February 25, 2015

Not Dark Yet.

In the South, snow is something to celebrate.

The liquor store was packed with the kind of men who walked with their legs far apart, and looked at us too long as we laughed in the parking lot, our eyelashes and teeth cold and wet. 

Erin drove too fast, and we skidded slowly down a back road. I thought briefly of the forested trees outside the window, (wondered how it would feel to wrap metal and bone around their branches), but we adjusted and kept moving forward. 

Pounded tough limes into giant green and orange plastic cups, disguised the taste of cheap gin and drank like we were kids at a driveway hose. 

In bed, I put on the one Bob Dylan song that doesn’t make me feel like I’m listening to a Bob Dylan song

The conversation felt right. Everything has gotten simpler, and when we talk about it the pain is like a bruise and not a wound. 

She smiles about her new relationship, cracks jokes about shaving too much these days, destroying her bedroom floor trying to figure out which shoes to wear. I get serious about my endings. “I’m thankful he’s been in my life these past four years, but I’m just finally realising I deserve more. I don’t just objectively know I deserve more, I actually want it.” 

It always surprising to me how simply endings come -- how quickly your heart can be vacated by every ghost. 

Knowing I could be gone for a year, I looked at everything with more joy and more sorrow. 

Deepan angled into the corner of the bar, serious-eyed but smiling. 

My sister sleeping by her window in the morning, pink and snowy. 

My own reflection, pale and reluctantly hopeful. 

I’ll be laughing for years at the memory of Erin running down the hallway naked, a fistful of weed clutched in her palm. 

When I lean back against the grey walls, the lyrics ring in my head:  I know it looks like I’m movin’ / but I’m standin’ still. 

February 24, 2015



I decided to go to Canada.

They sent me an email yesterday, telling me the best way to reach them from the Vancouver airport is to take a bus to a bus to a ferry to a bus.... and then to hitch hike the rest of the way.

So there's that.

Truthfully, it felt good to be asked, "How long will you be gone?" and to respond, "Indefinitely."

February 16, 2015

(our window in Zaventem, Belgium)

I've been back in Georgia for a little over a week, and already, the little life I lived in Belgium seems like something that happened to another person. I used to be very good at feeling things. When life happened to me, whether by choice or by circumstance, I knew how to work through the ramifications. Meredith and I used to die laughing at our reworked version of "Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better." We changed the words to "Anything You Can Feel, I Can Feel Better." I've lost track of that ability.

One thing I've learned about myself and about writers in general is that we're constantly trying to frame our reality. I need my daily life to have a story arc. Perhaps my sense of displacement isn't merely culture shock, or some reaction to the stop and start speed of my life, but rather from my inability to tie the pieces together in a coherent way.

Technically, I'm supposed to be on a flight to Vancouver in two weeks. But I'm stuck again. Trapped and not sure what, if anything, is more important in the big picture. I can stay in Atlanta and battle my way through the bleakness of it. All money and laying low and wading through relationships I should have made my mind up about years ago. Or I can run away for two weeks or a month to new people and a new place. Snow and books and bread. The choice seems clear if I look at it with my "personal fulfilment" lenses, but more complex when I attempt to be responsible.

Amy called this morning. I haven't saved her number in my phone even after 5 weeks of living together in Zaventem. But when the area code read Florida, I knew it was her. She told me she was calling to say maybe I should become a Catholic. That was her reason for calling! I laughed at the absurdity of it, but sobered up when she explained. "From what I know, they see things in black and white. It seems like that's what you're after. It seems like that's what you need."

February 12, 2015


The whole time I was in Europe, I was itching and antsy to be sharing my experiences and thoughts with you. But I kept thinking, no, that's not what this blog is for. I've been nursing this little half-secret pet-project of mine since I was sixteen. When you do something for so long, you start to think you can't change the way that you do it.

But I've been changing a lot lately. My hair, my city, my job, my relationships. Why not bundle all those changes together and throw my little blog in with the lot?

So, here's what's happening: I'll be writing more.

More frequently.
More personally.
More wholeheartedly.

It might be a flop, but I love flops. They're so delightfully undignified.