Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Check IT.


Glassy. Just Glassy.

I went home this weekend. Therefore, I was not at my apartment for two days.

Within this time, some idiot dropped a bottle of Martinelli's Sparkling Cider directly in front of my door. It shattered, like dropped glass often does, and he just left it. (I say "he" not because of the propensity for men to be clumsy slobs, but because most of the people on my floor are guys) By the time I saw it all the liquid had evaporated, an impressive feat given that our current temp is 21 degrees. Anyway. There was just a buttload of thick, green, shattered glass sitting in front my door the entire weekend. And no one bothered to clean it up.

Until I did.

I picked up the big pieces AND recycled them, and then I went to talk to my R.A. about a dustpan and broom. He told me not to worry about it, he'd get the officials to clean it up.

Yesterday morning someone was out there sweeping... it must have been an official's job cuz there's still green glass out there, glued to the cement with sticky apple cider residue. Another official job well done. Yeesh. Disclaimer: DO NOT GO BAREFOOT IN MY BEDROOM. GLASS SHARDS IN YOUR FEET PROBABLE.

Anyway. That's not my only glass incident. Last night I was closing my window, when the adjacent window (broken, not by me) attacked me! All I did was lean up against it when its naked frame bit me! I was left with what I thought was a little gash... I watched the blood flow slowly down my wrist... the blood wasn't warm. You know how everybody talks about warm, sticky blood flowing out of their wound? I've decided that that proverbial wound must be huge to keep the blood warm enough. But I digress.

I thought it was a gash. But as I started playing with it (because I'm masochistic and macabre and morbid (and alliterative)) I realized that there was something inside it. I squeezed it (like popping a pimple) and a shard of glass half emerged from my thumb.

My poor roommate. I made her grab her tweezers and pull it out -- after which the blood really started to flow, but I couldn't tell whether or not it was warm, she'd turned on the cold water and made me wash it.

Turns out that water+blood+wrist shaking=cool designs and patterns in the sink.

My RA was studying with my other roommate the entire time and stupidly asked me while I was bleeding through my second bandaid, "Oh by the way, did they ever fix your window?"

Uh, NO. They didn't. Thanks for caring.

But now I'm worried about tetanus, because that window frame was both rusty and had flaking lead paint.

I'm so glad I pay so much to live in substandard housing.
If I get sick can I sue the school and get them to pay for housing for the next three years? Maybe I won't go get a tetanus booster, because that'd be great!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Because I CAN

(CNN) -- Was it a theft? A prank? A roundabout effort to bring some holiday cheer to the police? Authorities in Harwich, Massachusetts, are probing the mysterious appearance of a piano, in good working condition, in the middle of the woods.
A police officer examines an oddly placed piano in the woods of Harwich, Massachusetts.

Discovered by a woman who was walking a trail, the Baldwin Acrosonic piano, model number 987, is intact -- and, apparently, in tune.

Sgt. Adam Hutton of the Harwich Police Department said information has been broadcast to all the other police departments in the Cape Cod area in hopes of drumming up a clue, however minor it may be.

But so far, the investigation is flat.

Also of note: Near the mystery piano -- serial number 733746 -- was a bench, positioned as though someone was about to play.

The piano was at the end of a dirt road, near a walking path to a footbridge in the middle of conservation land near the Cape.

It took a handful of police to move the piano into a vehicle to transport it to storage, so it would appear that putting it into the woods took more than one person.

Asked whether Harwich police will be holding a holiday party in the storage bay -- tickling the ivories, pouring eggnog -- while they await word of the piano's origin and fate, Hutton laughed. No such plans.

Harwich police have had some fun, though. Among the photos they sent to the news media is one of Officer Derek Dutra examining the piano in the woods. The police entitled the photo "Liberace."

A good friend just sent this to me, knowing my penchant for pianos, strange occurrences, and forestry.

