Thursday, December 6, 2012

Chapter One

The sliding doors open instantly, she passes through them and the cold, sterile air hits her in the face. She barely notices, making a beeline for the front desk. An exhausted looking nurse spares her a polite smile. “Visiting?” the woman asks, “What's the name?”

She says it, and it feels strange upon her lips, to speak out loud a name that for so long has only existed within her mind. The nurse glances at the computer, and with a slow, deliberate hand types the name into the blinking search bar. “Room 427,” the she replies, “take the elevator on your left, its the fourth floor...” but trails off. The girl has already gone, the sweeping end of her long skirt slipping through the closing elevator just in time.

The cheerful ping at each passing floor undermines the fluttering wings of urgency she feels within her stomach. One...In this long moment it seems that this could be any elevator, in any place, with doors that open to a different day, to what now felt like a different life. Two...she is...Three...uncomfortably aware of her heart, trying its best to beat itself out of her body. Four.

The metal cage releases her onto an otherwise empty floor, save for a push-cart that bears a barrage of old flower baskets, their blooms wilted and hanging in defeat over hastily scrawled get-well notes. You are in our prayers and You are thought of warmly in our hearts. She pauses to finger one of the notes. What does that even mean, she wonders. As if the senders were already severing emotional ties at the time of post, as if the recipient were already dead. A preemptive, even if in hindsight, not entirely unsuitable gesture.

She sets off in the direction of his room, the clacking of her strappy Prada heels rebounding off linoleum tile.

Outside a recursion of identical doors, a metal plaque reads “427.” She reaches for its handle, but stops short to stare through the tiny glass pane in its center into the vacuous hospital bedroom . He lays in a bed, his face turned away, searching for something he'll never quite find out the large window on the opposite wall. She takes a deep breath of resolution, and twists the handle.

Upon hearing the door, his head turns and his familiar brown eyes come to rest upon her figure within the frame.

The corners of his mouth stretch into a smile and in a raspy, British lilt, he whispers: “Maggie.”  

Friday, November 30, 2012

The truth is I like being with you more than I like being by myself

I'm not the type to have bad days, more often than not I find a good attitude can conquer all. Last night I found myself vulnerable, scared you could see right through me, scared you saw something you didn't like.

So when today, a series of ill-timed events makes me believe perhaps nothing I could do would get me to where I thought my day was heading, I found myself vulnerable. Plans thwarted by a higher power. Alright, I'll listen. And in that moment my emotions got the best of me. This rarely happens. I hate crying, I resent this side of myself, but worse I hate crying in public. I felt it well up inside me, a part the needed to cry, for once more powerful than the part that needed to be strong. All the while arguing with myself that it could be so much worse, I excused myself into the women's room. Just two minutes. Two minutes to react, to feel more with my heart than I think with my head. And something became clear. I am so resistant to asking for help, because I think I am setting myself up for disappointment. I actually chastised myself for not being a mechanic today, so that I could have fixed my own car, or at least made my own decision. I feel I have to do everything on my own because I can't count on anyone else. Or at least, I haven't been able to count on anyone else. I resist an emotional bond, because I believe it will fail me. You see that, don't you.
You see that I'm not all powerful, that I don't have it all together, that even though I accept, and moreover anticipate, failure from everyone else, often before giving them a chance, you see that I at times fail myself and I find that's unacceptable. Today I failed myself. I broke, and a whole swarm of things came to the surface. I came home and dreamt I was in a place in my past I've tried to forget. I failed...And yet in that failure, I realized something. My vulnerability does not have to be a fault. And if I continue to let it be, I'll miss out on the beauty it has to offer. I need to accept my vulnerability as a part of me that is inherently human. Accept that sometimes my tears, my emotions, are just part of being the female gender. And maybe in that acceptance, I'll find a way to coexist with my vulnerability, and to maybe even allow myself to be really, truly, and unconditionally...loved.

Sunday, November 18, 2012


No Reason to Pretend- Aaron Sprinkle

We come around
A circle meets
At last I feel I'm closer to beginning
A gentle word
A quiet heart
A soul that stirs another one to start

You'll never know dear how much you breathe
Strength and courage into me
And as the day comes closer to an end
I find no reason to pretend

When morning comes
You'll doubtless be
Awake without a worry I can see
You open up
Clearness comes
A look divides the clouds I see the sun

You'll never know dear how much you breathe
Strength and courage into me
And as the day comes closer to the end
I find no reason to pretend

