Saturday, December 31, 2011
This year brought me restlessness.
I keep writing that over and over. Everyone on twitter keeps doing #2011inthreewords, but I can do #2011inoneword: restlessness.
I have a journal post from January 1, 2011, written sometime in the early, early morning, and I feel like I haven't slept since. I've been too excited and too hungry and too alive and too... human for sleeping.
I'll sleep when I'm dead, I suppose.
I'm just dying here (metaphorically) (well, literally, I guess, too: one year closer to death now). All I did was blink. I blinked -- like this *1/1,000,000,00 of a second* -- and then there was only one day left, and I don't think one single thing happened the way I was expecting it to.
This year brought me restlessness. This year brought me hair like coffee. This year brought me driving. This year brought me strangers. This year brought me walls, of books and of stones and of blankets. This year brought me House of Leaves and The Virgin Suicides and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. This year brought me Billy Prilgrim and his un-stuck-ed-ness in time. This year brought me fat, full composition notebooks, hundreds upon hundreds of pages filled with my shoddy cursive in just a matter of months. This year brought me what I wanted for Christmas.
And this year brought me August, which was important, because August gave me everything else: August celebrated my life, and August reminded me of how to read, and August taught me how to kiss. August handed me four people who taught me how to LOVE, absolutely and completely. August picked me up by my collar, tossed me back into the dust of high school, and looked me in the eye and said, "You can't win," but August must've forgotten that it made me competitive, because that statement of "You can't win" just forced me to look August smack in the eyes and say, "Watch me." August left me hungry. August confused me. August bought me book shirts. August stuck its tongue in my mouth.
And sometimes I feel like I've forgotten what life was like before August, but I do remember. I remember the Titanic, and I remember the eighteenth birthday bash, and I remember the humiliation. I remember life ending with graduation gowns. I remember yearbook day. It's all there, happening in mid-blink, and I can't quite grasp onto it. There are things that I have repressed and things I would do over (but never really, of course) and there are capsules of angry, but I like them -- all of them, the wannabe repressed memories and the wannabe-but-not-really-of-course do-overs and the angries.
I unloaded my pockets of the things 2011 left me while I was blinking, and what I found was as follows: one (1) paper crane, one (1) sandwich with hummus, three (3) pairs of magic pants, two (2) bins of cat cookies, two (2) batches of magic cookies, four (4) angsty teen novels written about us, seven (7) tubes of half-gone, misplaced chapstick, a lot (a lot) of fallen eyelashes, one (1) basket of fury, three (3) tuberwares of euphoria, six (6) jars of exhaustion, and one billion (1,000,000,000) handfuls of contentment.
Oh, and you. I've kept you in my pocket, too, because I love you. Remember when we linked pinkies and wished at 11:11 pm on 11/11/11? Remember how when I didn't know what to write in the margin of your yearbook? Remember what you wrote in mine? Remember the time we brought magic cookies (but you didn't eat them)? Remember when we celebrated your birthday? Remember Riceday? Remember the way I told you everything about my high school and you told me everything about yours so that it was like we were never apart? I remember, even though I was busy blinking during it.
I think that in 2012 I will learn to golf and learn to play tennis and also chess and how to write shorthand. At first I said, "In 2012 I will not be afraid of anything," but I realized that was sort of stupid, because there are things (e.g. what I'm afraid of) that I have no control over. What I'm really going to do is not let fear hold me back. From anything. (READ: ANYTHING AT ALL except maybe spiders.) (Actually, spiders might seriously be a good place to start with this one.)
So when you're walking away, from now on, I'm going to call your name, and when you turn around, I promise that I'm going to say what I really want to, even though it's scary.
I think that in 2012 I'm going to try to blink a little more quickly so that I miss less.
So, welcome 2012. Please bring great art.
HAPPY NEW YEAR, SNITCHES.
All my love,
Thursday, December 29, 2011
Friday, December 23, 2011
You want to turn around and say, "Hey, world! Hey, high school! Hey, everyone! I'm great and I know everything and I'm not afraid of anything anymore!" You want to yell that at everyone, but you don't know if you believe any of it yourself, and when you admit to that, someone will remind you that everyone else in existence feels the same way, but you don't want to hear that, do you? Because it's different for you. It's worse for you -- or maybe it's better for you, but it doesn't matter because you're not them. They're not you, and they don't know what you're feeling. Don't let them tell you how to live your life.
You sit in your corner and you talk a little bit, and you don't think anyone is listening, but we're listening, and we're hanging onto your every word. Where we're going? I don't think it's going to be easy, and I keep meaning to remind you of that, but I call your name, and when you turn toward me, when I catch a glimpse of you, I am always so stunned by your beauty. You are so beautiful that the world shouldn't be able to handle you -- they can't handle you -- and I just can't bring myself to shatter you, so when I see you start to trip, I want to try and catch you. I think of you like you're breakable, like you might not finish what you started, like maybe you're not hearing me.
And do you want to climb up on a nice, good rooftop and scream? Then by all means, climb up there and scream.
You are a whispered secret. You're an oxymoron. You're antithesis. You're no longer a footnote in my book. You climbed onto the page (like you climb up on rooftops) and grew into a sentence, and that sentence blossomed into a paragraph, and that paragraph bloomed into a page or two, and then you were a nice fat chapter in my book, and I forgot to remind you that I love you.
