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had a good poem and the workings of a good story, stringing themselves along through dimly lit hallways of my half-conscious mind in the moments just before falling into a deep sleep. in both instances, gave up the thought of writing these out because it would have required me to get out of bed, and knowing if i did so, i would have been awake all night writing on the backs of discarded envelopes with cramped fingers. excuse for not doing with my life what i treasure: being alert enough to stumble along a career path i no longer want.
crazyhorse memorial, south dakota: one man and a blow torch started it all. the government tried to reward him, some of indians ignored him, but he denied and proved both wrong, in that order. would this crazyhorse condone the demolition of a natural wonder by some eccentric fool someone found at the world's fair in new york? for his name to live on, wouldn't it be more efficient if the mountain were dedicated to his memory instead of being blasted eighty-five percent of the way to nothingness? to be larger than rushmore: i'm not sure he would have wanted this.
meeting a new friend who was just as i expected; awkward and shy, hiding behind a boisterous persona. a shell of the man he wants to be. i wonder if he knows it's so obvious. for his cause, i gave every last cent in my purse; wasn't much. tax deductible, but i won't remember come next march or april, and to be honest, i don't care. i didn't do it for a tax break, not even to make myself feel better about a situation over which i have no control. i would give every cent to bring them both back.
he picks a word, any word, and makes it mean what he wants it to mean. the beauty of any language is most apparent only when it is put to good use. he says this because his only love is language. he selects words with deft hands and a delicate passion, like he's making love to his soul mate for the first time, and he doesn't want to ruin it. only he doesn't believe in soul mates, so he doesn't know how to describe it. this is the irony i transcribe. he's supposed to know what to say. i improvise.
feverish, he lay swimming in his own sweat. how does it feel to wake up in a furnace? just like this, with seventy nine words to go, waiting to call in sick until he knows this sickness is legitimate, not just a figment of his imagination. it's hard to imagine a fever so persistent that he wakes up moaning, the sensation of cotton stuffed in his ears, the feeling of choking on his lymph nodes, as opposed to those of another person. he gives in and calls. working from home today. now he's talking nonsense. there will be no working.
this girl, she knows. she sees and she glows. she wants an alter ego, but doesn't know where to buy one, how to go about asking a stranger for something so personal. it gets to be too much, and even though she can't afford it, she seeks until she finds another girl she wants more to be. single white female. three words, one film, and a scary thought, taking envy and admiration one step further into the basement of abnormal psychosis. but she's different, not a stalker, killer, or troubled mind. doesn't like herself as is; just wants an upgrade.
this world just hasn't accepted your way of thinking. step here, into someone else's skin, easy as pie. unwind yourself until you turn into someone you see yourself being. reinforced reincarnation. much like time travel, but more personal, painful. reminds your body that it is partaking of something worthwhile. is your life any better? from the outside. until someone else sees you and decides she'd rather be you than herself. this girl we know…where does she go? can't go back; like trying to put a wet band-aid over a wound, expecting it to serve it's original dry purpose. we wait.
gripping, this story. spends her time wandering, forced to cease being anything at all. seeks one by one in chronological order those who have pushed her farther away from herself. now become two selves, to halves, to pieces of a puzzle, neither of them fitting. pissed, hurt, broken. all she had was herself, and now she's lost the only person she knew to be real. she's been stripped of her own life. none of the others stopped to think about how they would have felt if they were in the same uncertain position. but they never were. now, never will.
strength in numbers,
our original heroine gains every time
she yanks the remainder of another
out of her own walking body.
becoming them, they become
a bigger her, a stronger her,
a more supernatural her,
but never more real.
they help her navigate.
she wakes up, mid-night,
sweaty from a struggle,
feeling it in her muscles.
an amalgamation of them,
she is no longer the person
she knew herself to be,
not the one she missed being.
fighting herself would win
a institutionalized visit,
no one would believe her
tales of wandering.
this all equals
insurance for a dark eternity.
wiser now. he's learned that he can't pick an obvious one, an object of envy. he needs stability. someone plain. not too pretty, not too smart, not too popular. she will be hard to find, but she will be a loyal original. she'll want to be herself, more appealing than being overtaken. she won't have any memories, thoughts, fears, souls of over a hundred. irreversible, this process of successful hunting. he can only do his duty, try not to get in the way. she will put up one hell of a fight, scratch, bite. call herself Mood Swing, Alter Ego.
when you ring the bell to the door of my old world apartment, i will open it pretending to think you're someone else.
i wasn't expecting you.
