Epistolary

The morning you leave the sun finally breaks through.  Seattle looks eerie; a muted yellow grey sculpture rising into the shifting clouds.  Winds rise and knock blue into the sky.  It is beautiful, and I feel like we can see the mountains, but we can’t.  Of course, you are gone already, or waiting behind security gates about ready to fly into gone, and I don’t bother calling because it’s too late.  Soon the day is full strength and you are between here and Philadelphia in the silence of a pressurized cabin and foil peanuts. 

I have had too much coffee this entire week, and the last few hours with my aunt and uncle I am jittery, hard to focus.  My eyes wander while listening to stories or telling them.  When we get back to their house I make the bed we slept in and the sheets just smell like basement and not like us.  I look around for a minute, hoping for a scrap of paper you might have left me, tucked away somewhere while I was upstairs and you were zipping the last bits of your bag together, but I can’t find anything.  I didn’t tuck anything into your bag this time either.  We are exhausted by our carefully timed collisions and it is starting to show.  It is so easy to forget the casual things, we compact so much into the few hours we have.  I’m sort of glad it snowed our last full day here.  The fire popped and you stirred it into flames while I read and typed and it felt normal.  We drank tea and let it get cold and it didn’t matter.

I was fussy this past week, I know.  The buses pushed me into fury and I darted from one place to the next too quickly.  You kept saying I was going to leave you behind.  I don’t know if you meant on the sidewalk or if you meant it in a deeper, metaphorical way. 

I’m sitting in the airport now myself.  The rain has returned and the crowds here are thin.  I walked right through security without question, and kept right on to the gate, to a seat by the windows.  Outside to the left, a small stretch of horizon is the same pale yellow of this morning’s light.  The rest, the same stony grey-blue we watched all week.  It looks like rain on the far edge of tarmac, and the cement is slick in places.  I’m sure that in California the skies are that brilliant consistent blue that they always are.  All blue skies mean right now is that they are where you aren’t.  And I hate them for it.  Silly refraction of light, Rayleigh scattering, so I hate science I suppose.

We’re almost done with this.  A few months, and what are months? Simple time units, quickly eaten.  Across the airfield, the stretch of light is getting larger now, but the rain is closer as well.  I’ll call you when I land, despite the time difference.  I miss you, of course, but it has already sunk into that familiar feeling where I’m not quite sure you’re real. 

My plan is boarding soon, and I will fly back.  It’s where I sleep or it’s my home and I don’t know the difference anymore. 

Afternoon Clearing

Despite the cold weather and the rain, Seattle is amazing. We haven’t had a day to simply sit and be, but it’s worth it. Chris and I have romped about the city on a variety of buses, going to museums and markets and libraries. The bookstores (and there are many) have been yielding wonderful fruits. Though the bookstore between Elliot Bay and Pioneer Square didn’t have any books on ether or light from 1870 it was still fun.  Found things by Ugly Duckling Press, a small press out of Brooklyn, and the covers alone were inspiring. Beautifully crafted journals, small editions and what looked like letter press interiors.

The grey skies have been quite suited.  Pearled clouds every now and again, and a snow advisory for tomorrow.  Colder than it was in winter, according to my aunt.  I don’t doubt it.

I wish I had more thoughtful things to say.  More intellectually layered, more imagistically rich.  But I don’t.  I have run myself a bit ragged over the past two quarters in Riverside, and I thought by now I would know if it was going to pay off, but I don’t.  I expect too much, too quickly, I suppose.

Day in LA

Begrudgingly, I’m finding LA and Southern California more and more appealing. Despite today’s thick smog, what a lovely day in LA. Started at Santa Monica Pier, where Jessi was able to find a floppy hat Floppy Hat and I was able to find a photo booth. photo booth Onto Olvera Street, and now our bathroom has shiny tin animals as soon as I get them out of Elijah’s car. Ran into Carly at scoops (lemon jasmine and peanut butter coffee gelato. Scoops is amazing.) Wanted to head to the Getty, but it would have been closed by the time we made it, so went to the park instead. sculptureThen began the long trek home with some misguided detours. bug

Windy Saturday

The wind cleared off the smog that’s been coating the air for the past few days, and it is actually quite lovely.  The winter rains mean there’s actually green, and it’s only now starting to fade.  I walked over to the botanical gardens with Jessi, hoping to see the iris garden in full bloom.  There was one, a royal velvet or something along those lines, but I’ll have to go back to see the others.  I forgot how flat iris leaves are before the stalks.   There’s an interesting bench and sun shade sort of thing.  Felt like we should be waiting for sheep to cross down the mountain behind us. And of course, there were more poppies.  I love poppies, even if I thought they were sage at first because of the label and felt very confused, because I was quite sure that flowers this bright and delicate petaled were poppies, not sage. Poppies againSunshade lonley iris

Lemmings

Walk Sign

So, first of all, I hate jaywalking. I do it occasionally, but in general, queen of the sidewalks. Additionally, I pay attention to traffic signs. (This is a void statement while running, but while walking, blink little buddy, and I’ll cross.)

This evening, while waiting for the friendly blinking “walk” sign (and the chirping that accompanies) two gentlemen crossed the street from the opposite direction. As they passed myself and my roommate, we heard them talk about “fucking lemmings, waiting to cross with the sign.” As Jessi aptly pointed out, the lemming action would actually be to cross in front of traffic. On a Thursday night, dressed in dark colors, I think I’ll wait for the go ahead before crossing. This isn’t mob mentality so much as preservation of body. I don’t feel like being taken out by a reckless college driver, a little buzzed, because I’m fighting The Man.

This feeds directly into a tangent. Recently, a fellow student brought in a book of poetry, and while talking about the author, passed out an interview. The fellow (author) talked for a bit about punctuation as a form of oppression. I don’t think I agree. I don’t think the comma is keeping me down, and the period is a tool of The Man. It’s all about communication, and punctuation helps communicate. Don’t get me wrong, I like unusual punctuation (have you read my poetry? Marks like :: abound.) But I don’t think, by varying punctuation, I’m fighting against repression.

But maybe I’m wrong. Punctuation and walk signs are all a means of keeping us down. Next time I jaywalk and get hit by a car, I’ll say I was making a political statement. That’ll fix my broken bones, right?

I Love J Cons

Harrisburg

Jen’s Chorale students were selected to perform at the state capital.  That means Jen’s driving an (extended?) van to Harrisburg with a bunch of middle-schoolers from Raub.

So proud of my roommate, even if she’s technically not my roommate anymore. Some bonds never disappear. So here’s to you roomie. Let’s put on Curbside Prophet and dance wicked haad 🙂