30 Letters: More from last November

More from the vault. Two letters. Two different days. From the same room. We are still so good. Notes in the morning, notes in our sleep. All the ways to say we are full of joy. Its still so good to love and be loved. Every moment. 

hi.
 
i’m hanging out in the cafe at elliott bay bookstore, and you’ve just stepped away for a second to go to the restroom, after we were just probably the cutest/most disgusting two humans in here: laptops side to side, cuddling during brunch, talking closely. 
 
i just called you a creeper and you just said, “takes one to know one.”
it’s only been two days together and i’m so balanced and so filled up by being by your side, so complimented, so completed. i can’t wait to spend another few days here, then our trip together. to have 11 inseparable days. yes. 
 
hey, let’s go grocery shopping and hold hands and be goofy and in love. let’s stare at each other from across a room crowded with friends, let’s sniff each others’ shoulders in public and kiss. let’s sleep naked and wake up in a tunnel of warmth under the covers. 
 
i’m obsessed with you.
 
Another, several days later: 
 
My Love,
 
Its very early in the morning and I am sitting at the desk in my room writing to you. You are just a few feet away sleeping soundly and I can hear your soft breath just above the sounds of the keyboard. It was all i could do to get up this morning, to wrench myself away from your warm, sleeping skin and into this computer. There is some minor crisis happening with a client, so I’m glad I listened to my alarm but so so sad not to be continuing to sleep soundly next to you. I am so glad you are here. Every time. I feel this immediate sense of world is right with you, and am overjoyed to wake each morning with your body wrapped around mine in an answer to my, ‘are you there?’ with a resounding and beautiful, ‘yes.’
 
I cannot wait to kiss you good morning, to make you tea and hold your hand, to talk and laugh and learn from you and with you. You are my one. 
 
I love you.
 
 
Lover's locks.

Lover’s locks.

#4

There was that time in the cab, nearly kicked out. Something about our credit cards, or the way our voices burned too bright, something about your charm kept our seats. We stopped at every intersection, but just barely made the turns, holding on to each other and cackling til’ we almost puked. Spent too much money on cocktails and imagined bar fights. The bartender hugged us on our way out. The night like a medium weight blanket, air still and salt smelling.

Your family was my family and my arms were your arms and I don’t know when you’re working anymore, so am not sure when to call. Which is a shitty way to say I can’t remember the way your car smells anymore, am always cooking and never bringing the wine, have lost track of which Murder She Wrote episodes I’ve already seen.

That conversation in the italian place, some crinkled corners of eyes, a promise of new into the world. A promise to figure it out. I’m still here and all of these words are stand in’s for stories we’ve yet to tell, voices breaking over sunset after sunset.

Your heart was my heart was your heart.

(c)RRG

(c)RRG

The Tiny Turtle: A Small Story for a Sweet Friend

This little guy.

So, once upon a time there was a vast and beautiful ocean. The ocean was so wide and so deep the it reached out and touched the sky. At this time the earth was young and all of what would become land was underneath the water waiting to be born.

Underneath the tide it was quiet and the water was warm. The ocean was full of life, and colonies of animals lived safely and happily swimming. They were full of color and breathed easily and blew bubbles and things were just the way they were supposed to be. There were an infinite amount of creatures, and they did not keep to themselves, but rather preferred to frolic and play together.

The smallest and most timid of these was the baby turtle, and though he was not the only turtle in the ocean, he was the most shy. All of the other creatures said his shell was the most handsome thing they’d ever seen and when they told him, he hid inside it, blushing his shell into a pure rose color.

The tiny turtle liked to spend his days slowly sauntering along the soft ocean bed smiling at the flounder and yellow tang, and nibbling on tall green grass and pebbles (because everyone in the ocean was a vegetarian). One day, as he wandered he came across a magical looking horse with a nose like a trumpet who seemed very upset. The turtle tried not to turn away and hide for he knew it was the best thing to be able to comfort another creature in a time of need.

Stuffy

The tiny turtle approached the horse slowly and asked in a whisper what was the matter.

“I cant get my trumpet to blow!” she said in a groggy sad tone.

