30, basically

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There’s always something terribly sad to think about. Terribly terrible. And sometimes when you haven’t tricked your brain quite right, it skips to that terribly sad thing without your allowing it.

And the longer you live, the more terribly sad things you acquire. So you have to learn how to trick your brain better. But then you might become “jaded” or “hard” or “avoidant,” and maybe then even the good things have a way of not being the brightest.

It’s a fine line between feeling and hard, carrying and letting go. And I call that line 30.

I posted this at about 3 a.m. on Facebook the other day. There’s something about that social medium, being hit with the lives of so many at once, that prompts me to think more wholly, more big picture stuff. On days where I feel inspired by the people around me, I create anthems. Mostly in my head. Just small truths that I can hold onto, that can connect me to others. I’m always relating and empathizing and hoping people get it.
But maybe it’s just loneliness? And not the OMGIMSINGLEANDNEEDSAVED loneliness, but the kind that’s always just there like another skin. Maybe I’m still that 6th grader still writing in her journal about how she just doesn’t fit, how other girls are pretty and popular and have nice hair and cool clothes and I’m too scared to be anything but a clown.

I don’t know that much has changed. But everything.

Honoring the magic.

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I’m going to go on and say it: There aren’t many things that can rival the magic of Santa.

As a kid, of course. And even as an adult.

Maybe it’s the kind of feeling we spend the rest of our lives trying to find or to imitate. It’s cause for cliff dives and drop offs. You don’t find it in filler stuff, like grocery shopping or bill paying or tv watching. You think it should be in other people, so you dig around inside them like lost and ancient treasure. You cast it in shadows on the wall, form it in your warm palms like wet dough. You have to make it up.

But maybe it’s the kind of thing you never have again. And you have to be ok with that. And you have to live every day knowing that magic is somehow gone and that might be it, as far as magic goes. But you had it and so you’re grateful. That so-very-adult word, “grateful.” Because damnit, that’s what you should be. YOU HAVE ALL THE THINGS.

Ok. And you breathe.

I met that one person, like a mother and a best friend and an everything, and she was magic. And I didn’t know her for that long, but enough to spend one of the best holiday seasons with she and her family, feeling like a real loved and wanted creature. Feeling magical, amplified, the kind you can’t glean from workplace successes, fame or even romantic relationships… which I try to explain to A.

So it’s this time of year, I’m reminded of that and that’s what I celebrate so hard. Because I felt it once. And so every year, for two months in anticipation, I listen to Christmas tunes, ogle wreaths and trees, daydream about holiday events, shop for ugly sweaters and puffy Santa hats…

And that’s what Christmas is to me now. Plus the lights, like hopeful stars in every color.

Livejournal or bust

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Oh, I remember those days.

I used to spew my guts on Livejournal.com like some sort of uncensored, four-eyed mutant with a lead role and more feelings than dollars in my weekly Giant Eagle paycheck. Writing often, I would weave my emo thoughts and rants with bolded song lyrics. I would choose 100×100-pixeled avatar images of faceless girls in sad corners or dead-flower GIFs with flashing text reading shit like “it doesn’t even matter anymore.”

But that’s just it, it did matter. Everything mattered. Probably too much mattering.

Today as I ventured back into that world of “Everybody Hurts” and ambiguous crush speak, I stumbled upon a quote that struck me:

“The more profound you are, the more meaning you need.”

It doesn’t feel too long ago that everything hurt. I was an open wound walking, or so the cliche goes. I walked around like that for years in corduroys and striped sweaters, a heart dangling from my seams like a loose thread.

But the years wore me down, maybe. Here and there, we lose people to lack of humility or pride, to distance, to miscommunication, to disinterest, to one-ups and to one-downs. Each time a gut blow. (It’s tremendous, honestly, how much friends mean to me. Without much of a traditional blood-related crew, my friends have always been my family.) And then came a divorce-like split after so many years.That loss was more than familiar or romantic or plutonic, but all of it. Necessary and healthy, maybe. But not without pain. Still, even then, I went forward with my guts between my teeth, handing them out like hard candy.

