Currently, I feel like a heavily saturated sponge full of September. Not posting here for the month, while necessary, has left me with a big pile of human experience to sift through and make sense of. I have a bunch of things to say about a bunch of things, so I am offering another post of glimpses for you. I’m happy to be back here, hope you are too.
Susan (star of post #2) and two of her friends, Rocco and Leonard ate egg and cheese sandwiches from City Market on September Nineteenth for breakfast. They leaned against their shopping carts filled with indistinguishable broken items and blew smoke at the sunshine. The tin foil wrappings warmed my hands first and I passed them out in exchange for a few gruff thanks, and a “yes, you have a great day too babe.” They all tapped the butts of their half–finished cigarettes against the pavement and peered into the steaming foil then back at the sun. A collective exhale of breath blowing in wisps in the crisp air.
a moment of Montreal
I was captivated first by the vibrant Ferris Wheel compartments bobbing along their circle against the backdrop of an old city. I took a few moments to stand and turn slowly. A church courtyard with a single, unremarkable fountain in the center, the wind tattered signs and flags lining stone streets. The man in the pink shirt, his fingers stumbling over the public piano keys, who glances occasionally back at the wisp of a woman standing supportively behind him in delicate florals, outside the Montreal Science Center. It stands like a glistening, new-age castle at the pointed end of the block where two streets merge. The people who live within a different world from I hearing the same messy renditions of Chopin. I tried to think of who would be the perfect friend to be here with. I only thought of my pen.
I made the assumption that most other people don’t arrive ten minutes early to a meeting place to get a few minutes with their book, but he did. So there was an awkward few minutes in which, I sat outside the café thinking he might be a little late and he sat inside the café thinking I might be a little late, when in fact we were both early and content with a few minutes of existing in the same place unknowingly. The rest of our date remained the same, rather in two different parts of the same space. Lovely, and mostly irrelevant.
grumblings of the booksellers
The bookstore hummed with a fleeting absence of customers. I was in the fiction section, making a nearly too tall stack of hardcover novels to investigate. Elizabeth sat in the office, chipping away at a big computer project (the specifics of which are not worth explaining). This unexpected hurdle inhibited her ability to move on to achieving her initial goal. Elizabeth exclaimed, “ERRGHHH! The worst thing about this roadblock, is that it could take me ten more minutes, or ten more hours of repeating the same action, but I wont know until its finished.” I shook my head from the stacks in solidarity for her time, thinking of all the things that could be forever or could be fleeting and how the not knowing is terrible and called back to her, “Potential infinities really are the worst, aren’t they.”
through the lens
Through the camera lens, I noticed gold everywhere. The sun dipping into the earth and melting over the flowers and the skin of bare arms. Light toasted the dusty grounds and illuminated the tops of the tents, and punctured through the gaps between leaves, and people. There the moon rose like a thumbnail of opal over the hazy, dip-dyed sky. The world within the fair grounds is full of beauty, that fits together, and for a moment, I wonder if I too, fit beneath the magical setting sun. I put the camera down to look at my dirty feet, and watched the shadows change while I wiggle my toes. Its lovely when in the right light, you can see the beauty that lives even in filthy toes.
miss twenty something
I sang loud, driving to the library, to “Twenty-Something” an angst-y ode to the woes of being in your twenties and having nothing figured out (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Azqv46WFxZE). I sang it, aware of all the things I have yet to know and jammed out like it was the happiest song in the world because screw it. I have lived for twenty years, and that means so many complex, terrifying, and special things to me. But for now, I get to just have a freaking party about. Happy Birthday to me.
The world is stunning, in how it seems to abruptly disassemble itself. When the shock of an event puts the world in slow motion, I wonder where all of the people I have ever met are in the world. Behind the counter in a slow moment of the café, I was lost in thought about the puzzle pieces of a country, of a town, of a person, drifting apart. Then two little hands gripped the top of the counter with a daisy tucked between the pointer and middle finger. I heard a small voice say “Rose” as two wide eyes and a dainty nose peaked above the counter. I smiled down at a sweet and curious little girl, clutching her flower and said “Why hello, there.” She scampered away looking cheekily over her shoulder and giggling. I forgot all about puzzle pieces and saw a tiny big picture.
It felt unnatural to be walking through the streets of Cambridge to a cancelled concert, and begin to distinguish the sky rumbling from the grumbling of the trains. We were entirely unprepared for the un-forecasted storm, our shoes were fur and velvet and no good for running. We had no choice but to let the rain seep through our denim and cotton, and render both of our large lensed glasses useless. The sky lit up with ribbons of electric light and thunder crashed over all the human things- buildings, umbrellas, candy wrappers, actual humans. I wish now that I had taken off my shoes and skipped like I was in my back yard and the grimy pavement was fresh grass. For as much as I love a good umbrella, there are few things like running carelessly in the rain.
The expo marker by my bedroom mirror was nestled in a small pile of ripped up t-shirt rags. I picked it up and roll it between my fingers, while I studied where my eyebrows meet the top of my slightly crooked glasses, and where strands of hair have fallen out of the lopsided bun and wrapped around my neck and how my ribs rest immediately on my hips until my body becomes a mathematical equation with hundreds of variables to extensively analyze. I’m disappointed to admit that my immediate instinct was to begin pulling at the skin on my sides and pinch the blemishes on my forehead, to mold my reflection into ideal, as I think all of us have at some point or another.
Instead I popped the cap off of the marker and traced first my eyelashes, and the rim of my glasses, then my jaw and the dip above my collarbone. I stack variable upon variable of my physique until my calculations become art. I remove myself from the mirror looking down at my sketched self portrait, and said, “Yeah, the marker stays.”