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Friday, June 19, 2009


Multiples was a kiosk in Ridgedale Mall that sold pieces that you could mix and match, like you’d get a red cotton shirt and matching tapered pants and then you’d pick out something called a “tube” that was basically a circle of fabric that served as a belt, and you could scrunch it up or wear it in your hair, but only if you knew how to re-fold it exactly like they did in the store. They sold the “tubes” in solid colors and in prints and if one friend got a turquoise outfit with a purple tube you tried not to get the same exact thing so maybe you’d go purple with turquoise tube, or you would do something crazy like I did in my phase where I only wanted to wear black and white for a year just like the ad for Exclamation perfume, then later tried to poeticize it by saying I had wanted to “look like an old-fashioned photo.” You could do what I did; buy just the tube in black and white leopard print, and believe the salesgirl when she said, “It’s totally long enough to wear as a skirt,” and then you could believe her and wear it to seventh grade over a pair of nylons and be tugging at your butt all day while trying not to let the seam of your pantyhose show up the front because the only way to keep your shirt tucked in was to tuck it into the stockings.

I have disdain for those black and white photographs of children wearing adult clothing and handing each other roses. I don’t like the idea of children as adults, pretending to act out adult concepts...especially having the kids together on a bench, or sitting out on a porch, aren't those places adults go to have depressing conversations? "Can I talk to you outside?" I've had my worst conversations sitting on benches watching ducks. Or coming up with major solutions on porches. My friend found out she was pregnant. We ate almond butter and went through ‘creative wedding’ books. I was conscious of blowing my cigarette smoke in the opposite direction. And I hid my cigarette whenever someone over forty passed on the sidewalk. I never wanted older people to hate my generation, and now look at me hating these black and white children.

Friday, June 12, 2009

My LIFE is untitled

Which recycling bin is for magazines? The blue one, right? Good because I just dumped out all these magazines I was keeping in a basket by my bed, because I like to draw pictures out of magazines, and I was thinking I'd eventually have one month dedicated only to drawing once I lived in a place with double French doors that opened up to an outdoor area with giant circular table I'd have to crawl on to create. And it would never be so windy that the pages would start blowing and I'd lose my place and have chalk on my hands that would get all over all the other pages, and if it was windy it would just be a fluke, and I would have a basket full of rocks next to my giant circular table to hold down the pages just in case. And hand sanitizer. And very close to the door I would also have a basket of cardigans to choose from in case of any drastic temperature change, so I wouldn't have to interrupt the flow of the Great Creator creating through me. I'd stored these magazines thinking I'd bring them when I moved to that place, because by that time they would have stopped selling magazines in Malibu. It would have just become a place for lovers and giant circular tables.

Okay, there was a point when my grades fell in high school and my counselor recommended I take a course called Notetaking and Study Skills with Miss, Miss Kaluskity? Some name that reminded me of ice skating. She had pastry-like hair, like a giant Danish, and she loved three-hole punching and dividers, and she also taught us shorthand. Nobody used shorthand back then but it was fun doing assignments in a secret snaky language. I'm pretty sure I fantasized about writing a love letter and then when I realized it was over the top I could shame the lover by saying, "You don't know SHORTHAND?" Then tell them it wasn't a love letter, it was just a grocery list...even though at the time your mother was the one who did the grocery shopping. You could say she let you compose a supplementary list, even though at the time you would not have know the word supplementary. Or maybe you would have know the word, but in the context that once combined, both of your and your mother's grocery lists would make an 180 degree angle.

So please excuse the following list of undercooked uhhs. I'm going to keep Found Notes here because I have no other place to store them--especially these, the ones I just excavated from my car after having written on napkins/receipts that got lodged deep in car cushion creases, in the glove box, under the seat.


