Done with Dessert… for now.

I’ve been reading a lot of candy.

Gooey, mushy, happily-ever-afters that are actually starting to rot my brain, like watching too much bad reality TV. With the exception of Rainbow Rowell, I have been force feeding myself literary sugar that is leaving me with a mind-ache and vehement repulsion at any bookcover featuring hand-holding, kissing or cuddling. I’ve romanced myself out.

Just in time to watch Fifty Shades of Grey.

Oh yes, I’m seeing it.

The ticket has been purchased. The concession snacks will be ordered and I, along with a few friends, will gorge myself on the book-to-movie adaptation that, let’s face it, is barely a notch up from the highly anticipated Magic Mike sequel (which I shall also be seeing. I am still female, and what Channing Tatum does with his hips should be illegal. Or enforced. Something.) But I’ve read *so* much of this literary candy that I’m fearful for my writing. I mean, we write what we read, right? If I keep on reading these gooey, ooey candy-coated pieces, I’m going to start turning out the same tooth-decaying words. And I don’t want to do that. It’s just—I like romance. I do. I like it because it’s hopeful and optimistic and it never hurts to fantasize that this scenario could actually happen. Somewhere. To someone. But I incorporate romance into my works so I don’t want to muddy the waters with something I’ll end up rolling my eyes at in a few years. I need to stop. Now.

*takes breath*

*slaps on candy patch*

*looks in mirror and repeats affirmations. I will not read candy, I will not read candy, I will not read candy*

****Disclaimer I don’t think candy’s bad. I just need it in moderation. I have a bag of skittles I keep at work for a little extra treat when I’m stressing or angry or worried or just need a pick me up. And they do the trick. But shoving an entire bag down my throat will probably give me diabetes. And I don’t want insulin for my brain.

In case you’re wondering, candy read thus far this year includes:

Mine to Take by Dara Joy

Wicked by Jennifer Armentrout

Foreplay by Sophie Jordan

But if you’re looking for a solid, good romance that doesn’t leave you rolling your eyes (I’ve placed this in the prime-rib category) I would highly recommend Rainbow Rowell’s Attachments. Or Eleanor & Park. Or basically anything by the woman. She can do no wrong.

True Vessel

I’m told smells are one of the most potent channels into our memories. We can revisit places, hear our favorite songs, taste our favorite foods and even run our fingertips over the most comforting surfaces, but your nose is your true vessel. Scent can drive you back quicker and more accurately to a time and place. To a feeling.

I was taking the elevator up to my floor earlier and this man stepped in. He was older, with grey-white hair and a protruding belly and had absolutely NO attraction pulling me in. But he was wearing something, some familiar cologne that I couldn’t name. And it hit me. Like a slap in my face, I knew it. I’d smelled it before, when boys were still this foreign mystery, this exotic, exciting thing that, for a chubby girl like me, were off limits. I wasn’t in the elveator with old-man smell-good anymore. I was back in the ninties, in this haze of confusion and breathlessness, too ready to grow up. Too ready to know more masculine scents and what came with them.

And that was only middle school.

Sometimes I go back further, like when I smell my great-aunt. I’m not sure if it’s the lotion she used or her perfume or if it was just her own specific fragrance, but I smell her from time to time. On the sidewalk or in the apartment foyer or walking in the halls of some big important building. Even though she passed when I was 11, everytime I breathe in that unique scent, I’m thrown back to butterflies and orange-laced glasses. Virginia Slims and backyard grass. Hot days that were always too long, and soft hands, aged with color and wrinkles that preformed wonderous magic with pencils.

I’m a kid again.

By just a scent in the air, I’m transported to a different version of me. One so different and naive that I can’t believe time has blocked us. I can’t believe it’s taken a fragrance to remind me who I was nearly a decade into existence. And who I am now.

There’s this great short story by Tobias Wolff called Bullet in the Brain. I’ve read some other works of his, including his autobiography This Boy’s Life. I like the book and all, but his short story really got me, so much that I read it over and over from time to time because it’s like one of those great movie scenes you never forget. It’s the reason you watch the movie in the first place, the part you can’t wait to get to and when you catch it on televsion, you hope you haven’t missed it yet. If you haven’t read it, I sincerely suggest looking it up. It’ll probably only take you a minute or so to read and you’ll be glad you did. Because after the bullet pierces Anders head and you start learning about all the things he doesn’t remember compared to what he does (the second before he dies) you’re forced to examine your own past. Things that may have seemed buried and forgotten are suddenly here again, forcing you to relive it, to acknowledge its existence.

