Saturday, November 19, 2011

a most loving and loyal companion.

What'll you do when you get lonely, And nobody's waiting by your side? You've been running and hiding much too long. You know it's just your foolish pride.

It was too warm to be christmas, but then again this was the south and when do they follow any rules? I was back for a quick visit. I was back in the land of strong coffee, sticky children's fingers and embracing arms all too eager to welcome you back home. Our visit was meant to be quick, we had a few short days to see everyone, love on all the kids, and get our fill of Common Ground before making the long trek back into the cold wasteland of the midwest. Our days had been filled with tutoring and holding hands. Playing basketball, sorting clothes, and tromping across fields and under overpasses to meet new Outdoor friends. 

As I sat on the steps of the White House, I watched how the kids had grown, how big they had gotten in just the six months since I had last been down. As I sat a little shivery black puppy came cautiously up to where I was sitting. She looked eager and yet restrained. She was maybe six months old, a little skinny, and covered with all sorts of bugs. She worked up the courage to take another step closer and I held out my hand. In an instant she was in my lap and licking my face. I laughed which caused about ten kids to come investigate, and before long we were surrounded by little hand after little hand petting, touching, and loving. The dog was in heaven. 

As dinner started I got the story of the dog from a friend. Someone had dumped her on the street as a puppy. No collar, no tags, no one looking for her. The neighbor had started putting food out on his porch, but this was the same neighbor that was probably selling drugs out of his house and was known for his winningest fighting dogs. He was the neighbor that the minute he stepped out of the house, all the kids came running inside. Rumor was this little black lovable one was either going to be trained to fight, or end up one day as practice. 

My heart fell. Then my brain started. We were going home in two days. We could take her with us. 

Dinner ended and the night wrapped up. On the drive to where we were staying I told Krysten my plan. She laughed and didn't think i was serious, but the image of that little puppy licking the kids kept popping up into my mind. 

The next day, Krysten in all her glory, summoned up every little bit of courage and knocked on the neighbors dilapidated door. In seconds she was back, scooped up the dog and shoved her in my car. 

We had done it. The next two days we spent washing, loving, and trying to contain the dog in the fence while we were gone. But every night we came back she was there waiting for us, as if she had known she would always end up where she belonged. 

We traveled north for 14 hours in the car. First to Kansas City and then to Wichita. We lost her favorite ball at a rest stop. She didn't bark, didn't whine, just sat content. Ready to go home. As we drove through downtown Kansas City, Eric Clapton's Layla came on and she gave a reassuring bark. Probably more for herself than anyone, but the name stuck. Layla. 

When we arrived on the steps of my parent's home Layla sat patiently, pushing into my leg, nervous of what was to come. My mom knew the two of us were coming, my dad didn't and wasn't too pleased. But she eventually won him over. 

She loved chasing geese. Felt responsible to keep the neighborhood clear of squirrels and cats. Ate tampons, Kleenex, and Q-tips. She would play ball as long as anyone would throw. She was a pro with kids, kept the house protected from the mailman and the neighbor who worked at the zoo with the gorillas. She loved giving kisses, and standing on her back legs so she could look you in the eye and kiss you one the mouth. 

She made you feel like you were home. She grounded our family, pulled us together. Gave each of us a companion when we needed one most. 

Layla broke her back yesterday. She was playing in the park that she loved. Outside, free, next to the small zoo where she always visited the bobcat. 

It's hard to think about going home without her there. I may have saved her from Louisiana but I think she really saved me. 

I'm really going to miss her puppy kisses. 

And I don't think I'm going to be able to face all the squirrels and geese without her. 

Let's make the best of the situation, Before I finally go insane. Please don't say we'll never find a way, And tell me all my love's in vain.
Layla, you've got me on my knees. Layla, I'm begging, darling please. Layla, darling won't you ease my worried mind.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

I see the bare moon,
 Raise his big bald head
 I see my friends play the fool,
 I'll make my own way, In the wide world
Just know I don't want to wander too far...

Even the stars,

 Sometimes fade to gray,
 Even the stars, Hideaway

Some call me
 All kinds of names, 
 Some say I don't play the right kind of game,
 I try to be honest, I try to be kind
and honestly leave when I know that it's time...
I know that it's time

Hear a phoebe sing his only song
The summer's day is hovering

I'll write my full heart
Troubles fly like embers

Out the windows of our traveling car

Even the stars, Sometimes fade to gray, Even the stars...Hideaway...

Saturday, October 22, 2011


And all the gold dust in her eyes won’t reform into rain , You had and lost the one thing, You kept in a safe place, Remember the face, Of the girl who made you her own, And how you left her alone 

The voice cuts through the dark night like the scalpel through the skin. The words are undecipherable but the tone comes across with a clarity, loud and grating like a bone saw. I roll over, hoping it was just a dream and the words were not coming from the next room. That tone comes again and again, as if it were pulling back layer and layer of skin and muscle, pushing through the ribcage, past more muscles to the precious pericardium. And there, in the silence lies the softly beating heart. Mine lays nearly silent to try and catch the topic of angry discussion. Hers has shut down, left beaten and bruised with word after angry word from the angry tone. 

