So I dressed like Death

It’s been said
if a thing scares you,
if you don’t understand it,
you must walk a mile in it’s shoes.
See life from it’s point of view.
Embrace it’s way of life:
then
you’ll understand.

So.
I dressed like Death.

Painted a death-skull on my face.
Donned black robes.
Wove flowers in my hair.
I was a formidable character,
redoubtable in my presence,
striking in my purpose.
I was a force to be reckoned with:
La Calavera Catrina
reminding us of our own mortality, and how
much of what we do is fleeting.
I was hopeful this reminder of death
would bring about connection,
draw us closer together.

Like Death,
I am friendly and affectionate.
I hand out flowers from my hair,
gifts to friends and strangers.
I might not know their names,
but each rose ends up with someone over the course of the night.
Most are distributed in wild frenzy on the dance floor.
Some are lovingly handed to darling friends in a bathroom.
One is placed deliberately in a breast pocket.
Flowers of friendship, flowers of desperation,
flowers of childlike hope
each rose attempts to bridge the same gap;
A present from Death, a token to say
“We are the same. Let’s be friends.”

At the end of the night
I do not know that I understand Death
any better than I did before;
not unless she, too, tries and tries only to find herself
at the end of the night
empty-handed and the floor littered with petals.
But for each flower crushed into the brown and suspect carpet,
I have hope that one or two are still safely woven in braids
or snugly tucked in jacket pockets.
For of all the flowers distributed,
the one or two that truly matter will come back to me.
And the rest, I hope,
enjoyed the moment
of receiving a flower at all.

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Don’t Look at Me Like That

Don’t look at me like that;
I know what you’re thinking.
You’ll still be thinking that
of me twenty years from
now.
We’ll see each other in
a bar, and I’ll admit
I stole your hall pass sim-
ply because it was yours.
Too embarrassed to con-
fess, I hid it in a
hole.
And I fear the day they
find that ceiling; and I
live my embarrassment
again.
And you’ll make me feel as
incompetent as you
always did back in the
day when I took it.
So don’t look at me like that
because I already know
what you are thinking.

Don’t look at me like that;
I know what you’re thinking.
Twenty years from now you’ll
feel the same when you see
me in a coffee shop.
And I’ll just want to die
because it will be the
one time I wear your sweat
shirt;
the one I ‘borrowed’ the
night I let you go where
no boy had gone before.
Hopped up on caffeine, I’ll
admit that I took it
meant to be in exchange.
Then you’ll know what you didn’t
(’cause I never told you);
it will be so strange.
So don’t look at me like that,
because I already know
what you are thinking.

Don’t look at me like that;
I know what you’re thinking.
And nothing will have changed
in twenty years when you
nervously edge toward me
to make awkward small talk
about work and family.
I’ll tell you I have your
DVDs, as if I
just found them. But the truth
is I’ve found and lost them
a dozen times since then.
And you’ll make a joke that
will put neither of us
at ease. And I’ll admit
I think of you every
time I post a letter
and laugh every time I
walk because I know how
you’d balk at me walking
alone down the street.
So don’t look at me like that,
because I already know
what you are thinking.

Don’t look at me like that;
I know what you’re thinking.
That’s how you’ll feel about
me in twenty years when
you see me again at
our friends’ vow renewal.
We’ll drink red wine as we
discuss the pink-hued past,
and share the sepia-toned now.
And I’ll admit that I
donated your sweatshirt
years ago ’cause I thought
we were a hopeless case.
You’ll laugh, shake your head, say
‘you’re right, of course’, and I’ll
feel like I’ve let you down
even though we both know
it’s the other way around.
So don’t look at me like that,
because I already know
what you are thinking.

Don’t look at me like that;
I know what you’re thinking.
Nothing will have changed in
twenty years from now, when
our work will overlap;
You’ll be there with her; you’ll
see I’ll be there with me.
And by then I won’t want
to punch you in the chest.
But I’ll tell you how I
fantasized I did.
And I never listened
to your music again,
But I kept the earrings
you gave to me back then.
And if you read between
the lines, you’ll finally
understand just how much
I loved you.
So don’t look at me like that,
because I already know
what you are thinking.

