Sunday, December 23, 2012

it's easy to look at the big picture and see all the missing pieces. but when you start to take it all apart, when you start to remove the pieces that are there, you realize how much you value them all. people do their best. sometimes we forget to try. sometimes we forget how much we value all those little pieces. last ditch efforts are better than none at all, are sometimes the most successful. love and places and faces are irreplaceable.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Somjai Setabul

In 2002 a woman in Thailand went to the zoo, nonchalantly strolled to the crocodile enclosure, climbed atop the fence and dove in. When at first the crocodiles ignored her, she swam to the closest of them and hit it in the face. The crocodiles then tore her limb from limb. She never made a sound. She never said a word.

Her husband had cheated on her.

I think of this woman almost every day. Some tragic modern-day Daphne. The ways we treat each other. The ways we destroy ourselves over something so precious as love.

It happened again 3 months ago.

It's a story that my mind cannot seem to escape.

Friday, December 21, 2012

this is so much harder than i ever could have anticipated. and i was worried already. how do you just let go of love? how do you just let go? change is hard. the hardest part is knowing what you're missing; knowing what you'll miss. simple things. coming over and eating all my food. complaining about my couch. texts goodnight. joking about his coworker. quiet presence. touching hands. hoping for more.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012


for all the trying that we do, we are worn out. we may have worn this out. i wear it around, like a stain or a scar. and all this thinking erodes through me, till i'm brittle bones and bad decisions, all for you, all the time. it sharpens down into a point, and at a certain point we're just stabbing ourselves. it gets so narrowed down so small it almost disappears. almost. for all the trying that we do, there's nothing more that i can do for you. there's nothing more except a hello, and then a goodbye. i am worn out from love.  i am worn out, love. i am worn love. loveworn.

the rain is almost snow. so cold it burns. all the christmas lights on crane carving up this part of town, how they shine down on us. taunting of promises never kept. looming over us. you loom over me. taunting of promises never kept. i narrow down. this used to be so big. where'd we melt off to? so cold it burns. loveworn.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

One Night in Hongdae (part 14)

I could barely see straight. We made our way through the crowds of Korean hipsters, all toting beers, neon and designer handbags. People stopped us sporadically, to ogle, to take photos, to scream, "Yeah America!" We stumbled along the streets amid a blur of bright lights to an old, unassuming office building. The lobby was white and barren and in ill repair. A handful of drunk girls leaned against the wall adjacent to the elevator, giggling and slurring. Korean slurring sounds infinitely sloppier than English. Scott pressed the up button and I looked around for some clue as to what we were doing there.

Being relatively new and high as a kite, I didn't want to ask any stupid questions. Perhaps someone had mentioned needing to stop by an office and I had just missed it? Was I hallucinating? Had I drunk too much of that strange man from the park's wine? Drinking strange wine from strange men in foreign countries where people don't speak English probably isn't advisable. Perhaps this was my punishment? Is this what ruphies feel like?

The elevator doors opened and we all piled in, along with the drunk Korean girls who had spent the better part of the wait staring at me. Wait, were they staring at me? Was I just paranoid? Were they even there at all? Wait, how am I drunk and high as a kite on GHB in Korea with a bunch of complete strangers? Oh my god, what have I gotten myself into? I need to pee. Robert looked down at me, "You're going to love this so much!"

The elevator doors re-opened on the 5th floor to another sparse and barren lobby. It was completely empty, not a door nor sofa nor table or window. Nothing except a large hole, that resembled a doorway, in the wall across from us. Next to the hole was an umbrella stand full of plastic bags. Am I in the Matrix? This is Lewis Carroll's worst nightmare. Everyone walked to the hole in the wall, where Scott grabbed one of the plastic bags and started piling everyone's shoes into it. He looked at me insistently, holding the bag open. I hopped around awkwardly trying to slip off my shoes for what seemed like 20 minutes but was probably closer to fifteen seconds. Robert finally pulled them from my hand and dropped them into the bag, "Let's go monkey."

And that's when we all walked into the hole in the wall which led immediately to an old, rock spiral staircase. We walked up two or three flights of this ancient stairwell in a hole in a wall in in an ugly office building with nothing in it, lost amongst the busy and drunken streets of Seoul. And then, then we emerged into a cave. Seriously. At this point I knew it wasn't the drugs, because there was no way I nor my mind could have made this up.

The music was blaring and echoing through this large complex of caves with stalagmites and tiny fires and narrow riverbeds. In the center of it all a giant mosquito net hung from the highest point, full of people dancing in the ice blue light. We passed the bar and found an empty cavern full of pillows, where we tossed our plastic bag of shoes. And that's when details get blurry. I remember ordering two Hites at the bar, "Cum saw hominy duh Hite" I stumbled over my over-thought words while holding up 2 fingers. The girl behind the bar giggled, and I giggled back unsure of why I was giggling but feeling it was probably the appropriate response. The I handed her $100 instead of $10. Robert smiled, said something in Korean, then handed my money back to me.