The thought that comes to mind is for my dream house, which WILL include a round living room whose walls are entirely windows. In the exact center of this room will grow a tree. A tree whose leaves inspire the Greeks, and whose bare branches scrape ones soul. (also can't be fruit bearing... Cuz I don't want fruit rotting in my house. And it can't be poisonous for dogs, but i digress)

Beneath this tree will sit a piano. Not just any piano, but a Black Steinway 3/4 Grand Piano.

(Not like this one.)

And I will be happy.

And I'll hang white string lights from the tree...
And I could build a treehouse in the tree...
And I can rake my living room in the fall...
And if its a flowering tree I'll play my piano in the midst of cascading petals
And I'll play my piano in the midst of cascading leaves in October
And the moon will shine through my transparent ceiling and I will play for her, just as she has played for me.

And it's totally never going to happen.
but a girl can dream, right?

Saturday, November 15, 2008

let's not assume the worst, shall we?

It's funny how not-so-interesting experiences can really make one think. It was a pretty mundane, common-place thing that happened to me the other day and I don't know why it stuck with me, but it did.

I was walking into the public library and passed a teenage couple walking out. They'd have caught anyone's eye, as they were both covered in fairly typical goth-wear. You know, the chains, the make up, the secondhand almost-stylin' fedoras, the bondage pants, whatever. He had a tattoo of a skull superimposed on angel wings, and her eyeliner was smeared down her cheek to her jaw.

Who doesn't stare when they see people dressed like this?
And who wouldn't glare back at them as if the starers had intruded?
I can't blame them. I've been guilty of the same act. Yes, I have walked around in a sleepy mormon college town wearing getup similar to theirs. I got plenty of nasty looks. And the nasty comments I got were from my sister.

But I wasn't staring at them to disapprove, No. I was admiring their art. The art of looking different, the art of being different, the art of trying, the art of maintaining that edge. The only time I dress like that is when I'm making a statement. Those statements are reserved for "I can do this, watch me," and my annual boycott of Valentine's day.

I think this momentary passing stuck with me because I did feel mildly affronted. I wasn't looking at them out of deprecation, but out of admiration.

But then I turned that around: How many people's glances have I misinterpreted? Is there any way of knowing whether or not I am misinterpreting those fleeting looks? Had I been dressed in my own goth outfit (and not the mildly hippy looking one I had been wearing) and passed the same couple under the same circumstances, would they still have had the same reaction?

Sunday, November 2, 2008

we are not alone.

he calls himself god's version of a crash test dummy. a sick and twisted soul.
i don't see that in him.

what do i see?

i see a confused child, wondering, wandering.

he has some inclination of where to go but he gets distracted by shiny things along the way.
he picks up the glitzy trinkets, fingering them, awed by their brightness.
he forgets that it's just the trash left over from another person.

the trash consumes his vision, his hands, his mind. he sits down on the side of the road and just stares.

sometimes he realizes that it's crap, and moves along a little farther. he keeps walking a little bit. until he forgets what's trash and what's not and picks up a sequin shard and marvels at that instead.

sometimes he finds a truly fantastic piece of trash, marvels at it longer, and then puts it in his pocket to take out occasionally while walking.

the thing is he's so fascinated by the crap in his hands, in his pockets, that he can't look up. He can't bear to see what makes the shiny things shine in the first place (the sun)
he can't bear to see the true beauty around him - the beauty he can't take with him, the beauty that is even more so when he keeps going further.

i know he's seen glimpses.
but his pockets are simply too full.


i know you know you want to.

you can know what it's like to be free.

i promise.

Friday, October 31, 2008

raptures and reveries

one of my dear friends recently said that she thinks that heaven must feel like getting into your bed after a long day.

she's right. it does. and yes,
i know what death feels like.

i was walking in the cemetery after dark. alone. it was mid-october.

i felt, i felt, nothing.

i couldn't feel my hands at the end of my arms, nor the toes at the end of my feet. but i wasn't cold.
and i didn't care.

i walked on, slowly. not wondering at it, but just taking it in. i didn't need to think about it.

i could see a full 180 degrees around my head, every angle with equal clarity. i didn't need to look over to see it, my mind simply concentrated on that spot and i knew what was there.

i was still alive - i could only see 180 degrees. i knew that if i had been dead i could see the entire sphere around my head. if i was dead i'd be able to see the ground below me concurrent with the sky behind me.

i walked on, hearing the sounds around me. i had no reaction for them, for they didn't matter. they weren't distant, i was.

i didn't need to breathe.

nor did i need my body.

it was like falling asleep after a really long day.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

why now?


