The Sixth.

The time change throws my whole vibration out of whack every fall.
It makes me feel small, and alone, and it takes way too long for me to shake.
I’ve been this way for as long as I can remember, even when I was younger and in school.

I want to try to conquer it this year.
My fall anxiety won’t get the best of me.

Any tips?

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The Fifth.

More possessions, more music, more movies, more binge watching a shitty television series, more consumption, more working– so much more working– more dreaming, more planning, more foreign languages, more self control, less sleep, more looking at old photographs, less smiling, less patience, more anxiety, more xanax, more nostalgia, more longing, more missing, more pretending, more waiting.

You have three more years until there won’t be any more room for you.

 

The Fourth.

Sometimes a movie can sum up a feeling better than a blog post, so I leave you this from the movie “Her,” which is still one of my favorites. I’ve realized my life is a constant search to find this feeling again. I’m not sure if that’s a purpose I should be proud of, but I am anyway.

The Third.

Someone left a kitten in the parking lot where I work.
She was skin and bones, and all alone.
They left her with two cans of food,
apparently thinking she would have no problem finding her own nourishment
once their generous supply ran out.
I loved her instantly.
I wanted nothing more than to protect her,
but she was afraid.

It took work to earn her trust.
Days of sitting in gravel, baking in the sun, befriending the bees.
I opened cans full of food that stank like tuna,
scattered them around the field, and sat quietly.
I didn’t watch her as she ate. One glance in her direction, and she would bolt
as far as her bony legs and sunken skin would take her.
Instead, I would look at the sky and sing,
or tell her about my day,
or sometimes just enjoy the quiet breeze with her.

I continued this ritual twice a day, every day.
Even when I was so exhausted all I wanted to do was crawl into bed
after a long day of work.
She wasn’t gaining weight, and I refused to give up on her.
In the meantime, I memorized her hideouts.
Took note of every hole in the fence. As if somehow I could protect her
by knowing where she would escape to.

After day four, she disappeared.
She didn’t show up to the scattered cans in the morning.
She didn’t touch the cleverly placed treats near the holes in the fence.
48 hours.
Nothing.
My heart sank. I mourned her absence.
My coworkers didn’t understand;
they used words like “feral” and “stray,”
but I knew differently.
I knew she depended on me, even if she didn’t like me.
I knew her world had been turned upside down.

She wasn’t born wild.

I tried to forget her, but I still found myself showing up to work early,
walking the grounds, checking each hole in the fence.
After three days without her, magic happened.
While walking through the dirt, sending all of my hope into the universe,
I heard the tiniest noise.

Then louder.

Closer.

And she appeared, from under rocks,
looking smaller than ever.
But I could see it on her face–
she knew me.
Ran to me.
She meowed as I sobbed,
and my clumsy fingers couldn’t open the cans of smelly food fast enough.
That was the day I became her person.
The day a cat who wasn’t born wild tamed a girl who was.

She is loved now.
Healthy.
And she knows she will never be hungry again.

The Second.

Back then, I didn’t know anyone actually hated the smell of coffee.
Now, of course, I know plenty of people like that… but you were the first.
“It disgusts me,” you’d say.

You used that word so frequently– Disgust. Maybe it was the European part of you, but I thought it was strange. It was a word I reserved for only the worst of things, but you could be disgusted by anything; a frog, a shot of Jameson chased with pickle juice, an aggravating colleague, or the smell of coffee brewing.

So in the mornings of those precious months in which we shared the same bed, I drank chai tea. I learned to love it; even learned to look forward to the ritual of unplugging the coffee pot and tucking it away, because it meant you would be there.

I gave up coffee. I gave up so much, but I couldn’t give up everything. Neither could you.  There was resentment, and it grew. There were so many arguments and accusations, but I never drank coffee, and you never said I disgusted you.

You could have. And sometimes I think you should have,
but you didn’t.

I guess I just wanted to thank you for that.

 

The First.

Things change in a year.
Quite a bit, actually.
But mostly for the better.

I’ve become the mother of trees, and the mother of a kitten with a tiny face.
I’ve started the home buying process, which is thrilling and terrifying,
and I’m not best friends with Ohio yet, but I’ve decided we can be civil.

All things considered, I’m pretty ok.

I hope it’s not too late to be a tiny pepper. This creative slump I’ve been in needs to be addressed.
Happy November.

Old Memories / New Fears

It’s 4am, and you’ve gotten out of bed again. I listen to you tiptoe to the kitchen, where you rummage through the fridge and the soft light from the open door struggles to make its way down the dark hallway. This has become a ritual. 
When it’s dark again, I hear the familiar metallic clanking of silverware as you struggle to find a spoon; then silence. I contemplate pretending to go to the bathroom so I can catch a glimpse of you in your underwear, leaning against the kitchen counter with your favorite container of whipped cream. It is in this moment—when you are all legs and tired eyes and cool whip bliss— that I find you the most beautiful. 
I decide not to leave the bed. I know by now that you’ll be coming back soon, anyway. And with your sticky sweet mouth, you’ll kiss me like you haven’t seen me for years. And it is in that moment—when you never fail to wrap me up and pull me closer— that I feel the most beautiful. 

This will always be what I remember.
This will always be what I long for until I find it again.

 

But what if I don’t?

This is Why Love is Terrifying

Why were there so many hours invested, days wasted, talking of nothing and everything? Why was I the one– après the bars and the drinks and the friends– of whom you thought? Why would you tell someone you hardly knew you loved them?  And why, after all of this, could you leave without an explanation? One day the world was full of plans and beauty and new furniture; the next, it was silent.

Tu me rends heureuse.

Tu me rends fou.

Born to Beg

I’ve been having dreams of a woman I’ve never met.
With nine babies and a husband,
she says, “I’ll leave him for you.”

Just like that;
she’ll leave him
for me.

Isn’t it appropriate
That I would dream of what I’ve always wanted?
Someone else to work hard for me.
For once.
Someone else who would change everything they know,
just for me.

She takes my face in her hands, and I believe her.
I never say anything,
and I never give her an answer.
Because I know;
I can feel it in the depths of me–
she means it.
She doesn’t need to wait for me to make a plan for her life, too.