Month: July 2013

On Names

I’m sitting on the bus. There’s a stain on the seat beside mine and an oily smudge on the window. The bus is like a merry-go-round for adults. Same price. Same smells. You go round and round until you don’t. The city landscape has changed from small boutiques and urban greenery to signs touting cheap lube (two for the price of one!) and rainbow-flavored condoms (apple-cheeked red, orange-you-sexy, happy lemon, lick-da-lime, ballsy blue, and purple ninja) behind neon-lit windows. Posters with Girls! Girls! Girls! in big, black font feature names with one too many letters like Nikki, Jenni, and Alexxis. A name is never just a name, and I prefer not having one. The anonymity from being a recluse affords me the freedom of not being anyone. Not even of being me. When it’s time to move on, I hop off the bus. Kai Jordan is a pseudonym. I picked it because I liked it. So imagine my surprise when I came across the name while rereading Anansi Boys the other day: “This dog rejoiced in …

Gray Ties and Red Heels

Aching joints and bruised muscles kept him bent over like a crooked man who walked a crooked mile. He surveyed the empty parking lot. The sky, still muddy from a passing storm, glowed with the faintest hint of rose-colored dawn. Hoisting his bedroll over his back, he reached down for Ava. His hand gripped the solid handle of her case. She was his angel. His muse. When his fingers danced across her center, the world saw him for who he might’ve been. Every morning, they played for commuters rushing to and from the local train station. A nameless, faceless mass wearing gray ties and red heels with square briefcases and round purses. Rushing. Always rushing. “Today’s the day,” he told Ava. They almost had enough money for a hot meal and shower. As he reached the station, a flurry of wings greeted him. If this corner by the station entrance was home, then Bob Blue, Little Sally, and Twitchy were his children. He pulled out a bag of leftover bread ends. His pigeons cooed and nestled against …

On Solitude

I lock myself inside the car. Music set to repeat. If I sit long enough, the car’s chassis becomes my body and the music becomes me. If I sit still enough, the world goes away, and I am finally, finally alone. “Teach me how to love you like I wrote. And say it like I mean it when I don’t.” —Teach Me by Keaton Henson “I consider myself a writer,” Henson once said, “but being a performer is a vastly different thing.” Sometimes I forget they aren’t the same. It’s easy to smile, easy to mean, hard to feel. Matching your insides up with your outsides seems like an impossible task. It’s better to be alone than to behave. But solitude and loneliness are two different things. I like who I am when I’m on my own. I like who I am when I’m writing. No one has to see me for me to exist, and I get to live in the space between words. A valediction of self poised on the edge of meaning. Source: …

Random Encounter

“You look so familiar,” some guy says to me while we’re in line at Starbucks, “Are you a well-known writer?” I give the guy a huge smile. Inside, my mind is all like, “FLWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. I LOOK LIKE A WRITER!!! THAT’S, LIKE, HALF THE BATTLE, RIGHT??????” Some of the crazy must’ve slipped out because he backpedals and runs away before I say a single word. Source: Image by Tambako (cc)

On Failing

I fail a little more each day. My life a trail of half-dones and never-beens scattered every which way. The world says, “No.” I say, “Okay.” But I’m really not. Not okay with failing, that is, and I don’t think I ever will be. “There is a chasm between me and the world outside of me. A gap so wide my feelings can’t cross it. By the time my screams reach the other side, they have dwindled into groans.” —Isaac Marion Meaning comes from the strangest of places, but I’ll take whatever I can get even (especially?) if it comes from a zombie novel. Warm Bodies is the only, and I mean THE ONLY, zombie book/movie I will ever read/watch. You see, I turn into chickenpoo in the face of scary things. The only twenty minutes I’ve ever played of the original Resident Evil still haunts me to this day. I cannot and will not have a ticking clock in my house. But the older I become, the wider this chasm grows. Failure infects failure, and each time …

On Running Away

Once I ran away because I could. That’s the best part about being an adult, you know. A credit card and a full tank of gas will take you anywhere. Distance is easy. Apply foot to pedal. Don’t stop. The hard part is forgetting who you are and letting yourself go. Those winding, cliffside roads meant slowing down before turns and speeding up after. The weight of my body shifting to the side and down low as I took corners tight and fast. Brake. Turn. Gas. If a piece of machinery can have a soul, then I felt it in my little old lady of a car at each turn. No cellular reception meant no GPS, and no GPS meant being completely, brilliantly, fantastically lost. I reached a seaside town. Population 800 or so. Checked into the cutest bed and breakfast (are B&Bs ever not cute?) nestled beside a used bookstore. I bought a book. An actual book with pages to turn instead of screens to swipe. And on the edge of a cliff overlooking …