Category: Freedom

The pragmatic crystal ball

I cut off
most of
my hair the

other day and
it feels

free. I went
to the Dr.

33 years old and
a primary care
practitioner

for the first time
in my life. I checked

“no” for about
187 different illnesses
as Nancy from Missouri,

with an emphazima
cough, oxygen tank and
peering stare took

the waiting room
hostage. The Dr.

sat with me for
a long time today.

Asked me a lot about
being treated by
doctors when I was a kid.

I started crying
like a crazy person.

Sometimes the last
memory I have of
being in a doctors
office is

of being 18 and
9 months pregnant
on a sleety gray

city weekday. My
boyfriend showed
up to the appointment

and said
“I’m out”
and

walked away from
me. I could have
either have followed

him or went across
the street for
blood work and it

was the first time
I just didn’t

follow.
Through my
jobs I have

worked with trauma
on a daily basis for
a few years but I

am always the blank
screen for them to
find themselves within –

so much and so often
so that I have forgotten
a great deal of the things

in my life that I have to
used separate myself. I
just stopped having

the time for pain and
fear to matter so
much.

Until in my modern
adult nearly mid
thirties lie I have to
make a

doctors appointment.

My mind does the same
effortless put it off,
don’t talk, don’t feel

just move forward except
this is my health and

I am terrified.

Of going back to
that girl on

Dempster in the fog
and the sleet. I

don’t want
to feel it

and those long
put away versions of
self come out at

the most awkward of
times, like when my

new Dr. is sitting with
me asking about

heart failure in my
family and

pregnancies and a laugh
at how I’m allergic to

all
narcotics.

Yesterday I
cut off most of
my hair and it

feels like I
didn’t follow

the version of
who I always
wanted to

tell you I

was.

Starlight

I still
drive on
every freeway

in the middle
of the night

for very little
reason.

Eating a whole
bar of foreign
chocolate

listening to
Van Halen at
max volume

just because
it helps me
feel.

Sometimes I
have nowhere
to go but

my head
gives me the
impression

that I do.

I signed and
epoxied another
canvas today.

I named her
“The Sage”

because of the
iridescent shell
I was holding

with a sage
smudge in it.

I woke up at
7 and started
applying for a

job in an art
supply store.

My husband
said “no”

He said
“Just do
what you love
and

take care of
yourself and
the rest

will follow.”

I’ve been in
therapy for a
long time now

but the best
therapist I’ve
ever had is

the desert
freeway late
at night and

old classic
rock that
sounds like

my Dads record
collection and a

Ford Mustang
with the windows
down in this

dark
hollow

place.

Sarah

15 years
have passed

but yesterday
I asked her

if she could
give me a call

and
within
minutes

she did.

Her voice is
like a different

time from a
separate version
of a far away
life.

The comfort
is
concise.

We had the same
jobs as teenagers

at K mart and
Portillos. We

always watched
movies in a finished
basement with a
fish tank

in it, Dr. Pepper and
chopped salads.

We shopped at
old navy. She

taught me how to
write my first
poem.

I remember
titling my first
notebook at 21

“The complete
works of
myself.”

I want to
ask about her Mom,
her siblings, her

cousins.
I remember all
of their names and

what they liked
in school.

In a way we
will always be

going on sixteen.

Listening to
Godsmack with
college boys and

Marlboro Reds.

That desperate
kid inside just
trying to shut up

to seem like
I want them to
think that I seem.

Grounded and
ungrounded.

Dumped and back
together.

Hot summers &
giant grocery
lists from her Mom.

A golden retriever puppy.
I would cry on the
floor in the kitchen

over my boyfriend
with her Mom while she
was up all night
trying to potty train

that dog. She used
to say to me late
at night

“Someday I promise –
this isn’t
going to matter.”

Her Mom was right –
and that took what it
took but

there are elements
of connection that
as I get older

from before
cannot be
replicated.

She called me within
two minutes to give me
advice.

To tell me
I wasn’t alone

and in that few
minutes where she
listened to me I

realized
that I come from
many places,

and situations and
relationships –

and as I get older
the ones
that built

the best aspects
of my character

resurface and
re present
themselves.

