REPORT A PROBLEM
like starting to run again
this writing will do me good
i hope it'll do you good too
and especially i hope it'll do us good
it's funny, you know
running from you makes me
more scared of you
i'm sure it's no surprise
to hear me say that:
that i am scared of you
positioned as we are
miles and months away
talking to you devastated me
am i really such a pushover?
i've been having a hard time
trying to convince myself otherwise
i have a feeling
everything will be completely different
There are a few people who seem to read my thoughts. There's one person who knows me better than my thoughts. She's sharp, sweet, and adores me. That's why Holly Brown may be the love of my life. Today I taught her the word "spontaneous". She's reminds me I can't wrap my soul in a blanket, send it down the river, and let someone kind enough rescue me; I need to be strong if not for myself, for the people I love. I'd take her to school with me if I could, but I can't. After all, she's only six.
I couldn’t find you.
I was tangled in a net.
I was clinging and frantic.
You changed your name.
But it’s not relief at all, this.
It’s me seeing you on a train passing mine.
Going opposite directions
to the same destination.
At least that’s what the tickets say.
Will your Orlando be the same as mine?
No, this isn’t relief at all.
Wish I could blame it on Nightfall.
I did that last night.
Dismissing their questions with vague explanations.
Maybe I should start meditating.
Maybe I should listen to my mom,
Start using melatonin.
I resist change and always have. Now there’s a simple and insultingly incomplete explanation! The situation, when reduced, is a decision. A decision of which of two conflicting desires (jesus, of two conflicting SETS of desires) to pursue. A decision of which heart to break. Of which friend to let down. No matter what I say, I can’t escape the feeling that I’m winging this, that my answers aren’t all they could be. That I could be better prepared for this if I took the time to learn a damn thing about the subject. The subject being what? Well… me.
I can see Mika hugging the trunk of the tree that hosts the most thrilling rope swing I know. I’d found it accidentally days before, occupied by expert middle-school rope-swingers who’d flip off the rope into the Delaware. Immediacy, adrenaline, and pride guided my hands to the rope—to fly, and fall through perfect air. But Mika had days to imagine it, too many “OK Mika”s and deep breaths. “Just don’t think about it.” “Let me watch you.” I rope-swinged three times before we knew she had built herself up too much. She overthought herself out of a beautiful experience.
Imagine if books needed not be read: instead you could understand completely a book by grinding the pages into a paste that you’d bake into a pie. After eating it, you could recite pages at a time. The mood of the writing would determine the flavor. You’d have to taste cookbooks a page at a time. Vitamin C would help in the digestion of heavy science journals and the like. They’d start putting short stories in chewing gum, the news in coffee, Shakespeare in english toffee, people’d roll their Hunter S. Thompson in their cigarettes! Literacy made simple—delicious even!
What kind of immediate connection is necessary for someone to react to a passing stranger? TODAY:
A girl in a beautiful skirt, whom I may or may not have been introduced to before, smiled in salutation. A girl of about six didn’t wait until I was out of earshot to comment to her mother about the girl she saw wearing a Mickey Mouse shirt. The babies all give me what might be a wink if they knew how to wink yet. The mural-painter gave me a hello as I passed his scaffold. I must have looked curious enough to greet.
Staying longer than two days was a mistake. By day 3, everyone reached their quota for entertaining me. Every, “You ought to be up here for the summer,” sounded like, “It’d be more convenient for me if you came in smaller, less demanding doses,” like an enjoyable sitcom that you couldn’t tolerate more than a few episodes on tape without getting restless. Everyone exalts the summer atmosphere there, but it seems a little too laid-back for my taste. Also, there’s no sympathy for attempts at motivation and productiveness, which I can see when they talk about Sandel and his lab-work.
When I told Ken that I would catch his sickness so that I could send him the antibiotics that they'd prescribe to me since he doesn't have a doctor now, please believe me that I was kidding. That combined with the fact that I am allergic to our animals and it flares up every time I get home after having not been home for a while makes me feel like trading in this body for a new one. What's the moral of this story then? "Be careful what you wish for" perhaps? What is Ken's mailing address anyway? Boalsburg, right?
It kills me how Ramone Tico has each of his future magic moments planned so much that his personal-ad reads more like a script than a poem, shooting stars and laughs pre-timed and practiced. I'm sure he knows: suprise is a key element in a perfect moment. Like when Byron O'logist told me not to walk him the rest of the way to lab, and I was tricked into turning around, only to be pelted with one of the greatest smiles I'd ever seen from him. Had I anticipated it, it wouldn't have had such a powerful effect on me.
