Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Is like a window in your heart
Everybody sees you're blown apart
Everybody feels the wind blow
I am listening to a lot of Paul Simon lately.
I am trying a new yoga slash pilates class today.
I am looking for a rock to carry with me all the way to Reno.
I am looking for a new place to live.
I am not wearing any shoes.
I am anti-diamond anyway.
Envy and bitterness are ugly little feelings. Like little grains of sand in the blisters on your feet. Just mean and small and shameful, you know? Gives you a limp. Screwing up people's faces into sneers and I don't know why we can't just be happy with what we already have, let go of the grudge and the hope stretched beyond all recognition away from our own sweaty grasping hands.
I don't think I ever want to be taken out to lunch on Mother's Day. I am afraid I could not handle the irony. I do have a sense of humor, but I think the whole thing would just be too much. I think I might go losing my shit in a public place over a thing like that.
And I do hate a scene.
Monday, September 28, 2009
I was mean to him.
I say "boy," but he was probably twenty-one. I don't remember exactly.
Here in the real world, crossing the gap between fourteen and twenty-one is a jailable offense. But this was a trashy little town and I was a trashy little girl. Just so you know. Relationships between very young girls and men in their twenties were pretty common. Not that he and I had a relationship. I couldn't be bothered.
He brought me cigarettes and alcohol and I let him make out with me on the couch in the tv room at my mom's house. I let him right up to the edge of my virginity. Night after night, whispering and giggling while my mom slept down the hall.
It never occurred to me to take him to bed.
It occurred to him a time or two. I laughed when he begged.
I don't remember one kind thing I ever did for him. I was just mean to him, all the time.
There was a party in the woods one night, and I took someone's bottle of vodka and walked around drinking it until I had to sit down and laugh about how my legs didn't work anymore. I was the only girl there. A boy from school asked me a question I didn't understand and I nodded, not wanting to admit that I didn't know what he meant. I kind of had a crush on him, this boy from school. And he kept unbuttoning my jeans. And I kept rebuttoning them. And we laughed.
A fight erupted suddenly a few yards away. I can still picture the two of them, circling each other, mad as hell. The knife flashing in one kid's hand and the crowd surging forward with a collective sound of disapproval.
Out of nowhere, David, the boy who wanted so badly to be my boyfriend, appeared. I think he might have brought me to the party. I don't remember. I do remember him telling me we had to leave. I remember laughing at him and telling him I'd find a ride home. Then I remember him grabbing a fistful of my hair and dragging me bodily away from the small group of people sitting with me who had gone quiet.
I woke up filthy on the couch in my mom's tv room. Of course I didn't have a hangover. I was fourteen. I cleaned up and went outside to sunbathe on the front lawn. I had nothing better to do.
David's truck pulled into the driveway and I didn't look up. He closed the gate behind him, walked across the lawn and stood over me without saying a word. He just looked at me. After a few seconds, I told him he was blocking my sun.
Looking back, I think he must have stopped protecting me then. I had to fight off the next one, another twenty-something man, by myself. And the one after that. I gave my virginity away to someone else when I was damn good and ready, several months later.
But it took me years to realize what David did for me, dragging me out of a pack of boys who were probably decent enough boys on a regular day, but there was a drunk girl in the middle of them and someone suggested a train and, well. We all know boys will be boys.
And I wonder if he knows what he did. And sometimes in the middle of doing something else, the thought occurs to me that I never even thanked him.
Posted Date: Sunday, February 05, 2006 - 10:13 PM
Pretty much everyone I've talked to about mushrooms has told me the same thing. I've made it a point to talk to a lot of people about mushrooms, so I thought I had a pretty good idea what to expect. Or at least what not to expect. Because everybody said they couldn't describe the feeling.
Visuals. Everyone seems to tell me the trip is in your head when you do these things, unlike acid in that there's less of a high and more of a feeling. Everyone says it differently, but everyone seems to be saying the same thing. You don't see funny shit, you don't lose touch, visually. One person even told me it was like being really, really stoned. I hoped that wasn't true, because I dislike pot. Intensely. It makes me feel slow and stupid. It also makes me twitchy. I'm a fidgety, fast talker anyway, so I don't need a chemical in my brain telling me to speed the fuck up.
