all roads point somewhere

April 20, 2013

I got home late tonight and stood in my backyard. Right on top of the edge of one the veggie boxes I built a couple years ago. It was so quiet. I looked around at everything that’s coming up. It’s already starting to get thick and lush by the back wall. I had grand plans to move things around this spring but it didn’t happen. Plans got derailed. That’s ok. Spring is long. And things will still grow and and open up and bloom. Plus, this is not really my home.

Home. It’s such a tricky thing. When I look at my longing, which is vast and deep, I believe that home is at the bottom of it. That I am always longing for home.  Sometimes, if I try I, if I bring consciousness to it, or I am feeling secure, I can construct it — the stretch of road leaving Lake Lemon and heading toward camp, walking up the steps to Becky’s house, the streets around Butler, the drive from our old apartment on Fall Creek to Martha’s house, the smell of frankensense, the smell of toothpaste when I am camping, a chocolate shake and a car window rolled down on a hot summer night. I could make a new list. Call it, “ways to find home” and tape it up to one by my mirror called “take care, 2013.” It’s worth thinking about. It would be hard work. I know, home needs to come from somewhere inside me, but sometimes that place inside doesn’t seem to exist, which is about the best way I can explain it. Where there should be home in me there is me, untethered, and wishing I could find something to anchor myself too.

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thursday night in my backyard

April 19, 2013

Sometimes I sit on my back stoop. Except it’s not really a stoop. Its 3 steps that lead from the big glass sliding door off the kitchen and down to the gigantic deck that takes up almost half of the back yard. I like sitting out there at night and looking at the sky and the outlines of the plants and trees in the dim light. Its quiet and everything seems close in, kind of like a giant cocoon, and I’m not distracted by the weeds or how I didn’t move things around the yard the way I should have. I tried to sit out there tonight and write, because it was warm and because I needed to unwind, but it was raining on my computer screen. The front porch is not the same, with the street lights and the cars and the neighbors across the street sitting on their porch and talking and laughing and smoking. If my front porch was a proper covered porch it would be different, but it’s not, which is not the point. And by that I mean it’s not the point to dwell on all the things that not the way they should be or the way I want them to be. Although I can easily go down that path. The scarcity path. Which is a stupid heart suck. I was talking to my friend, VG, tonight about how you imagine the way you would be in certain instances or circumstances, and future you is like some other version of yourself, potentially better, more together, more Zen. But then when you are neck deep in the circumstance, you are so remarkably you. You are not the future you. You are the present you dealing the way you do with the stuff that’s happening in your life. You are doing the best fucking job you can do.

The thing is we’re all in it. Either we’re standing in the middle of something or were somewhere in the ripples. Millions of centers and millions of ripples.


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blog challenge topic 2: hair

April 18, 2013

Dad’s Hair

My dad’s hair smelled. Not bad. Also, not good. Just distinct. He always wore a hat. Mostly a rolled up stocking cap. So maybe it was the smell of the hat and his sweat trapped in the hat and then dried on his head plus cigarette smoke and sawdust from work and the smell of outside mixed with smell of his truck, in which he stored everything – his tools, books, clothes, etc. Sometimes I’ll smell the inside of one of the stocking caps that I used to wear all the time and I swear it smells a little bit like him.

When I was young, maybe 6 or 7 or 8, Dad used to let me and my sister Katherine comb his hair. He’d sit on the side of one of our beds and take off his stocking cap and and Kath and I would stand or kneel behind hind and run a comb through his hair, over and over and over. Or maybe it was a brush? Dad never said much to us while he sat there. He was mostly quiet. Kept his hands folded together in his lap. Maybe his head was bowed down a little, unless one of us tilted it up or to the side. Which is a distinct possibility. I’m pretty sure Kath and I fussed over him and probably argued about taking turns and whoever wasn’t doing the grooming likely tried to lean up a little bit against his shoulder or his back.

Hair Cut

For a chunk of time when I was little, like at least in kindergarten through 2nd grade, I had short hair. My mom called it a pixie hair cut, which was maybe a way to cutefy the cut which was pretty boyish on me. Or at least I passed a lot as a boy then. Mom always took me to her hair stylist to get my hair cut. The salon was in the basement of a semi fancy, old hotel near downtown and first mom would get her hair permed and I would run around the hotel and ride the elevators and then while Mom was under the dryer I’d get my hair cut. Mom’s stylist used scissors on everything but my bangs, which she cut with a straight razor. She would pull a lock of of my bangs out with her one hand and hold them and then with her other hand hack at the ends with the razor. It always tugged on my head in a way that made me tear up. I would get so quiet and I wouldn’t look at myself in the mirror because I didn’t want to see myself crying. I don’t think she needed to use a razor to get the stupid pixie look she was going for and sometimes I think she must have enjoyed inflicting the pain on me.

MTB’s Hair

The first time I saw MTB was years ago at the E room. I noticed her because she was rocking a modified mullet and wearing mostly black, and I’m pretty she was wearing a vest too. I remember thinking about her hair and thinking “bold.” As in right the fuck on bold. It was so fucking cool, I thought; she was making the mullet her own. Plus she looked hot. I saw her a few times at the E room. I thought the same thing every time. Bold! Coooooool! Hot!

I met MTB in person about 4 years ago via a get together for CS. CS invited a bunch of people out to celebrate the fact she’d quit this job that was sucking the life out of her soul. I was sitting at the end of table with 6 or 7  people when MTB walked in Bar Bar and I thought, holy shit there is that hot dyke who rocked a mullet from E Room. I immediately got self conscious and I tried not to stare at MTB. Or not to be too obvious about staring. At some point CS introduced us and then at some point later, MTB and I caught each other’s eye across the table.  I’ve got to admit that I don’t remember how MTB was wearing her hair that night. I’m sure there was that curl cascading down the right side of her face, but I couldn’t say how long or how short it was, or if it was dyed. Besides catching her eye, what I remember were her boots. Danner’s. The kind a logger would wear. I nearly melted.

