Welcome To My Bed

Recapping.

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I am in the midst of doing a paper journal retrospective about the things I learned in 2008 (see above half-finished pages), and when it's done I'll post the list here. Current major topics include robots being capable of emotion, pleasant surprises, and the short-comings of the human eye. But they will probably get more weird as my brain has more time to sit with the theme.

It was so cold here in Redding last night that a can of diet Coke exploded on the floor mat of James' car. I found it this afternoon when we were on our way out to lunch, and then to the movies where we saw The Reader. Expect a review in the next couple days. Until then, stay warm if it's cold where you are, and if it's not, then I wish we could trade places, because New England means the heat is on high. And it's causing nose bleeds. I'd really rather not deal with such things, especially at the opening of a new year.

Back in class on Monday, and I can hardly wait!

Jolt.

I found the cure to laziness: caffeine. Obviously. Forehead-smacking moment. I have about four cups of it in my body right now. It's pretty wonderful. I forgot how well I am affected by stimulants.

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So now I finally have the energy and motivation to do a proper update. We'll work chronologically.

James and I drove to Connecticut on Wednesday afternoon, and my sister picked me up at his dad's house on her way to New Jersey from Providence. (I know it's complicated, but really the simplest way for me to get from point A to point B without being too much of a burden to anybody.) In between those two events, James' parents got very excited that I was in Redding because they thought they had been surprised with an extra Thanksgiving guest. I had to break their hearts with the bad nes that my own family needed me. Then I jumped on 95 again and sat in awful traffic on the Tappan Zee Bridge for far too long, eventually arriving in Harrington Park to baked macaroni and cheese and my very excited family. My brother was so thrilled to see me, it almost broke my heart. (He's only 11, and I'm pretty sure that he is my fraternal twin delayed by eight years...he got lost somewhere along the way and is now trying to catch up to where I am.) After some catching up, I went to visit with Maggie and her family, and then we went to a basement hang-out session where we rapped all of "Gimme The Loot" by Notorious B.I.G. flawlessly and thoroughly astonished people.

And then there was Thanksgiving. I will let this picture speak for that:

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Still sitting at the kid's table (because there are just too many of us), but now everyone but my brother has a beer in hand. The food was delicious, the time with my cousins and aunts and uncles was much-needed. And then later on, my sisters forced me to watch Mamma Mia!, which I thought I would be able to avoid because it hasn't come out on DVD yet, but somehow they found it online. So there was that. We had a sister cuddle pile in my parents' bed where I was staying since my mom now lives in my room while I'm at school (too complicated to discuss here and now) and my dad was in North Carolina for the week (also to complicated to explain). I was trying to read The New Annotated Dracula but some things are more important I guess.

Friday morning, I bought a new pair of boots at Marshall's, and then I took my brother out to lunch. Friday night Maggie and I went to another party with our friend Joey (who happens to randomly know one of James' housemates from living in Boston). And at this party, Charades played, a band comprised of three of our summer hang-out buddies. They were great, and I sang along to every word, dancing the whole time, the only sober person in the room because I was leaving the next morning. Wonderful regardless.

Saturday morning my mom drove me back to Redding, and after that, James and I got back to school (back home, if you will) and made ourselves a second Thanksgiving with all the leftovers his dad sent back with him. He had made the gravy as his contribution to the family meal, and it was definitely the most delicious part.

I think that's all I have the license to drag you through for now. We can talk about the force of nature that is Adam Faulkner, or perhaps the poetry of A. A. Milne at some other, more convenient time. For now, I have clean laundry to put away.

Shakespeare & Woolf.

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Putting my thinking face on, trying to get all of this stuff out of the way in time for class. I have to finish writing a paper that has to be at least seven pages. Thankfully, it is already seven pages; now it just needs polishing, maybe a dash of coherence. Maybe I'd be able to think more clearly if I had some food in my belly. As it stands now, at least the only thing in my head is everything I've read by Virginia Woolf this semester. Four novels. It's good to have a brain full of books. But tugging at the other end of my consciousness is The Tempest, nagging at me to be read. I like it most out of any of the Shakespeare we've read over the past few months, and I'm only an act in. I hope Kenneth Branagh has done a rendition of this one too. I think he should probably just put out a boxed set of the complete Shakespeare. I'd even listen to him recite the sonnets.

And after class this afternoon, I get to crochet for fifty billion hours straight. If only we hadn't watched the last of Evening With Kevin Smith last night. I need something that would be good in the background, something to keep me laughing so that I don't get frustrated. We shall see.

Tomorrow it's back to Jersey by way of Redding. I will probably be freaking out the whole time. I miss my family so much. And Maggie. Plus, I have Georgie's book to read.

Perfectly silent at the bottom of the world.

teeth


All the way back to New Jersey by way of Redding, CT, a two day road trip with a sleepless layover, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with my teeth. I mean, look at them. They are too healthy. No cavities, no infections, no problems involving wisdom. I probably just clench my jaw in my sleep. Perfect. I even have an extra one, what looks like a baby tooth without roots that is growing out of my jawbone. It has enamel and everything, but stays hiding in my gums, stowing away in case of tooth emergency. I wish I had gotten a copy of the x-ray. I think I will paint a picture of it later. Teeth look so weird in x-rays. Their roots seem alien.

I got very good sloppy joes out of all of this. Also, a very nice, understated ham sandwich for lunch today. And I bought cigarettes legally for the first time ever in my home state. It was surreal. The cashier didn't even want to see my ID, just asked if I was older than nineteen, and when I said yes and started to show him my license, he told me he believed me and that it didn't matter. I felt very silly.