Black crow using its beak to tear up tape on construction site

I’m just an organism fat lips & a heart

Awareness like singing “gone away from me” all down the steps

“If that were made of chocolate I’d dig my face right in”


Cashier walking out eyes skim tops of cars the full parking lot pumps his ego like this is a big big party and he’s the bouncer, you're lucky just to be in this LOT- but he’s wearing tropical shirt like so maybe we’re waves

Herman Hesse/Family services

If no one had ever seen packaged food It’s 2009 and the only way we know to open wine is to smash it on the floor (not ok to eat glass)

Monday, June 8, 2009

You Are A Genius

Electric purple petals got blown all the way down to the mental home on Stanley. This morning one of the tenants helped me parallel park, “Keep going, keep going, now stop.” Then when I got out of my car he congratulated me. “See? You did it!” I hope someone loves him. I hope someone loves me. Maybe we should love each other and just parallel park all day. I’ll have to tell him about my steering wheel, how the pump with the steering fluid is broken and it’s hard to turn. That’s why it took me so long to back up. That and I didn’t want to run over his feet.

I think that home is working. Everyone seems highly functional.

Usually by the time I leave here and walk by the big brown home, one of the tenants has left tiny cups of water for the public out on the porch railing. The water isn’t measured with any kind of consistency...some glasses have only a couple drops while others are overflowing. I imagine the person who put the water out justifying this by saying, “Some folks want more, some want less. Everybody’s different”. I think he or she would use the term “folks” because the building has an old-fashioned, Southern look to it. Maybe I’m romanticizing it with that description. It’s actually falling apart. Wait--is the water for the public or is it an experiment in evaporation, or were those once empty cups that someone put out to catch the rain...The answers to this and much much more in another train of thought that goes nowhere.

Now a swarm of 20-somethings in navy blue t-shirts that say “Michigan Love$ The Price is Right!” are squinting at the menu at my coffee shop, my coffee shop, I own it, no but I wish I did, no I don’t, if I owned this coffee shop I’d have to do book keeping and the last time I did book keeping I ended up stealing a nightgown. What? Well this professional gambler once hired me to add up all his personal expenses, and he also asked me to clean out his daughter’s room and if there were any clothes I should throw them away, so I just took the one thing.

Me: What kind of computer do you have?
Blake (the Genius): Me? A really old Powerbook.
Me: Do you all your friends ask you for computer help?
Blake: No. They either know as much about computers as I do--
Me: Wow.
Blake: Or they’re the outdoors type.
Me: (observing a child) Is that kid watching ‘Up’?
Blake: No, that’s a game. He’s playing a game.
Me: Really?
Blake: There’s a game for everything.
Me (eyes swelling with tears): I know....(then) Blake?
Blake (taking my face in his hands): You want to me to kill you.
Me: No.
Blake: You want to take me to Colombia.
Me: No. Just wondering if it’s possible to install Microsoft Office.
Blake: It looks like you need version 2004 or earlier. You can’t get that here. You can’t get much here.
Me: I can’t even get my heart broken?
Blake (taking my hands): Stay here. (runs into the back room. ME sends a text message to a friend: “HEY, IM AT APPLE STORE. DO YOU NEED A NEW COMPUTER? I WILL TOTALLY BUY YOU ONE. ALSO, I WANT TO START HAVING BREAKFAST PARTIES. WHERE EVERYONE COMES OVER AND MY APARTMENT IS CLEAN AND WE EAT MANGOS.” BLAKE returns with a small dark package.)
Blake: You should leave now. (I quickly pack away my laptop. Blake is already calling the next customer to the genius bar.) Miguel? Miguel? Hey man, I’m Blake.
Me: Okay then....
(I leave the Apple Store, sit down on one of those glossy wooden mall benches, open the dark package. It’s MS Office 2004. Not really, but this is a fantasy. If anyone reading this has MS Office 2004...)

So all these Price is Right kids are here; one of them in a pink baseball cap that says HOLLYWOOD.
-What are you getting?
-I don’t know. What are you getting?
-I think I want a mocha. No...
One boy reaches into his shoe and pulls out damp twenty, uncrumbles it, and rocks back and forth, a thumb in each pocket, blowing air up into his bangs.