but you know i always looked through the peephole and probably still do, through this tiny window, a funnel to you. you'll say it's good to see me. i'll wonder why, smooth my hair and tell you how fine life is, as if it turned rosy the day you put an end to us. you'll know better, even in my twisted fantasy, twisted because i want you to leave again, over and over.
these dreams I've been having…why won't you leave my mind the way you left my front porch? always one foot out of the door, never having the decency to call first. a million times I've replayed the scene, been replayed again for a fool. A poor Pavlovian, I never learn. stupid bells and dog food. you show up and my throat closes off, eyes water, spine shakes my liver loose. I've been struck by lightening for the tenth time and should know by now to avoid weathervanes. maybe I like the tingling from walking on wet ground, just above powerlines.
your black is lighter than my blue. hunted now the captured pet, refusing to set her free. don't you know she's trying to squelch this nonsensical dreamspeak before her head will let her sleep? she can't do it beside you on the right side, unless she falls asleep on an even-numbered minute, next to her watch facing her counter-clockwise. she's in the bathroom, taking up too much space. you're out there wondering what's taking her so long. you call her crazy a thousand times a day. maybe you're right, but she doesn't see it that way. of course, she wouldn't.
a nomad, traveler by blood. never comfortable, not even in my own skin, and especially then so. no surprise I should try to move you along, and move along without when the timing couldn't be worse. where were you a thousand years ago, when I was cold, barefoot in the snow and neither of us knew what was coming? we may have known each other, been the same person even, but only if you believe in that sort of thing. I would hate to force you to think otherwise. but believe me. no. seriously. do it, or you'll be wrong.
feel like I've known you forever, like we should have been sisters, around to keep each other company in a Margaret Atwood novel when both of us were actually sinking fast. we didn't, but we still managed to somehow make it here. perhaps it was the possibility of meeting someone like the other that made us lie in wait. or maybe we didn't have anything better to do than imagine a world we wanted to leave a mark on. misery and co. I'm happy to have gone through so much shit, only to meet your likeness on the other side.
a trip to see your biological roots.
what if it turns out that you're not a real person but the technological experiment of a madman,
disguised as a fleshy man, created to disembowel me?
this would explain the overtly agreeable behavior.
what if your family has a history of cannibalism?
this would explain why you like my ass so much. that, and the biting.
what if they don't have any pictures of you?
this would explain the technological experiment, the mysterious pyrotechnic tendencies.
what if I'm jut being irrational?
this would explain everything.
I could ‘what if' my pants off.
mysterious. none of my scenarios played out. of course, something even more bizarre. a two and a half hour drive cut down by one hour. how is this possible, having gone sixty-five and seventy the whole way? wormhole. time travel. mysterious entities looking out for us? luck? and now, back to reality. tv. can't stand sitting at a desk. need to get out and breathe, feed the lungs. hate being here, my un-home, shut away in the bedroom. i pay for it, everyday. it's either this, or have essential elements of my being sucked from my body. living twilight zone.
work is suffering the effects of my feelings toward it. i hate it, and it thinks no better of me, no matter how much of it i do. sinking in piles of paper and soda cans, my coworkers never come in. and they wonder why i don't talk to them. how am i supposed to remember their names when i don't know their faces? pre-summer doldrums are getting me down. i want the guts to take this job and trade it in for a hobby. i get paid to craft silly, write silly, read my self blue in the face.
never met friend, you're coming in today. you couldn't have picked a better time, on the heels of a familial visit, hostess skills are fresh. twinkies. will we like each other as much next week? flips. i'll do them. so happy you're traveling for me. junk food. high on it, and caffeine, because i'm sleep-deprived and bored. gay porn. i'll have to fill you in. politics of relationships. you'll have to educate me, and we shall discuss. "talk back live" isn't just for CNN. sex and the city. we'll get to that, and you'll get yours. friends. we already are.
tired already, and not even through the morning. wanting to crawl back inside a home and turn on the heat, under blankets and squelch the drowse. can't fathom another week so full of hustle, though it's hard to complain. feeling loved and loved again. missing it, and other friends now, too. if they even remember me, it will be something. weird dreams again. met wil wheaton at a party with lisa, ryan, and jimmy. we thought he would be shy. instead, he was mr. nice funny guy. he went to the bathroom. we said good things. smile for the camera.
angered for good reasons too many in number to count or list. this is how people feel just before they snap and start a televised high-speed car chase. feeling overwhelmed by life and it's little idiosyncrasies. making smallness out of somethings big, an attempt to avoid confrontation. old habits become more resilient with age, much like wine and cheese. knowing my harsh words will fall on selectively deaf ears, then justify or make excuses for unacceptable behavior of a good friend. there will be an empty apology, because he is empty and only apologizing because it's what i will require.