So. Saturday night, there was a boy named .  has eclipsed all other s. The name has now been cleared. That took some doing, but the bruises around that name are finally fading. That's a happy thing all by itself.  had homemade chocolate for sale.
The only cure for a broken heart is to fall in love again, right? And the only way to heal a burn is to light yourself on fire. The only way to stop the bleeding is to cut deeper. The only cure for a hangover is to get drunk again.
I ate a square of chocolate. It tasted like health food. Like the chocolate with green chiles and pinon nuts you can get in New Mexico (or probably anyplace else). Then the musty taste flooded my mouth, like it missed the chocolate bus and had to run to catch up. I made faces while the boy laughed and handed me orange juice. My only word for it at the time was, "Bleh." Laughing, giddy and excited, a little nervous. It was two in the morning, or sometime around that. I kept flipping my phone open, waiting to feel something, not sure I would feel anything. What if this was just icky chocolate? We put on a DVD, lit some candles and waited.
The boy stretched out on the couch, already blinking sleepy eyes at me. I was tired, too, now that I thought about it, and I asked what would happen if I just went to sleep. Would I miss the whole adventure? Would I trip at all? He said I'd probably have strange and intense dreams, and not to stress about it. I checked my phone again. Twenty minutes. I felt a little queasy.
He said I was leaning into it. I said I didn't know what I was leaning into, since I didn't know what to expect. I had listened to a lot of stories, and not one told me how I was going to feel. He said not to lean into the nausea, or I'd psych myself into throwing up. I nodded, resolute. I was determined. I was a brave little toaster. I was starting to wonder if I wasn't a foolish, silly girl, eating candy from strangers. Deep breaths, holding for a count of ten, then sixteen, pushing the nausea away by force of will. It wasn't in my stomach, anyway. It was in my head. Once I figured that out, it was pretty easy.
Five or ten minutes of that, and I started to feel a little fluttery. I had time to acknowledge that, and then things started happening very quickly. I sat cross-legged in front of the heater, with a fuzzy blanket wrapped around me, and everything was odd. The boy picked that time to take a nap. He asked for fifteen minutes. I curled up on the floor, telling myself the blanket wasn't making faces at me. That was a fold, not a mouth.
Things sounded all right. With my eyes closed, the DVD made sense. When I opened my eyes, the television was displaying tiny squares. The picture was pixelated, and if I stared at it, the squares bled over into the rest of the room. The flames in the heater started to dissolve, then crystallized into stacks of colored squares. I closed my eyes again, and the whole scene changed. The sounds were still all right, but the conversations weren't making any sense at all.
I couldn't reach my phone, but I needed comfort. I couldn't imagine standing up. It just wasn't possible. I crawled across the floor and shook the boy. Whispered, begging, "I really don't want to need you right now, but I really, really need you, and I'm so sorry." He cracked an eyelid. Told me to check the time. I said lots of time had passed, I let him go over. He said, check it anyway. I crawled to my phone. Ten minutes had passed. I was mortified. He asked if I wanted him to eat the other square. I said no, then yes. I needed him awake, and however that was going to happen, him awake was better than him asleep and me alone.
I was trying really hard not to panic. Lines of color kept sliding across my vision. The circly things that you see--probably the fluid protecting your eyes, if you don't focus on things, but focus on sight--that's what I was seeing, except they were huge, intricately patterned, and brightly colored. Sixties colors, Laugh-In colors. Bright orange and purple. I tried closing my eyes, making sure the colors were real. They were there every time I opened my eyes. Closing my eyes changed everything. It was like changing channels on a television. I went from my strangely altered apartment, with my eyes open, to the inside of my head, shadowy and falling, with my eyes closed.
Somewhere in there, the boy caught up. I was worried that it wouldn't affect him. What if I was just a wimp, and this drug was too intense for me? What if it did nothing for him? It wasn't supposed to be a big enough dose to do a whole lot. One and a half to two grams per square,  had said. My latest research had told me that three grams was the recommended dose, so I was taking it easy. The original plan was to eat the first square, wait for it to fully kick in, then eat the second, if the effects were too mild.
