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December, you’re here so soon
You snuck up so suddenly
in cahoots with the weather
warm like “kinda cold” for October
December the great and mighty deception
and blows me around
like a browning leaf in its winds
December dares me
to prove I can handle my classes
December dares me to run
December dares me to write poems
to write stories
dammit to follow through
with the things I want to do
I don’t mind trading these promises
to December for its winds
clouds and its cold rains
December I wont let you down.
I smell Saltines.
I imagine I must be like a housecat that thinks sometimes I’m a lioness that I am sleek and graceful wild and powerful and intimidating.
I imagine I must be like that old housecat that thinks sometimes I’m a kitten that I’m adorable cute and you cant resist cuddling me.
I imagine I must be like that same old housecat that thinks I’m not tamed rather I am the one who has tamed my owner.
I imagine I must be a silly girl who has trouble dealing with how human she is and spends her time imagining herself as feline.
I never remember feeling so bored as our graduation ceremony. The speakers were terrible; Susan White called us all testes. I imagined snipers from the top of the bleachers taking her out. (Her and Mr. Mankowski who even though I was in his Shakespeare class still insisted on mispronouncing my name.) At which point all these ninjas showed up coming from all sides and were doing all these crazy flips and chaos ensued and everyone ran. But they never actually showed up, it was the longest ceremony of my life. And then my brothers got yelled at for playing frisbee.
LAST NIGHT I HAD NIGHTMARES ABOUT THE FOLLOWING TRYING TO KILL ME:
1. Raptors (lots of raptors)
2. Michael Douglas (he’s always scared me)
3. a character that kept morphing between Tim Merz and my short stories professor (who looks like the BFG a little)
Man, those raptors really hate me. There were like five other people in the room (who if you ask me would have tasted a lot better) and the raptors went after me and me alone. By the way, thanks a lot people in my dream that just sat there while the raptors were attacking me!
I walk into my room and Colleen hands me a post-it note with a phone number on it. “William J. Harris” it says. “Sort of an emergency,” Colleen says. ALARM. Why is my poetry professor calling me?? And with an emergency?? I wonder, I dial. He answers. Can I do him a favor? YES. He explains. His mother is dying and he won’t be able to make it to class on Friday. He gives me instructions on handing out course evaluations and collecting the final poem portfolios and proper places to drop things off. Whoa, responsibility, I never expected this.
I miss Fort Fox. He was the greatest dog I’ve ever met: a doberman. Only his dogears had never been clipped like they tend to do to dobermans. (Is the plural of doberman doberMEN?) so they were long and cute like labrador dogears are. He had a scar across his nose—totally charming. He got depressed quite often and when he did he would walk up to you with the saddest eyes in the world and rest his doghead on your lap like he didn’t have the energy to keep it up anymore, dogears spread like wings on your legs.
Sometimes, like when she says “nope” my roommate Colleen reminds me of Alabama (that is to say Patricia Arquette’s character in the movie True Romance) She says she’s lived in West Chester her entire life, but it sounds like she has some sort of accent (south Carolinean?) She’s a great roommate. but she’s going away next semester, doing a co-op in Baltimore for chemical engineering. The company’s called Unilever. She’s seriously the best roommate. Now I’m scared of what monstrosity of a Colleen replacement Penn State will give me next semester. Or will I only have Theresa (an imaginary roommate)?
Headaches the past couple of days. Not used to this. Hoping it’s just the stress of my philosophy paper due Monday. Ten to fifteen is a lot. There’s tension in my temples and my cheeks. I hope everything is OK neurologically. I wonder if I should see Dr. Grover sometime again anyway. Hoping I don’t end up getting migraines like my mom. She gets ‘em so bad she can’t stand up. And they last for days. I say no thanks to headaches like that. I say no thanks to headaches at all. Think I’ll go take some tylenol or something.
I love William Carlos Williams. His poems are so cute. I want to make a T-shirt eventually that has a picture of a red wheelbarrow and a white chicken on the front of it and on the back I want it to say NJ=OK. Maybe it could be a hoodie. We’ll see. The idea is WCW was from NJ and he wrote good poems so NJ can’t be all that bad. The only thing is there’s only a handful of people that would get it completely. I wouldn’t mind explaining it though. The poem’s short so I could recite it.
Spell check complete. Control P. Print all pages one to ten? OK. Now printing on printer8. Minimize window. Check clock. 4:45. Nice. Collect pages. Log off Ezl104? Am I sure? Yes. Gotta find a stapler. There’s one in my room. Hey, I know that girl. Chit. Chat. Blah. Blah? Yeah, blah. Gotta go! Good luck, bye, etc. Room. Staple. OK. Check room number. 246 Sparks. OK. GET THERE. Look at all these kids, these armswingers like they’re skiing. All with paper in hand. Probably theirs are due at five too. Here’s Sparks. 246. Slide under door. Clock rings five. Phew.
