Poem: Namaste

Sometimes when I look in the mirror,
I can’t help but see your face looking back at me, yellowed with jaundice,
Eyes puffy with lack of sleep.

When you died,
People worried my baby brother would follow in your footsteps,
That your demeanors are the same.
But I know it’s me.
We got along well because we understood one another.

I see the light in you that sees the light in me.

I know your numb. Your death gifted me that.
I try to remember how to smile.

But I just want to Nyquil away the nightmares.

Sometimes when I walk down the road,
With the cars blurring past
I imagine stepping out, on an impulsive whim.
I try to feel what you may have felt,
there on the self-serving tip of insanity.

People say you didn’t pause to think of us, that you wouldn’t have done it.
But what’s worse is I know you did. You thought enough to write down a name, a number,
A pretty little printout as if to say “Call them. They’ll clean it up.”
But we weren’t worth the effort of breathing.

I don’t believe in heaven like you do.
Just the random disbursement of cells and energy, the recycling of carbon and matter.
And I once believed in love, before it shattered into crushed bones and blood somewhere along Highway 78.

You’re everywhere. And I hate you.
But I can’t let go of you for fear of losing myself.
So instead I breathe.

Source: kewlwallpapers.com

Ventfest: For The Love of a Crush

I was talking with my friend this morning and she mentioned that she’s only had eight crushes in her life (she can name them all) and her first crush was in fifth grade.

I kind of guffawed. I’ve had something like 80 crushes in my lifetime and my first crush (whose name I–shocker–can’t remember) was in preschool. We were both toe head blondes with matching bowl cuts and we would run around the playground holding hands and playing tag. It was true love.

When I realized that not everyone is as boy-crazy as I am, I did some self-reflecting. And I am one of those people that just love falling in love. Or at least the idea of it.

Before I bury myself, I should add a disclaimer that I have an incredible boyfriend whom I love to pieces. And I’m speaking about crushes in the abstract and from my experience for the last umpteen years of being single, not about any crush I have now. But aformentioned amazing boyfriend is like a crush times ten… everything that is wonderful about crushes is ten times better when they make the crush-to-boyfriend transition.

But (in the abstract), crushes are amazing. A true crush gives me reason to wake up in the morning and get dolled up. When I have a crush, I walk a little taller in case he ever happens to see.

My favorite are the crushes that you never actually talk to (I’m 12, I know). Like sexurity guard, for those who remember that flustercluck. The kind that you hold eye contact with for just a second longer than normal… It’s fun because it’s the most immature, goofy behavior.

I guess that’s what it is.. Crushes are fun. They’re all coyness and games without the potential risk a relationship entails (though greater risk means greater reward). A relationship is better, I have to say. But when I’m too busy or poor or uninterested in a relationship, a crush is fun. It’s long looks and flirty texts and a little harmless Internet stalking… It’s a little taste of romance, that feeling of maybe potentially loving some stranger. It’s the idea and the dreaming up someone without actually dealing with the awkwardness of talking to them. It’s all games.

At least until I spill a latte on the poor guy.

48A

I walk past the front door with the broken lock and handle,
the door that only ever opens to welcome in 3 a.m. cream cheese wontons,
and head right into the back yard like I live here.
I do live here.

I walk up the rickety porch steps where I sat crying into Geddes’ drink
before stealing it and using it as a numbing chaser for my heartbreak,
past the circle of chairs where I rebelliously took a drag on a cigar
Backwards.

I stumble over the piles of recyclables, and the uninvited resident possum
and walk through the back door and into the kitchen…

I love this house,
With its chandeliered ceilings, mile-high floorboards,
forest green granite countertops and a lone stained glass window–
Outdated embellishments from former tenants,
haphazardly shielding the grime of beer-laquered floors.

I sit on this familiar, disease-ridden couch,
my toes tucked under to keep from freezing…
this is where I was first introduced to the classics
like “Superbad” and “Zoolander.”

Here, over beer and tequila and cheap peach champagne,
and endless games of Kings and chandeliers,
pregaming turned into midnight turned into New Years.
Before I moved away.

Somewhere buried under the piles of mail and hooker cards,
there is a ripped up Bud Lite Lime box where I scribbled an apology,
a thank you to the boys for their hospitality and hair holding.
And a Christmas card.

