The Hipster Brigade
sometimes you come back from a vacation refreshed. sometimes you come back exhausted. i came back refreshed. i came back with something i didn't leave with. it's funny how much i didn't want to go. i cried. i kicked and screamed. i simply sat down and refused to pack. but i knew i was going. i knew it was good for me. "go out and do something you are scared of."
it wasn't the hiking or the lack of oxygen or the studying or the snow or even the mcdonald's breakfast. it was going on a trip with complete strangers. just faces. hair. clothes. and then coming back and knowning and sharing more with them than even family members. they become closer to you, because in the wilderness there is no one but you and that girl in the bunk bed over your head. it's six girls you thought maybe you couldn't get along with because you are the recluse the teacher joked you were. and then leaving and wishing they were coming to boston with you. that they were more than just memories.
then again, it was only one week.
as confined as it was, i'm really starting to miss that damn van. and one thing is for certain, i will never look at a plant and just call it a plant again. those things are more alive than some of the people i talk to. spunk. they've got spunk.
i am not deliciously saucy
in my yearbook i am memorized by your eyes and it makes me think i was never for you. i am not the stars that light your eyes. i'm ready to drop the act.
just yesterday i ate in front of strangers. not a different task but before it would send me into nervous fits. i would talk to fill the silence and when the meal was over, i was just beginning.
for years i was called "pretty but plain." i cherished not being the girl that turned heads. i had something to find. a sunken treasure.
each second i lose a piece of myself to be absorbed by a friend. a foe. a lover. a bluejay. my mother. i start to evolve. i start to become smaller. shrinking into a piece of the clouds on a blue day. a nail in the patio. a patch on teh knee of your favorite jeans.
i am in want to be lost. really lost. not just the lost i keep saying i am.
i try to disconnect from you but the sequencing isn't right. i am not ready for you to go just yet. you give me something to be angry about. i love the sound of hoplessness in your voice. were you always that way?and to me your hands are like ice.
and to me your voice is nice. warm wit dampened by intellectual bravado. strip it down. just a boy. as one goes away -- ignore, ignore -- another merciless in his pursuit. i have set teh mind on fire with some presumed notion. he probably thinks i'm something he wants or something i'm not. i'm none of those things. i retreat as an old soul, im not ready to give just yet. physical pleasure pulling my thoughts to the gritted teeth of angels sunken in quick sand.
i am exploring colorado as you read this. the 21st through the 29th is full of wilderness hijinks. unless i get eaten by bears, i shall return.
if you could see my heart, it would be a found art project with a thousand blue plastic toothpick swords sticking out of it.
i am sitting in the back seat with a fruit salad. tin foil rubbing against the cold browing mangoes, kiwi, bananas, apples. each taking its turn to rub against their silver dome. a shrine enclosing them from spoilage. a shelter till their deaths or freedom, depending on how you look at it. i can smell the nectar despite the phlegm stuck in my throat. me and allergy season constantly in battle to who's this town's sheriff. it's pineapples, i think. sweet hawaiian pineapples straight from dole. i'm their number one in command. captain cherry picker, saucer of milk drawn fro winged kittens. and i say, "i'm the conductor aboard this spoon train." somehow i'm thinking i'd rather be in their state -- vegetative -- moving closer to an ultimate end than further into a happiless nowhere or what some people call a future. i may be a pessimist but i think i'm making the most of it.
and the world told me shh and i said alright. i made sure to listen up and not make a mistake. "i don't care. i don't need your words, i'll invent my own." and it made me like everyone else too afraid to say, "cock vagina pussy" in your ear. i started profanity exercises as soon as i hit twenty. i wanted to see what i could get away with in public. what i could shout. what i had to whisper. how even now Hitler and Nazi are more looked down on than Fuck or Cunt.
now it's about word play. how creative i can be with the least amount of words. how literary is not refined and sugar is no longer grained. now nothing can be just sweet or loved or cherished; it has to be more special -- badder, greater, uglier. it's about how many very you can tack on. how i've lost the contest. how i lost every contest. i'm no beauty pageant. i'm just plain and spread thinly like low fat cream cheese on spinach bagels. i want to give it all or give nothing. no inbetweens sugary coated piece of bullshit, where i'm lying to myself so badly that i become blind to even the faintest real emotion. i just have to step back and say, "no, this was never right."
i had to make a list to make sense of it all.