And then my favorite person in the whole world died.

So that was it,  I guess. The last time I really remember feeling like that, a live wire under my skin. And I say, if this is growing up, it blows.

I told A the other day (after dealing myself a nearly-all-reversed spread of cards): “I guess I had to shut something off recently… to deal with the stress of small and big things. And maybe I just haven’t turned it back on. That’s where I am.”

I’ve never seen a spread that blocked and I’ve been reading cards since high school.

But it’s been more than just recently (more than this jet stream of bad luck I’m refusing to whine about any more on my blog). I’m stuck now wondering, years later, after her death, will I ever learn how to turn it back on? Don’t get me wrong, I feel a flicker on occasion. I’m absolutely ok, and you know, sometimes my heart gets full and round and I can hear the blood pulsing in my ears. But is that it? I just want to know.

Is strength, is growing up, really just dulling the nerves and dumbing down our hearts… is the only thing that really changes the things that change us?

I don’t buy it. I can’t won’t.

mt

My Toyota Scion XD dead at 76,000 miles (a review)

Toyota Scion XD - 2009

Yes, my first car died. At 76,000 miles.

So I’m bitching. I’m angry. I’m upset. Moreover, I’m disappointed. As a full-time grad student and full-time employee, I was working my butt off. Nobody was there to help me financially. I did it all on my own, everything, ever since I was about 17. My mom was never in the position and my dad (though ironically he was a mechanic) passed away when I was 17. I chose a Scion XD after two months searching for the perfect car—one that was affordable and reliable.

Before turning to Toyota, I had a hand-me-down Ford. I thought buying American was the way to go, but everyone told me foreign cars were made to last. And that’s what I needed. And why new? Because I didn’t want to take any chances. I couldn’t have anymore breakdowns, going into the city three time a week (an hour commute from Greensburg, PA).

“Lifetime Warranty” was what sold me. It felt safe. And because no one is around the corner looking after me or ever has been, I am a sucker for a warranty. I even opted for the extended warranty (a 75,000-mile/6 year add-on). The only thing I was told was to keep record of all maintenance. Right on. I’m kind of neurotic about such things, so it wasn’t too hard. I kept every receipt, as there were times I did not go to the Toyota dealership for an oil change.

And then BOOM. It all goes to hell. A broken transmission at 76,500 miles? Are you kidding me?

Her name is Meredith Baxter, by the way. She has a name. I took care of her. Did all the things I had to do. Or so I thought. Even the mechanic said: “The car looks good under the hood. You can tell you took care of it.”

But then the bad news:

“Well, it seems you don’t have record of tire rotations every 5k miles here,” the Toyota employee informed me.

This comes after a few back-and-forths with missing receipts that I dug up, called about, etc. Finally, all of my information gets sent to Wascor, a third-party company that apparently is responsible for this supposed “Lifetime Warranty.” And they deny me. Because even though tire rotations admittedly have nothing to do with a transmission, it was part of the maintenance plan (which I can’t find anywhere). So basically they weaseled their way out of paying for it.

Wascor is a THIRD-PARTY COMPANY. Meaning: They could give two shits about your car or your happiness with the product. And they will try to find a way out of it. Anyway they can. When I produced information that they were missing, they kept coming back with more things I didn’t have. Finally, the found something I didn’t. TIRE ROTATIONS.

I get it. It’s not Toyota. But do you know what is Toyota? They plaster this “Lifetime Warranty” everywhere. People feel secure knowing they have this. But they probably don’t—not unless they’ve kept completely spotless records of their maintenance. Even the Toyota guy on the phone tells me, “It’s kind of a scam. I yelled at them.”

A scam? You think? And somehow this does fall back on you, Toyota. Maybe do a better job of impressing upon people how important it is that they do this. They rotate their tires, even.

