Thursday, March 31, 2011

Bloggerstock: Stop the World I Want to Get On/Off

It's Bloggerstock time again!  Don't forget to check out my post at the ever-funny Good Music, Bad Math.  With a name like that how can it not be good?  My guest, Jessica has a great blog and has written me a really great post!  She's also introduced herself.  So, without further ado...

Thank you to Kris for hosting me for Bloggerstock! I also want to ask all of you to check out the great and wonderful Lily on my blog Cerebral Lunchbox.

Now, I’ve procrastinated enough, so I guess I should really get on with it. 

Stopping the world.  It sounds like a nice proposition.  I first thought about all those painful moments that I wanted to escape or hide.

But then my mind turned the to moments that linger even more powerfully in my mind.  Those moments that I want to freeze the world and hold the moment for just a few more seconds.  Or hours, or years.

Don’t worry, I’m not going to give you a laundry list of precious moments that will mean nothing to you because you weren’t there.  You’d just roll your eyes and skip to the next blog.  Or maybe laugh at my moments and joke about them.

No, instead, I want you to think about those times in your life.  The moments that to you encapsulate what it means to be alive, in whatever state you might have been: radiant, wistful, triumphant or simply content.

Those moments, however brief, are more powerful because they were so short.  Because we couldn’t stop the world, we couldn’t become bored with the sensations.  We can replay those moments and they still feel fresh and important.

Life is short, too short many times.  But that’s what makes life so precious.

What is it about us creative types?  We can go on and on about something we've created, but when asked about ourselves we suddenly clam up.  Well, I'm no different, so bear with me.  Where will I go from here?  Who knows, but I know now that one way or another I'll see my name in print (even if it's in the local blotter sheet for a caffeine induced crime spree.)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Granola Temptress

I can't buy granola bars.  Well, I mean, I physically can.  It just never works out for me.

Before I go a little farther let me admit that I'm well aware that "granola bar" is actually secret code for chocolate bars you can justifiably eat for breakfast.  I've had ones called things like, "Peanut Butter Caramel Chunk."  or maybe "Decadent Double Chocolate."  The term Granola and about eight flakes of oatmeal means they can market to mothers who don't want to feel guilty about what they're sending their kids to the bus-stop with.

All this taken into account you'd think I could be an adult about granola bars.  Sometimes I think I can.  I walk down the aisle and think to myself, "okay, well, I'll just buy this box and take one in my lunch this week."


Here's what really happens.  I get home, open the box, and eat one well I unpack.  That evening I'll eat two before bed.  Chocolate for supper anyone?  The next morning it's two for breakfast and that leaves one for work.  Which I'll eat on my coffee break.

I'm actually well versed in nutrition and follow that a majority of the time.  I was, however, raised having desert after dinner.  We always had homemade cookies or cake.  From scratch.  My Mother is a housewife.  And now I can pass on those.  It's those darn processed granola bars that we only got twice a year when my Grandma would give them out as treats.

So now I can't buy them.  I suppose I could just go through fifty boxes in a month and wear the learned novelty out.  Also develop diabetes, gain twenty pounds and get out of breath walking up stairs...  On second thought, I'll just walk past them when I'm picking up a box of cereal.

Because when they're in my cupboard I turn back into a buzzed little kid with a severe sugar craving.  Only this time with no imposed limits.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Big Girls Don't Cry

"Big girls don't cry."

I spat it out.  A reply to a taunt.  An answer in place of the one I refused to give.  I meant it.

If someone could make me cry I'd feel like they'd won.  They'd feel like they'd won.  I'd feel weak.  I learned to hate crying.  Something I never was very good at and something I never did often.  I forgot how.  I tried to learn to clench my jaw instead.  To pound with words well I'd defy the tears.

I'm not sure where I got this from.  Society, probably.  From a personality that told me I had to always be strong.  I'm just not sure what it is about tears that we consider so weak.  It's an emotional reaction, isn't it?  Why is a natural display of our emotion something to hide?

I still hate crying.  I think that's so deeply ingrained it will never change.  People who know me can immediately tell you if they've ever seen me cry.  It's memorable.  Awkward, ugly, uncomfortable.  And vulnerable.

I hate feeling vulnerable.

But if I'm going to cry then I still can't stop myself.  When my re-channeling doesn't work my eyes well up, my chin quivers and there's not a freaking thing I can do about it.

Big girls don't cry.  I'll get there someday.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Never Lose

Insinuate that I'm less than you.
I'll hate you.

Call it insecurity and see if I care.
You might be right.


Monday, March 14, 2011

Fought and Forgot

I listen to Eminem, sometimes.  My headphones on, the volume up, my angst and anger cringing in the face of pop's greatest claim.  But that's not why.

I listen for the blonde crew cut.  For the baggy jeaned white wife beater of a culture not my own.  For the thrill of memories I'll never have except scrawled in this poem.  And with you.

For those times we parked and fought or didn't fight and I forgot.  For the words that say you better then I ever could.  For the ones that are actually good.  For Stan.  Haunting obsession and dysfunction.

Do you listen to Dido, thinking of me?

For regretting your past, for you.  My present, with you.  A future without.  Not dreaming I'd end up with  some commercialized beats on a mix disc of songs we could both appreciate.  For Cleaning Out the Closet.  Our one common conquer of communication.  For the times that disagreement and you lips on mine were a confused passion.  A plethora of emotion, of action.  And of painfully knowing I could never like Eminem.

