A falafel from Beni’s. Scarypet once gave me a hot, paper-wrapped falafel out of a bag like I won a prize. Did I ever! I felt like I ran this food race and crossed the finish line while still chewing. Super spicy sauce + perfectly chickpeas with just the right everything even after 15 or so minutes in someone’s backpack. So good.
A lengua (read: ox tongue) taco from El Chupacabra. It’s rarely available (their carne asada is nothing to scoff at either) but when it is you stand on a smoky street for a bit with your friends, drink a beer, eat a taco and think, yes life is good, and thank God for really good Mexican food. Lengua and I are good friends as long as I don’t have to prepare it. While we’re on the subject of lengua, My Kitchen’s lengua risotto is a dream. It’s really really rich, so share.
Girls by Emma Cline – I rarely trust reviews and am naturally suspicious of new authors, but the sneak peek I read on Amazon is arresting. I’m still thinking about it, and I haven’t even bought the book yet.(Look, something on my list that isn’t food)!
A pair of ballerina shoes, or flat shoes. I just destroyed my latest pair. They were so comfortable that I kept wearing them and now they’re dead and I wish I could afford a high-end Chanel pair but I can’t, so there’s that.
A really really good beer. I take recommendations.
A Midoro Traveller’s Notebook. I’m not sold on how slim it is, but the leather cover and custom paper options have me drooling. My current handwritten journal is ending (meaning it’s got a few pages left near the end so now I can justify purchasing a brand new journal and am now going through the selection process). For the record, I love lined Moleskine notebooks. I like the unlined ones too, it’s just my handwriting is horrid.
A swim. A nice long one where you don’t particular do anything except flounder around.
I used to make lists like this on the back of my journal/notebook/detritus thought keeper. In high school, it always used to be albums I really wanted! Because music was so expensive, and going to Tower Records (!) would cost me two weeks worth of my allowance. I feel like we have come far in the world and that streaming is a gift to audiophiles like me.That’s all.
Full of faraways and farewells, because for you it’s true. People change. If they don’t, the circumstances they face make them change. You know this now because you are old enough to know that it’s the truth.
It’s weird how easy it feels now. People move away, come back. They come back different, thinner, older, with different interests. The girl who used to hate motion now loves yoga. The boy you knew in college tells you, quietly, he really really likes boys and maybe he always did. You’ve changed, but you don’t admit it. You move quietly. You don’t feel that young urge to make people like you. But you don’t laugh as much as you did.
You try to make it better by thinking, oh, I’m not the only one in the world saying goodbye, or hello again. Or asking how someone is over miles and miles.
“Hold still, I’m taking a screenshot.”
“Okay. Do you know the sun sets at 9 pm over here? It’s crazy!”
You spent a part of your life submerged, thinking maybe this is it for you. There’s nothing else, because you can’t imagine anything else. You’ve ended too. It feels like you cast paper into the water and when you made a grab for it, it disintegrated. You can’t put anything back together. You feel like you barely remember it. But it’s not true.
in another city, after Valentine’s Day,
i lurch around like i am missing an arm,
keep my hands clenched as fists because i miss the feel of your hands.
i slam my palm into my breastbone, i’m trying to self resuscitate
i walk further and further into the streets, stand by the long dead river
take photos of ancient edifices and sit in its dirty parks
i also, somehow, take up running.
no one comforts me
when i plant my face on the smooth metal of the train
i fall asleep more than i should
when i weep it’s more like a howl
nobody ever offers me a handkerchief
nobody says anything, they only look away when the tears start
i cry in the cab at 7:30 AM because a song you loved comes on
the driver pulls over and tells me to “get out!”
i dream about the side of your neck, that tender tendon
only to wake like someone fired a gun by my bed
startled by its emptiness
i bought a nightlight because
my bed is three sizes and one person too small, so
i sometimes dream about waking up with other people
and i wake up with the tears already drying on my cheeks
sometimes i turn to the side and say your name,
ready to launch into a tale of my daily woe
when caught, i correct myself, slowly, but it still isn’t true
i still fish in the air for stories to give to you
those small offerings of the afternoon,
the before sleeping stories to tide your dreams over
i pluck them out of the sky
then wait for lightning
i keep telling people to set me on fire, but i feel like i am on fire.
i look into mirrors and see my face reflected back. two big eyes, bared teeth.
i ask my reflection “am i bereft?” cause i like big words
there are hearts strung up over the the corner of the street by the train station
there are hearts in the streetlights
i think of stringing mine up alongside,
wrapped in brown butcher paper, the kind you you wrap your leftover food in
here are the journeys of my February, the month is short
not long like our love
not anything our love
The shadows in the garden make monster shapes so he growls in his throat
moon waning into nothing.
“I’m up to no good,” the girl says, but her mouth bends into a smile
a flicker in the dark, the white edge of sharp teeth
in shadow, it resembles challenge. Everybody lights up the joint
and they turn their faces up to the sky.
The firecrackers look like chrysanthemums against the moon, but they are only here
to kill the ghosts.
“Tell me about your year!” but nobody ever says that. They pull it off
like a snakeskin, like forget is as easy as a turning cloak
the exploding powder overhead, blowing up light.