So that’s that, I guess. A dud of a car. The good news? Toyota in all of their shiny gleaming kindness has decided to pay for the part, since it’s pretty whack that 1500 miles after their extended warranty is up, the heart of the car itself fails. So thank you. But now still I’m forced to pay $1400 for labor, which has to be done at the Toyota dealership, of course. Because yes, Toyota realizes something very wrong happened are still going to bank off of it. They won’t cover the whole thing.

Thanks, Toyota. Thanks, Scion. This is my review of your car. I’m so happy that I spent $17,000 (plus taxes and an extra warranty) for a piece of junk car that lasted me 76k miles. If I wanted that, I would’ve bought a Ford or a Chrysler.

The only thing good I have to say is that the guys at Toyota of Greensburg did go to bat for me. They were kind. They hooked me up with a loaner car, which would’ve cost me around $35/day. They made me feel taken care of, heard. And I’m not ungrateful for that. But does good service make up for quality? Because now, if something else goes wrong, I know the warranty is garbage (all because of tire rotations, you know). I no longer have the security of the warranty or the brand. It seems like a new car is in my future when I just wanted to ride out Meredith until the end.

I’m not just someone trying to get something for nothing. I’m being loud about it, because it isn’t fair. It isn’t right. It’s your reputation, Toyota. And if you still feel the need to bank off of a faulty car, that’s on you.

So bummed… I guess the joke’s on me.

mt

 


 

UPDATES:

I tried reaching out to Toyota/Scion to no avail. After reviewing my case, they still ask that I pay the $1400 for labor. I think they believe I should just be grateful that they did anything at all.

After a barrage of posts online, the General Manager of Toyota of Greensburg called me. He said he was “confused” by my online outrage and that I didn’t note that Toyota gave me a loaner, which would’ve equated to $900 for all the days I’ve needed it. So as he is signing off on all this money (over $3,000), he is wondering why I’m still discontent. He feels I’m not telling the whole story. So I have amended it some to reflect what he felt I didn’t represent (which was not purposeful).

Anniversary of bad things

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We celebrate the past by dates and times.

But what is an anniversary anyway? What is time? We make this shit up and then decide to grieve or to pine or to celebrate at the same moment every year, as if every day isn’t as poignant or painful. Do we really save up all our tears or grateful gushing for just this one pin-point on an invisible time map… WHAT? Or is it just a permission slip?

Yeah, maybe I’m having some existential lapse, or a “Matt moment,” as I like to say about my former roommate’s vocal ruminations. On occasion (prompted by who knows what), Matt gets tangled up in the weirdness of the world, looking at it through an oddly “non-human” and objective way. For instance, we once melted a penny atop the metal grate of a fire pit in the backyard, for no reason other than we could. Matt couldn’t get over this. Instead he went on and on about how strange it was that the penny just didn’t exist anymore. Here, then not. No trace even, no liquidy metal puddle. No burnt round edge of where the thing was. It was just gonezo.

People can be gonezo too. And it doesn’t make sense either.

No matter how many times my brain circles it, no matter how many books I read or things I feel, I don’t get it. And I can’t decide whether it’s fortunate or unfortunate that my brain does this with everything that I can’t understand… it’s relentless. Like a lost helicopter or the cloudy grey debris stuck inside a tornado. But the only difference between that penny and humanity is that people leave and leave something behind. I know it’s on the inside or it’s supposed to be, but sometimes it creeps out, sometimes it’s just as tangible as a black eye or a broken bone.

But maybe that is the point of an anniversary: one day we don’t have to stuff it all in. Because Guts Out Mode isn’t necessarily a space one can live in. We have to do things like get out of bed, go to work, shower, dress, clean things, eat, shit, you get it. And grief, for one, is immobilizing. Maybe that’s why it feels so “go through the motions.” That’s what we do to survive, save it all up (the big part of it anyway) for 364 days.

Fuck that. I grieve every day. Still, when I wake, it’s one of the first things I have to remind myself. Maybe it’s a habit now. She’s gone. A part of me gone. But unlike that penny, I’m the liquidy puddle left behind, the burnt shape around where her body was. “The power of what isn’t there…” Somedays I feel like that void, walking.

