Sunday, June 30, 2013

You're Kind and You're Beautiful, Too

A stranger told me today that I have beautiful skin. I wish I could tell you about how deep this is. I can't, but if I could, you'd understand that when she said "beautiful" I broke apart in an ancient way. Beautiful? Here I am. Beautiful.

She said something about "no makeup" and "no wrinkles" and "glowing" - she looked right in my eyes. I loved her endlessly for a few pure moments. I felt bare-footed on the firstday. I felt like nothing had ever been over. I felt a little closer to whole. And, don't get me wrong, it's not because she thinks I'm pretty. Don't mistake what I'm saying for "pretty". Please. She wasn't seeing that.

She was seeing contentment. And a human who was brave enough to shed the anxieties that clouded a pink heart. She was seeing cotton candy. And deep breaths. She was seeing New Mexico, braided hair and dirty fingernails. She knew me for a moment.

She knew it all without even knowing.
I thanked her, and tried to express with skinny words how she made gravity a little less, but she didn't get it.

She didn't get it. But I get it, guys. I do.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

here come the tears (for Brett)

Sometimes even when we work really hard, shit crumbles. Don't we know that.

Sometimes, or rather, other times, we settle and shake and shift our lives down to fit perfectly in the space (and time) we have arranged around us. Those are lucky times. Good and favored and take-a-big-breath times. Those days end with sun in our hair. We rest in the easiness.

I want to say I'm sorry to you. This is not the way we all imagined it. Please forgive the universe for the unlucky.

Let your mouth sing praises, in hope.
I love you.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

like the warmth from the sun

Some days are days that last forever. Some days are days that last forever in the best way. In the way that you accidentally smell like sweat because playing in the sand with a bunch of kids is something not to be taken lightly. I mean, you have to start at the feet and end with the shoulders. Covering every inch of a 10 year old with Indiana sand at a swimming hole is harder than you think.

Then, you're not even finished. You have to bulldoze sand under their little necks so they can (comfortably) watch their friends in the water. Do you even get it? Today, it wasn't about the sand. Well, maybe it was about the sand for them. But today, it wasn't about the sand for me.

Little moments, right? Isn't that what it all kind of comes down to? Little moments and reminders and sand on your scalp and giggling kids and connecting in the sameness and falling asleep on the bus ride home and counting Jolly Ranchers. And living and loving and being happy? Right?

I know I'm right. I just know it.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

My heart's learned to kill

The summer between my junior and senior year of high school, I had a boyfriend named Jon. In August, he went away to the Naval Academy where I visited him twice. It was nice. I was friends with his youngest sister. I called her MixMaster. That summer was slightly stressful - my stepdad had moved away to set up house in Arizona where he accepted a job with a huge pay bump. I had decided to stay in Indiana to finish up my senior year. I was approaching a year without my mother. Anyway, I had this boyfriend, before Arizona, before Annapolis.

He was a nice boy. Smart. He loved to make out in his Caprice Classic, he had a wonderful mother and dad. He liked me a lot. Once, in a moment of vulnerability, he sort of proposed to me. This, however, wasn't *before* Annapolis. This was during. Anyway, I had this boyfriend.

I was with him the night my dad died. He left about 3 hours before it happened. We didn't really talk that night, we did a lot of kissing on that green couch. Well, anyway, he was the 4th or 5th person to stand next to me the morning after my childhood home burned down. He was the one who waited on me while I told the firemen "exactly what happened as [I] remember[ed] it". He let me lose my shit.

He moved away weeks later. He accidentally proposed months later. And I cheated on him. Lots. I was a vacant human being. I know now I should have been nicer - fuck, I knew it then. But I couldn't.

Let's be honest: I couldn't do anything. School, and grief, and school, and grief, and blowjobs, and movie theaters and lots of Fazolis, and the loneliest, scariest nights of my life. That's what I had to hold on.

And the distinct memory of watching that green couch in flames as I escaped the house without my dad.

He died 13 years ago today. I was the last person to see him, the last person to talk to him. He didn't really like my boyfriend.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

It's been coming for sometime

Today I had a half day. My weeks will boast a few of those now -and anyway, today was one of them. As I was walking back to my car from the chinese restaurant, food in hand, I saw a friend who I used to work with at the library. It was nice, seeing her face in the sunshine and not under fluorescent bulbs - we hugged very near a busy intersection - we didn't care, really. It was warm to see her pretty face. And, here's the (second) best part of this story...

She said I looked good. Or happy. Or both. She couldn't decide which to land on.

And there you have it.

There are different reasons for it; I know it's not *just* job stuff, but let's not kid ourselves. Right? And yes, it's very early yet for both jobs. But I'm free. The moment I quit the library, something was let loose - something supernatural. I don't have to do things that make me unhappy. I don't have to make my decisions based on other people. I get to decide. I don't have to feel guilty.

I haven't let myself be. Just be. You know?

Other big reasons I'm happy? Well, I have bikes. And buds to ride with. And badminton. And summer.

And wine. Yes. I have these things.