It’s incredible that something that can be carried on the wind or captured in a bottle has the power to remind us, to awaken us. To shake ourselves out of the present and remember something our consciousness might’ve thought to forget. Scents are powerful. Or, in  Anders case, a bullet. But I’d rather not rely on the latter.

 

Which Post Was This Again?

I know I should probably write a new post and I’ve started about half a dozen but then I got distracted with the television or Batman or Batman talking about what’s on the television and they all sort of morphed into two paragraphs of oh, I’ll come back and finish this later. And I meant to, but then I would start a new post because some other amazing thought entered my mind and surely, the rest of the world (or the handful of you) would need to know about that instead. And now, I can’t decide which of these AMAZING topics is the one I should write about next. And only a handful of them are typed up because I wrote most on pieces of paper that are no longer in my purse or in the car where I left them since all the brilliant ideas come to me on my hour commute to work. Because that’s when I have time to think.

Or in important meetings when I should be focused on my job responsibilities and I’m doodling pictures of creatures from my stories and coming up with vast histories of their people and struggles and what they do in extreme weather. It’s really hard for me to focus on things I don’t give a shit about. I have to force myself to listen, to really pay attention and then my mind drifts again and I muse over how I have to force myself to do things and I wonder if that’s a trait from my family or my zodiac. And by the time I realize I’ve drifted for who knows how long, I force myself to listen again, but instead, I wonder if the speaker has the same issues about paying attention or if they’re even interested in being here either and what they were like as a kid and how many siblings they have.

It’s not ADHD, because I don’t believe in that. I think we like to just name things that people tend to have in common. And it’s not that I can’t keep a straight thought—because I can. It’s just one thought leads to another and then another and sometimes it wraps back around on itself, and other times we end up talking about the rare white bat when you asked me about the weather. That’s how conversations work. They keep moving. And for writers, that can be extremely difficult when you need to keep focus. So I’ll have all these great post ideas/thoughts/questions and they travel onto different topics and I’ll forget what the original thesis was because now that I’m writing about how much I like ice-cream, I’m thinking about dessert and how my teacher taught us the trick to spelling desert vs dessert. (It’s Sahara desert vs Strawberry Shortcake by the way. One S for desert. Two S’s for dessert. Batman had a different method of remembering and therefore he is wrong.)

So I guess this is my next post. It’s not as awesome as the handful of other ones I started writing but there may still be hope for them yet. At least I was able to finish this one. And park correctly. Some people can’t say the same.

Um... am I missing something?

Um… am I missing something?

They remembered the visor, jut not to pull all the way in.

They remembered the visor, jut not to pull all the way in.

Huh.

I’m A Melting Clock

I can’t wake up today.

Everything is blurry and sort of happening and I think I’m at work right now, but I might still be in bed, dreaming all this. Although, I’m pretty sure I’ve interacted with people because none of them have been Ryan Gossling. Yet.

*sigh*

Even with Georgie (my car) stalling on me TWO times this morning and the THREE cups of coffee I’ve downed, I should be awake. I should be on my game, ready to face slam this Monday into next month but I got dropped in the first five seconds after Batman’s alarm went off. I’m out cold, too dead to crawl out of the ring and back into bed. And I’m not even there yet. I’m here, at work, trying to play the part of the normal functioning employee and not the grotesque slug I’ve morphed into.

I’m in a conscious coma.

It’s not like I went to bed later than usual last night. I stayed up for Game of Thrones (woohoo!) but my body is just mush; a glob of mash potatoes when I’m normally a fry. How am I going to make it through the rest of the day? It’s Monday, yeah I get it. But everything is stretching and dripping and in an extensive existence of just YYYAAAWWWNNN.

I’m a melting clock.

And this is what I think about: on days like today, when I walk around to get the blood flowing, so I can remain semi-awake and not face-plant on my desk from this conscious coma syndrome, I worry today will be wasted. Not because I’m a less than stellar employee (they should know that by now) but because I’m worried I won’t have the energy to write. Or do something productive when I get home. I’m worried I’ll take a nap. WORRIED OVER A NAP. People are starving and half naked and shacked up in igloos and third world shacks and I’m worried I’ll take a nap. That I won’t have the energy to start on the third draft which I need to do because I’m too damn responsible and already reached out to my editor. I’ll be sending my manuscript to her in a month. A MONTH. There’s no time for naps. No time for melting clocks and three cups of coffee and car stalls. There’s only time for writing and rewriting and more editing and another run through. Oh and working on my website (which should be ready here soon!) and writing this blog and spending time with Batman and eating cereal and Lean Cuisines and watching Game of Thrones.

And writing.

But I’m a melting clock today.

