Sunday, August 18, 2013


I request a refund. To walk in crowds hurts me. I stand under the trees dangling thick strands of moss and look up, inhaling. I hope this breath will last me. And this one.

The water swirls in the sink. I swirl the water with my fingers. I am watching the water swirling.

I brush my teeth with my brother's toothpaste. I am accustomed to baking soda and castille soap. Instead it's like rubbing sugar over my teeth, hoping they won't rot.

The kombucha has fallen in the driveway. It is covered with small twigs and fizzing. He carries it inside at arm's length. I rinse the twigs into the garbage disposal. I remember that I do not have a garbage disposal. I look at the debris in the center of the sink. I walk back to the armchair and sit down. I hope no one will notice.

There's something in this refrigerator that's gone bad.

I run. Girl with a greyhound and tattoos on both calves. Three attempts at hello. Three failures.

There is a large mirror across from the toilet. I watch my shadow peeing. I am surprised by how small I look, sitting there. If I think about leaving I will cry again.

You cried the first time?

There is too much loving in me.

The words I am reading scare me. I cannot decide whether it is good to be scared. I want to drink and fuck in the woods. I do not like to have sex when I'm drunk. I don't know if I am bored or repenting. I can call everything many things, but none at the same time as the other. It is the same way with feelings.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

(I think I am the only awake person on this train, sometimes)

Ryan Adams is Dead. L.V.Newc is listening. 

Sometimes I feel that he tolerates my eccentricities.

I am a crazy artist-painter. I feel like I've been repressing her but she's in there and that's who I am. Are you okay with that?

Yes. I miss her.

I am nearly crying. On the subway I listen to music and stare people in the face. I think I am the only awake person on this train, sometimes. I look away when they notice me staring.

The young boy will present his talent a day early because he will not be in class on the day of the talent show. He prepares his materials to palpable tension. He holds up his beakers. He draws to him bottles of vinegar and iodine, dead bugs, crushed leaves, dirt. He begins to mix.

He continues mixing. He wants to send home beakers full of his concoctions, one for each member of the audience. He wants to continue mixing. After ten minutes the teacher ushers him from the front of the room.

Monday, August 12, 2013

(not quite)

When we return to the hotel this time a stranger's hair is stuck to the soap in the soap dish. Someone has used a tissue to transfer my underwear from the drying rack to the side of the tub. Everything else remains unchanged.

This morning I ran. For one block the homeless man watched me advance upon him. I started to be afraid. As I drew closer he nodded his head to me. I nodded mine.

Did you like the book I lent you?

Yes, I felt at home there.

Where else do you feel at home?

I am trying to get back to a place within myself.

You're already in yourself.

Yes, but not quite.

After I run I walk back to the hotel. I sit on the couch dripping. I drink a half gallon of water, small plastic cup by cup.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

(should he be?)

In the hotel I run water for a bath. I have not taken a bath in nearly a year. The water quickly becomes too hot. I run cold water until I am almost too cold. I put my head under the water and tug on my hair and breathe out so that my hair squeaks at the same time that I am sighing. I do not know if they can hear my sighs from the other room.

He's not good. He is good, but everyone else is bad.

Does he have anything that redeems him?

No. Well, kind of. He cares about his family.

A book of stories can save you. I sit on the boat and count alligators. I hold a newborn in my arms and cannot stop looking. When I walk back to the hotel my hands smell like his temples, cornbread and honeysuckles.

I take another walk and am followed. The bell jingles between my feet. I splay my fingers across his cheek and wait for him to rub me. The baby bird is alone. The baby dog is alone. The announcer creates a story in which the baby dog is alone.

By the corral we dare each other to touch the electric fence. I hold on the longest. We pull apart grain bags and slide down the ice covered hill. I don't remember what happens at the bottom.

I am scared for our world.

Other people do not seem to be scared, in the natural grocery store or the Mexican restaurant. The stockwoman tells me which echinacea to buy. The server tells me which fajitas to eat. My parents tell me I must have health insurance. The baby is not afraid.

("I like having to wear tights under my dress")

"I like having to wear tights under my dress. It's because of something inside me. Their hair blowing back lightly from their faces. You'll never understand how angry I am. Today the plants are like a painting. It's not a cry to writing, it's a cry to a future novel. Always ignoring her. People have fucked in here. Here is a novel which-- I know them in a certain kind of way. Sylvie has picked up a rhinocerous and is hitting it against a wall."

--Amina Cain, Creature

Sunday, August 4, 2013

(who has time to cover their nipples when their allergy medicine is swarming with bugs)

One can be a cat lady without owning cats. I obsessively splay the blinds apart with my fingers and check to see if Tyrese is huddled in the alley. Last night he actually laid down to actually rest-- "he's lying down!", I called from the back room-- and today he (or she, I have yet to know for sure) started cleaning himself with his tongue. "He's cleaning himself! Come see!" And why hasn't he eaten all of the Meow Mix that I left out for him? I thought he would like salmon topped with tuna, but perhaps he will prefer the self-labeled "REAL beef!" that I plan to leave out for him tomorrow. He seemed in good spirits today-- this morning I watched him bound across the fallen boards almost as if for fun, a far cry from his hurried slinking attempts to press himself into the concrete so that I will not see him or touch him or, I know he fears, hurt him as I step into the alley, cooing, to leave him water and salmon pate.

I have decided to open a Roth IRA. I am trying to be smarter about my investments. I resent this.

On Saturday we drove 27 minutes to Target and bought two large plastic containers for $2.79 each in which to store all of our dry goods. I transferred soup cans and bags of quinoa into the clear tubs, then reached for my Zyrtec D-- yelped, and dropped it to the kitchen floor. Roaches fled in every direction; even after the exodus there were at least six more in the bottom of the box. I grabbed the newly-dubbed "roach shoe" and got swinging, then plunged the box into a plastic bag, sealed it off, and carried it hurriedly at arm's length out of the apartment building and up the street to the public trash can. The men stared because I was wearing a thin white tshirt without a bra and my too-large skirt was slipping down over my hips. Who has time to cover their nipples when their allergy medicine is swarming with bugs?

I am working to make choices again from a place of hope, not fear. I save the bottle top from his can of beer and glue it onto a magnet which I then stick to the freezer door: Raise hopes not fears.

"Let's make this our house motto and design it into our crest," I say. "You know, like in olden times."