Sunday, October 28, 2012


What is a girl's capacity to care? to love? Sometimes it seems like it could reach the stars, endless. That white hot eternity, in the way you can only see its light from 20 years ago. And sometimes it all overflows, and whats left, ah lonely, too much to handle. If I died tomorrow, where would my life go? My paintings. My dog. My bed. My books. I've acquired a lifetime of objects, a lifetime of people, mourning the loss in my heart. I don't know when I'll see a day that I don't feel screwed up somehow. Like that doesn't make me deserve normal. My mind, so very terminal. Look around and you see minds deteriorating, the people you've loved disappearing. What is the world telling me? Am I at home in dysfunction  because it takes the pressure off perfection? So this emptiness is too much for me, so this is life, bearing north and going hard? Or is this life, disappearing with every step? Or is this life, the marriage and divorce of love to a man again, to a concept, to an identity? I know what I am, who we are is truly what we are when we have nothing left. I know because I have walked out into the world and told myself I would not go back, and who was when I and nothing left, was nothing but fear.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Free your mind...

Today she woke to climb the mountain...
Followed the arrows
Followed the cairns
Saw the flowers, bright yellow, heather grey, lavender purple
Found a cave, felt a cave...
Explored it nooks and crannies
Saw the light...
Up, Up and Away...
    Free at last
  We fly
 Fourteen buzzards on a line
Some days we are students,
Some days we are students of life.
Playing hooky on a mountain.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Friday, October 5, 2012

to the sun

There it is again, that crystal clear blue October sky. I'm not sure when we got here, I let the time slip by me like a cat weaving its hello between my ankles, so subtle. What a strange year.

The strange part is, I'm pretty sure you're my angel. I think you teach me every time I lay down my head, every time I take in a breath. And I just exist in the wingspan of your atmosphere, little orbit. Can I tell you how very loved you are? Its too much to say, I think, I just have to hope you know. That the grasses, the branches of the trees, their roots and the reddening edges of their leaves...they love you. The breeze, the dust it brings, this concrete sidewalk, and the rains that wash it clean...they love you. The vertical lines of this city, the spaces in between, the ripeness and the blooms...the curly ques and the pieces left behind, they love you.  

Oh lucky me, to know the sun. I know the world loves you. And I try to help you see.

Friday, September 28, 2012

The good from the bad

I climb the steep wooden stairs to the patio littered with leaves, reach through the screenless screen door, but the door is locked. The window. I drag a chair and awkwardly vault myself inside, and there it is: flashback. I used to climb into your window all the time, little kids just messing around. I wore a brown shirt, tan shorts. This hoodie. We got so messed up once, you couldn't keep your hands off me. Teaching you boys to shoot with cheap whiskey. I said no and you told me no. Yellow with the palm trees. I doubt you remember. I forgave you. Crawling on the floor after me and reaching, saying the grey shadows were after you, saying stay and take care of us. I escaped, and drove home like Cinderella. Swing swing. 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

The Lesson.

I have a theory that we're all spiders. And maybe its a popular one. See, I think that all your relationships reflect, to a modest degree, your first sexual experience. That is to say that if your first experience was with someone you felt love for and were in a relationship with, then it's entirely likely you'll find that same scenario repeated in various forms throughout your life. Likewise, if it was dark, if it was yearning. If it was pretend. You'll always encounter those same threads. Perhaps we create the themes of our lives; perhaps they were written in the stars and destined to be. Or perhaps we seek them out, our unconscious...baiting the only love we've ever known, setting the snare of the same trap, and waiting, for the same catch, the same kill.

In the end, we're all just spiders. The crisscrossing of threads, the web we weave to catch, catch another.

You see then, how it's easy to know a person's history by knowing how they love. All of a sudden, you feel it, washing over you and into you, telling secrets and saying more than words ever could.
Sometimes like a tidal wave, awesome and overwhelming and too much. Much too much. Do you run from it's initial abundance? or do you take it, knowing it cannot be sustained.
Or sometimes, it's just a trickle. And while you put your mouth to the fountain, trying to catch every drop, taking the bait, perhaps you wonder, what is this love, where was it made? and who does it make me to have baited and caught such a thing?

You love in a tired way, not to say you are without energy or without passion. But in a way that says, you will leave, I dare not even hope that you won't leave. This love, tentative and withholding. Passed up from place to place. And me. My love says, you will leave, I expect you to. But maybe if I love you just enough, just a little, just right, this time you will not go.

Just two sponges, safe in the placid bottom of the sea. Anchored to the bottom, I'll leave you if you leave me.