“Oh my!” said the turtle “what happened?

“Well, I was swimming at the very bottom of this cave, and the water around me was soo very cold, that I felt like I couldn’t even move my hooves anymore, I was very frightened. My mother told me never to go that deep, but I wanted to prove that I was brave and so I did!”

The turtle was startled by this story. He had never though to go into the caves, much preferring the warm green water around the rest of the colony, because even though he was shy, he loved hearing the happy sounds of other creatures playing and laughing together.

The horse went on, “It was beautiful and scary in the cave, and I just kept getting colder the deeper I went, and I thought I could see a beautiful silver light so I swam just a little further. I could see some bubbles and more light and then… a great flash of lightning burst forth and flew past my flanks!”

At this declaration both the turtle and the horse shook with fear, even hearing something this unexpected was almost too much for the little urchins. “…” Go on!” said the turtle, hoping desperately the end to this story was happier than the beginning.

“After the lightning, I saw it!”

“IT WHAT!?” Screamed the turtle and snapped his head inside his shell at the sound of his own voice, it was so loud.

“Why, an Eel!! The biggest, most silvery Eel you ever did see!”

Both the turtle and the horse began to laugh at this. Eels weren’t scary at all! Though rare, and mysterious, they were much loved creatures in the colony, because they were so beautiful and always won all the races for their long bodied speed.

The tiny turtle’s tummy ached from all the giggling they did, and when they finally calmed down, he asked “Well! what did the Eel do?!”

Bossy pants

“Well, he flicked his tale at me in a wave, and said that I should swim back up or I’d catch a cold in the deep water!! It turns out he was right. By the time I got up here, I could feel my trumpet filling with snot, and now I cannot practice any songs. My mother is going to be so upset with me, and I don’t know what to do!”

“Oh gosh, horse. This is terrible! You play such pretty tunes, they will surely be missed on the floor. What can we do? hmmm”

The turtle thought and thought, and as he did, he began to slowly pace (almost invisible to any other eye) and tiny bubbles of concentration floated up and out of the corners of his shell. The horse looked solemnly at the coral plants sprouting out of the side of a boulder and sighed.

“I’ve got it!” exclaimed the turtle. “We just need to go visit my cousin the hermit crab. He can surely help you find a way to heal your trumpet!”

So the turtle and the horse set out to swim to the hermit crab, who liked to hang out near the sea cucumbers (who smelled particularly heavenly) and ask for his assistance. The turtle knew they would probably be scolded for disturbing the crab’s afternoon nap, but he couldn’t help feeling proud that he might be able to help his new friend. Sure enough, when they reached the edge of the cucumber garden, they found cousin crab, blowing sleepy bubbles toward the sunlit afternoon sky. The turtle softly jostled the crabs shell and very quietly mumbled, “cousin crab, wake up. we need your help. please!”

The hermit crab snorted and shimmied and spun around in a circle with a loud grunt and bellowed “WHO’S THERE?!”

Crabby

It’s just me, exclaimed the turtle from inside his shell. So sorry to www wake you. I…we need your help!”

“Well, out with it then! I’ve only got a few more decades to rest my shell. haha!”

The turtle and the hose shakily recounted the story, as the crab listened closely and nodded at all the right times.

Well, this is a simple enough fix, little one and you’ve come to the right place! You see, the slime these slippery smelling cucumbers make is the perfect cure for what ails you, and here we are near a surplus of the stuff! All we have to do is scoop some off of this mighty bolder and rub a little on your snout. You’ll be right as rain in just a few hours!”

“Ohh! thank you so much cousin crab! You are the best!”

At that the crab smeared a dollop of cucumber slime on the horse’s trumpet, and the horse coughed and sputtered and cried, “That certainly does not taste as good as it smells!” The three laughed heartily and patted each others shoulders.

The horse thanked both the turtle and the crab, and invited them to a concert that very evening where he would (hopefully) be playing a brand new song, and off he went to rest until it was time to face his mother.

