everyone's happy to see the nice young men in their clean white coats

i am moving into a hippie commune with six other people who all share the organic bulgur! omgwtf! what am i doing! i am thirty-one years old and that is absolutely TOO old for these shenanigans! oh god oh god oh god and when i went there before it was like this huge, serene, peaceful house full of lovely sunny common space. and now it's like a turkish flea market but slightly less calm than that. there are all these subletters and one girl moved out for the summer and they all left their crap in the upstairs common space and nobody thought to be like "hey amy are you cool with this?" and you know...i don't think i'm cool with this!

and so i ended up sitting in the middle of what used to be my dining room floor because that for some reason was the only place in my apartment that was both getting cell phone reception AND within reach of an outlet, talking to k but really more like hysterically laughscreaming along the lines of "HAHAHAHAHAOHMYGOD WHATAMIDOING WHY DID YOU LET ME DO THIS?!?! YOU PEOPLE ARE SUPPOSED TO BE MY FRIENDS WHYDIDYOULETMEDOTHIS?!?! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA"

k said "if it's horrible i will help you move again"
and i said "that's the nicest thing you've ever said to me"

i am having a mental breakdown i swear.


postcard from the construction site

a.s came over and instead of packing i was like "try this lip color. okay now try this eyeshadow. okay now let me put eyeliner on you." bossy bossy me. and then i made her take a bunch of stuff away with her. less for me to move. if you want free stuff, just come hang out with me this week. yeah.

right now i'd rather be painting my nails. k says that i become particularly girly when i like a guy. versus liking a girl, or not liking anyone, i guess. the crush has faded a lot as natural opportunities for conversation have been minimal to nonexistant and i'm not really into creating them. but the girliness persists. metallic green eyeshadow.

right now i am not finished packing and i have to move saturday morning and nobody at the co-op is returning my calls or emails and i don't have keys yet and i just realized that g's pickup truck is really not going to be sufficient and uhaul isn't answering their phone either and ACK.

and it will go how it goes.

and i don't fully want to fall for anyone anyhow.
i've got papers to grade.
i've got a world to build.


signifieds butt heads with the signifiers

today i stayed home from work & slept for three hours on the couch in the middle of the day. it was delicious. i was cold but i had packed my couch blankets so i zipped myself up in my down sleeping bag and woke up sweaty and thirsty. i barely talked to anyone all day and that was exactly what i needed.

moving forces you to examine your stuff in a different light. do i need/want/use/like this enough to carry it to my new place? i have a large goodwill pile already, sweaters i haven't worn since i moved in two years ago and books i didn't even enjoy the first time, let alone foresee ever opening again.

old photographs are surprisingly easy to let go; the ones i keep are mainly family photos and mainly i keep them to avoid the guilt that would surely accompany throwing them away. when i look at old photographs, i often feel i'm examining someone else's life, and not really mine at all. it's disorienting. the important people and places i remember, because i was there. and i generally prefer the images of my mind's eye.

what i can't let go of are old journals and notebooks. they are juvenile and cringe-inducing, but apparently words, or whatever they contain and convey, are rather dear to me. i guess this is not a surprise.


nothing stays

when i moved into this place i was trying to make a girl happy. it didn't work out but then here i was, and here david was. and that didn't work out either but we spent so many days and nights here that this place will always feel a little like him. a little like us. him behind me with his arms around me while i was stirring something on the stove. pushing me back against the armoire. drunkenly crawling into my bedroom. brushing his teeth in a steamy bathroom with my towel wrapped around his waist. david playing my guitar in my livingroom for hours and dark hours. mostly i remember sitting on the couch with his head in my lap, just memorizing his face. now i'm past feeling sad about leaving all that behind. the dust of our relationship will stay here and i'll inhabit somewhere with new air.

it smells like cardboard in here.


symmetry and motion

my heather went & got married.

