How the hell are you guys? Also, who the hell are you guys? Introduce yourselves! Are you friends? Foes? Lurkers? All of the above?
If you dig my 5 Things posts every Sunday, you may be interested to know that a few of my friends have joined in and started posting their own 5 Things. Here are those friends:
All brilliant writers sharing their brilliant thoughts every Sunday.
And if YOU want to write your own 5 Things posts, I encourage you to. More the merrier and all that. I don’t care how you do it, what format, nothing. Just make sure to let me know you’re doing it so I can read your words every week.
Looking forward to more of you.
1. What if I told you I fell in love with the girl from the freak show? Well, it’s actually called Sideshow, and it wasn’t exactly love, but it was something. Her name was Betty. You know how there are people who always seem to be making the most of whatever life they have? Well, let me tell you about the girl I watched swallow a sword with eyes filled with glee. Let me tell you about how she leaned over and silver handle pointed directly at me. She might have winked. That might have been my imagination.
When she laid in the Twisto box, her body supposedly contorted around silver sheets of metal forcing her into improbably positions, I paid a single slick dollar to walk up on stage and stare at her. As I passed over her she smiled and said, “Hello there, lovely lady” and I replied, “Betty, you’re so pretty”. That was not my imagination. I didn’t meant to say it. I wasn’t going to. I giggled all the way back to my seat. It was her last act. I was sad to see her go.
At the end of the show, the MC swallowed fire. He was tall and wiry, and I imagined he looked like Jack Skellington may have when there was still skin and flesh on his impossibly handsome bones. The big finale was a big swig of flammable liquid blown onto his torch. A cloud of fire hovered above him, the heat spreading from the middle of the stage out into the crowd, momentarily heating our exposed skin. It felt good.
Like Betty’s “lovely lady” crawling across me, then running away again, behind the big blue curtain.
2. I don’t mind the sand, despite its invasiveness, but there’s something about a rocky beach. Maybe it’s because there are usually less people on a rocky beach and living here, my space has become more and more precious to me. Besides, sandy beaches sound like 311 singing “Amber” and rocky beaches sound like The Sunday’s singing “Here’s Where The Story Ends”. Both great songs, but only one really sounds like me.
3. My high school boyfriend and I dated for six years. We started dating at the beginning of my freshman year of high school and we broke up at the end of my sophomore year of college. That summer we both worked with out high school marching band. It wasn’t particularly hard, and I think that’s what made it not exactly easy either.
He’d come out to me, but not everyone else. Our interactions seemed strange to them, and they were just as confusing for us. We loved one another desperately. Co-dependently in some ways. We were only together that long because we didn’t know how to have each other and not be together romantically. We didn’t know what love could look like between us in the wake of everything that came before.
I was angry with him because I was confused and he was angry with himself for hurting me. One morning, he called to tell me to he wanted to me to clear a Saturday. He would pick me up and take me somewhere but it was a surprise. I said okay. The pain between was black with grief. We’d lost something. But I still had trouble saying “no” to him. Plus, he knew I am, and always will be, a total sucker for surprises.
He told me we’d be driving for hours, and I accepted this. I accepted him. I slept most of the way. When he shook me awake, we were parking. We were at the sand dunes at Lake Michigan. We left the car and he led me to the beach. We stood in front of the water and he started taking my picture. He loved taking pictures. A picture he’d taken of me won him a scholarship. I liked it when he tool my picture. I still do.
On the beach we apologized to each other. We didn’t really look at each other much, we mostly spoke to the water. He was sorry for not being honest with me. I was sorry for being mean in my anger. We hugged and held each other. We cried a bit. We decided to love one another however we could. It didn’t have to be romantic even if it had been at another time in our lives. Time didn’t matter. Even if that time was yesterday. What matted was this: two tethered hearts, unashamed to love differently, and the sorries they whispered into crashing waves.
4. Yesterday, my english teacher from my freshman year of high school called me from a bookstore and asked if I’d help her pick out books for her classroom. Yes, I did. Of course I did. She left with 42 books. I reminded her how important she’s been to the trajectory of my life. She told me she was a much better teacher now and wishes she could have been better for me. This is a thing that people do. We look at where we are now and compare it to our past selves and feel bad for the people who had to deal with us then. But we’re all on this fucking journey, man. We’re growing steadily. Instead of feeling sorry for the people who knew me when I was a shittier human, I’m just going to think about the people who will know me when I’m even less shitty than I am now. I hope they appreciate the people who loved me now, in this shitty state of being. Because those people got me to you. Those people saved me.
5. On Saturday I tried to write a poem. This is that “poem”. I’m trying to be brave here. Also, I don’t know how line breaks work.
The American god won’t tell
you there is till time to run.
The part of you that thinks you’ve
never been so hungry is
still wrong. I
spilled the milk, and lied to
you, trading the immediate for the
immortal. You mother said it was a
good trade, even when you
threw your plate at
On the bench, beside me, a
girl shakes her sleeping
father, “Daddy, are you
done with your dreams yet?”
I’m sorry I can’t
devour you in
the way you wish