19 October 2006


I've written many times that I never feel like I have a home. Especially living in Seattle, and how bad I wanted to get out of it. Numerous times, I've said I felt like I've never belonged in Seattle, and I still believe that.

But when I try to write a story, it all comes back to the city. Characters live there, know the ins and outs, the backstreets and the bars, the underbelly and the underground tunnel, neon lights and bus numbers, pioneer square and people.

The past few weeks have been rough for me. A rollercoaster of emotions, not because a lot has been going on, but because I've been feeling every ounce of it. Each moment passes and I've been enveloped in the moment.

In the writing center, I've helped many students on the same assignment: Write about the transition from high school to college. So the writing hasn't been all that great, not bad, but not great. But a few have brought me to tears because here are these people who are forced to come into the writing center and have some stranger read their paper. And here they are. Shamelessly reading aloud some of the most personal experiences they've had. One student wrote "My parents and I never said 'I love you,' but we never had to. It was always implied. We knew it in the way we hugged when we said goodbye." And yes, this is a writing assignment, and yes they are required to go in there, but think about this: How comfortable would you feel, having a conversation with a complete stranger and saying something that personal?

16 October 2006

Incomplete Post

I had the dream again. The one where I'm floating in water on a lifesaver, and just before the horizon is a dot. Other than ocean in all directions, it's the only thing that exists and therefore, my only hope. I swim to it, and as I get closer it starts to flail. It's a person, a man, and he sees me.
"Help!" he shouts in a vaguely familiar voice. Arms raised, spread, agony in each extended finger. Then he goes limp, and I see him floating. Rising and falling at the mercy of open-sea waves.
I swim towards him.

Each time I have this dream, the clouds I painted on my ceiling torment me in the dark.
When I first moved into the apartment, I asked my landlord if I could paint a light blue sky with huge cumulus clouds on the bedroom ceiling. He reluctantly agreed. They were supposed to make me feel like a child, and sometimes they do. After the dream, I lay flat on my back and stare up at the ceiling, turned gray and black in the dark of the night. I pretend not to cry, though my bed seems to sway back and forth with an ocean underneath it.
I rub my eyes, and reach over to his warm body. The rise and fall of his breath dries the ocean. I rest my hand on his chest until I am asleep again.

As I struggle towards him, features begin to stand out. Long black hair sticks to his face. His skin is pale and softened from the water. Soon I am able to distinguish a well-groomed beard that conceals his mouth, and thick bushy eyebrows. Eyes as blue as the ocean scream from beneath the brows.
"I'm coming!" I yell.

"Bob...I'm...coming...Bob..." I only call him Bob after the dreams, while the subconscious ocean is still rocking the bed pendulously. Normally I call him Robert, even Robbie when I'm feeling playful.

08 October 2006


Two or three weeks into the quarter, and I'm still not adjusted. My brain is murky. Muddled. I'm nostalgic; not for childhood days when I put HotWheels in the street with a trail of hairspray that I'd light on fire and pretend the car was going really fast. No, instead I yearn simply for a day when the head-fog fades and I can see clearly. Maybe nostalgia isn't the correct word, because I'm not sure I can remember a day when I knew exactly what I wanted.

06 October 2006


I find myself between the train tracks where they run straight. The night envelops me, devours me in its cold bronzed air, pulling the hairs on my neck straight up. Taking off my shirt, I succumb to the chill, because you shouldn't fight it. No matter how hard you fight, the world will have its way. So as much as I can fight the tears back, I can't battle the breeze or the weathering of my skin, the wrinkles under my eyes, or the pull of gravity on my body. Much like I can fight the weight of my eyelids, but eventually they will close for at least an hour or so.

03 October 2006

There is no such thing as "not enough time," but instead "I don't want to."