There was nothing mild about these effects. My peripheral vision had gone wavy. Lacy. Swaying like seaweed underwater. The safest thing was to curl up in front of the heater again, and tears slipped sideways, over the bridge of my nose, across my temple and into my hair. The boy told me I wasn't really crying, that it was an effect. I touched my face, looked at my fingers, and disagreed. Not only could I see and feel tears on my fingers, but the tears were a lovely shade of lavender. I was crying purple tears, and they were cold. This was okay. I was settling into whatever was happening. Aware that it was really, really easy to scare myself silly. Realizing that this could go in any direction, and if I wanted to scare myself retarded, I could do that. I thought about flowers. Fuzzy blankets. Puppies and kittens. The face in the blanket watched me, and I reached out and touched its mouth, pulling it open. The face looked distressed, and I smoothed the eyes away with jerky movements.
It had been hours, and I hadn't yet figured out how to smoke. I got as far as turning my head, looking at my cigarettes, and that was all I could do. My hands wouldn't pick them up.
The boy came and curled up behind me. He talked about the wavy lines of color, which I found exciting beyond belief. He was seeing the same thing I'd been seeing, except that I'd been afraid to mention them, because I thought this wasn't supposed to be a visual trip. He reassured me that yes, the colors were there. I asked him about the squares, but we wandered away from each other, curled up together on the floor. I realized he was missing the point, because he was not inside my head. I figured I was probably missing the point, too, from his perspective. It was frustrating on a human level, but we were approaching gods by now, so the human level wasn't so terribly important. It was sort of cute, even.
I tackled the cigarette problem. I hadn't smoked once, but the ashtray was full. The boy told me I'd smoked. I said there was no way, I was incapable. I finally managed to light one, and as I took a drag, I realized this had happened before. I couldn't remember how, but yes, I had smoked.
My voice was booming in my head, so I spoke in whispers. Even the whispers echoed. I kept asking if I was being too loud. I kept explaining things, asking if it was okay to be seeing this, or that, or feeling this. The boy finally told me he couldn't hear me. I was whispering into the blanket, with my back to him. I figured that was okay. Speaking it was enough. No one had to hear it. Everyone could hear it.
The boy was frustrated with me, asked me to turn around and talk to him. With a massive effort, I sat up and turned. I took a quick glance at his face, then covered mine, laughing hysterically. His face was like the sun. I couldn't look at it. Dawn was breaking in my living room, but the sky outside was pitch-black through the blinds. The sun had landed, and the candles were flickering to keep up. It all made sense. I was touching the edge of interconnectedness, and everything was starting to make sense. The things that didn't make sense yet, well, I obviously wasn't ready for those things. I was approaching a god-state, but I wasn't there yet. That was okay.
Trying to explain things was difficult, but the urge to do it wouldn't go away. I kept starting sentences, then hearing my voice trail off. I went to the bathroom to see if I could look at my own face. The mirror surprised me. I looked small and pale, but the same. I looked scared. I looked far away. I smiled to reassure myself, then got distracted by the pinkness of the towel hanging on the shower rod. Bright pink, and I was falling into it. Softness was an absolute wonder. I could feel everything, but I had no idea what I was wearing. I couldn't feel my clothes, but I could feel the lines in the floor and identify shapes with my feet. My lips were numb. My tongue was tingling. Focusing on any one sensation made the sensation spread. So I focused on my tongue, and let my whole body tingle.
I went back to explain it all to the boy, but I forgot along the way. Something about girls and everything being the same, pink and soft, and how one person was the same person as someone else, and I was shocked that I hadn't realized this before. But I forgot along the way.
The boy was amazing. He had the uncanny (to me) ability to step out of the trip, take care of something practical, then slide right back in. Me, I was having a bitch of a time just smoking a cigarette. My arms would lose feeling, just like they had gone to sleep, and I'd grope for the cigarettes and the lighter.