The barista is patient with the group. I can’t tell if she regards them as a profit or a pain. Poker Face.

Behind me is The Wolf, who I used to crush on, imagining I’d fall asleep on his leather couch on a windy day next to an open window while he was in the other room doing dishes. That was a nice fantasy because it allowed me to avoid so many other things, like the work in front of me. I think I developed the crush for that reason.

The goal is to write 2,000 words today. My friend just said that’s her sister’s goal, and now it’s mine. I’m a goal-theif. My soul starts beeping and the guard pulls your ambitions from my bag. I stand there covering my face saying, “I don’t have a receipt! Just a phone conversation!”

Did you know baby sharks can swim in as shallow as two feet of water? Frankly put, I am longing to go back to temple. We are all contemplative today. Even The Wolf, who sits with his legs crossed into a giant question mark, holds his face and gazes glazedly out the window. And now softly through the speakers Christna A. is making it clear: she’s beautiful and don’t you bring her down today...

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


I was just waking up from a really long nap on my friend’s giant plum bed where I had a dream that I married a giddy blonde woman who had rosacea all across her chest. A friend passed through the reception, asked if I was happy and I replied, “Everything’s fine, but there’s nowhere to put my head.” The bride was bony. Well, she was wide-bony. Like thin but big-boned and kinda rectangular.

And then my friend's cable man knocked. Not an aggressive knock at all. More like he was hoping I wouldn’t answer and he could go back and tell his boss, “They weren’t home.” And then he'd hand his belt over to his doubtful boss, who would shake his head and say, "You know you still have ten houses left to fill your month." And the cable man would have just been so happy that his belt was off, even though it left residual moisture around his waistline, and now he could go home and fill himself with carbohydrates and grape soda.

When I opened the door he was panting with a glistening forehead, and barely able to compose a greeting.

I could hardly watch him as he lowered himself to his knees, one hand grasping the edge of the bureau in an effort to balance his weight, and simultaneously trying to mute the loud creak of each kneecap pressing on the hardwood floor. He had this panicked look in his eyes after his first descent, where he remained silent for about ten seconds before he turned my way and apologetically asked, “Do you know where a store is? I need to get, uh, batteries?”


“Yeeeah...I have this device? That helps me figure out where to put the modem? Do you have any large square batteries?”

“I...don’t live here. But there is a store up on Beverly, if you go West a little. It’s called Rexall, and they have that kind of stuff.”

I had to dig to find my jeans under the covers, which I had peeled off at some point in a heat-fit. Once I answered the door I realized that because the jeans were low-cut the underwear was pulled much higher and now he could see my underwear coming out the top but who cares, I’m a person, leave me alone.

“Okay,” he said, pulling himself off the floor with twice the effort, “I’ll run out to the store now. I’ll leave my stuff here so you know I’m coming back.”

“Do you promise you’ll come back?” I rose to my feet, tears orbitting the soft pink parts right under my eyeballs where sometimes I accidentally get eyeliner. I took his hands in mine, pleading up into his Shrek-ish eyes.

Not true. More like I was swerving half-asleep between the remnants of my dream and a question about batteries and on top of it I was feeling lightheadedly hypoglycemic, my tongue was dry, I wished I could get on all fours and have someone pet me, nothing romantic, just another friend who would come and take over my position as the friend who waits for the cable guy.

He closed the door behind him and I kept myself awake reading the same page over and over, which is what I’ve been doing for a week and a half with To Kill A Mockingbird.

When the cable guy came back the protagonist was giving the backstory on Finch’s Landing, all I saw was the word Maycomb over and over, I still didn’t know the speaker’s gender, and I wondered if I would be a better reader if I could have the words projected on the ceiling.

He was lowering himself again onto the floor and I wished I could help him but without making contact. Like maybe I could have a cable connecting him to the ceiling (but not covering the words of Mockingbird) through a loop and I would hold the rope on the other end and just bring him down gradually by giving more and more rope.

He was there for another half hour before he said, “I put the modem? On that table? But she can move it anywhere.”

“Oh great.”