The heart is a fragile thing. One that most protect with all of their strength. We add walls and fences, and yet sometimes we let ourselves become vulnerable with another. One that we love. We share our deepest darkest secrets. The ones that have never been voiced before., our struggles and failures. The wounds that still hurt after years and years of impartial healing.

Sometimes that vulnerability, in the heat of the moment is used against us like a finger jabbing an already tender wound. Our secrets are turned around to be hurtful. Hurtful in a multitude of ways. The kind that hurt because one has not healed and because the one we love uses purposely against us. 

How does one decide when to cut out the one that knows us the best? When is enough enough? When does she allow her heart to beat again? Who will shock her partitioned heart back to normalcy?  Keeping it from it's impending death? When do her eyes open to the reality of the situation? When does the tone turn into one of healing and comfort? 

After a few more rounds, the tone cuts through the night one last time. One last final word, the last peak before the flatline.... 
and then,...simply silence.... 

And if you burn the road that’ll lead you back to her in time, I'll watch you turn to stone, She’s moving on without you...

Monday, October 3, 2011

Somethin' gotta give with the way I'm livin', Seems I'm gettin' down everyday, The more I strive, the less I'm alive, And seems i'm gettin' further away...

When can you decide enough is enough. When is quitting something, not giving up but more of a moving on? Can I let everyone down? Is there something better?

I've been here since April. It's about time for me to move on, but there are so many people who will be heartbroken. Do I give up my happiness for them? Who decides?

How can I be so uncomfortable with this accepted normal. With the stagnant? With the stuck.

I feel like everyday I dig myself a little deeper and deeper into this hole. How do I get out? And when I do, where do I go?

And am I just running away?

...I've been goin' joggin' in the park after dark, Draggin' 'round with me my ball and chain, Took southern skies  to make me realize That I'm causin' myself this pain, 

Hey, you better figure it out now
You know you ain't comin' back down, yeah
You better figure it out now

You know you ain't comin' back down...

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

road rage

...How fickle my heart and how woozy my eyes, I struggle to find any truth in your lies, And now my heart stumbles on things I don't know, This weakness I feel I must finally show...

It started with a movie set in Rio de Janeiro, a reminder of the impending wedding of a boy from the past, the misplacement of hours worth of solutions imperative to the successful outcome of an experiment and finally an angry man in a large grey truck yelling at me demanding i go faster. Literally yelling at me,while driving 65  miles per hour going down the highway. His large head sticking out of his large grey window, with his stringy hair blowing back into his eyes as he screamed, asking why in the world I was slowing down when passing a police car parked on the shoulder. While going 65 miles per hour.

That was the tipping point.

I was done.

I am done being stuck. I am done playing the game according to everyone else's rules. I am done letting others make the decisions that determine my happiness.

The reminder of where my soul longs to be, the heartbreak that was long long ago that still mysteriously and frustratingly weighs heavy on my heart, the feelings of inadequacy because I haven't worked long enough for a certain science company, and the bald man yelling woke my sleeping gypsy soul I had lulled into complacency.

Kansas City is where I live. It is where friends are and is close by to family, but I don't think I will ever be able to settle down here. I feel often like I am trying to squeeze myself into a shell that is too small for me. I don't ever see the signs of life in this big city. Life doesn't happen on the streets, but in little houses and personal cars. This isn't how I want to live. I want to interrupt my commute with a stop at the bagel stand down the street. I want to feel comfortable taking a coffee break with others to work on relationships rather than another experiment.

I don't want science to be a business. I don't want to fit in. I want to be challenged. I want to be able to tell people that I have done something exciting the night before, rather than say I stayed at home. I want to work with my hands. I want to work with real people. The ones who have struggles and desires like mine. The ones who aren't all about making another dollar.

I don't think I have to be overseas to achieve these desires, but I do need a little help, and maybe a little direction, and definitely another run-in with the yelling bald man. I have a few things I need to tell him.

...Lend me your hand and we'll conquer them all, But lend me your heart and I'll just let you fall, Lend me your eyes I can change what you see, But your soul you must keep, totally free...
...Awake my soul...
...awake my soul...
...Awake my soul...

Monday, September 12, 2011


I have't been sleeping. Not at all actually. It started about two weeks ago. The weather turned, work was tumultuous, I couldn't keep anything in, and life just seemed unsteady. I would lay down at night, dead to the world and would only let sleep keep me oblivious for an hour or so. Then I would be awake enough to know I wasn't sleeping but not enough to get out of bed. I would get up with my alarm clock and feel as if I had never closed my eyes.