-must enjoy ethnic food
-knows when to stop
-good taste in music
and where did these go? i gave them up in temporary delusions. i said, "one out of ten, ain't so bad." it's not that the rules can't be broken, but they shouldn't have to be. i'd rather live alone in idealism then take second best.
the misadventures of trash can girl
it's funny what people will ignore when they don't want to know the truth. "oh right, shannon is not dead." i guess i didn't notice at first either. she was just the new girl. she wore all the right clothes and she had hair down to her hips. it just clung to the back of her trash can. she had a special servant to push her around in a big aluminum ribbed trash can. i had seen ones like that at the National Park once. i didn't think they converted them to wheel chairs. who knows? when people are rich and handicapped, they do weird shit. i liked her from the moment i looked into her one eye -- the other one was sewn shut, or so it looked like. i think i fell in love with her because i could feel myself falling and when i would look up from almost vomiting on my shoes and see her, she would stop that feeling but i'm pretty sure she was the one that started it in the first place. she turned heads. well, it might have been the flies. i just thought she liked insects. she was always wearing hats with lots of netting and when i would look at her from across homeroom, i would see that one eye staring back. it was blue. i think. she seemed so distant and i imagined what i would say to her if i ever got the courage to say hello. the things she would like -- baseball, nirvana and hot chocolate. the things we would do together -- make out under the bleachers and um, that's as far as i'd gotten.
she didn't have a lot of friends. she didn't say a lot. Pedro, the servant, did all the talking for her. He'd whisper in her ear at first and then answer, "Rome, Italy" or "Shoo" or "Shannon does like french fries, thankyouvermuch." he would never let anyone approach her. they would sit in corners and he would read to her when she wasn't in class. she always ate lunch out in the greens, pedro speedily spooning her medication into her flushed lips. she often had fevers. that would be the excuse they would tell the class. "billy, could you read for shannon, she's out with fever." i never minded taking her turns in English. we were reading Hamlet. the days she was absent, the kids would whisper in the halls. "she smells, dude. she smells." i overheard once by my locker. i knew they were talking about her. i knew it was the new scent from france. she was european, i think. she has class, i tried to tell them once but i just got shunned out as well. i didn't mind. i had shannon.
sometimes i feel guilty as i hear the sound of the thud thud of the headboard
sometimes i just want to feel something different and i don't know when to tell if something is right or wrong. i met a writer.
i just want to die without you
i took a walk today. one of those ones that are reserved for days when your "down in the dumps" and feeling the need for heavy contemplation. also, it should be raining. but today, it was sunny and the clouds looked perfect and i overheard someone playing ryan adams out of their garage. and it was just me and "come pick me up" and eddie the dog and clouds. the clouds looked clear, a pleasant change from the overcast sludge that's been hanging over the city for the past two weeks. there were ducks and dragons and chickens and squirrels...not in the street but in the sky. and in the street were dead babies and i tugged the dog away from licking their cherubic faces. i just spent an hour out of my head. just walking. and it felt right and it felt good. excuse me, but this has happened in a long time. i don't feel in my shoes here. i think i grabbed the wrong pair on my way out of boston.
when i can't be at the duck pond looking at real ducks, i just look at books with pictures of them. i've decided to herd wild Cayuga Ducks and Blue Indian Runners. i can't wait.
sometimes no is a realization that only occurs after you visit the shrink
i didn't start my sex life with chaste no's. i couldn't stop saying yes -- forced, faked yeses in other people's beds. i had wanted it to be that way. i just couldn't stop after that first kiss. when you held my fingers in your mouth and i moaned softly in your back. i was done for. you took out your retainer and i looked at that picture of your girlfriend on the wall, right by my head, and you told me, "its okay." i didn't argue. i just kissed you. at first, soft like the feathers poking out from your down comforter and than harder like the cock i could feel next to my thigh. i didn't really know what i was doing. you were playing me and that was okay. i didn't mind because i would have done anything to be with you. i would have done anything to look into your blue eyes and say, "be with me...forever." those words never came but i kept going back. i kept saying no in my mind. i kept saying, "this is the last time." you nodded. you wanted to make out in the park and i wanted to forgive you with those last kisses in the library. soon, i realized my powerlessness. i just decided to move on to steve, jarod and alex. i'm sure there were others and those names are just representations of the names i can't remember now.
