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I grew up Catholic. My parents and sisters remain Catholic. I consider myself spiritual. I believe in God and, occasionally, I pray. Last night, after looking at my bank account to answer questions on my lease, I prayed. I was worried and could not get to sleep. Common expenses needed to be paid so I have been searching to end my stint as a member of the unemployed. Today, CBS finally called me back to tell me that I will start training as a page on Thursday. God does answer prayers; he just wants us to work a little, too.
A mother lingers on the porch swing, watching her baby daughter chase fireflies in the dusk. She washed the night’s dishes, she prepared tomorrow’s lunch. Her husband walks the dog around the block, stopping to exchange pleasantries with any neighbors he meets. She uses the moment to exhale.
The light aren’t fe-erflies. They’re fairies. If I catch one, she will be my friend. We will make a tent in my bed with my blankets and she will light up the room, like a camp light. Then she will invite me to stay in fairy land.
Fly away from the beast!
A whisper floated in the air, landed on the crevasse of her ear.
She lilted back in her wooden chair, casting her eyes to the library’s stair.
He stood at attention in full military uniform, a bayonet in his hand.
Wax eyes filled blank space, fighting an enemy already put to disgrace.
Stretching her shoulders back, she left her work monotonous.
He twitched his horse hair moustache, blonde as the dead grass of the battleground.
She twitched her full lips, biting back the brittle taste of stale soda.
Shoulders set, he shoved the shiver of fear back down his esophagus.
The spiral garden’s walls rose like ramparts, a dew clasping to their metallic leaves. The queen marched down the path, her powder-caked nose high in the humid air. Her plain daughter, the mother of a distant throne, dragged her feet as she looked for crows hiding in the foliage. The queen hissed and sputtered orders to her ladies-in-waiting. They tripped along over their heavy dresses, uttering affirmatives. The daughter peered into a bush and saw a hummingbird dart away. She wiped her limp hair from her sticky, pocked face and swooned in lusty thought of her cross-eyed betrothed in Spain.
When I go to New York City, I usually try to visit the United Nations. Technically, it’s located on international grounds, not New York City. I’ve taken the tour twice. I take my picture with Kofi Annan’s portrait and imagine myself as an important representative. On a recent trip, I discovered the meditation room, which is a wonderful place to collect your thoughts outside of the bustle of the city. I’m an idealist at heart (or perhaps just a
nerd) so I would love to see the United Nations act as more of an authority in the world.
Ode to Macs
You are not my T30 IBM laptop. You are not four going on five. You do not slow down when I want to listen to music or download a huge file or open a new program. Your commercials are lame but everything you say in them is true. I worked with IBMs for two years. They have their pluses. However, Macs are simply better machines. PCs have anger issues; Macs do not. Plus, Apple has a Genius Bar. I would be an awesome genius. Macs may be more expensive but they rock out with their balls out.
Places To Go
Drive up through New England in an older motorcar with a horn that goes AWOOOGAH. End up on St. Edwards’ Island in Canada. Pretend to be Anne of Green Gables.
Visit Japan with a friend. Explore Tokyo as if we’ve never been to a big city.
Go on a spiritual quest in a land known for religion: India, Israel, etc.
Sleep under the stars in Australia after going snorkeling all day.
Travel to Iceland with a lover. Spend all day in spas and in bed.
Play with baby tigers in Nepal.
See the Treasury at Petra, Jordan.
Sometimes, when I’m attempting sleep, I ponder death. Death and mutilation truly scare me. Other fears, including fears of sickness, dark alleys, black widow spiders, and flying off the face of a mountain on an ATV are all just masquerades for the fear that I could die or be maimed beyond recognition for life. I can’t imagine what it is like to simply cease and to be placed in a grave and rot for all eternity. People who fear public speaking confuse me. It’s a fear that can be easily conquered. No one can conquer death. It is a certainty.
My grandmother died last summer from ALS. She was a pious woman who went to church several times a week. When she was diagnosed, she kept saying, “God made a mistake.” Although God is infallible, clearly he got this one wrong.
My grandfather, her husband, is my only living grandparent now. He sent all of his grandchildren checks and cards for Christmas. All of the cards, except my youngest sister’s, had Barbie on the cover. Even my male cousin, Alex, received a Barbie card. My grandfather tries but my grandmother’s presence is missed. He noted that she was really something.