There’s no real reason for this post except that I wrote it to stay awake. And that I’m scared of taking naps. And that I’m too responsible for my own good. And that I have a caffeine addiction which MAY be catching up to me now. And to call out Georgie on also falling asleep today.

One of us has to be the adult, here.

Gossamer

I woke up with one word in my head: gossamer.

Gossamer: a fine, filmy cobweb seen on grass or bushes or floating in the air in calm weather; an extremely delicate variety of gauze, used especially for veils; fine spider silk.

There are a few details I remember from my dream last night before Batman’s wonderful screeching alarm alerted us to the new day: I was in a fitting room wearing a very pretty ivory gown that swooshed when I walked over pinkish-peach carpet. There was an old-time automobile repair shop next door with a man in overalls and a red fire truck and a dark purple sunset over the town. And the word gossamer.

I have the weirdest dreams. At times they mean absolutely nothing — just gargled information that seeps past the conscious and burrows deep into my brain like indigestion, only to rise again with no real purpose. But sometimes dreams hold the secret; wisdom I try to grasp in my subconscious knowing that when I wake, the answer will slip from my head and I’ll spend the entire day trying to remember the epiphany I wanted so much not to forget because it was the answer. The answer to what? To it all. To everything.

And I lost it.

But I have gossamer. It was blinding neon silver, a symphony of one note, both the beginning and the end and it was crucial that I remember. Gossamer. And for those of you who think that all dreams mean nothing, just the messed up version of your brain regurgitating crumbly bits of your life — I feel bad for you. You’re lost in this reality and you need to wake up. See the other side for a change, inhale the magic around you. Nothing is coincidence. Nothing is random.

It’s all connected.

Even as I’m sitting here writing this (should be working… but when inspiration strikes…) wanting to know what gossamer really means, Cosmic Love by Florence + The Machine comes on Pandora. That means nothing to you but it’s like a shot of adrenaline to my curious mind. Because the cover album for this song is the very image that inspired a certain character’s wardrobe I described as “like the silky strands of a spider’s web.” AS I’m writing about gossamer.

You’re watching me, aren’t you universe? But what are you trying to tell me?

What is it?

The Magic of Being a Kid

It was super tough for me to grow up.

I think a lot of kids wanted to be adults so they didn’t have to listen to their parents and so they could drive cars and eat candy for dinner and never have to clean their room. These things all sounded amazing to me too, but I’m talking about the young-kid to older-kid phase. When you had to stop playing with your toys and start interacting with others, because that’s when they ruined things like telling you there was no Santa Claus and making you believe that whatever you thought was wrong and that you played pretend incorrectly. I don’t know. Maybe I was just friends with assholes.

I just remember feeling ripped apart when I was younger. Being forced to leave this land of ultimate make-believe to join the cruel reality where other people had opinions and rules and knowing I’d never be as free as I was when I could play alone with Barbies in my closet. Does that sound wrong? Or strange? It probably does because most people like being around others, right? And I do too, but I’m also really good at enjoying solitude. It’s like, one of my favorite places. Like now, Batman’s out of town for the weekend and I’m all by myself. And even though I miss looking up from typing to see him yelling at the TV because whatever video game he’s playing is glitching or not obeying his controller commands (I don’t know—he gets very hulkish when he plays his X-Box One) I’m still enjoying the quiet. I miss him, but this isn’t terrible either. This little space in the world is mine. All mine. And I may not be in my closet turning shelves into mountains and Barbies into heroines of great adventures, but I can still tap into that ultimate freedom I had to give up when they put me on the playground and told me to play nice. I’m not sure if any of this makes sense. It probably doesn’t.

My good friend Seattle introduced me to a new blog, Hyperbole and a Half, last week. She’s also the one who told me about The Hunger Games and The Bloggess so I know I can trust her when she recommends something. So I’ve been pouring over this blog on every break and lunchtime that comes available to me. And a lot of her entries reference her childhood and how she rationalized different things that happened. So it got me thinking about my own childhood. How did I enjoy it? DID I enjoy it? Parts of it, yes. Parts of it sucked. Like the transitioning from “oh she’s just a kid, let her enjoy it” to “you’re not a kid anymore. Grow up.” That part really sucked.

I like being an adult—I do. I can eat cereal for dinner and leave my nail polish on the coffee table as long as I damn well please. I can have four glasses of wine and stay up as late as I want and call in sick when I’m really just writing. I can procrastinate doing my laundry and lie in bed all day and see a movie on a Tuesday night if I feel like it. I can make my own life decisions. All these things make me an adult, right? Well good, I’m here. I’ve made it. But sometimes—every once in a while—I miss that early part of childhood, before responsibility falls and your age is an excuse to tell the world to fuck off because you still believe in the tooth fairy and under-the-bed monsters and giant rabbits that deliver eggs every April. It’s that time when anything can exist and it does because the world hasn’t polluted you with reality yet.

