Sunday, August 29, 2010

Identity Theft

Serial numbers named me
Advertisers claimed me
Expectations framed me
Society has maimed me

Close every door
j'adore, stamp the floor
close your mouths, open your minds, explore
Cool water runs over your eyes.

Contort the contract, contact and connect
create, calibrate, deviate, subjugate
Belief is suspended like acrobatic religion.

Cactus pricks in suit and tie
Kick down the barrier

Hello, city!

Greetings from this newfound urban woman. This woman crosses against the light, walks with confidence, and has already found an adorable, affordable eclectic Asian diner.

I'm ludicrously happy here in Chicago, and I can't wait for classes to start. I've already found some incredible friends and made some silly decisions. It feels freeing and wonderful. Just last night, I invited one of my new friends David over to drink some wine and have a conversation. And converse we did, about incredibly powerful things, for four hours. This is the sort of thing I used to talk about- "I can't wait to have meaningful discussions with like-minded people about things that really matter!" And now I'm doing that.

I feel that a lot, actually. Realizing that the things I've been looking forward to for years while in my dark places- these things are here. This awareness is both positive and challenging. I feel this intense need to 'live it up' that it's beginning to turn into pressure. I'm not a huge partier by nature, I feel more comfortable in small groups of people having intimate discussions or spending quality time together. I don't think the whole 'go-out-and-get-slobbery-drunk' thing is right for me. I also have already been exposed to alcohol for quite a while, and don't feel the need to find a party and get wasted like some other freshman around me do. I'm coming into college knowing what I want- I am a (mostly) whole version of myself, improving all the time with the growth of my knowledge and experience. I know what I want with myself and the world around me, and I know who I am. I'm entering this big life experience in a terrific place, and I'm proud of myself. I think my dad would be proud of me too.

I think about my dad a lot, especially now that I'm here. I didn't like that he couldn't see my off on my first day in my dorms. My mom's boyfiance, Steve (boyfriend/fiance/whatever the hell they call it), came to help unload and move in and see me off, which I appreciated a lot. He got all of my things out of the car and unloaded into my room within a half an hour. It was incredible. I liked that Steve was there. I mean, of course I would have rather had my own father there, but in the absence of that option, Steve is a wonderful guy to have around. I used to be pretty mad about my mom's relationship with him... but she is so damn happy. This version of my mom is the best version I've ever seen. I've always known her to be tightly wound with worry, tearing up at the drop of a hat and referring to her life as in "constant crisis mode". That woman was not a happy woman, and we were not a happy family. But now she is healthy and smiling and beautiful and shiny in this intense relationship with Steve, and I prefer that to an old, fading widow. I'm happy for my mother for being able to find two incredible loves in one lifetime, the lucky bitch.

Anyhow. I'm well, I'm happy, and I'm looking forward to the rest of where college and life are going to take me. By the way, I'm thinking of adopting the practice of radical honesty. Haven't decided yet, but as someone who has manipulated and lied for most of her life, I want to make a clean break from the girl who I used to be and leap forward to the woman I am growing into.

I feel like I have come so far and am so much I never was before.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Happy Birthday

My father would have been 50 today.

I remember talking to him about how long he'd live just a few days before he died. He was ordering his gift from his company celebrating 15 years of employment. Peering over his shoulder, I admired the gifts for 50 years of service. I asked him what he'd like out of those items, and he told he didn't think he'd make it to 50 years at HSBC. And then he said, "I'll at least make it to 50 years old. We can have a big party that I'll hate and get tired at and then I'll make everyone leave early so I can go to bed because it's my birthday and I'm half a century old."

I think of you every day, Dad, in all I do. I carry you in my heart, and it keeps me warm and strong. Thank you for everything you are and everything I am and all that you've created in me.

Monday, August 23, 2010

4:00 am

I didn't really want to chat, I didn't really want to watch him work out, and I certainly didn't want to watch him touch himself but four a.m. is not renowned as the greatest time to make decisions. I blame it on my sleeplessness. I haven't been able to get an ounce of sleep before five a.m. in days, and when I can't sleep, I get achingly lonely. I lie awake, sprawled over as much of my king-size bed as I can cover; the thought that I'm all alone in a bed made for two is gratingly pitiful. I may not be the type to strip over the internet, but this throb is painful enough to go looking for conversation.