Yesterday must have been a departure from my normal chemical homeostasis towards something resembling mania, resulting in increased activity, sensitivity, productivity... (I'm probably missing a lot more -ivities here too, no cavities mindya!) Laughing out loud in reaction to the beginning of a wonderful song despite it being the third time I'd heard it in the last 12 hours. Motivation to tackle things I've been putting off for a while. Crying on 95 at the thought of how miserable highways are, designed for soulless in-humans. Noticing-- everything much more. Yeah, homeostasis was off. No wonder I woke up strep-throated.
THINGS I’M LOOKING FORWARD TO:
the new Elliott Smith album * the Tussey Mountainback Relay * wearing my new sunflower skirt * buying my own groceries next semester * getting my keyboard back * the Powerpuff Girls movie * the Samurai Jack movie * seeing Kristin Malefyt at Camp of the Woods * going to classes again * reading in my tree near HUBlawn * GSA free movies * designing next year’s math club t-shirt * taking African Dance with Sarah and Julie * the time when I’m trained and/or confident enough to sing in front of a lot of people * the 26th mile on Nov 24th * my next dream * fall * winter * snow
PSUScheduler1: (kicking a squirrel) “All right, boys, fairness is all well and good for scheduling, but this year, let’s have us a little fun at the expense of one of our students. I think you all know who I mean.”
PSUScheduler4: (pushing over a stranger)“That Erin Luhks has it coming!”
PSUScheduler2: (giving aforementioned stranger the finger)“LET’S F*** HER SH** UP!”
PSUScheduler3: (sticking gum in other stranger’s hair) “I have the perfect way: let’s take the two classes that she’d be most interested in taking and schedule them at the exact same time.”
All Schedulers: (tenting fingers) “Excellent!”
Reading Sacha’s words makes me want to give her books.
A conversation with Dave Lyman while Cathy is around is nearly as impossible as eye contact. Makes me want to watch videos of myself getting beaten bloody. Yeah, it’s Hell.
My mother is the reigning champion of emotional entropy.
Crying makes my eyelashes fall out. I find them in the drying miniature puddles of my tears, like worms on sidewalks after a rainstorm. Likewise, I can’t decide whether to leave them there to dry or to pick them up and replace them in the grass. Either way, they are doomed.
SURE-FIRE WAYS TO GET YOUR KIDS TO COMMUNICATE WITH YOU
*First-off, start vacuuming. They are conditioned to know something's wrong at the sound of a vacuum. *For instant confrontation, kick a dog down the stairs. *Spout out how lazy, worthless, inconsiderate etc. they are for approx. 15 min. Make sure to NOT look them in the eye for this. *Accuse them of not loving you. Look them in the eye for THIS. The effect will be enormous. *When they are crying, weeping, begging, asking you earnest questions, look off all forlorn and tired, and answer, "I just don't know."
My attempt to sleep through Father’s Day was sabotaged by my mother. There’s nothing quite like waking up to the face and voice of someone who is utterly annoyed with you; havent you ever tried it? I recommend it—the perfect way to start your least favorite of the Hallmark holidays. It depresses me on many levels, and it doesn’t help that my mom and brothers are equally on edge. The day might have been completely ruined had it not been for the presence of my zany nameless puppy and an obligatory grandfather visit which let me see Holly Brown.
The trouble is I can't talk about anyone else without stirring a fit of jealousy. The trouble is I don't want to share my ideas for fear he'll cast them off as uninteresting. The trouble is I am afraid my sadness will drive him away. The trouble is I don't think he wants me to sing along. The trouble is I don't think my singing sounds as good when I'm with him. The trouble is I don't consider myself beautiful. Trouble is he's my only friend here. The trouble is September. The trouble is forever. Trouble is I need him.
The thunderstorms made all the neighborhood retreat, duck away into their warm dry suburban homes. Meanwhile, as the rain tapered off inot a light drizzle, I took off on my run, hardly in solitude, it seemed, being surrounded by heavenly rain-noises, raindrops dripping onto leaves and birds celebrating the weather that the humans curse. I added to the noises my trodding footsteps, plowing through the clouds of steams rising almost eagerly from the hot pavement. Running requires only enough vision not to run into something. Thus as I press on I squint and let my mind run off as well.
Being OVER somebody requires regret, I think. More accurately, being OVER someone requires REGRET of actions and feelings to surpass the TENDERNESS you have for that somebody. Every one of my past crushes that I consider myself successfully OVER, I find that this is the case, that I had found myself seeking the nearest sink to wash my hands of them, and after rubbing my hands dry, I had MOVED ON. "And good riddance," I'd say. I think the same goes for my friends as well. The SWEETEST and most TRAGIC of these friends never let REGRET take over TENDERNESS.
I had the idea that I would start taking notes on why people are so unhappy. For instance, my mom, my brothers, my bosses, teachers, my friends. Figure out why they are miserable, how they got that way, and then develop a surefire plan to avoid their mistakes. Logically, then, I could also take notes on why people are happy (when that happens). Then I could crack the code on happiness and have the happiest life ever.