I remember the really sweet but stupid girl from Maryland, who I convinced I was a beaver trainer at the zoo.

I remember seeing the two girls who were on cycle 7 of America's Next Top Model. "Monique, theyerr on Ant-M."


"Sorry, I'm so fucked up right now and I have to poop so bad."

"Me too."

I then took a moment to try to repeat myself. I had to concentrate hard, "They. Were on. America's. Next. Model. Top. Top Model. America's Top Model."

I don't remember who, but someone chimed in with agreement. Then Monique and I walked over to say hello. That conversation was a total wreck, but somehow resulted with me making out with one of them. Incidentally, two years later in a bar in San Francisco, I would run into the other one. I happened to be drunk at the time and just ran over to here screaming, "I made out with your friend in a cave in Korea!"

I remember peeing in a waterfall and then talking about how amazing it was to pee in a waterfall in a bar and how all bathrooms should have waterfalls to pee in.

I remember dancing in the mosquito net.

I remember being told that Koreans don't practice public displays of affection, so I should stop making out with that America's Next Top Model girl.

And everything else is a blank tape. Until morning, when it was horribly bright, disgustingly hot and all I wanted to do was vomit and then die. I downed a banana milkshake, some shitty coffee and a piece of stale toast before we made our way to Seoul Tower for some traditional American tourism. Did I mention that I wanted to die? I really wanted to die.

We got off the subway and took a taxi up a long and winding road. It was so long and so winding. So many turns. So much turning. For so long. My body and stomach swayed with each turn. Monique stared out the window while Robert giggled at my pain. We got out at the base of the tower, where we waited in an incredibly long line that wrapped around the tower. And this is precisely where I threw up on one of Korea's most famous national monuments, in front of hundreds of people.

We flew to Bangkok the next day.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Pour Me Another's

People don't have patience for sadness, if not for a fuck or a kill or to laugh. They throw lots of tiny, colorful pills at us. Smile or something, it's a gift. Spin it into a sinew. You frighten off the strangers. Bury it into the voices in the background, all the clanging of glasses and pourmeanothers. Keep it to yourself. Burrow in for winter, for winter's sake. Anything free is hard to swallow; it won't be enough to be rich. People don't have patience for sadness, but they love to watch us break.

Things He Didn't Say

he said, "i love your tattoo. you know you're beautiful, right?"

i smiled meekly and dug my heels into the ground. someone find me a glass of wine.

Funeral Shoes

I slide my shoes on, they feel like funeral shoes. I deny. I bargain, too. I hope, out of habit. Sitting front row, witness to the passing of a life not fully lived. They say it's something like a rite of passage. And time has passed by so quickly, while I've been holding so tightly to hope. Hoping he holds on so tightly out of more than just habit. And if I could spend a day inside his head; a quiet ghost. Instead I clomp around in funeral shoes, the sound of singular footsteps echoing louder than ever. My presence echoes, even when it's been so long since I've been touched that I feel like a ghost. Some rowdy spirit haunting this place; these old, persistent bones erect out of habit, out of hope. One day I'll float from all this. But not today.

I keep having these dreams where everything is as it should be. As anyone would hope it could be. Where he tells me he loves me. Where he means it. Where he means all the things he says. Where I feel real, tangible.

One day I'll float from all this, out of habit, out of hope. But not today. Instead I slide my shoes on, like funeral shoes. I deny. I bargain. I hope, out of habit. It erodes from the inside out. One day he'll be able to reach right through me to grab a beer or book or blanket to keep the chill away.

It's so cold my lips swell. What good would they do? What good could they do? My presence echoes.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Of Spinning Ceiling Fan Blades

When he and I were still a we and we were still there, whenever we fought we'd lay on the floor and stare up at the spinning ceiling fan. We'd just lay there and stare until our hands found one another. I'm not sure how it happens to us as we grow up, but it stops being so easy. Ego, fear, a need to stand up for ourselves; something always gets in the way of muscle memory, of spinning ceiling fan blades.

It's the same with books. It used to be so easy to read. Now I find I pick up a book and if it isn't what I hoped it would be, I get bored or frustrated and set it away somewhere to collect dust forevermore. I just can't seem to let it be what it is. I just can't seem to let it surprise me. Maybe I'm terribly afraid it never will. Maybe my will is a little too much, even for me, even for books.

Here he and I are now, a we, still clinging to what and who we could be if we could just lay down and stare up and wait for our hands to find one another. I've watched him this past year grow into all these things I'd hoped he could be; for me and despite me. It's funny how we never see things changing; we only see them changed, surprised by quick glances in rearview mirrors as we reluctantly stumble from place to place and face to face. We wonder how we could have missed something so big.