It surprised me every time I touched something. I expected things to dissolve under my fingers. I expected everything to be a hallucination. The boy curled around me, and there was a tiny black mote quivering at the edge of his pillow. I stared at it, thinking it was a drug-induced spider. I told him I thought it might scurry away. Slowly, and with great effort, I reached out through all the distance between us, and I touched the spider. It was firm and solid under my fingers, and I held it up to the light of the candles. A bit of fuzz, or dirt. Amazing, I said.
I still wanted to explain everything. I had almost started writing when the trip began, but by the time I formulated a plan to sit up and pick up the pen and the journal, I was weighed down by the heaviness of the air, and the distance between me and everything else was so far, I couldn't imagine crossing it. So I talked instead, but I talked in whispers and half-sentences. Frustration crept in, because I knew I didn't have the language to explain in a way that would make it understood, so I started laughing, so hard I thought I would cry, and I hoped the laughter could explain.
The fuzzy blanket was the only constant. The fuzzy blanket was warm, soft and good, even when everything else went wonky. There was comfort and laughter. The weight of the world, which had slipped away, became something I tossed like a beach ball. I threw it, then turned away before I could see where it landed. I knew it would be back when I woke up. I was grateful for the vacation.
We were gods. We found the axis of the universe, where it all began and ended, and I was encased in a sphere of blue and shadow, with the faces of other gods drifting along the edges.
We were asleep in our own bed before dawn.
Friday, September 25, 2009
With a little teaspoon, she measured powdered coffee into a djezva, "One for you, one for me, one for the pot," added sugar, and set the djezva on the flame. After a few seconds, she poured in water. She brought it to a boil three times, letting the mixture froth and foam.
Am I spelling "djezva" right? Molim. My Croatian is nonexistent at best. All I remember is "ida mi na kurac" and "jebote." Ja sam turista. And jeben ti sunce.
Hey, it's enough to get me around, right?
She poured thick liquid into demitasse cups and we waited. She said it was important to let the particles settle. She worried that the caffeine would keep me up all night.
It tasted like velvety chocolate, like coffee and darkness. And I slept just fine.
I own two djezvas now. The original one, I ordered from a coffee specialty place all those years ago. A second pot joined me a few months later, a gift from my then-husband when he traveled to Turkey. I have never been able to part with either pot, though the "authentic" djezva, from Copper Alley, Ankara, has never been used.
I've lived with my sister for almost five years now. She hates it when I grind coffee for the French press. She says it stinks up the whole house. I haven't made Turkish coffee once since we've lived together.
It's not her fault, see.
I just really need to live alone right now.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
But he's selling the house now.
So I can't live there anymore. When someone buys the house, they're going to want me to leave. I know, I think it's rude, too. They're going to want me to pack up my stuff and get out.
In the meantime, the realtor doesn't like for anyone to be in the house while it's being shown. So Jess and I each get a call every now and then, a very nice person on the other end saying, "We'd like to show the house/come by and take pictures tomorrow." And we make plans to be somewhere else. It's a bit inconvenient, but they're really nice about it. The realtor's office is full of very nice people. I can't be all that put out.
But it's a pain in the behonkus to have to vacate the premises for 30 minutes or an hour while strangers walk through my home. It may not be my house, but it's totally my home, you know? And it's unsettling. When I came home the other night, my living room blinds were open. I had left them closed. It's the little things. Someone I don't know has touched this and that. You know?
So I prefer to leave. I love the house, I love the neighborhood, but it's time to go.
I've been looking at apartments close to my office. There are adorable places right on the river, right on the jogging trail where I run, minutes from my office. Walking distance. None of them seem likely to accept a greyhound, so I might just have to put off getting a greyhound. Which makes me sad. But it's a compromise I can live with, I suppose.
Today, though, I don't feel like apartment hunting. I don't feel like calculating deposits and mapping neighborhoods and talking to strangers. I feel like being homeless. I feel like pitching a tent (which I already OWN) in a quiet, secluded place, curling up in my sleeping bag (which I also already OWN) and forgetting all about floorplans and parking spaces. I already shower at work most days. I wouldn't need anything but sleeping space. I just need to either get permission to live in a tent on someone's property or actually hide it well enough to keep people from noticing it. And I have doubts about my talent for stealth.
I'd need to rent a storage unit to stow all my stuff.