I still can’t believe it’ll be two years since D died (tomorrow). But isn’t that how it is for everyone who has lost someone? It feels like both yesterday and forever ago.

I rarely put whole poems up here, but this one seemed fitting. Written last year around this time.

HOW I LIVE NOW [IN THREES]

You are the only thing
that dies each morning.
Sticky with sleep and

too many cigarettes, I
reach for you, the coffee
you taught me, creamer

first. You are dead and
it’s 10 AM so I shower,
remind myself explicitly:

you were never mine, and
to leave the conditioner
in longer. I hear it’s warmer

than winter outside if
I’ll have it. Every time,
you die when I drive.

I have nothing. It’s
sudden. The radio hiccups
some song I never heard,

but the sky is on fire,
the day leaving in that
blaze, the same dress you wore

after you died, everyone
frozen how you left us there,
alive like that, living.

 

<3

mt

 

Healthy Carrot Cake Bread

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Since some of you were asking for it, I thought I’d share this one. I have a pretty standard bread recipe that I adapt for different flavors: zucchini, gingerbread, pumpkin, etc. So hard to go without sweets when I eat healthy, so I try to make some that I can somewhat pig out on. Shhhh. And I sort of do this recipe/food writing thing for a living, so I thought it’d be easy to type this up for you.

Healthy Carrot Cake Bread
Makes 2 loaves.

  • 1 (10-ounce) bag matchstick cut carrots
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 cup Egg Beaters (or 4 eggs)
  • 8 ounces crushed pineapple
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons imitation vanilla
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 3 1/2 cups white whole-wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Prep: Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease 2 (9” x 5”) loaf pans with nonstick spray. Pulse carrots in food processor until finely chopped.

Bowl #1: Combine sugars, pineapple, applesauce, egg, vanilla and water. Beat until smooth. Stir in chopped carrots, cinnamon and allspice.

Bowl #2: Combine flour, baking soda, salt and baking powder. Stir well to incorporate.

Slowly add dry ingredients in Bowl #2 to wet ingredients in Bowl #1. Blend until well combined. Mix in chopped walnuts.

Bake: Divide batter between loaf pans. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Check with a toothpick.

Allow to cool. Flip out onto a cutting board to remove from pan.

I have to warn you, this recipe isn’t super sweet. Feel free to add more sugar if you’d like. I wouldn’t go over 2 cups total, though. The pineapple and carrots are sweet enough. I topped it with light whipped cream cheese.

Hope you like it!

mt

Some serious flip-flop envy

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Ok, so I’m sitting here being a total creep.

A few weeks back, upon getting some worrisome news about a back x-ray, I decided to check in with Children’s Hospital to see if they had any of my old medical records. We’re talking about stuff from nearly 30 years ago. I wasn’t super hopeful, but my mom pushed me to try. At best, I’d get something out of it that would help me (and eventually my docs) to understand the current sitch.

Guess what? After signing off on some paperwork and paying exactly 49¢, the mail came today with my records. I got a CD-ROM with a locked PDF containing scanned in doctors’ notes and pre-op notes and WOW. It’s a little creepy, actually. Some of it is like doctors talking to each other and eeeeee… Why is it so unnerving?

Out of pure Meghan-like impulse, I started writing an understandably skeeved out status message on Facebook. But soon I realized, as the note rounded off its third paragraph, that shit was a little heavier than I first thought, a little too much for a status message maybe. I seem to be operating under this odd cocktail of nostalgia, pride and grief. In fact, I might have just cried as I was typing it, which is both embarrassing to admit and kind of sad to think about—you know, thinking those mean kids from grade school apparently still have that much power over me. (And to be fair, it wasn’t just them. I was pretty mean to myself in those years. So I’ll lump myself into the mean kids category here.)

