Sunday, September 30, 2007

Old Soap


I threw away my bars of soap from Bath and Body Works off of principle. I've grown so sick of the scent of cucumber melon that two showers ago I could no longer stand it. They all had to go. Pretentious soaps that I purchased at a dollar a piece, marked down from 3 dollars each, almost as expensive as a 12-count pack of Dial soap…have collected in my bathroom cabinets for more than 3 years now. Where I once enjoyed the smell of sweet pea and mango mandarin glycerin soaps I now find them devastatingly annoying.

My shower, as for many others serves as a bit of a sanctuary, a meditation room, an imagination emporium. This is where I am at the most peace (while still being somewhat productive as compared to my bed.) My shower is where I craft my comebacks to snide comments, rehearse for job interviews and prepare days in advance for first dates. In the shower I sound like Mariah Carey, look like Naomi Campbell and have the skin of a baby. In the shower any man that should join me, actual or imaginary, is passionately in love…with me. Soap plays an important role in my shower experience. Besides the obvious role of a cleaning agent, the scent from my selected soap can influence my morning or soothe me at night. It can encourage me to reflect on happier times but in the instance of these soaps, unhappy times.

What the soaps reminded me of is not as important as the fact that I endured these memories because throwing away a bag of soaps from Bath and Body Works would be a waste of money. A waste of a time that was so painful and confusing that I had managed to measure its meaning in my life by the monetary value of a shopping bag of individually wrapped glycerin soaps. Perhaps I thought that after using all 20-something soaps I would have been able to wash away a really painful memory, or perhaps just clean enough for it to be benign. I'm sure that I believed had I thrown them away, it all would have been for nothing.

So I held onto them. Despite my preference for shower gels and body scrubs the glycerin soap was ever present in my shower, whether it was used or not. Until one day I repeat, I found them devastatingly annoying. Devastating because something I had held onto didn't have a place in my life anymore. Annoying because well, cucumber melon and sweet pea? Was I serious? In time even the most painful memories fade, the most elaborate plans and deepest desires can be washed away. And sometimes this is the most devastating of all.

So I trashed them on the principle that it is useless holding onto old soaps, no matter how much you paid for them, when your slate has long been washed clean.

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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Grief

And just when I wasn't exactly begging for a new day, I was wakened by the sunlight peering into white sheets and comforter I had pulled over my head, reluctant to remove it. I wasn't ready. I was breathing, but it was heavy and labored. I was hurt, so hurt that I forgot to eat breakfast and lunch. I negligently combed my hair. I was consumed with grief and the knowledge that neither the escape from my white bed linens nor my deepest exhale would relieve me of the heaviness in my chest. I was captive, a prisoner.

And that same day, as I tearfully attempted my daily duties, swimming in thoughts of what I would have said, what I should have done, I stumbled upon the news of some 30 persons who died just for getting up that morning. Some might have been happy hell, eager to see the sunlight. Certainly with less hesitation than I that morning.

And with a renewed perspective of my grief, I slept. I woke the next day with the same the heavy-chested, deep-breathing consumption. Still fighting the clutches of my white bed linens, still in the throws of grief. And the sun came to shine another day. No matter what happened the day before, no matter if we decided to participate in the day or were forced not to. In time my breathing was not as labored as the days before, my chest no longer heavy. Today, I greeted the morning sun with a bit of a smirk, this same day Virginia Tech students returned to class.


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Monday, February 26, 2007

Shiny Things


It must have been a dream. I, sitting on the couch suddenly compelled to leap. Leap onto the floor comprised of sand and water blue like the ocean and just as deep. There at the bottom laid what could be the most beautiful reflection of light. I am mesmerized. Bradley leaps first, though I'm unsure what prompted him and he paddles around. I still fixated on the reflection of light toe the surface then finally jump off the microfiber couch and into the lagoon that is my apartment floor. I believe the water was cold, I can recall the cool sensation as I navigated through what surprisingly became murky waters. From my couch I could see the depths of the lagoon, the color of sand and the beautiful reflection of light. I began to choke, water filling my lungs however still reaching, ever drawn to shiny things.

Foolishly I am always drawn to the glitter, the flash of a luminous smile and big personality, big name school and cars. I am captivated by shiny things. Dare I say that we all are. I yearn to reach them and then hold on tight. Easily entertained by the brightness of high ambition and the reflection of a rolex watch. Though I can't seem to distingush between a hand full of diamonds and a fist full of glass.

