Friday, April 8, 2011

quiet places

"it's not Halloween, it's cosplay," say the three tweens getting cookies with their dad at the coffeeshop. The oldest has a witch hat on and a purple wig, the youngest is wearing a Pokemon t-shirt and cat ears.

I feel weird writing when there's people in close quarters, even as I know the bike messenger vegans at the next table are paying no attention to me as I work on my neglected four page paper and let the ginger green tea soothe my sore throat.

There was no ceramics tonight for me, coming back to the house I'm staying at to let the dog out, crash on the couch for a couple hours, waking up to reheat leftovers from my dinner last night with a friend from back in the day, having stayed up late to catch up on life and music and laugh. It was worth every minute past midnight but uncounted cups of coffee barely sustained me through a day of slowness.

So many things and people I forgot about because it seems like forever since I was living with multiple roommates, constantly writing papers, slacking in the student center over cups of chai being adolescently snarky, arguing politics and religion, and getting my fix of live music seemingly every other week. I had a good time when I lived there even though it was crazy and I was termed a "random force of chaos" among my roommates because whenever I was around or we went anywhere, it was always a little more weird and inevitably turned into some strange adventure that almost always left us wondering what the hell just happened. This doesn't happen nearly as much in Grown Up World, but every so often flashes of it reoccur.

There was a little sunlight left when I took the dog on a walk through the almost-hood, enjoying the blank sky, the crocuses peeking up purple through the debris once buried under melted snow, piles of old church domes in the monastery garden, the silver lake through the trees, the rhythms of a city beginning to stir back to life after an unusually long hibernation, African kids on bikes shouting to each other in Lingala and Kirundi,and the teens returning to the corners and vacant lots to flirt and fight and both.

I put my seedlings on the balcony and I stop by to water them while I'm gone, growing mint and lavender in peat pots, hopefully putting in seeds and something beautiful in the back yard which is broken concrete and dirt, fenced off from a parking lot. When I lived in Lakewood I never bothered with this but ripping out the weeds the Sunday when I was grieving the messed-up lives of the kids I worked with, turning a parking lot bordered by weeds into a space full of herbs and vegetables last summer, making beauty out of empty space makes me want to do it once more.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

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Randal Graves said...

I'm not suggesting you forsake with the Victorian pigeon, of course, but you should put 'random force of chaos' on a t-shirt.

Hopefully the neighborhood critters won't feast on the vegetable buffet.

thatgirl said...

@dmf,
lots of good stuff on here! thanks!

@Randal,
Unlike Loki, my chaos is mostly benevolent and I'm convinced that God has a very weird sense of humor.

the feral feline population seems to keep the non-cucaracha vermin down to something manageable. If I planted catnip things might get crazy. It will be interesting to see what happens.

Randal Graves said...

You could be the Marvel comics Loki. Just don't start sporting a yellow and green 70s hot mess getup.

If you plant catnip, you might turn into some inverse cat lady, all the felines you don't own congregating outside, though they could be your own Varangian card.