Originally, the Facebook message was explaining how I was born with a funky foot/leg. A deformity, to be a little more scientific and unsettling. Soon after I popped out, the docs told my mom I would be in a wheelchair my whole life. Can you imagine? But so they ended up doing all these wild surgeries and procedures—ones that were setting a sort of precedence for infants at the time. I had to wear a big honkin’ cast up to my hip (until I was two-ish), but that didn’t stop me. I learned to walk in that thing. I was pretty much a monkey as a child, funky foot or not. No wheelchair, though—not even once.

As an adult it’s so much easier to look at that and feel grateful. I could’ve been in a wheelchair, but now I walk, run, jog… who am I shitting? It’s still hard. It’s still hard not to get frustrated with my foot, even for silly superficial reasons like not being able to wear flip-flops. And I guess that’s the place we live in, you know? I never ever felt “normal.” Now I know that it’s ok, that I’m so “abnormal” in so many other ways that my foot is the least of my worries. Ha.

But when I was a kid, I had no solace for myself. No one did. I used to imagine all the things I wanted, namely being a star on Broadway, were now out of the question. Once I figured it out, of course, and asked the right questions. How could I perform on stage in cool costumes with high-heeled and elaborate shoes if I couldn’t wear 70% of the shoes at the store for “normal” kids? To top it off, I had myself convinced that no one would ever want to date me. Would I be able to date someone and get away with never exposing my foot? Impossible!

I wish that was it, that my self-critique was all I had to put up with. But it wasn’t. Kids caught wind of my foot issues, maybe a pool party or something (those which made me the saddest of all), and they did what kids do—they ran with it. I mean, they really created some cleverly cruel nicknames, though. Some even rhymed! And if that wasn’t enough mean-kid fodder, I was fat. Hah! I absolutely had no chance. All of these things made me the most sensitive, poke-able pint out there… so you better believe the kids ate that shit up.

But hey, this is a big step right now. I’m telling the world the very thing I’ve spent my life trying to hide under socks and Chucks and Doc Martens and water shoes at the beach—I’M NOT QUITE RIGHT AND THAT’S OK. I can’t wear high heels. I can’t wear most shoes, actually. I’ll probably never be on Broadway. And if they make a Barbie of me (like I so thought they might as a child), it would have to have a screwy foot too. And I’m ok with it.

And you know, I’m always pointing a finger indignantly into the air (ask A), saying things like “…and that’s why I don’t want to have kids,” as if I have to defend my decision to be childless constantly. But this is something that stays so real with me. Thinking about how those kids made me feel every day… ugh. And I know how dramatic this all sounds, but it was sort of dramatic. And looking at these scanned-in documents, it still seems kind of dramatic. I just hope these days, we can show kids how to be more tolerant and loving, that we can find a way to make their hearts big and their hurt small. Because it’s one thing if I were to have a kid who is teased or picked on—something that would probably hurt too much to bear—but it’s another thing entirely to have a kid who does the teasing and the picking on. So let’s be the example for them, you know?

 

Oh, and thanks for reading this slop. <3
mt

 

EDIT FOR AFTERTHOUGHT: The point of this blog post wasn’t so I could garner pity or be commended. First, it was an emotional response to so many feelings. I felt empowered, like I had overcome some shit and can now speak about it and not be afraid.

Too, I think I’m feeling a little sad about how mean kids could be and how much it has affected my being. So permanent, really. It’s hard for me to even believe kids could be that cruel… and I hadn’t thought about it for a while, so it sort of hit me like a punch in the mouth. I’m glad that I still believe in people and didn’t turn out all bitter and spiteful. And that’s just luck, in my opinion.

Lastly, I think the bigger message is to teach kids to be kind. Not just teach, but SHOW THEM. I don’t mean you have to shelter them and allow them to be ignorant, but what about empathy? I didn’t mention it above (because I didn’t want to get even more cliche and melodramatic), but I’m glad for all that garbage. It helped me to becoming understanding, considerate and sensitive to people and how I make them feel. I have a lot of very real flaws, but I know for a fact that my heart is full. I’m glad of it. Despite. (:

Moving and not moving

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So it goes.

