rememberthistag

6

I am not often kind to my hands. They are stubby, small, and child-like. One of the things I fear in group conversation is the size of my hands being brought up. It has happened far more often then I’d like. Often there is no malintent when being discussed by others, but I can not help in gaining unpleasant feelings. I want to curl them away. The only kind thing that results is that people compare hands, and light contact is brought. But mostly I feel like I am being singled out as having something that is unusual and strange. My hands are not pretty. They are not dainty or long. They do not look fully grown. Often I’ve coated them in rings. Partly because I like silver and decoration. But also because I feel without them, they are ugly things (my hands). I pick at them. I bite the nails. Push at cuticles. And I forget how hard-working they are. I forget how they aid me. In touching and feeling. In creating and communicating. In functioning and living and loving. They help me to be. And I am grateful for them. To them. Their value is high, and not determined by appearance, but action. Action is what makes us and moves us. What causes things to have interest and depth. Not being pretty. 

The last time I remember the feeling of safe was when I was seventeen and back living at home. I had a nasty flu, and missed courses that day. If you know me, you know I’ll brave most any illness in order to attend something I have committed to- so that should attest to how poorly I was feeling. I was sat on the cushy beige couch in our family room, with two red plump pillows underneath my head and a soft white blanket over me. I clenched it in my fists as I embraced the ache and fever. Boy Meets World had just gone on commercial break, but it didn’t matter because I had the television on mute for the past few hours. I just wanted to see the movements and light on the screen- so as to not feel alone. Just then I heard the garage door open and slam shut, followed by the familiar jingle of my mother’s keys and the sound of feet to wood-floored hallway. She walked in with a crinkly white grocery bag and sat down between the space of my curled up knees and the edge of the couch. She called me “mon petit” while brushing her hand softly on my cheek. The bag opened to reveal these cherry-flavored, off-brand cough drops; the ones that do the bare minimum of throat numbing, but also the sweetest. She untwisted the plastic wrapping around one and handed it to me. They were the only ones I would ever agree to pop in my mouth when I was little, and so in doing so, I gained a sense of sugar and nostalgia. She pulled out an extra pack of tissues, laid them on the floor, and kissed my forehead. My voice croaked as I thanked her. She offered to make me bananas on toast, another tradition of adolescent sick treatment, and I nodded with a smile. We exchanged “I love you”’s as she got up and walked towards the kitchen. I felt warm, but not in physical temperature. I felt love. Care. Consistency. I felt like no illness or heartache or evil could get to me. I felt safe.

2

Today I got fitted for the correct bra size and bought one that fits. I celebrated with Sonnet and a good portion of the Victoria’s Secret staff. I tried on clothing that made me feel fantastic. I’ve learned both what types of fabrics and cuts are flattering and also to try things I’m doubtful I can “pull off” so that I may surprise myself. I am on a high of positivity in regards to my body and this is something good.

As we come into life and continue in it, we are given ways to take it from ourselves. When born into the world, we’re coddled and cradled. Corners are padded and outlets are blocked. But inches are gained. Our legs can walk. They can run. We can climb. Our reach extends. We are given privacy in increasing doses. Left with trust that we will keep this life. Walk by ourselves. Run by ourselves. Close our doors. Lock them. We gain permissible uses of knives, letter openers, razors, and scissors. Given entire bottles of pills meant to make better. Put behind a wheel in a heavy machine that has power of turns mixed with speed from pushes of pedals. Allowed a metal tube with bullets to be in possession. Permission to consume liquid that can dull and blur and take everything away. Soon we are given every tool and opportunity to take away life. Whilst you’ve gained age, knowledge, and wisdom, you’ve also gained the power to make all of it cease. But in gaining age, knowledge, and wisdom, there is a hope that you have an understanding of the worth that is living. A desire that despite having a way out, one stays in because we see the beauty in experience. We fill our lungs with air and smell things. Open eyes to view colors and images. Take in sounds and spit out words. Touch and feel and think and function and be. And understand that we want to. 

Thump. Thump. Thump. Thump. My fingers repeat the patterns on the top of my knee. If I could only get them to hit the keys, instead. It’s like they are afraid. I know there’s a delete key; it doesn’t have to be permanent. But every entering word in my mind seems wrong. I delete it before I have it there on the page. So in a way, I’m saving myself the key strokes. My stomach is filled with cement and my body will not move from the bed. But my mind keeps trying to fly in the wrong directions. Fleeing to uncompleted tasks and bills and failures of all colors. All I want to be able to do is focus. The screen is tugging at my eyes. I am grasping at the stories and characters in my brain. I dream of them in the evenings and they are sweet and angry and wonderful. But as soon as I try to document them- grab hold and make them mine… they hide from me. I catch glimpses, but they slip through my fingers like smoke. Other thoughts and worries give them cover. If I could only just start. With a single word. If I could, I wouldn’t be feeling as frustrated and frozen as I so often do. If I could, maybe the joy of writing would return in a kind embrace. Maybe I would feel as though I have done something important. But away from the keys my fingers stay. They will scratch and curl and touch spoons, knobs, sweaters, and steering wheels. Dirty coins, oily faces, mold in the sink, printed paper. My teeth. The pillow. The phone screen. But not the keys. Not when I need them on the keys. My eyes begin to drift and my head sighs toward the wall. The spots on the wall begin to be more defined than the thoughts in my mind. The light streams over and through them, reminding me they exist. They stay there, strong and quiet, coated over lead paint on old walls. I want the light to help illuminate my hiding words, but it is dedicated to the paint spots. 

