Friday, May 29, 2009

four-letter words, five-letter names

I thought those days had gone to laughing pastures. I'd caught my breath.

Ahh, here you are, relentless momentum. There I go laughing running darting my eyes - oh, yes, but I'm here, too.


A few saved, appropriate-to-mass-share messages that I particularly enjoy:

-"Dustys sleepn scare his ass 4 reals!"

-"Dianaaa happy new yearr!" - Jeremy, January 20th

-"The cops have been cald."

-"I think we should have a capital one adventure sometime tomorrow or friday, with a possible excursion to a pharmacy type store. Love you, The End."

-"I'm eating cornish hen right now!"

-"Convince paul to shave his head!! I have him like almost there or like a mohawk ha ha." - I still have no idea who this is from.

-"Dear snugglebear i long to see your face and draw it near to mine. i hope the time we are apart for you is not as tedious as it is for me. soon dearheart soon."- The scariest text I ever received...until I realized it was Caralyn. :-p

-"I went out and bought animal print clothes bc I needed change."

-"Is stalking punk boys at work considered creepy and obsessive?!" - Never. ;-)

Thursday, May 28, 2009

list excerpt, whilst digging around on the floor

So apparently I was angry one day at the wee ones:

"-get a job.
-go biking.
-watch the sunrise at Montauk.
-having cooking fiestas with the toaster.
-go to the marine center and go sailing, boating, kayaking.
-go home (please)."

"If I didn't have a skeleton, I wouldn't be able to do this." ::dance moves::

So many wire-bound journals. What did I have to say? Surely it mattered. Maybe not now. Not now, when I’m certain to dig holes with every keystroke. I throw a bit of dirt toward your eyes and wonder if you see patterns in falling grains. Dazzled? You blink. Dig deeper. Deeper now.

Sunday, May 24, 2009


I think I understand you: this slow silence is enough for me to wish that today and all other days that feel this way had passed already.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

metaphor in woods:

Last year, at best slightly unhinged--the ACL that passes the Lachman test, the leg with muscles too small that tries to tumble anyway. Walking releve down the line of breaking. At worst, the runner mid-kick--everything burning, tearing, you want to die you want to throw up you want to stop you cannot stop you rip yourself apart.

That was me.

May, 23.

The fan turns.

I want to run, drop to the ground for crunches, grip the bar in the doorway for pull-ups. For now, I have the time. Parts of the floor are (somewhat) visible. Soon there will be bulky air conditioner instead of fan and I'll lie on my floor at late hours with laptop instead of typing (somewhat) dignified at the desk. In late May, I think I can write the best stories. I had one last May (a good one) and the May before (not so good) and I have one now (this can work). This story will be in desert, and already I sweat while sitting, windows tight shut.

I dance in the kitchen. Meanwhile, the messages have started again. I knew it! they say. Maybe I did, too, or else I wouldn't have felt, keep feeling so antsy--any minute now, something will happen. This, like stories and closed windows and trail runs, is not new. I hope you're preparing, tree-streaked shadows on dirt path.

Summer, indeed.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

You know you go to SBS when...

-You know everyone by his/her first name. If multiple people have the same name, an adjective quickly distinguishes the identity, i.e. "Crazy Nikki."
-You know all of the UPD officers by name.
-You know all of the guards and which ones will ID you (a.k.a. almost none of them).
-You have been Shabazz'ed.
-More than once.
-You have seen Sean's nipples.
-More than once.
-Sherrille has told you that something does not belong to you.
-You or someone you know has hooked up with the same person as half the school.
-You or someone you know has played beer pong on an armoir in a vacant room.
-" " has smoked weed in a room.
-Or rolled a blunt in Wainscott.
-You hear Ama's voice from across campus.
-And Deana's laugh.
-Pick-up basketball is the main campus sport.
-Off-campus life consists of the same parties, occasional sketchy club outings, and for those of age, adventures at Tidewater.
-You've Facebook-chatted suitemates, people in the same building, and people across "the quad."
-You participated in the snowball fight, closely monitored by Joe.
-You realize that despite how small the school is, nobody ever seems to know what's "officially" going on.
-However, when people hook up or get written up, you find out immediately.
-You recognize that deadlines don't matter.
-You've played Scattergories on a Friday night for sheer lack of other things to do.
-And somehow, you manage to stay up 'til sunrise on such nights.
-Gaming Night was the highlight of your night (and maybe semester).
-You attended a school dance that was an awkward mix of current students and prospective freshmen.
-You remember the sweaty guy who was the sole survivor of the dance floor.
-You or someone you know was serenaded by Sarah.
-You've participated in a Shelter dance party.
-Your eating habits depend on what FSA serves that day.
-You've eaten undercooked rice with various objects from previous meals tossed in.
-But it tastes better when Dusty serves you.
-7-11 becomes real food after midnight.
-You've been tagged in a photo by Kenny.
-You've become, to quote Sherrille, "emotionally invested" in the relationship between two RA's.
-Yet you wonder. If it's not on Facebook, is it happening???
-Your friends don't believe this is a real college.
-Neither do you.
-There's no such thing as an "upperclassmen," no matter what your credits say.
-You or someone you know has had a horrendous time in advising (cough Caralyn).
-You've crept into the windmill, manson, Wainscott, the Montauks.
-You wish you lived in the Montauks.
-The parking lot has eight cars on the weekend.
-You're pissed when you have to park behind the Peconics, especially at night.
-For a Shelter or Greenport resident, the lot by Amagansett is simply too far.
-You've tie-dyed in the laundry room of Shelter or Greenport.
-You've begun to confuse the dorm names with the town names. You say you're going to Greenport and someone asks, "Why so far?" Someone says, "I'm from Amagansett" and you ask, "The building or the town?"
-You never heard of these towns previously (cough Lauren).
-You've crawled in or out of a room via window.
-You've rented Marine Center boats without being boat certified.
-You've heard sketchy stories about the reservation.
-You've talked to Eric.
-A happy gathering has been unhappily interrupted by the entrance of Sam.
-You use the phrase "epic fail" daily, often in regards to your life.
-You hear the word "sustainable" daily.
-You don't really see "sustainability" daily.
-You or someone you know has hosted an illegal pet.
-Your room was overrun by crickets.
-And you know who the culprit is.
-You've colored in the Shelter basement, watched movies and eaten pancakes in Greenport, and/or played Magic in Mattituck.
-"This ain't yo home,"
-And secretly love it.

