Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Monday, July 27, 2009

"Photographic memory; remember the film, or is it digital!?"

My fortune cookie breakfast. Bizarre.

Friday, July 24, 2009

I found these today in a six year old's bookshelf.

"On and on we sped, as through a mighty sea,
cross-hatched with lines and shadows,
our nostrils flaring in the windy mist.
The landscape rumbled to our engine's roar,
And my heart sang an ode impossible to repeat."
--Paolo Buzzi

"Where lies the land to which the ship would go?
Far, far ahead, is all her seamen know.
And where the land she travels from? Away,
Far, far behind, is all they can say..."
--Arthur Hugh Clough.


Saturday, July 18, 2009


When I want to post something new, I get the same feeling before jumping into a swimming pool. The water is always too bright in the sun, like the white computer screen. The thought of jumping right in is daunting because of the shock of the cold, but easing in for me atleast feels a little better. Then again I do everything so roundaboutly(that even a word?). But I always know once I sink in and swim, there's no getting me out. Underwater is like being able to sit in your own head; it's empty and silent unless you want to change that.

I sat out by my pool all day today. I felt slightly guilty just lounging by my pool. I knew I should be organizing my room or cashing in my checks or I could have even went and registered for classes. But instead my dad and I moseyed out back together, sat in the sun perpendicular to eachother, listened to Springsteen, and opened our books. I had a book on philosophy, and he had a book on murder and mystery I believe. I think those are his favorites, or whatever it is that Harlan Coben writes about.

Neither of us read though.
It was nice just to talk. To take in the backyard. To look at the pool, clear and inviting. We talked about life. My dad and I can do these things once in a while but only on our own terms. We won't open up to anyone but ourselves and once in a very great while to eachother. The other day I drove him to work because his brake line went. We rode in complete silence for most of the way listening to a mixed cd. Yet today we talked for hours. About little league. About driving. About trips. About lyrics. About ambitions. About why we want the things we want out of life. I know he sees what I envision myself becoming as a little incomplete, a little lonely. But that's just me and he is learning to accept that. I know he wonders why I envision life alone but he wont ask and that's why we talk for as long as we do. There's no pressure, he just lets me talk.

My mom however, she badgers. Everything is a desperate attempt to connect, to find answers, to ask questions. I feel bad because I don't think I give her enough time, or enough answers but I don't have the latter, which leaves me not wanting to give her the chance to ask. Sure, we laugh and giggle at TV shows and coo over our dogs but I know she gets jealous when dad and I talk. Lately, she has been saying more and more " why don't we ever just talk?" or " you never talk to me". Mom, I will. Just listen.

Well, after my dad left me on the deck, it was shady enough for the puppies to sit out with me. And finally I read a little. I sat in the heavy July heat listening to the June bug whine and the filter bubble and Rt. 18 distantly hum with pollution and traffic. Teddy came out and we talked.
It's still surprising to me but I can really relate to Teddy now. I noticed it today. I asked him for advice on something I had been grappling with all day and he had the right answer. It was crude and funny how he put it but essentially he told me what I needed to hear. He gave a wise answer and when we talked our eyes met and I never noticed that we had the same eyes. Same shape and color and everything. It makes sense since we're siblings, but it was jarring to see something I thought was unique about myself on someone else.

I told him I wanted to go on a trip with him, and I think a NYC road trip to watch the redsox play is now in the works. He's older and can do things for himself now. Instead of looking at Teddy as a little brother, a chore, etc. I see him as someone I want to be around because it's always fun and always enlightening. The little bastard surprises me with things he has done and what he has to say. But I think he has always been full of these surprises. Now I'm just taking the time to listen.

Families are a lot like sea glass. So shiny and sharp at first until daily routine, fights, spilled milk, bills, messy rooms, teenage angst, financial stress, changing jobs all crash over thm until they dull and smooth. Some dissintegrate against the rocks, but some ride out the tide, changing with it, pieces eroding away. Yet when you think all those years were filled with nothing but the ebbing and flowing of stress and anger, you stop and find something smooth and beautiful and treasured and rare. And it's nice to keep.

Sidenote: When I told my dad I wanted to go on a trip he asked to where.
"Savannah because it's haunted. Will you come with me?" He smiled and said "When? I only have one vacation left from work and I think I'm gunna save it for the winter".

" I wanna go in August. I have to month off and I wanna drive down so I can see other things too."

