Friday, September 30, 2011

pry it open with your love

kamila came to visit once. and she brought me this scarf as a gift. and the scarf was beautiful - it's from london. it's silk. it's white with red and yellow. she wrapped it in paper that she had handmade.

i could never really wear the scarf. every time i put it on, it looked stupid. too old. or too nice. or too pretty. or too rich. or something. and so i tucked it away in the bottom of my desk drawer, and mostly forgot about it for about a year. sometimes i'd open the drawer and put it on, look at myself in the window reflection - and decide that it wasn't right and stuff it back in the drawer again.

i remember being in brooklyn, and this guy coming up to me and laurie at the bar and he told us our scarves were "superfluous." and granted, they were. i told him, "no. you are." i didn't actually tell him that, but i wish that i would have. i told him, though, that his flannel shirt was also superfluous. he pointed out that it was plaid. actually - i'm mixing stories.

because that was another time.

after i came back from mexico, laurie and i went to pollocks to get a beer. i was getting dressed, and i decided to try the scarf kamila had given me again. and i looked in my window reflection, and i looked awesome. and i felt like a woman in it. we spent the night with two guys who had just gotten out of jail. we played arethra franklin and otis redding the whole night on the juke box. they bought us every song. and all of our drinks. and we're walking home, and i'm feeling good. like - happy. and beautiful. and like i've got this secret that i try to keep, but it's written all over myself face. i can tell that people can see it, too - usually they just say something about the haircut - but it's more than that. it's more like magic. it's what a woman is like when she feels like a woman.

and so we're walking past this house on main street, and these boys inside of the house look out of the window and say, "you guys must be hipsters because you're wearing scarfs." and i said, "well you must be a hipster because you're wearing flannel." and he said, "it's not flannel, it's plaid."

Monday, September 26, 2011

salt water taffy, jersey shore

i like to imagine us at forty. and then again at sixty.

Monday, September 5, 2011

i wish that i knew what i know now, when i was younger

i took pictures for two weddings this weekend - which is by far more interesting and wonderful than anything you could imagine. this whole day, this whole event, all of these people are gathered in order to celebrate two people you don't know - or maybe you know sort of well, but not very well. certainly not well enough to be invited to their wedding. but you are invited, and you spend the most intimate times with these people and their families. you cry when the mother and son dance. you cry when the groom looks at his bride for the first time. sometimes you even drink and dance with these people. and you sort of become attached to them, and their families, and friends. you start to like them. and care about them. and the whole time you're a bystander, you're sort of the least important person there. no one knows your name. and you're anonymous. and so sometimes when you drink and dance these people - you realize that you're actually dancing alone, and it feels amazing.

and so this weekend i drove all across pennsylvania and ohio with my windows down, being in love with my countryside. being in love with my home. with my landscape. those rolling hills, that sun shining down, those farms and farm houses. and today, as i was driving, listening to country music and feeling the air blowing in my newly, freshly cut hair - today my car broke down. twice. and i got it towed. twice. and i spent 4 hours in a car garage in ohio with 4 men who became my best friends. and harry, the second tow-trucker, drove me from the ohio border to pittsburgh. and he might have been a racist, right-winged tea partier from rural pennsylvania, but i remembered that none of that even matters. we swore, ate reeses together and took the long way by the river to have a more scenic route.

when i got home, my dad said, "well, you seem oddly pleasant." time sort of froze, in that way that it always freezes for me. i always have so much to say - in case you haven't been able to tell yet - and sometimes i have to remember that it's not always the right time. or the right people. and so time froze and i thought to myself this:

exactly, dad! that's what i've been trying to say!!! nothing really matters that much. i just don't care that much - about my car, or about money, or about my time, or about making sure my day-off is meaningful, or about my job for that matter, or taking wedding pictures for strangers and meeting so many new people at one time, i'm not worried about figuring anything out. i'm not worried about the future. i'm not worried about actually falling in love with somebody. i'm not worried about anything! i'm just not worried about any of it anymore, dad. it's just not worth it. life is going to happen in one way or another. and the only thing i have control over is how i react to it. and i'm tired of stress. it's actually the worst. it makes people dark and ugly and nasty. so does anger. so does being mean. so does being short with people. so does not giving people the benefit of the doubt. so does judging people. so does expecting the worst. so really, actually, today was a really great day.

instead i said, "well, that's what happens when you go to mexico." i'm not even sure he really knew what that meant. it just didn't matter that much.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

ode to paul thek, 2

to get a haircut, praise the lord
to have dinner with your family, praise the lord
to cry at a stranger's wedding, praise the lord
to find love in places you didn't expect it, praise the lord
to believe in yourself, praise the lord
to see the moon from your bedroom window, praise the lord
to grow, praise the lord
to change, praise the lord
to be insignificant, praise the lord
to eat oatmeal with brown sugar and berries, praise the lord
to turn the radio off in the car, praise the lord
to feel a cool breeze on your face, praise the lord
to tell somebody happy birthday, praise the lord