then i don't know what happened. the no’s got a lot easier. i said a big fuck you and i was by myself and i liked it. and you remember when your friends and people who said were your friends but weren't said things to you like, "if you aren't obvious and if you don't want it, it will come" or something like that. i was never one for sayings. i just couldn't stop wanting. i didn't know how to stop wanting. in fact, i wanted so badly that i didn't know what i wanted. and even now, i still don't know what i like other than squirrels and muffins and tea and ryan adams. just long lists of obsessions. sometimes i turn into my obsessions that i obscure the underneath. the gnitty gritty. the stuff. the deep down. sometimes i just become a big list of song lyrics stuck in my head when i'm shelving books. just a long list of numbers and words starting to smear together. i just really want to understand and i want you to understand that i just don't know. that all those times before weren't really me and i don't know who that me was. that me was a girl looking for attention in the kisses of strangers. that those kisses could become me and all of me was in those kisses. i never held back. not once (maybe once) i've given my whole to those lips through mine. i just don't find satisfaction through the best ultra-sexxx.
it's not just what's on the cover but what's written (glued) to the page
things i've found in books
-religious sayings bookmarks
-photo of deceased IN THE COFFIN
squirrels are like dead babies!
last week monday a squirrel got hit by a car in my neighborhood. i didn't witness anything but the body, but it was gruesome enough. each day i would see it as my mom drove me to work. there it was everyday becoming more and more part of the asphalt. i didn't know exactly what to do with it myself, so i just watched from a distance. seriously, if there was a dead baby in the road people wouldn't just keep running over it with their cars. i just wish for once someone would do the right thing. which of course would be to run over more dead babies and less squirrels.
me and jesus have a lot in common
i'm convinced i'm suffering from stigmata. in the middle of my palms are dry patches of skin that have bled once. my feet are sore. however, a new development: small cuts on my wrists have appeared. i swear i don't know how they got there.
the second time around
the thing with posting these things is that they are lost in the moments after. these are things i thought days ago. seconds ago. and i keep changing every second and i'm my own worst editor.
sometimes it takes a good imagination
i can hear you whisper in my ear and it's not exactly happy but it's not exactly sad. you seem more nervous than anything and i want to hug you right away. "what?" i ask. you just smile back or grin. i can see you grinning more than actually smiling. you reach out to hold my hand and i let you take it in yours. and it feels right, right away. then i wake up and wish i could fall back asleep.
i can't really explain
i remember days at the library when i was younger. the children's librarian was in a wheelchair but the shelves were short and her face was kind. i would meet kids, neighbors and strangers in a wooden house amongst the "easies" or children's story books. once, i spent four hours working on a project for my fifth grade class. i thought i had written a masterpiece -- the assignment was to write a diary on our trip to california on the oregon trail -- but when my mom read it she told me i had misspelled diary 42 times and that a lot of things weren't "grammatical correct." sigh. also, when picked to read outloud i read my favorite entry and no one laughed. NO ONE LAUGHED! what i thought to be top rate humor was merely another child's bland peanut butter and jelly. i guess i had always thought i was better than everyone. in high school, i remember telling my creative writing teacher (the one who encouraged me to continue writing) that i was a writer. i was a writer. ha. who was a i trying to kid. i had two finished stories by that point. sure, plent of ideas but mostly empty thoughts. in eighth grade, i wrote a story about a hamster named ben in diary form about his adventures. it was brillant and had illustrations. my next project was 100 words of spooky fun, which i entered into a Nickelodeon magazine halloween story writing contest. it was about a babysitter who turned into a giant man-eating plant, the kids defeated her with ranch dressing and forks. i was sure i would win. i was disappointed to read the actual winner whose stories weren't scary at all and were nonsense compared to mine. i just wanted recognition.
