There’s a breath of wonder in the air and it whispers to me of stillness and solidity. What would it be like, to be anchored by the weight of your own body rather than suspended by it? To have a body that can touch and merge with and part from another while keeping its own shape and substance and essence? I will never know. I am me and you are you; we’re what we are and we’re not what we aren’t. But are we so different? With the passage of time your body, like mine, shifts and stretches and changes. It will disintegrate and dissipate and grow to form different shapes, over and over again. Time changes you as time changes me, as time changes everything.

There’s a change in the light that sends color streaking through my veins. Some look at me and see beauty, some look at me and see nothing, and some don’t look at me at all. You and I are no different.

There’s an ache in the breeze as it leads me past you, time pulling the sun behind the ocean, pulling me apart. The light siphons the color out of my limbs and it’s gone before I can call it mine. I let it go. There is no use trying to hold on to something isn’t going to stay.

Needing to look, to see, I rush out onto the balcony, the chill of the ground seeping into my bare feet. I hug my arms around myself and bring my eyes to the sky. Cotton candy clouds pass over my head, pink on blue, and then gray on purple, and then over and away and gone. I stand there in the fading light, rooted to the ground by only the tips of my toes.




A Slow Start

It’s simple really. First, you wake up.

There’s a sound coming from outside your window that you can only equate to a violent crumpling of paper, loud enough to echo down the entire walkway. But why is someone violently crumpling paper, and why outside your bedroom window at nine o’clock in the morning? You leap out of bed and go to the window, determined to identify the source, silence it, and go back to bed. But in your addled state you’ve forgotten that you can’t see the walkway from your window and you really don’t care enough to go downstairs and look. And now that you’re up, you might as well stay up. First step complete.

Next, you take a shower. You don’t really want to because you don’t feel like getting wet and then having to get dry again, nor do you feel like standing up for another second (after being on your feet for twelve hours yesterday). But you do, because what else is there to do at nine in the morning on a Saturday? Plus, it’ll help wake you up.

It doesn’t, and now you can’t lay back down because your hair is wet and cold. So you walk into the living room and attempt to locate your rabbit. He isn’t under the cabinets or behind the chair in the corner. He isn’t in the wooden hutch placed on the section of carpet he likes to rip from the ground. He isn’t in his cage (why would he be?) and he isn’t eating the food set out on the placemat just outside it. There he is under the table, watching you, waiting for you to find him.

You sit at the table and open your computer, because now it’s ten o’clock and that seems like just the thing to do. Your rabbit nudges your foot until you lift it and then burrows his head underneath (because if it’s there it might as well be petting him). You stroke his head and behind his neck while you open a new page and start a post about yesterday. About all of the sights and sounds and feelings. But none of these things seem willing to be put into words. You write a few disconnected sentences and stare at them until the letters start to blur. You copy and paste them into a word document because you think maybe you’ll have more luck over there. You don’t. A sudden stabbing pain in your head has you closing the computer and abandoning your stubborn ideas.

You go over to the couch and lay on your wet hair. It’s cold against your scalp and neck and you shiver, grabbing a blanket from under the coffee table. You start coughing because of the tufts of shed fur that you displaced when you lay down. You wait for them to settle. You begin to wheeze and choke and gag. You stare at your container of allergy pills on the side table across the room and try in vain to pull them toward you with your eyes. You give up, rolling to your feet to retrieve the container, turning on the automated vacuum cleaner on your way back to the couch. It’s 11 o’clock and cleaning seems like a good idea.

The rabbit, as always, is lured out of his hiding spot, intrigued by the robotic movements and sounds; the vacuum, as always, is confounded by the one mass of fur that won’t stay still long enough for it to clean. You watch the vacuum cleaner and the rabbit chase each other around the room until the former gets caught on a throw rug and disables itself and the latter resumes his tongue bath under the dining table.