That director truly knows how to film to make things seem real. Take the Gene/ bicycle scene for instance (I’ll not say what happens for those reading who’ve not yet seen Dancer in the Dark.) But it was sooooooo realistic. But he also does fantasy beautifully too. The colors how they became so bright and vivid in Selma’s daydreams. Bjork says: I played Selma because in many ways Selma is me. Sindri is her Gene.
How strangely consistent is the correlation between sadness and beauty. Even that thought as I think it is to me at once sad and beautiful.
I like how every kid’s father, as he comes to pick up his son or daughter to drive them home for Christmas break, imagines himself as some terrific oddity, an old person on a college campus. Expecting entire groups of gawkers to stop and marvel that people outside college age brackets in fact exist and have the audacity to show up in “Young Peopleville” and maybe even point or something. “Won’t kids think it’s weird that a fifty-year-old is walking around?” The kids always answer with something smart alecky like “Just don’t grope any of them and it’ll be OK.”
How many days
will I have to tally
until the day
I don’t determine my worth
by the size of the pupils
of the eyes looking at me?
How many petals
will I have to peel
from imagined wilting flowers
before I can press my silhouette
against the beauty of the sky
on a mighty moutaintop
without feeling the need
to crumble to the bottom of it?
I love me.
I love me not.
I love me.
I love me not.
And does the need to ask the question
obviate the answer?
How long will it be?
It's kind of funny how when you log on your words, you type in all your hundred, and then after they give you that screen where you can see how it will look when it's all done, you have to click on that button that says "Everything is fine!" Because sometimes—I know others will agree with me, I've read some other people's entries, I know their themes and tones and voices—we write about really sad things. A hundred miserable words, sent into Jeff Koyen with a click of "Oh, everything's just peachy, guys. Yeah, everything's fucking great." Click.
They must’ve found out that my mom was looking for an Old English Sheepdog, and they trained that dog to attack me. So when my mom adopted that dog through the Sheepdog rescue organization, they could get me attacked. Nice try guys, but we’re not keeping that biter. You have to get up pretty early in the morning… And even as you are reading this, they’re watching you. They know that you are reading my hundred words, and they’ll be after you soon enough. If I were you, I’d shut off the computer right now and run for my life.
One of the reasons I shouldn’t be a teacher when I grow up is that I always—I can’t help it—no matter what the situation—I always pick favorites, and I am fairly certain that they’re pretty obvious to everyone. Like: I’m pretty sure my whole family knows who my favorite cousin is. When I had five roommates, it went unsaid, but everyone in the room could have told you which roommate I liked the best. It’s true for everything: cousins, classes, teachers, neighbors, you get it. Maybe I shouldn’t have kids for this reason. It wouldn’t be fair…
Yet another thing that’s great about being a little kid: little kids can stare at people all they want and nobody minds at all. There was a little girl sitting in front of us on the train to Philly today who was peeking over the seat, staring at Dave Frost and me. If it was a grownup watching us over the seat, it would have made us uncomfortable or just been creepy. But it was just a kid; it didn’t matter. I guess it’s because little kids are so harmless-looking. Or maybe we were just flattered she found us interesting.
THAT GIRL I thought I was going to wring her neck I'm doing her a huge favour me and mika are a huge fucking favour I don't even KNOW this girl driving her home for christmas is a big favour and jesus could that trunk be any bigger THAT GIRL jesus and could she maybe not lounge around like we have all the time in the world we gotta go NOW if you had to rearrange your furniture what were you doing just lying there useless jesus christ the cell phone in the backseat fucking hang up already THAT GIRL
While we were decorating the tree, Matt put this ring of bells around Misty's neck, and she HATED it, the noise so close, jingling menacingly in her pricked and frightened ears, jingling all the more when she tried to run from it. The poor thing, running from her own necklace, and she couldn't get it off. She couldn't escape. She was desperate, hid under my bed, shivered. When I took it off she was too relieved to be grateful; she ran out of the room, never to trust a human again, until three minutes later when she forgot about it.
Somehow it always happens—unless I'm really really really excited about seeing a movie, like I was with Fight Club, and probably not too many others—the previews come on and I totally forget what movie I'm about to see. I am aware that it happens, yet it never (well rarely) fails. I love that feeling of being reminded what you're really here to see. I love going to the movies. Even if it was just for Vanilla Sky, which was just… weird. Penelope Cruz was cute, but other than that it didn't really have much theatrical value for me.
Sometimes I forget that I am different from other people. Things that remind me: when I laugh at a movie when no one else does, when people tell me that crazy cartoon characters remind them of me instead of other people, when I hear strangers’ conversations. I guess I tend to project other people’s qualities, vices, habits, etc. onto myself. There aren’t many things I can say about anyone that I can’t sometimes say about myself too. When I read books, I become every character, because, really, everyone is at least similar to me. But, I forget, not too similar.
