Ephemera

Stuff that’s neither here nor there. Stuff that defies categorization, or else was written at too late an hour for me to think about categories.

[snippet] Poem I stole from Twitter.

Note: The first two lines, in bold, are from Richard Siken bot (@sikenpoems), a robot Twitter account that, I assume, tweets out scrambled lines from Richard Siken’s poems. 

The rest of the lines are mine.


Don’t you see,

it’s like I’ve swallowed your house keys:

 

like I am the latch,
the lock,
the thing that opens the door that takes you
some place you have always looked for,
never realizing you left it long ago.

(the bookshelves are dusty, the bed
is still waiting for you to return.)

My actual favorite lines from Richard Siken are:
My dragonfly,
my black-eyed fire, the knives in the kitchen are singing
for blood, but we are the crossroads, my little outlaw,
and this is the map of my heart,

 

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I don’t think this is how stars work…

Screen Shot 2018-10-04 at 12.42.18 AM

One of my very good friends, John, has made it a habit to check up on me from time to time. “Hey, you okay?” he messages at random hours, on random days.

Unless things are really bad, I usually tell him I’m fine, not to worry, because to be honest, I am either sunflower or stormcloud. There is no in between, at least for now, so “okay” can mean either of the two, because either of the two is “normal.”

I catastrophize a lot. It means I tend to think of the worst case scenario and blow it out of proportion. My friend Esther once told me that I like being miserable. I recoiled from that statement then, but now, older and maybe a bit more self-aware, I realize that miserable–maybe that’s too strong a word; we’ll go with melancholy–is almost comforting in its familiarity. Over the past few years, I have learned to understand being sad better than being happy.

I don’t trust what isn’t familiar. It often slips away just as I get used to it. Maybe that’s why melancholy, in a weird way, is “okay” to me: it’s somewhat consistent, predictable, reliable in a twisted way, else why would my Facebook memories show me that one year ago today, two years ago today, I was posting sad posts?

(I think this time of year, lots of people tend to get sad?)

But back to John. The last time he messaged, asking me if I was okay, I did the usual thing I always do: deflected. I told him I was managing, that I was stressed but it was nothing serious. I told him not to worry, because I don’t like people worrying.

“I’ll always worry.” He messaged back. There was a smiling emoji, which in internet-speak I think means the fact didn’t bother him. And for a moment–or, okay, longer than a moment, otherwise I wouldn’t be writing this–it felt good to know that there were people out there who weren’t bothered by the fact that they worried about me from time to time. Because, and maybe I’m extrapolating a bit too far here, it means that I’m worth worrying about.

I’m really thankful for the people who think I’m worth worrying about. I still don’t like it when they worry, though, so I’m working hard on–because, guys, it really is work; life requires effort–being okay, really. Okay isn’t good. It isn’t even fine.

It’s just: I’ll get through this day. I won’t fall apart. You don’t have to worry.

But I’m thankful that you do.

 

[snippet] Notes: The one who walked away from Omelas.

November 15, 2017

This is the transformative power of a well-told story: it allows you to reach inside yourself and make peace with what ails you. What you need to leave behind.

Externalized as a series of videos featuring attractive young men, my fears and pains and the question of growing up and letting go becomes…easier. Because someone understands. Because we all wish we could run forever.

Except life never promises us forever. Eras end. Chapters close. The only constant is change.

I have a polaroid camera that looks almost exactly (save for color) like one held by crooked fingers in a music video made an ocean away from where I sit. I bought my polaroid camera for the first ever music video we shot. Today, I take it out of the box it’s stored in and snap a picture of the EP–the one beautiful thing–we five created.

Once, I was mother and brother and comrade in arms. Once, but I am none of those things any longer. Instead, I am grown, anchored not by a place in a family I thought I was building, but instead by a sense of purpose that has stayed even after that family had gone.

You can spend all your energy running after a dream, holding on to the shattered pieces of what was left of the family you tried to make.

Or you can use that energy to get on the train. To leave Omelas.

Fall is ending. Soon it will be winter. Next spring, I turn, get older. It is time I grew up, knowing that growing up can, by itself, be a sort of freedom.

Until this cold winter ends
And the spring comes again
And until the flowers bloom again
Please stay there a little longer
Please stay there.