Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Dear everyone,

The only nice thing I have to say about the month of May is that it was completely devoid of mimes.

I have noticed that we've built ourselves a world of metaphors, that birds are freedom and trees, age, and that all we need to do to answer our own questions is stand still and let the proper metaphor present itself. But I think the only way to realize that we are being given answers is to remove ourselves from our every day sphere, to step back from the normal flow of information. We already know our Answers, we just have to bring ourselves to a place where we can let ourselves believe in them.



Tuesday, May 30, 2006

My grandma is the one who taught me, by example, to be independent--to learn how to take care of myself because there's never any guarantee that someone will be around to help. Even though she turned 87 last month she still rocks hard, working three mornings a week, crocheting a million doilies, and volunteering at the senior center, helping out people who are often younger than she is. She's had two different kinds of cancer three times now and is more active than my grandad, who's 17 years younger than she is.

She lost both her sister and her only son last year, and since then has been growing increasingly fragile. I wish there was a way to keep her under glass so that future generations will have a chance to meet her. I'm terrified of losing her, of having to live in a world where she is not.

So you can understand my difficulty breathing on learning a few minutes ago that she's been taken to the hospital. I'm scared.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Sasquatch! = both rock and roll, sunburn, freckles that refuse to be covered up, elephant ears, crappy beer, bad crowd surfing, very little rain.

Now. X3. Excited!

Saturday, May 27, 2006

I met a small boy today ("I'm six and a half, actually") who wanted to know what the assorted buttons and knobs by the atomic teleporter did. I made things up for a while, but finally confessed that in large part both buttons and knobs were broken. This was the sort of opening he'd been waiting for.

"Speaking of broken, I just lost two teeth!" He grinned wide enough for me to see that while his two front teeth were missing, all the rest of them were firmly in place.

"Oh, neat! How'd you lose them?"

He considered this for a second, one eye scrunched closed, before answering, "Oh, just fiddling with them, I guess. With my tongue, mostly."

"I lost one at school once, bit into an apple and out it came. I had to leave my class and they gave me a popsicle."

His dad gave me a look, and I realized that the boy will probably spend the next week at school testing out my story, trying to work a tooth loose to see if a popsicle will be forthcoming in the nurse's office.
If you need me, I will be:

the Gorge
seeing X3
at a BBQ

I'm excited to be going to Sasquatch tomorrow, although I'll be missing a few bands in the morning that I'd like to see. (Fortunately, it looks like they're all playing at the Capitol Hill Block Party or, uh, anywhere else in town since they're all local.) I'd like to be out there today, too, but today is not when the people with cars are going. Anyway, not my people with cars. A car. Whatever.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

I walked home from Met Park this evening under a sky that was spitting rain. Sometime just between a tree whose purple-blue flowers smelled of soap and a group of guys smoking pot my favorite song started up inside my headphones and the sky lightened and stopped dripping.

It only lasted half a block or so, but for a very little while I believed again in the power of scotch tape, that I will manage to pull myself out of this and stick myself back together. And then with the scents of soap and pot smoke still lingering in my nose the song ended, and the rain started back up.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

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My favorite roads were the straight ones, hung low with heavy summer clouds like a day-after theatre set--the end fading out, not hidden by a curve, just a little farther than we could see. Before we knew how to slow ourselves down by stepping on the backs of our own feet, before we knew enough to know that we were missing anything.

We kept a bag of jumbo marshmallows in the glove box at all times, for snacking but mostly for spearing with bits of paper hastily scribbled with messages. Marshmallows are the perfect weight for tossing into the next car without being hard enough to do damage, which makes them the best possible tool for high speed flirting or passing caravan messages or plain old target-based road games.
If you wanted me to, I could probably still cook frito pie under the hood, 40 minutes down the road going 55 miles an hour. This is all still my little red wagon, after all.
This morning I woke up, stumbled into the bathroom, grabbed my toothbrush, put toothpase on it, and then promptly lost my grip and dropped it into the toilet.
On the upside, my toilet is now minty fresh.

So it can only go up from here, right?

Sunday, May 21, 2006

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When a heroin user finds a vein that they like, they use it over and over again until it collapses. It would make more sense to use different veins each time to avoid these scars, but I guess heroin use and sense don't really go together. The time leading up to the collapse is when they get track marks, long lines of bruises and little individual pin pricks, all the way up the arm opposite from their dominant one.