I would make it through the day and try again the next night, but before I knew it I would hear the alarm and the trudging would start again... and again and again...that was until the night of the beeping.

It was 10:30 pm and a fleet of tow trucks came to the apartment complex to tow cars that were parked in covered parking and not supposed to be there. There were maybe three tow trucks, but when they are all backing up at the same time, the warning beeping sounds more like fifty trucks. It caused the whole place to walk outside and see what was going on. Then there was the usual yelling, the attempts to drive cars away before it was too late... and then it was over. And peaceful. Even the cicadas were quiet.

So I rolled back over, closed my eyes and worked on sleeping. Before I knew it, my blanket, Big Blue had wrapped itself around me and peacefully lulled me into the land of dreams.

... I opened my eyes and knew immediately i was in Portugal. I was on a barge floating down the river, making my long awaited return. I passed slowly by the neighborhoods full of flowers cascading from balconies. Restaurants full of people sitting outside under brightly colored umbrellas. People meandering down the cobblestone streets, children playing in parks, and castles bathed in sunlight. My Lisbon. The salt water cleared my lungs and caused my hair to curl. The sunshine warmed me to my soul. I could feel the vitamin D being released into my blood, and the fist that had been around my stomach relaxed and let go altogether.

We rode in peace as we approached a bridge that had stood strong for years. It wasn't particularly big. I could reach up and touch it as we passed under. It was made of golden rocks held together by ages old mortar. It was glowing yellow in the sunshine and it let me trace each grove between the rocks as we passed.

Past the bridge was a woman standing in the middle of the dock. She was waiting for us, her long brown hair was swept back into a loose ponytail. She stood tall and strong, yet like the bridge glowed, from the inside and out. She waited patiently for us to come. We drifted towards the dock slowly, watching the women wait, the gentle breeze played with her hair and caressed her cheek.

Before I knew it we were pulling up to the dock, the woman had turned her back on us and as we bumped to a stop on the dock she turned around and in an instant transformed. Her hair turned wispy, her clothes tattered and her skin puckered and sour, as if her whole body had been burned. She screamed and screamed and screamed.

The crewman turned the boat around and fled as fast as they could, but the screams kept growing louder, and then I realized that they were coming out of my own mouth and that my own hands were that of the woman's on the dock. And my face was not smooth but rough and pitted. The sun burned my tender skin and the salt water added insult to injury. And I screamed in terror. I screamed because they were leaving me behind, I screamed because this wasn't my Lisbon....

I startled awake. The sweat was pouring down my skin. Big Blue was wrapped so tight I couldn't get loose, and I'm sure the neighbors were wondering why someone was screaming bloody murder in the middle of the night.

I rolled over unwilling to risk the chance of sleep for fear of returning to the dream, got untangled from Blue and wondered how i'd make it through the next four hours until my alarm clock rescued me.

Monday, July 25, 2011

First things first...

Growing up, I knew that long hair meant beauty. I don't know if I should blame it on the Barbies or the Disney princesses, but for as long as I can remember long curly hair made me feel glamorous, and all put together.

When I was little I begged for bangs and curly hair. My stringy straight locks were a handful and spent most of their time in a ponytail, and the cowlick in the middle of my widow's peak on my forehead laughed at any attempt to tame it. No amount of curl would ever stay and even if i slept all night with my hair wrapped in curlers it was straighter than a board the next day.

So I begged and begged, and my mom gave in to the curls. And I ended up with a Jew fro. There are all of two pictures from the stage in my life, and they were taken by my neighbor. Okay Okay you say, think about the situation, my mom was at home with three little ones under the age of five, there was no time for pictures, but it's easier to blame it on the hair.

So after the misadventure I moved on... the perm grew out and my hair went back to straight. I had a bowl cut for awhile and cried and cried after, and then I was over the hair. It stayed in the ponytail. I cut it off in the winters, only to immediately regret it, and life went on. Even though every time I went in to get it cut I thought about the bangs.

Fast forward 15 years to a summer spent far far away with amazing water. At least that is what I'm going to blame it on. I came back with curly hair, ringlets even, if it is humid enough (the one blessing to this god forsaken heat)

So the Barbies and Disney Princesses have been passed over and my dream for luscious curly locks has been achieved. And yet I still have a ways to go. Tonight, after a three mile run I decided I needed a haircut. So I borrowed a pair of scissors from my roommate and trimmed the ends a little, the whole time thinking about how easy it would be to cut the front short into the bangs I've always wanted. I was feeling brave, my hair was looking good, and even the back was cut in a straight line. I combed out the bangs, fought the cowlick, brought the scissors up to my eye line, and thought about the Jew Fro. Bangs just couldn't happen. Not by me anyway and especially if there was any possibility of the outcome looking anything like the last attempt at my dream hair.

