The other day, you pulled down your mask to show your face to an old friend, and you made a deprecating comment about the size of your nose.
The old friend was delighted to see you. The old friend had no problem with your nose, or with anything about your face or your body. In fact, he had the exact same reaction to you that you had to him: he was simply delighted.
Why point out your nose? Why apologize for it? The only person bothered by it is you.
Everyone takes you in and accepts what they see…
just a girl that works
in a pizza place
Today it was thunder and rain
I stood in the doorway watching the street empty of people
I fuck up so many things
all the way back to grade school
I could step off the sidewalk and be swept away
to where no one who knows me might find me
And I could be a mermaid to someone who’s never seen a girl
from a pizza place
Time: Fall, 2008
Subjects: Two low level Al-Qaeda Operatives
Media: Cell Phone Conversation
Notes: Only one side of the conversation was recorded and transcribed
A cellphone dials. It picks up:
Ahmed? Abdullah. Hey. Look, we’re doing a video and there’s a good chance they’ll play it on Al Jazeera, so we need to borrow your camera… Yeah, the Canon, the good one… No, it’s not that. This one is rhetoric, vague threats, his usual diatribe, you know… I said it’s not that… Well, I didn’t know the last time. They don’t tell me much, I’m just the AV guy and……
It was 1976. And I needed pants.
I was beginning junior high — my chance to escape the dreadful stigmas that somehow attached themselves to me in elementary school. Stigmas related to my having the athletic ability of Stephen Hawking and an unfortunate nose-picking incident.
Mom took me shopping and I found them at Macy’s — The Pants That Would Change My Life (PTWCML). They were jeans, pre-washed with bell-bottoms and some fancy shit on the back pockets that looked like I had sat on a kruller*.
In the dressing room, I checked out my pert tween lack of a…
Dear Katya, my darling!
It was wonderful to have finally met your family last night. They seem lovely and very forgiving, and I say that because, well, I am afraid some things may have happened that require an explanation or perhaps an apology. Or two.
Now, I had to bring Aga Khan into the house, Katya. He would have asphyxiated in the car and every two hours I have to spread that ointment on his buttocks. Your father seemed fond of him, petting him and talking about how dogs lower the blood pressure. …
The talkative 7 year old has tired me out
Constant questions that he’s asked before, and for which I have no answers.
Constant comments and observations about everything.
And funny, cute, even seductive. I mean, how can ya not give the kid an ear?
He doesn’t like this bit of writing. Fuck him. I’ll post it anyway.
Why not speak in code? So many ways to say so little.
A bottle wrapped in a bag results in a bag shaped like a bottle. All the words make clear the shape of what isn’t be talked about.
I’m trying to say nothing these days, so I can glide invisibly, and weave my through, a mackerel in shark water.
Your past is clean garbage
We can be rag pickers and pull interesting things out of it
The day 40 Aprils ago that put such a twist in your ciruitry
That woman at the car wash
The time a firefly landed on the tip of your nose
Why you love pancakes
We can pick your garbage
But stay the hell out of mine.
At his end he was far down his personal hill.
The struggle for hope and something decent takes a toll, as dreams dry up and mistakes pile up. Crying to no one but yourself in the kitchen. How to get through ‘til bedtime.
Remind us of our duty, which is serve and protect. To recognize what is right, kind and merciful, and then do exactly that, regardless of what came before or comes after.
There are ever hills to climb.