I find moles and freckles to be one of the most beautiful things that can be a part of someone. Every dot, every mark that’s unique and placed where it is. There’s something absolutely lovely about these special marks being placed without any input from the owner. And when I was younger, my freckles and moles were my favorite part of me. So much so, that I tried to find ways to make more appear. At age five, I pressed a mechanical pencil tip into every spot on my skin where I wanted a new spot, for weeks. I loved counting them over and over and playing connect the dots. So many people I’ve expressed this to see them more as blemishes- something ugly that should be erased. But they’re these unique bits of color placed differently and sparingly and speckled and even when they represent a certain danger, which mine have, I can’t help but like them.

today i was helping a blind customer put her coffee in the tray that she ordered to be extra hot (of course) and it spurted out and spilled across my hand and I shrieked, “holy mackerel,” and she said, “what happened?” and i said, “it’s fine, we’re clean, we’re cool,” and cleaned it quickly with the help of a coworker and then I went to lead her out but before i did, she walked her hip into a corner (purposefully) and said, “Oh, ouch.” and smirked and said, “now we suffer in pain together" 

This morning began as one in a long string of sameness that is me waking at four in the am. I got up, dressed, filled my belly, and unwound before hopping in my car and onto the long stretch of highway. I turned on Beach House and crossed the same three lanes I always do at seventy miles an hour cleanly and without cars in my path. As I started to enter the city I realized I forgot to turn my heat on, like I do most every morning, and the cold was tickling my skin and raising goosebumps. Instead of reaching for the knob that would heat the car, I pushed four buttons and all my windows sunk. I let all the air rush through my bones. Bits of hair that fell from my braid swept my cheeks. I turned up the music and my soul felt lighter as I pushed further towards the masses of buildings. The fog did what I love it to do- it made the tops of the buildings disappear. There is something so gorgeous and seemingly mystical about trailing your eyes up towards a structure and having it be completely lost into mist on the way up. The only regret in my heart was the involuntary blinks that made me miss half-moments of all of this.

2

Today Meghan, Zachary, and I all went to the zoo. We planned this earlier in the week, thinking the weather would be nice, but then this morning it was sprinkling. Despite that, we continued on with our plans and upon my arrival it was pouring. We spent the first hour there inside the food pavilion. We talked about the quality of Dippin’ Dots and I received free waffle fries from a good-looking cashier. After we all finished our food, the rain completely cleared. The sun came and all the clouds parted ways, and we went on to see lion cubs, river otters, and giraffes (and other cool things). Pictured here is an orangutan, and as I posed in the first picture and took the second, I felt a strange mix of sadness and wonder. It continued to make eye contact with me and pose, and seeing something with human-like features look at you behind a glass and caged enclosure really sits strangely in the belly. I took these with Meghan’s phone having left my camera in the car, and discovered she has a specific distaste for orangutans, requesting I delete these after I send them to myself via email, and refusing to look at them. After this, we discovered a lone and unopened bag of cotton candy, which caused Zachary to smile and curse with delight as he snatched the bag and fastwalked to the next exhibit (he shared it). We joked and sat and walked and did all those things friends do. And it was a good time. 

This is the only shot I took with my camera I brought to Los Angeles and Anaheim for Vidcon a few weeks ago. It’s in the LAX airport, before you exit towards baggage claim. Right after I took this, my camera died and I realized I forgot my charger at home.

I’ve had the concept of “forgetting” on my mind a lot as of these past few months, because my mind has increasingly lost many pieces of information and memory. I’ve been consumed with the feeling of losing grip on what I once thought I could always recall. It’s a feeling of thin and shaky ground underneath the feet. But in thinking about forgetting, I have unintentionally ignored remembering. I do forget, but I also remember. Select moments are etched in my mind, waiting to come forward and be thought about. Telling moments. Times in past that aid me to see how things came to be, be they little or big. Significant times. Significant because they are the things that have decided to stay. My mind swirls for these moments of recollection. I am lost in what has been, and although it is not always a happy memory, there is an immense amount of beauty in it. Past being present, faint, but there. I am reminded that although time moves swiftly, and passes, it does not truly leave. Impressions are left in many different ways- and they wait for us. They wait to be remembered.

today was sunny and gorgeous so meghan and i went to enjoy it and i was lying on the grass and she said that there were a lot of bugs and i declined to care and kept saying how much i love being alive so then she threw a bunch of daisies on my belly and laid down as well and it was lovely and then she folded her arms up and said she JUST remembered she was allergic to grass and I said “that’s the saddest thing i’ve ever heard” and then we continued to lay there anyway and appreciate things and make fun of birbs 

(i am going to start a tag for good memories so i may reminisce about things like this)