"Nathan? It's Maya." My mind flew back to the last time I'd spoken to her. We were sitting in the subway, her eyes full of tears, her cracking voice unnaturally high, "I just can't see you anymore. Goodbye." She stumbled onto the train just as the doors were closing. It whisked her out of sight as my own sigh blurred over with tears.

I realized in that moment in the subway that that was the only time I'd seen her cry. And the voice on the phone sounded the same as her voice on the platform.

My reaction time was too slow. As usual.
"I'm so sorry. Forget I called. Forget everything."

"No. Wait. Come over, we'll talk."

"Right now?"

"Yes, please." The line went dead just as the doorbell rang. She'd hung up. I walked toward the door mentally grumbling that she didn't even have the decency to tell me when to expect her.

It wasn't the chinese takeout delivery boy I was expecting.

It was her.

Tall and lanky as ever, her clothes wet and clinging to her body - she'd gotten caught in the rain. Her hair was disheveled and hanging over half her face, only one eye visible.
That eye caught me in the act of pulling out my checkbook. It wasn't its running eyeliner or the bloodshot, tear-stained condition, it was haunted, terrified, begging.

She stood there awkwardly, balanced on the balls of her feet, poised to run if need be. Her clothes dripped, her hair dripped, her eyes dripped. And she was shaking -whether it was from the cold, the fright, or the stress I couldn't tell.

I opened the door wider, grabbed her hand and pulled her inside. I wrapped my arms around her, for once not asking her anything.
She still fit, even after all this time.

She shrunk into my chest, releasing sob after sob. She clutched at my shirt and I felt her ribs expanding and deflating wildly as her collarbone heaved against my sternum.

As I held her in the doorway question after question ran through my mind. Too soon to be asked, the questions lingered, burned into my mind. Mostly WHAT!? Why here? Why me? What happened? Who? I the warm tears and the cold rain from her body soak into mine.

Eventually I picked her up and carried her to the couch as she kept sobbing and I rocked her on my lap. Her sobs were growing fainter now, occasionally punctuated by a loud gasping breath. Her tears had stopped long ago, her tear ducts wrung dry.

I stroked her hair and whispered into her ear "It's going to be okay. You're safe. It's all right.

Her sobs were gone - only dry heaves of her chest and her hand still grasped my shirt - but it loosened its grip as the dry gasps subsided.
She was asleep. She'd cried herself to sleep on me.

I hadn't seen her for nearly four years. After three years of dating, six years of knowing her. She'd never done this. Never slept on me, never cried.

I carried the grown woman like a baby to my bed, draped a blanket around her, and lay down next to her, stroking her hair until I was sure she was really asleep.

I slept on the couch that night. With my cat, Fred.
In the morning I walked back into the bedroom. Fred was curled up next to her head, her left hand rested lightly on his body, her slender fingers stroking the boy. I could make out a low rumbling. He was purring.

She was curled in fetal position facing the wall. I slid onto the bed and wrapped my arm around her waist. She didn't react, she just kept stroking.
I pulled in closer, my nose in her hair, her back against my chest, I kissed the top of her head and just laid there.

"I heard you got married" I murmured, not asking questions, but not expecting her to reply either. She didn't.

"But I don't see a ring."
I pulled my arm away from her waist and moved it to her head, stroking her hair away from her face.

"I also hear you were pregnant." She stopped stroking the cat altogether. Her eye stared into the distance.

"So I'm rather wondering, since you've got a husband and a baby on the way, why you'd come here. It seems like this would be the last place you'd be."
Her eyes still stared.