And it's revealing, this demystifying, it lays the ugliness out in the open and you wonder how approach it, can I approach it, without failure. I look into your traps and see myself, and say, that could have been me, that could have been me. Maybe we could have been friends. Same trap, same catch. And here I am, here we are, and you say, just another lesson? This time, what is taught?
And I say, this time, I know what I did not know before. That you cannot plan an approach that knows no failure. That you must stand in the ugliness and open wide, and know that failure, that disappointment, that discontent, will come. That the very best you can do will never be enough, will never wipe this away, will never, ever, erase this ugliness, this scar, this misdeed of another.
Because it is not what you are called to do. And it is not what is required, what is asked of you, by another.

No, we are called to heal ourselves, and understand one another.

What is this lesson? Perhaps it has not yet been taught. But what am I learning? I am learning to walk through this life candid, and vulnerable, and trusting. I am learning that while a hurricane beats upon and threatens to topple anything that is barred shut and caught in it's path, its winds pass through a soul with open doors.

I can only feed my own fire, and send you warmth; perhaps let you hunker down next to it, and hope that, once its light begins to die, you find you'd like to come with me to find more wood. And if not, I'll send you warmth and watch you go, trailing thread.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Drain.

I'm not sure when I became such a sad sap, but today has contained validation of such in a multitude of forms. I woke up this morning with a mission: to seek revenge upon the bathroom sink.

You see, for the past month or so the water at the bottom of the sink has drained slower and slower, until it doesn't really visibly drain as much as sit stagnantly and threaten to overflow whilst I, having forgotten about this inconvenience, peek through stinging soapy eyes and claw for the handle. But that's really been the worst of it, just an inconvenience, and nothing really more. The sink and I had lived in a state of mutual tolerance/neglect. Until yesterday. Yesterday the bathroom sink, a brimming cesspool by way of recent face-washing, consumed my phone. And though I quickly pulled it out, cursing, the damage had been done. So as my phone, swaddled tightly in a dish towel, baked in the oven set to low, I attempted to appease the fates I had so tempted and been scorned.

I drove to the intown Ace, and at the recommendation of a burly employee, bought a two and a half foot plastic rod fit with menacing barbs that were sure to uproot whatever questionable microbial mass had taken up residence in my pipes. So, following directions, I inserted the "Zip-it" tool, as it was called, into the drain, which it begrudgingly accepted about two-thirds of before it would go no further. At this point, the directions say to reverse the process and pull the thing out, a literary instruction accompanied by a visual depiction of the Zip-it tool leaving the sink, hairy clog-worthy clumps clinging to it. So as I pulled, expecting to hear the welcomed gurgle and vacuum sound of all my drainage concerns being released, I was clearly not prepared for the ordeal that lay ahead of me. It did not budge. And as my naive belief that this 3 cent recycled plastic piece of revitalized junk-waste could actually help me slowly evaporated, I tugged upon it's square tail to no avail. Tired, and faced with the prospect of devising a plan B, I took the dog for a walk. The bad news: my drain was still clogged. The good news: I now knew what was clogging it, and it was the Zip-it tool.

Take two. After removing my phone from the oven and staring hopefully into it's steamy face as I pressed all the buttons and it vibrated uncontrollably, I observed it's vacant eyes and crimson voided warranty sticker and resigned myself to purchasing another rather than wait three days for the short-circuit diagnoses I knew was coming. Sprint informed me that this was my third damage claim filed in a year, and that it would no longer offer me total equipment protection insurance. Fantastic. Asurian is officially losing money by insuring me. I'm a risky client. This is amusing to me. See this past watery incident is possibly the only cellular accident I am solely responsible for, but the fact remains that this will be my fourth phone in a year, and though not able to purchase another less expensive phone due to contract reasons, I clearly have no luck with Blackberry(s).

After tearfully parting with yet another hundred dollar copay, I attacked the drain issue with renewed vengeance. The last of my conceivable environmentally-friendly solutions, I picked up baking soda and vinegar from the store to complete the volcanic science experiment I was about to perform in my bathroom, and on second thought, stopped in the cleaning products aisle to examine professional "1st try guaranteed" products. You know, the kind of products that come with more than one warning label and an entire panel dedicated to self-help if any area of your body comes into contact it. The kind of stuff that people in white lab coats find traces of in the country's drinking water, and 30 years later parents of children born with one eye are judgmentally asked, "Well, you didn't use Drano, did you?" Heavy duty Drano in tow, I left Publix resolute. This clog was going down.
A half cup of baking soda and vinegar later, the inner child in me was delighted, but the sink was still draining slowly, and some disturbed mold mass floated menacingly beneath the bubbling surface of water/acid mixture. It was time for the big guns. Let me first preface this by saying I did everything I could think of barring actual disassembly of the pipes in the cabinet to NOT use the frightening DNA-degrading concoction that is this cleaner, and thus tried hard to avoid contributing to the future population of cyclops that is now destined to grace this earth. However, some things simply must be done.
The Drano gel needed 30 minutes to corrode the blockage to the best of it's ability, and during this time I periodically stood over the sink basin, staring expectantly, waiting for a miracle.

