February 21, 2009

i sat in the aisle seat of a darkened train straining to watch the early morning landscape glide through the window. the girl next to me was burrowed under a blanket, and i hesitatingly inclined my head toward her to get a better view of the gray, snowy plains that stretched out for miles. the cars swayed, pushing everyone into and away from each other in a sort-of pattern, but i braced my legs against the floor to keep from upsetting my neighbor’s slumber. something about the color of the early morning sunlight against the late winter landscape made me think of the room i shared with my brother when i was little. curtains thrown open and window thrust up and secured with a ruler, i’d read by moonlight until i fell asleep, book pages rustling when the wind blew in. i’d dream i was chasing after something that was just out of reach. the girl turned toward me under the blanket and i sat back quickly, blushing at the thought of her seeing me so close. soon though her slow, even breathing coaxed me to close my eyes and i realized, right before i slept, that my whole life was a culmination of those dreams, and that i was on a train that was chasing a great thing it would never, ever catch.

February 18, 2009
February 12, 2009
February 4, 2009
my metaphor after learning i’ll be at minimum wage for another month at work

"think about it. its like having a 6 year old kid, and you spend all this time setting up his lemonade stand—you even paint the stupid ply-wood orange or whatever color he wants—and train him up in the centuries old art of mixing water, lemons, and sugar, making sure he has the perfect ratios of each and all, and suddenly its 100 degrees outside and there are 30 customers lined up outside his stand, ready to kill for a drink. so there you are, overseeing the child, who’s doing a pretty okay job for being so little, and then *bam.* he forgets to say ‘thank you’ to a customer. so you drag him away from the line, take him up to the garage or something and pull out one of his fingernails with a pair of pliers. but he’s a tough kid. he’s blubbering a little, but trying to maintain composure. you bring him back down to the stand, where the masses are cued up waiting to be sated, and he starts serving again…

…only this time his finger is hurting pretty bad, and so he makes a small miscalculation with the money—like he gives back a quarter where he’s supposed to give back fifteen cents. so its back up to the garage and another fingernail, on the opposite hand, is ripped out. only this time, when you bring him back down, visibly shaking from the pain and the blood, you decided to take over the main part of the operation, the “front-of-house” so to speak, and give him a different job. ‘kid,’ you say, ‘you now have the privilege of squeezing those 50 lemons into that large pitcher there.’ so he goes over and picks up half a lemon and starts to squeeze out the juice, but freezes, grimacing in pain when the first bit runs down to the place where his fingernails used to be. so you drag him back up to the garage and off comes another nail. and so the process goes, until you’ve completely incapacitated the little guy and he just shambles over to a corner and cries silently, cradling his mangled fingers against his chest.”

January 29, 2009

if more people had a duck in their lives…

January 28, 2009

…was a success. photos of baked goods will shortly follow.

an expanse of white.

the snow curtailed all my plans for the morning. so i’m making a terribly cute grocery list and after my trek to wally-world i’ll spend my day baking and listening to placebo.

Snowed In

January 26, 2009

its pretty fitting that the last words i said to him were “fuck you.” my liberal use of expletives was just one of the little things he disliked throughout our relationship. he also disapproved of keeping an online journal. and eating sweets. and working too much. and spending time with my family. and being religious. so, one by one, i tried to give those things up. i never wrote, previously one of my only creative outlets, and grew sullen and learned to keep emotions bottled up. i never ate unhealthy food in front of him, but took to hoarding it and then binging when he wasn’t around. there was a period where i alienated myself from my family so wholly that i didn’t speak to anyone for almost two months, and i can’t look at a rosary without conjuring up the memory of standing on the porch saying goodbye after the first time we said a rosary with my family. his disgust was written plainly on his face, and i knew it wouldn’t be long before i felt the same way.

it was only after i moved and he stayed behind that i started to see how fully i had absorbed his thoughts and feelings and ideology. suddenly, i was alone, and didn’t feel like i needed him to tell me how to feel when i had new experiences. and so we grew apart. i used to have so many great memories of our time together, but i guess i’m not completely free from his grasp, because his present bitterness has tainted them all, to the point that i’ve slowly removed them from my mental catalogue.

i could never shake the feeling that he was counting up everything done, weighing significance, and coming up with a total for how much he was owed. when we went to college he chose not to get a job, because his parents paid for all of his things. i had previously worked like mad (much to his chagrin,) but had slowly grown more lazy, and finally decided to devote my time to him instead of being fiscally responsible. this led me to rely too heavily on student loans and ultimately i was in a tough position—i couldn’t pay my rent. i can’t say that its all his fault that i’m horrible with money, as i’m naturally a poor saver and will probably always like the more sumptuous things in life. in reality, i should’ve been more careful, and have been reaping what i’ve sown for months now.

and so it goes that i owe him a grand…and make less than that in a month. in a way, i want to just pay it, as the last bit of baggage before a good riddance can be muttered over my shoulder, but i sometimes feel like i don’t owe him shit, especially after how he’s acted toward me since the break-up. and when you add up all the time spent cooking and caring for him, all the time away from my family, the countless words swallowed down instead of spilt on a page…but they weren’t factored into his “grand alegbra” and so are worth nothing. mostly i’m just irked that the shackles of my emotional servitude still dig in to my wrists so keenly. i suppose i’ll never feel completely free while he’s still so angry about our past.

January 19, 2009