Tuesday, May 12, 2020


No dreams of electric sheep. No dreams I can or want to recall. Fitfulness. Up at 2AM. Up at 5AM. Out of bed at 7. I meant to roll out of bed and slather on my cycling clothes for another go at Big Springs. Riding tired is asking for injury. 

I'm tired of fighting. I'm beginning to doubt the existence of common ground, only the deceptive promise that if I'm standing and she's standing the floor beneath our feet must meet somewhere. I think I'm going about taking care of myself all wrong. It's supposed to be about me after all. I keep forgetting that me doesn't include her, and I have it on good word that she doesn't want to be included. 

I like my apartment. I like my books, my furnishings, the decorative elements that denote my childlike wonder and eccentricity. I like the art on my walls, whether original or TJMax. I like that my son N— gave me canvasses and paint, and that I'm getting my mind back in its right place. 

I like my cat, Phoebe, who is cuddly and clingy and a precious petite tabby furball. She is curled up in a patch of morning sunlight across from where I am working. She seems placid and content. At night she lays across my belly, curves into a C that slides off against my hip. She stays there until early morning, and then must leap onto the window sill above my bed and sniff at the pale light before rejoining me for another hour of rest. She lives up to her companion animal title with valor. 

I like listening to music on my headphones and taking long walks. I like discovering small things. I like curves and angles and how they play against each other in the battle over points in space. I like sound, pitch and timbre, how they can be melded into shapes and angles with the tongue and throat to create aural symbols assigned to just about anything you can see, and many things you cannot.

I sometimes wonder which sense would be harder to lose—sight or sound. And I am glad I am not forced to make a choice.

Phoebe has drifted off to sleep. I am jealous. I need rest. I need purpose, direction, drive. They're buried beneath a layer of fatigue; I can feel them squirming under its weight. 

I like my baby son, B—, who accidentally got a full view of my monte this morning as he bumbled past my room on the way to the toilet. He's almost 15, the tallest of my children, and a very sweet roommate. 

I like these brief word purges, to remember that I still write. That I still exist, if only in simplicity, in the age of pandemic.

Saturday, May 9, 2020


I don't know how to do life like everyone else. I'm familiar with the blueprint, but straight lines mock me. Rather than build a crumbling structure, I think I threw out the plans a long time ago. 

My father was a carpenter of sorts. He did his best with directions, but more often that not struck out on his own to figure how a thing came together. The house he built where I grew up never saw completion and strained around itself to maintain stability. Cracked foundation. Exit routes sawed into closet walls, closet floors. An escape tunnel dug thru clay adjoining crawl space into the garage, where it came up through the cement paving. The problem was never fixed, and he remedied the open sore in the garage floor with a plank of plywood placed like a stone over the mouth of a tomb. 

I will write about this house for the rest of my life.

Because I struggle with boundaries, my chosen narrative is the vignette or poetry, any outlet with an escape hatch.

I left my house last night intending to walk in the cemetery and, instead, ended up following the access road running north and south beside the switch yard tracks. My goal each time I walk is to wander back into my child-skin. Walk until the worrying weight sloughs off and I am left wearing wide eyes and the enjoyment of discovery. Beneath the underpass vagrants camp, drink, shoot up, leave tags. I never see them, just the litter of attempted life. To say I identify with this lost crew would be misleading. I've figured out how to clutch the skirt hem offering shelter on the margins. But I am familiar with aimlessness, misdirection. I raised four children in uncertainty. Only they can tell you the success of my attempts. They learned to create escape hatches and coping skills. I'd like to think they check back in out of love rather than obligation.

I am simultaneously confident and awkward. My dreams are filled with desire for further accomplishment and relaxation from trying to convince myself I'm enough for anyone besides myself. I'm weary from my own moroseness.

I wish I could write happier stories. I wish getting over my ex-girlfriend was as easy as I'd assumed when I broke up with her.

Tuesday, May 5, 2020


I'm writing early today to get something less hurried on the page.

Yesterday, the spell broke. The deep irony is that the year of therapy that K— paid for empowered me to leave the relationship. I intended to take a walk with her, but it concluded in a verbal transaction dripping with manipulative capital. You get to a point where there is nothing to fight for besides the opportunity to stay in the miserable state of neglect and disappointment that you can't fix alone. So who knows what will happen with that friendship. I'm feeling the lack of today. Not going to lie. I have B—. I took my daughter, L— for covid-19 testing at the insta-care in the neighboring city. I feel listless even though there's plenty to do. I try to read and my mind wanders off. I get tired of the television after less than an hour. I could cook something new tonight, and maybe I will. But the denouement blues have set in. 

Why does making good decisions feel so sorrowful? So regrettable? No, really. It wasn't a good decision as much as it was the right one if I have any respect or sense of responsibility for myself. I think it hurts because I am powerless to do anything else. What I wanted was always out of reach. I will not cry sour grapes over this, but I will give heed to any who thinks I was different than those before me in her long line of mad loves. These last few months she'd worry whenever I started seeing patterns.

Aloneness isn't comfortable for me. This is the part of life where I learn to become comfortable with discomfort. This is where I learn to identify what I'm feeling and what I want. (Yes, it's ridiculous for a 45-yr-old woman to not know these personal details. It isn't ridiculous that she's trying to figure it out.)

I hope L—'s test comes back negative, that her cough is just a cough, and that she is feeling well soon. I hope I can assuage my malaise. I hope. That's the most important possession I have. That's how I've managed to set out again on the winding road to self-compassion and wisdom. 

Sunday, May 3, 2020


I waited too late to start this entry. Brevity is a gift. 

spent time with B—
apprehended the switchyard and sent home instead of enjoying my walk along the tracks
tried to read
tried to nap
found cooking helps, had manicotti for dinner
long, candid phone call with my ex, who is still my best friend, while I walked barefoot in the cemetery
watched the end of We Need to Talk About Kevin
watched the beginning of Samsara
cuddled with my cat, Phoebe
circumvented an argument with a neo-liberal on Facebook
thought about a poem that's in the works

That wasn't as brief as it could have been. Goodnight.

Saturday, May 2, 2020


I can't explain.

I have worked so hard to make this relationship work. I wanted it to. But I broke up with K— yesterday afternoon knowing it was for good. I could say it was all a misunderstanding, but when contradictions overwhelm cognition until doubt floods the perceptions, when taking to task those contradictions results in emotive expressions of unkindness and duplicity that knock mental health from its footing, what can I say? I'm not going to fight her. I don't know why I would. 

So I bagged up three years of keepsakes, clothing, her credit card, and house keys, and took them to her front door. I can hardly remember what I said. It was hurried and to the point. I said something like, "Because there are only imperfect people, there is only imperfect love." Which may have been dramatic, but she'd already started her display of emotion. I'm done. I don't think she'd been genuinely invested in us for a while. I'm ready to be single.

And I'm not. Because Covid-19, and because I am lonely, and because even breakups for the right reasons take a toll on the heart.

I tell myself this is self-care. When I say the words they resound in my body true and pure. 

I've got to focus myself, meditate, follow the rational resolve that gave me the push to put my ex-girlfriend down and start carrying myself.