I know it’s 2 am and well past my old-woman bedtime, but I had to blog. I’ve had the full spectrum of possible human emotions today and so I thought it was only appropriate to share my many fluctuating feelings with everyone that possibly reads this old thang. (Yes, I meant to spell it that way).
My day can almost be summed up in a phrase, and a picture. The phrase, “it was a dark and stormy night…” (a bit cliche, but it’ll have to do for now).
Let me over-analyze this photo for you really quickly and dissect my life into tiny-bitty pieces while simultaneously thinking too hard about a few major life decisions. READY GO. Okay, in this photo, I am staring at my feet, because my best friend, Jessica, and her boyfriend, are kissing across the small man-made pond. A rusting, silver angel and hundreds of dead leaves are also in the pond. The fish, if there were any are dead. The rose bushes surrounding the pond are dead and filled with thorns (picture Sleeping Beauty/Briar Rose, when the prince has to hack through the thorn vines with his giant, gleaming sword…and then picture those vines and bushes enveloping my little person-hood). I am wearing gray shoes, also the color of the day, the thorns, the sky, and my half-reflection in the pond. I’m lost.
And I’m a bitter buffalo, who will now be reeking of self-pity.
So, I’m here in a dead rose garden, taking photos of a good hour of PDA. Let me just give you a sneak preview, so you could either “ou and aw” or “bleh and haw”…WARNING: This may be your cuteness quota for the week, just prepare yourself….
Usually these kinds of things just make me act like an Angry Beaver, but Jess deserves more than anyone I know to find true love and so Nick giving her the opportunity to show off her fully functioning and Grinch-at-the-end-of-the-story-heart, REALLY makes me happy. Why was I not jealous, you ask? Well, that came later in the day.
If you know me, you know I kind of have a giant crush, like fourteen-year-old-school-girl on everyone that I think can sing me sweet nothings, or write me delectable love poetry. These include the following men; Justin Beiber, Matthew Dickman, Ryan Gosling, and Heath Ledger (RIP). So, to find myself at a Dickman Brothers reading, sitting cross legged, and cross-eyed at the man who wrote a poem about a shirt I once owned in seventh grade, “Talk Nerdy to Me” pretty much makes me want to a. pee my pants, or b. scream and get his face screen-printed onto a white t-shirt that I will progress to cut up the sides of and twist, thus exposing pieces of my sides and possible love handles. I invited my friend Nat (who is also featured in the previous blog) and who is not only multi-faceted, but multi-talented. Obviously, the reading was swell, yummy, thrilling, “your ankles, make me want to party.” I mean what more can you say about that? And then Michael Dickman read and he had this poem about flies, I mean flies of all the tiny, kaleidescope-eyed insects for God’s sakes, and it made my heart stop beating with the line about a pine tree, and calming nerve endings in fingers and flies licking. The brothers are talented. I think the time it hit major jealousy was when Matthew was eyeing the amazing doodle abilities of Nat and I felt like a piece of something that was mine was now being taken away? And isn’t that strange how those things happen?
I think poetry does this a lot to me though. I get into Emily Dickinson mode (except less Christian on a hilltop) and hide-away in my room, secretly highlighting, crying, and circling small romantic-penned hearts around words I love. I write in the margins, in the folded down flaps of the pages that I’ve saved for later. I let my lips run dry and chapped and lick them over once, like I’m putting on my mother’s lipstick as a child. I crack my knuckles, obsessively, counting each finger out like it was its’ own poem. And I love these poems that I read in secret. I’m a closet-poetry-reader, literally. Harry Potter below the stairs style.
I remember (dream sequence coming) my junior year of college, when I was having a really hard time with my roommates and I felt more alone than ever even though my apartment was filled with people who all had personalities and were more than happy to shake my hand and play a game of apples-to-apples. But in my bathroom, there was this shelving space, where the first shelf on the bottom was just above my head and I could sit comfortably with my blankets and pillows all stuffed in the little nook with me. Even my guitar playing build-a-bear sometimes came to snuggle. (It was much more practical than my other poetry-reading turf, the empty, porcelain of any household bathtub). And I’d sit there half-crying, half-reading and listening to the sounds of people outside in my living room. Their words didn’t even make sense, I could just hear the distant mumbles, like a far-off train or something. But, the words that did make sense, were all of my favorite poets, like Matthew Dickman, who felt like my own. He felt like he was speaking directly to the scared twenty-one year old inside of me, who didn’t want to come out of her room, and brushed her teeth in the shower which everyone thought was odd, and still had a shirt that read, “Talk Nerdy to Me” even though she was extremely shallow and once broke up for a boy mostly because he had extra-large pores.
And so I get, protective? Pessimistic? Anal? So many words to describe my feelings when Matthew Dickman picked up Nat’s Moleskin filled with her life’s work of doodles, in their vibrant colors, with her vibrant penmanship and personality all tied into one wonderful picture and wrote he liked her smile. (I’ve always hated my teeth, so there’s some dark, deep insecurities there anyway). And I went back to that seventh grader, who thought if only a guy would sit down at Cracker Barrel and play checkers with me while he talked about the elegy, or pantoun he was writing for his mother who was sick. If only, that were mine, that nerdy-talking boy.
And isn’t this all insane? I mean let’s list how much this is insane.
- I’m excruciatingly proud of my friends (Nat, Jess and Sarah especially because they break boundaries in their “fields” and open doors, and eyes in me that I never knew I had. Nat with writing and art, Jess with womanhood and strength and Sarah with photographs and nice-girl-ness).
- Matthew Dickman is a poet I don’t know personally (even though we’re friends on facebook and I’ve tagged him as a toilet once or twice) who can write a damn good love poem, beginning at your ankles and finishing with the stray, kinked hairs of your head.
- I’m being a Negative Nancy and I’m jealous of what? Talent? Inspiration? A smile? Come on, put your big girl panties on, Cassie.
It’s been SO LONG since I’ve felt jealous. I used to be jealous of everyone, in … ya know, high school when you’re constantly being compared to … anything in any media. And I’ve gotten so used to being encouraging and watering the seeds of my friends’ ambitions (a lot of this is in thanks to Jess and Sarah who are the least judgmental and least jealous people I’ve ever met), and tonight I was raging.
How can I explain this? Well, I can’t. All I can say is: Never fall in love with a poet. Always take the time to hide in your waterless bathtub with a good book. And make sure you always smell like freshly cut roses, even if it’s the dead of winter, and roses are not in season.
I’m a lost little soul right now. Blame it on my thyroid, blame it on my lack of direction, blame it on graduate schools who haven’t yet let me in. Who knows? Everything, even my shoes are a bit gray, and you know what, I accept that challenge to clean up and color my world, world.
Oh, and I’m going to get some damn good poetry out of this self-pity and self-righteous blog. Don’t worry about me, I plan to out-sell The Bible too, JK Rowling.