Unrealistic. Algorithmic. What do you expect? I wonder how closely related the words “happy” and “happens” are. Maybe it’s like luck, unlucky, lucky.
I don’t want a job this summer because I don’t NEED a job this summer. I work durning the shoolyear so that covers my expenses then and, living at home, I have no expenses now. I’m extremely lucky that I can mooch like this for four months, reading books, riding bikes, watching cartoons, having fun. Everyone is shocked when I tell them I’m not working this summer. “Gasp! What do you DO with yourself?” “I would go stir-crazy!” Personally I don’t find it difficult AT ALL to fill my days. It’s like everyone grew up and forgot how to play.
Hey there, Rhys! I just got home from a visit to Penn State. You weren't there, of course, but I wanted to let you know that I finished that mix tape I had been working on for you, and I left it by your door. I hope you like it. Also, my apologies but I have a really crummy boombox, so the first song on each side might fade in and out. It happens on some tape-players and not others. I hope it works for yours. See you in a couple of weeks probably, I hope you like it! Luhks
What is better? Is there anything more welcoming or more fun? The best part of visiting Penn State is being able to hear the laughs that I hadn't heard in a while.
Some of the best laughs I know and staggering attempts to share what they're like:
Kristin Malefyt (teehee), Mika (mahaha, we love evil laughing together), Dave Frost (all of them), Sandel's cackling, Sarah Thomas (on the floor), Ken Mickels, Craig Chassen, Sean Luhks, and of course Holly. And my puppy always looks like he's laughing, so he makes me laugh whenever I see him. I love laughing!!!!!
She asked me had I ever been dumped. Obediently, I told her of my petty high school heartbreaks which in the face of her situation seem so meaningless. My conclusion of “boys are dumb” felt weak and useless. I really don’t know how to be there for her during this.
She asked me what we will do when Dave goes to Canada. I told her how Dave doesn’t think long distance relationships work and how we’ll accordingly “put it on hold” or “break up” She asked if that was OK and I told her it was when I ignored it.
Craig Mills called Cathy Mills from KOREA to tell her he was going to be moving out, that they’d be separated. Cathy says he has been “distant and noncommunicative” for about a year now.
What a coward. Mom says she’ll probably try to find an apartment in the city so she can better find a job. I told her August would be better so that we could help her move in. She told me she was going back on antidepressants. (BACK on? That’s news to me!) She is terribly unhappy, the way things are. I want her to be happy.
It was easy to get carried away what with the Belle and Sebastian on, and me being all sorts of manic from SarahThomas’ and my laughing episode. Even my hyperphotophobia seemed to have taken a walk around the block: I let JohnMac snap away on his camera. I let sound and motion, my favorite tag-team, sweep me away into a B&S-induced euphoria. I glanced around the room, caught Mellon staring at me, jealous, nostalgic, and half-drunk. My eyes went to Sandel and Sarah, lying in an awkward and sweet embrace on the sofa.
Fermez les yeux, laissez rentrer la musique.
I say tell Craig to get fucked. (Oh, wait—he’s already getting fucked!) I say sell the house, move you and the puppy to Philly. Get a job that you can handle. I say take up running or painting even. I say find someone sweet who will be there for you instead of just promising to. I say don’t take him back. I say let him find out for himself how much better you are than anything out there. I say tell him to get bent, get lost, get out of your life. Who needs a walking cheating midlife crisis?
Something in you scares me. I notice it most when you’re putting me down, or to be more precise, after you put others down, and then I reflect back on when your cutting comments were aimed at me. I sometimes imagine you mentally slicing off people’s emotional and personal problems like I daydream cutting of those terrible ponytails and rat-tails that Obi-Wan and Anakin sported in the new Star Wars. And sometimes it seems that you want to approach the world of women like I want to approach literature: read all the good books and own all the best ones.
I've never been so angry in my life. He doesn't deserve to have his name uttered in the same breath as hers let alone be in the same room with her. And yet he has the nerve to talk to her sister and family and pretend that nothing is wrong that he is a decent husband a decent person that he hasn't completely betrayed her and insulted us all. Like never before my blood boils and stomach clenches like a fist. This is seething anger. This is rage. This is OUTrage. This hurts.
Dont you DARE call this a cliche.
I've kind of given up on emails anymore. I wonder have you read my poems? We are all children, we all need encouragement and nurturing. Probably I demand more than my fair share. Without reinforcement, I hide in a fort in my room declaring that All I need is books! Books and music nothing more! "I have my poetry to protect me." But I can't very well write letters to no one. We forget that the ones we deem our angels consider us angels too. I need to remember to blow kisses to all my angels. They need them too.
The Tip Jar