Pour It Out

There is nothing quite like a Sunday evening bus ride when you can feel your life descending into an unintelligible mess.

While I waited for the bus, I made several promises to myself.

“I promise to never fall in love….I promise to never fall in love so easily. I promise to never ride a bus for the sole purpose of getting away from someone. I promise to always be painfully aware that some things are never meant to happen. I promise to never say it first. Above all, I swear I’ll never lay next to a man and be so certain about the way I feel towards him.

10:31pm

The bus pulls up to it’s designated stop. The doors swing open and I hastily get on.

“Stop?”

“Bloomfield”

Not many people take the bus at this time during the night. This is unnerving.

Passengers are settling into dirty, ugly cushions adorned with a pattern that was probably designed during the 90s.

I think about how my cat Django, needs to be neutered tomorrow, the fact that I have twenty dollars to my name, that I’m an ass for buying an expensive gift, if my body disgusts him the same way it disgusts me, whether or not I’m legitimately insane or just sad, why people insist on writing in moleskins’, and lastly, why in God’s name did I do this to myself?

Sometimes I really do hate myself, like completely despise. None of this insecure nonsense, I mean mortal enemy type of shit.

Prior to getting onto the bus, I made a promise in addition to the other promises; that I would not cry on the bus, but my vision was already sodden with regret and anguish. As you can see I’m extremely good at keeping promises and making appropriate choices.

“….but the moment never came..”

I am almost there, I am almost at my destination

When I get there, you’ll no longer exist in my world. You will be a shadow of a bad decision that only appears late into the night when I feel myself sinking into a dream cycle.

Unfortunately, when I do get off this bus I’ll still be in a great deal of pain and tomorrow morning will be incredibly difficult. When I do fall into a deep sleep, I’ll still be in love with you and for a short period of time we’ll be happy… but everyone wakes up.

I know fifty words for ending.

Image

Advertisements

Finite

As a Philosophy major, I am consistently thinking about the infinite and the finite. How each one relates to my universe and the worlds of others. My Roman Catholic background only makes deciphering the two, that much more difficult. The notion of life being infinite and free of predetermination is rarely ever mentioned. At a very young age it was ingrained into my mind that God is the acting invisible hand in each person’s life; I believed this for a very long time, probably as recent as a few months ago.

After I had an abortion and lost my grandmother to mysterious and still unknown circumstances, I couldn’t help but believe that God was making me suffer on purpose; in some way I had upset God and now I was paying for it. When I say things like this out loud or even re-read them, I know it doesn’t make too much sense. It becomes especially uncomfortable when one attends a liberal arts University and everyone is just naturally in love with the idea of life being an undetermined adventure, simply awaiting to be unveiled.

I think I might have really fucked up this time.

I’m awaiting a phone call from the Assistant Dean of Students. Currently, I’m working and praying that when he calls, there will be no customers to hear me beg for mercy. I didn’t do anything wrong, it’s what I didn’t do that will determine my fate for this upcoming semester. How do you explain to someone, that you regretfully gave up a child and during that process became viciously ill, only to lose someone you loved more than anything in this world a few months later?- That’s why I didn’t complete my essay on Burke or the ethics of war, because I thought I was dying, both literally and metaphorically. I need to be a person again, with or without the help of God or any other high power.

Everyone is living multiple lives at one time in their own universe expecting to be someone in another person’s universe, while safe guarding their true emotions with functions, options, settings and profiles. Yet, it’s a mystery why everyone feels disconnected. A re-entrance into the world is needed and absolutely necessary. I got my wake up call earlier this week.

Still awaiting the Dean.

 

1999

Ms. Freeman was my third grade art teacher; to say the least she was bizarre. She was everything an art teacher should be: quirky, liberal, a sandal enthusiast, loved loud boisterous music. How could this woman be anything, but an art teacher?

I was nine when I first met Ms. Freeman and she scared the crap out of me. She was tall and had a pixie haircut, black circular glasses embellished with dashes of paint framed her eyes. Impulse and spontaneity would be understating this woman’s persona; she jumped on tables, randomly took us to the park and screamed for no reason. Ms. Freeman was a lunatic.

One afternoon, Ms. Freeman had purchased and distributed sketch books to myself and the rest of my classmates. Thirty-five students in a cramped art studio were completely in awe, including myself, I had never received something so wonderful. The class assignment for the rest of the year was to draw every single day. We were instructed to obey any impulse that came over us to draw.

After she handed out each sketch book, Ms. Freeman then gave out pencils to accompany our new sketch books. However, these pencils did not have erasers, this really pissed me off. This was clearly illogical and it did not fly with me, especially at the age of nine. All I did was make errors, how could I not be given an eraser? My hand shot up and I asked, “Ms. Freeman what if we make a mistake?”

Her head turned sideways and she smiled.

“Art can be found within every and any mistake.”

It was at this moment that I determined Ms. Freeman was beyond a lunatic. This meant nothing to me but rhetoric, so occasionally I would sneak erasers into class. Ms. Freeman knew that I would be a repeat-offender-eraser, so she kept a close eye on me and consistently threw my erasers away.

Finally, the day came that I understood what Ms. Freeman meant by art and mistakes coinciding with one another. The class had been working on charcoal pieces. Each art table had a log or branches scattered across the surface; we were to draw them without looking at our paper. This woman was killing me, first erasers, now I couldn’t look at my paper?! What was to come next? No bathroom passes?

