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.

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