Make, bake, and decorate the following cookies: Humpty Dumpty with accompanying wall; alien with red eyes and belly button whose head will break off immediately along with arm that Holly will use for applying icing, (try to make a cute alien so give him a big round belly that will cause Katie and Holly to roll around on the floor laughing about your pregnant alien); teddy bear whose arm will also detach immediately and the three of you will conspire to apply red gel icing at the point of the wound so it resembles blood; and holly leaf for Holly.
New thing this Christmas: since Erin and Patty Mills are doing their presents at their mom's house on Christmas morning, we will do presents here on Christmas Eve, after dinner or what have you. It really makes no difference to me; I have no more Christmas illusions or traditions to shatter. Makes me wonder when and/or if I have children what I'll do about Christmas. Is there a way to have them experience Santa and all that fun stuff without lying to them about it?? What I'll tell them about Santa, or reindeer, or angels, or Jesus for that matter.
Figures that right as soon as we start to open Christmas presents tonight round the tree that because of dry skin on my hands, I would bend my right pinky and it would just start bleeding—A LOT. I get a Band-aid from Sean. Three minutes later, it's bleeding through the Band-aid. I make the mistake of exclaiming in the middle of the Opening of Presents, quite loudly, "LOOK at it! It's bleeding like a motherfucker!!" I got a little lightheaded later on too. But eventually it stopped bleeding. Seems like I curse the most when I'm around my mom.
Michael Valentine Conricode III
Looking at my new baby cousin sleeping sweetly in his little car-seat-looking contraption and his full-body Santa suit which is… cute… and/or ridiculous. I see his impossibly fragile head tilted at an unnatural-looking 80 degree angle, his pink and enormous cheeks relaxed to completion. Without warning his tiny baby arms fly for a split second in the air in seeming exasperation. Like someone tugged the strings attached to marionette arms accidentally. His eyes have been open perhaps two minutes of the three hours he's been here. I wonder what his little baby mind can dream about.
Down, down, down! Red knight's goin' down! Thanks for the pin. I love it. As soon as I find my bank card (I have no clue where it is—I've looked for it everywhere… my only guess is, maybe it's in my dorm with my student ID, dammit, figures I lose the two most important cards I have!!! It could possibly be in the door of the Accent. I gotta check tomorrow morning, note to self.) Anyway, I'll buy that pin set and you can have that one that comes with mine. For now, I'll take good care of it.
I love Strulson's basement. In short doses, it is like vitamins to me. I left tonight feeling energized, happy, pink even – like the rabbit. [Damn, what a great advertising campaign.] Mika, Jon, Lessem, Strulson, Matlack, PSR, Craig, even Buck – they are my fuel. I am a kite; they are my air. They are the fire that steers my hot air balloon of energy. I am floating above all. Children point at me and smile, tugging their mothers' sleeves. Mom! Look at the happy girl! I make their day. I'm taking Sean to the airport at dawn. Oh, sleep? Soooo optional.
Last night I had the most terrible thought. I was thinking about how we had to get rid of Butterscotch because I was allergic to him like I was allergic to everything in my sickly childhood. And I suddenly had the idea: it was my fault. Child neurologists are probably really expensive. I probably caused a lot of financial stress (and emotional stress too, I bet) Years of working hard—too hard—financial stress and emotional stress led to physical stress, led to heart stress, heart distress, heart failure. And there it is, I've killed my dad. It's my fault.
Some of it is I don't like the sound of my own voice. Some of it is I don't know what to say. So I end up here: my forehead pressed against the forearm of your chair. Choking on my thoughts. Choking up.
My little brother left me a note yesterday morning. Everything he writes amuses me:
Erin-Mom did not want you to drive while you were tired, so she took me to the airport. I left you my alarm clock in your room. Take good care of Misty while I'm gone. Maybe I'll see you when I get back.
I love my cousins soooo much. We got hoagies at Subway (tuna for everyone, with “plovalome” for Holly) and I was tickled pink to be seen with them. I love pouring another class of “mook” for Holly. I love lending Shawnee my old books. I love drawing with Katie and Holly (Kate drew me Curious George, and Holly drew me a blue bear and a picture of me; I’m hanging them up at school) I love taking them to the playground. I love serving them ice cream, and even cleaning up after them. I just can’t get enough of them!
Maybe I should have called in sick like Holly told me to. I didn’t want to watch the ball drop because I think it’s silly. I didn’t kiss anyone at midnight because I think that’s silly too. The whole holiday is silly really if you ask me. Like this: Let’s pick an arbitrary starting point to count from, and when it reaches a certain time, everybody should drink champagne and kiss the person next to you, it doesn’t matter who, it’s only symbolic, to prove that you’re happy and you’ve gotta be happy because it’s New Years Eve, come on…
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