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Last year she quit her job, sold her belongings, and moved to another state. Now she’s back again, and we’re here pretending nothing happened – no man broke her heart, no time has passed, she’s just living in a different apartment now, working a different job – slightly shifted but the same.

In my dream they stood naked in a field. In my head he sings to me still, though I haven’t seen him in years. He sings, he sings, the sun goes away behind a cloud, my eyes disappear beneath their lids, water swells over the earth.

You want to listen to his music pre-2017, Bob Dylan in his early years, my music in the future, if there is one.

My professor said all humans seek recognition. It’s the only way we can know ourselves – to see our self through someone else.

It isn’t real life, he said. It echoes at me through the years. It isn’t real life.

What are we building now? The houses of our past has crumbled. My mind is crumbling. Must we always make something more?

You are still alive out there, somewhere, though I haven’t seen you in years.

My old Philosophy teacher doesn’t want to vote for Bernie. But we all already knew that there is a limit to the usefulness of Philosophy.

The strings we left dangling may yet be tied back together. All we have is the time we have left to see what happens: what dreams we will dream, what music we will lose and find again, what people will fade away or come back, what all we will build and tear down.

If she could see me now, she wouldn’t believe it. Look at us, I whisper at her through time, you’d love this. Everything you wanted and still nothing.

We are at the brink, at the edge of destruction, at the cusp, the final race, the last human choice. We will go forward from here. It may be a beginning or an ending – we won’t know for many years.

Years ago the future was dark to me – a mystery. It still is. He still is. We still are.

The ivy plant I stole is growing in the windowsill, so slowly. What will its future be?

You should write – you should sing – you should dance to bad music – you should travel before your hips and knees and eyes go out.

What is it to us? We cannot see the melting glaciers from our ivory towers.

She told me it was a fine example of fictocriticism. I told her I like to refer to it as my life.

Ich bin ausländer.

On the train a little girl tells her mom about London. London doesn’t hurt like Berlin does, she says, leaving the train. She goes back to her hotel. She leaves Berlin. She grows up and some other things happen.

Photographs like the blink of an eye. Memories like faded photographs. I can’t see anything in my head. All is dark here.

Today it snowed in the place where I was born. Today it was the hottest it’s ever been in Antarctica. We are all cold and dying like the sun. Her son will be born soon, into this mess we’ve made. Clean your room, child. Put your toys away. Be responsible for something.

 

 

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.

 

1. Ok, here it is, 2015. Usually I’m bummed on NYE, in some kind of sentimental sad way. I don’t know, it just happens! Every year, like SAD. BUT this year, I felt so excited! Happy, even. Wow. You guys. This is either going to be awesome, or really terrible and tragic. Let’s go find out.

2. I have finally entered the “post-college” phase of my life. I mean, it only took a year and a half of actual post-college. I have been so busy (aka gainfully employed and interesting) before now, I had no time to think about (aka sleep in too late) my life now! You know? (Don’t worry mom, I’m working on finding a “real” job!)

3. At some point you have to stop trying to be brave and brash and instead do what is beautiful. What makes you happy instead of terrified. What makes you feel fulfilled instead of simply adventurous. What is “good” instead of “interesting”. Throw pillows and rugs instead of throw-stuff-in-a-suitcase. It’s ok if it feels right, right? More on this later…

4. Sometimes the worst thing for you can be too much of yourself.

5. SHUT UP. STOP TWITTERING ABOUT HOW HEARTBROKEN YOU ARE. IN SOME STRANGE VAGUE WAY. (and yet, at the same time: LISTEN TO ALL OF MY WHINY PROBLEMS!)

6. Selfies are over. Stop. Stop. Or I will be force to break your selfie stick over my knee. Watch me!

7. (Contd from 3, sort of…) When I was younger, (maybe 4 years ago or so) I loved to talk to one of my best friends about how people are so lame, how people get married, and all they want is that house, those annoying kids, and stuff. We loved to think that we were so much better, that we wanted more for our lives than that. We wanted to travel, to meet nice/cool people, to do important things. We never, ever wanted to settle down, to own a house, to be tied to some square chunk of land. Fast forward to now… we’ve done a bunch of cool stuff, we’ve met lots of nice people, we’ve started and are still trying to do important things. And we have more perspective, thanks to all that we’ve done, on the stuff that other people choose to do. Yeah, ok, sure, kids are cute. Yeah, marriage seems, well, it seems to work for you, we guess. Oh no, we still don’t think buying that house is a good life choice… anyway, what I’m saying is, is that we’ve changed our minds. Even if it is just a little. And we hate to think what our past selves would say about it, so we barely admit it to our current selves.

8. What do you mean, you saw me on OKcupid? No way. I saw you! (BTW your profile pic is really terrible. I mean, it probably is. It might be. Not that I’ve seen it. What are we talking about?)

9. What country this year? Vietnam or South Africa? Do I have to choose?

10. It’s all going to be ok! Especially when you think about global warming and how terrible it is, and how no one even gives a shit that the polar bears are dying, not really. Look, all of your other problems have now practically vanished!

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1. I hope you are happy.

2. People are still living their lives even when you can’t see them.

3. You are beautiful, you know that. Tell me why you need to keep posting poorly-lit pictures of yourself to prove it.

4. Our planet is both the largest and smallest thing that exists; the largest hunk of rock you’ll ever live on, a tiny speck in the universe. You can be thousands of miles (kilometers?) away from someone, and yet they’re just at your fingertips, on your computer screen, in your pocket. Big and small, near and far, finite and infinite.

5. Yes, Frozen is amazing. But think of all the other great Disney songs young kids are missing out on! Someone dig out the Lion King/Aladdin/Little Mermaid VHS!!

6. If you appear to other people to be what you dream of yet becoming, what are you? Who are we all trying to be, anyway? Are we even trying to be anything?

7. For the love of all that exists, please can we stop saying “literally“?!! Even if you actually truly really mean literally. Just don’t. Get a thesaurus. Stop. Stop. Stop.

8. Someone save me from my apparently über-Canadian fate. Irish? Italians? French? Is anyone out there?! It’s me, Margaret. Wait, what?

9. It makes me sad that when someone asks a child, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”, the only socially acceptable examples are, “A doctor? A lawyer? Scientist?” No one says artist, philosopher, barkeeper — whatever. It’s 2014 and we still can’t speak the truth.

10. You’re not alone. Even when it feels like it. Even when you physically are. You’re just not.