Much worse I haven't successfully appreciated subtlety. I've been blinded by the reflections of light, gazing so long that I missed that very reflection in the most honest eyes I've ever seen. I am at the edge of my couch choked, staring at my apartment floor, blurry eyed. Because before I jumped my hand was indeed full of diamonds. Blind, I didn't realize they were still in its ore.
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Monday, February 12, 2007

Hope


It was the beginning of the school year and elections were being held for sixth grade class president. I can’t remember what inspired me to run. I was far from the most popular kid and a bit shy. To be honest I was flat-chested, fair-skinned and skinny. I had not yet grown into my nose. I would forget to apply deodorant some mornings and should I be teased, it often was because I was of African decent and my name was hard to pronounce. I was certainly not the ideal candidate. Some how though, I thought I could do it.

I campaigned for only one day, telling my friends in secret that I intended on making the speech and to remember to root for me the next day during homeroom. I marvel now at the support of my friends. Although, I am not entirely sure it was genuine support but them in part daring me to speak before class. I remember writing my speech over a course of two days and practicing, paper in one hand, the other in the air as I recited in front of the mirror. I still remember the texture of the wide-ruled notebook paper in my hand, Braille-like indentations on the back where on the front I had passionately written from heart in black ink. Honor and integrity, cooperation amongst middle-schoolers, I have no honest recollection of the speech’s content however I am sure I would have included such. I do recall being aware that I had to get my classmates to believe in me and to do so I had to get them excited. Picture a shy 11 year old trying to be Hillary Clinton.
The night before elections I could hardly sleep. I had ironed my school uniform of plaid shorts and a white cotton blouse and laid them out in the den. Periodically through out the night I would jump out of bed and run to the full length mirror. Arms extended I would recite pieces of my speech and run back to bed, jump out of bed moments later and run to recite it again. The next morning when it came my turn to speak a feeling in my chest arose, a mix of pride and complete terror. But I said I was going to do it and by golly…I was going to do it. I began to read the words from my paper extending my hand just as rehearsed failing to make eye contact with the crowd, staring at the sheet in my hand practically begging it not to shake so obviously. Yet, when I did look out my eyes met eager faces. And when I asked for a response the crowd responded, “yes!”and “amen!”. I would like to think I was suggesting using the revenue from our school lunches to fund class trips and that I could use the word “revenue” in a sentence.

When I finished the crowd cheered and I was voted class president. I might have still been flat-chested but I’d gotten a lot cooler that year. I won more than the competition but the sentiment that despite all logic, if given the opportunity I could do anything. She’d be so proud of me, the 11 year old skinny and shy. But I envy her for then hope was abundant. I turn over the college-ruled sheet of notebook paper in which this was written and feel its Braille-like indentations. And with what hope I have left I try to reach her, knowing she’ll have hope to spare.
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Monday, January 29, 2007

Sock and Whole Bottom-Panties

I wear bright yellow socks to keep me warm. I've worn these socks, knitted and long, three nights in a row. And after three nights I've been reminded of a forgotten fact. I hate socks. Bright yellow socks and cotton whole-bottom panties...and sweatpants on winter nights. I wake to my snuggle-happy puppy sprawled feet out, back against mine for three nights in a row, with a great deal of puppy hair in the morning. After weeks of appreciating the calm of routine, the comfortably of whole-bottom panties, and the apparent complacency of yellow house socks on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights I have awoken Monday morning looking in the back of my top chest drawer for a pair of thongs.

I am reminded that I even have thongs, more than plenty actually, and that I have been wearing the same 8 pairs of undies for months. I am reminded that I sleep horizontally not only because I have a mound of tops needing dry-cleaning, journal articles and texts sitting at the foot of my queen sized bed, but to utilize its- always empty-guest side. So I have spent months wearing socks that I despise and a limited number of large yet comfortable panties, snuggled up against a dog... because I'm cold? I grab the first thong found folded in the top drawer and closed it shut.

"I guess I'm a little lonely", I say under my breath so that I won't wake Bradley. Immediately, I remove my yellow socks, knitted and long, and throw them in trash.
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Thursday, January 25, 2007

My Puppy Snores


My puppy snores in the middle of the night while I toss and turn. After washing his feeding bowl and cleaning the mess he may have made on the floor, after hearing him whimper for five minutes to be freed from his crate so that he may continue to gnaw on my beloved black leather sling-backs... he snores, audaciously. Bradley snores like that of an ex-boyfriend after we've made love who selfishly finished first, and only. He snores so that he often wakes himself from his nap letting out a sigh evident of annoyance, unaware that even he considers himself a jerk. And he is.