And with that the scissors were put away and instead of bangs, I walked away with hair even curlier, with a borderline Farah Faucet cut. Not bad for a first timer...

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

who are you?

I've knocked off three weeks of kickboxing. I'm generally feeling pretty good about life. I fit in a dress that made my back look like I had cleavage and I'm selling sweet tickets to the gun show.

The classes go in the same manner. We warm up, we sweat, we squat, than we punch and kick, then we squat some more. We punch bags, balls even an occasional person, and then it is time to go home.

It's just, for the last six classes, I've been called the wrong name. The first night I walked in with a Courtney who has since dropped the class, but her name has stuck.

Three people attend the class. It's pretty intimate and hard not to have your named called. So the classes go on and the instructor says something like, "Courtney, kick higher." And I stay oblivious until about 30 seconds later I comprehend in my oxygen deprived brain that she was talking to me, and I pant something like "That's a long way for these legs to go." And the class moves on...

But then I started losing sleep, and I couldn't blame it on the sore muscles. I was playing out the scenarios about how I was going to approach the issue at hand. It was past the appropriate fixing stage...

So I got my courage up. I spent the whole day pumping myself up, getting myself ready for "The Conversation" I make it to class and there are 10 people in the class. 10 people. No way was I going to get this one out. So I left dejected and even more sore. It hurt, and I still wasn't sleeping.

Finally last night, I made it 15 minutes early to try and catch the instructor. I awkwardly approached her and tried to bring up the subject. Her entire frame would fit into mine, twice. She has maybe 5 feet on her. I can't squat lower than how tall she is, and yet it's still intimidating and the subject keeps getting skirted. I hear people talking out the door and I blurt out way too loudly, 'you've got my name wrong.'  We do the obligatory back and forth, i'm sorrys and the it's no big deals and talk about always getting names wrong.

Class starts, we kick and squat and squat and squat and squat. As we wrap up, gather our things and walk out the door, the instructor yells after me...

'Shelby, see you Thursday...'

And so, the show starts again....

Thursday, July 7, 2011

I can kick, I can punch, I can kick...

I’m gonna wear you down, I’m gonna make you see, I’m gonna get to you, You’re gonna give into me...I’m gonna start a fire, You’re gonna feel the heat, I’m gonna burn for you, You’re gonna melt for me...
The sign up sheet said the class was on the third floor of the Health Pavilion. The third floor was deserted. No lights, no class, nothing. As I meandered around the corner i ran into a man pushing a huge laundry bin. He directed me to the fitness center. It was on the second floor, under the escalators in the opposite end of the Hospital. I walked around corners, past people nervously waiting, through a couple of swinging doors and finally made it to the center. The door was locked and the people inside were all furiously pushing themselves on treadmills and ellipticals, unaware of my dilemma, lost in their own fitness playlist. 

I slipped in behind a nurse and found the front desk. By now I was fifteen minutes late and had already been worried all day. See, I signed up for a kickboxing class. It is in the Hospital and I was imagining little old grandma's with their walkers kicking and punching for an hour. I was worried. 

I hate any type of class in a fitness center because of the mirrors.  These legs often make others jealous, and even take a few breaths away, and definitely get a few extra looks, but they add up to an ungraceful gangly mess. Especially when you are doing dance moves, or yoga, or kickboxing. Mirrors in these situations are my enemy. I not only have to concentrate on the steps, but I get the joy of watching my gangly mixed up self do it. Not attractive. Especially when you add in the extra active capillaries on my face that make it redder than a tomato the minute I start any type of physical exercise. 
After sneaking in and getting the directions to the right class I am off on another goose chase, hoping this time I'll end up in the right place. As I get off the final elevator and jog around the cafeteria I hear the music blaring. It's pumping, the instructor is yelling kick, punch, side kick, squat. I muster up all my gumption, wish I would have brought my walker (just in case) and swing around the corner to see a room full of average age, very mobile people sweating and kicking in time to the beat. 
I dropped my things, merged into the line, and smiled at myself because when i looked up all I saw looking back at me was a blue carpeted wall and a very energetic instructor. 
...I’ll use my eyes to draw you in, Until I’m under your skin, I’ll use my lips, I’ll use my arms, Come on, come on, come on, Give into me....

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Thirty days and thirty nights, Been putting up a real good fight, And there were times I thought you'd win...

The water lapped at my bare, bronzed toes. My dress danced around my thighs, begging for it's freedom. The sand gave in to my feet as we walked down the shoreline. The sun was slowing sinking, leaving everything basked in it's golden glow. The tequila had done the same hours ago. It made me feel invincible and the words out of my mouth delectable. It made the water exciting, and the sparks running through me, electrifying. His hand was glued to mine, squeezing so tight, maybe to keep me from running. Maybe to keep me moving. Either way we walked down the beach, laughing and comfortable. Caught up in our own buzz. His hair shone in the setting sun, my eyes sparked. Our real life seemed so far away and yet so close. We had rocked vacation. We had rocked the wedding, and the only thing left to do was to climb on a plane and take the long ride home to the real world. 