When we (James and I) got back on campus earlier this afternoon, I decided I need to rearrange my furniture. For the third time this year. I think it will most likely stay this way for a decent amount of time. I finally have a working TV, now all I need is a record player. Every time I got to Newbury Comics I am so tempted to buy more vinyl, but I know that all of it is pointless until I have something to play it on. Silly storage closet, gobbling up my way to experience good quality tunes.

I am going to be the UTZ potato chip girl for Halloween. I realized I accidentally have her haircut while driving behind an UTZ truck on I-91 today. Not that I really have a haircut at all, being that this is just my hair growing out from being barely a whisper on my scalp. I kind of miss being bald most days, but then it gets below freezing at night, and I'm riding my bike home, and I change my mind.

Thirty poems in thirty days has been successful so far. I must keep pushing through.

Gray sky, new day.

Redding has almost disappeared. Tomorrow, we drive. Tomorrow, we will be heading back to a too small bed and a carton of cigarettes. I have so much mail waiting for me. So many books. Random clothing. The things I've ordered and had sent on ahead of me. The 25th, we'll be moved in to our new place, and everything will be subtly different. More space for our books, more room to breathe. Three guitars in a corner and I still can't play a note. I have to finish crocheting our blanket. There will be so many things to hang up, so many things to sort through. I have moved more in the past six months than I have ever before in my life.

I woke up this morning to rain. No, I woke up this morning to open window shades a 8:30 AM because of a phone call. So we closed them, and then it rained as we fell back asleep. I woke up again to another phone call, and then a text message, and then perhaps another phone call. I told James that this was why my phone had been off all night.

In Massachusetts, there is so much waiting for us. Connecticut feels like a waiting room. But at least there are unlimited breadsticks. And we can make fun of the waiter under our breath. That works too.

Packing up.

I leave for home tomorrow, stopping off in Redding on the way. Maggie and I are inking our skin once again, courtesy of her boyfriend, and since my last tattoo forgot altogether to itch, I'm hoping this one will be the same way.

Sushi last night, and lots of driving in the rain. This whole stay has been a countdown to when I can leave again. I miss feeling safe. I don't feel safe in this house. I have intense and bizarre nightmares and the air dries out my throat. I changed my sheets last night and the cold fabric on my shins felt like something familiar and beautiful, but I could have easily slept on the floor if I wanted cold.

I always manage to leave with more than I started with.

Runaway.

We left last night to beat the snowstorm that blanketed the Northeast today.

This weekend, I am sleeping on the most comfortable mattress I have ever experienced. This is incredibly pertinent, I promise. Anyway, mattress manufactured in heaven, made of clouds. And the softest parts of sheep. Or something equally as strange. I slept as soundly as I ever have, or at least as soundly as I can ever remember sleeping. Maybe that has something to do with being stoned or warm or maybe it was because I just had sex. I don't really know. But there is something about this bed that I wish I could explain.

Other than that, and the person the bed belongs to, most everything else is shot to hell. Devastation in the form of STDs and divorce. Thank god none of these things have to do with me directly. And then there are the problems of distance with most of the people I care about. Grace Ann is in Richmond. Maggie is in Jersey. I am in Connecticut under a foot of white.

We have to sneak cigarettes when the sky is black tinted orange. But I would never mind such things. It reminds me a lot of high school. But then, so do a lot of things. That never comes as a surprise.

Just conjecture.

Listening to Akron/Family and wondering about my own family. I am not going immediately home for Christmas. I am driving to a place I have never been in Connecticut to sleep in a house that is not mine with a person I did not know a month ago.

I've been thinking a lot lately about how different life is since this time last year, when I was still living at home and pretending that I was okay with that. It's strange, but most of the time I can't remember the specifics of where I was, who I was with, or what exactly I was doing. I wish things weren't so murky in my memory.

I might be moving again, for the second time since September, and it's strange to imagine dealing with all this upheaval so seamlessly. I might be moving to LA for the summer. Southern California is foreign, three thousand miles and change from everything that I know, and it scares me, but I want it anyway. I could happily waitress all night and sleep in the mornings. I could happily share an apartment with my intermediate perfection and his best friend. I could happily live away from the familiar. Tempting, but is it intelligent? Just like moving now. I want to, more than anything. I want to push the two twins beds together and pretend we have a real place to call our own. I want to eat pasta in bed and watch the Office and count hickies like stars in the sky and smoke out the bedroom window and keep reading him the poetry I write him on bar napkins and library hold slips and stolen notebook pages. I know that we already do all of this, and I smile about it more than I've smiled since I learned how to frown. But I want that smile to be my physical home. I want to play house, but for real.

Things move fast and I lose track of time. If I were take anything slow in life, I wouldn't be myself. I fall out the sky and into the lower level of the Cantab Lounge in Cambridge, and it's there that I realize what's been missing. I can write again, but only now that I'm hearing people read again. I need things to respond to. Stimulus. Catalyst. Incitement to greatness. Or at least urges to fill my notebooks again. It's back. Along with headaches and deadlines. But they have ceased to matter. Because things just keep shifting and changing I can't stay in one place I can't close my eyes and forget this is real because it's the only thing that keeps me awake when I'm running on three hours of sleep and one meal a day.

I don't eat when I'm happy, and I've pretty much stopped eating anything substantial. I had Chinese tonight next to the Hess station as Grace Ann's farewell dinner before she flies off the Richmond for the rest of this year and several days of the next. Apropos fortune cookie: "If it is meant to be, who are you to change that? It's time to believe it."

A sign. Or something. What I needed, and now it rests in my pocket, with my lighter and a couple lucky pennies. A slip of hope I dare not lose. It's the only concrete proof that I'm doing something right, besides a bruised neck, a warm bed to sleep in, and a permanent smile that's anything but fake.