All in all, I don't see much of a difference in the draining speed of my sink. I might just have to live with it. I guess the moral of all this is a lesson in the dangers of procrastination. It's the observable and usually relatively ignorable problems in life will eventually culminate and proceed to consume your phone, money, and entire day. It's all just another step in finding this balance they say exists...somewhere in the chaos. As for me, I'm still working on finding the happy medium, but I can say that despite the trials and tribulations of the day, mine was still a good one. Sometimes life isn't about the problems themselves, it's about teaching you how to accept and deal with them and still have something left over to be a happy person. So cheers, here's to sad sap, self deprecating story, that I publish phone-less and alone, but with enough room to laugh at myself and see a silver lining. And that will be that.

Monday, April 16, 2012

I can hear the pitter patter of your running feet. Up the stairs, and down the hall, I can hear your breath quicken when you rest, I can feel your heart beat against your chest. Slow. And steady. Time lies forgotten on its clock faces, and the minutes expand...your rib cage swells, this moment smells like rain and wet earth. I can taste the smoke inside your mouth, I can feel the man behind the motion. Right here, having you in the ways I want you.

And I want to dig my nails in.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Monday, April 2, 2012

Life at Number 2

Rent. I'm a day late already, but I soothe myself with the thought that mail doesn't send on sundays. The trip to the wells fargo atm is a short one, only about two miles there and back, so I decide to walk. Wells Fargo, together we'll go far...lalala. Spring feels like summer, and a high of 90 this afternoon accompanies cloudless blue skies and a neighborhood flower bloom ratio that could rival the meticulously maintained botanical gardens for which this city is famous. I walk down Washita Street, it's quickest, cuts through little five and ducks around to Moreland, but it passes your new place. It's strange having you live in the old highschool, which, sparing a grove of bamboo and a line of Inman Park's finest bungalows, is quite literally my backyard, and I pass by keeping my head down, eyes focused on the broken pieces of concrete sidewalk and the soft pat, pat, pat of my feet that I can hear through my headphones. I feel the tension mount till I'm finally around the corner, to safety. It's not that I don't want you to see me, I just don't want you to see me and think I've passed this way hoping to see you. I am content with our interaction of ins and outs, they make sense, barely a ripple and don't make waves. A poster on a passing light post reads: "Please help us bring Molly home!" Under which is a picture of a winding road, and in smaller print, "Lost 18ft python." I realize it's not a winding road, but a very large snake. Peaches. Truthfully, this neighborhood was in need of a dangerous nocturnal predator, it's beady, heat seeking eyes narrowed on a slumbering hobo, death served on the surprising platter of asphyxiation, bravo snake, bravo.
On my way back I pass the small group of hippies that like to camp out behind Savage Pizza on Colquit. Last week they complimented my dog's sharp looks, and today they all have puppies. Now these aren't the "peace and love" hippies of the past, nor are they the tie-dyed, organically bejeweled trust-fund kids of today. This particular band appears to be a cross between 80's punk rock and the odd Caucasian rasta culture that's emerged recently. Think dirty heads of dreads, some decorated with feathers and beads, dressed in black rags from somewhere or other. One asks to pet my dog and I say sure. Behind him is a tiny black puppy, six weeks old, brand new. I don't touch it, and can't help thinking rather pridefully, "well at least my dog is up to date on his shots!" As I leave I'm pretty sure the guy asks me if I've ever wanted to huff paint, but I can't be positive.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Only in the nighttime

My imagination walks with me, paralleling the universe, me and my head. Whats happening, and whats happening in my head. Sunrise, 8am breakfast, if you were here, I'd make some for you. Do I need to say that I am a loner? Do I need to explain that I am content living in my head, that I'm sorry for being incapable of providing the relationship you want from me? Just pick up the damn phone once and a while. One, two, three, Unfortunately sir, we've reached our quota of reservations for this year, can I interest you in another year? Or feel free to claw your way in at any time, but I can't make any guarantees about admittance. Love was the only thing I ever needed. 

I think you are interesting. Quiet and funny. And sort of wounded. Getting to know you is like a Christmas gift, you're my pretty puzzle. I want to run my  fingers over the wet grey grooves of your brain, sulci....gyri....sulci...I want to tell you where your memories are kept. And then I want to take them away. I'll watch your eyes replace the space with thoughts of me, baby bird, just another mother in the world. I kiss your lips and every once and a while, I peek, and run my fingers through your hair. Just a bucket of paint, stirred in a perfect swirl. Watching you watching me, we let the colors mix. 