"Me and mom did that. I'd only fly. Long drive, Elaine." That's where it kinda clicked with me. He went back to looking at his book and I sat there feeling my anger bubble again. Instead of stowing it away, I really examined it this time and asked myself why am I angry now?

Truthfully, I want a discovery all my own. I want to be green and new in someplace with someone who won't say "I've done this/seen this/ had this before". But so many people I know have done/seen things between eighth grade trips, past adventures, random drives. Now even my dad has already done my dream trip. I guess I was angry because I felt jipped somehow. My dad took Teddy to cool new places following the Redsox for the last couple of years. They saw Toronto, Baltimore, Philly, D.C., and along the way Niagra Falls and the Great Lakes and other places they cruised into. I don't know, it isn't their fault at all, I opted out of some because of the label "baseball trip". I never thought I could go and make it my own.

I guess I jipped myself.

I don't know what I was expecting out of this post. Usually I feel clarity, or relief. But right now my head is still turning with different thoughts that I can't quite catch and articulate. Maybe I'll write more later or maybe I'll just go for a swim. It's early still and warm and I'm stalling for other things I have to do. I think I'll go swim and end my day where it started, easing into the water and listening to just me.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Vacate to wait for some new blank slate.

I've missed my after midnight posts. I have so much to write about and catch up on that I really do not know where to begin, or when I start where to end it. These last few months have been a blur of hesitation,
and still more waiting. I was looking at this summer as being my great escape, and I spent all last year counting the seconds until I could leave this area with hardly a look back and go where I please. But it's mid July, school's been out for two months, and all I have to show for it is some new books, a little bit of money saved, and a camping trip. Thinking about my lack of exploring the other day made me incredibly bitter. So many friends and acquaintances are out in the world; in Paris, in London, across the country, at sea, in the city, or in the jungle. It's like me and everyone I know are the fuzzy ends of dandelions, and everyone caught the wind and scattered, but I'm the only one stuck to the stem.

I must say camping was fun. Unplanned and harried, it was what I would want any of my trips to be, last minute and unconventional. And though I didn't technically travel anywhere new, it was a new experience and a new face in a place with countless old memories. The days were lazy and filled with sun and the nights were blurry with smoke and rain and wine. I was able to visit my old haunts, tell old stories, and miss old friends. I thought it would be hard to leave and I would want to stay longer but when I heard the words "wanna just leave now?" I found my keys fumbling into the ignition so fast that I almost forgot to check and see if we left anything behind. And honestly if I had, I dont think I would have cared, I love the area, yes, but it's old. Also arguable, I love the "old" but dwelling in it I feel has been holding me back. The past I realize has been making me doubt myself and my future. But what I was a few years ago is nothing like I am now, or anything like what I want to be. And who knows, maybe next year/month/hour I'll completely 180 what is important to me again, and be looking for a different route to race down.

Even though the weekend escape was refreshing and needed, it leaves me thirsty for more. I thought of the word "vacation" coming from the word, obviously, "vacate" which is synonymous with relinquish. When you vacate something, you give up don't you? You vacate a home, you give it up. You vacate a dream, it is abandoned. Left empty? So are vacations our own ways of giving something up? And what is it we relinquish? For some I guess it's purely our daily routines, others it's fears and stresses, and for the more restless it is a hope to abandon ourselves. And everyone shares a common conclusion that in order to achieve this, you must first remove yourself from what you know. But wouldn't the ultimate "vacation" be the ability to escape anything you've ever known before without having to leave. To discover something new in something you think is so old and worn, it can't possibly have anything left? Or is it better to discover the new and compare it to what you vacated? I'm rambling.

But the other day it was finally beautiful out, after weeks of rain. I woke up early and went for a walk. I walked down to the bank and cashed in my coins Ihave begun to emass again and then headed for the church basement and snatched up a new book. On my way back home I passed The house at the end of my street my mom fondly calls " Whitman's finest". Its an old three decker that is falling apart, with an unpainted pickett fence and warped sidewalk blocks overrun with crabgrass. Outside in a dirty plastic lawn chair sat a shirtless man, browning his beer gut with a Bud in hand next to a handmade sign that said " This is as far as I can afford to go on my vacation". Caught off guard, I laughed pretty hard as I walked by. He smiled and waved and I asked if he's gotten any good responses to his sign. He said a few people have honked but most just wave and he claimed to be enjoying it regardless. "This really is as far as I need to go".

And I guess, for the time being, it really is.