May 11-2014 To My Mother on Mother’s Day

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This piece is pieced together from aging photo albums in cheap vinyl bindings. From pages that stick together and pull apart, and from the rare times that my mother dared delve into memories she would rather not recall. It has become the story I tell everyone when I want to tell everyone how much I love my mother.

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It’s Titled:

Something That Sounds Trite But Isn’t
Like – ‘The Most Amazing Woman I Know’

She was living down in Florida with Brian. A small town called Port Charlotte, which sounds pretty enough. Really it was just flat and cheap and warm. Florida has the right climate for escapism. Escape the winter and the cold, escape the watchful eyes of a family in Maine who may not like how their daughter is being treated, escape into the nearest bar, escape your two year old son and baby on the way. Get high, hit your wife, get a tan. You know, Florida.

She had bought Brian a collection of Ansell Adams prints as a birthday present. Apparently Brian was a fan of the simplicity, the black and white landscapes, the contrast – he especially liked the desert scenes of barren waists and dominating cacti. She framed out some twenty odd prints of various sizes in mid-west hued frames, very Floridian; burnt sienna, dusty grey, desert rose, and hung them on the wall behind the couch. She took a photograph of Brian, sitting there, reclining, smirking at the camera with his handsome angular face, olive skin and dark hair.  Physical traits he passed on to his daughter.

“That year, the year I bought him all the Ansell Adam’s, that was the worst of it. Towards the end of it,” she said. She was always going the extra mile to make everyone happy- whether it be a birthday gift or something bigger like, say, forgoing her own happiness. Anything to preserve and persevere. And so she bought gifts, and played house, and forgave more than she should have.   That was the year she started walking into doorframes, tripping a lot – she became clumsy. “People knew,” she said “but it made it easier to pretend that they didn’t know.”

Brian took her out drinking one night. She was never really much of a drinker – the type of woman who once bought a six-pack for a dinner party and nearly a year later finally threw out five beers. He fed her tequila, cheered her on in front of his notorious friends, passed her around on the dance floor until the floor starting spinning and she stopped remembering where she was. “There were a lot of his friends yelling and grabbing. He didn’t treat me like his wife,” she said, “He didn’t treat me like the mother of his son.” She doesn’t remember getting home, or getting on her knees in front of the toilet, but she remembers vomiting. The deep kind of sick that does not stop – the kind that made her cry because she wanted it to. The coolness of the bathroom tiles, the only comfort she had. It was in this moment, this moment that she barely remembers, but remembers too well, that Brian walked in behind her. Her head on the porcelain lid, slumped over. Her hair pasted against her face with sweat and sick. He walked in behind her and lifted her hips to him, lifted her dress and ignored her feeble protests and trembling arms. All of her strength, gone out of her – nothing but a swirling room -and when it was over – a cold floor. “That was how it was,” she said, and looked away. “That was how it was for too long. I think   that was our anniversary.”

A photograph of Brian and their son Aaron at Disney World; looking the picture perfect image of a good father and a beloved son. Brian in a go-cart with the iconic Mickey ears pleasantly askew on his head. His dark muscular arms reach around his son, a beautiful meager blonde child, and he holds the wheel -Aaron holds the wheel too, and together they drive father and son smiling and laughing – a two year old’s dream birthday outing. She is somewhere behind the camera –six months pregnant – and validating her family in Kodak.

Not long after, a drunk and angry Brian left the house without telling her. Grabbing his son absentmindedly on his way out of the door. He put Aaron in the passenger seat and sped away. Father and son driving together. No seat belts. Gone for hours.   And she just sat – head on the kitchen table crying, not wanting to call the police and have her husband arrested, not wanting to lose her son – seven months pregnant. “It got harder and harder to make excuses for him,” she said.