Sleepy from the outside world, close the shabby door and enter ours. Pajama pants and a snug T-shirt. No more shoes or button-up shirts. No more purse, makeup, contacts, cell phone, keys. Just me and my naked lips. A single bed fit for two. Sweet melancholy, cheery notes from a cluttered desk with unopened envelopes. Crawl under the covers and little kisses all over your freshly shaved, rosy cheeks. Curl into your side. Read a paragraph of your sad, important novel. Forget the worries of the day, of the world outside the shabby door. Close my eyes and enter ours.
The Manneporte (Étretat)
We brace ourselves and try to remain on the slick rock of the shore. We are two sheltered souls, baring our bodies and souls to the wind. The waves thrum and crash out of time with the metronome of our dying hearts. The great edifice of stone arches over us to allow us a reprieve from the boiling sun. The salty ocean mists drown us but forgets to mollify the burning within our chests. The eyes of God rest upon us and we try to peek back, only to see the echoes of his presence.
Two pairs of shoes sprawl on the porch, caked with mud. Two boys shoot marbles on the ground. Each child can hold up a pair of dusty hands and make a mask on two porcelain cheeks. A newly-engaged couple plays with two dogs in the dewy grass. The two lovers have rolled up their pants over their knobby knees to chase the dogs without tripping over themselves. An old woman, no longer of two, carries out two trays – one with pink lemonade and one with sugar cookies. They all gather on the porch, a family of more than only two.
The disappearing glint of an eye in its last breath.
Ambulance sirens streaking down streets towards a deadly victim.
The hollow sun on a grey wedding day.
A club strobe, highlighting slutty girls’ breasts on the dance floor.
The secretive lighter giving a twelve-year old his first cigarette.
Seeking flashlights discovering hidden hiders in a neighborhood game.
A shining baseball field for the underdogs’ win.
A playful fire, licking the air around a camping fire.
A steady candle in a child’s window on Christmas Eve.
The brightness of a birthing chamber, blinding a baby’s first peek of his family.
I don’t mind being single this Valentine’s Day. There are no local prospects and, per usual, I’m quite choosy when it comes to my affections. Plus, I can ogle Desmond in
without guilt. He was shirtless throughout tonight’s episode. Bravo, I say, bravo!
Sometimes, it would be nice to have someone though. A close friend who cares deeply about me and makes my mouth hurt from succulent kisses.
For now, I will settle with the small things that make this a fun day. For example, the Rite Aid was selling Nestle bars at four for a dollar. Yay, Valentine’s!
Los Angeles never hosts rainy days, except when they’re in season. Winter is the most fashionable time. The heavens decided to throw a few parties this year. I usually like to show up in the perfect outfit, a tank top and pajama pants, made by the perfect designer for such couture, Old Navy. I generally celebrate without friends but if I do, we usually make sure to remark upon it, saying “this feels strange for LA,” “parking was hellish,” and “you’re soaked.” Sometimes, people forget the necessary accessory of an umbrella. Being from Louisiana, I think these events are over-hyped.
Lisa in mother’s pearls sits at a vanity and places her rhinestone tiara on her head. Lipstick stains her baby lips, her baby cheeks, and her baby earlobes. She couldn’t find earrings so she drew them instead. She announces to her stuffed animals, “I’m going to a very important ball. Behave while I’m gone.” Mary in pearls stands over her daughter to place her lace veil on her head. Her mother perfects the lipstick on her baby’s lips, pinches her baby’s cheeks, and touches her own mother’s earrings on her baby’s earlobes. She whispers to her daughter, “I love you.”
Bread and water in a Turkish prison.
Half of a Subway sandwich in a trash can on Fifth Avenue.
Kobi beef steak and blue fin tuna sushi at a hot LA hotspot for the hotties.
Baby carrots with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich – no crust – for lunch at Ephesus Elementary School in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
Roasted guinea pig on a stick in Ecuador.
A power shake, a power bar, and celery on the way to work in Miami.
Three hot dogs on Clark St. in Chicago.
A cheeseburger off the grill in Dallas, lots of relish.
Apparently, napping three times a week decreases your chances of getting heart disease. It’s probably not as helpful as cutting out fast food lunches and quitting smoking, but I don’t have either of those habits. I love napping. I like to take out my contacts, turn off all the lights, and change into something more comfortable to take a good two-hour nap. I always need a blanket and a pillow. Naps are usually more satisfying than sleeping until noon. If I get up earlier and take a nap later, I at least feel like I did something with my day.