“Your eyes are little ants moving across the branches”.

Fine. I’ll play along.

Within a matter of minutes I had concluded that I messed up and needed to start over. I asked for another piece of paper and Ms. Freeman responded with a question and look of confusion. “What is wrong with the piece you have?”

I corresponded with the same look and a question framed a little differently, “Can’t you tell?”

Ms. Freeman did not see what was wrong with my paper. I pointed to the mistake I made.

“How do you think you can make it better?”

Now, I was completely confused.

“I don’t know..”

She nodded to my paper and piece of charcoal, alluding that I should take another stab at my drawing. I picked up my charcoal and tried once more to emulate the figure on my desk.

“Don’t think, just draw.”

I paused, absorbed this advice and just drew. Astonishingly, I actually liked what I had created; it looked good.

Ms. Freeman is the reason why I find the beauty in my often chaotic life. When I find myself pleading with my therapist to help me figure out who I am, he reminds me that the answer is on my arm. My Degas ballerinas are who I am. It is not their depiction or the hues of their skirts, but the very fact that I materialized what is inside of me on my arm. Their imprint suggests that I am more self-aware than I might believe I am.

My three little ballerinas are a minor representation of what I am, and each day they remind me of the person I’d like to become..someone like Angela Freeman.

 


Twirling

Rosana dropped me off at my apartment after work.

She’s nice..I work with her at the local toy store up town. Ostensibly, she has her shit together and I admire that, she also speaks two languages so there is underlying envy; not malicious envy but admirable envy.

I clumsily waddle to the vestibule of my apartment complex and shove the key into the door of the front entrance. I shuffle down the hallway quietly because I secretly believe that my neighbors are watching me through their peep holes. So, naturally I keep my head hung down so no one can really see me.

I make it to my door. Apartment number 6.

I flick the light and drop my belongings within the narrow hallway. Who cares? I live alone.

I turn on my lamp that sits on my art desk and take a deep breath in.

So…this is it. I find myself saying that a lot. I should be more enthusiastic and announce some positive mantra, but that’s not me.

I sit on my stool and stare at the wall. This sounds depressing, but it’s not, it’s perfect. It’s quiet and I’m in my own company. I look down at my desk and I realize I have more toys than any woman my age should own. I scatter them around a little so it doesn’t seem like a six year old actively plays at my desk when I’m not home.

There. Better.

My drawing pad seems lonely, so I run my finger tips across it. Hello, old friend. I skim through the pages and notice that the last thing I drew were depictions of the human body…all incomplete of course.

I take out my anatomy book and start to draw once more the physique of a structural perfect male. Suddenly, anxiety creeps up on me and I can barely keep my 4b pencil still.

How can drawing make me this anxious? Then I realize it’s not the act of drawing that is upsetting me but the man I’m drawing; he reminds me of Mark. Now, I am livid and I want to break something. How could I let someone have this much control over my emotions?

I try drawing a woman, but I cannot help but think of Mark. I don’t miss him, I don’t want him, and I certainly don’t want to spend time with him. I still feel hurt, and neglected. The way everything ended was horrendous and now as I draw the limbs of a man I’ve never met and I am reminded of a man that tore my theoretical emotive limbs apart.

I slam my drawing pad shut.

I fall onto my bed and stare at the ceiling. I think of the Russian homework I’ve yet to do and how long before my rent is due. I haven’t purchased cable or internet so my thoughts are left to amuse me. To my right hand side, my tin ballerina sits on the window sill. I get up and reach for her. I place her on the floor and kneel down to play with her.

Spin.

I pull her tin pin and she begins to twirl and spin.

Everything is going to be okay.

Come on..one more shot..I can take it.

I find myself constantly grappling with the universe and what I put into it. I’ve gotten over the feeling that I am taking up space. After all everyone is here for a reason, right? An existentialist would disagree, but luckily I am not one.

In addition to grappling with the universe, I’ve also mingled with death and found myself begrudging God. Sometimes I think the universe and God are an unforgiving tag team. Then I remember that I am not alone and, that everyone promenades with this omnipotent duo and soon after one usually tries to dismantle its divinity by pretending they’ve never even met to begin with; Atheism and nihilism are your new counterparts.

I miss my grandmother so much. Every part of my body aches knowing I’ll never be able to touch her hand again. She always told me that if anyone hit me, to hit them back twice as hard…I’m trying my best to knock the shit out of life. When I knelt down beside her casket I promised that I’d speak to her every day and that I would write her life story, like I had promised months earlier. As cliché as it may sound time really is commensurable to sand. There’s no hour-glass to flip back over once time is up.

So now what happens?

I move forward, the way I always have.

I’ve been through it all, I’ve slept on park benches, worked grave yard shifts at the local grocery store, ate rice and beans for literally a year, threw all my shit into a hamper at the age of seventeen only to work three jobs during my senior year of high school, and I major in two subjects most women my age would not fathom to study. I’m tough…just like my grandmother.

So here I am taking another shot, throwing another punch.

Perhaps everything terrible is in its deepest being something helpless that wants help from us. -Rainer Maria Rilke 

Truth

“I’m selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best.”
— Marilyn Monroe