At the show.


Low-light, beers in hand, we’re off to the right, by the doors that lead out back. The band just started playing and you and me are fresh off a giggle fit. He had asked if we were boyfriend and girlfriend, I shook my head, smiled, said no, we’re getting a divorce.

In sociological terms, we call that a breach – we threw them off, they didn’t know how to proceed with that, there’s a look of confusion, a pause that lasts just a bit too long as you and me exchange glances back and forth, reveling in that awkward moment just a little.

How do you do that, they asked, and you, nearly sober, said something about love, about how you love me still, always have, always will, and I the same.

So love. That’s how we do it, that’s how I credit you as a best friend still, divorce proceedings be damned. It’s been there since we met in a Fort Belvoir motor pool, and it’ll be there until we’re both cold and dead, ashes spread under redwood trees.

Back by the door, it’s us. Beers mostly gone, trying to find the right moment to break away and grab another when that song comes on and I reach to squeeze your hand, because I don’t know what else to do. It’s my right and your left and we hold on for dear life, hands clenched like they used to be, but it’s different now. There’s a desperation in the grip, like if we let go we’d both fall apart or shatter on the ground.

So I hold your hand and you hold mine for the entirety of a song that hits us hard and we cling to one another, like we have for nearly a decade, because what else is there left to do?

The song ends, we shift, drop the hands, cough a little to rid ourselves of a strange moment neither one of us quite knows what to do with because we’re still figuring it out. We’ve got the love thing down, you and me – always have – but it’s different now. It’s twilight for our marriage, maybe, but you’re still my family. You’re still first on my call list to catch a show or grab a drink last minute, because you’re my friend. You always were.

You left to get more beers and the song, the one I didn’t know was our song, is playing when you come back. I feel you there, behind me and I know you can’t catch your breath either. I can feel it. I can’t even look at you, because my eyes will fill up and I don’t want to drop tears on the floor of a concert venue, not again. This is just too much, I think, it hits too close to home, it hits the heart and breaks all the strings, unwinding the careful dance we do around all that was and is, all the words we never got to say, the clean break we deserved because we broke ourselves and each other, all the words I wasted and the ones you kept for just you.

It bubbles up just then, with the music, you and me, whiskey drunk, singing in the dining room, riding across bridges screaming our favorite songs, traveling, adventuring, being, and there we go again, breaking our hearts all over again in the name of musical integrity.

We never did anything the right way, you and me, but maybe our way is our right way. We didn’t date right, didn’t marry right, didn’t plan our life right and and we’re not divorcing right either, but fuck it. I like our way better.

I’m writing about love and stuff.

I’m over at the Hooray Collective today, writing about love.

Here’s a snippet:

You don’t get a choice in love. It happens or it doesn’t. That’s it. You can’t raise your hand and expect to get it like a hall pass and you can’t avoid it either. It shows up unexpectedly, stomping and kicking its way through any sort of plan you thought you had, pushing in through the cracks in the floorboards, the ones you thought you’d sealed shut. When you think you’ve had enough of its bullshit, when you’ve had enough of its ruin, it comes back around and smacks you hard in the face, just to remind you, maybe, that HEY BITCH, you’re not in charge of this love shit.

Love leaves too, that’s the thing. It comes in, makes you fat and happy, makes you smile for days on end at the mere thought of a person, prods you willingly along on all sorts of lovesick misadventures, convinces you that harebrained shit like marriage is a good idea. And then one day you wake up and it’s gone. You might not notice it at first. Love’s a sneaky bitch. But, you’ll look in all your favorite hiding places, the ones the cats hide in maybe, the teeny tiny heart crevasses you’ve got nestled away inside of you, but sure as shit, it’s gone. It left. It ended.

Read the rest here.

The one where I say things to you that are maybe also a little to me.

Sooner or later, the floor starts to look less welcoming than it did before. It used to be this great spot – a corner, maybe – where you could sit next to the stereo, the saddest songs on repeat and just sort of be. It wasn’t a good sort of being. It wasn’t a healthy sort of being, it was just simply being and even then, just barely.

You can feel yourself sinking into it, sinking into the sadness the same way we’ve eased ourselves into swimming pools. You don’t want to help it along, but you do. You push play on the saddest fucking song you can find and sit in a pot full of fucked up feelings. Sometimes the sadness is the loudest thing that’s out there, and that’s it.

You can look at a situation logically and say, hey, bitch, get the fuck up and do something with yourself, but it’s not that fucking simple. The sitting, the stewing, the hurting. That’s the simple shit. It’s terribly difficult too, in its own way, but mostly you don’t have a choice.

So you sit and you stew, stuck in a sick vat of whatever cards you’ve been dealt, real or perceived, fucked or not. Maybe you talk it out, maybe one day you just get the fuck off the floor and realize that hey, you’re not shit. Because you’re not. You’re fucking beautiful. You’re amazing. You’re funny and you’re smart and you’re great.

