Day 10: Status Quo

…is secretly using a Netflix account that belongs to…

…spends 45 minutes carefully composing every text she sends to…

…is in a stale, comfortable stasis with…

…is gold-digging…

…can’t seem to stop drunk-dialing…

…wants to be on the same zombie-apocalypse survival team as…

…is writing excessive poetry about…

…consistently invites herself to parties at the home of…

…recreationally sabotages…

…will never, under any circumstances admit that she once made out with…

…is in significant monetary debt to…

…knows terrible secrets about…

…has occasional, mildly kinky dreams involving…

…is semi-hostile neighbors with…

…doesn’t want to start drama by deleting and so simply “hides” everything from…

…has a vestigial high school crush on…

…never knows quite what to say to…

 

Day 9: Dragons

I am here to tell the dragon’s story, inscribed in golden rings and tucked in bags of stolen groceries where we knew they would never think to look.

She’s been waiting for a love that can forgive her fangs and let her learn to breathe easy.

Raw strikes against the stone walls of a glittering tomb makes the mountain feel fragile, folding like forehead creases toward the hungry Earth only to suddenly rest in the valleys we’ve traced too many times to forget, even in this chaos. Even in the dark.

You and me, my dear, we are dragons. Do not expect the princess with a voice like a fire alarm, glaring down from her perch of soured privilege to understand that the burns on our bodies are not ticks in a concrete barricade counting down to a death sentence but the stripes of allegiance between one flaming soul and another in a world where it is always raining.

Day 8: “Losing Weight”

Shoes that don’t fit right – 1.7 lbs

High School math homework (all of it) – 37.4 lbs

Sense of responsibility for the adults in my life – 14 lbs

Books we bought together – 8.9 lbs

Split ends – 0.1 lbs

Liars and thieves - 689.2 lbs

Snow tires – 107 lbs

Dresses that won’t zip – 18.9 lbs

Terrible song lyrics I’ll never use 14.67 lbs

Chinese food leftovers 3.5 lbs

Your eyes on my back – 954.97 lbs

Our favorite record – 0.4 lbs

Key to a red door - 0.06 lbs

National Poetry Month Day 7: Clumsy

The truth is a badly mixed drink in my hand

On a night that I meant to stay in,

When this is as old as I’ve ever been it is suddenly old enough.

 

I want you in that hungry, aching way

Reserved for things I shouldn’t have,

So let them blame the echo when they don’t understand,

We are all clumsy bartenders

Shaking each other senseless,

 

Catching Up

Catching up with my posts for National Poetry Month…

 

Friday

Green eyes turn yellow

Color blind and out of breath

Sparks between my hands

 

Saturday

Tendrils of muscle tighten jealously around my bones. “Don’t you leave, too,” they whisper.

 

Sunday

“Fixing It”

1. Wrap it in a bad sweater and leave it in the sun.

2. Whatever you do, don’t let it drive.

3. Tell it you’re going to the beach ~ it will come with you.

4. Teach it a new language.

5. Bake it a lemon meringue pie.

Fair Warnings For Future Lovers

I will write you love notes. They will be syntactically sound in design, maybe sarcastic, and not always as clever as they were meant to be but saturated with how lovely I think you are.

I will cook you dinner. I will probably have a phase where I think crock pots are the only way to go, and another one where I make only things based on coconut milk. I may become obsessed with cheese fondue for a while. When it’s so bad we throw it away and eat cereal, it’d still be nice if you didn’t tease me too hard.

I will cry. Sometimes, it will be because of something you’ve done, or something I have done. Sometimes, it may seem like it is for no reason at all. Perhaps I am tired. Perhaps I’m afraid of the dark. I will melt into a puddle all over the shoulder of your favorite shirt and hope you don’t mind.

I will stay up until 4 AM working on a song, a paper, a letter, or a poem. If we live in a tiny apartment, it may be with a headlamp under a blanket so I don’t keep you awake, or on the porch, or in my car. I will occasionally seem completely deranged, obnoxiously whimsical, or eerily quiet, while in a frenzy of creative enthusiasm or painful inspiration. I will ask you what you think of the same line with a one-phoneme difference ten different times.

