“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.
1. Everyone needs that one friend who has excellent taste in movies/music. If you don’t know that person yet, go find them! They won’t come to you, they have too many movies to watch!
2. Kindles/other electronic readers are so not as handy as people claim. “Now I can read without carrying a book around!” Yeah, right. If you say that, you definitely never carry a book around anyway.
3. Sometimes it just seems like it’s always too late.
4. Don’t give yourself away so easily. Stick up for who you are. After all, that’s all this place is is people and other people who follow them around.
5. That awkward moment when someone introduces themselves and then you immediately forget their name.
6. Why are all the cool/successful people 32 or 35?! Does it take that long to become cool/successful?!
7. Words of the week: clarity. grandiose. honky. tragedy. expectations. tetanus.
8. Let him/her go, but not completely. Just enough.
9. Let’s be honest here, food pics are great. Don’t be ashamed! How are selfies ok but not food pics? No way. Let’s start a revolution.
10. I still think you’re beautiful.
Epiphany. A sudden realization of great truth. My little brother learned this word when he was like ten and went around for the next six years of his life (he’s currently sixteen) saying, “Epiphany. A sudden realization of great truth.”
I’m not saying that is what happened to me, a sudden realization of great truth, but, the truth snuck up on me, at least. Or I was ignoring it, as it approached, attempting to wish it away, the fact that I’m missing something. You can tell yourself that you’re happy and whole, and do everything possible to keep up the ploy, but eventually, if you’re honest with yourself at least part of the time, you’ll find the truth for yourself, or someone else will accidentally shove it in your face, and, bam. Epiphany. Maybe.
This is about friendship. This is about people. This is about life.
This is about me, and relationships and reciprocation and a lack of both. Something missing, or everything.
This is also a little about heart-break, or -ache, feeling a little of the magic of other people disappearing, feeling that that will never come back.
This is about love, and not understanding what love is, and loving someone who loves someone else, and loving a few people who don’t love back. Missing all of that.
This is about place, location. Wondering if I’d find this somewhere else, with a different city and a different group of people. Wondering if this is just another aspect of life, that this happens everywhere to everyone, wondering if I should feel wise instead of foolish.
This is about choices, about choosing people. Choosing to hang out with those who make you feel happy with yourself, or at least feel something, not like something’s missing; not empty. This is about choosing the right people, about letting go those who make you lose your people magic, even though you don’t want to, even though you wish you could keep them.
This is also about personhood. Being a person, being independent. But missing something. Being a person but not feeling like a person, not being treated like a person.
This is about life, of course, because everything is. This is about learning. And this is about truth, if it even exists.
Nothing like an epiphany, not quite. But, at least, understanding.
1. I’ve never believed anyone when they said it couldn’t be done.
2. My spirit animal is sticky velcro dots. Those things are amazing.
3. Love where you are, or leave. Love the people around you, or find new people.
4. You might be a grammar nerd if a stylishly placed comma in an email makes you a little bit gleeful.
5. If Hell exists, I bet it is in the middle of a never-ending casino filled with old people pushing slot machine buttons over and over again and grinning wildly.
6. Remember Adele?
7. Every additional person you love takes a small part of your heart with them when they leave you. You’re never a whole person until you’re surrounded by every single person that you love.
8. They say friendships are give-and-take. Right? So if you find yourself doing all –and I mean all– of the giving, it can’t really be a friendship. Maybe it was once. Not anymore. Let it go.
9. I’ll say it again: Only you find your pet stories hilarious. Only I find my pet stories hilarious. Some things, you just can’t share with other people. Or, at least, you shouldn’t.
10. Saying what you mean is sometimes the hardest thing to do on the planet.