"Exactly." she croaked, her voice raw from the sobbing.

"What happened, Maya?"
Her eye grew even more distant, staring through the wall to the other end of Manhattan. She resumed stroking Fred. She didn't answer. She didn't want to. Yet. She'd taught me how to take a hint. And I remembered.

I steered the topic away with "I didn't ever catch the guy's name, though."
She blinked. I felt her lashes brush against my cheek.

I knew a Justin... I knew she knew the same Justin I did... At one point we'd all been best friends. That Justin?

We lay in silence until Fred jumped off the bed and scratched at the bathroom door, looking for his kibble.

"You hungry? I'll make us breakfast." She'd taught me how.
I'd started getting off the bed when she finally spoke.

"I lost the baby." I froze, halfway off, halfway still cocooned.
She rolled toward me, facing me. Her hair had fallen back and I could see her whole face. Her beautiful, pale face, marred by an ugly purple bruise swollen around her other eye. Her eye was swollen half shut, with crusty tears dried to its lashes. She saw my shock frozen in my face - my eyes darted around hers, searching for a reason, understanding.
"and Justin hit me."
She turned back to her former position and pulled tighter.
I curled back around her, trying to infuse her broken body with hope, healing, help.

As if I was trying to protect her from what had already happened.

Moon River

"I don't want to go for drinks. Let's go for a walk instead."

"Where to?"

"Down by the river."

"It's three o'clock in the morning!"

"Just drive."

She'd always say that to me. Just drive. As if that was the answer to everything - Don't ask questions, just go.

It really shouldn't surprise me, knowing her. It's not as if she was about to go do anything imaginable (think girls gone wild) No. That wasn't her. But once she got her mind around something, look out. If you get in her way - I've seen her make grown men cry. Yes, myself included.

I'd deserved it.

"Turn here."


I complied silently, wondering what she was thinking. She'd tell me eventually, I didn't have to ask. I never had to ask.

We got out of the car and wandered to the paved path winding beside the river. The moon was out, full and shining on the flowing water. The soft silvery light cast strange shadows on the mostly bare trees. A cold October breeze whispered through the air, stirring her soft brown hair and caressing her face. Her hands were shoved inside her jacket pockets and her eyes were turned inward, contemplating.

The path curved along the banks of the river, five feet above the water. She didn't.

As soon as there was an opening in the trees, she scrambled down the rocky bank littered with dry leaves and proceeded upriver balancing on the river rocks tickled by the water. I stood on the bank, unsure.

She turned back, her face shining in the moonlight, her body balanced and content. She lifted one hand and beckoned to me. She continued on, not bothering to watch me descend the bank. She knew I'd follow. I always did.

A bend in the river later, we came to the moon. It shone above us, its belly tickled by the naked treetops. Her sister, her reflection, stretched languidly in the water, swimming towards us as the water flowed. The falling leaves played in the sister's hair, crowning her with laurel and scrub oak.


I turned around. She was perched on a naked tree root next to a worn camp chair. The chair said "Have a seat and share something that everyone can enjoy!" in faded permanent marker. Its fabric was old and dusty, and seemed to have sat next to the river for as long as that root had.

"You take the seat." She looked at me, her feminist tendencies rearing in her eyes.

"I've already sat there. I'm sharing it with you."

"You didn't put this here, did you?"

"No, but I found it. Hush."

We watched the moon and her sister swim in the sky and the river, we listened to the breeze shiver the trees, and heard the occasional car pass by near the paved path above.

When a leaf fell directly into my lap I picked it up by its stem and turned towards her, the fabric of the chair protesting quietly. Her eyes were distant and her hands unoccupied on her legs. I reached toward her, aiming to put the leaf behind her ear.

She caught my hand, her slender fingers molding to mine. She got off her root, my hand still in hers, and joined me on the little chair.

The breeze stole the leaf and set it on the water floating on its own reflection. She and I watched our own reflections swim with the moon as the leaf danced with itself, the only one able to flit from the moon and back.

Though as I held her I thought I got close.