The play’s the thing!

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The play's the thing!

Plays, musicals, skits, pantomimes, drama, all are used time and time again to tell a story, share a message, and educate the masses about one thing or another. Churches have been using drama for centuries to tell bible stories and morality tales. A tradition that has not died, but fallen out of fashion. Except around Christmas, and sometimes Easter.

The Christmas Eve pageant was always something we children looked forward to every year at my church growing up. Two lucky girls got to play angels in the third grade, four or five fourth graders got to look forward to being shepherds, three special fifth and sixth graders were wise men, and a boy and a girl from the seventh and eighth grade Sunday School class could be Mary and Joseph. We did the same tableau every year until I was in the fourth grade. (You have no idea how excited I was to be angel that last year.) After that we did a few really cheesy musical plays that called for rudimentary dance numbers, costumes, and lines.

I’ve always sort of missed the traditional tableau pageant. My favorite Christmas book will forever be The Best Christmas Pageant Ever (I’m bummed I’ll never get to play Gladys Herdman); I even sort of like the movie with Major “Hotlips” Houlihan and the chick from The Craft. I love a simple Christmas pageant, with a simple formula, and a simple story. But the musical plays have their place and their purpose.

The performers’ intentions must be considered when choosing what sort of production to put on.  A simple tableau is great for the church family to contemplate what happened the night Jesus was born and the miracle of His birth and the reason He came to us in the first place, but it doesn’t necessarily do much for a person who doesn’t know what’s so important.  If the performers are looking to educate people about the birth of Christ, then a cheesy, musical performance that details the message in the simplest of terms as a Scrooge-like character learns about the ‘true meaning of Christmas’ is the way to go.

My parents’ church this year put together a production of ‘A Time For Christmas’.  We went to the final performance the other night and it was cute.  Bearing in mind it was an amateur, church production, my expectations for quality were not high.  The musical numbers and the singers were mostly excellent (something these people do well), but the rest of it was a little less dazzling.  The story itself was a bit much, a Christmas Carol ripoff, that follows workaholic Bill who is prepared to spend Christmas alone, working, his dad having split when he was young and his mother long passed, no siblings to speak of, or, apparently aunts, uncles, or grandparents.  A colleague, Mary, is the only person he even remotely cares about and she puts up with his petulance due to a naive, Luke Skywalkerish believe that there is still good in him… somewhere.  A single mother, whose exhusband is already married to someone new, Mary tries very hard to not let her frustrations weigh her down, or affect her daughter, especially around the holiday; and even though she knows it’s a long shot, she holds out hope for Bill and invites him over for Christmas.

Bill’s heart is mostly cold, however, and while he’s flattered Mary would invite him, he is determined to stay home and get his work done.  That is, until some obscure Christmas Spirit, who styles himself Bartholomew, appears in Bill’s dreams and takes him on an historical tour of Christmas celebrations.  You can figure out what happens next.

The play was cute.  I’m always slightly startled at how beautifully the man playing Bill can sing.  In his real life, he’s so nice and unassuming, but he really has the potential for greatness.  If only he knew what to do with his hands while on stage.  ‘Bill’ is certainly the biggest role in the play, followed closely by ‘Bartholomew’.  That man was unexpectedly good, except no one seems to ever have taught him how to cheat to the audience and his accent vacillated between a bad Dickens character and Ringo Starr.  And he too had some errant gesticulations.  But unexpectedly impressive was his performance all the same.

Despite the accents I would have nixed, some scenes I would have reblocked, missing acting exercises and character development on the part of the actor, a few poor lighting choices, and a couple of periods that kept the audience in the dark for a little bit too long, the play, I would say, was a rousing success.  (Remember: it’s being put on in a church sanctuary that used to be a basketball court.)  It was definitely cute, the children were enthusiastic, only one line was obviously (and hilariously) blundered, but the message was clear, and people responded to it.  The show ain’t hittin’ the road, but that was never the intention.