A and I packed up our shit, piled into our friends’ car and hit the road for Asheville last Thursday morning. Doped up on Dramamine and too little sleep, my heart was fluttering and flying. Despite the excitement, I fell asleep over and over again in A’s lap, waking to a new state each time I opened my eyes. I felt like I was small again, curled up in the backseat completely dependent on the grown ups manning the ship. You know. I wasn’t worried about the music choice, taking the wrong exit, weather conditions, traffic… just at peace, swaying to the hum of the tires rounding below.

We were moving to Asheville. I did it all. I talked to my workplace. That was step one. A scary step one that seemed to go over well. Relief.

Then, I started mentally preparing myself. When I woke up in the mornings, I began to log all that I would say goodbye to soon. Goodbye, room. Goodbye, cat. Goodbye, mornings stumbling out of the house and to the gym. Goodbye, Oakland Avenue. I got myself pretty sad just by doing it. But it needed to be done. Preparation. A lot of things that make you sad need to be done. True story.

Next, I told my friends. Most everyone close to me (and even those in my periphery) probably know how I long to move, leave this dot on the map. It’s not because I hate everyone or that I have fallen out of love with my buddies or even that I don’t enjoy where I am. It’s mostly because the world is so large, so full, and we all get stuck in these little grooves. I want to unstick myself. I want to explore a little, gain some experience points. Everyone I know has moved or left, left and come back, picked up and never returned to their home base. I just want that freedom, even if for a little while. I don’t think my declaration was much of a surprise to anyone, really. Maybe only in that I was serious this time. I was taking all the right steps. Hell, I even threw up an elusive Instagram photo that seemed to trigger an online hullabaloo of goodbyes I wasn’t equipped for. Damn.

I saved this part for last, because it was what I dreaded most: I told my mom. Sure, it was a flighty text message. Of course, she misunderstood it the first time and I had to retell her days later. You bet I used plenty of good emojis and made sure to keep things light. It’s all I know how to do. But all was well. I was a grown up, doing grown up things, about to thrust myself into a new world. Good, grown up.

But then the actual trip came. A and I planned to scope out neighborhoods, look up places to live (which we’d already been doing on Craigslist). We started our journey jazzed up, ready to take on the Asheville rental community. But this gusto quickly fizzled. The prices were high, the waitlists were long, the competition was nearly impossible.

“Yeah, we put something up on Craigslist and get about 14 calls in the first hour. It’s hard to keep up with,” a prospective landlord divulged.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m no dumb-bum. I know a salesperson when I see one, but this was the story from everyone we spoke with—from property management companies to Asheville newcomers to old-head Asheville folk. It is competitive.

“About 1 in every 10 people that come to see my places,” another prospective landlord estimated, “is actually from North Carolina. The rest are from out of state. Everyone wants to move here!”

Ok, so it’s difficult. I know difficult. I work so hard. I am not afraid of work. But it wasn’t the work that had us waving our white flag. We made posters, hung them up in coffeeshops. We made calls, met up with people. Drove around looking for lawn signs (not an Asheville thing, by the way). We went out of our way to converse with strangers in grocery stores, in restaurants, on the streets. If there’s one thing I’m good at, it’s networking. Because why not? I’m always willing to help someone out. That’s how the world works. We’re here for each other.

So why no move? It was that the magic that seemed lost. Maybe it was the hustle and bustle of competition, the way a prize is hyped up to be more than it is. Sure, the mountains are beautiful, the hippie liberal swag of the city, the artist vibe of every indie shop, the temperate weather and influx of sunshine… it’s a great place, it really is. And everyone knows it. Jobs are scarce, housing is rare and overpriced, every corner we turned (both literally and figuratively) seemed flooded. Asheville is the trend and we were hopping on board—but perhaps too late. Maybe it was that we both got our periods and were overwhelmed with hormones and paranoia and doubt. Is it worth it? Giving up our friends and home and connections and A’s career. Loads of questions and in it unfamiliarity.