As her due date approached Brian was increasingly absent. Sometimes for days at a time- coming home smelling of stale booze and other women. Out making bad decisions, drug deals, and more children whom he wouldn’t care for. She realized he probably wouldn’t be there for her when the time came.   Their next-door neighbors were a cop and his wife and they saw how things were playing out. They agreed to look after Aaron for her when she had to go to the hospital. And so, when her labor started she calmly picked up her two year old and carried him across her front lawn, passed a little cluster of palm trees, and knocked on their door. She left Aaron in their care and politely declined their offer for a ride. Walking back across the lawn to her driveway, her water broke, and she continued on, got in her car, buckled her seatbelt and drove herself to the hospital.
Brian never came. In just six hours she brought her second child into the world; all of nine pounds, eight ounces, right number of fingers and toes – she did this alone. “Really, I was happy he wasn’t there,” she said, “he had a way of ruining perfect moments.” She named her Colleen, a strong Irish name, after her college roommate – a woman who had been stubborn and opinionated and viciously independent. A bra burner, a free spirit, someone who didn’t take shit.  And she decided right there in the maternity ward what she needed to. “I had a daughter now,” she said, “A daughter with long eyelashes and big eyes, and she was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. And it was different than having a son – men in my family are big and can fight back, but a daughter, a daughter would become a woman and I didn’t want her to become a woman like me, trapped by her own kindness. I didn’t want to expose her to any of that. To her father, to Florida, to things she would want to escape. Looking at her for the first time, I knew right then I had to leave.”

So she bided her time – four months – just four more months till her daughter was old enough to sleep through a thirty-hour car ride. She called her family in Maine and told them what they already knew. How it had been and how she wanted to come home, and the next day, after driving all night, her father was in her driveway with a van. “I packed up everything I could, which wasn’t much and I left the rest behind, but it didn’t matter,” she said, “I had my son and my daughter and our clothes, Aaron’s favorite teddy bear, and some photo albums, that was it really.” She had to leave behind the big things: her career, her car, her house, her husband. She left behind the knickknacks of her life: year books, jewelry passed down from her great grandmother, mementos of her youth and happier days and she refused to be sad about any of it. They just drove away with what they could, they drove away with everything. Brian off somewhere drinking wouldn’t notice their absence for days.

Driving north, pinned in by hastily packed hefty bags, her father said little. From time to time he reached over, picked up her hand, gave it an encouraging squeeze, and put it back down. Aaron lay sleeping on the back seat, clutching his teddy bear, his thumb in his month, his blonde hair clinging statically to a nearby trash bag. Her daughter asleep in her arms –fitfully dreaming from time to time but never waking. “I didn’t know then exactly what I was up against,” she said, “if someone had told me how hard it was going to be I don’t know if I would have had the courage to leave. Thank god no one did.” She did not know she would spend the first six months tucking her children in on a friend’s couch while she struggled to find her footing. She did not know that they would freeze in their first apartment that she managed to scrimp together enough money to rent. The tin ceiling’s leaking heat to the upstairs neighbors, the electric blanket plugged in in the living room where the three of them would sleep huddled together by the coughing radiator- making a game of it all, pretending they were camping. She did not know he would never pay child support, or that he would sell all of their things, her things, even the Ansell Adams, and she would never see a dime. She was just driving home and that was all that mattered for the time being.

 

As they passed into New England, she did not yet know how she would make a living without a college degree, how she would juggle three jobs and night classes and still manage to be a mother. Still somehow finding the time and energy to go the extra mile, play the role of two parents, and succeed. She could not fathom then, that within five years, she would manage to get them out of subsidized living and buy them a house, and manage to make that house a home. A home next to a park and good schools, where her children could have the things every parent wants to give their children like a puppy and stability. A home with no father – but a father that no one ever even considered missing. Had she already decided then to cut herself off from everyone else? To never date, to never even risk introducing someone like Brian to her children? Had she decided then to be a mother, and nothing else, to devote herself completely to that task? “I was just a woman in love,” she said, “I was so in love I couldn’t see anything else – I love my children and people do impossible things for love.”

As they crossed the bridge from New Hampshire and were greeted with the benevolent sign “Maine; The Way Life Should Be,” she had to laugh a little and take it for what it was, a sign, and for the first time in a long time she hoped for the best.

