I’m irritated today.
My technology’s going glitchy, and I’ve just spent 5 of the last several hours paying taxes. I’ve had to reopen this same document twice since I’ve started typing, due to crashes. I want a cigarette and a tall glass of beer. I want a bar of chocolate and a bowl of dried cherries.
Ladies and gentlemen, I am a frazzled lady.
I stumbled onto a “Men’s Rights” blog, which included a gem of an article detailing why you should not take a woman who is not fucking you out to dinner. I believe the exact words were, “It’s a waste of money. Take that bitch out for $2 tacos instead.”
So now I’m caught up in my own First World bullshit, lamenting the fact that I have a job with which to pay my bills and a little roof over my head. I hate the term “first world problems,” (Problems are problems, yes? Can we all stop shaming each other now?) but I also hate when I get this way. So discontent, striving for the next rung in the ladder, the next piece to the puzzle that I’m making up as I go along.
Is it a sickness of the culture I was born into, to want so much?
I wish I had infinite time with which to write, gentle reader. I wish I had a quiet place to do it. I’m halfway through with my novel, but instead of being proud and feeling accomplished, I’m just frustrated that the going’s so slow. I’m just chafing at the time constraints I feel so boxed into. Paying bills, going to work, the bank, the gym. Spending time with my family, however small it may be.
It’s precious little to complain about; don’t think I don’t know. And yet… I just feel like I have so much I want to give. So much I want to say. I’m tired of doing work I don’t love, for people I don’t love.
Tell me I’m not alone in this.
Is it inappropriate – and by inappropriate, I mean skull-numbingly boring – for me to write a post about sticky lip gloss? Yes? Well then, I promise I will start at lip gloss and end up somewhere else entirely. Deal? Deal.
I have always the hated sweet, sticky lip gloss that comes in a squeeze tube. Ladies (and gentlemen), you know the kind: It was probably $2 at the drug store, and no matter what color it looks, it goes on a kind of pinky-clear. It tastes like chemical candy and makes your lips stick together.
But lately, I’ve been reaching for this stuff on my days off, the days that I wear makeup at all.
I like this stuff, as it turns out, purely for its associations. You see, it makes me think of high school girls. It makes me think of being in high school, trying to be sexy or rebellious. It reminds me of hanging out at bus stops in cargo pants, cigarette in hand, trying to look cool.
It’s a reminder of the way you felt, little girl, when sex was still new and unknown, forbidden and exciting. This lip gloss doesn’t want to be kissed. It wants you to want to kiss it.
It’s what all the girls who were cooler than you wore; it’s your life before car insurance and phone bills and PG&E-or-they’ll-turn-off-the-heat.
This stuff is a time loop, a window back to when you had braces and were immortal. It’s all that youthful bluster and heart that made you sure – so sure – that all the adults around you were doing it wrong.
But you knew better. When you grew up, you would do it different and you’d do it right.
You’d move to NYC, and you’d be a star and a writer and a painter. You’d be young and in love, adored and admired, and you’d never cry again.
It’s why I appreciate this glitter, artificial crap, even when it goes on tacky and is hell on your skin. It’s why, sometimes I find myself reaching for that tube of gloss.
This stuff is bottled naïveté and nostalgia, baby.
I’m working on a poem that isn’t ready to see the light of day yet. It’s still incubating in my mind and in my fingertips. It’s that time of the year, Ladies and Gentlemen. Spring is about to dawn, and with it, all those golden flecks of new life are peeking out of the grass. The air feels pregnant with possibility. You can scent it on the wind if you stick your nose up at the right angle.
I’m still tirelessly drawn to the ocean. I find myself there more and more these days, like I used to. The salt air calls to me. I feel more whole, breathing it in. As if it bathes me and washes me clean.
I don’t talk like this anymore, for fear of sounding like one of them, the walking dreamers, the careless sleepers. Anyone who talks too much and does too little, who judges and harms their fellow man with their judgments.
But there is something about possibility that is undeniable. And if I judge my fellow dreamers, maybe it’s just because sometimes I’m scared our dreams will never come to term. That they will be stillborn, and we will be left in the dark.
Have another poem instead.
Dirt-eaters, tired sleepers,
Brother, are you strong?
Got a blast from the past here. It’s a piece that i wrote a year ago, from a former blog that I used to keep. I found it and really liked it and thought I would share it with all of you. Enjoy:
kill any of the parts of yourself that seem familiar but aren’t wild enough. kill anything that wants to hold onto the shit that you own. you are small. you are so goddamn minuscule that it’s a miracle that you can even be seen. fuck it, you’re small so be brave.
you’ve got a heart that beats
run and make it pound til you can feel the pressure from your blood against your arterial walls. hear it wailing in your ears. it hurts, doesn’t it?
good, that means that you are alive. kill the parts of yourself that want to do you any harm, cut them out of you with a sharp knife. satisfy your bloodlust; hurt yourself by denying yourself self-harm.
if you are a destructive motherfucker then use it to build. build in reverse. if you’ve got a horse that goes only backwards then turn its tail towards home.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day, guys.
It’s a slubby, slouchy, work-from-home kind of day.
