To Gummy Bear, or Not to Gummy Bear (jenn)

[One month in the life of a Craigslist Addict, Part Deux]

Dishes have been acquired! I saw a Craigslist ad stating the following: “I put dishes on my lawn at 6pm.” I did not see said message until 10:45pm. Following a tense drive into the middle of nowhere, we arrived at the target destination at 11:30pm. Dishes were still present. Ryan and I proceeded to pile the huge Rubbermaid containers filled with more plates, mugs, glasses, and Tupperware than we could ever use into our trunk and promptly sped off. I laughed maniacally all the way down the I-5, savoring the success of our huge score.

When asked about the late-night front lawn raid, Ryan was quoted as saying: “My girlfriend is fucking insane.”

[Shift to serious tone.]

Last January, when I first moved to Philly from Bulgaria, I couldn’t believe the furniture, toys, and electronics lining the streets on bulk refuse days. As Christa commented—bulk refuse day is a sidewalk free-for-all. I saw America with clean eyes. I saw how so many families have more than they would ever need, and yet they still want more, still want new, still want. In Bulgaria, everything becomes something else. Nothing is wasted. Throughout the day I could look out my window and see grown ups, children digging through our street’s dumpster. I would put my glass jars next to the trash bins, because I knew someone would take them for canning. In minutes they’d be gone, my trash turned into someone’s winter sustenance.

And Bulgaria, compared to… oh, I dunno—SOMALIA–is a well-off country.

Can you really imagine?

I’m not lecturing—I’m just saying how holy shit all of it is.

I can’t imagine.

Some days I feel deprived. Me. Harvard grad. Hawaii Kai born and bred. I feel deprived because I can’t shop at Whole Foods, because I can’t walk into REI and drop $1000 without blinking, or hop on a plane and fly to my Iolani Best Friend’s bridal shower in LA. Because we can’t move home and find perfect jobs that would both be fun, creative, flexible, and enable us to live without thinking about the M-word.

Oh dirty, dirty M-word.

In the Peace Corps you have a tendency to hoard, to pass on even your most worn down flannel pajamas to new volunteers, to scatter your Gap T-shirts throughout the orphanage. I left everything–my laptop, video camera–I made sure I gave someone my last bay leaf. I let the kids descend on my apartment like little orphan vultures and pick the clothes they wanted. It made me happy to see them in my warm jackets, my Tae Bo shoes, putting on whatever shitty jewelry and half-tubes of lip gloss I had thrown in a “junk” box. They tried to take my last pens and rubber bands from my desk drawer. Hey! I need those! I said. But I didn’t, not really. I couldn’t throw anything away. In some ways, it was my penance, the way I said I’m sorry for leaving. It was my loose change, and it did help–in the same way unpocketed quarters help a homeless person buy a cup of coffee—warmed briefly, his condition stays exactly the same.

I joke about Bulgaria all the time, call it Hellzakhistan, write blog-worthy anecdotes about how I would freeze during winter like the water in my pipes, or how I could only use one electrical appliance at a time—wash laundry or cook soup? Use space heater or take a hot shower?

At least I had appliances. At least I had a home infinitely nicer than any of the families I worked with. Families of 5, 6, 7 in one room, dirt floor shanties. How could I complain? It was me, my dog, my food processor and overpriced soy products in an apartment big enough for a family. How could I complain about how hard it was to work with the orphanage staff, how uncaring and impossible they were, about how much I hated the way my town made fun of my work, called me a stupid American for trying to help the gypsies, who they called dirty dogs, parasites. How could I complain, when I could leave it all in the blink of an eye—a plane ride—a metal box transporting me away from that entire messed up world—and my friends, my colleagues, the children—they had to stay.

I could leave.

And did.

Today I got a letter from my friend Lindsay, who took over my job as the Orphan Sponsorship Goddess. She sent me updates about the kids, photos. In one e-mails, everything shifts back into perspective. One of my favorite girls who I took to film camp, who won a trip to Amsterdam for her film—a big fucking deal–but in the end couldn’t go because we couldn’t find her parents to sign a release form, as she was AN ORPHAN who was ABANDONED—well, she is now a teenage mom orphan. She was so awesome—still is, I’m sure—but now she has a baby, no high school diploma, and a teenage husband with just as few resources as she has.

