the hood

I'm almost 35, sitting on my bed, wearing a hooded sweatshirt with the hood up on my head. I have a homemade hairdo - home bleached, home cut, home done. And a hood is on my head. I wonder why I bother, but I know why I do it. It's so I can stand out and blend in with the freaks I think might be like me. But now, I'm alone.

I'm listening to talk radio - it's a podcast of a radio broadcast. They're talking of infidelity, which is exactly what I'm supposed to be writing about.  But I'm not, I'm writing about me, and fixated on how dirty my feet feel.

I'm slightly ill from a couple of drinks. I know very well I shouldn't drink alone. I've stopped taking my antidepressants and I've stopped seeing my therapist because I can't pay for either. I don't like either of them anyway.

I'm 17 again.

But I'm not, I'm almost 35, and I live alone in a tiny apartment, and the smell of the chemicals that I use to clean my floor is making me ill, and the plans I had for the evening fell through, and when I hug my pillow and lie on my side I feel like I'm floating. And the smell of Nag Champa burning is almost theraputic, and I'm tugging on my clothes because it feels like someone else is here, and for a minute or two I don't feel alone.

I know everything that I'm supposed to do to take care of myself. I almost never do any of it. I spend a lot of time with my palms over my eyes, holding my breath, waiting to float again.

I get together with friends and laugh about depression and drugs and hahaha, that's for people who can't get out of bed or shower. And I often can't get out of bed. Or shower. And I hide from the truth behind the laughter.

And the hood.

when I was just a little girl

I did something terrible when I was 15. I stole longtime girlfriend's journal.

She was, I thought at the time, silly and desperate, and I wasn't alone in the planning, but I alone did the deed. It was a spiral notebook, filled less than twenty pages (in swirly 1980s girl writing). I did share it with two people. I also destroyed it, and when I was accused I denied everything.

The journal was mostly personal, rambling thoughts of the sort that no one would ever care to share, and few would care to read; ramblings of a 15 year old girl. I was perfectly aware of being in the wrong; I also believed that no great secrets or knowledge would be lost in its destruction and found no remorse in destroying it. Nevertheless, in the aftermath of the incident I discovered what personal damage I'd done, and the guilt of it has haunted me for years.

I have recently made contact with the writer, and I admitted my guilt and offered my apologies. They were ably accepted, wrapped in white linen and Christian faiths. And at this point in time, while I absolutely acknowledge that I was in the wrong, the acceptance does not ring true.

The acceptance leans toward a belief that a friendship went sour, which it did, but takes no responsibility for the vinegar. It acknowledges that a foursome of friends went awry, but puts all of the blame on me.

So I thank you, dear old friend, for your forgiveness. I will put the past to rest, just after I remind you that I had the journal. I read the journal. I knew your intentions. And I destroyed the journal.

I am most certainly the villain in this story, but there are shadows unknown to all but you and me, and I hereby let them fly into the night to find their rest.

As you once wrote, but there is no longer any proof: "She is easy to let go of." I hope that I will find the same to be true of you.

Love, Live, Want, Dream, Flail

My life is wrecked and loved and cleft in twain
But yet alone and serving everlong
This suckling at my breast who comes again
And urges, begs of me my heart be strong

Would I could find a bed to rest in peace
With faithful love alive and kind and true
Then sucklings find their ample hunger cease
And leave me my dry breast to beat anew

These musings, which I beg of thee not share
Pour from my soul, but favor no relief
I cannot find a way in me to pair
My devious heart with a gentle thief

I love, I live, I want, I dream, I flail
With arrogance, yet always fear to fail

Oh love, oh life

Thoughts of you seduce me to a dreamland
Where sensual and logical minds meet
Where cupids flutter 'round my head and beam and
Serpents hiss and tangle at my feet.

I turn to face your face, forever searching
Will dreams and cruel reality here meet
To settle this - Oh God - this pleasant urging
To lay me down my breast upon your feet?

But heretofore my callings, most unanswered
Have met Fate's deaf, uncaring, labored ears
I fear that this affair is but a dancer
Who, 'pon the midnight hour, disappears.

Oh love - Oh life! - To live with dreams of love
Whilst knowing it not yet deigned from 'bove.

just a little late

In honor of the recent anniversary:

Some friends and I were at a bar after rehearsal from some play or another at school. A favorite drink of ours at the time was the Black & Tan. When we ordered a round, the bartender, a tall, Irish fellow, shook his head and slowly spoke his mind.

I'll make yer drinks, but it's fookin' blasphemy. The only thing you should mix with Guinness is more fookin' Guinness!

That was over thirteen years ago, and we still recall that line whenever we get together.

Happy birthday, Guinness. Thanks for the good times.



Twelve years later
When you reached for my hand
When you held out your arm
When you were as nervous as you were
Twelve years ago
I was twelve years younger
I was twelve years older
I was twelve years more and less naive
And I thought
I'm holding his hand
And my heart sang me to peace



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what does he know?

This is the way the world ends
He says
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.


This is the way the world ends
Women weep
Children wail
The strong attempt an escape
The weak attempt an escape
(Their routes do not meet).

This is the way the world ends
She cannot find the door
He cannot find the dog
The child cries, still.

This is the way the world ends
The cats cower
The fish are anxious
The radio plays only cotton sounds.

This is the way the world ends
Did I love, my love?
Did I comfort, my love?
See the skies, my love!

This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang
Not with a whimper
But panic
And riot
And regret
And fear.
But those who have loved will take peace and smile
And simply rest.

(no subject)

Do you like to smell flowers?
I love to smell flowers.
I love to smell flowers when I have the time.
Sometimes, they smell beautiful
Or calming, or peaceful.
Sometimes they smell clean and dull, like dirt
Or sharp, acrid, like cut onions or poison.
Their looks can be deceiving
But you can't tell by looking
Even the prettiest can smell awful.
But I love having the time to smell flowers.