Married in the Kitchen

“Have you even seen
lately the amount
of shit

on the counter? We have
cabinets for that. Why
does every dry ingredient

for your smoothies
have to live on the
counter top? We have
so many cabinets.”

He offers a few different
ways of where everything
can be put away. I can’t

be bothered. “I was just
saying that theres too
much shit on the counter,

not that I want to
organize the kitchen now,
at midnight.”

I sit at the table
drinking my plant
based non dairy

chocolate milk.
Warm orange light
bounces from his

natural glow. Fresh
hair cut and my
favorite face,

the one where his
beard has grown out
for approximately
three days.

Worn gray t shirt.
Deep blue linen

Thai fisherman pants.
He is the most emotionally
available and brilliant

human I have ever met
and right now he is
organizing the counter
top at

midnight. I have these
little moments
with myself, just

watching him that
leave me forgetting
to breathe. I feel so

safe. I feel so

lucky.

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Blicks

Every time I walk
into the place I
feel like an extra

fraud. Now that
I have bangs and
my hair looks like

a wig a bank robber
would wear I take
note of my

reflection, and how
suspicious I
look in giant

dark sunglasses.

Just
walking through
the doors brings up

feelings of dropping
a lunch tray in Jr.
High. I want to

hide. My head
tells me I’m
supposed to know

what all of this
shit is and how to
use it. I try to walk

confidently to the
canvas stretchers – my

area of focus. The
thousands of black
and white tubes of
paint in all sizes

makes me dizzy. I
can’t even bare to
pick up the canvas

stretchers. I feel like
I’ll make a noise and
everybody will know

that I have no
idea
what the fuck

I’m doing. Or worse,
they’ll ask and I’ll
have to tell them, but

I won’t say that, I’ll
start talking like I
had to talk for

10 years of working
in hospitality. Polite,
nice, invisible.

I couldn’t stop
for too long to
look at any specific
thing. I felt like

a shop lifter – just
so horridly out of
place.

I gravitated towards
the kids craft section.

I felt ok there, but
that was it. Debated

buying rainbow shaped
post- it notes, took
note of a gallon bottle
of silver glitter on

clearance for $4.74.

I walked out
of the store with
nothing. When I

came home I told
my husband about it.

He said “You are not
and never will be
polished, organized

materials. Do you
make your art for
the art world or

do you make your art
for the real world?”

“It all only comes
from the places I
come from.”

He hugs me in the
dim yellow glow
of the kitchen.

“Someday maybe I’ll
get to go in there
and not even feel like

I don’t belong. In the
meantime I’ll goddamn

youtube whatever I
need to know.”

I constantly feel
inadequate. Like I’m
supposed to be taking

your breakfast order
in order to be doing
life right.

Going into that
fancy art store the
lonely kid comes

out, the dumb kid,
the scared kid. I

hope someday that
changes but it
wasn’t

today. In the
meantime my

business cards
came in the mail
and I edited 39

images of my
paintings for my
new website.

One foot in front
of the other

regardless,
as
always.

Cake & Balloons

I was never
grown up enough
to ask you what

your favorite
birthday was.

I didn’t know to
ask questions
like that

while you were
still here to
ask.

March 10th. The
perfect beginning
of spring with some
frost still.

Your Mom would
make you the
same cake every

year until my
Mom did.

Warm chocolate
cake white
buttercream icing.

In a bowl
of milk at
midnight.

You told me once
when you were five,
your Grandpa Dutch

showed up with a
brand new shining
red tricycle

for you. You
told me how
you remember him

taking it out
of the car, and
how in the memory

the red was still
so bright and the
sun reflected off

of the new shine
perfectly. I miss
those memories but
now they’re only

mine and I am
grateful for all
that you shared and I
was able to remember.

When I was 7 I
remember waking you
up at 6 a.m on your

birthday. I had
covered a pan of
vanilla wafers in
Reddi Whip, stuck in
and lit

35 candles.
You woke up
yelling at me

that I was going
to burn the house
down, but felt bad

and sat in bed
eating the cookies.
You let me go to

school late that
day. When you were
50, we pulled off a

surprise 50th birthday
party for you. I
snapped this photo

of your soul, holding
balloons. It’s one of
my top 3 favorite

of you.

Birthdays
are a
big deal, now
and especially

after.

I sang “Happy Birthday”
in all of my
painful and disheveled

yoga postures that
day. I’ve been

taking class every
day and it gets to

the point that my
body feels like a
potato bag of crystal

splinters. I
didn’t make a
cake yet but I

will. When the
mood is better,

and I feel lucky
that I even had you

long enough
to know

what I’m
missing.

Christmas Pond

When my Husband
was living
on the other side

of the world and
our relationship
was a series of

written messages
we used to always
say that when we

could be together
all of the time
every day would feel

like Christmas morning.

Recently we got another
Kitten. We named him
Christmas because

that was when he arrived
to us. He sleeps all
day long in my

Grandfathers crushed
gold shell chairs in
the sun or stretched

out on the table with
his head wedged in between
the wooden blinds.

He can’t be bothered
for the whole day but

if you wake up in the
middle of the night he
acts like a baby ball
python. He is the most

affectionate animal
I have ever known,

but only for about a
two hour window, between
5 and 7 a.m.

Christmas sleeps
between our pillows
and if you move, he
assumes you are up,
licking your ears and

wrapping his tail
around your neck.

This morning was no
different. He purrs
louder than the
washing machine,

stretches out and
demands he be pet and
held.

“Christmas morning.”

I mumble to my husband
through all of his
alarms.

It’s a trip sometimes
the ways that the things
that we ask for

show up and
stay.

“Every muscle in my
body feels like it’s
been in the back of

a dump truck, driving
down an alley in the
Chicago Federal District.

I have gone to yoga like
9 days in a row – six of
which Kevin kept the room
at over 110 and 60% humidity.
He says things in his class
like “My wife thinks I

hold the postures too long.”
As I’m sitting in balancing
stick for a full minute.

Am I going to feel better TJ?
I can barely walk.”

She just giggles her

fairy from another world
giggle.

“I don’t think so. You
know the drill.”

I turn on my laptop
in search of a
groupon massage.

TJ pours

the tea.

Continue reading

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.

Two hundred eighty eight different numbers

The robot voice
asks for my

social security
number. Birthday.
Zip code. Phone
number. It’s

funny. I
can walk into
a hot room that

I might die
in daily.

I can dye my
hair myself
the worst

colors and
not care what
people think.

I can stand up
in a room and
teach a yoga

class. I can
sell my art.

I can not use
drugs or alcohol
without much

of a thought most
days. I can
show up to my

life with grace,
a lot of the time
but

there is no fear
to me like the
fear of going to

see a Doctor. I
dial the number
and my mouth

goes dry. I
don’t know how
to make appointments

without it being
a big deal.

It is a
vulnerability
and shame that

I can’t place.

So. I’m going
to the doctor
in two days.

Hopefully
I will get
used to

such things.