I wish I could talk to her. Sit down with her in my kitchen, like old times, make cookies, talk to each other as if we both believe it can all turn out differently, better—she’s the one, she’s going to break the cycle, there is hope. Still.

My life is simple.

We make it so complicated.

Tonight I spent way too long in Safeway, staring at my favorite ginger flavored gummy bears, knowing $6 is exorbitant to pay for a bag of gummy bears, but I love them, and I’ve waited all month for them to be on sale, and they’re never on sale, fucking gummy bears. On one hand, I know we should stick to the essentials. I bargain with myself. Well, Ryan gets beer, which costs the same, and he doesn’t need beer.

Just this once.

For the most part it’s easy to spend our days without spending a dollar. Libraries, parks, movies at home.

I don’t even know how we used to spend so much money. On what?

On everything we didn’t need or even really want.

Still, every now and then there’s a gummy bear moment, where I spend waaaay too much energy on the cost benefit analysis. Sometimes I go back up aisles and put things back. It’s so silly, how much we have and still how much we tend to worry. If we don’t catch ourselves and re-mantra: don’t worry.

The other night we were at Safeway, and as we were checking out, I asked Ryan, “I got a pumpkin pie, that’s okay, right?”

And Ryan said, “Of course. Jesus. Shoot me in the fucking head if I ever get to the place where I can’t buy pie. Fuck. Buy two in fact. Don’t ever ask me that again.”

And then the checkout guy added, “God—you should see all the people who buy pies who REALLY shouldn’t buy pies. Or have children.”

I wondered if it was obvious that we are anti-breeding.

Was it because we were shopping at midnight, and our groceries consist of a pie, some dog food, soymilk, eggs, bread, and some fruit?

What do parents buy?

Some afternoons I walk Mati down to Lake Washington, where the homes are incredible, and yet they’re probably nothing compared to the really-really nice neighborhoods. It’s just a nice neighborhood, with beautiful but not massive lake front homes, Mercedeses and Lexuses in the driveways, alarm system signs planted in the landscaped front yards, next to the mini-waterfalls or rock gardens. Just a fifteen-minute walk from our neighborhood, which I think is fantastic, as long as I avoid the news, avoid reading about last week’s shooting at the restaurant around the corner.

How does anyone survive here? Immigrants, rich kids, orphans. I glance at the newspaper for 5 seconds and all I can’t think is what. the. hell. A monkey in a research lab accidentally has his cage tossed in a dishwasher and is burned to death by acidic soap and hot fucking water. Generations still reeling from the horrors of Native American boarding schools. It was the 1920s. The new “phenomenon” of people who have to abandoned their homes after banks foreclose on them, and leave their pets behind to STARVE? I didn’t know. I don’t need to know.

And the Star Jones Show, cancelled!??!

Then, to let through a single floss-thin thread of light, there’s the story about the baby who survived the recent tornado storm, even though he was tossed into the elements, into some muddy yard. Oh, lucky baby. Of course his mom and like 60 other people died, but oh, that baby, that one baby, he lived. God bless his little beating baby heart.

I’m not angsty today. I am not fetaled somewhere crying. I am clear as a glass bell.

True, I am a bit confused. Confused by people who debate that life is beautiful. All these Chicken Soup moments. All these buy-one-get-one frees. All these new earth-friendly household cleaning products.

Please disagree with me.

I realize the news, the media focuses on the sensational, the negative.

It doesn’t matter. These things still happen.

Ryan’s friends think I’m wrong for him. Think I hold him hostage on the mainland, hold him hostage with my sadness spells, blindside tackle him when he’s stoned, hog tie him and force-feed him vegan sausage. That he is too-this, and I am too-that, and this and that just don’t go together.

Oil and Vinegar.

But you know, I say that sometimes you need to vigorously shake the bottle, and out comes some delicious fucking Balsamic Vinaigrette.

I wish more people were shaken.

I wish I was more shaken.

Ryan shakes me.

It’s funny because no matter what we write, how we act, no one ever really knows. And we all think that about each other—no one ever really knows. And that’s what makes the space between couples so sacred—what only we know. What everyone else sees is the static from our shufflings, the exhales–frozen mid-air, the sparks after a firecracker has been lit. I am thankful we see static for static, breath for breath, sparks as the aftermath of a chemical explosion. I am so thankful that after we fight—and everyone fights—we can laugh and say I can’t believe you called me that! We’re so silly.