Here, we spent lazy Sunday afternoons watching the game.
I cleaned the kitchen with bleach only to dirty it up again with enchilada sauce,
the smells of soap mixing with onions and chicken.
Or Bolognese.

It’s funny in a house of boys, I managed to be surrounded by sisters.
We “guy’s girls,” a breed all our own, laughing and bonding.
And sharing Alec’s clothes.

The boys used Best Buy’s “No questions asked” return policy
to equip the gritty, sound-proof basement with the best sound system on the hill.
And there, next to the “sex couch,” and under the blacklights,
Dez taught me how to dougie.

This is the house that raised me from GDI to TFM, from princess to squalor,
this is where I lick-shot-lime’d my semester away,
learning more and growing more from lazy conversations
over Crispy Dough.

I found this poem in my email drafts. I probably wrote it seven or eight months ago, but just rediscovered it.

My Dad, the Superhero

When I was younger, I use to pretend that I was a cat, and I’m meow all day and then cuddle my dad, who would pet my head and scratch my chin. He was the person I talked to about first kisses and crushes. He was my king, and I, his princess.

We’ve always had that kind of relationship, and though I no longer pretend to be a kitten, I’m still his princess. There are lines that we don’t cross in conversations, certain subjects we don’t discuss, secrets we don’t acknowledge… because I want to forever be Daddy’s little girl.

When I was growing up, I dragged him to shop for prom dresses, and we went to baseball games together. We got pedicures. We went on ski trips. We saw Jewel concerts and Cyrano de Bergerac and movies.

In my head, I viewed him as a superhero. I thought he was forgiving, because he had let go of his own father’s mistakes, and forgiven my mom for hers. I’d heard stories of his childhood, and he was always the “good kid:” Senior class president, athlete, private school kid, conscience for all his friends. He made fresh lattes and a hot breakfast almost every morning and listened to Jewel with me. Plus, he loved my mom.

I’ve since—you know—grown up (though not that much), and I know my dad is plagued by mortality just like the rest of his. His loved ones die, despite his efforts to “save” them. He breaks bones and grinds his teeth and can’t touch his toes. Sometimes his smoothies aren’t stellar (but I drink them anyway). And I steam my milk for lattes better than he does.

He’s no superhero, I have to confess. But that doesn’t take away from how spectacular he is, or the incredible bond we’re lucky enough to share. He inspires me to pursue things that make me happy, and his moral compass typically points north. He may not be a superhero, but he is my hero. An everyday hero. A cape wouldn’t look good on him, anyway.

There’s No Place Like Home

And again… I managed to neglect this blog.

Things have been really hard lately. I’ve never been so challenged as I have the past several months. After my uncle killed himself, my grandmother died. And then her body was looted and all her jewelry (wedding ring included) stolen. My brother’s friend overdosed on heroin, and I’ve never been so desperate to rally around my family as I have this semester.

We’re a unique bunch…Never confused for some 1950s model family, but we work well together. We balance each other in an intricate way, and are never lacking in love. Needless to say, I’ve been homesick; there’s something terrible about grieving alone 3,000 miles away from my family. But I’m trying to take care of myself (with the help of a supportive group of friends).

I recently made several calls looking for a therapist, and am meeting with various people to find the right “fit.” I also quit my internship at Latitude because I just don’t have the time or energy to perform well. I’m sleeping more (and by that I mean all the time. I could sleep for 12 hours straight every night), and drinking more tea. I even went to the gym yesterday.

I’m also seeking art. My boyfriend dragged me into the MFA the other day, but I’ve been dancing and singing (and heck, even writing) more. There’s something about art and beauty and the aesthetics of it all that I’m inevitably drawn to.

I was seriously considering my co-op opportunity in San Diego, because it would provide me my last opportunity to live at home. I could support my father, and pick up groceries, and jacuzzi and tan. I could wear shorts in February. But then I stumbled upon this quote…

‎”A ship in port is safe; but that is not what ships are built for.” -Grace Hopper
 
Going home feels safe, and it’s what I (for the most part) want. But I don’t know how much I’d grow from the experience. I outgrew San Diego a long time ago, and while I love my family dearly, I wasn’t built for being “safe.” I was made for exploring.
But still…There’s no place like home.