he makes her climb the ladder while he sizes up just where to hang the picture he's just picked up from the framer's shop. she's anxious to get back to her novel. the one she bought at the used bookstore the day before yesterday when it was still the weekend and they'd been sipping cold coffee and holding hands like new lovers. like friends do before life presents itself as an unsteady obstacle always trying to get in the way. just hold on, he says. and she listens to his familiar voice and the shuffle of his feet carrying the weight of her memory of his body into the next room, i forgot to grab the hammer. she holds the nail against the grey textured wall. licks her lips. knowing that patience often writes the best endings to stories she wouldn't have known how to finish on her own.
a few months ago i tried to get a cup of coffee from the machine in the lounge where i work. plunked in the two dimes. no delicious beverage to be found, i attempted to reload the machine. although not a seemingly complicated task for someone who has been drinking coffee since about age 12, i was abruptly informed by an intruding secretary, with a gasp and a clutched hand to the heart, that i'd not done things correctly. i took my empty cup, less a dime and two nickels, and sulked back to my office.
i've never (and won't) again gone there for my joe.
i was writing a post in my head on the way to work this morning
but as soon as i've gotten into the office and in front of this computer
it seems to have vanished
not even a clue as to what might have been so fabulously entertaining
during that short walk in the already too warm morning air
i doubt it had to anything to do with
eating hot soup
as a metaphor
i crawl these sheets. searching every fold for the evidences of your body. roll myself over. placing hands where ribs run closely under skin. feel the breath. the pulse. the weight of the way the moon makes us all look a little bit like ghosts. when we're naked. these vast expanses. every inch the measure in devastation of the million miles and oceans between us.
if you're trying to finish this novel
it's probably best not to get high
and then drunk on red wine
in the process
watching this film/documentary
among other things
nostalgic for my seattle skate scene youth
in which i've revealed
that i've fucked things up
way too many times
with the ghosts
who might be there
at the end of it all
and i wish this song would finish
and i could start the dishwasher
and forget about the failed dinner attempts
and that you are
way too far away
more than this
bernard drinks french wine
and speaks with an accent
She asked me if I had a cigarette. As I stood next to the door. Lingering in the outside moments. When my apartment heats up like a fire-storm from the setting sun. I said no. I didn't. And I wondered if other people understood the way methamphetamines smell coming off of another person. When we used to call them amph. But when most people now generally refer to them as meth. Dirty dish water and overused air. The way Sonya used to smell. The prostitute who lived two doors down from Paul and I when we lived in something we called 'the rent' so many years ago. She was only there for a few weeks. Her pink stained cheeks. Paul used to call her the dusty-orchid. I doubt she was more than twenty. Probably a snide remark about what her over-used cunt looked like after too many payed-for-fucks. As if he would have known what it was like to stick his prick inside a woman, anyway. I called him tonight, but he wasn't home. And I didn't leave a message. Only left the line open long enough for the machine to register the hang-up. They don't have caller-id. Sonya. That's what we called her. In whore terms it could or could not have been her name. I'm not sure that I cared. The thought occurs to me as the crazy cigarette woman moves in jerky rhythms away from me. Like the texture of being drunk and high and losing sense of when and if the pavement might connect back up with the soles of the feet. That I know this. That I've no idea about the scent of orchids.
even now i am there. sitting on the far right back seat that you just quite but almost can't see. i'm in your right front pants pocket. at that spot on the inside of your left wrist where the blood might have been pumping under a watch face, if you wore one. i am the sound of compression breaks. the slow dull voice over-head calling out stops. all the way home. i am the familiar scent you always find at the same time foreign and familiar when you fold back the sheets and climb into bed. i am--each and every--September morning.
yesterday, with my head pressed firmly against the far left cushion, close to sleep, still following the moving pictures on the television with my eyes, sounds filtering, nonsensical into my ears, i realized the fabric of my couch is hero blue. god, damn, i muttered to no one in particular. i've always hated superman.
i'm folding in on myself. these days. trying to lose significance between the crisp holy pages of books. unsatisfied with the attempt -- unable to break the surfaces. head empty or perhaps too full up. i sit for long moments and think about the smell of the ocean just after a rain. or the garage of my childhood house filled with the scent of car oils and perpetually decaying wood. i wander around this city in which i live. searching for something that i just can't quite remember. all the corners have lost their edges. and i'm numb to the sound.
some kitchens have a nice framed phrase
god, bless this house
the cook is queen
my kitchen comes with one saying
framed and hanging
in black and white
welcome to civilization
i must have had a tradition of writing "notes to self." here are the two i've just run across, written a few pages from one another and on different days, whilst looking for something else:
notes to self:
i am suspicious of people
who drink cherry coke
notes to self:
i am suspicious of people
w/ their own copy
of t.s. eliot
[how is it possible that i've made it this far in graduate school?]