And pretend we’re better then every other couple in the world.

It still can hurt if I let it. It all can hurt. Opinions of friends, burned-to-death primates, starved-to-death puppies, Bulgarian kids with no family, no future, no way. We’re all scared animals. Maybe I just have to stop trying to climb out the cage, because it’s all one big cage, and the only way out is through our own heads.

Nothing makes me feel safer than glancing behind me and seeing Ryan and Mati passed out on the floor-thrown futon, parallel bodies, Mati’s ass in Ryan’s snoring face. It’s incredible, what we do—spend all of every day together, money going down and down, and our faith in each other, our writing, our art, going up and up, freed balloons, tied to nothing, every now-and-then snagging a tree, an eagle’s nest, what have you. I remember one of our friends saying she didn’t know what her relationship would look like—she and her boyfriend only know each other with money, with jobs, with insurance. Strip it all away—what are you holding onto? Steak knives? Or each other?

How can our concept of struggling even count? We have heat and three warm meals every day. A car, two computers, at least 100 books, owned and borrowed—and most importantly, no children to wake up to. Ever.

We’ve been obsessed with free library DVD biographies—today’s was Louis Armstrong—I think he gets to check the “coming from hardship” box.

I’m in the middle of a poem, and by middle of it, I mean I drafted out the middle. It’s beginning and end-less. I didn’t write poetry for, oh, I don’t know… the five years after I was rejected by twelve Master’s programs. The five years after I took a “Creative Writing 101” class at UH and the instructor/Satan told me I would never make it as a writer with the shit I was writing, crossing out entire stanzas with her black pen/pitchfork, leaving my pieces as some sort of postmodern cartoonish art I could tape to a gallery wall and name: “The DEATH of Dreams.” I always drove home bawling, bawling because who did I think I was believing I could write for a living? I stopped writing anything serious. I switched to collaging my life together in anecdotes, using the word fuck profusely, saying fuck line break here versus link break there, fuck trying to write.

When I met Ryan, and I fed off of his freedom on the page. And I wrote the first poems I have ever really loved. Poems that could never be published in The New Yorker, but poems that captured every life-changing thing that was happening, and now, every time I go back, I feel that same buzz of something incredible stirring.

And that is worth more to me than any publication.

Yesterday at the library, Ryan met someone in the practice room (yes, our library has practice rooms–who can hate on Seattle?), and even though she was shy at first, after watching him bang out some fun piano notes and sing some silly impromptu lyrics, she stopped being insecure about not being a Bach prodigy or whatever and started banging, singing–playing along.

People just have to be freed from their training.

Kimi is one of the most amazing and talented women we know. But will she ever know she’s gifted? As gifted as we think she is?

I think we all have to take our work less seriously. Infuse pieces with love, not build them on shaky foundations–oh god, is this fucking REVOLUTIONARY? Did I use synecdoche? Did I use it without seeming forced? Deus ex machina? In medias res? Did I use any literary devices spelled in LATIN?

Ryan always says he wishes he could knock nine years of Iolani and Harvard-training from my brain.

One of my dear friends once told me he could tell I was more of a reader than a talker, because I had a massive vocabulary, but pronounced most big words wrong.

I think that’s one of my most charming attributes.

Some days I could blog forever, thought to thought, anecdote to history to photo to song and dance–but the library’s about to close.

My last thought:

As Ryan wrote, people are dying. But that’s what we do every day. Die a little.

We grieve at funerals because we don’t understand how the people we love the most can disappear. We don’t know where they go. If we really believed in heaven, there would be less tears and more celebration. If we really believed in nothing, there would be less tears and more celebration. None of us believe in anything. All death does is remind us we do not matter, the universe owes you no justice–everything we carry can be ripped from our arms in a millisecond. We have no control, we are just passengers taking off without a pilot.

We are working on our landings.

We are constantly mid-air.

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5:30 pm
Public Library, Seattle

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say la fucking vee [ryan]

I got a phone call from Hawaii the other day. A possible job. I might be going home…

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2.07.08
Seattle Public Library, WA
4:51pm

It’s been a month since Amsterdam where I figured it all out.

