Monday, May 1, 2017

Lock Ins

Do I need new doorknobs and lamp shades? Probably. Am I even completely moved in, even though it's been an entire year? No. But that is not stopping me from staying under my covers and watching old movies all day. I don't want anything to do with the overwhelming feeling that is ikea when it's having a sale.

That is, until the people below me began blasting their music again, hindering my concentration on roman holiday. Ikea, here we come.

Dealing with crowds is not my strong suit. I can take it at the movie theater, where there's an entire counter between me and them, but when I'm in the midst of all of it, overcome by body heat and loud noises, I'm not exactly calm. I run my hands over bedroom comforters and pretend like I live in the little set up homes. Any distraction is welcomed. As I make my way to eat lunch (a trip to ikea without the Swedish meatballs is a trip wasted) the lights go off. My grip on the plastic tray loosens, and panic ensues. Apparently, the doors have been locked. Not only am I surrounded by strangers, I'm surrounded by strangers in a dark ikea.

If this is an emergency, I've got to find cover- right? In school they always taught us to get away from windows and find a safe space. Where's a safe place in an ikea? Can't people find you just about anywhere? It's a furnished warehouse, for god's sake. The only place to hide in an ikea is- oh man. I'm going to have to hide in an ikea ball pit.

I dash down the escalator steps (now that the power is out they're just stairs) and dart past the crowds pounding on the door. I can see the police outside. Now I'm scared. Police in this town aren't exactly a welcome sight. I run to the kids playroom and hop the counter, just missing a middle aged employee who's not exactly thrilled to see a 20 year old girl in the daycare center. Before she can stop me, I dive into the ball pit and nestle to the bottom.

"Don't think about the germs, don't think about the germs, don't think about the germs" I whisper to myself. At least this feels somewhat safe. If theres a murderer loose in ikea, I doubt their first move would be to search the ball pit. I'm okay. This will be over soon. In the meantime, I hold my breath and think of any weirder experiences I've had than this one.

I'm coming up pretty short.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Flea Markets and Lingonberry Juice

Warm sun shining on my back, I dig through piles of old trinkets and imagine the lives of other people. I had forgotten what this was like- springtime. The city has started buzzing again. There are farmers markets and free events and my favorite of all, flea markets. Instinctively, I go to tuck my hair behind my ear, but realize again that I've cut it all off. It feels right. I feel more like myself. Last year slipped through my fingers. I finally worked up the nerve to visit my dad in treatment, and it took a toll on me. It was difficult for me to see him struggling. I thought by sending the money, I'd be solving all of our problems. But I should have known that money only complicates everything. It was enough to get him more medications. More treatments. But not enough to make him feel whole. He begged me to take him out of the hospital, and I did. We spent his last few months together. I know now what a mistake I made, shutting him out. I should have spent longer with him, but we had run out of time. He told me he didn't blame me. I tried to believe him.

I still feel the dull ache of loss. I tried many things to cope with the death of my dad, but sill I feel hollow guilt. Soft at times, when I'm with Banks or Sail. Pressing and angry at others. Today is different. My grief is not soft or pressing. It does not come in waves or crash constantly against my body. It is just- there. Muted so much as I can ignore it, but loud enough that I cannot forget it entirely. I have spent my entire afternoon hunched over baskets of old junk. Consuming free waffles at Karnival Diner, and laying in the grass with the taste of ikea lingonberry juice in my mouth. 

It is hot enough 
To get freckles on my face
Today that's enough

Thursday, January 26, 2017


What would you do with a thousand dollars? Do you spend it? Save it? Hide it? I've been turning this thought over and over in my head for a month. I don't need a thousand dollars- do I? Normally I would jump at the opportunity, buy something little and save the rest. But this money doesn't fall under normal circumstances. It feels unnatural. Sure, I know I'm not stealing, and I know that this money, is, in some way, supposed to be a gift. But why? Why now? I don't know what to do with it. I might as well push it out of my mind again.

Recently I've been writing more. I've been finding scraps and trying to recall bits and pieces from my day, so I don't forget. I try to focus on the positive aspects, like the girl I ate an entire bucket of popcorn with at the movie theater, Sail. Or the new song I've been listening to over and over again. But I write down the bad things, too. I'd rather not go into detail about those. I've been sending all of these notes to my dad. He hasn't said anything when we talk on the phone- that is, if we talk on the phone- but I know he's been receiving them. I can hear it in the warmth of his voice. It's not as shaky when we talk now. Today I'm going to mail him this week's envelope. Of course, it takes a lot of guessing to figure out which mailman is in, but I've gotten pretty good at trying my luck.

I have a hunch that today I should take a gamble on the mailbox by See's Cafe. Nobody ever sees the mailman who mans the station, Ethos, but I'm determined. As I lace my shoes, I glance over to old can of tea bags I keep my spare change in. The money is in there. I can feel a sense of guilt wash over me all over again. I silently walk over to it, open the lid, and look in the tin. There it is, one thousand dollars in cash. It glare at it, hoping I will somehow find a solution to my problem. As I stare, a see something tucked under the right corner of the wad. It's one of my notes. I don't remember writing this one, but I must have. It's in my handwriting. It reads: "Ethos. See's Cafe. 2 pm". I am in awe. I must have woken up in the middle of the night again. Sometimes when I wake up, I do strange things, like draw a picture of someone I've seen that day or bake a cake. I guess now I'm predicting things. Wait- it's 1:44 now. No wonder I had a hunch. I take one lsat look at the money, and grab it. I know what to do with it now.

I sprint down the roads to See's Cafe. I know that you're not supposed to send money in the mail, but I'm still not ready to make the journey to visit him. Not now. I'm not prepared. He isn't either. I walk around the corner of the building, in the direction of the mailbox. At the box is a little boy. He is most likely around the age of eleven, and wearing a small blue cap. I have never seen him before. He is small, probably coming up to my chin. He wears a patch on the back of his shirt. "Winthrop Place Postal Service" it says. I am in shock. "Are you... Ethos?" I ask quietly. He turns toward me, gives one short nod, gets on his bike, and drives away. The entire experience is more than odd. It's bizarre. But far be it from me to question the tactics of an eleven year old mailman. I smile to myself at the thought.

I look at the small box in my hands briefly before putting it in the mailbox and shutting the door. On the label, in my handwriting, are the words:
"For Dad- 734 Morning Glory Circle, Franklin TN, 37064"
I finally feel I've made the right choice.