I spent a lot of time as a very young girl with the local junkies, in garages and the depths of local parks, doing lesser drugs and stroking the ropey scars and cheap tattoos of longtime users. Kids are cruel, and it didn't take long to figure out that the kids my age didn't want anything to do with me, but that the junkies would take in anyone. I was a good student, and as long as I kept my grades up there wasn't any reason for anyone to notice that I spent most of my time missing. It didn't take long for things to turn ugly, and by the time I got to high school I was reformed and sullen and uninterested in touching drugs ever again.

It's been a pretty crappy weekend, and today I played only songs that I need my whole voice to sing along to, because it's in danger of disappearing. Catching up on some filing, I came across a few pictures from the summer after my first year of college, the summer I spent smoking fiercely, wearing black tank tops, and talking too fast. I never appreciated summer vacation enough when I had it. I'm pretty sure I'm not appreciating what I've got now that's good, because I'm not sure how to filter it--there isn't enough time to stop and savor all of it. So instead, I'm documenting, and what I've got now is a firmly entrenched bad mood and a lot of bad memories, both of which are things I'm lucky to have because they mean I'm still alive. I have to take while the taking is good.

So. Hello there. I'm samantha. I like dirty jokes and cursing like a sailor, red shoes and argyle, potato chips, puppies, beer, and the word "pulchritudinous." I like to spend weekday evenings in bars or at home with my tambourine and the northwest's finest indie pop. I do not like people who cheat, telephones, doing the dishes, lettuce, or the look I get when the bartender doesn't think I'm old enough to be in there. My doctor has confirmed that I am finally 5'1" tall. I weigh less than three numbers but no you cannot lift me up to see.

I like daisies, most of all. Daisies and hugs that last just a little too long.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

On slow days during the summer that I worked for the state attorney I would roam the aisles of the warehouse, pulling out files at random and thumbing through them. It was probably illegal and certainly unethical, and I don't have any excuse aside from boredom and a total disconnect from the people in those cases. But then one day I pulled out a file and a sheaf of pictures fell out, pictures from what turned out to be a murder scene. But it wasn't just any murder, no, I happened across the documentation of what happens when a father abuses his daughter just one too many times in reaching distance of a knife.
I deserved what I got, arrogantly not respecting the privacy of people just because they were contained in a box instead of standing in front of me. Those poloriods live just on the other side of my eyelids--they've never gone away.

I think we should all pause and notice that I have not yet split town, moved to Fiji, and taken up with a houseboy who only speaks enough English to make margaritas. That's pretty much a triumph of my better judgment, since more than half of me just wants to vanish. Lord, am I restless. The trouble is that I forget to breathe and it makes me crosseyed and everything seems a whole lot bigger than it actually is. I get scared of spring and everything that can happen but might not because I'm so scared and restless. Which makes the not-breathing more.

Last night at dinner our appetizer had flowers on it.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Who is doing less walking and more prancing? Who's thinking about going back to school to major in sass? Just who, do you think, has returned to the regular schedule of eating strawberries and breaking hearts and wearing skirts?

Yeah, no, that's not me, aside from the strawberries and the skirts. But I'm working on it, aided and abetted by a whole lot of time on the balcony, in very small spurts. (Hello, global warming, it's nice to see you!) I've been laid out for the last few days with a head cold, logging hours sleeping on the couch when I'm not out doing something.

But it's more and more spring these days, and I'll be back in my groove soon enough. And then I'll be an unstoppable, navel gazing, cheeky lass. You know, like usual.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

I've turned my potted impatients around so that the sun will help them fill out a little bit but man, that plant is out of control. It's going to break into your apartment and steal your playstation and leave a mound of empty Rainer Ice tallboys next to your sofa. Be on the lookout.

TMS stopped by my apartment last night while I was roasting asparagus. I haven't seen him since new years, and he stood in my kitchen and made fun of my chopping technique, and I delighted in the easiness of the mocking. I'm searching for things that are a little less complicated, these days.
He mentioned that he's developed a theory that everyone has to have a Grand Romantic Gesture at least once in their life, one time of frantically running through an airport or showing up somewhere unexpectedly or in some other way proving that real life can sometimes equal a movie. His big dilemma is that he's never sure if this girl is the one he should be making his Gesture towards--what if the next girl deserves it more?
I just pointed out the obvious, that he can't ever be sure that there will be a next girl and so the smart way to go about it is to treat each girl like the correct one and Gesture away. Besides, I wasn't really the one he should be asking, with my 'hey that's MY sandwich, what if I was saving that for later' style of dating, no matter how full of books the other side of my bed happens to be. I was just trying to figure out if I knew how to cook.