Unfortunately, some of my friends know me a little too well and were wondering what my critical mind must have been thinking, but I know better than to expect the quality of the performance to be high; and, I don’t think it matters.  In this production of ‘A Time For Christmas’, quality isn’t important, what’s truly important is heart.  And this production was overflowing.

VA mom wants to widen school policy requiring parental permission for “sensitive topics”

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Because her 17 year old AP English student son was disturbed by Toni Morrison’s Beloved.

Now, while Beloved is the reading equivalent of running a mile in knee-deep mud, there’s really no reason to ban it from an Advanced Placement English course.  Ok, so it’s mildly disturbing, yes.  I read it as a college student and was pretty annoyed/disgusted/horrified pretty much the entire time.  Until I realized that as much as Beloved is about the dead girl and her mother’s guilt regarding the dead baby – it’s also about Denver, the living daughter, actually living her life — moving past her mother’s guilt and becoming a functioning member of society.

This novel is not easy and anyone who thinks it is has no idea what they are talking about.  This book is about a very tough issue.  But it’s no worse than any other book written in or about the mid to late 1800s America.  Uncle Tom’s Cabin, as lovely as it is, is the white, sanitized version of slavery.  Harriet Jacobs’ and Frederick Douglas’ slave narratives show a more real, more brutal, more honest side to what was going on.  Beloved shows readers the plight of women under slavery, how bleak a situation it truly was, and some really tough decisions women had to make sometimes.  It’s also a story of healing, of hope, of moving into a future without looking back.  It’s heavy.

Wherever there is prejudice and injustice and hardship there are going to be “sensitive topics” discussed.  The Grapes of Wrath was a book I had to read as a high school junior that left me rather uncomfortable – especially the ending scene; The Painted Bird tells the story of a boy roaming the ignorant and backward Polish countryside during and after World War II, some of the things he witnesses are highly disturbing; Night by Elie Wiesel shows what being in a concentration camp was actually like; In the Time of the Butterflies shows the fear of the Dominican people during President Trujillo’s dictatorship and what some brave few went through in order to gain some justice; The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, pulpy, pop fiction, sure, is the story of rotten people perverting what is meant to be a welfare system on one hand, and a warped and twisted sociopath who abuses his own children severely screwing them up for the future, on the other.  What these books, along with Beloved, teach us is to recognize injustice and prejudice and, if we can’t do something to stop the greater problem in play, to have compassion for the people around us.  Do what we can to help the people we love who might be going through a hard time.  They tell us to be supportive of our friends and family.  To try to work toward a brighter future where these things don’t happen.  These books all end the same way: with Hope.

It’s idealist, maybe; some might say naive; but it’s a mature concept that is expected, and often demanded, by society, by authors, by critics.  If a high school student is deemed smart enough and mature enough to take a college level literature course you can bet your buttons that he or she is going to be expected to handle some “sensitive topics”.  The student is going to be asked to be mature enough to handle some adult topics, sometimes harsh and uncomfortable topics.  But being at a college level means acting and thinking like an adult, recognizing that you’re not a kid anymore, and starting to make your own decisions.  Taking a college level English course while in High School might be a “safe” way to introduce a student to college, but it shouldn’t expect anything less from the student than a college literature course would.

This Virginia mom might have a point about including parents in designing the curriculum to an extent, but I think the harsh reality is that her son wasn’t mature enough for Beloved.  There are worse books his teacher could have chosen, but it seems to me that he or she chose an appropriate novel to expect a teenager in a college level English course to be able to handle.  It might be disturbing at times, it might give the kid nightmares, but it hopefully is also opening his mind and getting him to think about the world in a slightly different way.  If high school students are expected to read The JungleNative Son, Johnny Got His Gun, Of Mice and Men, The Lord of the Flies, and The Bell Jar, then a high school student in a college level class should be expected to handle Beloved.

