I’m so bored with myself. And now I’m going to pout about it in a public medium. I’m artsy-fartsy but more of the latter as of late. I’m not making anything. I haven’t cried, I haven’t bled, I haven’t danced in 6 months. I’m bored! I feel like I should take up smoking just to feel cool. I want to sell all of my stuff and only keep the non-essentials…a glasses repair kit, an ice bucket, some ribbon and the cats of course. I’m so uninteresting I don’t even wear glasses. My face is just a face. All cheeks and lip. I want a reason to take a train. I want to wear hats but not really. I just want to be a person who can pull off hats, but not wear them just to keep you wanting. I feel like I should do something with brick or yarn or both. I want to be named Francis. I want to only wear dresses from now on. Maybe that will be the project. Only dresses for a year. I want to only eat food that I make in my kitchen but I also want to eat well. I refuse to learn how to cook. Something with brick and ribbon and yarn. I want to be 30. I want to be rich in New York. I want to write a children’s book for adults or an adult book for children. Or Cat Porn: a book of fish. I maybe need to sell my cats. Never. I want to read more. I WANT TO READ MORE. I want to surprise you.
January is a big birthday month at our house. Mine is the 11th, Ben’s is the 25th, which means after Christmas and New Years and birthday tidings, we are spent in every aspect of the word. Hence I haven’t written a thing in days. Hence I have about $8 in the bank. High fives all around.
Would delve into my big plans for February, and likely discuss its asinine spelling, but it’s lunch time and I have $8 to throw around.
Having Red: An Ode to Anne Carson
She has a man
A kind of spine
I want the same
Red or blue
Bent blue it seems
Like blue fin
Like blue eggs from a neighbor
You would be the bow
Poet in an airport
Worth a pat down
Down and blue
To say a world
A man wasn’t red
Book 1: chicken run
Book 2: apple of Peru
names me mitten
hooks my neck
Book 3: sugar snap pea
A long list of easy things that I HAVE to do and can’t bring myself to:
-go to the DMV to update my last name on my DL…I’m a Lauffer now, but the DMV is still a hell-scape!
-contact my credit card companies to do the same…usually I avoid them
-mail out remaining thank you cards from my wedding 6 months ago…I’m an ass, I know, but they are written and sealed, and the gratitude is still swarming in my heart, but I need stamps and I hate the post office…another hellish nightmare full of flickering fluorescent bulbs and bad haircuts
-mail out wedding gifts to two of my friends from high school…again, the post office…I think it makes most of its money off of twenty-somethings getting married…my summer will likely be spent in line there for this very reason
-fill up my coffee cup…this one may actually happen
-take my cats to the vet for a check up…Miles has a bunky eye that needs to be looked at by a professional rather than swabbed at and fretted over by his terrible caretakers and if I’m going to torture one of them with a trip to the vet, I may as well torture both. Sorry, Lu.
-go grocery shopping…but that entails picking out something to wear to Whole Foods that doesn’t make me look like a peasant…everyone in there wears yoga pants that cost more than my car
-submit some poetry…because I tell people I’m a poet and I need some publications to back that up
-read some poetry…I’m running a contest for a local lit mag and the submissions have surged and the stack just reminds me that I am not submitting so instead I eat sandwiches…how many is too many sandwiches in one day?
-go for a run…ha! See wardrobe excuse for grocery shopping and sandwich response above
-take some jackets to the dry cleaners…I have literally never done this in my adult life and so I’m embarrassed and wholly intimidated by the starch options
-take some packing peanuts to UPS…Ben’s mom mailed us an antique lamp for Christmas and thus 2 tons of pink packing peanuts came with it…I think the peanuts complement the lamp in our living room nicely…Ben does not agree
-clean out my car…but it’s parked at the bottom of 18 steps from my front door which is like 5 steps from my couch so that’s like, 23 steps we’re talking about
-end this list
Is it telling or just endearingly morbid that my favorite book is In Cold Blood—that I devour pages of familial massacre and woebegone culprits almost on a yearly, sometimes monthly, basis and that I wonder equally at the inhumanity of the true crime as I do at the poetic insight and meticulousness with which Capote wrote it? Telling of what, I don’t know, but I didn’t realize that revisiting the book, as I have done secretly for years, meant that it was my favorite. Paul, my very best friend, enlightened me on his latest visit when I literally confessed my fascination, that favorite was indeed the word to use. He’s absolutely right, as he so often is. It’s an abused book with dog-earred corners and giving pages. Because I have always been one to spill, the cover rolls up at the bottom right corner having dried in an awkward but most welcoming flit. I struggle with this revelation. I struggle with the fact that the story actually happened, the Clutters were actually murdered in their home; that is certainly a facet of my interest and I fear makes me a looky-loo of the highest and most grotesque order.