The tiny turtle beamed golden and grinning, having helped someone in need and made a brand new friend. He felt less and less with each of these revelations, like hiding in his shell. It seemed that spending time with other creatures and not just near them could be even more rewarding than he’d ever imagined! The turtle was so glad to be helpful and tired from all the laughing and adventuring that he fell into a deep and sweet sleep curled up near the crab’s shell in the cucumber garden right then!

When the turtle work up, he had just enough time to wipe the sleepiness from his eyes and begin to amble toward the concert. along the way, instead of blushing and hiding when a stranger or friend swam by, the tiny turtle waved his stubby turtle paw and smiled up, saying “See you at the show!” He really was enjoying this new confidence and was excited to see his new friend performing.

the concert was beautiful, and the whole ocean floor cheered and cheered for all of the horses, crabs, blow fish and the sword fish (on trombone). Each new song was better than the last and everyone agreed that the horse sounded better than ever! at the end of the show everyone bowed and the horse turned to face her audience and asked everyone to stay just a moment longer for she had one thing to say.

“Earlier today I was very sick, and not sure I could play these tunes for you, and I had no idea what I was going to do until the tiniest turtle in the sea stopped by to help me. He listened and laughed and did not shy away from a friend in need, and for that I am eternally grateful. I am so very proud to know you, tiny turtle and I am excited to be friends for life with such a handsome and smart creature as you!”

The turtles shell did turn rosy, but he kept his head held high and smiled bigger than anyone had ever seen. He was ready to be seen and participate now more than ever!

It just goes to show you what a little kindness and an open ear can do for a bashful little turtle in the big, beautiful world.

Winning.

The End.

The Mona Lisa’s Legs (or) beginning of Exercise #47

Eight acts of rebellion:
1. Blond haired blue eyed birth
2. Surviving careening sled ending in ditch
3. Touching the cactus and escaping unstuck
4. Staying astride that plastic bucking bull
5. Remaining in the woods until dawn
6. Sipping your beer when you weren’t looking
7. Getting up over and over and over again
8. Sitting on the roof, howling

Eight things I’ve stolen:
1. A Donald duck pez dispenser
2. Office supplies: Pens, paper, copies, hours of time not working.
3. Your number one best lover ever spot
4. The loudest cry/shout.
5. 267 buttermilk pancakes
6. Clean moon cooled air and pine tree needles.
7. About 6,000 cups of coffee
8. Any delusions you had about keeping me

Eight things that were taken from me:
1. My lungs, heart, arms
2. My ability to run
3. My self worth/confidence
4. The way I felt safe
5. The will to stop
6. Your mile long legs draped over mine
7. How to cook for two
8. How to find your hips

Eight things I’ve given away:
1. My ears
2. About 900 cigarettes
3. My winter gloves
4. So many stories
5. My bed
6. My sanity
7. The last piece of pie
8. All the covers on a cold night

Eight things I deserve:
1. An infinite amount of chances
2. The sweet smell of mesquite
3. Somewhere quiet
4. Thunderstorms
5. Your hand in mine and sleeping
6. An aching belly full of laughter
7. To be listened to
8. To be forgiven

This is a free write based on Rachel McKibbens exercise #47.

A.R.U.

Have you ever been standing on a street corner, walking down a boulevard, or perhaps sitting pretty at a cute cafe when you saw something happen that totally made your g-d day because it was so funny you could barely stand it?

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about just how funny/weird people are, what makes me laugh, and how lucky I am to be living in a big ole’ city where strange and amazing people are literally pouring out of every orifice performing weird wild acts for my greedy little eyes to see. The city is rife with fodder for story time, as you know you gorgeous little reader, you. Everyone has seen, heard or smelled something that they never thought they would. Also, especially for those of us from not-so-city places, an absolute wonderland of wacky-ness awaits. This all kind of makes urban living sound like a circus or something, when in fact it can be quite unnerving. However, today, I’m feeling sort of ridiculously manic about the whole deal and so I’d like to share with you one of my favorite moments to witness:

Adults. Running. Unexpectedly.