Me: Let me into your poker game.
Boys: Come play with us next time. We need some girls to play with.
Me: I'll be there, but only if you're okay with getting beat. Ha!
Me: (frantically googles winning Texas Hold 'Em hands)
All my love,
Thursday, December 15, 2011
The questions are stumbling from between my lips and bleeding onto the rug and running all around me and staining everything I own and everything everyone else owns, too. They're filling up the room like they're a bad dream and making me so claustrophobic. Everything is bloody with my questions and I don't handle blood very well.
The more blood, I don't know the answers, the more I get crazy, I don't know the answers, the more I write it across the tops of my finals papers, I don't know the answers, I scribble it through my directions to find f(g(x)), I don't know the answers, the dogs bark sad songs and sing me questions and I say to them, "I don't know the answers, dog."
I don't know the answers, dog.
So find me someone who knows all the answers. Find them for me, and send them to my house, and when I find them on my doorstep, I will throw the door open, "fingertips trembling," and let them in. I will sit them down and make them a cup of tea and I will hand them a list full of questions like, "How do I balance?" and "How can I always have good hair days?" and "Does he love me still?"
And I will say to them this: "Answer me this: Why do bad things happen to good people?" and I will wait for the answer.
Why do bad things happen to good people? Everyone says that at church, but the only answers I remember hearing are "pray, go to church, read your scriptures," which works a lot of times, but not for this, and I think I would remember if they'd told me the real answer. I'm sick of reading poems about it, no matter how good those poems are, and I'm sick of being sick about it. I just need an answer.
"Tell me how people live through it," I'll say, and they will tell me, because they have all the answers.
I will ask them that, and I hope they will tell me. I need to know, because what I know even now is that there is nothing that I can do to stop those things from happening. They will always happen -- I am not naïve enough to think they won't -- but if we knew why, maybe they would be easier for us to live through.
I just need answers. We need answers.
And they will let the light in, and I will never close the blinds again.
Bows and strings and holly and trees and lights.
All my love,
Thursday, December 8, 2011
I thought I was well acquainted enough with death to handle that. Or maybe I just thought I was disconnected enough with the death itself.
"Parting is all we know of heaven and all we need of hell." I'm no Emily Dickinson, no Belle of Amherst, and I ain't Sylvia Plath, either, with her Death & Co. I'm following a legacy of death-chasing lady poets, and I can't even handle one funeral.
There was this metaphysical crisis, even: People can get up and talk so much about lives lived, and they're okay because they know about the afterlife, but even if there is an afterlife, the lives were already lived and now they're gone and dead, no matter what comes next.
And I'll tell you what comes next: I do. We do. Me and you. Us. We're next to be waxy and lowered into the ground, and that's sad, and I'm scared, and I hate myself for writing this sentence, because it takes every emotion out of death, especially this death, and I feel bad for doing that, because I truly loved him. I love him. And now he's gone and that's a void that cannot be filled for so many people. We, as individuals, fill more voids than we know, and bandages aren't made for the wounds left when we leave. Even in Sunday School they say that it's okay to cry, even when you know all about Heaven and Jesus, but I'd cry even if they told me it wasn't.
I feel like Avery when she says, "Open up to the book of St. Avery, verse one, and you will find one word: Blasphemy."
Yes, loves. Open up to the book of St. Addy, verse one, and you will see that it does not exist, because she wasn't exactly a saint by any means, the poor dear; bless her heart.
If it means a lot to you.
P.S. I'm still mad.
All my love,
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
I'm going to fall apart soon, even though this book I read said that I shouldn't allow myself to fall apart or it will become a habit and I will do it very often, which is bad.
I keep forgetting what is important and what isn't, but then I remember what is and I get feeling even worse. I keep forgetting to remind you of what I meant to say, and I keep forgetting the difference between everyone and everything they said and what it meant and I can't remember how to spell "hilarious" nor can I spell "necessary."
I can't tell you what the tangent is, because I don't know what it is. I am the jealous type, but I will never admit that to you, because it cannot be important. I want you to call me, but I don't think you will. I keep ending my wishes and prayers with, "Oh, and please be gentle with me, would you? I'm very breakable." It turns out that harmonics are not universal and do not cross subjects.
I didn't think I wanted that, but then I didn't get it, and I wanted it so badly.
This time, I know that I want it more than anything else. Or, I think I want it more than anything else, but if I had to choose this versus that, I don't know what I would choose. I think this might say, "Addy, Addy, look at me!" and I think I might go, "Oh, you are very beautiful; I choose you," but then that might call at me and I might say, "You can't seem to let me let go of you, can you?" It's a big golden train debacle.
And then I am being the most selfish person ever, because I can't even write anything real, do you know? I listen to the notes, but I don't see the forest. I want to sleep for a lot of hours and then I want to try one more time at all of this, but there's no amount of money that can buy me time.
All I can think about is how time is slipping away and I'm letting it slip away like this, but it doesn't even really matter, because it's going to slip away no matter what I do and no matter what I try.
Remember to remind me, or I will forget.
Just please: Please be gentle with me, would you? I'm very breakable, and I'm praying for a full-on miracle.
You've just left me tongue tied.
All my love,