This is actually an excerpt from Pale King. However, I think it stands well as a short story. Honestly, if it doesn’t rock your balls, something is wrong.
Also, tumblites, this is my boyfriend Trent’s tumblr. and if you like me, i bet you like him. he’s new, but maybe if he gets more followers he’ll continue to enlighten us with things like this. sound good?
today at work a woman thanked me for living. she really said ‘thank you for LIVING.’ which is cool and all, except it was based on my green converse and bright, patterned skirt. she really appreciated that i didn’t let a corporation making me wear a t-shirt get me down, that i still dressed so vibrantly.
and, i mean, i actually hate that. the only reason i wore a skirt was because it was raining, because i wasn’t riding my bike, and i could. usually it’s jeans for bike riding. usually it’s the navy converse because i like them better, and they are the only shoes that cover my entire foot, as required. but green matched this skirt. it was for the weather, the day’s activities. and i am still the same lively, hilarious, great cappuccino making barista in my jeans. i dress a thousand different ways a week, encompassing tons of personas. somedays i wanna wear black and not look lively at all, but i’m still obnoxious. and some days imma wear that shirt with all the butterflies no 20 year old girl should like. that’s the way shit goes.
and, as far as this all is concerned, there are a million things about that corporation dragging me down. but if i showed it behind the counter, i’d be a little ole thing called unemployed.
so i haven’t watched any episodes of the office past the 3rd season. keeping up with tv is not really my thing. but what’s really funny, is i still know every damn thing that’s happened with specific pictures and dialogue because of tumblr. thank you, tumblr. it’s like a cutesy, adolescent girl tv guide. you guys are swell.
“he poured her more dandelion wine.
‘it’s clearer now,’ he said, rather formal. ‘a few months ago it got quite cloudy. you see, in spring, when the dandelions begin to bloom again, the wine goes through a fermentation. as if they remembered.’
no, thought oedipa, sad. as if their home cemetery in some way still did exist, in a land where you could somehow walk, and not need the east san narcisco freeway, and bones still could rest in peace, nourish ghosts of dandelions, no one to plow them up. as if the dead really do persist, even in a bottle of wine.”—
and cherry blossoms. they bloom in one fleeting, beautiful, celebrated day. and then fall to the ground and nurture the tree for next spring.
i tattooed these things on my body, to try to capture it. and still, i forget.
this russian lit class, guys, is the pinnacle for me. the coming and going. the love and loss. the beauty of life and concrete, absolute solidity of death. i am highly sensitive to people’s emotions and sadness and the way it is expressed. i cry for people more than myself. it’s not selfless—it’s so selfish. i don’t even really consider them, just my own impressions.
at the end of checkhov’s ‘the kiss’, i felt like i was waiting for my turn to jump off the diving board at the pool. nervous. except i didn’t want to anymore, but i still had to. had to. was just waiting for it. this isn’t fair, and i didn’t sign up for it, and it’s not my fault, but still, inevitable.
so what do you do in the meantime? pace the time in between and make definitions and lasting imprints on the world?
i like to start with things i love:
trent, the taste, color, and smell of whiskey, making things for people, cooking, writing, reading, reading, reading, the woods, lakes, beautiful things, music(who not, right?), bike rides, flannel, and coffee.
i allow these things to sum me up. it’s okay with me.
and then i apply it.
today trent and i went for a walk around homer lake, and it was peaceful, beautiful, so far away from changing lights and car horns and litter. instead, those trees and dirt and sun and their own perfect, indifferent cycles. homer lake is practically where i grew up. cars full of kids heading to homer lake or walnut point for camping and fishing, learning about what type of butterfly is which and how to tell poison ivy from the rest of the plants and oak trees and gingko trees and woodpeckers and hummingbirds. if we aren’t going to use it or eat it or learn from it, put it back. there are pictures of me bathing in buckets, a leg-high little girl in diapers, walking neck-high in plants off all the trails. those are my roots. that is how i chose who i am. i hold the family record for falling into the water. usually it was because i simultaneously wanted to hold my feet in the water and touch my toes to break the reflection.
i haven’t held a fishing pole in years. if i don’t live near water someday, i will have failed myself and everything that makes me. if i don’t arduously write and fixate my words to be published, i will have failed myself and everything that makes me. if i do not spend my life pursuing ways to make the world the place i imagine and know it can be and is surely not right now, i will have failed myself and everything that makes me.
so this summer all i did was stay out too late, drink pbr, and dance.
but then, school started. and i’m knee-deep in pushkin and shakespeare and mesopotamian creation myths and how plants can solve world hunger, and it is messing with my brain. hard. trying in schools means my mind’s changing which means i’m not fun lately but very pensive.
i will be fun again someday. just not while i’m kicking around existentialism and how most of the world is starving and we aren’t doing anything to help and how all i hear is complaining and stuff.