I wonder how I could have missed something so big. I lay out on my back, limbs akimbo, and stare longingly at the empty ceiling. I hope our hands find one another.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

The Turtle + The Schoolbus

I spent about 40 minutes trying to get a turtle out of a school bus for my boyfriend's 3 year old nephew. I have an innate need to solve problems. Even as a kid I was the family mediator, which was quite the task to take on. I dug around in that little school bus until my fingers bled. Sometimes what's stuck is just stuck. Sometimes you're the only one trying. And you realize you're trying so hard because you're the only one trying; because you refuse to fail. Maybe you've already failed. Maybe you fail a little more each time you try, each time your fingers bleed. You look around at an unmoved room. You spend so much time trying to get the turtle out, you don't even realize you don't care so much about the turtle, maybe you never did to begin with; you just needed to prove you could, prove you were worth it. But who are you proving it to and what's there to win?

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Magic(al Thinking)

The tarps in the neighboring construction site flap like birds in the wind. I close my eyes and imagine storks. The dredging and the rain has perked up a family of frogs that croak beneath my window in the morning. The croaking of frogs and the flapping of storks and the sunlight trickling in between the storm clouds. We make the most of what we have.

Thursday, October 18, 2012


When we were lions, platitudes yet to slowly drift upon our tables. Grimaces only growing in the glare of the light shining in our eyes, like through vintage lenses, as we drive along highways to new old places. A swipe at any foreign hand that lingered too long. When we were lions, we'd lie down safely knowing we were impervious, permeating unto each other. A laugh, a link, a lakeside drive, a little less fear, a little more alive. Back when we were lions.

Where now we bare our teeth and shrink beneath the wary welts we wear so well. We bare our teeth barely believing in anything impervious anymore. The road gets so big it spreads itself thin. And I can hardly reach you. Lions to outliers to a little more alone than before. I watch the road stretch along the horizon, away from you. I burrow down in any safe ground I can find; it's almost night. It's almost night.

Back when we were lions, sturdy standing amid the moving lines.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


Broken stars are supernovas, are glorified. We shuffle stridently through each day, hoping we can one day glorify the damage done. And there on Facebook we face ourselves in light of the harsh light of so many other explosions to which we do not dare compare. We blindly look around at all these people, little celebrities in their own light. We are so silently watched. Trying to make the most of everything that surrounds us, in such tantalizing ways. Trying to feel the ways we hope we look. Only hoping we do not look the ways we feel. Broken stars are supernovas, are glorified. You can't help but feel like the fraud who's waiting to get caught. I'm always waiting to get caught, or just to catch on to everything around me that looks so sincere but feels so remote.

Saturday, October 13, 2012


It seems so often we see the world as how it ought to be and dream of it as we wish it could be. As though it never occurred to us that it could be so grand as our own fantasies. We don't allow ourselves to deserve great things. We create the perfect pictures in our minds and decide those places can never be mine. Those pieces are much too much. Much too much for me, for here and now.

Tonight was the first real rain of the season. The leaves come pouring down in droves and scatter across the sidewalks and out into the streets. All orange and yellow papier mache. The autumn smells grow stronger and last longer as day turns to night and we all scatter across the sidewalks and out into the streets. The Space Needle seems so much brighter; standing out in the distance, standing out a beacon to remind us that we're here. It's so easy to forget where we are sometimes.

I breathe in that crisp, cold air and clear my head. You can almost feel it sinking in and cleaning out the fog of summer. It gets so quiet, my footsteps feel so loud. And I think about how it ought to be and how I wish it could be. The I do's versus the ideals. And how I let myself get lost in between them. Why am I so afraid to go after what is good. Why is it so hard to be good to ourselves? Why are we so afraid?

Everything seems so surreal lately; like I'm watching someone else live it. Or like it's happening all around me, in spite of me, despite me. Suddenly you're 31 and you're not really sure how you got here. You start to make changes, but even the changes don't feel like changes. The days just look different than you remember them; the color's off, the stride has strayed just slightly off course in no unrecognizable way. And then you're just so far in that you forget to look out. And before you know it, you're face first in a pile of leaves wondering how winter tore through you and so many seasons so quickly. Late night coffee is back in season and you can start to see your breath again and all this time you've just been thinking about what happens next.

We used to sit in the park and talk about the things we had in common, the people we'd slept with, the childhood traumas, the jokes we didn't think were funny. We'd sip recklessly on champagne and stare at the city down below; like we were watching it in a show rather than the backdrop of our days forgotten more fruitfully with each sip.

Three years later we're all over the place and we're ever so better to ourselves and better to each other the best we know how. Still I wonder, why is it so hard to be good to ourselves?