they pay to kiss your feet

since there's no one else around, we let our hair grow long and forget all we used to know. then our skin gets thicker from living out in the snow.

Monday, August 27, 2012

come closer.

there's life inside this cup
for the first time in years.
but it feels like
an immigrant
creeping slowly through the
breathing in the sounds of the
assimilating first by dress
then by stature
and finally
by language and citizenship.
signing papers on a permanent line
that means stay
or go
but do as you wish.
(here is the problem)
it's at my mouth, this life
it is suddenly at my lips
so close to my tongue
i can taste it.
but my tongue is just the gatekeeper
the drawbridge that let's you in
or keeps you out
with barbed wire words
and pointed fingers.
i yell at the cup.
fuck you for suddenly
pouring life out
and into
fuck you, cup.
come closer. 

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

this is way out of my comfort zone.

A stranger just sat down at my table at the coffee shop. He is eating some sort of cherry dessert. It’s 8:36 a.m. I am afraid to look at him to see if I know him. Should I? This is the neighborhood where I run into people that I know. He has a backpack with him and a laptop just like mine. It’s open and now it feels like we are dueling. Dueling laptops. His name is Garret. They just called it from the coffee bar. I wonder what kind of drink he ordered. It’s a small one. Half the size of mine. I wonder if he thinks it’s odd that he is sitting at a table with a stranger. This is way out of my comfort zone. There were other tables with extra seats. But I was the one sitting at a table for six. So maybe I asked for this? He is bald with nice glasses. He reminds me a little of my ex-husband. I feel like my typing is shaking the table. I am wearing headphones so that we don’t have to talk. I wonder if he is a writer, too. He’s probably working on finishing the best manuscript to ever exist. And I am sitting here typing about how he is eating a cherry scone at 8 a.m. He seems too thin to be able to eat that sort of thing for breakfast. I’m having a medium Americano topped with steamed soy with one and a half pumps of hazelnut. I wish it had two pumps. It’s not sweet enough. It tastes too much like coffee. Garret is now reading something intently and biting his fingernails. That’s the same way I read things intently. Maybe I am supposed to talk to him. What if he is the person who leads me to my next big thing. Maybe he is an editor from a publishing house just waiting to discover the surprising writer plucked from a very hot summer in the Midwest. I’ve noticed that we sit the same way. Holding our necks with our watch hands until we want to type something. He also likes to touch his mouth a lot. That’s how I get mouth zits. I wonder if he struggles with that, too. I wonder if he has any idea that I am writing about him. Typing what I see out of the corner of my eye. He is wearing plaid and an orange watch. I have orange sunglasses with me in my purse. Yesterday, I was reading something about how you never know why someone came into your life and then left it. But you also never know who is going to come into your life. Every day is a new opportunity to meet new people and to do new things. Garret is driving this point home even though I will never open my mouth and speak to him. I like the feeling of being in the city. Surrounded with people I don’t know. And some that I do. I know a guy at the coffee bar. He gave me a hug and told me that he is having foot issues but otherwise, his running is going great. A man in the corner owns a company I once interviewed with. He waved at me when I got here and I smiled, trying to remember where I knew him from. When they called his name for his coffee, I realized how I know him and also that I should have smiled bigger when he waved – and maybe even waved back or said, “hello.” I’m very bad at that. A few minutes later a photographer I know walked in. Asked how I was. I said great. He said, “That deserves a high-five.” And so we high-fived at 8 in the morning. It feels good to know people. I wonder if I should know Garret. My camera man is here. Did I tell you I was waiting on a camera man? That’s because he’s not really a camera man. He’s my co-worker who is good with a video camera and he’s getting ready to sit down at my table for six. I wonder if he thinks I know Garret? I whisper to him that I don’t know this person at the table and so the joke I needed to tell him in private will have to wait. I’m afraid to talk to strangers.

Monday, August 06, 2012

not eating.

When I was 15, I decided that the one thing I was going to control in my life was what I did, or did not, put in my stomach.

For three years, I withered away. It happened slowly at first but then very suddenly. Sort of the way you fall in love or asleep. One day I was a healthy-looking teenager and the next I was a 35-pounds-lighter holocaust victim.  

There was this moment when I realized my mattress was hurting me. I had just finished eating my only meal of the day – a bag of microwaved healthy choice popcorn and a handful of red hots. I was lying in my bed on my back making sure I could feel all of the bones as much as I could the day before – tracing them with my finger. I say “the” bones because at this point they didn’t really feel like they were mine. They were just bones. And they were an annoyance to my ultimate weight loss goal because they couldn’t lose weight. Also, my mattress was hurting them.

I stood up and was dizzy. I looked at myself in the mirror. I took off all of my clothes and stood on the scale. I weighed 85 pounds. I am (and was) 5 feet 7 inches. You do the math. I was a bag of bones held together by what few muscles were left. I was saggy, colorless skin, I was patchy hair, I was a straight-A student who was very good at wearing loose-fitting clothes and fooling people. I was the girl who sat at the lunch table and pretended to eat. I chewed up pretzels and then spit them into my hand when no one was looking. I worried the salt had too many calories.

I was dying.

I decided to go get a bagel.

I think that bagel saved my life.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

nine words.

i have nothing to say. but i'm still here.