When I am sick, I want to clean. A time of sickness is not the ideal time to clean. Dust flies into my already clogged nose, my germs spread across already clean dishes and clothes, and disinfectant doesn’t seem to have the head-clearing capability of hot tea or a humidifier. During a normal day, I want to lounge around and ignore the mess. However, when I’m ill, I want my surroundings as clean as possible. I wish I had this urge to clean more often. Then, I wouldn’t lie in a dusty, cluttered room with a head full of snot.
The white stag, alone, darting the pursuit of the hunting party, slipped away in the shadows of the glade. A quiet arrow snapped his hide and still he pounded on - full force, uphill, and dancing side to side. His blood poured out, leaving a trail. Yet, he remained within his strength and fled, fled, fled, until his heart thrust, thrust, thrust so that he stopped. The stag stood for a breath in a clearing at dusk. The boy with golden hair, the one whose quiet shot rang so clear, stared into the stag’s grey eyes and let another loose.
The speed skater sliced across the ice, tripping the other racers and gliding into the finish line. The networks and the bloggers caught him yawning while he mumbled the national anthem. He flicked off avid fans as he marched up to his limousine. He yelled at his chauffer to return him to his hotel. Two hookers waited for him in his bed. He threw them out and shot up. He passed out dead in his own vomit. Sometimes, doing everything for your Uncle Dougie back in the good old US of A is not all it’s crapped up to be.
The gentle drips of evening rain plunked into the barren flowerpot. The pavement glistened black in the streetlamps and cars blinked at the fuzzy glow in their headlights. A café’s patio furniture denied occupants from their wet seats while a cheery “open” sign welcomed them in to sip at black English teas and read the newspaper. An anxious mother, clasping grocery bags in her arms, tried to tighten her grip on her son’s hand to tug him away from the temptation of puddles. A businessman watched the toddler and, just for a second, thought to jump in a puddle himself.
The red tiger leaps onto the balancing beam and paws his way across the dance floor. He smiles at the girls in their leotards and tutus as they scream and run away from him. There’s a tiger in the studio. A tiger in the studio. Hey oh, the golly oh, a tiger’s gotten lose in Manfried’s dance studio. What do you do with a drunken sailor what do you do with a drunken sailor what do you do with at drunken sailor so early in the morning? He’s a jolly good fellow, that one. So early in the morning. Hey!
I’m not afraid of being alone. Being my own best friend is important. It’s not that “born alone, die alone” is my mentality. If I can’t enjoy my company and have fun alone, then I can’t enjoy life with the one person I am always with.
Yet, loneliness creeps up. Los Angeles is the loneliest place. Everyone is stuck in a separate world since LA is a car-based city. I miss my family and friends back home even though I am my best friend. I miss pointless conversation, I miss yelling at
with rowdy friends, and I miss hugs.
The last time I did not watch the Oscars, according to my recollection, was when I was visiting Spain for three weeks junior year of high school. If I won an Oscar, I would win for Best Original Screenplay or Best Actress. Actually getting a life achievement award of sorts would be fun, too. I could be one of those people like Peter O’Toole who loses eight times and then is recognized for superior work in the field. Also, I would want to be at the end of the “In Memoriam.” The most respected people are always at the end.
I’ve considered approaching this subject for awhile. I’m a virgin. It’s not a religious thing. While I was raised Catholic, I don’t celebrate now.
I’m twenty-three. It’s embarrassing. I worry that if I told a hot prospect, he would consider it an undesirable trait. “What’s wrong with her? How has she gotten this far in life without losing it?” People are usually supportive though. And it’s probably not a surprise when they find out.
I know I could easily lose it. Meet some guy in a bar. Yet, I want sex and love to go together. That shouldn’t be embarrassing.
people I want/wanted to be
writer on a smart sitcom hot air balloon designer tree house denizen the female drummer in an all-male band someone charitable travel writer a Nobel Prize winner mother wife friend innovative artist with exhibitions around the world someone confident explorer astronaut marine biologist Dorothy Maria Leia someone with courage linguist great professor with many learned students confidant stargazer someone who could hold her breath for a long time actress improviser master of a martial art cyclist United Nations diplomat lawyer someone who could cry on cue hero sailor pilot writer of famous words peace broker
We dug ourselves out of the muck and proclaimed ourselves civilized. We had government and laws, religion and culture, a whole hierarchy to reform our communities. Yet, I wonder if we were still hunter-gatherers, if we would be more complete. Would we be closer-knit communities? Can we heighten our communal sense without changing our current ways? In communes, everyone works together to create a living space. There are difficulties and a decrease in privacy but the benefits seem to be astounding. In this lonely world, where we take up more space than needed, shouldn’t we rely more on each other?
The Tip Jar