Tuesday, September 30, 2014

I don't care if the world knows what my secrets are.

There's a song
that I've been listening to
so much.
Too much.
All the time.

The chorus goes
I
don't
care
if
the world knows
what my secrets are.


Maybe it's cliche,
but it gives me all the good feels.

I'm on a run,
and I'm all like,
YEAH!
I DON'T CARE
IF THE WORLD KNOWS
WHAT MY SECRETS ARE!

I was thinking,
When did that start?
When did I become
an open book?
When did I become the person
who shares things
on the internet
that are just-a-bit-too-personal?

And then I remembered
that in the fifth grade,
I liked Michael June.

One day at our lockers
at the back of the classroom,
the girl who intimidated me
said to me,
probably in that taunting sing-song,
"You have a crush on Michael!"

And my face went red,
I'm sure,
and I got ten-year-old defensive
and said,
"No, I don't!"
completely unconvincingly.

And she laughed at me
and I was embarrassed.
Of course.

But later that day,
we were at our lockers again,
and the same thing happened.

But this time,
when she accused me
of liking Michael,
I summoned some sort of
ten-year-old gumption
and said,
"Yeah, so?"

And I remember
that she didn't respond.
And I remember
being surprised
that I didn't feel embarrassed.

I'm glad I remember
that that happened.

I don't care
if the world knows
what my secrets are!




See also
I feel free.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

The Lillywhite.


This is Kaitlin.


I moved in with her in January.
The first time we met,
she invited to come hang out
with her and her friends.

I didn't go.

But.

Because of her,
I care about feminism.

Because of her,
I ran a half marathon.

I now know
that everything
always needs more mustard.
That Mexican food
could always be spicier.

She's the only person
on this planet
that I have a playlist on Spotify
named after.

She's always adventuring.
She loves all da babies.

She has spent time
becoming who she is.
And that person is a beautiful person.

The greatest, most loyal friend.
Someone who always tries
to improve herself.
Someone who has actually thought
about what kind of person
she wants to be,
instead of just letting
life happen around her.

She uses her voice
to say good things.
 
Happy birthday,
Kaitlin.




After 13.1 miles in a downpour.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Bitter.


In the desert,
I saw a creature, naked, bestial,
Who, squatting upon the ground,
Held his heart in his hands,
And ate of it.
I said, "Is it good, friend?"
"It is bitter--bitter," he answered;

"But I like it
"Because it is bitter
"And because it is my heart."




Sometimes I feel
like that naked creature.

I eat my own
bitter heart
and its bitterness
lingers on my lips.

Sometimes when I am unkind
I feel my soul fill up with garbage.

The word garbage
is so striking--
like an expletive.

Garbage is worthless.
It gets dumped
far away from 
where anyone would want to be.
.
.
.
On Friday
(because I have
the greatest friends)
we each took a balloon
and let it go
to let go.


I picked a little flower
from a bush
as we were walking to the park.
(It's in my right hand
in the picture.)

I wrote a little note to God
and I tied it to the balloon
with the flower.

It said,
I picked this flower for You.
I'm attaching
all my bitterness to this balloon.
Please let it become love
by the time it reaches heaven.

I was nervous.
When it was my turn,
I paused
until I was ready--
like when I walk confidently
to the end of the diving board,
then wait
to jump.

But when I finally let it fly,
it flew
straight up
fast and free.

Some of my friends' balloons
hadn't risen as high,
but floated intimately
over the roofs of the houses
next to the park
where we were.

But not mine.

It did just what
I hoped it would.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Friendship is Magic.

Isn't the fact
that people have friends
kind of amazing?

I'm not trying to be self-deprecating
and say that I'm surprised that I have friends.
Like, I think I'm a pretty cool human.

But it's kind of a miracle
that anyone has friends.

Think about it.

There are other humans out there,
the living, breathing type,
who think thoughts in their heads
and are busy
and sometimes are kind
and sometimes aren't.

And they say to themselves,
"I want to do something today,"
or
"I've got something funny to say."

And then,
even if it's subconscious,
your face
and your name
and memories of you
come to their minds.

So they call you
or text you.

You laugh together.
You do something together.
You're friends.

Somebody chooses you.
And you choose them.

Of all the people out there
to choose from,
you choose each other.

It's a sweet, sweet miracle.


Friday, September 12, 2014

Eating Toast.


This week,
I discovered the singular pleasure
of eating toast.


It's one of the simplest
and most iconic foods
there is.