in high school, forced to enter about 20 different poetry contests. when i still wrote poetry. when i still could write poetry. when i had things to write poetry about and didn't feel i was cheating my reader. i made up a political poem because i i had to and won first place. i don't even know what i was saying or if it made sense. but i won. first place. i pursued on and i've won again. it's a lot easier when you have someone telling you, you don't suck. i think the highest compliment i've ever recieved was when someone told me my writing was beautiful. in fact, that's about the only compliment i'll accept and truly be flattered about. as many times as i've been told my eyes, hands and nose were "cute" or "pretty." nothing quite hit me like that one time.
saving up for rainy days
there i was talking about marriage again. the youngest one obviously not knowing a thing. i'm just a kid, right?
i think right now i'm more grown up than anyone in the room, even the one that's married with three kids doesn't know what it's like to have it all and lose it all. i don't want to wait forever but i would to get just some of the things that make someone perfect in my mind. i've decided that dating my mirror image just won't work. i can't help being attracted to someone just like me
. is this really what i want? question: is this really what you want? please, don't stick with me just because i'm all you got. so many people brush off the best things about them. me included. i sell my self short so i don't get disappointed.
and this is just another exercise like this whole "project" was in the beginning. just some soul searching in a public domain. this is part of the therapy. part of the job. part of writing. i've started reading writing down the bones
again just to see if i remembered correctly. and i'm supposed to write something everyday by hand but i've given it up to hear the click of the keys. i miss the hand on the paper. the black ink smears on my fingers. wrists. hands. forearm. i turn my nose up and laugh at how easy this came to me. how every sentence i type i want to immediately erase and how none of this is something i want someone to read but i'm bored and i can't stop thinking or writing. last night, i was on. i could smell you like you were here and i kissed the air expecting you to be there in the hall. but i just opened my eyes to disappointment. i've given up. i'm "her" and you are "you," except there are a lot of yous out there and i can't address you all by proper name. there's something lost here. something lost. i looked back over my shoulder and there it was again. his last name reminding me. louisiana avenue on the highway. i can't escape whatever it means but i can only read so much into a sign and try to make it my own. not everything belongs to me and i suppose i could give something up. i'm really quite obsessive by nature.
i just want this to make sense again. i want to know the answers so i don't have to make the decisions.
i'm sure i've had this title before much like i've addressed this subject to death. i guess somethings need to work themselves out slowly.
i guess the moment i saw you i knew that something wasn't really right. i didn't like how you looked at first glance. i can admit that now. i got used to it. there was something flawless in your face, perhaps hiding all the flaws underneath. i wanted to see behind your eyes. i wanted to live within the them and see what you saw. i couldn't tell the difference right at first. i knew that you wanted me and i guess i thought that was fine but i was suspicious. i didn't want to let you in right away. i didn't feel like editing you and looking for the bits i didn't like. i knew they were there but i shoved them to the side. i would put them in a box under the bed and take them out on the next rainy day. i got numb, so i let you in. i knew i made myself like you more than you liked me. i said the "i love yous" unnatural because even half out of my mind i had to make myself say it again and again in my head to make it sound right. i like you. i dismised it. i love you. there, that was better. that was the answer you were looking for. something to make you warm inside where your lack of heart was. i didn't want to be just a replacement but each new love teaches you one new thing. i don't think it was bad but it certainly wasn't fair and it certainly wasn't right but it wasn't bad. you taught me what boys had to do for my love. what boys had to do with my hands with my face and with my mind. you touched me in places where boys often forgot -- the soul. there was something deeper to the madness and it wasn't just sex, if even in my mind i made it seem that's all you wanted. i know i don't think it was just that. i know it was more. you told me it was more. i believe you but i want to shun you. i want to hate you but you were too good. each new love bringing you something new.
i suppose he brought me to you. "just think about it," i remember you saying once. one of the times when i knew you were right but i denied it. i threw it in the box with the flaws to look at when i had more time. one of those rainy days that we talked about where you would read to me in the park on a bench and we would hold hands under a blanket. i guess i should have known something was up when i found you. when you are pushing feelings down to your toes to hide what you already know but you were comfortable. i was comfortable with the "other guy." it could have been right, i suppose. i wanted it to be right.
i said i wouldn't love another. i said it was all hopeless. i guess i know that i'm just lying to myself again because i'm full of something. lust. love. crush. something. it's there and it boils to uncomfortable levels when i'm not with you. tonight was one of the nights when i felt like talking to you was the only way to calm my restlessness. i dream about your hands on my thighs and i wish i could block that out but my subconscious is working on overdrive when i'm not around you.