You know what I’m talking about, right?! There’s something about a grown-ass person having to hoof it down a street or sidewalk that brings me joy and jubilation unlike any other. The moment right before, the hesitation, maybe a few hurried steps of an adult of any ilk deciding that yes, I’m going to have to move quickly and RIGHT NOW is pure comedy gold. Everyone looks awkward and silly and just a little like they might pee their pants.

Children can run, teenagers can run, and its pretty much, well, unsurprising. However Adults running? Forget about it. Because its, apparently, only okay to run as an adult when you are wearing an outfit that looks like this:

This could be a picture of my little gayborhood where shirtless runners bound around everywhere looking really serious and full of abs!

Of course, there are many different types of ARU, but here are a few:
– The’Oh hell, I’m going to miss my bus!” run.
– The ‘I (kind-of) need that taxi cab’ run.
– The, ‘I-dont-want-a-jaywalking-ticket’ run. Note: This may or may not be unique to Seattle, where, FOR REAL you can (and many folks do) get jaywalking tickets. Let’s talk sometime about that unicorn-like moment at 3am when there are no cars on the road and no people around and you approach a corner and see someone patiently waiting for the walk sign. Amazing!
– (and my personal favorite) The ‘I think…I think maybe I see someone that I know/might be sexually attracted to over there!’ run.

I’ve been pondering (of course) a way to catch this particularly wonderful event on video, but so far it seems impossible, because of its inherent unplanned nature. For now, I think I’ve resigned myself to spending a lot of time with my eyes peeled to the max waiting for the perfect little nugget of city life to shower me with the glittery angel dust of a man in a suit, or perhaps a goth in knee high boots trying to make it across the street in time to catch the number 14 to Capitol hill.

I suggest, you do the same.

This weight of this purse is causing me extreme anguish!

Good Timing

I was chatting with a friend the other day and reflecting about what poor timing I have. Seemingly, I always show up a little too early or a little too late for my life. Of course, thinking about life this way is a bit …depressing. My friend said, “What about when you’ve had good timing?”

“I keep a list,” as a reminder of when my timing has been good. For the most part this has been a list in my head, harder and harder to recall as the years go by. Today I am resigning to start writing down and reflecting on these moments as a way to remind myself, that I am not destined to ‘miss the boat’ all the time.

Good. Timing.

– That week where I scored the last table on the patio at The Twilight on a perfect, sunny Thursday afternoon and then got to laugh with friends for hours.

– Sitting on the steps in a friends back yard last weekend laughing and talking smack in the waning Sunday sunshine.

I am a big fan of lists in general (duh). I have a few in my wallet, post its all over my computer monitor at work, on my refrigerator, on the chalk board in my kitchen, lists in the form of poems, practical and impracticable, tangible and intangible. A friend of mine actually has a tattoo on her forearm that says “To Do: 1.__________ 2.__________.” I love it.

I don’t use goodreads or even have a very substantial netflix cue, but am pretty much married to my googlereader. Although, I’m (of course) the type to print out a good article/recipe, etc and magnet it to my fridge door. I know, hard copy. I can feel your collective cringing. Herein, is

A list of lists:
1. Bands to listen to and Books to read
2. Things I would like to learn/see/do
3. How to Calm. Down.
4. People I should call
5. Write about
6. Where the $ goes
7. What I love about you (all of you)
8. New recipes to cook
9. Songs with Clapping
10. Places where I get lost

Now on to the doing and being…

Johnny Cash's to-do list (No, really)

Charlie’s; A love affair.

>Awhile ago, I went to my favorite neighborhood joint, “Charlie’s” and realized that I haven’t been there since my ex girlfriend’s birthday a few years ago. I remember that this was the night the woman who was sitting at the bar near our table started vomiting on top of the bar as she was sitting, and then tried to stand up and puked on the floor and then tried to ask for another drink and instead was offered a phone to call a cab. I think she must have puked 3 or four times before she finally left, and as the smell of vomit filled the dark musty bar, I remember thinking that probably never coming here again was a good idea.