But for the night, we were content to just walk the beach, party with the wedding goers, and enjoy what the other had to offer. Tomorrow was still hours away and the real world could wait. 

Paradise was calling... and we had to answer

'Cause you and Tequila make me crazy, Run like poison in my blood, One more night could kill me, baby, One is one too many, one more is never enough...

Monday, June 6, 2011

yummy yummy

My roommate is a very routine oriented person. I can tell you exactly what she does in the morning, without even having to be out of bed. She plans her morning to a 't' so that she can maximize her sleeping time. She drinks her coffee strong in a matter of seconds. Eats blueberries with oatmeal in the morning (the bags of blueberries we buy are humongous) and stops the microwave at one second so that she doesn't wake me.

We are quite opposite, but it's cute really. I drink coffee for breakfast. I take my time in the morning and get ready in a different order every morning, just to switch things up. I don't like blueberries. I don't like oatmeal. I'm not a big fan of routine. It gets too boring.

But then there is the kitchen. Our apartment's kitchen is small enough that we can't have the dishwasher and fridge open at the same time. We can both hardly fit without invading personal space.

Surprisingly we are quite similar. In our little kitchen that we both can't fit into at the same time, we never measure, though we have measuring cups and spoons coming out the wazoo. We are adventurous with the spices, throwing whatever we can pull out of the cabinet onto the dish for dinner. I think though, in this category I'm a little more brave. I like my jalapenos.

We cook for hungry boys. These hungry boys

(Okay so the one on the far right is a cousin or something and we don't actually cook for him. But we would if he came over...)

We cook for ourselves. Delicious yummy things with pasta or cheese or lots and lots of garlic and herbs from our balcony garden (if i don't kill them) and vegetables and chicken and fruits...

It is quite fabulous. So much so, that I couldn't resist todays late night bounty. See for yourself and you'll want to be our roommates too. But we would require a bigger kitchen. And you would have to do dish duty...

The faint smell of cinnamon and the sweetness of raspberries floats from our little kitchen, tempting us with promise of sweet homemade goodness.

A promise for another morning of strong coffee, and this time another berry. A better one in my opinion

Tuesday, May 31, 2011


You're the edge I just stepped off of, You're the sunlight through my window pane, You're the road I wanna break down on in the pouring rain

My mind wanders these days. It takes it's trek down the long roads that I have already traveled. The towns I've visited, the people that have become family, the interesting choices i've made, and the things I have seen. 

I'm not sure where I stand on the adventuresome life. Don't get me wrong, I live for adventure, but it isn't the same type of adventure that I longed for a year ago. 

I could still get up and go, without a moment's notice, but this time around I think I would have some regrets. 

There are just some people that would be too hard to leave. 

Maybe if they came with me.... 

'Cause I know I'm not easy to hold but you've reached me, baby, You saved me from me before I was too far gone..... I love you for taking me on 

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Sometimes I sit on the toilet so long that my legs fall asleep. Not working on anything, just sitting.

Sometimes I have a really hard time spelling toilet.

And sometimes that's all that life gives ya...

Thursday, May 19, 2011


Here's to you free souls, you fight for life chasers, Street climbers, porch swingers, air guitar players, Here's to you fearless dancers, shaking walls in your bedrooms

The rumor around here has been that the apocalypse is coming. May 21st to be exact. Huge billboards have been rented to display billboards urging the town to repent and spend the next days on their knees, because everyone is going to need it! 

Well I guess that seeped into my mind yesterday because when I finally fell asleep, I had wild wild dreams. They probably deserve three wilds, they were that crazy. 

After the third dream that didn't quite make sense, I must have turned a corner. 

Something in my mind switched on. 

The dreams became serious. Eerily serious....It became prophetic. 

My dream opened up with a nice cozy inviting wormhole. I knew this was the apocalypse happening, so with a little help from a torrential tsunami I was ushered through. And you'll never guess what happened. In the art of true reincarnation/apocalyptical style I became a dandruff flake. 

Yes this is how my brain works. I was a flake of dandruff riding around on some guy's head. I didn't have any motor function as was completely at the will of someone scratching, fluffing, or other general hair maintenance motions.  Often I was upside down and sidewise until the walker mercifully shook his head. I hung out there for awhile before hearing the water turn on. And then before I knew it I was being washed down the drain with suds from a Head and Shoulder's bottle.  

If this is prophetic, I better start working on that whole karma thing. 

There's a little bit of all that inside of me and you, Think that even crazy dreams come true, Think that even crazy dreams come true......

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Doing whatever Kelsey Can...

Is she strong? Listen bud, She's got radioactive blood. Can she swing from a thread, Take a look overhead... 

