I am Crawded by Time

I was late today because I was on the phone with my sister planning a two week trip around Europe. We haven’t seen each other in four months. Way too long considering we lived an hour away from each other, more like ten states, or two vodka shots, or one broken jeep and a trench full of rain from each other. I was late today to plan for some sisterhood. I was late today to make time for myself, herself, and ourselves. I am late today which on other days isn’t late.

 

Other days, it’s thirty minutes right on time. Other days, it’s a photograph of two lovers embracing in momentary perfection. Two pints in one conversation. A biographical account and a pitied confession. On other days, I wouldn’t be late today. But you see, it started because my sister and I are planning a trip, and our minds are already on vacation. We are already freed from the “traditional” form of life (if there is such a thing!), and we have been freed from the inescapable: time.

 

So I am not late today,

and I won’t be considered late

today

tomorrow.

Who are the People that would Believe Me?

Who are the people that tell you yes?
Who are the people that tell you no?
Who are the people that tell you to be?
Who are the people that tell you to be anything but?
Who are the people that make you?
Break you?
Throw you?
Lift you?
Who are the people that are there when you are most alone?
Most alive?
Mostly living alone?
Who are the people that see you?
Who are the people that hear you?
Who are the people that understand you?
Who are the people that would believe this?

When I was a little girl, a spirit followed me to Las Vegas. Running alongside the moving truck, it’s legs twisting into wings, it howled, “write damn you!”

It slithered into the clouds as I turned to tell my mother.

“That’s a nice story sweetie, and don’t say damn.”

Where are the people who would believe this?

 

To the Handyman who Fixed the Kallax Shelf I “Built”

Firstly, I would like to say thank you.

Secondly, I had read the instructions and no such piece or part came with the furniture

Third, you have laced silk underwear, much better than the plumbers in America, whereever did you buy them?

Fourth, your eyes are penetratingly blue, and I do not like them.

Especially when we see each other at Ikea (separate occasion) and lock eyes passing each other in disbelief. Like dancing mirages unable to comprehend our visions and overjoyed by the possibility of tandem dancing. You didn’t look away partner until your girlfriend grabbed your hand, forced it onto the shopping cart, and pushed you into the garden section.

And lastly, I have recently broken the Kallax shelf I had recently re-purchased .

Letter to the One that Stopped

Dearest,

I fear you. Your glorious, unfiltered power. Your topless, free-breasted march toward the unknown. You are unapologetic and inflexible in your understandings of the world because you know yourself and would never apologize for such. I remember when I first met you three years ago; before that, I had seen glimpses of you at parties, on mountaintops, in the cumulus clouds. But, I was always looking out as you were wondering by.

But three years ago, you stopped and I stopped. We knew it was our time, and we took it. Time is so much easier to grab with four hands instead of two. You helped me break, you helped me make the phone call, you helped me release the nine-year floodgate of “Fuck you!” And then, afterwards, after the mess I made and the mess I became, you told me to clean up and keep walking, to pack it up, steal the cat, and create a life I didn’t know I didn’t want until we had made it ourselves.

But I am stubborn and so are you, and I didn’t know what I didn’t want until I had lived it myself. Like a pair of shoes, my favorite well-traveled companion carrying me for miles. At some point, I had to buy a new pair of shoes. But you are not shoes, you are not worn and trampled upon. You last forever, if I allow you to, if I let you in. And I did, three years ago, when you stopped and I stopped, and we took our time.

But that was three years ago, and you never loved me more than you had three months ago. When I told my parents, bought the ticket, boxed it up, and sold the rest walking away from the life and future that cost me nine years of mental abuse and an accruing interest of $80,000. The me I didn’t know I didn’t want.

Beer buzzed in a small hotel in Pankow, windows open listening to the rain, petting my stolen cat and thinking of my reclaimed life. All crammed into two suitcases, a violin case, and a spiral bound journal. I hadn’t realized, not truly, how much I loved you, how grateful I am to have you. The feeling of love and synchronicity overwhelmed me. You had stopped, and I had stopped, and we had taken this.