The people in my life have been slowly domesticating me. From my mother’s voice that I hear in my head as I reach for the dirty socks I’ve worn twice already: “Hope, put those down! Do not wear those again!” that makes me dig, instead, through my pile of clean laundry until I find a matching pair of new socks. To my boyfriend insisting that yes, it is okay to own more than one pair of shoes, and hiking boots don’t go with everything. In fact, they go with almost nothing, unless you’re going hiking.
I look through the Yelp directory to find some cafe somewhere that will give me a pot of tea. Nevermind that I don’t like Yelp. Nevermind that I want coffee.
Flashforward to where I’m sitting in a coffee shop. To my left is a guy writing lines of code, nursing an empty cappuccino cup. Across from me there are two women who work at Twitter, bitching about their jobs.
And then there’s me. Tangle-haired, wearing boy jeans, combat boots, and sticky-sweet lip gloss. My arms are a riot of tattoos, dirty hair ties, and scars from old kitchen wounds. I’m scratching away in a notebook I found in a trash bin a year ago because I forgot my techno tablet at home again. My high school self would be proud. Hell, I am proud. Some days, anyway.
My fingers go numb again. I’m getting the beginnings of carpal tunnel in my wrists from all the work-related chopping and dough-rolling. On the bright side, I can break down a case of onions in nothing flat.
I feel like a harried mother most days, squirreling away all the little scraps of time I can find just for myself. How will I ever finish this novel? I can never finish a cup of coffee before it gets cold, just like I can never seem to finish a blog post without at least one change of venue.
I know never give you pictures, never let you see what I see, so here’s what I’ve got: a view from my window on this glorious day. It’s not Paris, but it’s where I am.
The sun is sticky-hot and sends its love, as do I.
Do you ever have those days where nothing goes right, despite your best intentions?
Those are the days when the parking meter eats your quarters, and you find out at 9 a.m. that your headlights are on. “Oh shit, did I leave those on all night?” you ask yourself.
The answer is probably yes.
On days like this, you start the day trying to give yourself every leg up. You wake up early, maybe even comb your mop of hair for once. You even grab a granola bar as you run out the door. Bright-eyed, you go to face the day, only to realize: This is not my day.
There are days like this. There will always be days like this, when “I got this!” quickly morphs into “I don’t got this!” Days when you feel more like a hot mess than any sort of, you know– functioning, capable adult. When even the milk in your coffee curdles, maybe just to spite you.
Hold that thought. Have I ever mentioned how much hope I take from the kindness of strangers?
A homeless man told me this morning that I needed to back my car up or else get a parking ticket.
“Thanks man, really appreciate it.”
“I’m here every day. I see what they do,” he replied.
So, there is that. Human kindness; looking out for each other in this big, old, crazy human family. It’s nice to know that even when I’m a hot mess, other people aren’t, and they will watch out for me.
And I will watch over them when it’s my turn.
Happy Sunday night, lovely people of the world.
What I’m drinking tonight: Grapefruit vodka with a splash of citrus seltzer water, garnished with candied cherries because I am a sucker for sweets.
The above was about as far as I got last night while trying to type a blog post. After that, I’m afraid the vodka and the day caught up with me, and I fell asleep at my computer (which was in my bed, so no worries!) I’m not really a fruity cocktail kind of girl. I like straight whiskey and dirty martinis; heavy dark beers, deep wines, and crisp rosés. So I consider last night’s drink the popping of my girly-drink cherry. It was clear, cold, pale pink, and delicious!
Since I’ve started driving, I find myself drinking less, but drinking at home more often. I don’t necessarily mind. There are a lot of cheap, bad liquors out there, especially on the bar scene. Plus, I am just enough of a recluse to not feel like rubbing elbows with my fellow men most nights.
Now it’s daytime, and I’m on my second cup of coffee.
I feel like there should be a progression to the coffees a person has in a day. The first one—when you wake up bleary-eyed and fuzzy-headed, and if you’re like me, you still haven’t eaten breakfast—that coffee should be sweet and creamy and pleasant. The sugar and the fat from the cream will pull you through the morning slump and get you energized for the work ahead.
The second cup, that’s when you start getting into black coffee. Any more sugar and cream, and you will probably feel sick. So this one is probably better off steaming hot and bitter. Good coffee helps. It’ll wake you up, and the bitter bite will help stave off the mid-workday blues.
If you’re just drinking a ton of coffee at home on your days off (I do this sometimes, too. No judgment here, loves.) then really, all bets are off. Drink away to your heart’s content. Maybe throw a splash of Bailey’s in there while you’re at it.
Some days, I am a lazy fucking writer, but most days I am an efficient goddamn pastry cook. I told a stranger what I do for a living (I cook), and he told me not to feel too bad about it. “Of course I don’t,” I told him. Why would I?
I am very good at what I do, and I have always found mastery attractive, in myself and in others.
Reading other people’s blogs gives me inspiration to write my own, especially if I disagree with the things they say. There is some dissenting voice in me that refuses to be silent.
Sometimes other people censor us, tell us to be quiet, that we are stupid and wrong. Sometimes the people who say it are the ones we love the best, and then it’s confusing.
Sweet readers, love your lovers and kiss your families goodnight, but fuck any voice that tells you to sit down and be silent. Speak as long as you have something to say. Let that sweetness perfume the world.
We are our own harshest critics, our own greatest detractors. But if you don’t believe yourself, how will anyone else? If I don’t believe myself, then how will anyone believe me?
I’m not the vulnerable confessor you think you remember. I am becoming something else entirely.