Wednesday, August 27, 2008

get ready to crumble


I love me a high ceiling.
This ceiling is high; at least three stories high. OK, maybe only two stories. But it's high. Really high. It's dead space, but it's beautiful dead space. The air around me is completely cold and sterile despite the 90 degree temperature hovering just on the other side of the condensation-collecting glass behind me. I look up and feel dizzy for just a moment.
I love me a high ceiling.

I'm making a decision and it's just for me. It's pointless, it's fleeting, it serves no purpose but that of my own.
It feels a little (or maybe a lot) great. It feels a bit fantastic.

She asks me to take a deep breath, and I think I'm closing my eyes. She asks me to take a deep breath and for a moment I feel like I am at a doctor's appointment. I'm partially expecting to feel the cold shock of her stethoscope on my bare skin.
But then, she has no stethoscope, just a stainless surgical steel post and a rubber glove.

This is the prettiest doctor's office I've ever seen.

Yes, my eyes closed as she pushed the post through flesh and I held on tight. Jason stood nearby, wearing a smile I couldn't interpret. But then, I didn't really try to.
For reasons unknown, I didn't even want to see it when she was finished.
For reasons unknown, I was feeling a little embarrassed that my eye was tearing up.

I hopped down from her table and motioned to Jason with my thumb as we made our way down the steep stairway.
"It's your turn."

And so it was. And so he did.

This decision seems like one among many trivial yet important decisions for me. Trivial because they're the types of decisions that most individuals grapple with during their early years of high school. These are things that are whispered and discussed amongst pubescent young girls while changing into shorts in the locker room. These are things that we do to break the rules.
I've reached a point where these rules no longer exist and yet I still long to break them.
I'm not sure if that makes me incredibly hopeful or entirely under-developed.

Jason and I walked back onto the street and began searching for a celebratory post drink. We needed to celebrate, but I don't think he even realized just how much.


All of these decisions; big and little: the decision to go back to school, to move to Philadelphia, to pierce my nose for heaven's sake... these decisions feel decadent to me right now. They're little pieces of dessert. They're oh-so-sweet and meant to be savored.

So, can I have my cake and eat it too then?
Eh, screw the rules.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

poykpac



I'm probably a day late and a dollar short on this one - as always.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Apparaticus


In the fifth grade, I had some pretty awesome friends. They were fun, helped me kill time, stimulated me mentally, and were all quite unique.
Stacy was someone to look up to - what with her incredibly giving attitude and funky wardrobe to boot. Mary-Ann was sweet, gentle, and an incredible listener. Kristi could be a little rough around the edges, but I could always count on her honesty. Dawn was fun, down-to-Earth, and usually did her best to keep me on target with my goals - plus it was nice that she was, like me (at the time), a vegetarian. And then there was Claudia; that exotic beauty. An extremely talented artist and constant dreamer...

OK. I confess. I was a little hooked on "The Babysitters Club" for quite some time.
I was hooked and I was embarrassed about it. I read the books in secret and often refused to own them. My mother would buy them for me at the wholesale clubs, five at a time and I would quickly pass them on to a younger family friend, pretending that I had long since outgrown them and had no use for them any longer. I often preferred for them to just be rented from the library.

As much as I loved to hate these books, however, they had such a definite impression on my 11 and 12 year-old self. I loved the descriptions that Ann M. Martin felt it necessary to include. No meeting of the Babysitter's Club could begin before Ms. Martin's complete and (very) detailed rundown on what the ever trendy Stacy and Claudia were wearing. Rest assured that whatever it was, it seemed always to involve over-sized sweaters or ballet slippers. Day-glo anything was frequently on the list along with dangled earrings shaped like every-day objects (think random office supplies and food type items).
I'd like to pretend that I was knee deep in classic literature when I was 12. I'd like to pretend - but I won't.
I wasn't.

I'll spare you the sugary grit details of the series and leave it what I've already divulge. Suffice it to say that the books left a bit of an impression on me. They built a very strong image in my mind and while I mostly knew that it was a ridiculous image, it existed nonetheless.
Perhaps their ingenuity impressed me.
Perhaps I took delight in the fact that a grown woman (the author) was being downright indulgent with these books; her life career. For all intents and purposes, Ann M. Martin was but a 12 year-old girl herself, living out her childhood dreams through 138 some odd quick-read books.
Who could know, really?

Regardless, I do know that in comparison to their fairy-tale liberties and self-employed 12 year-old trendy selves, I felt a little (just a little) uncool.
My clothes were hand-me-downs. My haircut usually influenced by my mother. Make-up was not a reality in my life just yet and neither was music (which at least, even with the absence of a kickass wardrobe and a relevant haircut, could have made me volumes cooler).

This was not for lack me trying.
My efforts were somewhat wimpy.

