“You should go to the moon,” he says. “I’d go to the moon. And Mars. Did you know it takes two months to get there? Or it takes four years if you don’t leave at the right time. So you’d have to leave at the right time.”
He is sitting on top of a table swinging his legs. He needs a haircut. He is excited and scared and smart and I love him.
“We’ve done all the tests,” he says. “We tried the needle one with the string and it swung and it said it will be a girl. My wife is doing good, she’s happy, she’s healthy, we’re all doing good.”
He is going to be a father, this man. I walk away and write poems about him on flashcards. I think about how he has changed me as a person. I think about him being a father.
“I wanted to be a guitarist,” he told me. “A musician. Now I’m sitting on this table.”
Years later I see him again, with a tiny pink sweater thrown over his shoulder. His baby girl is growing up. Is he still growing up?
“What do you think it would be like to leave? To never see your family again? What if I didn’t hug my father goodbye? Do you think I would regret it?”
“I wanted to go to the moon,” I said, “when I was younger. Now I just want to see as much of this planet as I can. I haven’t even seen much of this country, not yet. How much time do I have? Why is it always going by? Should I hurry?”
“Juxtaposition,” he said from the table. “Do you know what that means?”
The moon is far away now. He is far away now. Mars is farther. I still remember what juxtaposition means. The flashcards are duller and the pencil is smudged but the words are still there.
1. Stop calling yourself an “unknown poet”, EVERYONE is an unknown poet!
2. Things you are not allowed to say: “I miss you”, “I had a dream about you”, “I think your baby is actually quite ugly”.
3. We’re all scared. That shouldn’t stop you.
4. Some girls speak poetry as their first language and don’t know how to stop. They wear dark eye makeup and thrift store sweaters and listen to music they choose to like. They take pictures day after day from the exact same angle of the exact same face until they’re convinced that they’re beautiful. Sometimes they all look the same.
5. It’s never going to be simple.
6. Horrible things just keep happening in the world, don’t they? And it seems so terrible and evil and sad. And it is. And then you talk to your friend or meet a nice lady at the grocery store who tells you about her daughter or someone does something nice for someone else. And at least there’s a balance of terrible and wonderful.
7. I’m currently growing daisies in a tiny pot in my room under my desk lamp. It’s a tiny rebellion against winter. Or something. Maybe it’s just tiny daisy plants.
8. You should read Cannery Row by John Steinbeck. It’s a really simple and beautiful book.
9. Tell them, just tell them! UGH!
10. “When I save up lots of money, I just buy piggy banks.” – small girl with, apparently, lots of money, and, most likely, lots of piggy banks.
1. Some places just feel like your place, be it cities or streets or rooms or continents or the back seat of someone else’s car.
2. Crazy neighbors are always more entertaining than any movie. Why go out when you can stay in? Why sleep when you can listen to screaming at 3AM? Exactly.
3. Ever spend so much time in one room you’re not sure if anything other than said room exists or ever existed? Me too.
4. If the cute boy getting on your megabus doesn’t sit on the top floor, it wasn’t meant to be anyway. He probably chose a first floor seat away from the window. Who does that?!
5. You can’t force moments or love or laughter. These things just happen. Go take a nap.
6. Sometimes leaving feels like dying. Sometimes leaving is the only thing that will keep you alive.
7. It doesn’t matter how long it takes you to get somewhere if it’s worth it.
8. People are different but also the same. Remember that the next time you meet someone new.
9. Remember when you had to create a “four year plan” in school? Well, my current four year plan is to be like James Franco and do everything there is to do. He’s crazy. It’s great.
10. “Only human” means everything and nothing.