Today I realized I was officially a scientist.

And then I realized that I could be a superhero. And I just couldn't choose which one to chase after.

At my second day of work, I finally got to go into the lab. It has cooshy no slip padded mats on the floor and eerie yellow lighting, that's good for chemicals, but not so good for my pale pale lab-mate.

We were doing simple solubility testing. A visual test to see if the drug (a really long name that involved Cannabis something something and a lot of numbers and -oxys....) would dissolve into a solution. Except the best part, the superhero part, was that this drug was radioactive.


So since I could only watch and not do, it got me to thinking about all the superhero's out there that became superheroes from radioactivity.  Like spiderman, Radioactiveman (that one's easy),  Hulk, and Captain America. Who I get confused with Captain Planet.

And I'm thinking and thinking, and they are doing and doing, and I'm not watching.

And they turn to ask me a question, but I'm still thinking about Captain Planet... and I answer with "Who would want 'heart' as a superpower?"

And I look up to see my lab mates, holding up two vials looking for chunky proteins and peering at me inquisitively through their safety goggles, wondering what they have gotten themselves into with this new hire...

In the chill of night, At the scene of a crime, Like a streak of lightHe arrives just in time. To him, life is a great big bang up, Whenever there's a hang up, You'll find the Spider man....

Friday, April 29, 2011

Dog Days

Happiness, hit her like a train on a track, Coming towards her, stuck still no turning back, She hid around corners and she hid under beds, She killed it with kisses and from it she fled, With every bubble she sank with a drink, And washed it away down the kitchen sink...

I tracked out the two mile trek a couple days ago. It is exactly two miles from my apartment to North Kansas City Highschool, which sits right across a very nice park, complete with slides and swings (my personal favorite. Everything can be solved when swinging).

My feet started their pounding and the hills gave way into glorious decent just as I was about ready to die. So I made it the two miles to the park and found a swing and let my mind go.

I have a job. It took three hours for an offer to come through from a lab in Olathe that focuses on drug metabolism for pharmaceutical companies. It even has health insurance... woah.

I have an apartment. Granted it's still in all sorts of disarray, but it's a place to come home.

I don't have a car. I'm driving my mom's, which is great, but.... it's my mom's. So I get to go searching for a new one because the old Lexus (which I have been telling you all to not judge based on its brand is a piece of junk after all. Who knew?... oh wait... I did)

When the swing was going about as high as it could, I pulled my arms through the chains and jumped right as the swing reached the top of its arch.

My feet landed, and I started the two miles back home. And I just ran...

...Run fast for your mother run fast for your father, Run for your children for your sisters and brothers
Leave all your love and your longing behind you, Can't carry it with you if you want to survive

Monday, April 25, 2011


If today was not an endless highway if tonight was not a crooked trail,if tomorrow wasn't such a long time then lonesome would mean nothing to me at all...

I have an interview tomorrow. I'm a little excited, not nearly as nervous as the last time and ready to tell my story again. This interview is for a lab job. One I'm not super thrilled about, but it is getting more and more appealing as I have less and less to do.

The only downside is that I found the perfect job for me. And when I say perfect, I mean perfect. It's a job that helps churches plant new churches overseas. It would pay and require me to travel, in the US and further. Yes, please! The only downside is that they aren't hiring until June. That's one more month, and I'm kind of going crazy being a bum after only a week.

So the question becomes, do I put all my eggs in one basket and wait for my dream job? Or lie and say I am ready for a career in the science field to get a job that pays?

I guess we'll see tomorrow...

I can't see my reflection in the waters i can't speak the sounds that show no pain, I can't hear the echo of my footsteps or remember the sound of my own name...

Monday, April 18, 2011

New Old adventures

Night has always pushed up day, You must know life to see decay, But I won't rot, I won't rot, Not this mind and not this heart, I won't rot. And I took you by the hand, And we stood tall, And remembered our own land, What we lived for.

This town, for how big it is, can be awfully lonely. It is full of promise and potential, with buildings rising up to meet the sky, and highways carrying people to their destination, and yet, when I'm in the car, by myself I feel the full weight of being in a new city.

Most of it stems from the fact that I spent a fabulous weekend surrounded by new and old loved ones, celebrating and moving and celebrating some more, so when I finally left the last one and was sent on my way. I could catch my breath and realize the enormity of this new major move. I've gone from here to Texas to Wichita and finally full circle back to Kansas City. I left everything in a storage locker and lived a year with clothes and a few essentials. I wouldn't trade it for anything, but opening the storage locker made my days of minimalism hit home. I have a lot of things that make life convenient, but I didn't realize how attached I was to some of them.

My bed. Oh my bed. It is glorious, and all mine. And I don't have to give it up to sleep on the pull out couch! If I could hug it I would. It has been too long old friend, you have served me well.