I will sing absent-mindedly in the shower, in the car, while doing dishes, when I think you’ve left and you haven’t, pretty much all the time. Sometimes I’ll secretly hope you can hear me.

I will leave you long, rambling, awkward voice mails when I miss you.

I will tell you about my dreams in disjointed, sleepy, gummy-bear-storm-trooper detail. They will nearly never quite make sense. I will wonder what you think they mean.

I will get the flu and commandeer the television to binge-watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer roughly once a year. I will berate you for criticizing any aspect of Joss Whedon’s storytelling and say really dirty things about David Boreanaz. I will not be trying to make you jealous, it’s just standard viewing protocol. I won’t blame you if you go out for the evening or hide in another room (but I’ll also secretly swoon if you condescend to snuggle up and watch even ten minutes with me).

I will want children someday, but not yet. For now, I’ll just make you a little uneasy with exactly how smitten I instantly become with every single infant that is placed in my arms.

I will see the best and worst in you. I will love and respect who you really are as well as who you want to be. I will hate you for a split second every once in a while and then I’ll take a deep breath and remember that it isn’t really you I’m angry at. I will over-communicate. I will  take you for granted sometimes, but I will apologize and try to make it up to you when I realize it. I will forgive you. I will tell you exactly what I (think I) want and need, and hope that you will do the same.

I will want you so much it hurts sometimes. I will make eyes at you across the table at tedious social functions and think about you naked while I’m trying to work.

Some days, I will miss you as soon as you walk out the door.

I will believe in you and be amazed by the things you accomplish, create, and imagine. I will enjoy re-discovering who you are over and over again every single day. I will be here, whenever you’re ready.

Big Dogs and Beautiful Women

We’ve  made a name for ourselves being difficult to catch

and making you wonder if you really meant to.

Wary of anything that comes too easy,

Also men in hats.

Barging into your head through white-washed excuses

You break for me like a cheap fence

Undressed or unbridled

Eyes that shine in the dark

Eyes that keep you awake

Howling

Storm warning, pleasure, pretense,

Fill my empty sky like freedom

Cut loose in a world of jagged highways and poorly built playpens

Bruised from getting off before the ride was over

Let me out so I can come back in so I can go back out so I can come back in

Kisses made worthless by sheer volume

Deafening love

Shadow of a life you almost led

Sitting heavy-chested at the edge of daylight

Waiting for you to come home.

Day 1: Anchorage International Airport

Snapshot_20140305

 

Where: Silver Gulch Brewing | Anchorage International Airport | Anchorage, AK

When: 9:25 AM-ish

Why: I’m a hungry, hungry hippo.

Favorite color today: Alaska Airlines Flight Attendant Blonde

I like this place. Since I sat down they’ve played Elton John, Don McLean and the The Rollings Stones, the manager mistook me for an old friend of his (by the way, exactly how old do I look?!) and they’ve invented the aforementioned genius “open calzone,” which is essentially a pita pocket full of things covered in cheese. If they weren’t $8.95 I’d probably eat 4. My plane doesn’t even board for over an hour, and I should be polishing my presentation for Friday, but of course I’d rather drink free water and people-watch. Also, my waiter has beautifully red hair and a goatee and undoubtedly belongs in some sort of medieval sci-fi love story (think ‘Stardust’). I think I’ll sit here for a while in case he’s about to uncover his destiny to the swell of an edgy, post-modern instrumental theme.

Today, it seem that there are four common types of people one meets while travelling:

1. People you are instantly fast friends with and feel as though you’ve known them forever. They can make their entrance wearing the guise of a bartender, cab-driver, seatmate, or passerby. Great if you’re looking for someone to share a hostel, hotel, cab, meal, or drink with. Sometimes, you exchange info and keep in touch forever. Sometimes, they steal your wallet. Alas, such is occasionally the cost of good company and I have come not to mind it so much.