So I lie awake wondering if I must climb out of bed on a chilly January night to poke this 5 month old dog the same as I would the ex that snored. And just as I regret having this living, pooping, destructive little individual who is narcissisticly certain that everyone passing by wants to play with him and thinks he's cute, he awakes excited to see me near him. I pull him from his crate and lay him on the bed. He snuggles between my arm and leg placing his head on my lap looking me in the eye. He then yawns, complete with smacking, closes his eyes and falls asleep.

I forgot why he annoyed me. Love will do that.
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Saturday, January 20, 2007

X-man


The warm bitter taste of the last sip of my Corona made me think of you and your naked back standing in my bathroom doorway. I imagined the deep divide at your lower back separating you into two equally georgous halves. Placing the bottle on my nightstand I remembered your dark-skinned wolverine physique contrasting my white sheets and how smooth it felt when your leg rubbed against mine. I pressed my face in that deep groove many Monday mornings reluctant to leave it.

Now months away I don't know what to make of you. Our time together was as if flipping though a comic book. Just a continuation of a story of which I arrived in the middle. I am volume 24; issue 12 in the story of a man so grounded with the ability to fly. A mutant living amongst mortals disguising the supernatural, occasionally pausing to save a life like mine to then again hide in the shadows of fools.
I still don't know what to make of you. Or of us.
But I hold on to the smell of your hair and the feeling of your neck grazing the bridge of my nose and the groove of your back. We were no more than a pretty picture on a page of many. But I'll slide Volume 24; issue 12 under my mattress for keeps. Yeah... and sometimes take a look over my shoulder to catch a glimpse of you in the sky.
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Sunday, January 07, 2007

Commitment

"Jack of all trades, Master of None" should be engraved on a plaque and hung above my headboard. It fits. I have found it hard to stick to one thing. This could be anything, one job, one degree program, those damned tennis lessons I was so obsessed about. I'm sure some would consider me a quitter. But of the contrary, I hate to quit. I have problem with saying no and setting limits. I have the ultimate problem of making decisions and sticking to it. I am completely terrified of making the wrong decision and because of that I have made many.

I have made the incessant mistake of overloading and reading exhaustion as failure. I've always aspired to be superwoman. I believe I have accomplished the woman part, unfortunately the super part hasn't come as easily. The flip side to doing it all is that the possibility of you doing it all well is slimmer than Nicole Ritchie in her bathing suit last summer. So if some are considering me a quitter, they would certainly consider me a half-ass without a doubt.

Prioritization is a skill I have not mastered. I am not always sure who's priorities I am considering. Much worse, I am not always confident in my own. So I've lost really important things in the process of holding on to things I could give a damn about. I have half-heartedly quit boyfriends, school and other unhealthy ties only to return because I was scared to let go.

This all comes in the wake of the biggest decision I had to make. A decision I have made time and time again but never truly committed to. I commit to my heart and what is best for me, not just for now but also the foresable future.



Geez and I pressure guys to commit...
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Monday, January 01, 2007

Til Death Do Us Part

I woke up this morning to a dull headache and the sound of my puppy I had just knocked to the floor. Bradley looked at me with forgiving eyes just before he closed them to return to sleep. Last night's Grey Goose however, was not as forgiving as the little Boston Terrier for my headache did not subside for quite some time. It was almost enough for me to resolve to stop drinking for this new year.

After a cup of coffee I quickly decided against it.

I thought of something else I had decided against, continuing this blog. What do you want me say? No really, what? My life is different now. I have different surroundings, I'm even trying my hand at this "real job" thing people make sound so serious. And to be frank, I became tired of whining. I really just got tired of being miserable. That part of me died. I had expected all of which came of her to have faded away with that of the past year.

But I will admit, that if I didn't whine about school, being broke and the tragic happenings of my love life (which I am happy to say does not exist) I was afraid I wouldn't have much to write about. Which is silly. I mean even with the passing of a music legend, former president and hanging of a tyrant, I couldn't say anything outside of "why do men refuse to take the condom wrapper with them to the garbage can? Why must you always stumble upon it the morning after?" Considering now that I only vaguely remember condoms, much less its functions I wouldn't have much to say on that topic either.

A number of things died last year, plants, dreams, heroes, grudges. But forth has come a new, fresh perspective. I'm going to celebrate this change. I guess it's still you and I.

Happy New Year!
Bring on year three.
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