The title came to me driving home. From the night, slipping through the open window. Like someone had whispered it to me. Orion always looking down.
– nuclear energy needs a rebranding
– the man who killed 40,000 elephants, an examination of holistic land management and regret
– what should I do with all these grocery bags?
– mycelium myriad, or why I’m going to buy a mushroom farm
– community recycling initiatives, a reminder that my brother is the engineer of the family
– but the sea turtles! a reasonable quick guide for plastic straw reduction during shitty meals at Carrabba’s
– plant grass, get water
– plastic-eating algae and a reason to talk to my ex
– maybe don’t eat at Chick-fil-A anymore
– keep on keeping on: a career in transforming behavioral healthcare access
late at night
reading a book and the passage rearranges itself into your name,
always a question mark at the end.
I never could read The Bell Jar
or listen to Fever 103 again.
remember how you squeezed my hand when they pushed the needle in? you left the shop with wings and never looked back.
I still see the green of your eyes.
Taiwan with work folks. FJ boxing. Talking about friendship with Emily as the puppy runs around. Carpool and he’s driving. G asking about C and putting a straw in a can.
Surfing, group vacation. Drinking weird soda.
Cougar in the snow. Jax watching the deer.
Wildcat and I at Nanna’s old house in the snow. Talking TST technology. Tattoos and seaweed on ramen.
Maybe Bourdain was just sick.
Man having a seizure, trying to kill the other volleyball player. Bruce Willis’ new movie. Trying to get a plant to stay on the window sill. Aladdin?
Token at the pharmacy for cough medicine.
Gilmore Girls. Shotgun. Painting the trim the wrong color.
AS traveling and I’m alone at the house. Learn to draw kit. Visiting Harvard. The paper crane flying around the Microsoft building. Taxi driver singing too loud.
Huck fell off the bed.
Nashville. Glow-in-the-dark gummy bears. Reception hall and Austin is there with someone new. Wearing a marker that says Glad I didn’t marry him.
Typhoid Fever at an old island resort. Swimming to the inn. Back on a boat to the mainland with Padre. Vanderbilt football game. Terms and condition sheet with O. Sunshine helping me up with the camera bag.
Cheating on Luke. Watching the new Avengers. Flat tires and going to Costco. Secret doors in the ceiling. Picking at the agave plant in the booze section. Paying too much for tires. The checkout guy with his niece and nephew. Talking about language. AS was there.
Madre’s new house. Talking about the school system with Wildcat. Movie theater with individual speakers. Tall grass outside.
Auction at a boat marina. Storm coming and trying to get the children inside. The little girl pulled into the tornado. Avoiding snakes and bears. Locking doors behind me.
Luke as raptor trainer. Invisibility cloak. Jake speeding down the highway.
Abuse. Working at the lab at school. Couple trying to steal Renny.
New York, Padre watching the dogs. Broach and Wildcat in graduate literature class.
Beach with a trained polar bear. Dad throwing the squirrel into the ocean. Bug bites.
Getting the poster signed at the diner. A lion behind the chain link.
Diner with Jake and Padre. Bank robbery with Amy Adams and Vision. Rare coin collection and the fake $100s. Amy Adams in the faceless mask. Women in gold jewelry.
Flying, hiding my car.
School, training, accident. FJ coming to check on me later. Tipper golf talk, going through gate security in Germany.
A Quiet Place nightmare with Bo Jackson and Jessica Chastain.
Lit meeting. Jailbreak. Ice skating.
Pregnancy dream. The neighbors complaining about the barking. Needle in my thigh.
On the run with a girl. Cavern/jail underground. The large man helping us find a place to sleep.
Getting ready for Sam’s wedding. Angry with Austin. Trying on dresses with Wildcat. Trying to order around a lobster tour group. “Soft seas and big lobsters.” Spiderweb trying to get to the bathroom.
Chariots. Atlantis. Absorbing the bomb.
D in the car talking to her kids. T and I going to downtown ATL for the festival. Hitting the guys who were being jerks. Ordering battery juice and gin, throwing it in their faces. Scrambling over foam rooftops. Hiding in the bathroom, a couple in the next stall.
Ben Hur concert with Madre, but Dad brought Martha and friends along.
Babysitting the little girls. Walking to school.
Fat guy. Bear nose.
Who runs the world? Karaoke with work folks. Madre mad at me.
Swimming in the aquarium – Kraken man, the shark eating the orca.
DMV guys stepping on my shirt; elbowing him in the face. The apartment next to the skate shop. Ferret in the sun. Splitting the body suit down the middle.
Seals and alligators. The city rising above the clouds. D explaining about electrons and Dark Places. Figuring out who sleeps where at the Airbnb next to the cemetery.
Having lunch with the poet. Padre driving drunk, taking an Uber instead who used to stalk Wildcat.
Huck and scent work at school.
Camping near the beach. Potatoes in the fire. Guys hitting the truck. Walking around town at the market. T’s house and it’s empty.
Horses drowning at the lake.
Thai food with Madre. Magic fountain and Renny and trespassing. AS in the corner and visiting the house in Marietta. Huck killing the mice and Teresa talking about the new Delta seats.
Quiet Place monsters in ice. People escaping through black-glass trees. The real monster is human.
The sick man died. Closing the garage door.
Left at the altar. CPR for baby Henry. The dolphin in the water up on the mountain road. Ants in the kitchen.
More Quiet Place. The panic room with Padre. Wonder Woman at the party.
Touring houses with Madre. For sale with the spiral staircase. Huck fighting with the Rottweilers.
Dangerous Game Club; the suits of armor fighting. Watching the soccer game in Nashville.
