not everything seems to matter to everybody like it does to me.
as we speak there’s an ant crawling across my rug and under the door, strapped to a crumb three times its size like an astronaut with a jetpack. i think, in an ideal world, that would matter more than dinner parties with their rudeness and romance or lack thereof.
tonight the moon has quiet hands. she folds them in her lap then presses her hands like a mothers’ on a feverish forehead in the dark and they feel so good and cold like human plums. we look at the moon when nobody’s looking at us. if you look at somebody on a good day you’ll find them laughing with their head back, all tangled up in their own humanity and refusing, for the moment, to think about the moon. this isn’t innately sad or happy — more self evident, like air or blueberries. we attribute feelings to inanimate objects because our hearts are too big to fit in their rib caves and the wire mesh of our experience has made objectivity impossible. our senses are malleable. we are breathing clay.
for me npr is the kitchen on a saturday morning, my mom squeezing a lemon on an english breakfast pancake. for me chipping green paint will always smell like funerals. wet cheeks will always feel like funerals. cranberry nut bread will always taste like a consolation card. the perfume of a person, the smell of their house. how the sky turns purple like a bruise at a certain time of night and it makes you think about how romantic these scenes always appear from the front seat of someone’s blue convertible. my worst memories return in gales and stairwells. polo shirts, a cologne that trained me to asphyxiate in its absence.
but then there’s also how peanut butter will always feel like home. the creaky swing, the yappy dog, complaints about both things. scabs on knees and the sparklers burning to the nubs in fingertips — tracing chandelier formations in the clear air while simultaneously threatening to annihilate your hands. parents are uneasy about many things, yet they soften with sparklers. little flames in little fingers. it’s because childhood nights poke their sleepy heads through the chain link fences of their memory until they are let through — like stray dogs with frayed collars and an enormous need for nourishment. that’s all these memory things are — pests and also presents. darting around forever in front of my forehead causing ruptures in the future and making me taste mexico every time i lick a stamp.