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Gone People

Categories. The blinking search bar is the question in my brain, the "Alright, lets get started" followed by an awkward silence when I realize just wanted to solve the problem doesn't actually help solve it. If only I could narrow this down by a series of categorical eliminations. Medicine? Health? Is my destiny located under the Social Sciences tab? Am I a psych major with an interest in journalism graduate school? Interpersonal relations, holistic wellness, arts? The question of where my life is headed is making my life hard to live. It makes it hard to get up, hard to breathe. Hard to think. I'm hoping I find my answers at the bottom of a glass of green juice. At the end of a long run. In the comfort of routine. Im interrupted. I'm hungry. I need to heal and I don't want to dig my grave, and I don't want to hear the disappointment in her voice if i don't go back. The disappointment in in my voice when I say I couldn't do it.

I need to heal. I need to be alone. I am lost.

Monday, March 5, 2012

About Amber and Mr. McCartney

Thank you for being aware of what I deserve.

The bright yellow, the conscious burnout, the drip...drip...of my deathtrap. The weightless life and death of what was. Here you are in amber, and you don't need to tell me what I know. That it doesn't make a difference if I sit or I stand.
That maybe your a man, maybe your a lonely man, who's in the middle of something that he doesn't really understand.

Sunday, February 5, 2012


Lately you'll probably hear me offering preemptive explanations for my actions. I'm this, I'm that. Too old to drink like a kid, I'm righteous and set in my ways, I like animals too much to eat them, I'm just taking a break from school. The list goes on and on. And today I found myself saying "I don't know when I got this old and un-fun and I'm sorry." I lay these reasons around myself to deflect this idea of what I think other people believe I am, all because I inherently feel that I don't fulfill their expectations. But the truth is, I'm not sure when I became someone who has to apologize for herself all the time. What's so wrong with doing something or living a certain way simply because I want to? I think that's where it gets personal. I lived for a long time being treated like my opinion didn't matter, and "not wanting to" was a surefire way to get into an argument, because no explanation I gave was ever satisfactory. The reflection of that is this series of explanations I throw out to excuse my behavior...not necessarily because anyone else believes I'm so wrong, but because I do. The truth isn't acceptable. Who'd believe that I'm 20, and tired.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

My day off

The best times are almost never planned. This afternoon, for example. On this temperate January day (I'll remind you last year, we were iced in for a week!) I took Cinc to the dog park for nearly two hours, and sat on the tables with the other regulars and conversed with a girl I'd spoken with a few times in the past. Her faithful companions are some of Cinco's favorite playmates, a burly female rottweiler named Monkey, and a wire haired mutt that resembles Benji from the movies. Benji and Cinco are well matched, Cinco bigger and more muscular, but both with a voracious appetite for chasing and wrestling. As she left, she turned to me and said "My name is Laura, by the way." I like making new friends. I drove home, and as I walked in the door with a tuckered out pup, my housemate Pii asked if we'd like to meet the dog he was sitting, and of course we oblidged. Dante and Cinc were natural companions, and ran around the backyard and into the creek together as Pii and I talked. Midway through the romp, there was a bounding of paws and Jenny and here dog Hugo appeared from around the conrner of the apartment complex next door. Jenny and I have crossed paths during nighttime walks of our dogs, and Hugo, a 5 month old great Pyrenees mix, has grown almost as big a my dog. The three dogs run around together, each with white muzzles and blonde fur, looking almost indistinguishable from each other. Pii goes back inside with Dante and Jenny and I stay out talking, then are met by Mason, Hugo's brother, and his owner, a girl whose name I can't recall. The dogs cross the creek, which only a few days ago was a roaring river thanks to the pouring rain for the past 4 days. They are led by Cinco, the ringleader, and I guess I'm a bit more lenient with his afternoon outings because the other girls try to get the group to cross the creek back over to us. As we do so, I see my neighbor Rusty and his seven year old son Jack walking towards the creek. Cinco and Russ and I sat on the rocks of the creek and talked while Jack explored, and after a suspenseful leaf-boat race between Rusty and myself, Jack and I engaged in an "EPIC" (his favorite word) nerf-gun battle. By his rules, it ended with: me- zero points, him- three points. Of course he won. 

If there is one thing in this world I can do, and love to do, it is talking to people, and making friends. It's good to remember how it feels to be young. Life ain't so bad, huh. :)