 

2.26.2014 Goal Surrogacy and Wasting Time

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The most difficult thing about this “time off” has been self-motivation.  Since my first days in kindergarden I have been abusively self-critical and always shoveled more onto my plate than is necessarily healthy.  I took higher level classes and joined extracurriculars and community service projects like I was collecting universal gold stars for being good at life.   Often I found myself overworked and exhausted.  The duress only enflamed my sadistic sense of pride in my achievements – “Yes, I nearly killed myself getting here but look what I have achieved at the end of the grueling day, week, month, semester, year.”  Now, finding myself graduated, out of the academic realm, and only working 24-30 hours a week I feel compelled to fill my days with things which seem viable, that which I can point to once more and say “AH HA!  Achievement!”  That said, I am also debilitatingly enslaved to deadlines: the outside other gives me a set date and goal and I will accomplish said goal by said date with all due respect to their enigmatic authority to create deadlines – I have been overly trained by numerous public institutions, you could say.  This training has also left me seemingly inept at setting goals for myself, or rather, inept at reaching goals by my own set deadlines.  I do not bestow the same ascendancy on myself which I so readily give to others.  Something to do with letting someone else down, something to do with people pleasing, something to do with self worth I’m sure.  Is this what they mean when they say, “hold yourself accountable?”  Give me a date to reach self accountability, and I will get there for you.

So what do I do?  If I cannot always self-motivate I can at least discern what some of my goals are, find others who would support those goals, and get them to push me.  Currently, I have three devoted surrogate goal setters.  
The Gym 
I strive for better over-all health, losing 5 lbs to reach the illusive “happy weight”, feeling sexy at ease in a bikini, and feeling strong.  My personal motivation- to be honest- is self-deprecation and a fear of obesitynot being loved… just a fear.  That said, it is difficult to work out every day on your own.  You lose interest, you do not see results, or you see results and then lose interest.  
As noted in a previous post I joined a gym at the beginning of the year and now I no longer have to self motivate entirely – The Gym has taken over the role of physical health goal setter.  Thank you Gym.  Each day Gym says, “I am here, I am open 24/7 and I am a short walk from your apartment.”  More importantly, on the 17th of the month Gym says “Hey, I just took 20$ out of your checking account and I am going to keep doing that for a year whether you come in here or not and you are pretty broke right now and really cant afford a frivolous expense what with student loans and rent and such so – I would really get your ass in here as much ass possible and get your money’s worth.”  Again, thank you Gym.  
It’s not that getting dressed, lacing up my sneakers and walking out the door isn’t a struggle, it is.  It is not that biking up the endless simulated hills, mile after invisible mile, does not make me sweat, it does.  I feel the burning in my abs.  I think about quitting at mile fifteen when I told myself twenty.  I want to stop twelve minutes in when the thinner girl or the reeking man sits down next to me but at the end of my hour, when I continue to see my pace quickening each day, when I go to stretch and see my thighs are stronger than they were in January, I have to take a moment and thank Gym for being so unflinching in its support, so completely unwavering in its  financial demands and so unbiased in its deadlines.  I wont let you down.

 Volunteering
I want to matter – to have my day-to-day labors amount to something, to affect change and growth, and ideally to get paid and make my way in life by these efforts.  Yet here we are, so many of us, paying our bills with the fruits of monotonous dead end drudgery and finding our meaning in the margins.  It is far easier to lay back into a good hourly or tips, a decent job with a chill boss, and let the mediocrity wash over you than to fight the current and perhaps drown in the waves of self doubt and higher education.  I want a career but I am scared to get there.
Just over a month and a half ago, now, I began volunteering for The Telling Room: a non-profit which above and beyond its own location on Commercial Street has several community outreach programs, all aimed at teaching the youth of the greater Portland area how to write how to be passionate about writing.  Volunteering says, “You no longer have to dream about what influence feels like; here have an experience, have a revelation, have motivation, take it, its free.”  A quick orientation and a background check and two weeks later I am helping a child to write, I am working after school at Reiche, I am singing a song I collaborated on with nine third graders about finding your voice, I am being offered teachers assistant programs and residencies to work one on one with a fourth grader to build their piece of short fiction.  I am being handed  intense devotion and dedication to a career that I do not yet have but which I experience for four to five hours a week.  Volunteering gives me a deadline, “Be there for these kids at this time, because they need you.  Be there for these kids at this time, because you need them.” Volunteering gives me a goal, “Reach for this career that you would do without being paid.  Build up your resume and your determination here and then go fight the waves unscathed.”  I cant stop.

