May 27, 2015

Indiana 2

It's funny to go back there. To remember what they said. To recall my awkward stages. To see those faces. To stand there feeling mostly lost, and think, "This isn't me at all."

Except it is exactly me because it made me.

Maybe we are nearly strangers to each other now, and maybe the pieces don't fit together the same; but there is a time that still lives in my heart and in the way I move my hands. There it is when the car picks up speed and we hit that little country bridge on that little country road and the wind flaps my hair while I look out over the inch-high corn. I find it in the way I dance. It is the way I see the world, in a sense.

I used GPS to navigate from the north side down 65 and to the Greenwood exit. I turned left on Emerson and I followed that weird bridge around to where my high school was. Except it's not there any more. I vaguely recognized that bizarre strip mall and the gross pizza place. Then I didn't recognize a thing. I don't think it recognized me either. 

So I did the logical thing: I turned off my maps and I just went. I found that place where you are imprinted and traced the paths until I got to where I was going.

I'm still getting where I'm going. Indiana, you are where I started.

May 14, 2015


The glass panel stretched from the top lip of the old tub all the way to the ceiling. There was no curtain, just this slab of glass, likely the cheap motel’s attempts for “high-end” points on the the review and booking websites. It looked nice enough. Showering behind a piece of glass only adds an element of glamor, and even scandal really.

I turned the water as hot as I could stand it, desperately trying to warm my body through to the bones since the city winds had gone that deep to steal my heat. The door to the small cubicle was closed, and in a matter of minutes, I had the whole bathroom filled with swirling, thick steam. The glass panel fogged, and I was instantly tempted to scribble my deepest hopes and fears across it in flowery letters. 

“I hope this is right,” I wrote with my index finger.

Then, “I hope my dreams come true.”

“I love you,” I scratched out with my left hand to see if it was as awkward to write with my weaker appendage as it was to hold a pencil in the wrong hand. 

The steam engulfed the glass yet again, but my messages remained, faintly legible in my scrawled handwriting. I imagined leaving the hotel with these pieces of my soul left behind. They were invisible ink, left for those who knew how to find them.

I wondered what secrets hotel staff had uncovered, confessions and anticipations and subconscious blurbs written under the false pretense of temporary relief. I imagined these people the chosen guardians of our hearts, privy to the intimate quips we had intended to share with none. 

April 29, 2015


This is just to say that, magnolia trees are really something. 

I am not sure if you can truly claim to have sprung into spring if you haven't strolled down a street lined with bright red brick and exploding with flowers. And maybe because the winter here was long and hard and worse than I'd prepared for, we earned this somehow? 

But it still feels like a privilege, to step out my door and to be immersed in such a thing--not just the view, but the feeling. And not to discount all the other beautiful blossoms, but now I know what a magnolia tree feels like.

April 22, 2015


You can say what you want or do what you want or make what you want or draw what you want or write what you want or be what you want.

And, unless you let it, it won't matter if people think it's good. Or if people think it's right. Or if people think it's worthy.

Then one day, instead of inciting a reaction, you'll move somebody, and that will make all the difference.

April 16, 2015


It had been almost a year, which could feel like forever on some days, but is actually very little time in the grand scheme of things. Though she moved through a normal rhythm and recognized faces on the sidewalks, there were moments that the long and narrow apartment struck her more as some hotel room in a place she was visiting than home yet. 

There were things to count on though. That spring would come, for one. That the winter which had seemed unending while it seeped through all of March would be defeated in April and the earth would come awake. What she hadn't been expecting was how good that would feel, like she'd never really felt spring before she'd felt it after that first New York winter. 

Now she could throw open the windows in the afternoons to hear the rustle of the budding tree out back. And just like she remembered she could count on the changes in seasons, she learned that she could count on 2:00, when the jazz ensemble would practice with gusto from some apartment just below hers. In any other place, it might have proved an annoyance. But this place was a dream land where branches in bloom make long, narrow apartments feel like tree houses and where rambunctious musicians play private jazz concerts for audiences of one mother resting in the privacy of her own home.