I recall one time in particular - I was walking through a shopping mall with my mother. I remember that I was wearing a red Hanes sweatshirt - I most likely at some point considered this a very good wardrobe purchase; you know, versatile.
The pants I was wearing were hand-me-downs from someone in our church. They were too big for me and the waist was elastic. They were black with small white birds printed all over them - small enough that it just kind of looked like an organized white spatter across black fabric. I'm fairly certain I was wearing sneakers. I probably had a perm.
Walking through the mall, my brain was quite a distance away (I think it should be evident by now that I didn't take much of an interest in shopping) and eventually I found it appropriate to ask my mother exactly what was burning on my mind:
"Mom, do you think I look... exotic?"
She had become at least somewhat accustomed to absurd questions from me, her middle child, but even this threw her off kilter a bit.
She stopped, laughed, and with one look-over responded, "Right now you certainly don't".

Sometimes it takes the words of a mother to shake reality back into you.

I swiftly dropped my dirty reading habits and bought myself a pair of lace trimmed leggings. Eventually the perm grew out and it didn't take too long for me to outgrow the hand-me-downs. And clearly, I've not too quickly forgotten myself and my mother's words at what could have very well been the height of my absurdity...

The end.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

tri-fold


I dreamt last night that I found it at a yard sale.
It sat there, nearly alone on a partially draped brown folding table.
It had rained the day before and I noticed the feet of the table burrowing into the soft earth. I imagined for a moment, as I ran my index finger along the edge of the table, the dark grass that was being crushed under its weight. Dust collected in a miniature slope between my fingertip and the table before I stopped to thoughtlessly brush it over the edge and to the ground.
I knelt to eye it more closely - the object - and saw that part of it was cracked a little. It didn't matter. Battered and bruised were still fine in my book. Some of my best-loved collections included the most battered and bruised that the world has to offer. Torn pages, chipped edges, missing buttons or eyes or pieces.
Over time, I've grown to find beauty in the broken.
Picking up the object, I became aware of it's lightness and fragility. It looked heavier than it was.
Very suddenly, I'd become afraid that it would simply crumble in my hands under the mere weight of my scrutiny.
It wouldn't be the first time I'd destroyed something. It sadly wouldn't be the last either.
I stared until I caught my reflection in the mirror of its surface and then I let time stop for a moment.

I felt the sun penetrating the skin on my shoulders, making my arms tingle just a bit.
I heard my pulse beating in my ears, the occasional swallow cutting in to interrupt the rhythm.
I smelled the history I was holding in my hands, littered with layers of dust and decorated with the splendors of time, love, and emotion.
Just then, I could taste my desire to bring it home with me - to know that it was back in my care.

It was only a moment, but it kind of felt like a forever.
My moment was broken by someone else's memory.

"That was my first one, you know! I can't even remember who gave it to me!"
I jumped slightly at her interruption and smiled crookedly as she laughed to herself. She was older than my mother, but younger than my grandmother. She wore a white tank-top, her arms shamelessly bare and boasting surplus.
"Well?!" She shouted, a bit too loudly, "You wanna buy it?!"
I raised my eyebrows in silent response and looked down to dig a dollar out of my wallet.

A dollar here, a dollar there - I spend dollars too quickly.

Her hand was ready and waiting, outstretched, as I made my exchange.
She was already busy with another weekend warrior when I turned to leave, my treasure tucked away and safe from harm.

I dreamt last night that I found it.
I dreamt I bought it back.

(If I could find it, I'd buy it back - perhaps for more than a dollar).
(But then, if I continue to live my life in parenthetics),

My life would be worth... well, about a dollar.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

spineally


I realize that I've been tagged. (Twice).
I also realize that no one really reads this blog anymore. I've been too lazy to prompt anyone to read it.
Maybe that will change.

The point is this: I'm supposed to divulge 10 very interesting facts about myself to you, the reader, and hopefully in a manner that will actually keep your attention for longer than 13 seconds. I have a lot of friends with ADD, so we'll see how this works.

Ready?
Good, 'cause I'm not.

One:
I'm a horrible channel surfer, largely because I don't like watching TV. I enjoy the noise, I enjoy the idea of TV... but the fact of the matter is that I'm terribly bored by it most of the time unless it involves blood and a scalpel. For this reason, I'm completely digging Discovery Health right now. I can watch back-to-back episodes of Mystery Diagnosis for 12 hours straight and still feel the need to persuade myself away from the tube.
The surgery shows are the best and I especially love that episode of Dr. 90210 when he performs genital surgery on that couple with the extra skin issues. I can't get enough of it. In that same vein, I briefly considered going to nursing school. Briefly. I might still consider it when I'm finished with this degree that I'm working on now. I could dig being a nurse for awhile...

Two:
I'm a recovering vegetarian.
It was never out of principle. I just realized one day that I really didn't enjoy eating meat and I seldom did. So why eat it at all? I eventually became the difficult one in the family that refused to eat any meat ever at the dinner table. The problem was, I didn't really eat vegetables either. In fact, I can remember a period of no less than three weeks at the age of 15 when I ate nothing but pasta. Aboslutely nothing. Pasta only. Three weeks. It was glorious.
Today, I enjoy quite a few things that I would have never dreamed of allowing past my lips 13 years ago. Grilled chicken breast, beef burgundy stew, even the occasional hot wing. I've been about 8 or 9 years in recovery and I'm proud to report that I'm doing quite well these days. I still eat very little meat and only about twice a week, but I'm making tremendous progress.