If the student can’t, then maybe he shouldn’t be in that class.

*Click on the picture to go to the NPR website to learn more about Toni Morrison and “This Virginia mom” to read the Washinton Post article about Ms. Murphy’s campaign to change school policies.

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“The Pregnancy-Industrial Complex” by Laura Tropp

Currently, since I am poor, homeless, and unemployed, my only viable living options are with people-with-kids; mostly baby to toddler aged kids (unless I move to Arizona, then it’s a ten year old).  The best option for me is with a couple with a two year old and a newborn (not even two weeks).  They live in an area that embraces Public Transportation and has the most job options for someone like me.

Some things I have learned: Kids are tough.

Since I was present for the birth (in the next room listening to everything going on and praying my older nephew didn’t wake up — yeah, home birth) I have had a number of people ask me the following two questions: 1) What was it like/Was is scary? and 2) Does this experience make you want to have kids of your own?

1. No.  It wasn’t scary.  I knew what was going on.  I knew my sister was in labor and I’ve seen enough television and listened to enough women yap about their birthing experiences to know that it sucks and it’s uncomfortable and sometimes all you can do is scream.  The midwives and my bro-in-law didn’t seem worried so I didn’t worry (and I am a huge empathetic worrier when it comes to my siblings).  Personally, I was more concerned we weren’t going to need the tub and no one was going to tell me and I was going to keep filling it and then we wouldn’t need it.  Thankfully they told me before the water was a foot deep and there was less to pump out than there otherwise would have been.

Home birth is one of those things that is heavily portrayed as a hippie-crunchy totally completely out there sort of thing that only nudist, fake Buddhist, pot smoking, pseudo-environmentalists do with only their yoga instructor/tattoo artist/doula to preside (except for, of course, that episode of Judging Amy).  But it turns out my sister isn’t totally insane and there are a lot of benefits to home birth. A) you don’t have to worry about taking the kid home.  B) No doctors or cold medical staff, pushy nurses, people who view childbirth as business as usual.  The midwives might do this for a living, but these women seemed to see each client, each baby, as individual cases that require specialized care and attention.  I would want these women to take care of me in any situation, they were so kind and caring and funny.  C) While they were down to earth and friendly, they were also extremely professional and clearly knew what they were doing and talking about.  If anything had gone wrong I am confident they would have been able to handle it – even if that meant rushing my sister or nephew to the hospital.

2. No.  Oh god, no.  Someone else having a baby or getting married or going to grad school does not make another person want to do these things too.  I can be happy for someone else having a baby, but that by no means makes me want to have one.  This experience, being present, listening to my sister give birth, being with the family while they get used to having a newborn, watching my older nephew try to cope with the fact that he’s not the center of attention anymore, has done one thing for me on the children front: reconfirmed that I am not ready.

When my mother was my age she either had three kids or had three kids and was pregnant with her fourth, I’m not sure.  That idea blows my mind.  I cannot imagine currently being married, let alone having a bunch of kids to care for.  I have barely lived a normal “adult” life, the idea of changing that for a kid is unfathomable.  I don’t feel badly about this: not everyone is meant to be a parent.  And, if they are, they aren’t necessarily meant to be a parent at the same age as another.  My sister told me she started really wanting a baby when she was my age now.  It took a few years, but she got one — and now she has two!  But I am in no rush.  I might never have kids!  And, right now, I am ok with that.

The linked article above also makes me not want to have children.  The obsession with celebrity pregnancies and the pressure to look as good as Katie Holmes or Kym Cardashien or Kate Middleton when they were pregnant is ridiculous.  People praise Katie Holmes for being so cute and dressing Suri like an American Girl Doll and turn around and knock Jennifer Garner for having normal looking kids and neither are really important.  I see moms stressing over wanting their kid to be the cutest and it’s exhausting.  I don’t want to be one of those women.  Or, if that is my fate, I don’t want to be one of those women yet.