Since then, one of my friend’s mom had a stroke, my other friends’ father died of a heart attack, and I found myself telling all of this to my dad recently, who was at the doctor checking on his pneumonia and double ear infection at the time. My dad has had 3 major surgeries in the last 2 years. It started when I left for Philly 2 years ago. Everyone is dying. Or so it seems. To me.

Everyone is fucking dying.

I was writing to my friend Kimi yesterday about the mountaintop experiences we shared at different times in Amsterdam. I wrote about how we all accept the fact that mountaintop experiences have to end, have to somehow descend from the top of the mountain to the valley below, and that, we shouldn’t do that, we should do anything else, but to let’s not do that. That even though it seems impossible, that we should never just accept a certain level of mediocrity, routine or–this is just the way it is-ness. Coming home from Amsterdam–which felt like the mountain–I couldn’t help but shout, at the top of my lungs: I WILL NOT FUCKING COME DOWN!

And so I did shout that.

I’m still shouting that.

I’m shouting that while coming down.

We always always come down. Always.

But I don’t want to.

That’s all I’m ever saying.

Fuck all that noise about how you need the sour to appreciate the sweet–fuck that. fuck that hard. fuck that hard, twice, with a chainsaw and no lubrication and very very abusive language. the sour is always sour, even when the sweet is sure to ensue, fuck sour, I don’t fucking want to accept the sour in order to appreciate the god dammed sweet, keep your fucking sour, your death, your sickness, your friends’ dad dying, even though, yes, we all know that that is a part of life, yeah, yeah, yeah, say la vee, I don’t fucking know how to spell the fucking french version, but you get it anyway, don’t you, sure you do. what is that, french, is that even french? I don’t know, you know what I fucking mean, say la fucking vee, such is life, we are all dying. shit. pardon my french.

breathe.

and here we go back to the mountaintop, ready?

curtains open. lights fade out. one spotlight shining on ryan. [spotlight is coming from ryan’s own cell phone as he points it towards himself and performs melodramatic soliloquy to no applause]

metaphorical pom poms: check
metaphorical veneer: check
microphone: check

[we hear awkward microphone feedback. it’s open mic inside ryan’s mind. ryan taps microphone again and again–“is this thing on, is this thing on”– no one is in the audience]

everyone’s dying, so let’s live! let’s eat banana pancakes, stay inside, pretend that it’s the fucking god dammed weekend…

[ryan waits for a response, which he calls “dramatic pausing”…nothing]

sometimes, fuck profundity. right?

[wipes tears from face even though he is not really crying]

Just say some Jack Johnson line and be trite. right? be pop music poetry. be commercial and easily taggable. keywordable. be marketable and catch phrasey. be all that we are not. fuggit. fuggit fuggit. Jack Johnson was right. He was profound when he said that banana pancake philosophy, pro fucking found. Make like it’s the weekend? god damn that’s good Jack. simple. fucking. truth. that’s it. that. is. it. that’s all you need to know. I’m not even being slightly facetious. It’s the god dammed truth, the same fucking thing I shouted on the metaphorical mountaintops of Amsterdam. make like it’s the god dammed weekend!

We never have to be stressed, passing our fears to each other like rats in a cage, never. We don’t have to do it. Viva la Banana Pancakes!!!

but of course, one day, Jack Johnson’s friend’s dad will die, and he’ll be like, fuck banana fucking pancakes, fuck them hard, right in the banana part, so that they become just regular ol’ pancakes. And that that’s ok. It’s ok to fuck banana pancakes every once in a while, just for kicks. Just to let your bananas out. Just for a quick stroll down the valley. Because it is fucking really hard to pretend it’s the fucking weekend sometimes, when it’s not the fucking weekend, you’re not in Amsterdam, you’re not high anymore, people are dying all around you, even people you fucking know and had char siu bau with, and you still don’t have a job, yes, I know, I’ve always known this, you haters, you crabs in my bucket, you people who have been trying to warn me that one day, ooh, one fucking day, it’s all going to come crashing down, ooh, you better watch out, you better not be so naive Ryan, you better realize that every mountaintop experience has a valley, that the sweet has the sour, that say la vee is spelled wrong, that blah blah blah, that your mother’s a whore. that it always always has to come down.