Because he reminds me of you.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Lonely Again

My room mate is leaving tomorrow and I'd be lying if I said I'm not even a little bit sad.

Not because she's the best room mate I've ever had.  She's not.  Not because we spent a lot of time together.  We didn't.  I alternate between sadness and very glad that never again will she eat all my food when I'm not looking.  Never again will I have to listen to her boyfriend and her at 2:00 AM through cardboard walls.  Never again will all the dishes and the salt shaker end up in a pile on her bedroom floor.  Never again will she leave the toilet paper empty and the lights all on.  Never again will....  Umm...  That's it actually.  She's a beautiful (and incredibly hot) seventeen year old who's sweet and mostly pretty considerate.

She makes me want to mother her.  Not to worry.  I never treated her as anything but an adult.

I'm also kind of excited for her.  Because she's excited with the excitement of a seventeen year old who's never headed out on her own.  And I'm a little bit jealous because she's going on a road trip with the boy she loves to plans she's optimistically thrilled about.

Oh, to be seventeen again...

But I'm sad.  Because I'm not nearly as optimistic as she is.  Because we'll never eat popsicles for breakfast and talk about travel plans together again.  Because I never met her brother, never saw her step-dad's straw house construction, never talked to her about things I think are most important.  She taught me I'm not quite as confrontational as I think I am.  Especially with someone I don't know and wish I did.

And I'm selfishly sad.  Because I know in two weeks I'll be talking to myself again.  I'll be sitting on my couch eating a meal I cooked for myself.  I'll realize I'm more comfortable if I know someone else will come home.  Or that, even if she rarely emerges, there's someone else in my other room.  And I'll realize How much I don't like living alone.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Worn Jeans

"A penny for your thoughts?"

"They're worth more then that," she protests.  Less adamantly then intended.

"Alright, then.  A nickel."  He reaches, this time, into his pocket and searches through a spattering of change.

"Here."  He places a dime on the table between the.  "When you're done I'll owe you some of mine."

Kalee glares at the dime.  She's normally more words then thoughts.  Crafting opinions, stories, debates as she goes.  She usually sounds good every time.  But today, no, this whole damn week she doesn't feel like it.  Who is he to wait patiently for her attempt?  The dime will end up in the pocket of somebodies worn jeans.  Kalee can't decide who's.

Her thoughts aren't worth five cents.  Not, at least, to you or me.  But they're labour intensive.  For once she's struggled to build them and she doesn't want to let them go.

"I don't know," she sputters.  He lowers his chin, raises his eyebrows.  A man who can say more with an expression than a phrase.  Of course he expects more.

"I don't."

There was Madison.  She had always been the pretty one, the domestic one, the nurturer.  Well she started dating soccer players and doctor's sons Kalee had done what little sisters do best.  She shaped herself into someone completely different.  The student, the scrapper, the arguer.  They were comfortable in these roles and friends and competitors.  Each knowing they would never succeed wherever the other excelled.

Kalee had one boyfriend in high school and another in university.  Boys she shared notes and lunchtime sandwiches with.  Ones she could attend parties with when she had time.  They filled a role but mostly they were boys she could talk to.  Endlessly.  On the phone, in the car, late at night.  Around campfires at the lake well everyone else played drinking games and dared each other to come skinny dipping.

Kalee could thank these boys for her prowess with words, her lauded communication skills.  Her honours degree in journalism from McGill.  They were what she needed.  When she shut-down with her family she always had someone worth shaping her thoughts for.

And now here was Daniel waiting.  And she couldn't do it.  She is tired.  Twisting her white ceramic mug she hopes the waitress will bring another refill.  Kalee never drinks it black but she is today.

So, Madison is married.  Of course she is.  Finally she is.  Married in a beautiful ceremony on a beautiful beach.  A beach on that pretentious B.C. island with the waves rolling in, the sun overhead and the shells lining the aisle to the alter that wasn't an alter.  The spot where Kalee had stood holding the bride's bouquet, smiling and acknowledging that she had a different lot in life.

Hers was the flight back to Toronto.  The pumps, the meetings, the assistant editor's job and the ambition.

"I hate my ambition," she spits.  "How dare they downsize?  'Cut my position' when I'm at my sister's wedding, of all things!"

Daniel nods.  Kalee continues.

"Screw them.  Screw Madison.  Screw my student loans and my so-called career."

She is tired.  Wondering, briefly, why Daniel is listening.  If he recognizes that this is just a little piece of her incoherent thoughts.  The little part that's a little less vulnerable then the rest.

The diner door swings shut behind them and they pull their hoodies tight against the autumn breeze.  A caffeine buzz and plans not made.

She doesn't know.  Nothing apart from that Madison is married, Daniel is here and she is unemployed.  She'll take herself away if she finds that scrapper's courage.

The waitress is right behind them, coming off shift.  She's changed her flats for scuffed leather and tied a scarf around her hair.  That last booth is empty.  She thinks it's about time.  Might as well check before she goes...  C'mon.  Seriously?  Sure, there's a downturn but this is friggin' ridiculous.

And she slides a dime into the pocket of her worn jeans.