I am relatively young and have always sort of been a little bit of a late bloomer, comparatively.  All my friends had boyfriends in the sixth grade and I turned down my first offer in the seventh grade because I knew I wasn’t ready.  I didn’t start thinking about what I want to do with my life until I was in college; most people I knew had their lives planned at fifteen.  I live an unstable lifestyle because I get bored and I like to move on.  I have never been a career-minded person, therefore I am seeking something, anything, that isn’t my old job simply because I’m ready for a change.  I am absolutely still in some sort of exploratory phase of life and have many things I’d like to accomplish before Children are any sort of a reality.

Being present for a birth doesn’t automatically turn on that biological clock metaphor thing.

In her article, Tropp comments that pregnancy used to be a “period of waiting” but medical advances, celebrity and media culture have all contributed to make pregnancy into “another over-hyped, over-romanticized, over-marketed product”.  Everyone wants to see pictures of “the bump”, they want to know about your morning sickness, they want to know what color you are going to paint the inside of the baby’s closet; women make molds of their pregnant bodies, they paint their swollen bellies, they have nude photoshoots so they can remember the experience forever (is it really that forgettable?).  There are a plethora of (un)necessary products for pregnancy that our grandmothers’ would laugh at, and events during pregnancy that don’t seem all that exciting.  Baby showers are one of the worst experiences I’ve ever gone through (followed closely by Bridal showers), I can’t imagine what a “gender reveal party” could possibly entail, but I never want to find out.

(She also makes an interesting comment about how in America we provide all sorts of support and events and attention to a woman while she is pregnant then pretty much leave her alone once the baby is born; other countries, however, she says, focus a bit more on giving the woman support after the baby is born – you know, when she really needs it.  As Garfunkel and Oates say “Pregnant women are smug” they don’t need quite as much support as the woman does once she has the crying, pooping, suckling bundle of joy.  New moms are a mess; Juno’s stepmom says it very eloquently: “[You look] like a new mom: scared shitless”.)

As a selectively private person, I say this now, I think my pregnancy is one thing I would want to keep to myself.  It feels like one of those things that doesn’t really have anything to do with other people.  If you’re not the mother or the father, or the grandparents, I suppose, then it’s really none of your business.  Then again, as a human being I understand the value of a baby to the community.  Babies are, to anyone not the family, symbols of Life and Hope and Goodness; and all communities need to be reminded of that time and again.

For me, children are only on my radar because I am living with people-with-kids.  If I were surrounded by people more in my stage of life, they wouldn’t be on my radar at all.  I am always loads more comfortable when I am with my childless friends – or, rather, friends who do not constantly talk about their kids.  I am not married and I do not have children and neither are likely to happen any time soon.  It is important, I think, not to blow off your married friends or your parent friends, but it’s just as important as an unmarried and childless person to seek out the company of others like you.  It’s important to have friends in the same phase of life as you.  Otherwise things just start looking sad and you get bored and start feeling like you’re never going to get anywhere — at least I tend to.

I can be such a miserable cow sometimes.

Recently one of my very best friends got himself a new girlfriend.  (I am in no way bitter or angry or upset that he has a new lady in his life, believe me.)  But finding that out rubbed me the wrong way.  Then, a few days later someone posted pictures of another pal and his girlfriend on the FB and that irked me.  (I am not at all upset or irritated by him being in a relationship either.)  There was a college-aged couple on the bus the other day and their canoodling was equally off-putting.  (I don’t even know them!)

Lately, I’ve just been a right miserable bitch.  Everything from celebrating New Years, making New Years Resolution, forcing reflective thoughts, new beginnings, being “profound’, to shiny happy couples have put my teeth on edge.  Now, this isn’t because I begrudge anyone their season of hope, but more likely because I feel as though I am not living my own life at the moment.

Lately I have been living with one of my sisters and her family.  She just last week gave birth to their second child and I have been helping out around the house.  I’m happy to do it, but it also means putting my own life on hold for a spell.  I am unemployed, living in someone else’s house, and doing things to make their lives easier.  There is almost zero personal meaning in my life and I’ve been taking it out on other people.