Horton, my blue plastic elephant. He is a good travel companion but unfortunately is too big to fit in a suitcase.

My dresser. It's my favorite bright Portugal blue, but I actually get to put clothes in it. Quite a novel idea for me!

Each box brings with it a new little surprise, things long forgotten, others that I have spent ages searching for. Each box is a very odd collection of things. I forgot how exhausted I was after graduation. Every time I open a box I think, "what was I on when i packed this box" And then I remember I wasn't sleeping, barely eating and burning the candle at both ends, so I guess it makes sense that there is a box with shampoo, text books, paint, and a pillow case. What type of label do you put on that box?

This is a new adventure, regardless that the destination is one where I've already been. It's different than all the others. I'm not living with people I don't know, I don't have to worry about living out of laundry baskets if I don't want to (and believe me I don't. It's amazing how many pairs of socks I found hiding at the bottom of those things) and I get to be around new people I love.

So here's to new old adventures. One's that hold even more promise than this big city!

And there will come a time, you'll see, with no more tears, And love will not break your heart, but dismiss your fears. Get over your hill and see what you find there, With grace in your heart and flowers in your hair.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

just a jump north of the border

Come back to Texas, It's just not the same since you went away, Before you lose your accent, And forget all about the Lone Star State...

My bags are sitting by the front door. And by bags I mean a purse and a bag that would fit the size requirements of a carryon. A week plus worth of clothes in a bag that doesn't even require a zipper. I'm getting good at this leaving thing.

I'm headed south in the morning. Back to the big land of trucks, border patrol and breakfast tacos, where the weather is already breaking into the nineties and the barbeque grills are waiting.

I'm ready to see the friends I left nearly six months ago. I'm ready to visit some zebras, sidle up to the bar and have everyone know my name. I'm ready to switch my brain back to spanish and to struggle finding the right word.

I must admit that I am pretty excited. I'm ready to feel the sweet foreignness of a rolled 'r.' on my tongue and the burn from the jalapenos,

Cause like the song says, the Mexican food sucks north of here anyway...

...There's a seat for you at the rodeo, And I've got every slow dance saved....
Besides the Mexican food sucks north of here anyway

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

flings and rings

Sometimes I wake up by the door, That heart you caught must be waiting for you, Even now when we're already over, I can't help myself from looking for you....

I spent the night tossing and turning. My mind wouldn't shut down, wouldn't stop reminiscing. Except reminiscing has the connotation that I was working through good thoughts. This was a battle. I was walking step by step through the past. From the first date, to the final tear. Every tender moment, every conversation, everything that led up to the denouement. The moment where everyone knew it was over. The night was rough by all means. I replayed that old, utterly ridiculous break-up conversation over and over in my head, for hours it seemed. By three, I was so worn down and broken-hearted that sleep mercifully wrapped its arms around me and took me away.

What brought this on you ask? No, especially now, I'm not the type to dwell on this past relationship. I've moved on and am much happier than years ago. I've received closure, and yet he still has this hold over me. This night especially, I stumbled upon a photo a friend took of him proposing to his new girlfriend.

He's engaged.

Finding it took my breath away. When I started breathing again, I laughed, tried to put it out of my head, but it persisted. It wiggled its way into my thoughts and was always lurking in the corner, until finally i was forced to confront the fact that my first love has truly moved on.

Don't get me wrong. I wouldn't change where I am now for anything, and I don't particularly want the old fling to be pinning for me for the rest of his life. That would just be cruel. But there was something inside of me that snapped. It wasn't that final letting go feeling, it was more like he had given the final twist to the knife that he had stabbed my heart with years ago. That sounds super dramatic, almost like I need to be wearing a hoop skirt and falling onto a fainting couch. Or as if this is an troubled eighth grader's diary. No matter what this is, it was uncomfortable.

Normally I can laugh at the breakup antics, the things I regretfully said, even the forced conversations later, but not this night. I tossed and turned fitfully, working through the past. In the end though, despite the bruised heart and hurt I was feeling I decided that losing your first love is never easy, but you often have to lose someone to find the one who is truly meant for you.

...I set fire to the rain, And I threw us into the flames, When we fell, something died, 'Cause I knew that that was the last time, the last time, oh, Oh, no....Let it burn, oh....Let it burn....Let it burn

Friday, February 25, 2011

A summer or so ago

Ten thousand words swarm around my head, Ten million more in books written beneath my bed, I wrote or read them all when searchin’ in the swarms, Still can’t find out how to hold my hands....

The couch rustled as he shifted all his weight onto his one good leg. The mounted deer heads on the wall stared down with permanent fascination through glossy eyes. He reached his hand out and brushes the fingertips lightly up and down his arm.

"What are you thinking," he asks with eyes so dark it's unclear where the pupil ends and the retina starts.