So I don't know. TMS will be out there somewhere, making sacrifices to the god of Romance and hoping he figures out how to stop running this summer. I, on the other hand, will be growing flowers from my fingers and toes and trying whatever comes up out just in case it ends up being worthwhile and interesting.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

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My brother's band had their first show last night, playing five songs at the eighth grade dance. (My father, unable to say anything nice about anyone ever, says, "They were alright for where they are." Where they are, of course, the end of eighth grade. Jerk.) The Behind the Music starts now, with a singer who doesn't want to sing and a steady round of snotty guitar players, breaking up, and drama. My dad and Stacey and I, a seasoned band family, have been trying to tell him that guitar player-related drama is so normal as to be expected, but then I guess these are things that ever rock star has to learn for himself.
Hopefully they'll be able to make a copy of the tape for me, and you better believe there'll be a screening party for the debut of Blood Throne as soon as it shows up on my doorstep.

Anyway, it turns out that he learned one of the most valuable lessons of being a musician last night, which is that as long as you keep playing, the girls will stick around. I'm just glad that there was no booing or ridicule, although their successful first night out has cemented his decision to move out here and start a band as soon as he turns 18.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Weekends, we would hop into the car and head out into the middle of nowhere for the express purpose of looking at the stars that our marginally citified lives denied us. Even on the beach they seemed farther away than they ever did when we lay on top of the car and held hands to make sure we stayed tethered to the earth.

The last few weeks have been a tougher than usual battle between myself and myself, and I have been holding on by my fingernails until I am capable of fixing the things that I have broken just to hear them smash. I am still a little bit fabulous, somewhere.

While on the bus on the way to the bartender's for dinner the other night, I chatted on the phone with Nick. I rarely spend time on the telephone, because I hate phones and wish we could communicate entirely via letters, smoke signals, and soft touches. Catching up with the other coast, however, requires sacrifices, and as we spoke he mentioned that he is currently substitute teaching. This is a revelation that secretly delights me, although I won't tell him that because I am mindful of the day when in our senior year psychology class I accused him of being a closet romantic due to his reluctance to sleep with his dumb blonde girlfriend. That's not something seventeen-year-old boys want to hear, and though he admitted to the fact finally last year, I'm pretty sure that fellows in their 20's have an equal dislike of the notion that their rapport with small children is absolutely adorable. Instead, I accused him of going all everything-I-need-to-know-I-learned-in-kindergarten on me.

He paused. "Well, that's kind of true, though."

I moved the phone away from my mouth, trying desperately not to laugh, as he pointed out that if we were still in kindergarten we'd just call each other names, he'd sing the alphabet--burping it, if I desired--and then we'd have some cookies and juice and a nap. And now I understand just why he's so popular with the little kids: he's still kind of one of them.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

I have decided against being cranky for at least the next few days, because it is so very spring outside and spring is for sass, and it's tough to be sullen and sassy at once. (I do so appreciate the opportunity to abuse alliteration in my everyday life.) Which just means that I'll swing the other way and sass you all into unconsciousness but, well, at least I warned you.

My dinner plans for the evening fell through, so I wandered up to the U district to see Sean Wilsey read. I always feel like such an imposter in the U district, which is irrational I know, but I've never really stopped being embarrassed by that grad school thing. But then on the bus home I ended up next to a drunken college boy sloppily consuming a gyro, and remembered why it's just fine that I don't spend a whole lot of time up there. I wasn't a huge fan of college boys while I was in college--Pete was in his mid-20's when I met him--and I really have no time for them now.

There's a secret somewhere in an act of a few years ago, in the fact that you left town with me on your mind. I'm not sure what the secret is, exactly, but I am sure that I'd like to know.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

My favorite movie in the entire history of movies was the midnight at the Egyptian special this week, so Steph and I hopped ourselves up on caffeine and stayed up to watch. The print was crappy and jumpy but lord, I think those were my people, with all of the clapping and the laughing and the excitement. And that's just a little embarrassing.

Friday night, my actual anniversary, was spent at the Crocodile and then afterhours at the bar, which is a habit I really need to get out of. The afterhours part, not the Croc part.