earlier in the day we had been in the room karen&i shared in our calistoga guest house, the three of us: heather, karen, and i. the dynamic trio. heather's back was to me but i could see her face reflected in the dressertop mirror as she did her makeup. karen was on the couch typing her part of our dinner toast into her laptop. i was sprawling on the bed feeling a little lazy and a little misty and thinking how lovely it all was and then a thought flashed. "it will never be like this again." and i started crying and at first i was doing it silently so as not to trouble them and then i thought...that's crazy, this is family. so i went over and put my arms around heather and cried and babbled incoherently a little, about how beautiful she looked, about how happy for her i was. and i was.

angwin was high-90's and we wedding party stood outside in our black dresses but it was less oppressive than i worried it would be. there was some shade, there were parasols. and we were there for a damn good reason. everything that could have gone wrong...didn't. even the microphone behaved for k's&my toast...though not so much at other times. some people told me i made them cry and there's a symmetry to that, i suppose.

now i am tired and a bit sad but in a forward-moving life-is-changing kind of way. changes are hard, because when something new comes down the road, inevitably something old is lost. not people, but a dynamic maybe. things will never be quite the same again...and you know? things were pretty good. even if i didn't always see how good they were. let that be a lesson to me, i guess.

i am moving on saturday.
time to pack.


written on the occasion of my best friend's wedding.
(delivered as part of my toast)

heather, recently i remembered that i used to call you "sugarbeet." i guess now i have to change that to "mrs. sugarbeet." but remembering that nickname made me think about how special our friendship has been to me. without you, i wouldn't even be the person i am today. in recent years i've shared all of my important moments with you...and most of my unimportant ones, too. i could stand up here talking all night about how much i love you, and why, and i still wouldn't be close to telling the whole story. so i'll just say this: a very few times in life, if you're lucky, someone comes along who has the power to change your heart. for me, you are that person.


something like forgiveness

i said maybe i'll call you when i get back from italy and that was a month and a half ago and i haven't called. and i haven't wanted to call. but i am starting to some days, and some days i still want to say i hate you. i want to say you should have been careful damnit. you, of all people, should have been careful with me, of all people. you knew what would happen and you told me but sometimes telling isn't enough. sometimes you have to back your words up with something more, something with weight and force.

then sometimes, more often lately, i want to call and say...thank you. and the feeling would drip across the wires and taste like truth. thank you for showing me things. simple things i should have known. how to create. how to entertain, tell a story. show myself to people. thank you because until i saw how i lit you up i wasn't aware of what i now know is mine, all the time mine, sometimes even in bed with eyes closed it's there and i'm never alone because you're still with me in some way. the "you" that was you, all lit up there inside the "me" that was me. whether it's really you or not doesn't even matter, not anymore. what we gave each other connects us in ways even we probably don't understand yet.

for all the silly tender angry longing hopeful tragic days.
for catalyzing my discovery of love, of life, of self.
even for making me go. because now the road in front of me is clear.

thank you.


what i want to ask

the screening process becomes more involved as you become more experienced. the shadow of deep hurt is indelible and this plays into it as well. there is a lot to be said for savoring the getting-to-know process, but it is hard to do that when you're up against uncertainty. it is hard to be slow and to let things unfold as they will. and yet there's no other choice, really...

things i would like to ask him.
premature questions about something that doesn't exist yet, and may never.
(places i don't want to go again.)

1. are you an alcoholic?
2. are you mean?
3. will you resist this?
4. will you take more than you give?
5. will you give more than i want?
6. will you make your happiness my responsibility?
7. will you hurt me?
8. will you fear me?
9. will you tire of me?

10. what is it? and what will it be?



5. you can't uncook an egg.

beautiful & strange

1. "no drugs...i need food...and sleep...and a mud bath...and a hooker...and some pomegranate juice...and a man named monroe to offer me three thousand dollars to bring him a sandwich...and a slow boat to malta...and dinah washington's disembodied voice to sing me to sleep...and maybe, just maybe, a really good mystery novel that never ends because the only mystery is why it can't end..."

2. i might get to work as a reader this summer session for the class i loved last summer. the one that convinced me to do this whole mad thing.

3. h: "ok yea, he's way worthy of a crush"

4. i already knew that.