"Nothing" I reply, which is only half-truth. I'd spent the week traveling back and forth multiple times across a three hundred mile stretch. I'd spent my nights taking care of others, and hadn't had a minute to myself in days. And to top it all off I had a conversation with a loved one that left me feeling like I had been slapped across the face. Mix it all together and I was restless and unsure, stuck in a permanent state of anxiety.

But he was fascinated by the adventuresome, brave, non-complicated me. Not the preoccupied one. In an effort to let the weeks worries drain away, I tried to focus on the T.V. I filled my glass with yet another drink, and swirled the ice. I even rearranged my legs on the couch to try and get comfortable, but nothing did the trick.

He sensed the restlessness, stared at me, then stood up and said, "let's go for a drive, now"

As I hike myself up into the passenger seat of his truck my mind immediately calms itself. He turns on his brights and rolls out of the drive. The soothing noise of gravel crunching under tires reaches out to console me. The miles roll by without even leaving the ranch. The lights catch on the desert sage and lavender, the cacti and even an occasional mesquite tree.

I roll down the window to remind myself what a temperature less than 100 degrees feels like, and let the wind blow away the last of the nerves. I pulled my barefoot onto the dash and stretched my toes towards the windshield, leaving ten little circles on the inside of the glass.

His eyes stray from the dusty deserted road, scan the length of my legs and land on my feet. The ones that are desecrating his truck.

'I'll have to detail the inside of this truck tomorrow' he says, as he rolls his eyes, mentally adding it to his to-do list. I laugh, knowing how much status in Texas comes from a big truck. Especially in his line of work.

He smiles, pleased with the rise he has gotten out of me. And we continue down the road, his dark black eyes gleaming in the cast-off light from the headlights.

...And after we are through ten years, of making it to be the most of glorious debuts, I’ll come back home without my things
‘Cause the clothes I wore out there I will not wear ’round you, And they’ll be quick to point out our shortcomings
And how the experts all have had their doubts

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


The train tracks run right through the town. They separate me from my work, and years ago I would have had to factor in the time I needed to wait for the train that comes through every morning at 9:45. A few years ago the town finished an overpass that let commuters drive under the tracks, whether there is a train or not.

Every morning as I pass the hospital and start slowing down to turn left onto an abandoned road that leads to my office, I see him. He sits under the underpass. He shows up with the morning train and leaves with the evening one. He is settling in when I drive by, and gets up to leave when I'm heading home. He's your stereotypical homeless man. Thin and small, most probably wouldn't notice him. His hair is cut short and curly, his beard is scruffy and his pack is full of plastic bottle and aluminum cans. He sits on a five gallon bucket and waits. Or watches. Or both.

Usually I wave, and think about him the entire drive down the empty road. Today I thought about if I had ever seen his name cross my desk. Did he have a past that I had catalogued? Was his name in our database? Had I been the one who told his potential landlord about his past?

Sometimes the job gets to me. There is only so many hours you can spend thinking about aggravated battery and indecent liberties with a child. I tend to start suspecting everyone. And I am pretty sure that just about everyone in Wichita is a convicted felon. I even have started looking into all the people I meet, to see if they have things to hide. The paranoia is slipping in....

When I left today, my friend wasn't sitting on his bucket, or watching the traffic. He was walking west, away from the tracks. I didn't wave today because he was walking away from me, and on the back of his sweatshirt were a pair of angel wings.

....‘Cause I heard Jesus, He drank wine, And I bet we’d get along just fine, He could calm a storm and heal the blind,
And I bet He’d understand a heart like mine...

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Dirty old river, must you keep rolling, Flowing into the night, People so busy, make me feel dizzy, Taxi light shines so bright

The music blared in the background while I hesitantly put one foot in front of the other. My heart was pounding, my breathing sporadic and to be honest my deodorant had worn off hours ago. The bar was packed. People on top of people. Girls who couldn't remember to hold eye contact, or even stand for that matter. Macho guys teetering between a drunken stupor and a bar fight. The second I'm through the door the familiar faces start to pass in and out. The ones I've known from kindergarten. That's the reason my heart is pounding. I don't like those chance run-ins where you do the whole nicey-nicey "how have you been-I haven't seen or thought of you in five years" talk.

I said hello as I crossed paths with them. Gave my shortened life story. And then moved on. I didn't hang out with them at school. They didn't talk to me. I didn't particularly want them to, hence the sweating and pounding.

The only common thread we all shared was that they knew I didn't belong. They discussed my whereabouts for the last few years, and talked of my adventures. The ones that took me to far-off places doing great things.

It was a good feeling to know I didn't belong. I've grown up and really don't miss highschool. The only thing these encounters made me feel, other than the uncontrollable shaking, was the desire to be gone again. They are right. I don't belong with them, the question is where do I belong?

But I don't feel afraid, As long as I gaze at Waterloo sunset, I am in Paradise