i can't really push him out though. a valentine's gift a day late. when you have to squeeze all your memories from so short a time. so short a meeting. i suppose everything flies by quickly but there was nothing i was clutching so it still remains. the hug is like yesterday and the kiss is just a look you gave me once the day when we barely held hands. i remember when i looked at you and your face started to become just a shape. just a round smear that i could forget. i didn't though. you put on your glasses and we ate middle eastern food, well...i just watched and we wanted opium in our food and we wrote haikus about ninjas on the dirt and we bent the guitar strings into hearts and we were tired but we were alive. we proved two heads work better than one and i like us a team. i want us to be one for a long time. i can't really help liking you from a distance because your eyes were the most honest. i never have to try with you.
if we last the summer it will be longer than me and that other guy. i want to ask you steady and share a shake with one straw but something doesn't feel right just yet. i'm anxious but i think it's going to be okay and i think you've taught me another lesson and you possess everything i want in a person. so please stay because my head isn't right without you there.
i never knew that reading something would make me sick to my stomach. i am trying but it hasn't all gone away yet.
i miss you but i haven't met you yet
sometimes when i get lonely at night i think about you holding me and than i fall right to sleep.
i feel the most sad when i can remember the exact way you would have answered me and i can hear your voice echo in my head. i never forget.
i've tried to rub you out but you can't erase good memories.
i never forget a kiss. i guess mine was worth forgetting.
we should have kissed instead of just staring at each other in anticipation. i can only feel the shadow of your lips against mine.
all you need is karaoke to start a dance party
libraries are full of children and old people. it's like a circle -- new life meeting their ends -- brought together by books. as one delightful woman told me, "as i've gotten older i started to read more mysteries. i'm just not interested in steamy sex scenes anymore." i told her that i couldn't get into mystery but that i did enjoy those ridiculous true crime shows with the murder mysteries -- although, not Murder She Wrote
-- then she remarked, "you will when you're older." i suppose we'll see. i already feel like i'm sixty now and i'm barely twenty-two.
i've been with the desoto library for five years. five years! i've seen people come and go, patrons coming in one day then next week going to their funeral. i've been working with the same staff as well. i've done almost every duty imaginable, although my loyalties will always be with the Children's Department. i liked flipping through the books and interacting with the parents. there was something fulfilling working with children, you just don't get working in the adult reference area. i miss the interaction and smiling faces. today, was a flashback.
every year there is the Summer Reading Program which encourages children to read for 30 hours (15 for the tots) in which they recieve prizes after reading for so many hours and when they complete it they get a new book. each summer, they have a kick off party to start the program with games and snacks and chaos -- i spent two and a half hours tattooing small children (and some parents). my jaw hurt from smiling and my voice cracked from saying "you're welcome" over and over again. some kids kept coming back and had tattoos up and down their arms...hmm, prospective emerson students, probably...and i had a favorite. i think she could have been as old as ten but probably was younger, she was about up to my waist in height with light reddish hair and freckles on her cheeks. i complimented her and she said, "i got them from my grandmother." she came back to me three other times each with a rose tattoo. it looked good and i complimented her. sometimes there are just people you connect with and i wish i could have been this girl's big sister.
our location was right in the middle of the karaoke machine and the face painting. how many times can you hear n'sync in a day? i wish it would have gone bye bye bye. the fog of kids was dense. if there was a wall on the other side of the room, i sure couldn't see it. the time flew and pictures were taken, unnoticed. at one point, i turned around and there was the photographer of the desoto paper staring me in the face. i ignored him and went back to tattooing this one girl's arm and as i took my second swing around, he snapped another shot. guh-reat. later, he asked me my name. it's always the days when you least expect it that you become famous. he winked at me too, but not that creepy wink that your grandma or grandpa gives you...a come hither wink, perhaps? probably just a twitch.
sometimes i can't believe how long i've been here. i feel like one of the older patrons -- the ones that come back every week for a new book. the chatty ones that speak with the circulation staff, but as beverly said, "diana, you look like you're twelve. it's so cute." and i know a day will come when i won't go back but i don't want to think about that.
