Monday, November 27, 2006

tired of temporary

Checking in on one of my regular reads, I came upon an unexpected goodbye post. My initial instinct was to join in with the audience, clamouring to come up with unique ways of saying, 'no, please stay', 'say it ain't so', but then I saw that there was nothing original left for me. Still, I wondered if I should just say something, anything, to weight the numbers for a return, but instead I closed the window.

Why just drop it like that? Why can't anything feel permanent? Why does it matter so much to me? When this blogger threw 'jump the shark' out there, I drew back like I'd touched something unexpectedly hot.

I too could say goodbye on this blog today. I thought about it for a moment, but not in any sort of real way. More like the way I tease myself sometimes while waiting for the subway with the idea that I could, at any given moment, decide to jump in front of the train. I mean, people do. It is physically possible. The only thing separating me from that is choice.

If I decided to end it - the blog I mean, maybe a couple people would say, 'ah c'mon...stick around'. At least one would say, 'it is what it is', or some variation of that. I guess I'm angry at how easily I could dissapear. You'd let me go that easy. Don't get me wrong - if I thought I couldn't get away, I wouldn't be able to breath. The existence of choice is what makes things bearable.

In life and in blogging, people make their exits for different reasons. Some people go for the drama. Others worry their time is running out and they want to beat it to the punch. I'm sure there are a million more reasons. I want guarantees. I want you to say, don't worry Rachel, I'm not going anywhere. You can count on me. At the very least I want to know you'll be around for a while - long enough for me to soften my shoulders, take my coat off, and relax.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

ground hog day

“Did you know that there are groundhogs in the city, just loose?”, I asked without looking up.

“No, I never really thought about it.”

That was me trying to make conversation on Friday afternoon. I've been in that office for too long. Somedays I find every conversation irritating. I wanted to avoid questions directed at me, like 'so what are you doing this weekend', so that's how I duck.

I saw a groundhog in a backyard in the middle of the city this summer. Here I thought they only came out on February 1st to tell us if winter would soon be over.

'No', she told me. She's never really thought about it. Surprise surprise. She's not a good mental match for me. I'm not talking intellect, cause she could probably out-statistically analyze me any day. I'm talking interpersonal relations. Everyone can't be everything for everyone at all times but sometimes it comes down to a friend as a kind of mirror. There are some who leave you seeing yourself in ways you can live with. Others leave you with a bad taste in your mouth. Friday I had the bad taste.

I'm just waiting out the monotony. Waiting for inspiration. Waiting to make my move. I've let things stagnate. Too much sentimentality isn't a good thing. It's like my Ipod. I only have so much space and so If I don't turn over some music, try something new, someone new, I'll be left with a soundtrack of stale songs. It'll be 2020 and I'll still be listening to Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.

So this morning I used that analogy and took it literally. Sometimes you need to start with the most concrete approach. I went through my music and cleaned house. I took care of that business. It seemed like a good place to start.

I can't get enough Blue October. I also like Gwen Stefani's new release. I like almost anything she does. NO ONE else could get away with that yodeling shit. Jay-z's new CD? I'm undecided. Metric - love it.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

close call

The rockstar shakes his head
Trying not to smile.
"Your quirky", he tells me.
"That's what I like about you."
The lawyer always looked confused
When I was
With a moment
A tree
A smell
A painting
An encounter
He was at a loss for words
If you can imagine that.
A lawyer at a loss for words.
Not irritated
Not inpatient
Just confused.
He had a subtle way of overlooking me
In the most important places.
I carried it for a while
But it's a lot to swallow, you know.
And it's heavy to hold on the tongue.
I was relieved
Instantly that night
When he left my apartment
Which begs the question
Why don't I listen
To my inner voice?
Maybe because the same voice
Tells me things like
Don't sit out alone
On the rooftop patio.
A killer might be waiting
To throw you over the edge.
Or the ever so popular
'Something's not right'
And the 'I've got a bad feeling about this'
'This' being just about anything.
And so in my case
Filtration is a challenge.
Pushing the voice aside
The doubt
The fear
The guilt
As I've had to learn to do
I tried to imagine
He was the one I was waiting for
And I just needed to look in the right place
In the right way
So I tried to get at him
Like a dentist with a drill.
But when I got down to the gums
I saw there was nothing.
All the while
Offering myself to him
In manageable portions.
I’m enough for a farmer’s field.
Lush earth
Silent at the surface
Teeming at the core.
In the end
I smiled and sat down next to him
As if to brush the conflict aside.
None of that matters anymore
I said without saying.
I topped up our glasses
Knowing his would still be there
When he left and
I placed the palm of my hand
On the back of his head.
As if to commemorate
The best
Of a narrow selection.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