(Here I could get whiny; but I’ll try to spare you readers.)

I am very happy for my friends newly in relationships; I am happy for my friends recently engaged; I am overjoyed at the birth of my nephew; I am glad people have new jobs.  I am.  But I am also frustrated and irritated with my own financial situation and unemployment.  I am started to do my off-season freak out where I can’t afford to pay my bills and I haven’t found work yet.

Piling on top of that my recent decision to stop working at my seasonal job (unless I can’t find anything) and recent trouble finding myself replacement employment (which is due to the fact that I am, by nature, lazy).  So really my personal insecurities are racking up and creating all sorts of internal turmoil that I find I am incapable of expressing to others.  (I literally had to walk out of a conversation over diner tonight about income, jobs, social security, and health insurance — I was too afraid I was going to burst into tears at the table if I sat there and listened to any more.)  I don’t mean to be horrible to other people and I think I am doing an excellent job of not actually saying anything to anyone else, but I am having difficulties keeping my calm that I’m so famous for possessing.

Hopefully I find some sort of shitty employment to give me something to focus on other than my lack of life direction and inability to send anything out to publishers.

Oh, yeah, and my fucking broken computer that houses all of my writing.

One of my Stupidest Thoughts:

Sometimes I feel like I have an obligation to my single friends to remain single, so when they feel badly about being single they can think, “Well, Bex is single too,” and they can feel better about being single.

This thought didn’t occur because I think I’m awesome and some man ought to have snapped me up by now, but more because I’m ok with being single and I want my single friends who might not be ok with being single to feel better about being single by seeing someone who is ok with being single (I hate this sentence).

It’s The Holidays; that daunting time when between Hanukkah, Kwanza, and Christmas extended families gather together and plenty of people begin to feel the pressure.  There is pressure to get everyone an appropriate gift; there is the pressure to look a certain way; there’s the pressure to be jolly and happy all the time; there’s the pressure to cook the right thing or bake the right dessert; there’s the pressure of guilt of not being able to be with one part of your family; there’s the pressure from family members (‘Why haven’t you gotten your Ph.D. yet?’  ‘Why aren’t you married?’).  The Holidays put a lot of stress on people.

For many people with real, grown-up jobs, there’s work pressure as well.  In the rush to get everything done before the holiday vacation things can slip through the cracks, people can put extra stress on themselves to make sure that doesn’t happen and end up over-checking everything and having regular panic attacks.

Then there’s present shopping.  I hate malls as it is, but malls between Thanksgiving and New Years makes me crazy.  I have zero desire to go anywhere near a shopping center at this time of year.  There’s never anything worth getting and there certainly isn’t anything worth getting plowed down by an industrial baby stroller for or trampled for when the doors open at midnight.

There’s a lot of stress surrounding the month of December (especially this December what with the world ending this week and all).  Not being in a relationship really shouldn’t be one of those factors.

I mean, the majority of us, as the sitcoms teach us, have an abundance of love in our lives in the form of friends and family.  And even if we are not physically near those people around the holidays (I, for example, am upwards of thousands of miles from some of my most beloved “family”) we can still spread joy and love; we can let each other know that we are thinking of our loved ones and that we appreciate them through cards and presents, the Internets and the Postal Service.  (Sidenote: don’t neglect your mail carrier around the holidays; they appreciate gifts.)  There is plenty to be thankful for and plenty to appreciate around this time of year even without a man or a woman by your side.

And, I think we all know this.  Single, committed, heartbroken, I think, like knowing cigarettes are bad for you, I think we all know that it’s ok to be single.  Which is Reason #1 why the above statement is stupid.  I am not the World’s Greatest Single Person, by any means.  I am no real role model.  I don’t want my friends looking up to me and using me as their “Main Excuse Person“, nor would I expect them to; I have much more faith in my friends’ security and sanity than that.

