year in review: 2017

january: resist everything that would destroy you: apathy, entropy, tyranny

february: your pain always has meaning; go to the fucking doctor

march: you do not need the right words or any words at all to be worthwhile; they will love you anyway

april: love and fury are indivisible

may: death isn’t interested in you nor, for the first time in your life, are you interested in her

june: this is how you breathe

july: yes, it is worth the extra work, time, and money to own AC

august: you will spend weeks longing for currents and snowmelt and the summer will pass before you can get a breath in edgewise

september: high collars and independence become you

october: you were not meant to live alone

november: that urge to diminish, to be less, is the antithesis of strength

december: nothing lasts forever and that fact will always be a blessing


what i have learned this year




Not Today

Outside of vague poetry I’ve ignored the stroke. I want to pretend it never happened as if, maybe, that will undo the brain damage and emotional trauma that comes with going toe-to-toe with Death. I’ve spent a lot of years flirting with Her and I guess Death finally decided to flirt back.

Continue reading “Not Today”

People Watching

I pretend to people watch behind sunglasses and watch the middle distance trying to see how long I can sit there breathing and calm before I remember where I am. It’s bizarre to be part of a co-ed campus again. To live on one (and living is synonymous with working in this world we’ve built up around capitalist productivity). To be adjacent to its culture at all times. It is different in ways I can’t put into words but I am always aware. Or maybe it goes deeper than that.

I am an outsider, an interloper with an oxbow across my shoulder advertising my singular strangeness. I look the part but I am not one of you. Is it possible to have Imposter Syndrome when you’ve accomplished nothing of inherent value? Is that thought a sign of the Syndrome? Am I a walking collection of pathologies?

I like to think I am more than the sum of my parts but paradoxically I cannot find peace with anything that lacks clear cut lines.

I’m not quite right for my age.

There is no mellowing out for me to do. I’ve had no unbound youth– I’ve skipped over it all. I have a degree that is utterly useless to me and an office job with benefits. I go to bed by 10 on weekends. My budget is laid out nicely on a spreadsheet of my own design. I have to monitor my health closely thanks to an unwelcome slew of vascular problems caused by bad luck and birth control.

I’ve settled firmly into middle age at 23. In a matter of days, 24.

I read about other people whose lives are more interesting than mine and I feel like I am failing, like I will wake up tomorrow and somehow become fascinating, like I am ungrateful for not being satisfied with this which is a dream out of reach for so many. All I do instead is write, work, wait. Interspersed with intervals of watching time pass me by as I waste it. This is supposed to be recovery from a traumatic brain injury but I am incapable of such patience with myself. I could die tomorrow. But here I am instead of doing anything else.

rlb 5.15.17