I can do that.
As for the place, well. What about your back yard? You using it much these days?
Friday, September 18, 2009
We called her Nana, if I remember right. Again, I'm not sure I do.
I have her hope chest, which isn't really a hope chest since her husband made it for her. But I always call it a hope chest then have to correct myself. My great grandfather made it out of trees on the family farm. Colburn trees. The hope-chest-that-is-not-a-hope-chest is inlaid with her initials on the front. I've had the thing since I was twelve, I think.
Maybe I was fifteen. Maybe I got it when she died. I don't remember.
I googled her name and found the obituaries of relatives I never met. Or if I did, I don't remember them.
I don't know where this urge comes from, this odd compulsion to go visit the grave. I never knew this woman, really. But I want to see who is buried near her. I want to see how families get along after they die. I know how we get along in life. We don't. We ignore each other, mostly.
Well, my family does. Which sucks. Can yours adopt me? I'll bake cookies and everything.
Can I bribe my way into someone else's family?
Thursday, September 10, 2009
And the rain came down. I ducked into a parking garage.
Someone is really not okay with smoking. Super not-okay.
My car is in this picture.
Friday, September 04, 2009
I cradled a baseball-sized fruit in the palm of my hand and stopped just short of talking babytalk to it. Because I know it'd tell me to go fuck myself. It's grown up on its own while I was out being selfish and forgetting I even had a garden. My tomatoes have probably been doing drugs and getting pregnant. And here I am eating their babies. Well. Par for the course.
I don't quite get what the universe is trying to say here. I took the key inside, wondering if that was even the right thing to do. I will clean it up and see if there's any metal to polish under all that rust. I clean things. It's what I do.
In an odd series of events over the past few weeks, I have been disarmed. Stay tuned and let's see what happens.
Wednesday, September 02, 2009
Except it's not the end. I am not explaining it properly when it keeps coming up. I keep bringing it up, I know. I'm trying to wear it down and make it okay. Not that it's not okay. But.
Running is something I think of as mine. I run by myself most of the time. Don't get me wrong; I've had a great time running in various groups of like-minded people. But most mornings, it's just me. I rarely even listen to music while I run. I like hearing my feet hit the ground. It reminds me to pay attention to my form when I get tired and sloppy. I start hearing the soles of my shoes slap the ground. I'm nice to myself. Roll over them, baby. Get your heel down and roll over them. Through your feet. Quiet as you can. Thatta girl. What else you got?
Running while the sun comes up, I have a brief window between the meditative morning pages and the beginning of my workday. I hit the trail as early as I can and run for as long as I can, as much time as I can squeeze in before it's time to wind it up and hit the shower. My time out there varies, but never fails to offer up a chance to chew things over. I know where I am by how I run. I learn things about myself. Like realizing I'm okay with starting a new relationship. Like accepting my
Yesterday, for 45 minutes, I jogged. Gently. Easily. It was sixty degrees and absolutely gorgeous. Halfway back from Centennial Park, my ponytail holder slipped off my braid, my hair came flying down like Medusa's snakes and I did not break my stride while I pulled the elastic holder off my can of pepper spray and fashioned a new ponytail for myself. I've been looking for the ponytail holder I lost, but there were thunderstorms last night and it might have washed away. If you find a pink elastic on the Midland Valley trail, that's mine. And I'm sorry for littering. And you can keep it.
This morning, I only had 20 minutes. I meant to take it easy, I really did. But my legs choose sometimes, and my legs chose to charge. So we hauled ass, me and my legs. So to speak. The run was bitter. It crystallized for me at the end as I walked past that place where I met that man last week. Place didn't feel mine anymore. Suddenly there were all these doors hanging open, opening into blackness. The rumble and growl of compressors and saws and unidentifiable power tools split the air. The other side of the trail at that point is thick with brush and vines, overgrown. Nothing has changed but my perception of the trail there, which is now thick with the startling idea that someone might be paying attention, watching me walk back to my car, sweaty and panting and muscles all atremble.
This morning, my favorite trail felt like the set of a Hostel movie.
But hey, I sure carried my little can of fuck-off spray.