Think of it--

you take a soft piece of bread,
warm it up,
make it crispy.
Then you immediately put butter on it
which melts before your eyes,
making it soft again.

You're left with a strange texture
that somehow manages to be
incredibly soothing.

The secret,
I've discovered,
and the reason I'm such a latecomer
to the realm of toast,
is butter.

Not margarine.

If being content
despite how hard life is
had a taste,
it would be the rich but understated taste
of butter
on bread.
It fills every grumpy corner
of your little body
with light.

I was thinking about toast
as I was eating it this morning.

And I decided
that eating toast
should never be suffered
to be multitasked.

Toast should only be eaten
in silence
next to a sunny window.

Then I decided to have
a third piece.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Remembering & Forgetting.

There are times
when you forget
when you should remember.

Like friends' weekend plans
that they already told you about.

There are times
when you remember
when you should forget.

Like disturbing pictures
that come up on your news feed
unannounced.

There are times
when you want to remember
and so you do.


There are times
when you remember
without trying.

Like your library card number
from growing up.
23910002127051


There are times
when you know
you will never forget something.

Like specific details
of your day
on September 11, 2001.

There are times
when forgetting
is just what you need to do.

I once liked a boy so much
that I had all the details
of every interaction we'd ever had
filed chronologically
and stored in technicolor,
ready at all times
to be shared
with any sympathetic female
who might listen 
to my (overly specific) tale.

Recently,
I was trying to tell my friend
some details of this story.

And I had forgotten.

And it was the best feeling
to realize how free
I really was.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Someone.


Starting grad school has been exciting.
I seriously enjoy my readings,
even though there are a lot of them.

I've started thinking about everything
in terms of economics--
like my choice of radio stations
when I drive in the car.
It's all about scarcity
and marginal utility
and marginal cost.

Sometimes while doing my homework,
I learn about things like
the Congressional Budget Office
and I get so excited
about the thought of working there
that I abandon my reading
to search jobs on the CBO website
and daydream about them.

My life is going somewhere.
Somewhere new
and maybe big.
I have dreams.
I know what kind of person
I want to become.

But.

There is something that you always want.
And that something
is
someone.

Someone who will sit next to you
while you're both studying.

Someone who you can tell
about all the things you did today
and who will listen.

Someone whose plans
include you
every time.

Who makes decisions with you in mind.

Who wants to be kind to you.

Someone you do all of that for, too.

You can tell me
that I should be looking for more
in my life
than that.

You can tell me
not to wait for someone
to complete me.

I hear you.
I believe you.

But there's nothing wrong
with wanting that someone
more than you want your career
and more than you want your goals.

Everyone
should have someone
like that.

Everyone.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Sunflowers, please.


This is Emily.


I met her a few months ago.
She said,
"Let's be friends."

I thought that sounded like a good idea.
And I've thought it ever since.
.
.
.
Once, when I didn't know her too well yet,
she mentioned one of our friends
and said,
"You should write a blog post about him."

And in my mind, I said,
"No, I think I'd rather write
one about you
instead."
.
.
.
Because her life is full of sunflowers.

Her face is always
glittering
with the slightest bit
of magic.

She likes it
when life surprises her.

She kept me
from chickening out
when we were planning
to climb a mountain.

She listens to me
and I listen to her.

She knows when Pride & Prejudice
will be the right choice
and when just sitting on the front lawn,
dying a shirt with Rit dye
will be the perfect way
to spend the afternoon.

She moves.
She walks in a direction--
the one she wants to walk in.

She's what I needed
when I needed it.

Monday, September 1, 2014

The Movie Theater.


I don't like going to the movie theater.

For most people,
it's just an entertaining experience.

But I nearly have an existential crisis
every time.

Why are all these previews
for action movies?

Hercules, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,
Guardian of the Galaxy.
Aren't they all just the same plot
wrapped up in different packaging?

Why do people continue
to spend money
on movies like this?

WHAT AM I DOING
AT A MOVIE LIKE THIS?

Why is The Fault in Our Stars
a thing?
I want to throw up.

Why do people pay so much money
for popcorn?

Why didn't I get popcorn?

Why is every movie theater bathroom
decorated in black and purple and red?

Why is that lone man
laughing so much more
than everyone else?

Is that laugh for real?
It sounds like something
out of a movie.

I saw this at the dollar theater yesterday,
and the truth is that I enjoyed watching it.
I'll probably never watch it again.
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