Monday, May 18, 2009

There's a million roads I had to take

Did I bother telling you this
with the words that cross teeth and jump lips?

Well, I made it. A year past Cortland (I do miss it but the pieces fit better here), a summer beyond where will I go...

If you're sleeping, are you dreaming
If you're dreaming, are you dreaming of me?

One hour of sleep that first night, and in nights after, I couldn't stay put. I was as uncomfortable as all of you, maybe more. You might not belong here, but I did not. I was sure of it.

So I ran:

Through Mozambique and those Memphis nights

You may not have wanted another pretty face, but you've got that invisible touch! What would I have done without quiet nights with soft serve and Sing Star, loud nights of drinks and dancing and hands held at Tidewater? What would Julio and Guillermo and Jose do without you? And Jack? Can't you feel it in the air tonight?

Just dance!

Then I started dancing here. Crying and running and dancing. Same with all of you (maybe not the running). Nights in the bathroom and common area and Caralyn's floor and each other's beds.

Baby's black balloon makes her fly.

We understood.

And we are the champions...of the [whole new] world.

One step at a time...

After eleven years of gymnastics, I didn't know what I was supposed to do around here. Who is this girl?

There's gotta be somebody for me like that and I searched in all sorts of places. But I never quite forgot.

Go ahead, tell me you'll leave again
You'll just come back running
Holding your scarred heart in hand

I went running more than once and came back crying. I suppose I thought something would change.

But you know what? I don't regret it.

This is the correlation of salvation and love.

I breathed.

The broken clock is a comfort
It helps me sleep tonight.

And then there was a train ride. And salsa on burgers, maps of the world, keeping ourselves warm. And meets, early mornings and cold dawns and falls, but growing fire. I grew into my role. Lost and found me! Anberlin reminds me not of anyone, really, but anyone I ever thought of while driving down 24 in bright winter afternoons. I need a fix in those heroin eyes.

Oh, my ladies! Making me smile all winter. No, he can't read my poker face! All current pop music takes me to them, even though, as Gianna, age 10, believes, "'Smack That' was Akon's last good song." The scores sometimes agreed and sometimes didn't, but they got so much better. So many hours of Level 5 floor music and issuing push-ups and yelling at Gabby to stand up. So worth it.

You can have whatever you liiiike. So many late-night hours of my life story as we sat in the office or drove to Hampton Bays or back from Burger King. I don't know how you didn't laugh at me.

I have to believe that the past will make sense to me in time.

And then...

And you're just so cool,
run your hands through your hair


absent-mindedly making me want you.

Do you catch your breath
when I look at you?

And the round that ended in Southold, but didn't quite end...

You can go your own way!

Now Montauk morning light, football in fog, mansion and windmill adventures, plays on train platforms with hookers. I'm wanted, dead or alive! So much writing, good writing (I think, in good moods). Good Mexican food. Seeking Amy. Singing Jason Mraz in the car after bagels. Cortland, too--all the single ladies!--and the friends who have been my friends all along--Lena, Nati, Miguel, Emeline and her broccoli, Rachel and our phone conversations as I drive, Beth and Hamlet and wine, Matt and our cyber (now real) friendship, so many others. Learning to teach. Still twisting and flipping, of course. Learning to finally, really, be comfortable with this girl, me.

I feared I'd lose the words this year, but there is so much to say.