Peer Pressure
I need to write.  It is my creative outlet, however black and white and autobiographical and uncreative at times.  Writing makes me feel something and I want to feel.  My goal is to be published, to be recognized at all, to make people laugh or cry or realize or deny or relate.  To touch.  My motivation is narcissistic and humanistic and intangible and heavy.  It can be so much easier to pretend like I don’t have a single story to tell, like I don’t have an original thought in my head, like all I need is the endless library of netflix*, the parade of cute animal videos, human interest articles and facebook* updates.  At the end of that charade I feel hallow and numb and my head aches.
Two months ago I found, through some brief googling, a writing conference at UNE called “A Gathering of Writers”.  For 150$ you are given the opportunity to write and edit and share for three hours a week for eight weeks under the guidance of a professor.  It is little more than a peer editing group and barely that as only positive critique is allowed.  What it really is, is a deadline for writing – a weekly instance of peer pressure to do what you love. We sit around large conference tables, with varying vague literary concepts and prompts before us.  We write for an hour or so.  We share.  We congratulate one another on our strengths, on our ingenuities, on our voice and our progress and we remind each other to love writing.  We pay for this and in this I know I am not alone in my desire for deadlines.  The Gathering says, much like the gym, “You have paid for me and should get as much out of me as you can.”  It says,  “Look how much you enjoy this, look what you have achieved, look at this weekly addition to your canon.”  One of my most inspiring professors I had in college said, “You must make writing a habit” and I feel it becoming habitual, like a tick that I cannot control.  I think in metaphor and languid description, I paint character portraits around strangers on the street, I draw story arches over my apartment.  I am pressured by my peers, I am becoming an addict, I write alone when no one is looking.  I step closer to obsession.

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There are still the days, days like today. Days when the pen is heavy in my hand and the screen of my laptop is nauseous to my eyes, the bike is stubborn and I pedal through hardening concrete, and the children’s laughter is distanced by a weeks’ vacation and muffled by the pain in my head.  Days when I would rather sleep and hate myself later.  Days when wasting time seems like the only really option and trying is beyond me.
Jared said at eight AM, “I am getting up babe, do you want to shower with me?”  I shook my head no. “Do you want me to wake you up later?”
“Nine thirty” I said, and rolled into the soft folds of sheets and un-thought.
“Its nine thirty baby, I made coffee, do you want some?”  I said nothing, I was having a fascinating dream which I cannot remember. “Do you want to, get up babe?”
“No. I am having a fascinating dream and I want to finish it.”
“Do you want me to wake you up when I go to class?”
“Yeah”
“I am going to class baby, do you want to get up?”
“No.  Can I have my phone?”  I set an alarm for 10:29
“I love you, Beau.”  He engulfed me in a jacketed hug, warm and smelled like the man I love, and I felt his scruff on my cheek and I still hadn’t really opened my eyes because sleep, and comfort and bed, and I wished I could pull him back down into it with me.
“Bye, Baby.”

My alarm went off, snooze.  My alarm went off, snooze, My alarm went off, snooze.  And an hour went by this way and I only got out of bed at 11:37 because sleeping past noon is a day’s death sentence and because the cat wouldn’t stop licking himself next to me and mostly because I had to pee.
But now I have written this and I think will go to the gym when I am done and I think maybe that motivation came from me but I think again maybe not and I haven’t reached that goal yet.  It has no deadline.

*I refuse to capitalize netflix and facebook, though my computer thinks I should.  I refuse to glorify them as proper nouns.

2.25.2014 The Gym: Some funny musings, some serious(er) ones

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I joined a gym 51 days ago I have gone 40 times. I feel that this is an accomplishment. Gyms are great like that – no matter what you do, if you just go you will feel productive.
I see groups of people sitting at the tables in the entry way all the time lacing up their sneakers in slow motion and I am convinced they never work out, but they are validated none-the-less.  They can sit and sip on a carton of muscle milk* from 1:13 to 2:01, leave, and hold their head up proudly and tell the world “I went to the gym today for over 45 minutes.”