He said hello and told me I was pretty. I thanked him. He asked me if I minded if he got naked. I hesitated. He told me that I didn't even have to show my face, just knowing I was there was enough. He told me that he hadn't been with a woman in years. He told me that his friend was arrested for child pornography. His profile told me he was 18, muscular, and a personal trainer. His blonde hair, blue eyes, good looks and All-American bone structure told me that he probably used a stock photo. He assured me that I was under no pressure or obligation to do anything or even be seen. He confessed that all I needed to do was say something. It had been so long, he was instantly hard at the sound of a woman's voice. I relented. He didn't have to know that I wasn't going to watch him do whatever he needed to do. I knew enough to know that he needed release, and I wasn't going to deny him. I pity the desperate.

He was not 18, he was not muscular, he was not blonde, he was not blue eyed, he was not good-looking. He had a small appendectomy scar above the waistband of his black boxer briefs that wasn't in the picture. I said hello and minimized my screen. I started talking- I told him my first name, my favorite color, my favorite movie, my favorite music, the things I hoped for my life. I tried my best not to listen to what he was doing, but the grunts became more obvious until they stopped completely. The silence punctuated the awkwardness of the situation until he began to cry slow, wet tears and told me about his wife. She died 5 years ago: breast cancer, quickened by lack of health insurance. They had lost their only son in childhood. He had no support system, no friends or family. He wept about the bitterness of his losses, his assertion that love was a once and only event for him, his fears about losing his job, his debt piling up to his eyelashes, his loneliness slowly consuming him with the same voracity that cancer consumed his wife. He wept for the things he imagined he'd have accomplished by now. He wept for the childhood dreams he spent too little time cultivating. He wept for the clarity he now had and the opportunity he squandered. He told me of his anger at the country that allowed his wife to die, the country who promised him so much and followed through on so little. He wept, and I listened. I told him that he wasn't alone- not in despair, not in solitude, not in anger, not in fear. I told him about my father. I told him about the music at his funeral and how I couldn't talk about him anymore, not really.

I asked him if he felt better and if he was still naked. I told him I'd like to look him in the eye, then I apologized for not telling him that I couldn't watch, that I didn't want him to exploit himself. I told him that he could just ask to talk from now on, if he liked, rather than try to lull me into conversation with boyish good looks and borrowed charm. He thanked me, and I don't think I'll ever forget what he said next.

"It's been a while since I was treated with such decency."

Sunday, August 22, 2010

I nurse my biggest hurts in secret and in quiet
Collapse upon myself, fold inward to the waves
Grief, grief beyond my understanding wrenches
Sobs from my ribcage and keeps my words hostage
I mourn for failure and for freedom, for growing up.

This utter devastation I feel is unexpected, and the gravity of all I've lost isn't lost on me. But somewhere underneath this blanket of tears and profound sadness is assurance that I've done the right thing. Even still, saying goodbye to someone I love is one of the hardest things I've ever done.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


I used to think I knew everything. When I use the past tense there, I don't mean that I now know everything. I still don't know everything. I just know now how little I knew then. I still know fuck-all, but at least I know that I now know nothing.

You know?

It's funny, that 'you know' is such a common phrase. How much do we really know, as a people? As a culture? How about in our own heads? How much do we know about the Universe or the Stars or Unicorns or The Things That Be, whatever they are or aren't. We know very little about how things are or how they came to be. Faith and other religious definitions have tried to overcompensate for this vast misguided chasm of misinformation. I can't claim to have knowledge of How Things Are or How They Should Be or Why They Are As They Are. I don't have any more answers than I used to. I just know that I don't know, and to me, that's all the difference. I'm not afraid any longer. It's amazing, the switch you feel when you realize that it doesn't mean anything will hurt you, curse you, strike you down from above if you admit that you do not know. Taking the leap is a great, liberating stride for independence.

I understand the people who prefer to be lulled to sleep by the story of society. I feel for them, I empathize. I do not pity or scorn, judge, deny, label, condescend to those who just can't open up beyond their limited perception. The trouble with these sorts of people, the people who tell you How You Should Be or What You Should Do or The Way Things Work find comfort in their nonsense, in their false sense of security. It makes the bad things that Bump in the night keep their heads down and toes together, knock-kneed and shy and retracting their claws. It's an ounce of control, that we might convince some great Deity to be kind to us if only we are Good Enough and follow the Right Way, the Way to Him, the Great and Powerful Reprieve from Nature. But we are not Nature's exception, we are no different from the soup be emerged from. We have no other matter, we have not created any life beyond that which was already here. There is no distinction from anything that can harm you, there is no Hope or a Savior.