It’s almost noon. You lay in the silence and stillness, your wet hair seeping into the couch pillow, and think about all of things you aren’t going to do today.

And that is how you waste an entire morning.



No Shortage of Toast

Now listen up, because I’m only going to say this once.

Thank you.

Thank you for being a complete and utter disappointment in every possible sense of the word. To disappoint is to fail to meet the expectation or hope of; to dissatisfy; to let down. And you have done all of these things repeatedly, marvelously.

Thank you, just this once, for being a let-down. For not following through, just like you never do. Out of all of the times that you have disappointed me (and there are far too many to count), this is the one I am thankful for.

Now, this surely doesn’t mean that I’m happy with myself for giving you another chance to fall short of my expectations. I, stubborn optimist that I can be, thought that perhaps this time it would be different. What a silly thing for me to think. After all, people rarely prove themselves to be anything more than they are. So I would like to thank you for being who you are, for being all of the things I do not need, and for not even giving me the chance to convince myself that maybe I might need them this time around. Because I don’t, and I never will.

You’ve taught me that sometimes, with some people, you have to stop expecting the best, especially when their track record suggests you do just the opposite. And where you are concerned, there has always been an abundance of unmet expectations, a long list of reasons to forget about you that I have a tendency to conveniently misplace.

Choices can be dangerous, especially in a slippery mind, and I admit that I made a bad one. But luckily, because of your knack for disappointing, nothing bad came of it. Next time – and there will be a next time because we are, after all, creatures of habit – I will remember how good it felt to not allow myself the opportunity to waste a mistake on you, no matter how tempting it may be.

It’s kind of like a burnt piece of toast that you want so badly to eat – because you’re hungry, because it’s there – but you know it won’t be worth it. Especially when there are copious slices of bread that could make for perfectly good toast, if you only throw out the burnt one and start anew. Well, this is me throwing away my burnt toast. Because I believe that I can have my toast and eat it too, and not regret a single bite.


Nonsensical Scents

I wake up to the smell of potatoes. I breathe deeply, wondering if the scent is wafting in from a neighboring house. But my window is shut and sealed; it must be breakfast waiting for me out in the vast, bright area that exists beyond my closed door. I journey across dark mountains of miscellaneous shrouding the floor, and enter the brightness, the promise of potatoes pressing me forward.

I am met with disappointment. Not only are there no potatoes, no food of any sort, but there is also no hint of any smell. Perplexed, I walk back into my room, only to find that the heavenly scent is gone from there as well. So I’m tired, so it’s early, so there are no potatoes. No big deal.

A package has arrived, and is sitting on the dining room table. I open it to find a phone case I’d ordered on Amazon weeks ago and purposely forgotten about (so as to heighten the surprise upon arrival). I painstakingly pull off my current case, which is clearly none too happy about being replaced, and snap the new one on.

I walk into the downstairs bathroom some time later, my phone in its new snazzy case in hand, and notice an odd smell, something sharp and green, almost like the inside of a broken plant limb. There are no plants in the downstairs bathroom. I sniff around, investigating, but I can’t pinpoint the source. I give up and go upstairs, plopping down on the couch. I scratch my nose with my fingertips and there’s the smell again. I bring my phone up to my face and sniff and sure enough, it’s the case. But the smell isn’t plastic and it isn’t ink, and it makes no sense for plastic or ink or any other material used in the manufacturing of a phone case to smell like the inside of a plant. I press my nose to the back of my phone and inhale deeply, but I can’t place the scent and the huffing soon makes me dizzy.

I walk into the kitchen for a snack, noting that it smells strangely like ground beef when it simmers on the stove. But there is no ground beef and there is nothing on the stove. I briefly wonder what is wrong with my nose as I open the fridge and take out a Mediterranean potato salad (potato wedges soaked in garlic and lemon), and heat it in the microwave. The ground beef smell is now gone, overpowered by the potato salad which, ironically, smells nothing like potato.