Reason #2 is a little more personal: it comes down the fact that I don’t necessarily want to be single.  I’m still alright with it, but I also think it would be a fun experiment to actually date someone in a traditional sense.  My entire adult life as of now has been so qualified and disjointed, constantly moving, constantly recreating my social circle, constantly having hyper-intense relationships that are “safe” because they are destined to end along with the season.  The seasonal life encourages short-lived, not-serious relationships, embraces them, you could say.  It fosters superficial attachments, dresses them as real ones, ones that hurt just as badly as real ones when they fall apart.  I think it would be fun to finally find some sort of Grown-Up Job and live in one place for a minimum of six months and maybe date like an adult and not like an overgrown teenager.

Oddly enough, it is the Holiday Season that is making this Life Plan more and more attractive.  I have spent the last two months at either my parents’ house, my brother’s house or my sister’s house.  And as much as I love spending time with these people (and I love the lack of monetary rent that I pay in each location) I would really like a place of my own.  A place where I can spend my own time and not have to worry about making up for my freeloading in other ways.  Also, having a steady Grown-Up Job would mean a steady income with which I would be able to pay my student loans and phone bill with better regularity and buy Christmas presents for my nieces and nephews.  I could, also, if I weren’t a seasonal gypsy, potentially, feel better about starting a Real Relationship with the man I’d like to start a Real Relationship with (Reason #3 why the above statement is stupid).

I suppose the main thing to keep in mind is what Colin says in An Abundance of Katherines:

The future is unpredictable.

And that is also ok.  As long as you know what makes you happy and you actively seek out those things, then the rest doesn’t matter.  The rest will take care of itself.  I enjoy baking, reading, crossword puzzles, walks, spider crabs, narwhals, Pilates, dancing, coffee, science fiction, travelling, writing, martinis, talking with friends, talking with my sister about religion, cats, cartoons, chocolate, painting, baseball, art, the ocean, boats, planes, trains, Jorges Luis Borges, Jane Austen, Neil Gaiman, Joanne Harris, crime shows, high heels, getting my ears pierced, owls, talking to kids, sleeping, eating, breathing, smiling, laughing, and not knowing what tomorrow is going to bring.  These things make me happy more than they cause me panic.  I’m going to stick with them.

Happy Holidays.

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At Flynn’s

This is the piece I was working on today.  The one I started while waiting for the T yesterday, then while on the T, then at the coffee shop before work, then all day today (practically).

I still don’t know how I feel about it.  It would be lovely if someone else were to read it and tell me what they think of it.  Preferably not someone who has ever been to the church I went to as a teenager.  That would be great.  Well, except for you, B-Dog; you’re the only exception, I think.  Read it and you’ll understand…. hopefully.

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22 Feb. 2012, 2:02 a.m.

OK I JUST REREAD IT (yes, its two a.m. — no, I don’t care) this thing has FIRST DRAFT written all over it… which is totally fine considering its a first draft.  Bear that in mind when you read it and tell me what you think about it.

I’m thinking the whole thing needs a major overhaul….

Recent Themes:

Recently everything I’m writing has either a Hope-For-the-Future theme or it has a The-Future-Is-Unknown-But-its-ok-because-I’m-ok theme.  I’m not sure how to end the piece I just wrote.  I want to make it clear that these characters’ futures are unknown but they are, in this moment, ok with the unknown.  They’re living in the present and for now the present is just fine.

It’s also about Love.  Misplaced expressions of love, lost love, matrimonial love, brotherly love, unconditional love, nostalgic love.  Its about friendship, it’s about marriage, it’s about perception, it’s about young Christians (it’s a little derogatory toward young Christians, but it’s not judgey — because, well, I’m not into judging people, but it’s true, I know plenty of young Christians who go to bars and get drunk, get cleaned up and go to church on Sunday, but it also doesn’t matter because a fundamental of Christianity (should be) He without Sin cast the first Stone).  I don’t know… I feel a little weird about it.  Maybe I’ll share it here.

As soon as I get the fucking ending as best I can.