Tag Archives: fall

Seasons

Today I am picturing the year like a long table and each month is a different body, a different person who sits beside me.

January slipped her hand in mine. February brought me flowers, the snow from the petals melting into a puddle. I can still trace my name through the moisture left behind. March was loud, booming, his hands punctuating every breath and I found myself biting my tongue when he asked how I felt. April was softer – April brought me soup in a bright red bowl but no spoon. May watched me drink straight from the bowl and only laughed when some dribbled on my chin. June sunk into my arms – June asked for coffee, for time, for the sweet light of morning to shine forever. July kissed my cheeks and braided my hair and invited me home. July asked me what I was missing.

The days are peeling slowly, with anticipation, as I wait to uncover August. She is beautiful and still, not unkind but precise – every movement building.

I don’t know what’s coming next. I sit at the table with my palms up, open, waiting for the harvest of fall.

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Begin again

You are allowed, at any time, to start again. 

Gravel slipped into my flats one piece at a time until I felt a small mountain biting into my heel. The Canal was empty – it seemed everyone was tucked inside, celebrating with their loved ones, while I wandered down the trail. I didn’t mind the silence. There’s something centering about being in nature alone, as if the air fills your lungs differently when you travel by yourself.

I felt whole for the first time in months.

Dead leaves crunched under my feet. Sections of the Canal were bone-dry, others were swampy messes. The trees, naked and stalwart, guarded every bend in the path. We were thoroughly lodged in fall, though distinct memories of a lingering summer were still fresh in my mind.

I wandered for an hour, curious under the November sun.

My jacket blew open with the wind as I traced the mountains blocking the horizon. The sky was blue – too blue, if I’m being honest. An unhealthy color for this time of year. And I thought about everything I couldn’t write down: my confusion in love, the balance between honesty and desperation, the idea that the Universe might be sending signs to direct my actions (or worse, that no one was directing my actions but me). Then I did something truly remarkable.

I gave myself permission to fail. But more importantly, I gave myself permission to start again.

In that moment, it made all the difference. A breath I didn’t realize I was holding flooded through my lips in a single gust until there was nothing left in my chest. I was empty, but in the way that mugs are empty – which is to say, I am ready to be filled with goodness once again. The thought made me smile, winter barely catching on my teeth as I ambled home.

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Orange

I think of you
as my fingers peel
back thick skin

the fruit, so cold,
numbs my touch
but
the air is electric
alive with possibility

as my teeth tear
into you
and juice flows over
my peony tongue

I can’t tell
if I feel guilty
or refreshed.

————-

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(I am too sick and too sad to share anything new this week. October is fast becoming unbearable. Everything reminds me of Mani and my heart feels selfish. I miss her, and him, and feeling complete.) 

 

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Goodbye, Restaurant.

 

Leaving is an art, not unlike free-falling from an airplane. Sometimes you decide to jump, other times the airlock breaks open.

Either way, it’s dizzying.

The air’s too thin. The clouds soak through your tee-shirt as you tear through them, fingers splayed open like claws, your palms a paradox as they shift from hot to frigid and back again.

I am an expert, almost.

I don’t even watch the ground anymore, the vast expanse yawning as every blade of grass comes to life beneath me. Instead I count the birds, or I shut my eyes, or I retrace my steps out of the plane. It always starts the same: left. right. left. and then nothing, nothing but wind. It doesn’t whistle at that altitude – it shrieks.

Leaving situations is easy. It’s the people who are hard.

Wednesday marks the very last day at my restaurant. In an average week, I spend two fewer hours in that little building than I do in my own bed. In a pay period, I walk a bare minimum of 18 miles just to sling soup. My customers smile when they see me (some of them, anyway. enough of them.) and I ask them about their families, their cats, their plans. We joke about the orders that never change (tomatoes, really? those blood blister fruits) and they ask me to dance, or to drink, or to give them a copy of my first book. The owners laugh at all of my jokes, even the puns. Especially the puns. And my staff..

My beautiful staff. I’ll never forget the Saturday mornings we spent huddled around the fresh bread, dipping the salty scraps in rich soup. You took me to my first bar (and my second and my third). You stole cigarettes from men in the streets and laughed when I told you to put your pants back on. You told me horrible jokes, some which are still seared inside my brain.  You bought me my first jello shot. You cheered for me in every relationship. You walked me home in the dark, the stars shining unnoticed overhead. You drove me home and trusted me with your cars. You listened to my stories. You helped me escape an abusive situation – you even let me cry on your shoulders when I forgot how to be a person afterward.

You’ve told me how proud you are of me.

And for all my practice, for all the experience I’ve had leaving, somehow it comes up short now.

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