I want to be your hippie dream. All long haired twin braids and just the right amount of too many hemp necklaces and bracelets. Peasant blouses with skirts. The perfectly broken in pair of sandals. I'd always smell something like incense and tapioca pudding. And I'd be lovely without any makeup. Memories of me would make you think of daisies and sunshine and the smell of new rain. Not kitsch. Just right.
today, i thank [insert appropriate deity here] for the surprise delivery of this large iced coffee and for the hug that came along with it.
(and for knowing that i needed them both.)
Sie ist todmüde. Trägt ihre rote Pulli und ein finsterer Blick. Was machst du, denn? Sehr müde. So traurig. Er ist nicht so wichtig. Es ist ziemlich das gleiche. Immerhin kam sie. Wie immer.
just one of the few reasons i love digger.
someone got here by searching for the terms
wine allergic yawning
i know how they feel
i've been having dreams that a person who looks a lot like john goodman
keeps chasing me
terrified -- i run, but i don't know why
they started before i had anything to attach them to
having slept with nightmares for something resembling a lifetime
it feels too much like i'm the one -- trying to inhabit a world full of ghosts
this coffee is cold. bitter. unquestionably, i like it.
if i'd never fallen down that mountain
you might have been a decade, smiling.
she was aware of the words across her chest as she slid the key into the lock of her front door. easy like Sunday morning. wearing a silly smile and the t-shirt her boyfriend bought her as a welcome home gift from the last time she flew away to where she used to live. when she was married. when she was living a different life. to gather the last of the forgotten items. to say some last unnecessary goodbyes. when she spun around to find her landlord and was introduced to the new potential neighbor. too aware of the fact that she must smell like sloe gin and sex. that she wasn't wearing a bra.
on certain rare days. when the air is electric. and my legs itch to move faster than my feet can take them. and i want to reduce the world around me to vague motion and noise.
i wish that i had ever learned how to ride a bike.
making mean grilled sandwiches
hip hop aerobics
writing love letters
taking things personally
i wasn't short enough to walk straight under the semi-truck parked in the half street that leads nearest to the building where i work. but i ducked under the wide belly for a few moments in the early morning haze and listened to the mist fall against everything else except me. felt the overwhelming desire to smoke a cigarette. in the day-light-dark. under this empty bridge connecting nothing. i thought about the way memory passes between people like a sickness can. a cough. a kiss. the cold. reducing us all to blurred vision and snotty noses. in the rain, in your arms, i know, that isn't always true.
that i was just going to open this window and type whatever came out. i want it to be mean or incredibly funny. something remarkable in that 'oh, i didn't even think of that as remarkable' kind of way. like eating a raspberry popsicle. or hearing something glass break onto the floor in another room when you know, certainly, the problem couldn't have been your fault. perhaps more so like the raspberries. that reminds me of a haiku i wrote when i was just starting college. and i used to carry around all kinds of haunted looks, endless cups of dark roasted coffee, and acting like i was bored by school and by my teachers and all of their stupid assignments. mostly i was. if i got another ace for doing fuck all, i was pretty sure that i was just going to drop out and become a drug addict. 6 of one -- half dozen of the other.
after the party
cracked champagne glasses on ice
cut my naked feet
I depend on people I don't know. I depend on farmers who produce fruits and vegatables. I depend on the mailman to deliver my mail. I depend on the paper boy / girl to deliver my papers/ I depend on the president to advise us. But I depend on people I know, too. I depend on my teacher to teach me. I depend on my grandpa for extra love. I depend on my friends to play with me.
- - - -
a few pages before this entry is a list of 'things i don't like':
I don't like the smell of garbage. It smells sour. I don't like onions. They make my eyes water. I don't like chalk. It makes me sneeze. I don't like tuna fish because it was once alive. I don't like eating any animals for the same reason.
i know because i woke up curled into a ball in an obscure corner of my living room sobbing. afraid.
for the rest of the then early morning i slept with the phone and tried to forget what i couldn't exactly remember i'd been running from.