Three:
I never finished my undergraduate degree.
Well, actually, I never even started my undergraduate degree until two years ago, when I finally decided to leave politics behind forever and go to school. I've spent the past two years plugging away in classes at the local college while I make do with freelance jobs and babysitting. I was recently accepted to Moore College of Art & Design in Philadelphia, where I will be transferring in the fall.
I'm super excited about this. It will mean that I'm finally a college student for real.
Cross your fingers for me.

Four:
I have three dogs that I really don't like.
I used to love dogs. In fact, I think it's still possible for me to love dogs.
We had a dog growing up that I was positively in love with. His name was Shadow. He was perfect. Then Shadow died (rather unexpectedly), and my family felt the need to replace him immediately. I didn't not share with them in this need and have not stopped resenting it since. It seems that we keep getting new dogs in an effort to replace Shadow, and three times now it hasn't really worked out all too well.
I say we call it a day.

Five:
I secretly want the life of someone that I "hate".
Sarah Lewitinn has been a source of my frustration only in that I secretly desire to be a hipster and (not so) secretly envy her lifestyle. I'm friends with her brother, Lawrence, and although I've never met Sarah (aka: Ultragrrrl), in my dreams, I'm poking her with little needles that cause her eyes to bleed. And while I think that this is out of hate, in reality, it is out of jealousy. In reality, I believe Sarah to be an adorable if not too sweet young lady who seems to have a good head about her (especially when it comes to NYC bands). The parties, the wardrobe, the hair, the rock-star lifestyle... secretly, I wish it were me. That kills me.
Why can't I just be envious of the boring and ultra-ambitious people?

Six:
I talk to myself.
No. I talk to myself a lot.
You might be saying at this point: "no, really, I talk to myself a lot too"
But I guarantee that I talk to myself more than you do. I guarantee that I talk to myself an unhealthy amount. It's a bit embarrassing.
The culprit seems to be the car. Anything I'm in the car, driving alone, it's a sure thing; I will talk to myself.
I ask myself questions and answer them.I berate myself. I reassure myself. I scold myself and then justify to myself the very things I was being scolded for.
It's gotten so bad that I ignore myself. How many people can say that they talk copiously to themselves and find that still, no one is listening?! Friends, it's grown to the point of absurd.

Seven:
I'm one of those people who is shamelessly obsessed with their nieces/nephews. One of my favorite things is to have iTunes dance parties with them. They totally rock my world. They kind of worship the ground I dance on and I'm not gonna lie: it's sort of nice to have such devoted fans - even if they are all under the age of 5.

Eight:
I want to be a philanthropist. I realize how retarded this is: to wish I had tons of money just so I could give it away, but I never said I wasn't a total dork. I've devoted entire blogs to my supreme nerdy-ness. So there you have it: I want lots of money to give away. And to travel (because what's the sense in having tons of money if you can't have a little fun with it yourself)?

Nine:
My feet are surprisingly large. I'm not all that tall (about 5'4", if I'm lucky), but somehow I ended up with these honking huge feet. They're deceiving, because I'm short. But the truth is that I'm packing a big ol' size 10 (sometimes 9, if I'm willing to squeeze). I know. You're shocked. Take a minute to collect yourself.

Ten:
I've struggled to come up with 10 facts about myself. Seriously. I'm not all that interesting. But I did a great job of pretending, right?!

As far as tagging goes, I'll give it a shot. The God's honest truth is that I think I've lost just about all of my readers. So I'll take a shot in the dark and tag Alina, Pilar, Darling Cait, Mary Jo, and Elisabeth. We'll see if it takes or not.

Monday, January 07, 2008

something a little incomplete


the option was presented: write all your cares on a luggage tag and check your baggage at the door.

So... seriously? Check it at the door? The opportunity to unload my baggage comes along and it has suddenly become difficult to breathe.

I click my pen and write in bold, capital letters HEARTACHE.

I look at it for a second and know that it is the only word that can sum everything up.
I fold it in half, suddenly realizing how vulnerable it has made me feel to write that word.

The question of my hurt has been answered, but not this: will I actually even want to let it go?

Monday, December 10, 2007

small


On a normal night I would be at his house, arranging some concoction of over-priced goods in a skillet and pretending that I know what I'm doing while ridiculous re-runs sound off in the background, making me smile. I like to sip white wine while I cook and despite unfavoring comments, prefer to be barefoot in the kitchen.

On a normal night we would be lying together in a tangle of us and sheets, the smell of our fumbling skin shaking up an intoxicating cocktail as the sound of our breathing drowns out the television just three feet away.

On a normal night I would know what he wants and how he feels; I would know where he is.
On a normal night I would know, with no uncertainty, that he wants me.

I wish tonight was a normal night.