you are one of the few people in the world i can tolerate. in fact, i can't seem to get enough. not even in the shower, sucking warm water from your freshly-scented skin. i know you'll see this, and possibly comment on it later in passing to let me know in your own way of your interest in what i have to say about us. i have much to say, but am not sure i can do it inside the parameters of this word limit. you know this. at least, you should. hint, hidden in three words: love and you.
disenchantment sums it up. she was supposed to be excited to be here. this makes me wonder why she's acting strange. like she wants to crawl back into her shoebox, head inside her shell. i didn't poke her with anything, throw anything at her that she shouldn't have expected. now she's fibbing. i wish she would just tell me the truth. going home early wouldn't have hurt my feelings had it not been under the pretense that she had made an effort to tell me, word for word. why? to keep the façade of a great friendship? was she disappointed?
new and old, all together. i'm not mean, i'm mouthy. sandwich rolls and pina coladas. and margaritas. and shots of vodka. snacks for the snack-fiends, another diet blown to smithereens. starting tomorrow, i will change my habits. cheesecake, chocolate covered pretzels, and krispy cremes. pizza for breakfast. the aroma of tequilla drifts upstairs, i can smell it hovering outside the door. i will not get sick. i will not get sick. how did i even get to bed? this is the resounding thump of determination in my head, prodding me to remember how horrible i feel. that, or hungover headache.
a lazy Sunday afternoon. i like those. nothing but naked comfort, two words that often don't mesh. a sexual pretzel. one left with a strained buttock, the other an aching lower back. they knew what we were up to, not being up for frizbee golf but other things entirely. each other. sex and sleep. education. lessons. important stuff. a beautiful day wasted, but only in the spent inside sense. should take the book back to barnes and noble. it is worthless. tell me something i don't already know about. stupid movies make for bad dreams, bad meaning stupid and nonsensical.
how did i know this would happen? start to feel sick for home after mom leaves from visiting me. she should have never come. maybe this is all because my first holiday away from home is up and coming soon. no easter basket. no tag-team cooking. no funny grandfather. no hiding eggs for cute niece and nephew. no lovable great-grandmother. probably her last easter. no post-dinner snacking. no dogs happy to be let inside after all the guests have gone, sniffing around the table for crumbs like canine vacuum cleaners. no family photo ops. not really a bad thing, right?
another night in the claws of fitful sleep. why does this happen? how have i not outgrown this? cunningly the dreams change from sweet to sour; sugar to bitters. maybe it's the lack of that's turning the pink ones gray. a walking body not yet awake, making no sense. don't open your mouth or speak unless spoken to. even then, try not to strain. you could end up none the wiser. sit and pretend, it's all work you're after. the only reason you're there. they won't know unless they catch you napping in the bathroom. would they care? probably not.
the battle of homesick friends can't be won if one or both are at their maximum limit. no candy to speak of, no mom to encourage or turn her head away while you cheat on your diet because she knows you and knows you need it every once in a while in order to feel like you're punishing yourself for years of not caring, or caring but not seeing the point, or caring and trying and getting discouraged. she's been there and is there now. she can't fit into her pants. it's raining, and she wants you home, but can't.
the prospect of making a conscious effort to change something one doesn't like about oneself is always more appealing in the mind, beforehand, before actual initiation or implementation. today, i can't even count the times i've thought it isn't worth it, or how i could cheat and no one would have to know. in the same moment, my arm rubs against the fabric covering my shirt covering my skirt covering my pantyhose covering my body and i remember why i'm doing this to myself in the first place. changing patterns set by a 15-year-old girl, sans obsessive exercise. no sugar.
sarah. one of the world's last natural beauties. tiny body, perfect hair, bright eyes and fashionable eyewear. i always see her and wonder how she got so genetically lucky. today, working alongside her, she didn't bother saying two words. snotty bitch. up close, bad skin, bleached teeth, a boob job. crunchy hair, like she spends three hours dumping product after radioactive product into it. never looks like hair, but crunchy tentacles. a medusa. surely i disgust her. maybe she only talks to other tiny people. she left early, she had other more beautiful people to be around. well, fuck sarah.
"softly moses speaks, quiet me to sleep. easter sunday never tasted so bitter". woke up with this line of song stuck in my head. bitter easter sans comfort of bad food and candy. i wondered if sex on easter was somehow sacrilegious. i guess i'll find out when i get struck by lightening. shouldn't say that too loudly, i suppose. it's starting to storm outside again. first easter with no family. i could have gone to nashville, had i thought of it earlier, and had i been interested in going. didn't want to miss the first easter spent with friends.
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