Thursday, February 25, 2010

Oh, Spring. I have been ignoring you, smashing into someone else's turn with all of this bluster and flash, all of these cold windy nights. I don't feel like I got a whole winter's worth of winter, and I am worried that you have torn open all of these flowers too early, that you will take a little break before you are here for good and that in the meantime all of those flowers will die. I'm just having a hard time trusting you.

I'd rather not have to step over a sidewalk pasted with the thick purple petals of the flowers that line my walk, you see. I like those petals to stay where they are until they turn brown, I prefer them not hurled to the ground before their time. I'm sure you understand.

But yesterday on the bus Hemingway told me, "When spring came, even the false spring, there were no problems except where to be happiest." And, fine. He's sort of right. So I give in, Spring. Nice to see you again.

Monday, February 22, 2010

There is one thing that I want very badly right now, and as is usually the case it is taking up my whole brain--I am frequently a whole lot like a golden retriever or a three year old. I sometimes think that this is why I tend toward impatience, because the rest of my brain is knocking the focusing part around with its elbows, suggesting that we try and feel more than one thing at a time, but that one section is busy staring hard at a fixed point. Lions get distracted by the four points of a chair because they can't focus on more than one thing at once, and I am very often the same.

All of this nervous energy keeps me more awake than caffeine, but the crash is always so much worse.

Friday, February 19, 2010

One of my favorite parts of traveling is the chance to realize one more time how friendly and helpful most people are. (People are friendly and helpful in Seattle, too, but since I live here I am not as often in need of their assistance.) Looking even moderately confused will almost always cause people to pause in whatever they're doing to make sure you're not lost or in trouble, and if you are, to help you find your way again. The old man on the bus made sure that we knew we would end up on the other side of the Golden Gate Bridge, the scowling teenager helped us confirm that we were heading in the direction we wanted to be in, the bartender at the Tonga Room offered to take our picture as many times as it took to get it right.

Part of why I don't mind traveling alone is that every time I go anywhere, people are almost always friendly. Sometimes others are not quite so nice--sometimes they try to give you 100 Euro for a blowjob--but almost everyone makes an effort to be kind. Traveling is a good reminder to be helpful to people I meet that are visiting my city--to not always rush past someone holding a map upside down or not quite finding the Space Needle through the fog. To offer to keep taking pictures until the perfect one happens.

Monday, February 15, 2010

We walked across this

I walked across the Golden Gate Bridge, friends, and it was terrifying. So terrifying that I had to have two fruity cocktails at the Tonga Room later. San Francisco loved us--the weather was beautiful and the food was delicious and everyone was so friendly. New cities are the best.

Friday, February 12, 2010

I'm heading to San Francisco tonight, to spend the long weekend exploring a new city and eating many delicious things with a couple of my favorite adventure partners. I love new cities, and how quickly the landscape becomes my place, even if only for a couple of days. Fun and adventure always happens with these people--hot tubs full of Swedish boys, Mexican tranny bars, makeout puppy piles--and I could really use a couple of days out of town, so this is going to be terrific.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

We knew all about phantom limbs long before World War II came along and gave us enough victims to make a scientific fact out of it. Ahab felt it, growling about his wooden leg on the deck of the Pequod. We always knew that what was missing sometimes still felt like it was there, that all of our body is part of our brain. That all of our body is part of the past.

I wonder about our brains full of boxes, memories unfiled and nibbled through by mice, found again only when we pass by chance a tree that smells familiar or a jukebox playing the wrong song. About how the cracks between our fingers get larger when we're not looking and let the smaller parts fall through, leaving behind us a breadcrumb trail of raised eyebrows and impatiently tapping feet and the most secret of smiles.

I can't say for sure how we got from there to here, but I bet that with a lamp and a little bit of time we could follow our own trails back and remember everything, piece by piece. I think that in the end, we'd find ourselves somewhere new.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Just because I don't talk really about love and those things, you know, here, doesn't mean I won't elsewhere--today I am over at The Giant Typo talking about collecting love stories, being a big goofy sap, and not giving up on being hopeful.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Like clockwork, the end of January comes around and I find myself rolled under by a case of the smash-everythings, wanting to kick everyone who talks about the weather, ever, and then leave town and change my name. Learn to whittle, and start a jug band, maybe. Something other than this routine, all of these same old things. January and I are always wanting to move in opposite directions.

Sleeping, I dream lately of angry miniature crocodiles, thrashing in pools of water in rooms full of people, leaping at throats and biting off fingers. In these dreams no one else seems to notice their missing digits, or how the water all turns red at their feet.

I wonder about the fighting, and when it stops--when we can let go and realize that good enough really is pretty good. How long it will take me to stop fighting against and start going with, how to smooth these fists out of my hands.

Monday, February 01, 2010

I startle myself with my own shadow often enough to call it all the time, continually confused by the different directions my shadow can come from depending on where the light around me is. I walk to and from most places, and Seattle is so dark, and everywhere I go I can feel someone behind me...except when I turn around, heart in my throat, it's just me sneaking up on myself again.

On Friday night I walked with my umbrella in a drizzle, jumping at each shift in the bushes. About to cross the street, I turned to look for cars, and discovered two joggers only a couple of feet behind me. Most of the time, my imagination weighs heavier than whatever is actually around.