2. Fascinating people you’d much rather observe than interact personally with (see: fire-haired waiter/hero-in-waiter) in order to avoid destroying the impossibly perfect life story you’ve concocted for them.

3. Very friendly strangers who share newspapers and  hold up their end of meaningful conversations ~ these longer, more involved interactions usually reveal that they are the friend of a friend of a cousin or something. You can try and tell me it’s just because I live in Alaska, but I met my high-school boyfriend’s cousin on a flight out of Washington DC once and someone with whom I have mutual friends in Tokyo while flying Seattle to Ohio, so there.

4. Scary, mean people who hate everything and want you to have a miserable flight/ride/trip/life. Smile at them. Offer them half of your sandwich. Ask them how their trip is going. It will either soften them up or really freak them out, which is a win/win for you because either will shush them up about how terrible everything is at least briefly.

Broke on the Road Installment #1: Reading Material

In the cost:reading time debate, newspapers absolutely win since they cost an average of $2.00 and have so many words. Seriously, have you ever tried to count? It’s incredibly dense. OK, I may have forgotten my book today and had to improvise some mind-numbing in-flight activity for myself. Anyway, my point is, they’re entertaining and cheap. However, especially travelling far from home, the majority of the content (particularly papers from smaller communities) will make zero sense, and unless it’s from somewhere in the Midwest where butter sculpting and toddler pageants are a thing, probably won’t be very interesting. The trick is to know which sections to grab from the papers you will inevitably find lying around in airports, train stations, and cafes.

1. The Classifieds ~ if you enjoy people watching, celeberity gossip, reality TV, or slightly uncomfortable sexual advances, I just saved you a lot of time and money. Next time you’re rifling through a pile of discarded newsprint or wondering what to pick up at the newstand, pick the paper with the thickest ad section. At the very least, you’ll be able to help your local friend score a free futon or let them know about the Corgi Parade happening next week. At best, you’ll find yourself ensconced is some of the most unabashed, awkward, unexpectedly intimate human weirdness available for public viewing (legally).

2. The Obituaries ~ I know, I know, but hear me out. Think about romantic comedies. Think about ‘The Notebook’. It won awards and graces millions of people’s movie collections because of it’s authenticity and genuine emotion, right? That’s because the ability of a thing to elicit genuine emotion is a huge indicator of value. Hence, this section is really the heart of the  newspaper. Travel can be emotionally numbing, what better way to re-connect with the core of humanity than to read words written lovingly for those departed? You are doing the writers a favor by participating in some small cosmic way in the celebration of their loved ones’ lives, and doing your heart a favor by reminding it how to get the feels. Emotional exercise is at least as important as the awkward chair yoga you were just attempting in your office casual travel outfit, you know.

3. Comics ~ duh.

4. Opinions ~ if you’re wondering what kind of place you were, are going, or are flying over, check out the Op Eds. The content be at the very least thought-provoking, and at the very best infuriating. Also, you can tell a lot about a place by which over-zealous, opinionated crazies they choose to publish (I mean that with all the love in my heart, as I absolutely consider myself one such member of my own community).

OK, I’ve been sitting in this airport restaurant for so long that I have inside jokes with the waitstaff, and I can only buy so much Loitering-Guilt Coffee before my nervous system shuts down or I start tapdancing, or something else equally atrocious. The waiter has yet to discover his true calling – I think I’ll write something mystical and cryptic on my receipt just in case I’m supposed to somehow predestined to expedite the process. Until next time, happy trails!

Foreverland

alexandra cameron 6[3]

There must be a place landscaped with left socks and mechanical pencils, epilogues and missing cogs from thrift-store watches, single earrings and childhood innocence.

There must be a place where kittens stay kittens and Sundays are 72 hours  long, guitars stay in tune and rocking chairs sway silently on dust-colored plank porches under our forever-young feet.

There must be a small town tucked away Midwest of nowhere where all the pieces I’ve never seen but have always been missing have tea three times a day and wonder what I’m waiting for,

because you had to come from somewhere.

Tell me, what else is waiting?