And then I rediscover a passage like this:
But neither Dick’s physique nor the inky gallery adorning it made as remarkable an impression as his face, which seemed composed of mismatching parts. It was as though his head had been halved like an apple, then put together a fraction off center. Something of the kind had happened; the imperfectly aligned features were the outcome of a car collision in 1950—an accident that left his long-jawed and narrow face tilted, the left side rather lower than the right, with the result that the lips were slightly aslant, the nose askew, and his eyes not only situated at uneven levels but of uneven size, the left eye being truly serpentine, with a venomous, sickly-blue squint that although it was involuntarily acquired, seemed nevertheless to warn of bitter sediment at the bottom of his nature.
This man is a murderer, but beautifully described by a genius.
I read, and reread, and in my spare time doodle sweaty guys in robes for a laugh.
My oldest brother thinks I’m depressed.
Here’s a drawing of my cat:
By popular demand…sorry, mom.
As a means to redeem (or quite possibly further bury) myself, here are some old poems of mine that are somehow fitting…though his robe is not.
Sex is not silvery slender.
We do it under
a moonstruck moon.
it’s the same chow pigs do.
though we like to pretend.
that class has done wonders.
I wonder at the grinding hinges.
Ribs must lust after tibias,
femur after fibula—despite
Slim-pickin’s for them lonely bones.
There’s so much pink that divides us.
No, no, you are not meant to turn it.
Remember how I said I wasn’t an adult yet? Well, I bought another couch. I guess whatever part of the brain is responsible for delayed gratification has yet to develop. The hippocampus? I don’t actually know; I just like that word. I always picture hippos at summer camp…their weird nubbin toes struggling with friendship bracelets and gimp. Inevitably someone does an unprecedented cannonball into the lake. In any event, I bought a couch. It was cheap and ugly too! Army green and already covered in cat hair, but it is a sensible scale for our little love nest, seats three people and two cats, and has cushion for your tushion. Yes, I just invented the word tushion…that just happened. Admittedly, as embarrassing as that is to have in writing, I may be less proud of my use of the phrase “love nest”. That’s always seemed like an apt euphemism for pubic hair. Something a sweaty guy wearing a robe might say. Gross.
I hate my couch. It is a placeholder of course. I am 28, recently married, and thus in that limbo space between childhood (when one doesn’t dream of her future couch) and adulthood (when one owns the couch of her dreams though never actually dreamt). So the couch is somewhat a microfiber metaphor for my in-between-ness. A metaphor because I am brooding and complex, not flippant or whiny…
The couch exists in our living room by necessity. You see, when we moved into our new apartment our old couch had to change roles and now stars as the “guest bed.” Fancy, I know. Naturally, I began to scour Craiglsist to find a replacement, and without measurements, nor foresight, I bought this beaut for 200 bucks. It had been playing the role as “stand-in” stage furniture for a real estate company. The picture boasted a “regal” high-back frame and throw pillows like that found in a Parisian salon, the kind of place with fringe on the lampshades and accordion music wafting through the windows. Naturally, “throw pillows not included.”
At 10pm that evening Ben and I found ourselves maneuvering the “like new” couch up our front steps. 18 steps precisely. Including a fun left turn off the narrow platform the leads to our neighbor’s front door. It was like a scene from I Love Lucy. Ben nailed Ricky’s Latin temper with ease, while I perfected Lucy’s weak-armed befuddlement—WAHHHHH—our marriage was over before it began.
Me: This is literally the heaviest thing I have ever lifted.
Somehow an hour and a half later, our marriage had survived, and the couch was permanently jammed into our living room. It was at this point we realized…it was far too big for our far too small apartment. Its “regal” high back and arms invaded the wall and doorway. It did come with some pillows, but they were meaty and characterless. Not a whiff of the French salon. The whole look was swollen, heavy, and said “I am here, I am beige, get used to it.” Though its aesthetic is wholly Martha Stewart, its attitude is all Niecy Nash with head bobs and snaps. Ben was seething, but soon we were sitting, eating cheese, making the best of it.
So here comes that metaphor. The couch is a giant, tangible, $200 limbo. It is neither progress nor setback, but rather, a necessary placeholder as we are in the making. We are no longer children, but we are certainly not adults. Adulthood, it seems, is a process of endless incremental changes; so, daunting as fuck. I am literally daunted by sitting because the couch is a constant reminder that we (well, I, if I am feeling egotistical and honest) am not a finished product, not even close. I require a lifetime of effort and energy and ultimately will never be finished. It is an exhausting notion: identity, or some form of completion rather, is an eternal, unattainable project…and I am garbage at logistics.