Apparently, recently, I forgot my resolution and I went to Charlie’s again today for the first time since that night. I went there to eat alone, and relax for a minute before hanging out with friends. I debated as I walked down the street about what I might like to eat. I thought about Korean BBQ, and about Papoosas, but for some reason ruled them out. Maybe, mostly because I was feeling like sneak, sitting around somewhere dark and writing tragic things, which is painfully cliché of me, but also is the truth. So I thought, Charlie’s, well Charlie’s is dark. Charlie’s is one of those places where it actually seems like really wrong that it’s not filled with cigarette smoke.

When I walked to the back (because inside Charlie’s there’s a restaurant in the front and a bar in the backwith a pool room! ahh!), there were three men yelling at the bar tender about how she had somehow lost their credit card. So, they are yelling and I’m standing awkwardly in sort of the middle of the hallway, waiting for them to settle down so I can ask to sit down somewhere. Finally another waitress came back and said I could sit wherever. This, well, was fine.

I didn’t want to take up too much space, or sit near the yelling men (who were still yelling) so I picked a table on the other side of the bar, a small two-seater. Directly to the right of it is sort of another elevated level (two steps up) where there are a few more tables. So there was a table the same size as mine two steps up with like a weird ships railing in between. Have I mentioned that Charlie’s is dark? Like REALLY DARK. So dark that I didn’t even notice that there was an older couple sitting at that very table, just an elbow in the shin bump away from me. Which made me feel a little uncomfortable, because unless I know you, and even really if I do, I don’t want to sit so close to you when you’re eating. I was closer to them than they were to each other actually. Well one of them. It was like we were all on a date together, at 5:30PM on a tuesday in a REALLY DARK bar, with badly stained carpet everywhere, and some men (STILL YELLING).

So, I’m sitting there trying to ignore the men when I hear it…the sound of LIP SMACKING, and then SLURPING, and then NOSE BLOWING and I think, oh dear god. I haven’t even ordered my food yet. And so, I look around and realize that it is not one, of but both halves of this older couple who are full on chewing with their mouths hanging open, chewing and slurping and talking to each other about things that I can’t understand because THEIR MOUTHS ARE FULL OF FOOD.

Then I hear one of the yelling dudes yell that he has found his credit card, and

“SEE IT WAS RIGHT HERE THE WHOLE TIME I TOLD YOU SO!!!” “UNBELIEVABLE” …

and on and on…then I realize that even though the dudes have the errant credit card and have obviously paid their tab, they are deciding that they will continue to stand next to the bar and YELL TALK to each other about everything. Apparently, these dudes weren’t actually upset, they just CANT CONTROL THEIR VOCAL VOLUMES or something.

But still, even though this is going on under twenty feet away and is VERY LOUD, I can hear…the lip smacking good time of the older couple sitting next to me and I think, I could just move, there is a lovely looking decrepit booth just across the aisle from where I am sitting and as long as the yelling guys are still here I for sure won’t hear lip smackers any more….RIGHT. Then I think, that the lip smackers might notice me move and think I’m really rude or ageist or something. So, I think, I’ll just continue to sit here, and be grossed out and eat my food with my mouth closed and not be as gross as them, but not feel any better for it, and not enjoy my food, because this whole thing is really pretty disgusting.

Then the yelling guys finally leave, and it is much quieter, which would be great except but for the aforementioned reasons or something. So the waitress comes and looks surprised that I order a diet coke and not a giant can of 4loko or something because how could I be here and not drunk right now and not be working here. When she brings it back I order hot wings and a salad covered in cheese and Caesar dressing because that’s the kind of healthy eater I am, and again the waitress looks surprised, and sort of maybe a little skeeved out by me. But that could be because I’ve pulled out my iPad and am typing away.

So the concerned faced waitress walked away and then I saw him; a man sitting at a table a little ways across from me eating. This is seemingly normal, right? I thought, thank God. One normal person in here, because all ive felt is disgustedness and anoyedness (neither of which are actually real words I realize). Anyway, there was something off about the man and as I openly stared at him I realized that it was that he had a sort of mangled looking kleenex hanging out of his nose. Now, this man was a lot older, so I thought, aw, maybe he just forgot it was there or something? He will surely realize in a second and take it out. I stared in awe over the table as he enthusiastically ate what looked like pot roast (they have pot roast at this place?! what!) and left the kleenex exactly as it were. Now, I looked away, embarrassed because I was clearly staring and went back to the game of scrabble I was playing on the computer. After the waitress brought my tiny salad I noticed the man again, still with Kleenex. When the waitress asked, “Sir, do you need anything? Maybe some more napkins?”