I’m not saying it won’t happen ever, that I won’t ever unstick myself from this groove. But maybe it’s not the worst groove to be stuck in, you know? And before jumping ship, I want to make sure I’m diving into the right sea. It might not be Asheville. It might not be now. And as embarrassed as I am to redact my former verdict of leaving, I’m glad that we discovered this before it was too late.

Now we’re looking in Pittsburgh, Regent Square being a hopeful possibility.

And to be honest, I’m eager to throw myself into Pittsburgh: a place I already know and love and court on the weekends like some fulfilling affair. Hey, I’m excited again, feeling rejuvenated, thinking about all the lovely, lovely people I’ve gotten to know there. The writers, the Biddle’s crew, the Bayardstown folk… if you’ll have me. <3

So the bottom line? Appreciate the now, where you are, the present dance. It’s a hymn I’ve sung to many, even lately. But one that I struggle with myself.

I accept the challenge.
mt

PISSPOT

FrostyBlues

Fuck it. I bought a Frosty.

I wanted to celebrate the last few weeks of hell, the end of a painful semester, the triumph of telling the world HEY, I’M MOVING TO ANOTHER STATE and having that declaration hold me accountable.

I wanted to celebrate, but I also didn’t want to put pants on.

Wait. So I had pants on, but sweatpants. And as much as I wish I could be one of those people jauntily strolling into the grocery in my sagging boy sweatpants, I just can’t do it. So I settled for a drive-thru run at 9 p.m., a little self-celebration. I’m both shitting my pants and reeling with excitement. I think the two go hand-in-hand.

Also, why the hell are Frostys so damn drippy?

What’s worse is I decided the only way I could squitch another ounce of work out of my body was if I gave myself an end treat. Not just the Frosty, but I downloaded a ROM for my computer to talk myself into relaxing after my work was done. Pokémon Blue. Get out of town! I felt like I was 13 again, swaggin’ about the Viridian Forest with my Pokédex and 3 super undertrained pocket monsters. Whatever. I spent the last hour holed up in front of my 27″ iMac—an ingenious tool pumped up with supersonic speed processing and a brilliant retina screen to play a pixelated and anticlimactic videogame from the 90’s. This is what life has come to. (I also named rival Ash, “PISSPOT,” which had me in inevitable hysterics every time he popped up for a battle.)

To better paint the scene, ENTER a burning Yankee Christmas Tree candle and drippy Frosty lid making a mess of me. What is this?

Why am I telling you all of this? I don’t know. Because it’s nearly midnight, I’m to be up in a few hours for an adventure to Asheville, NC (future dwelling locale), with some amazing people and I’m fucking giddy. And I just did about one month’s worth of work for both jobs in like one week.

But this week held some heart gushers and it made me realize why I do what I do, which nudge of the Universe to let guide me. In the meantime, I’m going to ignore the raging guilt of having eaten a Frosty and spending an hour playing Pokémon.

Right.

 

<3

mt

Moleskine musing

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I’ve slept on floors, on pull-out sofa beds, on ash-sprinkled backseats, my body tucked in on itself, conserving space and dreaming. I grew up and into shapes, edging  corners and rounding curves—an eye on my imposition: how much of me could fill the room, how much of me could remain invisible.

Now, the world makes me, turns me over in its sweaty palm like an imperfect marble, weak planet, dwarf star. I’m dense, punctured, changed without my permission. Alien. It’s true: what we endure creates who we are. Even then, experience has only made me feel lonelier. Is that the emo kid speaking? On a Weebl toon the other day called “Late Night Shopping 2,” I caught a tiny detail in the cartoon, a box with some scribble on it. I had to rewind to see:

“Emo Cakes: The cakes that eat themselves.”

That sounds about right. Hah. Is that what I’m doing?

Anyhow, where once was the vastness of blue-blanket sky, the hope of impossible highway miles, the canvas of unpaved lots, the wings of folded and refolded maps in my car’s door pocket… I have come to this, book-ended.

Everything keeps getting smaller but what’s in me.

What’s with that?

 

mt