*the very name “muscle milk”… I picture biceps lactating and sweating simultaneously.  Its wrong.  Its just wrong.

I bike.  I mean I actually bike but I also bike at the gym.  When I bike in real life I wear keds and cut off jean shorts.  If I am wearing a skirt I pull shorts on underneath it.  I started doing that after a cat caller yelled at me “I can see your vag!”  He could not have seen my vag as I was wearing panties and sitting down, but I didn’t like the idea that he thought he might be able to.  People affect me like that sometimes.
I like to wear my hair down because the wind does fun things to it and it feels great on the easy side of a hill.  I admit that I have stopped wearing a helmet as much because the hair thing is so fun.  My bike’s name is Herbie and he is a single speed Franken-bike made with love by my friends Bryan, Gael, Peter and Myself.

I talk to Herbie about our adventures, I pat his cross bar and congratulate him on tackling large hills, and I always thank him for getting me home safe on late nights.  When he cant go outside I feel badly and when he gets new brake pads he feels proud.

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Herbie

When I bike in the gym I wear tight black pants that make me look like a super hero.  I bought them at target.  Got them home, put them on with my new coal hued sports bra and finished off the ensemble with some smart wool socks and vintage lace up tan boots.  I stood in front of the mirror with my hands on my hips and despite my usually self critical inner dialogue, thought to myself, “You look badass”.  I walked out of the room and asked Jared “Babe, what do you think?” pose
“You look like a fucking superhero!”
“I know, right?”
“Looks like you’re ready to go raid some tombs and shit, Beau!”
“I don’t have Laura Croft’s abs… I have never seen those films”
“X-men then” and so on and so forth.
I’d always prefer cut offs and windly hair tousles though. And bikes in the gym, they don’t have names, you cant have a conversation with them, they are just bike #3 or #6 and they have other people’s sweat on them and they weren’t built by your friends.   Bikes in the gym, they just don’t go anywhere, do they?

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From my immobile bike I can see the women on the stair steppers.  Climbing the endless flights, gripping the stationary banisters.  Her, the mother, does she think of the heaps of laundry she labors up from the basement each Tuesday?  Does she call that chore and this exercise or this relaxation and that stress.  When the beads of sweet pool at her clavicle and drip delicately unseen between her breasts does she feel the hint of pleasure, does she reminisce about that time and the other or is it lost in the grip on her lungs and the burning in her thighs?  Who does she do this for?  And her, the tan wisp in the teal lycra with her head band catching perspiration and her tight ass – why does she do what she does?  Why does she on occasion allow the stares to let her down like a lazy mall escalator, then sprint sideways to the top, and then ride it down again?  Does she remember being a child in a Macys with her mother busied at the jewelry counter?  Did she sprint then, laughing with a sibling or a friend – their tiny hands bedecked with ring pop jewels?  Does she laugh now or is her face always fixed and determined? Does she still eat candy?  And her, her so much like me, so much of the awkwardness and the desire to please and the self doubt all over her blotched face – does she contemplate Sisyphus as I do.  The never ending climb, the  purgatorial straining – “Will we ever get there?  If we ever get there can we ever stop?”  Does she worry as I do that she will never love her body?  That one day she will be older and she will look back and see her youth on a shelf and wish she’d used it when it was fresh and good.  Has she already begun, as I have, to look back on thinner days or happier days or easier days – remembered how unhappy she was  and begrudged her past and missed her present and winced at the future?
The resistance changes on my bike, I am going up a “hill” and I have to focus.