Some people assume that this acceptance of futility means an acceptance of unhappiness. Not so. There is no misery in knowing, inconsequentially, that you are going to die. There is nothing so beautiful and perfect and serene as knowing that You are nothing more than a smudge of dust upon the Earth. We accept this as truth, that this is a lowly place in life. Smudges of dust have no more consequence than a single drop in the ocean. We think that accepting this means that there is no point to BEING that smudge or BEING that drop. I may be singular and remote and inconsequential, but my place in this world is beautiful and I can appreciate that and be grateful that that's all I have.

This is the Knowledge that comforts me, knowing that I can be small AND special AND ignored AND desired AND mortal AND fine with the concept of mortality. But I didn't always think this way. There were times, places when I couldn't say the things I can know say so assuredly. I did not always KNOW. There were times I thought I knew, and times I knew I didn't know... and there may yet be times I find that all I KNOW is lacking. There may be some higher understanding I'm not privy to yet, but that is another time and another story.

This is how I came to know that I know nothing, and that knowing that was knowing everything.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Openness soul exposing concavity brimming seawater
Viscous clarity provoking uselessness rapid fire truth
Anemic answers biting gristle swallowed rage emerges

Faithlessness burns internal futility growing fungal deepening lungs
Climb rungs of spindly caterpillar legs rippling malleable and menacing
Tilting tenderly tea leaves slip sweetness soft dewdrops on pure tongue

Contented confused darkness shadow day leaves no window open
Run afoul memory rations dose of withdrawal violent tendencies
Pretty times tinkling belief in incendiary fuse blown higher chaos

I know better now.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

For My Love

I flutter my fingers over the length of your skin and your frame
and I touch every inch of your body is calling my name and I'm
hungry to meet your bucked hips with my lips and I'm sure
of your sure hands as you deftly caress my soft kissable
breasts and you forget my flaws and make me forget who I am
As you are the only one parting from my mouth, please don't
part from my mouth and the sweetness of taste as we lay
gasping and grasping and grappling for purchase and
hold me with your breath and a giggle and tenderness
And you move as I move as we move and we touch and I am
overwhelmed by the thought of you consume my attention
with the unbearable vigor of being with you and in you in me
Come, lay my head against your chest and intermingle our tingling
limbs as we breathe and we sigh and we fall asleep, wake still in
morning to kiss me apart from my dream with a sigh and the nearness of you

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Natural Law

I am furiously shaking the bars of my cultural cage
in an attempt to break free from a prison where
the inmates don't know they're contained.

I bathe my sight of rosewater, my head pulled
like a cork, bobbing in the vast ocean of knowledge
a solitary trip, lined with melancholy and true longing.

There is so much to see, so much to love and understand
and hold dear to, if only I could only pluck out my eyes
and share them with those who are unfortunately blind.

We can rise like the glorious independence and rebirth of
the primitive anarchy in accepting that, underneath arrogance
we commune in life, we are not evolution's triumphant exit.

I take my place in the world as I strip naked the story of Man
And surrender my taste of forbidden fruit, I am ripe with
contentment, to be in the hands of the gods of the lilies.

I could be a rich woman

If I had a dollar for every time someone has said,
"We're complete opposites, but we get along so well!"
I wouldn't have to worry about paying for college anymore.

[ sometimes I wonder if there are only opposites of me ]

I mean, I don't mind standing out from the crowd. I really prefer it, actually, to being lumped together with the rest of mankind like a herd of cattle being sent to slaughter. I just get tired of being called crazy sometimes.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Thick black screams escape from my lips like toxic streams of biological warfare
Bitterness housed on my tongue with sandpaper memories and sulfurous thoughts
Spewing great clouds of smoke, a dragon stretching her scales and scathing wit
Shrieking harpy songs with fire blazing down my throat, burning battle weapon


Drums thundering syncopated bolts of lightning, electrical bright illuminating fear
Watch me stretch my wings, cower crumpled in your puniness and prayer's stature
Subjugation yields submission, droop down sunflower to your death: diagnosis oppression
Twisted destiny for man, hold no bearing in this life over flower or plant or person