Swimming at Sea

The hardest decision I want to have to make today is whether to buy a circular doughnut or a square doughnut. I’d say the square has more surface area, but the standard has a hole. A doughnut should have a hole, I think.

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I told you I’d be here, didn’t I?

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I did go home yesterday; I promise. I went home to eat Freezer Dinner at a table with 50% less chairs and to sort of sleep in an abandoned wing upstairs, save for one oversized king bed.

Have you ever slept in a king? I’m sleeping one now, because my queen is currently collapsed and en route to Portland, Oregon. It was in Middle of Nowhere, Indiana, the last I heard.

But anyway: King Bed Sleeping. I thought it felt vaguely like swimming at sea. High sea.

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I feel permanently nauseous. Looking at a salad that had me swooning a week ago makes me feel slightly sick.

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I wonder how long it will take for things to level off. I’m just trying to keep my head above water, for the next week. That’s all I’m trying to do. I’m not trying to cook anything fantastic, or take any beautiful pictures, or make any wonderful memories, or write anything worth keeping.

I’m letting myself off the hook there. I’m just trying to stay afloat. But I’ve discovered that I’m not above kicking my feet a little, while I try to do that. I’ve also realized that all of this fluttering back and forth is probably not helping me much, in my quest to feel less queasy. Rocking the boat makes bigger waves.

Maybe it’d be smart to work on steadying my breathing, instead. What do you think? In through my nose, out through my mouth. Or do I have that backwards? It doesn’t matter — all I’m really trying to do is focus on something that isn’t moving.

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Help me, please. I need help. I need you to point to something stationary, up on the horizon line that you’ve promised is not too far away. I know you’ve already done it once; I need you to do it again.

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“I drink four cups of coffee and then cry in the bathroom when I can’t stop shaking. There are birds in the backyard but I can’t hear them. When I say it’s cloudy, I don’t mean rain. I mean cotton in my ears and everything’s hazy. I mean I’m trying to push this darkness away but there’s nothing to put my hands on.” -A girl named Anne

“‘Plenty more fish in the sea,’ they’ll say, or ‘You’re better off without them,’ or ‘Do you want some of these potato chips?’ They never really understand. They don’t know the way things have been, the way that it’s made you, the way it has structured your world. They don’t understand the history, the background, don’t know the pillars of memory that hold you up. Ultimately, they don’t know you well enough, and they never can. You can send people letters and show them photos, but they can never come to visit where you live. Unless you love them. And then they can burn it down.” -Michael Marshall Smith, Only Forward

“I just hope that one day—preferably when we’re both blind drunk—we can talk about it.” -J.D. Salinger, Franny and Zooey Deschanel

“There is no such thing as a ‘broken family.’ Family is family, and is not determined by marriage certificates, divorce papers, and adoption documents. Families are made in the heart. The only time family becomes null is when those ties in the heart are cut. If you cut those ties, those people are not your family. If you make those ties, those people are your family. And if you hate those ties, those people will still be your family, because whatever you hate will always be with you.” -C. JoyBell C.

“Don’t let a hard lesson harden your heart.” -Unknown

“Just because two people are capable of deeply hurting each other over and over again does not make them passionate, star-crossed lovers. It makes them two people who keep doing terrible things to each other. Someone’s ability to make you completely and utterly soul-crushingly miserable does not mean they are a soul mate with some deep insight into your psyche. They are just someone who is really good at making you unhappy.” -Andrea Greb, You Are Not Blair Waldorf

“Leaving you behind was like having my arm amputated. I know it was bruised and broken and fucked up beyond repair and it needed to go, but it was still my fucking arm. It was still you.” -Katey Chrest, I Hope You Know This Changes Nothing

“To go it alone or to go with a partner… when you choose a partner you have to have compromises and sacrifices, but it’s the price you pay. Do I want to follow my every whim and desire as I make my way through time and space? Absolutely. But at the end of the day, do I need someone when I’m doubting myself and I’m insecure and my heart’s failing me? Do I need someone who, when the heat gets hot, has my back? I do.” -Kenneth, Safety Not Guaranteed

“We boil at different degrees.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

“We are at Stress Level: Hip Flask.” -Deb Perelman

“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” -Flannery O’Connor

“We write in darkness. We love in alleys. We breathe into beige paper bags. Anything to mollify the confusion. Anything to simplify the math.” -Bill Yarrow, Bees in the Eaves

“Love isn’t soft, like those poets say. Love has teeth which bite and the wounds never close.” -Stephen King

“Poetry is an echo, asking a shadow to dance.” -Carl Sandburg

“I read poetry, non-fiction, autobiographies, and short stories. I scan an advice column six times over. I flip through newspapers and grocery lists, but nothing says what I want it to. I do this — one day, two days, three days, four days — until I decide to put off searching for just a second. I pick up a notebook. I get myself a pen. I stare at it blankly — for one minute, two minutes, three minutes, four minutes — then write: Something tells me if I want my questions answered by what I’ve read, I’m going to have to write it myself.” -Lora Mathis, Did You Think It Was Going To Be Easy

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