My dear,
my love,
my precious, beautiful,
Freedom.

 

Seafarers Holy Day

8 A.M.: Awakened by bells, tolling for me to rise and gape in awe at a colorful array of labeled boxes. What’s in there? A bike or a pony? Is a big wheeler with racing stripes cooler than a rainbow colored pony? Would mom let me keep the pony? Probably not.
9 A.M.: Wait in basement for cousins to arrive. While waiting, tried to imagine what Laura Ingles Wilder would get for Christmas, bar soap probably. An inquiry: Why do cousins, no matter how early, regardless of Santa’s visitation, arms embraced with toys, take the latter part of a century to come over in pajamas?
10 A.M.: Ravenous. The carcasses of gifts strewn across the floor-mine were untouched, for the record, hidden in the basement- there is a cabinet under the stairs that holds them. Helped burn the wreckage. Intermission, attempted to trade, with great success, my presents for things I envy: Road Dahl’s The Twits, Dinotopia in hardcover, a collection of works by Impressionist painters, the unabridged version of Dracula, though mother really should have stopped me from taking the latter. Argued with sister, grade 2, about the importance of embracing a variety of genres and that intelligent people read a vast array. She used my books for safety rocks while playing the floor is lava.
10:30 A.M.: All males gather in the kitchen salivating as grandma pulls out the strata and Christmas cinnamon rolls.
11 A.M.: The Catholics argue over the time the “Christmas Church Service” began. It was 30 minutes ago. Wonder which basement crevasse best accommodates me for hiding purposes. Hitch stocking full of necessary goods to pajama bottoms (containing the nutrients of Christmas sugar) and begin separating from the group, descending the stairs, clenched by aunt.
Noon: Eat stale wafer and sour juice. Man in white prays for us, man in pew sleeps, Papa smiles wide, exposing hidden doughnut from jacket pocket. All seek salvation, I crave milk. After sermon, the white cloth shakes hands, nodding, smiling. I am placed on Papa’s shoulders. Says the tale of Odysseus is just as good.
1 P.M.: Lunch is well under way upon our arrival home, must be careful not to injure uncle…asleep on floor. Others have assumed fetal position in living room, deeply lethargic, animalistic snores fill the room. Now for my escape.
1:30 P.M.: Nabbed again? Disappointingly, claw fingered aunt forces me to sit while she discusses loneliness: last Christmas cat died, the one before her husband, the third a cardinal hit the glass. Continues mumbling grievances well into deep sleep.
2-3 P.M.: Charles Wallace begins showing me that there is in fact no solid continuum of time but that time undergoes accordion like compression. Tried explaining theory to cousins, caused brains to combust. Went in search of others.
3:30 P.M.: Voyage wise sea captain! Upon searching the house for a willing ear, I found Papa on the porch. Removing his gold frames he set down Cervantes’s Don Quixote within 2 seconds of my arrival. I skim his shelves lined with adventures: The Far Side of the World, Seahawk, The Iliad, Treasure Island, and The Life, Adventures and Piracies of Captain Singleton. Papa told me that Ernest Shackleton, evidently a famous explorer, no doubt to be learned in school, best explained the complexities of a seaman, both a freedom and curse. After retrieving the necessary hot chocolate, we continue our conversation about the definition of mutiny. He feels that I am old enough to handle such complexities. Furthermore, mutiny, by definition, a crew against one’s own captain, is nothing more, than a physical argument.
5:05 P.M.: At this time, the adults awaken from their comas; Modern Prometheus rises from his man made couch only to be attacked by a swarm of underling cousins. Silence has been broken-weren’t Papa’s stories better then their comatose dreams?-and the family begins reconvening for another meal.
8 P.M.: Relatives begin slowly assembling layered garments. Explain that Demeter will be with her daughter soon. Realizing the redundancy of changing my current frog patterned garb I prepare for bed, listing the necessary steps. Would I rather read Alice in Wonderland or The Magician’s Nephew? Can’t decide. Where the Sidewalk Ends or Skin? Can’t Decide. Could I be transported to another world through a painting? No, and I don’t want to be involved in a murder either.
9 P.M.: Sister complains about the unknown location of new Barbies. Turn over grinning myself to sleep.
10 P.M.: Awoken by Papa handing me a box. Cautiously, lift cardboard lid. Drop box on floor, where it remains for days.
10:30 P.M.: Eventually fall asleep.  Embracing my collection of C.S. Forester. Horatio Hornblower, 1st Baron Hornblower and the HMS Hotspur.

