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.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

in which i did not die.

it's no secret that i have a highly flammable fear of tornadoes. the mere mention of the 't' word makes my palms sweat. i torture myself with discovery channel storm-chasing specials, weather watching and tornado research - all in order to conquer my fear. because once you understand something, it's not as scary, right? um, no.

due to my slight weather obsession, i'm very familiar with wall clouds, super cells and what the sky looks like right before all hell breaks loose. brian busby has been a good teacher. and, i, a faithful student. so friday, as i drove home from work beneath a sky that looked like the last storm-chasing special i watched, i was afraid. shaking. scanning the radio for news, warnings...anything. but all i could find was a bad Destiny's Child song (i'm not implying that they have a lot of good songs) and static.

but i wasn't about to pull over or duck beneath an overpass. that, despite common opinion, is one of the most dangerous decisions one can make whilst trying to survive a tornado. instead, i continued trucking along in a flooding downpour under a green sky filled with black wall clouds and doom. i swore up and down that i saw rotation in the clouds - and funnels, even. but between the swearing up and down, i kept saying to myself, "jessi, you can do it. this will make you stronger." the positive self-talk at this point is of utmost importance.

once my journey beneath personified death ended, i arrived at the gym. minutes later, the storm showed its face there, too. and as i climbed aboard a treadmill, the television began screaming loud and clear that our county was, in fact, under a tornado warning. and the storm i had just driven through was, in fact, dangerous.

in fact, the facts scared the bejesus out of me.

that's when i put my ear buds in and turned up my Ipod.


you probably assumed i continued my freak-out session. but, you're wrong. i was determined to run. instead of hiding in the bathroom or under a table (not that i've ever done that,) i continued the positive self-talk with a, "come on, jessi. this place is safer than where you live anyway. just keep running. you know you want to."

i did want to.
and by the time i finished, the warning was over and the all-clear had been given.

i knew it was safe to drive home. to exist. to sing in my car. and i knew that what i had just gone through made me stronger.

and right now, i am fully aware of how ridiculous this sounds to anyone who is not me.

Monday, April 23, 2007

the list.

this day
— this blank slate
of white

- paper -

piles of
and bills
and lists

maybe now
maybe later

or maybe, you won’t be strong enough for the fourth task
that lives halfway down
the well-crafted list
composed of things like
sleep well
and smile at someone

so ink crosses lines
through completed
small items of
bringing some comfort

only masking
the truth about
this place
piled high with papers
that were once
branches waving at

now signal death
with a surrender sweep
of white
crackling in the wind

but death doesn’t yield
it pays no mind to the white flag
or to the banner held
between yesterday and today
that screams
in red angry typography

a futile cry
for something that can never
be crossed off
the list of things
to do


Thursday, April 19, 2007


i was up all night

about the room with the view
and the ugly bedspread

you know the one

closer to the sky
than others
in that thin air
that sucked life
from my soul

and i remembered
tears becoming rivers
incoherent bodies of water
with nowhere to spill

longing for
to swallow

but no one wanted
to taste
the muddy water
with one sip

so the river
continued on
and the current
and breath quivered
in angst
and agony
and in hope for something
that exists only
in the space between
earth and sky

in which i beg you not to call ask-a-nurse.

this lesson for you, dear reader, begins last night at dinner. i was getting ready to enjoy leftovers and began with a bite of chicken. it didn't exactly flow through my throat like usual though. instead, it got stuck. but i wasn't choking. not yet, at least. and while my mind began to get a bit restless, i noticed that i could still breathe and took to my next plan of action - chugging liquids.

i started guzzling water. then soda. followed by hot tea. it was all well and good until an hour and a half later when my chest began to feel tight.

at that point, i may have begun to freak out in tiny increments.

after google searching the possibility of something moving from a lower spot in the throat to a higher spot in the windpipe, i came up with nothing. so, i called ask-a-nurse. thankfully the hold music was soothing piano. 20 minutes later, during a moving rendition of beethoven's moonlight sonata, a nurse got on the line and told me to go straight to the ER. she said the piece of food could aspirate to my lungs and that i was at risk for complications. i heard her loud and clear, decided i didn't like the idea of dying, and arrived at the ER check-in 30 minutes later.

that's when the doctor told me that the likelihood of a piece of food aspirating into the lungs of a healthy person like me were slim. "but ask-a-nurse said that's what would happen," i pleaded. almost as if i wanted it to happen. she just shrugged and said it wasn't really possible. i was disappointed that nothing was wrong enough to justify my exorbitantly high co-pay, but i was already wearing a hospital gown, so i let them 'treat' me.

while i watched the JUCO channel teach english as a second language, a nice nurse hooked me up to an IV and gave me some sort of muscle relaxer for my esophagus and a bit of Valium. an hour later, they sent me home.