persistent green

I walk through campus
Past students weighted down
With backpacks
Spectacled professors
And their brown leather briefcases
Everyone going where
They need to go.
It's November
And I know
If I could get some distance
From this place
From the autumn wind
The wet leaf smell
The brilliant reds and mustards
The boys playing rugby
On a persistent green field
Against a grey sky
If I could just get some distance
I know I could love it.
Maybe I already do.
Just then
I'm hit
With an image
Of me walking
With two small children
Maybe a girl and a boy.
"This is where Mommy went to school"
I am telling them
"And then worked for so many years.
See this?
This is where I walked every day.
It still looks exactly the same."

Friday, November 17, 2006

breaking news

Remember that wish I made in the last post to have a moment alone? Well, I guess you could say I'm officially one step closer.

New guy/lawyer - out of the picture.

from the islands with love

"I don't understand why you women here are so focused on what you eat. In my country men like their women big."

Coming from a frustrating doctor's appointment this afternoon I was in no mood when I walked into the lab for bloodwork. The woman taking my blood pressed her fingers along my forearm, searching for a good vein.

"A little bigger is beautiful", she continued, "like you".

Oh no she didn't.

"You're beautiful", she continued. "So beautiful, but your veins are invisible."

She was silent for a moment but I didn't look up. I couldn't. I imagine her face would have been set in concentration - focused on her task.

"Perfect", I said. "Just perfect". It was exactly what I didn't need to hear today.

She didn't seem to notice.

"Well, I can't SEE them, but they're here", she added. "I can feel them".

If only she was as skilled at sensing feelings.

I used to be a scrawny kid. I stayed thin through high school and university, but in my mid-twenties I put on some weight. I remember the days when I was 114 pounds and I thought I was fat. Now I'm 5 ft 6, 145 lbs and a size 10. Deep down I know I could stand to lose some weight but part of the reason why I was so thin before was because I didn't always eat. It's hard for me to figure out a way to limit myself safely. I try not to go back to that place in my mind. What I really want to do is carve my body like a fucking turkey, but that's never good. I guess I've had my head in the sand on this one so maybe I needed that. Thanks bahamian bee-otch.


Anyway, I was thinking just now, If I could have a moment alone, without the lawyer, the rockstar, the girls at work, the students, my boss, my friends, my family... If I could have that moment alone I could probably get more writing done, but then it would be the summer all over again and I would be miserably prolific. What's worse?

Saturday, November 11, 2006


I'm waiting for my clothes to dry
With the television on mute.
I'm pale and tired.
The woman upstairs is moving furniture
And it leaves me on edge.
I should straighten things up
Around here
I say out loud
As I drop my t-shirt on the floor and
Step into the shower.
I think of the other night
Sitting with him on the couch
Watching him watch the news.
I wonder if I've lost my voice.
To prove to you that I haven't
I write this while I wait
For him to pick me up.
Maybe tonight
I'll drink more wine than I should
To prove to myself
That I'm still here.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

wafer thin mint

I've been writing
But nothing seems ready.
Nothing seems quite right.
I cannot have another bite.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

happy bee

"Wow, look at you", I told her, crouching to her level. "What a great little bumble bee you are!"

She smiled, eyes wide.

"That's my Mama", she told me, breathing audibly with excitement, pointing toward the sidewalk where a woman stood smiling.

"That's my Mom", she corrected herself.

Her shoulders moved up and down, still breathing loudly.

"Her name's Sandra."

"Hi Sandra." I waived at the women.

"Ok Hannah, let's keep moving", her mother chucked. "Say thank you."

She stood a moment longer, breathing and grinning.

All I could think was, now THAT's happy.