You know what I’m talking about. And once that wonderful bubbled illusion pops, you’re never the same. You’re forever locked out of the gate with everyone else, only to stare longingly at how happy you were, wondering how you lived in such blissful ignorance. And the rest of the world meanders away but you can’t go. You just want back in. You want to be reinserted so you stand there gripping the gate rods, knowing that the longer you’re on the outside, the further back in your memory it’ll recede. And you’re afraid you might not remember what it was like.

You’ll forget the magic of being a kid.

Do you remember this place? Remember when the candle went out and the florescent light went on? Was it hard for you? Or did it come naturally, because you always wanted to play with the other kids rather than sit alone in your closet with tubs full of Barbies that were just characters waiting to have their adventures unfold? It was difficult for me.

What about you?

We All Look the Same as Skeletons

I started taking selfies of myself and was too grossed out.

Why do people do this?

All my selfies were HORRIBLE. HORRIBLE I tell you! I looked psychotic and creepy and even the ones where I thought, well, I could try for sexy, it was just… wrong. Like Woody Allen marrying his adopted daughter wrong. Gross. Unclean.

Yuck.

I don’t know what this generation’s obsession is with themselves. And everyone else. And before you start pointing the finger at the fact I was joining in on the selfie-crazy, hate to break it to you. I wasn’t. I was checking my teeth with the camera and recoiled. It was too close up. Major focus on my blemishes and the discolored chipped tooth I never got corrected. Money, you know? Oh well, I think of it as one of those wonderful imperfections WE ALL HAVE. Doesn’t mean it has to be pretty. Or right up in my face when I’m taking a picture. Shit. How long do people have to spend getting the right angle so they can hide their double chins and find the good side where their acne doesn’t show? And do they take them off to photo shop to be turned into someone completely different? Someone unrealistic because I’ve seen some of these selfies out there and good God you’re all liars.

Now, I’m not saying I’m a disgusting person. I’d like to think I’m not. But you may disagree in which case go fuck off. I’m no Quasimodo but even if I was, who cares? It’s just skin and fat and muscle. We all look the same as skeletons anyway. But I get it; I’m no supermodel. I’m an average, realistic human being who is slightly overweight with a bad tooth and cheeks that turn red way too often. Sometimes I take good pictures. Sometimes I wince. That’s life.

But I don’t need to take a picture of myself when I think I look hot. Who is this really for—me or you? I know you’re feeling good getting ready for the night out on the town and you want to capture the moment of confidence before you head out and make memories you probably won’t remember. That’s awesome—great. But why take it in the bathroom? WHY? Seeing your toilet and bathroom quiz book doesn’t add to your sexiness. Sure you may be sporting a six pack or a nice pair of biceps but come on, dude. Now I’m thinking about how often you clean and what kind of quizzes you like taking when you need a break.

I’m not focused on you, because you’re too focused on you. Like everyone seems to be. When did this selfie phase start? I remember hearing it (not too long ago) when Batman came home and told me. Since he works at a high school, he brings me updates on what’s trending nowadays and the new words our youth will soon turn into common place language. I couldn’t believe “ratchet” the first time he told me. COULD NOT BELIEVE IT. I just kept saying it over and over and over, waiting for it to sink in and wondering how we went from, “yes madam, would you care for another cup of tea?” to “damn, dat girl ratchet.”

WTF?

And then “twerking.”

There’s a term for that now? I thought it was called grinding. Like, booty dancing. I’m so confused. And lost. And confused. And then he tells me about this thing where people take photos of themselves and it’s become this HUGE thing and they post them all over the place and I just don’t get it.

I know, I know, I’m way late to all this and *super* uncool for thinking selfies are dumb. I might as well be eighty, right? It’s not because I’m self conscious or have low self esteem or am too afraid to show the world how sexy I can be at the right angle and light. I just don’t get the need for it. If we’re out and you want a picture, grab it. I’ll try not to look retarded but sometimes I blink mid snap and it’s the best I can do. And yeah, I might want a pic of me and Batman when we actually leave the apartment to go socialize with the world. To like, prove we’re not complete hermits. But that’s usually it. No selfies. No show-you-my-bathroom shots or look, I found the perfect angle to hide everything I don’t want the world to see.

Because I can’t really do that. I end up grossing myself out and wondering how Batman gets in so close to kiss me.

God bless him.

Want to see one of my gross selfies? Here you go:

Look at my freak tooth. LOOK AT IT.

Look at my freak tooth. LOOK AT IT.

At least there’s no toilet in the background.