January 24, 2012: Deer. CWE 114

Blue and yellow beer signs blinked in the windows of the liquor store, and patrons swept the cold air into small hot piles with the burning tips of their cigarettes. Open flashed in red script in the window of the pizza shop. Bells clinked and light fell in a triangle across the pebbled sidewalk each time the door opened. The parking lot was covered in long swaths of dirty yellow light, and white light from moving headlights pulled around the corners of parked cars. Smoke curled out of tailpipes and blew out of the open door to the pizza shop. It streamed from cigarettes and hung in small clouds in front of gray faces. 

A school for delinquent boys sat up on a low hill across the three lane highway. The black sky hadn’t shaken out the cold, deep blue left over from the day. A round moon lay flat against the sky, and it dropped tunnels of light across the hill. Deer crowded the lawn. Their backs cut straight lines against the sky, and their heads faded when they bent to eat. They lifted their small feet and made slow, quiet movements. At least fifty deer stood nearly motionless on the lawn in front of the boys’ jail, rooting for grass on a wintry night.


January 23, 2012: Green. CWE 113

So lame to do a list again, but I had dental work done and I’m a little strung out on painkillers so…

  1. Grass
  2. Weed
  3. The eyes I wish I’d been born with
  4. Dandelion stems are light green tubes.
  5. Pears
  6. Apples. I don’t like green apples. They make my teeth squeak.
  7. Christmas trees
  8. Jealousy
  9. Lima beans, which I love.
  10. Mung beans. Also love.
  11. Our front door.  And the green wreath with the green ribbon on it looks ridiculous since everything is green.
  12. My favorite ribbon
  13. Smoothies
  14. Chard, broccoli, lettuce
  15. Asparagus
  16. Fresh bunny hay
  17. The wall in our dining room. I despise it.
  18. The cord that holds Christmas tree lights
  19. Oscar the Grouch
  20. Money that I don’t have

January 22, 2012: Things that disturb me. CWE 112

  1. The sympathy shown to Joe Paterno. I certainly feel sorry for his family today. We are all flawed and they lost a father/grandfather/husband today, but I feel most sorry for…
  2. …the boys who were abused. And it disturbs me that more people aren’t vocal about their sadness for the boys and their outrage at what happened.
  3. It also disturbs me that more people don’t seem to get the OWS movement. Certainly there are flaws with the movement, but my God, we have a faulty system in place.
  4. On a lighter note, it disturbs me that we haven’t had a snowstorm yet this year.
  5. Our poor, crumbling tree is still up.
  6. Sometimes I think I like and respect myself less, not more, as I get older.
  7. I’m saddened that we don’t have children yet, but I know things will be okay.
  8. My case of trypophobia disturbs me.
  9. It’s Sunday night and that dIsturbs me. My anxieties about work disturb me regularly.
  10. It disturbs me that I don’t enjoy life more than I do. I wish that I did. I’m working on it.

January 21, 2012: Gold. CWE 111

  1. Rings
  2. Buckles
  3. Coins
  4. Sunsets
  5. Fall leaves
  6. Jewelry
  7. Some hearts
  8. Brads
  9. Staples
  10. Collars on and filaments in lightbulbs
  11. Hose attachments and nozzles
  12. The carpet I was standing on tonight
  13. Some people’s teeth/crowns
  14. A king or queen’s crown
  15. The writing on Katie’s shirt
  16. Grommets
  17. Anniversaries
  18. Buttons on jeans
  19. Doorknobs and hinges
  20. Zippers

January 19, 2012: Girls, take two. CWE 109

Mary’s house shakes itself down to the ground each night. It is the sort of house where everyone stumbles. The girls bump into walls when they walk down hallways, and sneezes send them flying down the stairs. The house is a garden, and roses are always in bloom across the sisters’ cheeks and bottoms.

The three sisters catch the light like the wet flesh of a ripe peach cut into slices. Down flutters along their jaws. They are cut from the same cloth. When they are lined up on the sofa at night to watch TV, they smell like a bowl of fruit in a warm kitchen.

Mary twists powdery silver paper from sticks of gum into small curls and puts them in the creamer of her tea set. She is a strange bird of a child. A pair of wings flaps along her spine, and her bones are a pile of toothpicks. She does not play with her sisters. She rocks in her bedroom. She swings on the swing set in the backyard at the bottom of the hill by the barn. She thinks about about the plastic family that lives in the dollhouse in her bedroom. In her best daydream, the family goes canoeing and the green canoe tips. The family walks out of the river with their clothes sticking to their bodies, lifting their knees high while their hair streams and droplets of water swing from their eyelashes. The canoe floats into a vase of light spread on the river’s surface as the sun sinks.

Rosie is the loud sister. She laughs like she’s holding a sparkler tight in each hand. Her brown hair is cut into a bowl. You will never see her ears. She is missing four front teeth. When she smiles, her tongue flicks out of the gap and lifts the light.

Rosie has a temper and she sits astride a cannon when she’s angry, the palm of each foot resting on a wheel. She carries a pouch of gunpowder at her side.

Sandy’s nose is dotted with freckles, and her face bears the sign of the cross. She has a deep widow’s peak and a pointed chin, and her cheeks are marked with flushed red knobs.

The neighborhood passes stories about Mary’s family from one mother to the next over the dairy case in Acme. “I don’t know what goes on in that house, but Jimmy said the police were there last Tuesday night. Those little girls,” Aileen tutted and fingered the lid of the sour cream.

The sisters scan his face. Their minds work like an accountant’s. They run numbers and analyze data. Their record books are private, and they do not compare figures.

January 18, 2012: Write a complaint from a headache to a head. CWE 108

You’re mad at me. You’re convinced that I dropped in to fuck up your day.  I did not.  I did not drop by to fuck up your day. On the contrary, you are ruining my day, and truth be told, my day sucked far worse than yours before we even got out of bed. You’re so worried about your pain that it doesn’t even occur to you to think about mine. You hurt right now. You may hurt for another hour or two. I hurt constantly. All the time. My breathing never slows. My eyes never stop watering and burning. I am nauseous constantly. My knees are always weak. My forehead is a constant slick of cold sweat. My temples beat deeply, drilled in with plastic, serrated knives. This is every goddamned minute of the day for me. So you can hate me and curse me all you want because I fucking loathe myself. I’d like to jump myself off a bridge into a shallow riverbed littered with pointy stones. But you know what, jerkface? I’d push your ass off before me. Because you’re the one keeping me here with your stress and your late nights and lack of sleep and your shitty diet and your seven Dogfish Heads before bed and your two hour crying jag over your pussified broken heart. If you would take a few goddamned deep breaths and do some yoga and eat some kale, you could release me like a sharp breath on a white, puffy dandelion head. All my pieces would let loose of the center and float off across some peaceful prairie. If you let me go, I’ll break into a million little pieces.