Her voice is
strength. It
is my voice

when I’m having
a good day and
feeling aware

but
if I’m not I
can ask her
to call me

just to hear
where I

come from.

Skatie

“I found you
skates. Only
Seven dollars.

But I
left them
on the

thrift store
shelf.”

Two days
later he returns.

A pair of blue
and gray roller
blades. They
say

“Chicago” on
the fabric,

look brand new.

My Husband tells
me all of the
stories about

being mad enough
to free skate
through London

for miles at rush
hour for decades
of his old wild

life. I tell him how
my Dads favorite

memory of me is
of when I would
rollerblade, age

9, on the 4th of
July with a bunch of
colored sparklers

in each hand. Tonight
we skated together
for the first time.

“I know.. my Dad..
sent those.. skates..”

I say, out of
breath, more stepping
in the skates than
skating at

this point.

Under a street
light, we kiss.

He doesn’t
let me

fall.

Ninety Seven One

In 2013 my
Dad passed
suddenly.

They said
it was a
heart attack.

He ate Nancys
pizza for dinner,
after another

15 hour work day
and sat down to
watch TV in his
chair.

He never got up.
It is a scenario
I don’t revisit
often but

I still talk to
him all of the time,
mostly when I’m

driving and listening
to classic rock on
the radio.

Today I told him that
I could see snow covered
mountains, in the sun
with palm trees at the

same time. I told him
how much I love fruit
parfaits from Coffee Bean
lately and I

know he would still try
to buy me generic ones
and pretend it was the same

if he could. I told him
how much he would love
my Husband, mostly

because of the incredible
care of me that he takes,
and mostly how I am a

spectacularlry functional
person within this
relationship
most of the time.

I’d tell him about my art
commissions

and I wouldn’t even feel
sorry for myself if he
wasn’t interested or didn’t
understand

if I could. Because it goes
that way. Mid sentence

it all flips to the wrong
tense and I have to read
it back to find out

how and when that happened.

My Dad would really love
that his little girl grew
up to be like me.

Strong and smart.
Capable.
Aware and

missing him so
much that nothing
could un teach her

how lucky
she is to still
tell him how

she lives in the
desert, with the sun
and the snow, the

mountains and the
palm trees. Turning
up the Foreigner track

as loud as it goes
just because it’s
who he

taught her
to be.

We met on a hike.
It was his last day
in the States. A

mutual friend asked
me to come with her,
meet the Brit.

He had mis matched
neon orange, green
and yellow socks.

Mustard yellow
adidas. Giant
aviator sunglasses

and a t shirt that
looked old, worn
and soft.

His English accent
made me look at
the ground a lot and

not dare start a
debate of any sort.

 

He was leaving the
next day. A one way
ticket to India,

they said.

“Take my class.”

He said.
Do I did, and we
often joke today

that I have never
done a class that
focused or strong

since.

I finished the
class, gave him a
thumbs up

and without
another word
walked out.

Later we will joke
about our findings
while stalking each other

on Facebook.

“Ugh you had a
girlfriend on the
beach in Goa with

cows.” I laugh.

“You were so
cool you were

Ally Sheedy cool.
I already knew you
had some French

photographer
boyfriend named
Sven.”

Sometimes I

go back to the
day we met and

imagine that maybe
I felt it already.

A glittering gold
wedding dress.

Cooking side by side
in our tiny kitchen.

Walking the dogs.
Naming our kitten.

Leaving the
Christmas tree up
all year because

every day
feels like

Christmas.

Sometimes I have
no idea how I got
transcended into this

version of a life

but I’ll
take it.

 

Continue reading

Pores of Colors

Woke up this morning at
6 A.M

jetlagged. Got out my
blue hair dye paste
with the sort of

quiet joy I

can only describe as
liberation from my
high paying service

industry job. Where I
was a
thing that sold
things to

things. I started to

carefully paint my
hair with the brush.

I don’t think blue hair
makes me pretty it only

makes me
who I

always told myself
I wanted to be before I

got here. I reach to find
a towel. Contemplate

that I’ll ruin it and
remember that this

is my life. With our

towels, free to be any
goddamn shade of
ruined
we want.