Girl and Frog

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(I have become fascinated by the blending of language, form, and art. Here is a short story written and visually represented simultaneously. It reads: When I was a little girl, I was visited by a frog in my garden.)

Psychopathic Passive Aggressive Notes to Myself

Two socks, neither are mine.

Your fridge approached me the other day. It was an unwelcome advance.

You conduct an abnormal amount of static electricity. I am quite tired of your electrical current.

Where did you put the key to that memory?

Fuck you brain for phantom pain!

I see that you have failed to follow instructions.

Looking for another state of consciousness again huh? Spin around and think about the taste of purple!

The fridge says hello!

Please do not buy any more journals. You are just provoking her.

You are my legacy.

You are my false god.

 

 

 

Brawk-Brawk-Brawk

I write with a frog on my shoulder. No, it is not a metaphor. It is a Litoria caerulea. An a-sadeghipour-ernestoAustralian green tree frog commonly known as a dumpy tree frog. I went to the pet store to purchase crickets for Ernesto. The young girl at the cricket bin asked me what I was feeding. I told her that I was feeding an Australian green tree frog.

“A what?” she responded.

“An Australian green tree frog. A Litoria caerulea.”

Her furrowed brow and confused glazed eyes indicated to me that she had no idea what I was talking about even though the terrarium behind her was labeled in a green paint pen, “Australian Green Tree Frogs for Sale! A hearty friendly species! The Perfect Pet!”

“Well, what do they look like?” she asked.

“Well, they’re frogs that are green because they’re green tree frogs. Sometimes, my little guy turns blue depending on the temperature.”

My response was met with squinted eyes. It was as if by squinting her eyes the image would appear beneath her eyelids, “Yeah, don’t think I’ve ever seen one. I’ve seen brown frogs before. Are they called something else maybe?”

“They’re also called Dumpy tree frogs because they have large fat deposits on their head and back,” I explained.

“Oh,” she scoffed sinking back into her shoulders as if they would conform to her body and close in on her like a protective shell.

“Is everything okay?” Her turtle reaction was strange to me.

“You shouldn’t call them that,” she sneered attitude drooling out of her mouth.

“Call them what?”

Her chest puffed up like a proud feathered cock about to crow, “Dumpy. The word dumpy is offensive to the animal.”

I took the bag of crickets out of her hand and began cautiously walking backwards. I was taught to never turn my back on two kinds of people, the crazy and the stupid. I paid for my crickets, walked across the rain soaked parking lot, started my car and began laughing hysterically. I pulled into my gravel covered driveway and wiped the tears of hilarity off my cheeks. I fed Ernesto who delightfully gobbled up ten of the twelve crickets I had just purchased.

“I’m sorry to have offended you, Sir Ernesto,” I smiled as I picked up my little frog, placed him on my shoulder, and wrote this down.

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“On Written Knowledge”

a-sadeghipour-onwrittenknowledge

(Continuation of “On the Writing Process”)

Writing knowledge. Knowledge of writing. Writing about Knowledge. Knowing how to write. Wait, I think the last one is different. Knowledge: (n.) “Information and skills acquired through experience or education; the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject” (Webster’s Dictionary). Hmm, perhaps the last one is not so different. I know that I have gone through the drills and learned the skills but it didn’t teach me how to write. So what did? Who did? Is it Experience with a capital “E”? Education often fell back into the skills and drills category. So where did it come from? Did I have some kind of epiphany? No, my brain doesn’t work like that. It’s a beaten beast that acquires knowledge from hard work and aggressive determination. If some kind of holy evangelic light did appear, it would wonder where the hell it came from and whether or not a glare was a trustworthy source of information.