That’s it.

You’re fucking great. You’re brilliant. You’re loved, so much, by so many people.

I know.

I know it’s hard to see it. I know it’s easy to sink, to drown in it, to be a bystander to a terrible sort of sadness that chokes the life out of sunlight, I know. I fucking get it.

But shit.

It’s you.

Possum Cat Gate 2014

So there I was, letting the dogs out for their last pee of the night and Luke comes running back in, like the good dog he is, and yet Sadie is over on the other side of the yard, sniffing around and being far too interested in something and so I, realizing the potential for a small critter about to be dog-snacked-upon, I tip toed barefoot across the yard, thinking that maybe it was a frog or something, but no.

It was a possum.

A BABY possum.

And I know. I know how people feel about possums. They are god damn terrible to look at sometimes and they have rat tails and they’re ugly and blah blah blah. I know. But I think they’re sort of cute, and really, I mostly just don’t want dead things in my yard and it was far too late for me to bury anything because, no matter what Andrew told me to do with that dead bird that one time, NO, I will not just throw a dead thing over the fence.

I chased Sadie away from the possum and after inspecting it (from a slight distance), decided that maybe it just needed a little space because the thing about possums is that they’re assholes and they’re super good at playing dead so I couldn’t tell if this little possum was actually dead or just possum dead, so I went back in the house, provided an update to the other residents, including Luke who seemed very concerned, and, after about five minutes, I went back outside to check on the possum.

And it still looked dead.

So I stared at it some more. I couldn’t see any blood. It looked ok, minus the fact that it looked dead. So I went back inside again.

Waited five minutes.

Went back out.

And was breathing! But it wasn’t moving. It had pushed itself back up against our fence a little bit, but it was breathing and I, very carefully, tried to move some of the plants that it was behind with my bare foot before realizing that that’s how you get rabies, is by poking not dead possums with your bare toes. I was on the phone by this point, providing a play-by-play of the possum situation and I think I actually yelled at myself about not poking possums and thus, not contracting rabies.

Since the possum wasn’t moving much, I decided to give him a bit more space, sat on the porch talking on the phone and half listening for any rustles in the leaves and then, when I went back again, he was gone. Not a trace.

I realized I was ridiculous somewhere in the middle because it’s a possum that the dogs caught and really, that IS what dogs do, and yet, there I was, totally trying to come up with a plan for how to save this poor beast if he was, in fact, injured, how I would get him in the house and how I would treat his possum wounds and what I would name him and so on and so forth.

So really, what I’m saying, is this is the story of how I almost got a possum.

Although actually, it’s the SECOND story of how I almost got a possum, because apparently when you’re Snow White, you almost end up having possum pets on a fairly regular basis.

Some Real Talk. Because Life is Hard, Y’all.

Here’s the thing: I want to pour my soul out here. I want to tell this space my secrets and I want to yell and write in all caps and explain this shit to you, but I have this terrible restraint that keeps me from going to THAT POINT, the point of no return.

I don’t want this space to be the place where I lay ruin to everything and everyone. I don’t want it to be a sad place. I want to tell you about goose attacks and Snow White adventures and terrible Bitty cats who just turned 3, but let’s be honest, I’m not in a happy place and I can’t come here and talk about happiness and make jokes about the crazy hilarity that ensues from me just being me.

Clearly, I am going through some shit. Clearly, I am a little bit fucked up. Or a lot a bit fucked up, depending on who you ask. This is some shit. Some serious, fucked up shit.

But restraint. It’s a thing, apparently, that I possess, although I spend a lot of time wondering why.

“Not everything needs a soundtrack,” he says, in the living room that should have been ours, not just mine.

But I want my life to be a movie, I think. I want it to be this dramatic comedy, where love leaves and returns again, where there’s a killer soundtrack that makes you leave the theater thinking, YES, THAT, the soundtrack you download on the car ride home, post-movie.

I think about it a lot, really, the story I’ll write one day, the movie that should surely follow. I think about it when I’m running, the songs that play and I wonder about how much time a movie about my life can devote to running, because really, friends, that’s the shit that gets me through. Slow or fast, race pace or not, it’s the running that keeps me from devastation, from the havoc.

Here’s the bottom line: I don’t know what I’m doing. I don’t know what to say, because so much of what I want to say is part of a private matter, and no matter what I want to yell out loud, I know, deeply, that it should stay that way, that it should stay private.

So I’m a little lost. What do I say here? What do I do?

But really. Bitty turned 3. The cat who attacks my friends, who slept on Andrew’s chest for the first many weeks of her life, when she wasn’t in a box on a heating pad on my nighstand table.

She’s a monster.


Just like her parents.

The current soundtrack:
The District Sleeps Alone Tonight – Birdy
Redwings – Guillemots
 Pretty Girl at the Airport – The Avett Brothers
Hate Me – Blue October