mean. I want to go out with my friends and laugh at ridiculous things. I want to make out. I want to play my music loud and jump up and down in my apartment. I want to spend too much money on homemade gourmet meals just for me. I want to drink wine on a week night, and be ridiculously pretentious. I want to throw caution to the wind on occasion, dropping everything for the right phone call.

And I do want a boyfriend. I do. But I’m not ready for commitment, and I’m not ready for settling down, and I’m not ready for loving just one person for the rest of my life. Those are things I want – but right now, I just need to go mad for a while. I hope you understand.

As the night descended and I waited for things to sort themselves out, I walked down the alley behind the strangest venue ever, the gravel crunching under my feet. I lit a cigarette and stood in a still place, a breeze blowing my hair and my long sweater about. To my right, a busy street with all the tokens of run-down commercialism: fast food, cash advance loans, closed gas stations. To my left, a train yard with abandoned cars and empty management offices. Off in the distance, a refinery shrouded in smoke, the lights twinkling as if what dwelled inside were magical and not toxic. That whole moment was laced with some kind of still perfection, as if the world had stopped and for a moment I found a place of quiet. A train passed by silently, counting the miles.

“Able Glass Note” by The Poem Adept

If you come to California, I can offer up my room. The light is bad and the phone is dead but I’ll be here with you. When you cut away the postage, and you read the words I write, I hope you’re safe and in a place where you can listen right.

When I tell you you’re a fighter and a staying hand and both can’t hold the same sword, maybe if you realign your heart and mind neither will belie you.

I watched the mile markers passing while your friend just played a muse, from Burlingame to San Jose and on to Santa Cruz. I thought about you leaving and the way you said goodbye like I was best a love note left for someone else to find.

Let me tell you that I have regrets but I will let you in before I shut you put. ‘Cause when the stabbing’s done and the blood has run you’re still all that I think about. We’ve been so unwise and compromised I don’t know how to let things fall. So it’s your turn now to speak or let fate decide it all.

If you come to California, we can give our life some thought and never to each other do the things that friends do not.