After a few days of being missing, the crazy demon cat showed up again last night. I blame this on Jake, who was just slyly asking how my cat was on Friday. And then it was waiting for me this morning when I went out to do my laundry. I'm not sure what I did to deserve such a thing. I could really use an exorcist, if you know one.

I could also use, let's see...a pedicure, a new couch, the moon, and this sandwich called a 'hurricane' that you used to be able to get at the sandwich place across the street from my mom before they changed management. Y'know, just in case.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Dear internet,

In less than 24 hours it will have been three years since I moved to Seattle with a cowboy hat, a car full of clothes and plans, and not a whole lot of common sense. In the intervening years I have kept the hat, sold the car, bought new clothes, made new plans, and acquired little more common sense.

In celebration, I went to Pioneer Square tonight to art walk with two very sexy people. This is important because not once during the evening did I question whether or not I was good enough to be in the presence of either. Sometime in the last three years I've figured out how to have friends without needing to justify why I've got them. If you had known the scared little muppet that moved out here, you'd see this as progress.

Which is not to say that everything's all sunshine and candy, because I still feel broken. This too, however, is progress, because I have learned to admit that I am sad even though I feel like such a nuisance bothering anyone with any such thing. At New Years I promised to learn to shave the edges off of my lows, and I'm working on doing that very thing. I'm working on fixing myself, and this is important because had I given in and stayed in Florida I would very likely be irreparably broken or, let's face it, dead.

(Let's compare and contrast: three years ago, this past Monday. I think that if nothing else, my sunglasses now speak for themselves.)

Regardless of how things are right this second, though, I'm glad that I'm here. I'm glad that I'm where I am now, and I'm glad that the people I've met here are a part of my life. The last three years have healed a lot of wounds, and while I don't want to get all sentimental on y'all, I am amazed that I feel safe enough to be starting to process and let go of the terrible darkness I came from. I was lucky to make it past seventeen, and the fact that the thought of the next sixty years drags on me some nights is a blessing I never thought I'd have.

Aw heck, I've done gone and got all sentimental on you, anyway. Sorry about that.

So, internet, I made my escape, and though a lot of people predicted I'd go crawling back within a few months, I managed to prove them wrong. Hooray for me.


Tuesday, May 02, 2006

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I'm pretty sure that while you and I were building a sand castle one day we grew careless of our shovel and lost it to the waves. It was when we abandoned our handiwork to chase after our tools, I think, that the tide stole up and snuck off with what we were in the middle of creating. That was the moment we undermined our chances of making something we could see from space.

I feel broken tonight, softly spiderwebbed through-and-through. And that's fine, because in a few days I'll be full of glue and bandaids and pink ribbons, anxious to patch up not only myself but everyone in the next three counties too, and sheepish for yet again admitting to being damaged. The only way to appreciate being fixed is to also appreciate being broken, or at least that's what I'm telling myself tonight. And so I am home, held together with string and spit and hope, waiting until it is time for today to be over so that tomorrow can start.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Dear everyone,

Another month has gone by, so it's time to pay the rent and talk to you. (I really enjoy the conceit that most of the time I'm talking to myself here. It helps me rationalize why so many of you are silent--it's because you're imaginary.)

I spent most of the month of April being sullen, going out too much, and gesturing wildly. I'd intended to start May off right, by being something other than grouchy, but then this morning my hair straightener was broken. As a result, I've spent the day wandering around town all tousled. If there was ever a way to make me feel like 1998 again, it's by giving me no control over this untidy mop, and the fact that everyone else seems to like it is just sort of adding insult to injury.

Today I met a man with only one leg. The reason I know that he was possessed of just one is because he said, "Hey, do you want to see something?" right before rolling up the leg of his pants and handing the prosthesis to me. It's certainly a charmed sort of something I'm living here. I held his leg awkwardly, not sure how one is supposed to handle such things, until it seemed like he felt I had gotten whatever the point was.

The point that I got, by the way, is that false legs are heavy. I don't know how they compare to real legs, never having held a detached one of those, and I'm not sure that's what I was supposed to be understanding anyway.

I'm still restless and cranky and idly considering running off somewhere. There's a chance Caroline and I will make a field trip to LA next month, to see friends and answer questions and be out of town, and Sarah and Jesse have finally bought tickets for their trip out here in July. In between now and then I'm just going to try not to self-destruct and, hopefully, start sleeping again.