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blog challenge. 4 topics in 8 days. first up: beer.

April 17, 2013

MTB and I are undertaking a mutual blog challenge. The challenge runs from today through next Wednesday the 25th and our goal is to publish a post on each the following topics: hair, dogs, summer and beer.

We are kicking it off with beer. Which is funny because I don’t drink beer. I don’t even like beer. I never acquired a taste for it. Cheers. Except not with a beer.

I’ve drunk beer exactly one time in my life. I was 14. I was at party celebrating our Episcopal diocese getting a new bishop. Episcopalians are decadent when it comes to alcohol. Or at least they were in the 70s. Me and my friends were some of the youngest kids at this party, which was put on by one of my best friend’s older brother and sister, who were kind of cool, or at least cool enough to know lots of cool people. Also, their mom let kids drink alcohol at their house, upping the cool factor exponentially. The scene had a little bit of The Dazed and Confused feel to it, with a whole bunch of high school and college kids coming in and out of the house. Classic rock blasting on the stereo. And a handful of us, who had just gotten out of junior high.

I started out with a couple of Strohs tall boys, which tasted bitter, and then had some Little Kings creamed ale, which tasted creamy and bitter. But Little Kings were what all the cool, older kids at the party were drinking, so I just sucked them down. I followed up the Strohs and Little Kings with some wine and then port and then some liquor. Just re-reading that sentence, makes me want to vomit. The night did not end well for me. But I won’t go into too many of the details. Suffice it to say that when I got home, I vomitated. (I asked my housemate, Remy, who I just accidentally called Roomy, what another word for vomitate is, absolutely unaware that I was thinking out loud and in doing so, that a non-word combination of regurgitate and vomit was actually coming out of my mouth. Pun intended. Anyway, she said I had to include the word, vomitate, in my post) I vomitated a lot that night. Outside the party in a neighbor’s front yard. And then in the bathroom attached to my mom’s bedroom.

After that, for years, and by years I mean up through college and a little longer, I mostly stuck to disgustingly sweet liquored drinks, like cherry vodka and peach schnapps, etc, which did not make me a very good dyke. Because I was never up for splitting a pitcher or springing for a six pack or going in on a keg or driving over to Ohio on a Sunday because Indiana is dry on Sundays. There was no shot gunning for me. Or playing quarters. Or funnneling. I don’t regret that. But maybe its why I didn’t stick with rugby, which I do regret a little.

My housemate, Remy, suggested that I tell that story, in part, because I don’t have any other beer stories of my own. Remy also said I could basically lie and say I drink beer, but I think she was just humoring me because she is tired and I want attention. Remy said a bunch of  other things about beer, like how delicious it is to have one after a long hike and how once when she was drinking Belgian beers with her friend, Lisa, the bartender touched Remy’s finger nails because her nail polish was glittery and that chicken cooked on a beer can reminds Remy of going to Communist Bulgaria and hearing the song, Ring of Fire, and sitting in a bedroom full of stuffed animals, and also of constipation. Except, Remy wants to stress she wasn’t not the one who was constipated; it was her friend, and for some reason a very handsome soccer player took Remy and her friend to the hospital where her friend  was given anal suppositories.

Is it maybe lazy or a cheap shot or too obvious or trying too hard to be funny to end a post on beer when you don’t drink beer with the phrase “anal suppositories.”

I am so very confident that MTB is going to have a much better story about beer! Very confident, in fact.

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April 13, 2013

True confession. It is 10:30 on Friday night and I just ate a bowl of tomato soup with saltines and I am currently listening to a Justin Bieber song on purpose. I had plans for tonight. With myself. And at 6:30 they sounded perfect. Run some errands. Eat some food. Go to this thing at Slabtown. I was gonna ride my bike. But then it started raining and it was colder out than I wanted it to be so I checked out some new music thinking I would just wait out the rain. And it probably did stop raining at some point. I just didn’t notice because I got caught up big time into culling through a list of top 100 songs of 2012. I cannot resist the new song hole. I also made myself a list of things I want to get done on Saturday and Sunday. Lists rule. I make lots of them. Practical ones, like grocery lists, errands to run and people I need to get hold of  for one reason or another. Aspirational ones, like things I want to do this summer, books I want to read and projects I want to work on. Creative ones, like this long list I have of titles I can use for poems or stories or essays. I have a bunch of iTunes playlists. I have an audio list on a digital recorder of song ideas. I have a list called l.z., which is a list of things I can do to bring joy into my life and help me not get twisted up in my neurosis. If I was a different kind of person I would make a zine of my lists except I tend to not hang onto my lists. I do have an one old list from when my dad died. It is crammed full of writing in all directions and in different color inks, divided up by lines and boxes – call social security, call VA, get estimate for cremation, find bank account info, ask coroner they keep dad’s body at the morgue before we have to move him, etc.

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rain and weights and love

April 6, 2013

First real spring rain bike ride. Meaning the rain is not so cold and it’s light out and things are blooming and budding and generally coming up from the ground. I made it home from work and my pants got only moderately wet. Now, I am slowly working through my weight routine. Curls. Extensions. Presses. Writing sentences between sets. I’ve been doing variations of this shit, on and off, since I was 19 and my pre-gym queen era, gym queen roommate taught me how to lift free wights. We’ll see if I get to any of the unsexy things on my to do list tonight, like putting away my laundry or changing the litter boxes. Mostly, I can’t stop thinking of Val and her people and the immense amount of love and devotion I’ve witnessed this last week .

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