If I stood at the inseam myself, what would it look like?
The day I didn’t let you keep the change because it belonged to the cafeteria? When I was a duckling with a witchy smile but everyone bought my routine just like they are now, only I’m xeroxing papers and reading scripts and before I was just on a balance beam eating an ice cream cone and laughing through the holes in my face from my missing teeth.
I’m the same I’m the same I’m the same. I have been from birth. Inside the seam of my soul is the same glint in my eye and at the bottom of my guts are still painted the lyrics from Across the Universe.
Personhood is a tattoo received at birth. The writing is on the wall because it always has been, to deny that my jack-o-lantern laugh is disinherited from my genetic code is blasphemy. But there’s this new thing now, this thing of stretching muscles of alone for the first time in a long time.
Remembering how to love the strangers on the street as your kin. Remembering that they are.
One day, a long time from now I’ll look back and think about the summer I spent interning at ICM, living in sun-drenched Westwood, watching the World Cup, knocking on the ceiling with my broomstick, taking the bus back and forth.
I’ll wonder what my thoughts were as I idled the short hours in between shifts away. I’ll wish for photographs, autographs, concrete and tangible memories of a gloried time in a gloried place when everything was at my fingertips and it all seemed tangible.
But of course, I know why there aren’t any pictures. Why there’s no notation or bits and pieces of me glued to the ceiling of memory. I’ll soon forget what I now know about how this was not the time or place I envisioned for myself, my life. That there was a ugly rampaging part of me that had to brace against the cold feeling of a hot empty bed every night, or the feeling of eating noodles alone on a Thursday when college parties happen all around you.
The feeling of being young, yes, but also of feeling very very old in your own bones.
Last night to be exact. And not for the first time. See, I knew a boy once (I say boy because he was a boy, and I, at the time, a girl), a long time ago. And I did something bad to him. Not horrible, terrible or inconvertibly earth shatteringly unrepairable, but bad.
And though I’ve forgiven myself and he’s long since given up and forgotten about me, every year or so, for the last ten or so, he shows up in my dreams. To remind me that when you kill love, it lives on, perhaps. Converting soul power to mayhem. Peace to tears.
Reminding me now, I suppose, of the love, the other, more recent love that lies on its deathbed across Route 66.
Three cheers for eternal debts to pay to the boy who has, in various dreams made me follow him home, kissed me in a locker, lived in a house in the hills and made experimental films while my teeth fell out, among other things.
I just found a short piece of mine that was actually published! (Albeit in an online student publication for an East Coast college).
Fancy a read? Here you go:
By the way, since I wrote this the first week of college (long ago indeed!), please excuse any unpleasant squeaks and hold back your hisses.
…I Think of You.
But this isn’t true.
I think of no one but myself. My slanting chocolate covered eyes melting in the sun. My uncurling toes freed from the shackles of climbing shoes. My eyebrows that need plucking and my toenails that need clipping and the fact that misanthropy is just a symptom of desire gone awry and dreams sewed up backwards.
For I was not supposed to be the girl who came to the city to lose every sneeze of hope to some noisy November nightlife. I was supposed to be the one who came all slingshots and meadowlands, like it had always been before. Like it was always supposed to be.
So now I’ll abscond, an electric eel gripping tightly to my spine. I’ll kickstart my engine to the roar of the punk rock music I don’t listen to and the poetry on the tip of my tongue and I’ll take myself all the way back to Eastern Europe. The land in which I will continue having thoughts, no, dreams, no, delusions of escaping lustily into some past or future.
With a pop, a whistle and a hum, this birthday dies.
In it, returned a little piece of my heart, though many others are scattered across these united states and beyond.
I thank each moment for the loveliest people on the Earth, whom I call my family and friends.
This summer will surely, of all things, be different from the others somehow.
P.S. Three cheers for the alkie intolerant.