A flashback – back in freshman year – back in NYC – back to NJ

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Freshman year 2006-07

We’d taken The Path into the city for no reason in particular.  People living in New Jersey will do that – escape through underground underwater tunnels packed in like rats for forty-five minutes before popping up somewhere in midtown.  You leave New Jersey for a little while, anyways.  Who needs another reason.
It was Jeff and Me – Jeffy I called him- it was always us.  In a University of just over eleven thousand students we seemed to be the only punks so we stuck together and embraced each others’ strange.
I’m anorexic.
I’ve got a purple Mohawk.
I was in a ska band.
I’m in a punk band called the Rilladicks.
I have father issues.
I have a dead Mom.
Lets be friends
.
We came out at 32nd, Penn Stattion, and breathed in some space.  My ripped black skinny jeans and white bleached pixie cut, my waifish arms, his purple and maroon pin striped blazer, and mutilated Chuck Taylors, his love for me.  We blended into the city and felt the embrace of the disinterested jaded masses- everyone is no one to someone.
At H&M he bought me a button down green dress- a size 0 – which isn’t really a size at all: one of the few times you can get excited over nothing, and I shouldn’t have been.  Later on I would wear it to an underground show in Newark where a box of PBR tall boys sat wrenched open on a dirt floor and my best girl friend lay passed out on a grungy bench for hours. Jeffy dedicated a song called Coast To Coast to the girl in green and would later tell me I was perfect and I would tell him I was moving away- but that was another day.
I bought him a pair of orange ray ban knock offs and put them on his face and kissed his goofy cheek in a friendly way that felt like charity.
Jumped on the C-line further uptown to 72nd and Central Park West.  Waved at the Dakota and thought about John and Yoko for a little while.  Walked up to Lincoln Center and sat on the fountain and talked about days when we could catch a ballet matinee and La Vie Bohem in the evening and feel just about completely content with our little lives.
Food?
I’m not Hungry.
You are- your hands are freezing.
I like them that way- I am being preserved.
I’ll buy you dinner.
Uptown Manhattan, all dressed down and no place to go.  This was the day we found our place; an uptown oddity, somewhere between 75th and 76th on Amsterdam.  When you are down and out and looking for salvation how can you pass up a diner named Utopia?
Utopia Café had one server and fifteen cooks and a hard laminated menu of roughly twenty pages complete with photos of meatloaf and dolmades.  The placemats were paper with Grecian borders.  The booths were a deep cabernet red made of the cheapest vinyl- cracking and sunken and cozy.  The staff’s accents were decidedly Italian.  The falafel was on point.  Paradise.  We sat sipping black coffee, holding each others’ left hand and discussing Thomas Moore.
Society is a joke, Jeffy would say, and push his Mohawk to one side.
It’s not that funny, I would say.
We sat in the window booth that first time and people watched and pointed out stereotypes and hypothesized about where they were going or where they had been.  It was a simple enough pleasure, playing at omnipotence in paradise.
After that we left the city.  Took the C – to the Path – to Jeffy’s beaten down soft top Chrysler Lebaron waiting for us in Newark.  On the ride home, we blasted The Dropkick Murphys and drove 90 yelling our lungs raw at New Jersey-
I said no ball nor chain nor prison can keep, we’re the rebels of the sacred heart!
We held hands and smiled and it all felt like something then.

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Jeffy and I at a party 2006

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1/26/2014’s morning: Some notes on gluten free toast and safe sex.

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Today I woke up and told Jared 10 more minutes. “No don’t set another alarm just wake me up in 10 minutes.”  This was my way of saying “I don’t want to take responsibility for existing yet so if you could please take over that for a moment or two I would greatly appreciate it.”  He did.  He’s pretty good like that.  Although, in an obnoxiously punctual manner he was back in the room 10 minutes later threatening to rip the sheets off the bed.

We showered together.  We always shower together.  It’s not a sex thing, well I mean sometimes it’s a sex thing but mostly its just a codependent thing, or a water conservation thing or time thing.  The shower malfunctioned, which it frequently does.  We live in an old building with a vindictive bitch of a hot water system.  From time to time you may experience mild 2nd and 3rd degree burns but it is nothing too concerning.  We have just become incredibly alert and agile shower takers; perfectly adept at throwing ourselves against opposing walls at a moments notice (the hot water has a tell and always lets out a small sigh before attacking).  This is, in part, why the shower is mostly not a sex thing.  Too dangerous.