“Well, I just have this nose bleed, no big deal. Yes, some more napkins would be nice.”

LEAVE THE DAMN TABLE AND CLEAN YOURSELF UP MAN

Then I saw the blood soaking the kleenex right around his left nostril and began to feel nauseous. Not because blood makes me squeamish but because he was ….EATING POT ROAST. I really, really, really had to stop looking at him now, otherwise my salad was definitely going to start tasting like boogers. My wings arrived and I pulled up the New York Times to read while I ate. Am I really this guy? A guy who stares at his iPad reading the New York Times while he eats his dinner alone?! PLEASE TELL ME IM NOT THIS GUY.

So I’m eating and reading, and eating and reading, when I notice (which I’m not sure I hadn’t earlier) that a couple has come in and are sitting at the booth across from me. The couple, are the skinny jean, flannel wearing, hipster variety. I think the girl had a pair of sun glasses with her. SUNGLASSES, IN SEATTLE IN DECEMBER. What the fuck.

The reason I noticed them is that they immediately started to argue. The girl saying something about the boy not telling her that he used to date so and so and that all she knew is that they had gone to some wedding together, and I’m imagining that she is so upset because they were also dating at the time or something like that, but I could be projecting or whatever. Anyway, obviously this is sort of boring, except that in the span of the half an hour that I was sitting there eating and eaves dropping on everyone, I mean reading the New York Times on my giant iphone, they ordered 3 rounds of drinks; three rounds that were each, tallboys of PBR and double shots of whiskey. By the end of the half an hour and by the time I was leaving, the girl was in tears, and the boy wasn’t even looking at her, and when they did speak, it was a blubbery drunken mess.

I imagine that the boy paid. I imagine that the girl felt pretty good about making a nice hefty tab for the jerky boy. But who knows? Maybe the boy wasn’t a jerk at all. Maybe the boy was actually sweet and wondering how he got here to this place where this crazy girl that he was never even really dating and who was yell whispering at him about some wedding that he went to with his high school sweet heart and of course they were dating and how did she lure him here and oh god she knew where he lived because he had slept with her that one time after that show at his friends house. It had been a big mistake CLEARLY. Hadn’t his friends warned him? But he had tried 4 loko that night for the first time and didn’t even know he was so drunk, and it was probably okay, because he definitely wouldn’t have stayed awake at all had it not been for the caffeine, and yet, from what he does remember the sex wasn’t even very good and just sort of made him sad and miss said high school sweet heart.

But here he was with a weird bearded chicken wing eating New York Times reader, a chew with your mouth open old couple, a guy with a bloody nose and this crazy girl whose name he still had trouble remembering even though it sort of sounded like Tara…or Lara..or something. He didn’t know what to do except pay and try to get home, or maybe he should go to his buddy’s house where she had never been and ask to crash on the couch until he could figure out how to convince his housemates that this girl was trying to hurt him. Except she hadn’t and the whole time he was having these thoughts he was also thinking about what a jerk it made him and how probably this girl was just lonely, just like him and couldn’t he give her a chance. Except she had done that weird thing when they were fucking of staring intensely into his eyes and telling him she loved him….that was a little much. Also she had a rep. And he knew from his moms, that a rep was an anti feminist thing to consider about women, but it wasn’t a sexual rep really, it was more about the fact that she was crazy and attacked the girlfriend of someone he knew.

So he paid, and they left, and I shook my head back into reality, and they probably went home and had hipster make up sex or something, which is probably just like regular make up sex, but takes longer because when your jeans are that tight it must be a process to get your clothes off.

I do not finish my dinner. I do not finish my game of online scrabble. I do tip the waitress in an excessive way.

Thanks, Charlie’s for being just the way you are all the time.