Festival, waiting on C & P at Maepole. Spray-paint on my wrist.
Work with old vball coach. Taking the intern out for ice cream. Fighting with the other woman.
Hostage situation, but I’m in intruder. The bathroom with all of the Beyoncé lyrics.
Work retreat with all of the men. Dancing, bachelor style. The grand opening of the seed & farm store. R, Hugh Jackman, AS.
Mountain house with the dogs. Wolves outside. Bathroom time machine. The boys searching for me in the grass. Having to say goodbye.
Small town festival with Mom & Dad. Fishing in a dress but the line broke. Cards to Madre and avoiding boys. Dad trying to make amends.
Movie about a seedy chop shop/auto repair setup run by Kevin Costner. The kid from Whiplash and Mrs. Anderson with his parents dying, his mother stabbed under the plastic. Signing off on scrambled brains. Was this a movie?
Breaking them up. G drunk and crying. Driving for pizza. The couple dancing out by the pool. Putting rotten fish oil in her car. Going to the office with them the next day. Rollerblading back. Practicing headstands.
Game of Thrones dragons, but cartoons.
Buying the brick townhouse downtown. P sick from food. Wildcat dressing up dolls. The dogs running around. Meeting the counselor. The panoramic screens in the hotel.
Sheets. The house up on the hill. Conspiracy theory. Trying to make it to the meeting. Betrayal. Angelina Jolie?
House-sitting for the teacher and his wife.
Padre telling me I’m not his while Madre takes a smoke break. Woke up crying.
Wildcat applying for a job with the woman at BLVD. The blonde says something that cuts and I hang her upside down on the wall.
Cat hotel with FJ. So sad. Can’t eat anything. The French army trying to get into Nanna’s house.
Working in London. Swimming laps with Camille. Shower and meeting work folks.
Chattanooga family trip. Staying at the house with the lazy river. Lady Greer.
Airbnb with Dad and Martha. Martha keeps throwing my sunglasses out the window. Rabbits and crickets in the back bush. Trying to meet up with AS and his new partner. Cold front moving in. Visiting the museum in Wyoming with Martha, but the welcome center is full of pictures of me and Madre from a previous trip I don’t remember. Pictures with the Deans and Sunshine. Madre shows up. The serial killer wanted posters (thinking of Wildcat) and the giant, cold grapes hanging off the vines.
Apartment with the plants and the building starts coming down. Living with the sister. DB inviting me to his show the same night as the Weezer concert. Swinging at the park. Madre telling us we’ll be on the move for Christmas and New Years since the Nazis are invading. Hiding out in the little clearing in the tent.
Saving Madre. Calling 911 for pick-up in a yellow rescue plane, but I have alcohol poisoning and can’t keep from vomiting. Picking up Old Navy leggings for cents and then fainting.
Old Argentinian movie theater. Watching Pretty in Pink “the smart girl!” – using my old Nokia phone to take pictures. Keep getting a message that I can convert my Indian currency to dollars.
Water polo in a marble building. Going on a boat cruise after the hurricane, trying to navigate through detritus. Boat falling and I jump out before it hits the water. Pulling screaming people out. The captain is trying to abduct us.
Group trip with AS. His brother being an asshole to both of us. Sweating through my hat and cooking black beans.
Bass fishing and there’s something else in the water. Mom and Dad fighting. Dad is Aqua Man or King Titan? Splits the sea to find her. Something funny but sad.
John K, sweet whiskey and his mother’s perfume.
Volleyball team and playing in my underwear. Cleaning out the garbage disposal at C&P’s. The puppy and kitten playing round and round.
Work trip at a Euro hotel. Checking out the spa with O. Bear outside in the snow (Yellowstone). Prepping for an earthquake.
Forced to sell the Athens house. Leaving everything in the dust. The women saying hello to the Aussies.
Attacked by ghost-Flubbers (Ghostbusters) with Padre.
Experiment: Girl upside down in a box. Slits.
Hawkeye saving me. His family is dead.
Cruse’s Lit class, talking about Prince Caspian’s fall. Getting sucked in and running from the King with a lion’s head.
Obstacle course to fight Jigsaw at the end. Kissing High Jackman for good luck (and also because I made it farther than he did).
Homecoming in a purple dress (flashback).
AS and writing in the mansion. The flood and the gators coming after us. Protecting the dogs.
New Avengers movie, but it’s just a long trailer for the Biomutant game. Scaling up a waterfall. Waiting for the real Avengers to arrive and replace the fake actors. Each of the god groups opening up the afterlife and welcoming folks home. Lots of crying. Sam from I Am Legend. Everyone else knew it was just a game trailer.
It’s been about a year since I read Kate Bolick’s book Spinster, and I’ve been revisiting her other work. The essay catalyst for the book:
When an American woman gives you a tour of her house, she leads you through all the rooms. Instead, this expat showed me her favorite window views: from her desk, from her (single) bed, from her reading chair. As I perched for a moment in each spot, trying her life on for size, I thought about the years I’d spent struggling against the four walls of my apartment, and I wondered what my mother’s life would have been like had she lived and divorced my father. A room of one’s own, for each of us. A place where single women can live and thrive as themselves.
But saying “I’m single and I want to be single forever” is just as boring as saying “I must find a husband.” These are just claims and wishes we make for ourselves, but we don’t know how we’ll change. We turn the corner and fall in love. We turn the corner and fall out of love.
sometimes a song just stops everything.
When we talked about flying
I said I always dreamt of taking pictures from above
a world that was easier to take in all at once than collecting the pieces we were chipping off
Salt ponds in Picasso paint
a desert, my hips