i'd like to thank ask-a-nurse for sponsoring a fun-filled wednesday night.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

the truth

i've avoided disclosing this fact to the world until now. ready for this? i'm injured - again.

this time, it's my knee. and, i have no idea what happened or why it happened or why i'm such a freak of nature. actually, i've been repeating "why me?" over and over and over and over for two weeks now. just in my head so no one else could hear. but still, i've been thinking it. saying it. living it, you could say.

i think it could be a bad case of runner's knee. i'm hoping that's all it is. i've spent the last two weeks doing all that i can do - the elliptical machine backwards. and let me just tell you how much fun that is. (please sense my sarcasm.)

yesterday, i did run. slowly. for the first time in two weeks. painfully slow. did i say i ran slow? anyway, as i crawled through a slight jog, i was able to finish four miles with relatively no pain. so maybe, just maybe, things are looking up?

if not, i'll have to feel sorry for myself some more, i guess.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

losing my mind.

i took a shower this morning. i washed my hair. i washed my armpits. i conditioned my hair. i washed my face. i turned off the water and got out of the shower.

that's when i realized i hadn't washed my body.
so, i got back in the shower and fixed the problem.
suddenly, the familiar smell of sweet pea body wash filled the air.
that, THAT, is a complete shower.
i can't believe i almost cut it short.

as a side note, i was perusing the shelves at target today when large plastic iced tea glasses caught my eye. yes, there were purple ones. yes, they were huge. yes, i was intrigued. until i read that they were microwave-safe. who in their right mind would put a plastic iced tea glass in the microwave? seriously. um, that's what coffee mugs are for, no?

Friday, April 13, 2007


gross apostrophe misuse.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007


the city sleeps -
empty roads,
dark windows,
but i —
i am awake.
to the hum of the train
and the clap of the wheels
as they run along their tracks.
and i can’t picture a more perfect sound.
its beauty is unmatched.
unafraid, it sounds into the black night
moaning as it goes
letting every blade of dewed grass
sense its presence.

Monday, April 09, 2007

sometimes, you're the only one without a beard.

and, that's okay.

who doesn't love magazines and coffee?

my friend just opened this place. and now, it's written up in the pitch. check it out.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

hi, i'm a music snob. listen to me.

i'm totally digging modest mouse's latest offering 'we were dead before the ship even sank.'
buy it.

and, i'm also a gus snob. just look at how cute he is. (he's hidden behind the pillows if you're having a hard time finding him.) and yes, he put himself there. oh, mr. woof.


Saturday, April 07, 2007

reason enough to forget

i have a problem with automatic-flushing toilets. i don't care, really, that the sensor sometimes screws up and flushes mid-pee. i don't mind that sometimes, upon walking into the stall, the flusher senses motion and flushes without control over and over. and i'm even okay with the fact that sometimes, the sensors don't work at all - causing one to have to manually push the flush button.

my problem, though, lies in the ease of it all - you know, the part where the 'user' doesn't have to lift a finger. because since automatic flushers have been introduced in my day-to-day existence, i have honestly forgotten to flush a few manual toilets. and this, this failing to flush, is one of my biggest pet peeves in life. but now, i can no longer be a hater. because, i, dear readers, have become a forgetful flusher. and i blame the stupid automatic flusher sensor for my ironic behavior.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

wherein i admit my ignorance.

it was recently brought to my attention that i am a bit of a music snob. the sad truth came during a reel showing at my job. see, someone was talking about the band i'd always known as 'prodigy.' only, she kept calling it 'the prodigy.' so, i laughed along with another cohort in music snobbery. only, we were wrong. the name of the band is, in fact, 'the prodigy.' at once, the balloon that had been inflated beneath my chest wall burst. and, i found my self bowing to the music gods.

as further penance, i am admitting for all the world to see that i truly believe 'getting jiggy wit it' to be one of the best songs ever. there, i've said it.

now, i'm going to bed.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007


trying not to fall —
my balance is imperfect
as my mind spins
like autumn leaves
setting yards on
burnt orange fire.

but falling
isn't the hardest

so, i let go —
eyes open,

into this vast ocean of wonder.

and even though
i’m deep beneath the surface,
it’s easy to breathe.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

on to april

so, this doesn't quite add up to what i'd like it to. but, i've been distracted.

total miles run for march = 81. 9

and, i didn't post my miles for february, because i didn't run as much as i wanted to. you know, i was injured. and i went skiing. and stuff like that.

but, for the sake of being accurate:
total miles run for february = 52.5

YTD so far for 2007 = 208.05

same time last year - 203.05

i'm obviously kicking my own butt.