We are out of cereal so we were forced to cook proper breakfast food.  Curried tofu scramble with kale and baby portabellos, sweet potato home fries and toast made with GF almond bread (which is terrible unless you make it into toast in which case it is actually good).
I have recently gone Gluten Free as a result of severe bloating which made me look 4-6 months pregnant and caused me to constantly unbutton my pants in public (which is actually quite freeing but limits your choice of shirts to long flowy things) and release a lot of frequently loud yet oddly odorless gas.  I have also already been a vegan for over three years so now I am a gluten free vegan… it is ok if you think I am crazy because I would have thought I was crazy 4 years ago too.  Gluten free vegan is not easy there are frequently things that are vegan but not GF and GF but not vegan etcetera and consequently, yes, my options are limited as far as alternatives go but I am eating quite well.
A short list of vegan gluten free foods which do not hold up to their wheaty brethren: Bread -v/gf bread sucks unless, as stated above, you toast the shit out of it, wraps (which are basically bread) – they are either made out of corn and necessarily tiny and coarse or they are made out of brown rice and they rip in half if you look at them with too much pressure, Mac N’ Cheese -v/gf boxed stuff tastes like dirt and I miss the vegan mac at local sprouts (a nearby co-op) with a fiery passion that burns deep in my languishing-cheese-starved-vegan soul, Pasta– while asian rice and bean thread noodles are delicious italian style GF knock-offs come out sticky and heavy seemingly across the board.  Beer (its a food)- I want an IPA and Cider just aint the same and Glutenberg is terrible.  Its a tragidy truly
Vegan/ Gluten Free Success Stories: Trader Joe’s gluten free granola: glorified corn flakes tossed in with whole almonds, walnuts and cranberries. nom.  Avocados: you are my life blood, Hummus: you are my rock, Santitas 2$ only: thy name sayeth it all, Nutritional yeast: powdered cheese in a delightfully vegan naturally occurring form – don’t let the name throw you; its delicious and addictive,  Aqua Del Piedra: “Rock Water” cheap Malbec that doesn’t suck but will give you a trendy hipster wine-o statche.  Really the key has just been sticking to whole foods (complete foods in their untampered form not the store) and staying away from substitutes, which generally fall short and are overpriced.

We kissed over breakfast, which is harder than it sounds because our table is rather oblong and there was some awkward straining involved.  I cleared things, Jared did dishes, I made the bed, I mock humped Jared from behind while he did dishes to display my dominance, he retaliated, I put away some laundry.  We are very domestic.

“Have a good day, Beau!” xo

last ditch

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It has become cliché to point it out but I am going to do it anyway: no one warns you that college is not enough; that degree in hand you could still wind up jobless, or worse aimless.  Here I am degree in hand, or in the trunk at the foot of my bed as it were, being suppressed by the dead end weight of post-graduate monotony.  An offensive amount of debt sits piled and filed away under a twenty-five year repayment plan. My passions are corroded by the daily punch in, punch out, go out, black out grind.

Less than six months out of school and I am already moping about libraries, lingering in local coffee shops, just to inhale some secondhand academia; just to see that knowledge is still out there, that learning isn’t a dream I had. 
The fact is I am lost.  I crave scholastic structure.  The collegiate duress, the numerical measurements of self-worth, the illusions of grandeur, the deadlines! Oh deadlines, I miss you most of all.  How do I know when to write without you?  Can I make my own deadlines without Professorial aid?  Do I have that power?  Should I write them in my datebook alongside my two job schedules and my dental appointments?  “Monday: Fifteen page memoir due for Professor Me for life class, or else you are going to be really disappointed in yourself.”  And what do I say to my friends, “Sorry guys, I can’t go out. I am really expecting a lot from myself tomorrow.” 
I am seemingly incapable.  I start a hundred things, I write page after page without completing a thought; three composition books filled with scribbles. Because what’s the rush?  What’s the point?  I can always come back to it tomorrow, no one has to read it, or grade it.  If it’s unfinished I don’t fail.  But I never go back, I don’t re-write or edit or complete, and that feeling of incompletion is starting to spread.  I want to finish anything at all, and this blog is my last ditch motivation.
Maybe no one will ever read it, but someone might and that is enough to push me towards completion.  To you hypothetical person, I say thank you.  I dedicate this entry to you and your unwitting participation in helping me complete a piece of writing, however infinitesimal.  To many more, to motivation, and to beauty in the mundane.