i last heard you were a librarian
today, i spied this hilarity:
there was this boy playing games in the children's computer section of the library and it was time for him and his family to leave. but he kept going back to the computer even though he wasn't signed on and couldn't even do anything at all. oh well. kids like pushing buttons and making the computer broken. so his sister came and got him and touched his face accidentally or poked him or something and this boy said, "what was that for? you touched my eyeball. i'm telling." so his sister walks away to her mom in the line to check out books, and the brother slowly slumps over and says, "(sister's name)...touched my eyeball." and the mother and sister just started laughing.
i cracked a smile too.
ian t. (9:52:56 PM): only stupid people have good relationships
MarysBigTeeth (9:51:47 PM): i sometimes wish he had never gotten ahold of me
my sentiments exactly
maybe in high school i was pushing people away. maybe i was the one they liked. i was just too lost in my own world to notice. i like it that way, too. it's easier to be hated than loved.
i remember where i first saw you. you sat next to me, unassigned, and you spelled it out for me too: c-o-r-g-a-n. i stared across the study lab at you that day and the next day and the day after that one. i think i knew your class schedule better than you did, ditching to go smoke cigarettes in that bush across the street was more your style. the three-way calls just to hear your voice: sorry, wrong number. and i guess that's where it got started. i forced my way into your life and you didn't seem to mind. subtle hints gone to shit, i would wait for you to get out of gym class. you: hi, how are you? me: boy troubles. i have a crush on someone. you: really, who? by the smile on my face you knew who it was and i didn't mind you knowing. i just wasn't kendall or melissa or lorna. i wasn't one of those girls, but i was one of them -- one of the many.
junior year, we started to sit together and i remember the full sweat you would have on that day. you were quitting smoking (again) and you told me about how you couldn't sleep at night and how you coughed up the black tar. and then we would pass notes and play that square game, where you connect the dots to make squares and fill in your initials and whoever had the most won. you never had a pen, so i lent you mine. i thought i was being cute, when i made a special pen with your name on it, but you were being cuter when i told you about the hugs and you stopped talking to me -- a friendly protest of giving up our friendship on the basis on me not wanting to give you a hug. "not in public." for once, i didn't want to be associated with you. although, i did give in and i didn't really care who saw us anymore. i figured when you came to me instead of her that you liked me more. i was in an awkward place but i liked you more. two sides of the story -- i would have done a lot for you back then.
two years, one year of college and another one spent working. faded. gone. just a part of my past now. you were still doing nothing and you joked about how you were jealous. i know, that's why i told you about the others. i heard it in your voice, you still liked me after all that time. well, since you admitted it to me senior year in that note in study lab and then i said, "sorry." it was nice to know that some things never change and that you wanted to get together and i knew i would kiss you.
i couldn't look at you while you smoked that joint and i could still taste it on your lips when we kissed later. you never called me back. i didn't care.
cut to: now, today, yesterday -- 5-31-03
there was something in your voice, like you hadn't been with someone in a long time and you were just being nice listening to me chatter away about my second year in boston. "are you doing something tonight?" and i knew there would be drinking and drugs and stuff i couldn't stand but you sounded so lonely. i couldn't stand to hear it. you, lonely? it made me hurt to think that someone like you could feel so alone. someone that always had someone around them at every moment of the day. i suppose that second time was better. when you held my hand and pulled me into your room to look at pictures and you showed me your cousin and your artwork and we sat on the bed and watched the cat awkwardly. "can we just kiss now and get it over with?" why was it harder this time? the lips were familiar, just like they were the last time even though i didn't know them. well, not on the same person. i liked it when you held me and said, "i dreamed about this." i smiled because i had too.
should i be taking this so seriously? the package was so empty and these songs hurt my feelings.
i don't think you ever understood me, which is fine because i misunderstood you.
at first glance
i think i liked you from day one. zombies, pirates and robots all in one conversation. i really couldn't pass this oppurtunity up, could i? although, i must admit that someone's first line should always be, "courting is dead." he had me at that.
today i went to home depot, ace hardware and loew's in search of augers. i can now put plumber down on my resume. soon, i'll be scratching myself in public and belching.
maybe this car's other bucket seat isn't for you
sometimes having a twin isn't what it's cracked up to be.