I wonder if I am a good writer, or if I have ever been a good writer, or what a good writer is, or if they have ever existed, or if they can exist.

Maybe I used to be good. Maybe I just used to think I was good. Maybe I’ve always been chasing some past version of myself that never actually existed. Maybe we all are doing that, right now.

The wooden bookshelf in my room has absorbed the scent of the frankincense incense I burn almost daily, becoming one large incense stick itself, one sure to burn down your entire apartment complex if lit, since it can’t fit inside the small vintage incense burner your dad gave to you or you stole from him, one or the other, one and the same.

I pick up one of the few books I have here, philosophy of happiness, read a page, put it back down, wonder what Athens looked like covered in thinkers.

The shades are often drawn, blocking out most of the sunlight. Summer has ended, over, finished, until the next one, if any of us live that long. Autumn began a few days ago, of course nothing really feels any different other than the change in the weather and in necessary outdoor wear. I wonder if I’ve changed in the year I’ve been in Europe. Surely. Maybe. Is it human to think so or human to think I’m exactly the same?

His crazy rambles make me crazy. I want to scream right back at him – SHUT THE FUCK UP! STOP TALKING TO YOURSELF! I DON’T WANT TO HEAR YOU ANYMORE! FUCKING FUCK!

It’s raining today. That makes it different than yesterday. Life just slips by, one day into another, season by season, long pants by short pants.

We are animals – it’s important to remember that. We’ve created all of this – thought it up, dreamed it out, built it up. It’s not real. Is it?

I can’t keep sitting here listening to the rain, I’ve got things to do. We all have things to do. We made them up.

I think I will sit here by the window in the sunshine with my plants a bit longer and listen to the rain with them. I’ll light an incense cone and watch the smoke crawl up towards the ceiling.

This isn’t meant to be anything. Maybe one day – one season, one summer, one year – I’ll make something more.

It’s due to rain straight through until morning. I’ll be here, at the window.

 

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Do you feel old yet, dear? Do your bones ache at night when you lay in your soft bed? Do your blue eyes wrinkle at the edges, does your blonde hair grow grey?

The joints go first, torn up, imagine how much effort they put in as you walk casually along, unafraid of death or destruction.

The eyes will sink into your face, dear, but you’ll still be beautiful as you cry in the mirror.

Your dreams will become stranger as you grow slowly towards darkness. You might see me there sometime.

You’ll know it’s time when you start to miss your grandmother’s clothes.

Her bones became your bones, you share the same face now, and fate.

Are you happy? Are you well-loved? Do you miss me? Who do you miss? Will you answer my questions, one day?

She isn’t waiting for you anywhere. You’ll never get to meet her again. Does that make you feel better, or worse?

You will sing to him before he can understand you. You will keep singing and become a memory in his head.

Sleep gently in the cool autumn nights. Feel restful in your bed. Stand still in the sunshine.

We are all going there.

1. We’re not dead yet!

2. Be kinder. But on the other hand, people who think climate change is fake are responsible for the continued destruction of our one and only goddamn beautiful planet Earth. So what can we really do?

3. Sparkles!

4. Politics is war.

5. Let’s all remember that one time in 2012 when Josh Tillman (Father John Misty) tweeted @ me about my dad being a fan COS WE ALL NEED SOME GOOD MEMORIES IN THIS DAY AND AGE

(shout out to Walmart’s wall of fake flowers and that black coat that kept me warm for several winters)

6. I see your 24-hour cold brew coffee and raise you my half-full of cold coffee french press which has been left abandoned on my desk for a week. Take that, hipster scum!

7. Grow a garden. Plant trees. Sunshine.

8. Read something by Alan Watts (or Carl Sagan or anyone)

9. Podcasts are great. Podcasts are radio? Who wants to make a podcast with me?! Does EVERYONE have a podcast?? Does the world NEED more podcasts??

10. We can win.

 

 

Dusk and early morning look the same, share the same gray light. I am a mourning dove, cooing and crying. I replace the hot tears with a cool shower. When my hair is wet it swings in clumps of curls, dries straight. There is nothing to see out my window, doesn’t cure the loneliness of a gray and empty room.

I can’t think of his name. I drew his picture four times. We’ve spoken less. There is such great disquiet in my quiet soul it freezes in anger at any chance to free itself. I don’t know if I’ve always been like this, or if I’ve lost or gained something. My body learned how to feel anxiety as a pressure in my chest this year. Not all knowledge is useful or positive.

She is beautiful – she looks like someone I could love. Their laughter is silent, encapsulated in other. The person I am is in some other storybook, and I cannot read, and there is nothing to add.

 

 

 

 

 

I miss the smell of grass cut from your own yard, way in the back where the neighbors can only just hear the sound of the push mower, a little buzzing noise from a motor unseen. Cut the grass around the apple tree, newly flowering, around the old car, left slowly rotting.

I have been eating too many cherries this season. They are deep purple-red, sweet, tart, juicy. One tastes like soap. One tastes like the sour apples I bit into too early in the summer – tart, bitter, sour, green. Not ready yet.

No longer mine – the grass or the apple trees or the push mower, or the land that held all of it.

The grass still grows there – and is cut. The apples grow, ripen, fall, rot on the ground in the shade, or are nibbled on by deer, raccoon, fox, squirrel, rabbit.

The stream will trickle by, as it did before I arrived, and long after I am gone and gone forever.

The sun beats down brightly here, but it is empty warmth – a smile without friendliness. Much is missing. The blue sky smiles sadly at me, the clouds offer their best wishes for future summers full of smells.

 

He screams, roars, yells in the other room. He is a beast – we are all animals but we have lost our first voices. We cook with wooden spoons, move with metal cars, walk with rubber soles – we made nothing of it. I make nothing, sitting here in different countries on the Earth. It is not special, we will all end up back where we came from. This room is a breath of air. This day is 24 hours of trillions. We are nothing and I have yet to be anything at all.

His beer bottles rattle in a bag like bones picked apart and broken for marrow. He sips everything down – he’ll get you, too. Beer bones, protein teeth – her wilted hair needs watering.

Magic boy’s in town. There is a gold glowing path where they have walked. The sea parted and he and his friends went in. Not you, crazy man in the back of the dark apartment. Stay still. Be still and not seen. Fill your beer bottles later with the leftover water from their party in the river. Drink it down, get wasted on wastage, age faster and with a growing loneliness that no bottle can fill.

The journey was for nothing. They haven’t learned anything, Mr. Churchill. They will all kill each other again, clean it up, grow peace gardens, pick the fruit, eat it down to the roots, forget why they were hungry, get mad, find the old war. We shouldn’t be here. He shouldn’t be here with his beer, drinking the same bottle down again, filling it up, losing hair and teeth and collagen, wrinkling down to the bone, fading away, filling up the Earth with broken bottles and coffins.

Perhaps there is a parallel universe in which you are happy. Maybe there is one where her mother is a good person. Maybe there is one where you never hurt anyone. Everything would be different. Or one thing would be different.

This is where we live. Hello, again. Reaching for another day and more attention from the sun. From the son. Only boy child. Father, holy spirit, wholly ghosts in your closet.

We are all the same. Broken, immature humans. It is all we can be. Don’t worry if you’re not OK. We are animals, too. Don’t forget.

Give me some sugar. Lend it to your neighbor. We don’t do that, we’ve recessed into our own minds and walls. Share more.

He thinks about talking to him seven times per day, but doesn’t.

She thinks about being brilliant three times a day, but doesn’t.

The coffee is old and black and has been microwaved four times.

She said the words are woven together. Maybe that’s what you are, a weaver.