hf addendum

faith in things is stronger when we struggle with our understanding of them. i can't really committ unless i work through the blaspehemy.

hi fidelity

"It's what you like, not what you're like."

none of us stays the same.
who we are.
what we want.
how we act.

i have been insecure. i have been content. i have been outrageous. i have been angry. i have been happy. i have been distant. i have been cruel. i have been good. but i've never been all of them at the same time.

how i act, what i want from life, and how i navigate the world around me:
these things are always changing.

but i have always loved istening to music, reading a book in a day, eating great food, and being friends with people who are what they are.

my life will be with someone who likes what i like. not necessarily someone i always like.


rocky took a lover

i did, too. and now i am impossibly mute.


triple threat

so today i engaged in email exchanges with 3 people who have the same name in 3 different email strands. all tied into similar subjects.

it got a little hairy for a while.
nothing sketchy, bumpy, or oozy.
but definitely hairy.


you are what you love

her stomach hurt when she noticed the lightening bug. it blinked through the last yellow flower of summer. at first, she didn't know if it was anger or bobbie's dairy dip. both tended to make her want to hold her gut and rock in place. and sometimes she simply did.

but not on this greenway.
not near these train tracks.
and not with him, yet.

"really. what would you have done if she had told you how she was doing when you asked? i just don't get why people do that. it makes no sense," he said, five steps ahead.

"what?" she had quit listening when she saw the lightening bug glow.

she looked at his shoulders; they were tight and high. his hands were in the pockets of his grey pants. and he was still walking away toward the light post. that was as far as he would go tonight.

"huh? oh. i would have listened." she returned to the moment.

"really? that's stupid. why do people walk by and ask, 'how ya doin?' no one really cares."

"i would have listened," she replied and almost sat down. indian-style was best. she could always get her arms wrapped more tightly around her waist when she rocked like that. "people are interesting," she said to no one but herself.

she wanted to be held in his palm like a kid does a lightening bug.
she wanted to go back and get the burger instead of a hot dog.
she wanted to be anything but stupid in this last summer space.

instead, she pulled the yellow flower from its stalk, watched him slap the light post to return, and let go of everything she loved about summer.


all i ever need to know

since middle school, i have loved robert fulghum. i am not into the inspirational, but i am into the personal essay. and he writes them well. in his book "maybe (maybe not)", he ends an essay with this question:

"how will you know if someone really loves you if they only meet your expectations and not your needs?"

i like this.
it asks me to consider my needs.
i can easily answer questions of expectation.
all of us can. turn on a television. ask a neighbor.
we all know what to expect of love.
but, what do we really need?


i'm heading back to the classroom in october. partly b/c i'm just sick in the head and partly because i have an unwavering faith in the power of human connection.

we can save ourselves. i have been both the life vest and the swell; i have created as much as i have destroyed, and choice is the determining factor. i again choose to be part of the solution. it's the only way i know how to be good to myself.

a kid i taught sent me this poem. most people read it and want to claw their eyes out. they only see the pain.

i see the names of people who lived exceptionally, yet hopelessly. and the understanding that being good to ourselves is the first choice to be made each morning.

by Matthew Dickman
from the New Yorker: August 11, 2008

Marilyn Monroe took all her sleeping pills
to bed when she was thirty-six, and Marlon Brando’s daughter
hung in the Tahitian bedroom
of her mother’s house,
while Stanley Adams shot himself in the head. Sometimes
you can look at the clouds or the trees
and they look nothing like clouds or trees or the sky or the ground.
The performance artist Kathy Change
set herself on fire while Bing Crosby’s sons shot themselves
out of the music industry forever.
I sometimes wonder about the inner lives of polar bears. The French
philosopher Gilles Deleuze jumped
from an apartment window into the world
and then out of it. Peg Entwistle, an actress with no lead
roles, leaped off the “H” in the HOLLYWOOD sign
when everything looked black and white
and David O. Selznick was king, circa 1932. Ernest Hemingway
put a shotgun to his head in Ketchum, Idaho
while his granddaughter, a model and actress, climbed the family tree
and overdosed on phenobarbital. My brother opened
thirteen fentanyl patches and stuck them on his body
until it wasn’t his body anymore. I like
the way geese sound above the river. I like
the little soaps you find in hotel bathrooms because they’re beautiful.

Sarah Kane hanged herself, Harold Pinter
brought her roses when she was still alive,
and Louis Lingg, the German anarchist, lit a cap of dynamite
in his own mouth
though it took six hours for him
to die, 1887. Ludwig II of Bavaria drowned
and so did Hart Crane, John Berryman, and Virginia Woolf. If you are
travelling, you should always bring a book to read, especially
on a train. Andrew Martinez, the nude activist, died
in prison, naked, a bag
around his head, while in 1815 the Polish aristocrat and writer
Jan Potocki shot himself with a silver bullet.
Sara Teasdale swallowed a bottle of blues
after drawing a hot bath,
in which dozens of Roman senators opened their veins beneath the water.
Larry Walters became famous
for flying in a Sears patio chair and forty-five helium-filled
weather balloons. He reached an altitude of 16,000 feet
and then he landed. He was a man who flew.
He shot himself in the heart. In the morning I get out of bed, I brush
my teeth, I wash my face, I get dressed in the clothes I like best.
I want to be good to myself.


paranoid android

at a fall astronomy lecture, i took some notes that i found in a drawer i throw old journals in. all my life on little scraps of paper in 2 drawers.

that day i learned about the life-span of stars, considered the origin of the universe, and understood the logistics of sending information through space. i had the normal feelings of insignificance. and at the same time, felt connected.
stars have a life span.
they are born, live, and die.
just like us.

the sun we revolve around is half way through its life cycle. the damn thing will be dead in a few billion years. and so will we.

what struck me next is that NASA continually sends messages to places light years away. some of the smartest people on the planet are trying to connect with little scraps of cosmic communication that will NEVER get to anyone while humans are on earth. we will all be so dead that sending it doesn't matter.

in those drawers, i also found the scraps of my last marriage counseling session. the therapist made us write down 10 things we loved about each other. our in-class assignment was touch the other person and read the list of 10.

i was so many light years away from him that i literally almost laughed when he read his to me. that was the last time i said i love you, and i said it from an out-of-body, outer space place.

tangled in the astronomy notes, i found his list of 10. like the brightest minds in science, he had written a hopeless message. and we were so dead that the sending has never mattered.


sharon rose

my great-grandfather spent the 1930's collecting sharon rose depression glass. it's baby pink: rose patterned. duh.

when he would buy washing detergent or gasoline in the 30's, the reward for choosing brand "a" was this glassware.

i've spent my adult life collecting it.
even though i think it's the ugliest shit out there.

for years, grandpa wynn's glassware sat in boxes in my attic.
i was waiting for the right cabinet, the right room, the right moment.
i was waiting for some place in my home to be enough.
when i moved last summer, the moment came: in the form of necessity.
those were the only dishes i had that would fit into the make-shift cabinets i had constructed from bookshelves.

for a while i was worried that i would break one of them.

finally did.
it wouldn't glue back together, just a hot fucking mess.
and i had to let it go.

i look at some people in my life the way that i look at sharon rose. i have put them in boxes, wrapped them in a bubble-wrap fear, and stuck them in an attic. and i still can't seem to eat off the plate. i look at it, imagine the perfect chicken salad sandwich, but can't use what people long gone have given to me.


queen of the surface streets

i never knew that heaven
a) would be in my kitchen
b) would have me baking chocolate chip cookies
c) would include a soundtrack by devotchka
d) would only serve local yazoo ale
e) would require a dress code of underwear and aprons
f) would have no air conditioning