I know. fuck. I know. I know. fuck.

but I don’t want it to come down.

[lights out. ryan pouts to the rhythm of his feet stamping tantrums, still no applause]

I’m down.

I’m fucking down, aren’t I?

fuck!

In Amsterdam, I would have told myself, just don’t think about it. It’s all how you frame the information. It’s all how you bind the terms. It’s what you focus on. It’s your emotions being run by the reptilian part of your brain, and to not be swayed by that older, lesser evolved, animal part of you, which is concerned with death and fear and missing people you love and drama this and drama that; to just realize that it is all an illusion, that we’re 70 percent water, that we’re just chemicals god dammit. I would have told myself this; I would have shouted. I’m still shouting.

But I’m sad for my friends today.

I am sad for my friends’ families today.

I am sad that they will miss their dad.

I miss my dad, my family.

I am weak today.

I am not my blogs today.

I am afraid my dad will die and I will be here in Seattle because it’s just too expensive to move home to Hawaii, and what will I even do there? I don’t know what to do.

At the same time, I think, that that’s too much guilt and bullshit to carry around, and that fuck, not everyone can live near their dad all the time, say la fucking vee right? right? Is this thing on? but what will I blog when my dad actually dies? Will I be able to eat my banana pancakes, stay inside, and pretend like it’s the weekend?

I finally got the call. from Hawaii. We’re not going to be working together. Me and my friend. I don’t have my easy way home yet. Someone got hired instead of me, because he was willing to work for 2 peanut butter jelly sandwiches and a rub and tug, and he’s not even mexican. Even the radio industry is dying. It’s going the way of the 8-track cassette. I feel like someone who knows how to fix atari video games. Everyone, everything is dying today. To me. Right now.

Sometimes it hard to pretend it’s the weekend.

Sometimes all you can do is hi 5 Sisyphus while rolling your respective boulders back up to the mountain top, laughing, singing about banana pancakes, but knowing the whole time, that you’re rolling a fucking god dammed boulder up a hill while singing it.

say la fucking viva la banana pancakes!

Unemployment Hair

Employment Hair, circa 2006:
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Unemployment Hair, 2008:
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does it become me?

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um…

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i just find it very liberating and symbolic.

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oh god.

One month in the life of a Craigslist Addict (jenn)

I realize it’s “so 2003” to be newly obsessed with Craigslist, but I since spent the last few years in Bulgaria, where there is no Craigslist (gasp!), it’s really become something I am quite taken by. Yes, I just said taken by. It’s a shame, since without the “in Bulgaria” part, my apartment would have been taken faster than you can say “Post Communist Hell.”

Two bedroom flat, two gorgeous balconies with wide mountain views, large kitchen and dining room, mold-free bathroom with flushing toilet, fully furnished and only a block away from outdoor markets, town center, town church, town park, town bank, etc.–$100/month.

Ryan and I pay 500 times that for an apartment 1/1000th as small in our new Seattle hood. (Math—not my forte.) But that’s the price you pay to live in a place you actually want to live, with such amenities as a ten-story library, Thai restaurants, and no Bulgaria. Resulting from the exorbitant rent we pay for the donut-shaped hobbit hole where we currently reside in the Central District, I have been fanatically utilizing the “Free” section of Craigslist in furnishing our new abode. Yes, I just said resulting from.

The first thing I learned about free stuff on Craigslist is that that everything besides no-legged tables goes fast. Much like a trader or someone who has to do things fast, I have had to be on the computer e-mailing and calling people as soon as their post came up. Otherwise, another Seattlite with faster fingers would be getting my new used futon.

My first successful acquisition was a large entertainment center and desk, all from an older man living in a mountain neighborhood where there were no non-white people on the street corners. Actually, there were no people. And in fact, no corners. We drove on a meandering road up the ridge, each house at the end of a long private driveway.

I wondered to whom you might give a dollar to fetch your runaway bitch mutt, as Ryan does with our neighborhood crackheads.

No matter.

While the furniture was kindly disassembled for convenient transport, it took me a month surrounded by an assortment of screws, nails, and oddly shaped wood pieces to get the entertainment center up and ready to entertain. Re-building the desk, however, is requiring skills that my Ivy League BA in Psychology has not afforded me. However, from the various pieces of nicely-finished black wood piled in our bedroom/office section of the donut, I think it will be a really nice desk once it is assembled, perhaps by someone STEVE WHITE who may perhaps be more handy with a screwdriver, of the tool variety.