Through the fire and the flames, we carry on!

to clear one's throat

[Beth]: guess what?!
[Diana]: what!
[Beth]: we got an A in English!
Yay, Ross! :-)

"I am confident you will be an excellent teacher!" -Stephanie. Watch out, Writing 101 students this fall...

"This is the best day ever!" - Valentina, age 8, as we take a team field trip to the sandpit across the parking lot. Best day ever, indeed -- I've got the ten of them on my own, and amazingly enough, they're all happy. And some are flipping above my heads.

P.S. 1: Lena's dad is awesome.

P.S. 2: So is Camus.

P.S. 3: So is Jessica: "If you ever need tragedy, I'm here to help."

And from Sean, who walked in during the writing of this: "This ain't yo coyote den!"

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

roundtrip multi-city horseshoe crab ABC's.

Pete walks down the stairs as I walk up to Shelter Island, sweating in red sweatshirt with iPod in hand. "I always see you running," he says. "What are you running from?"

"Life," I say with a grin.

Not this year.

I think I would be better off for spending more nights with golden moon over soft lapping waters as our feet touch rocks. I would be better off writing. And I am.

Oh, and we're going: Dublin, Kerry, London. ACLs and Mexico told me to take all risks. It'll be a whirlwind and I'll fear the plane until it starts racing.

And I feel the ecstasy I never thought I'd feel again. How about that?

Monday, May 11, 2009

a good day

I woke up with Creed in my head, of all bands. Later, I drove to work and heard an advertisement for Creed at Jones Beach this summer.

I remember:

My mom wrote me a note for "college visits" so I could get out of school early. I walk to the circle, to your vintage red car. We drive to your school and walk across leaf-strewn cracked pavement past brown buildings into the radio studio. I've never been in one before. Headphones and microphones, knobs to turn and slide and push on and off. You're making a commercial for class and you want my voice. You want to know which songs I think would work for the background. Today you want me. I suggest Creed. You open your CD case and put the second album in. I feel forces all around me...that works. Let's leave, oh, let's run away...that works.

You speak, I speak, you start and stop, rewind replay erase record. I ask lots of questions. Later we leave in fall sunlight, driving up and down Bald Hill and listening to a mix CD. I liked your music. It might have been the most we shared. Later we have pizza and you drop me off at the gym for work. Later you tell me your professor says I have good voice for radio. Later I am a senior in college signing off on my last radio show, and though I haven't seen you in years, I thank you for that.

Rock me on the water

What a treat it is, I think as we pass that bay curve, that someone else is driving and I do not have to watch lights on the road, watch lines. Instead I can watch gold-red moon drift behind black clouds, cast dim glow on black water. This is my Dover Beach, but my soul does not tumble; it splashes happily instead like deep blue bay under kayak. Take me, breakers, let us dance.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

So many souls

It might be silly to say I've grown in those three city days, but I have. I walk the grid with confidence and wonder. I know the pattern now. More and more I take ownership of my self.

So many souls. Some of us lock eyes. Will you remember me?


I am not certain that I wish for summer.

Friday, May 08, 2009

elbow to car window

The beauty here has nothing to do with wealth. The curve of Montauk Highway that opens to wide blue bay, today Ponquogue Bridge in soft gray haze, and I want to watch even as I drive faster. I could almost cry.


"Just so you know, I'm crazy." She grins.

I've learned this year that some people are too crazy. That they'll never really listen. That they need to figure out their answers the way I did, though I never told any of you, "You're wrong!" I need to let them damn themselves until they turn around. If they turn around. And if they don't, so be it. I turned. I know.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

harbor town

You had gone. One day, soon after they'd all left, I sat on the bench and watched. So much wind. So much winter sun on shivering white water.

I missed you, you know.

Vietnamese Broadway

I dream that we sit in front of my front door on a small but comfortable couch, backs to window, but eyes on the blue afternoon sky and the road. You make me laugh. The occasional car--my parents? No, no. They should be here soon. I miss them. You say something about losing weight and I read a black-and-white flyer about a play at the Overland Theater in the Vietnamese section of Broadway. I pretend I want to see it, but if I can be honest, I'd prefer something I've already seen. Is that so wrong, to want the familiar?

Lunch for Three

and everyone is laughing. The adults, the real people, the writers laughing! I pause at the right points. Then run again--builds builds bam! clap clap clap. Jules tells me it was wonderful and hugs me after I spent the semester feeling like an ass each time I brought in my response to his assignment. "They're still talking about it in there," she says. "That was fabulous," he says. I wish I could remember every kind thing anyone has ever told me and if I were in Roger's class right now I'd be writing it all down, but it would move so fast that my pen could hardly follow. You're far too good to me, but tonight I believe I deserve it.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

for right now

Normally I can't stop running but today you can't get me to start. I don't want to. I don't want to! Today I just want to be. Be, not do. It's almost 1am and I'm done. Well, for now. I feel fine now but won't in five hours. I haven't really felt fine all night, but you take one of my hands in both of yours and look at me. I think about how I've been hurt before and how beautiful it is that for right now, I can believe that you never will.