In our new home, Ryan and I were sleeping side-by-side in our REI sleeping pods, which was fine and gave us a perpetual sense of adventure and transience, at least at bedtime. However, when I saw “Clean Down Comforter” on Craigslist one day, I knew I couldn’t say no. Who says no to a clean free down comforter? Not me friends, not me. We drove to a hip chick’s apartment, and when she told me her name, I knew she had to be Bulgarian, as there are only 3.5 names in Bulgaria for women. She was indeed from Bulgaria, and had learned English from Peace Corps Volunteers, so we sat around and reminisced about the great Bulgarian… yogurt. And beans. As we were about to leave she said, “Hey, do you guys want all my pots and pans too?” And this is how we came to possess the nicest pots and pans I have ever owned.

I knew I spent the best years of my twenties in Bulgaria for a reason.

Things really started to pick up when I managed to find us a brand-new looking Ikea kitchen table! We drove deep into Tacoma to pick it up, which made the owner of the table laugh at us, as if to say–you do realize the money you spent on gas cost more than this Ikea table. But to make it worth our while, and because Ryan is extremely affable and I make sure to tell everyone we don’t have anything because I was in THE PEACE CORPS, this charitable young couple decided to help us build our dreams using all the things they weren’t taking with them on their move to San Francisco. This included lamps, a bookshelf, a fancy coffee maker whose various contraptions we have not yet figured out nor have any intent to, and most importantly, approximately 5 lbs of raw spaghetti, a near-gallon of olive oil, and various canned goods, including Tomato Soup and garbanzo beans. From their food products, I extrapolated that in a parallel existence we all would have made great friends. We drove away from Tacoma ecstatic, feeling like we had won the lottery, but instead of a million dollars, we had a lifetime supply of spaghetti.

Some people have said, “Jenn, why don’t you use the time you spend on Craigslist Free looking for a job under Craigslist Jobs.” And I say, “That’s silly. Why would I want a job when I can have a free weight lifting bench?”

We’ve also acquired a comfy free futon and futon frame, small desk, decorative bureau, cozy orange-corduroy loveseat, TV, lamps galore, a printer, and free tickets to a Kermet Apio show!

Still on the free wish list are: dishes, a basketball, haircuts, bikes, a SLR, one or two MacBook Airs, and a movie option for my yet-unwritten first novel.

Since we did need some extra cash to supplement our non-income, we decided to sell our iPhone on Craigslist. In less than ten minutes I had about twenty offers, but oddly enough, the best offer was from someone willing to pay more than it was worth at a store. We couldn’t decide if he was really dumb or we were, but he came and paid us a stack of cash and sped off. Feeling the whole exchange was strange, I joked about how he was probably Vietnamese mafia and didn’t want to go to a store to just buy an iPhone like a normal non-mafia person. Later I Googled his name, and perhaps he has a very common Vietnamese name, such as the Vietnamese version of “Chris Wong” but his name was also the name of a Seattle Vietnamese drug ring leader!

I’m glad our iPhone may have found a safe home to be used for heroin smuggling.

I really do hate it when I am right. Especially when it involves Vietnamese Tony Soprano knowing where you live. And by you, I mean ME.

In a country where people can afford to put televisions, computers, couches, and the occasional unwanted second daughter out on the curb, I love this country’s enthusiasm for trying to re-home furnishings—all for nothing. It’s so un-American and so American all at the same time. Wow.

Some people read The Secret and put their dreams out to the universe, hoping to attract a Ferrari through the strong magnetic power of Ferrari-lust. I put my dreams out to Craigslist, hoping to get something for nothing, again and again.

funny looking [ryan]

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.                                        wards,
sometimes I float up

in the middle of a conversation

and watch myself being watched

by myself;

listening to my

self listening;

distancing

my self from

my self in order

to be closer to

my non-self;

i am nodding, saying uh-huh,

i am not there at

all

i hear other voices, other dooms,

i am talking while talking;

another voice tries to talk over me in my head

i can hear the narrator from my biographical documentary

being taped years from now

speaking about me like I’m dead

because I am.

and then suddenly

whatever I was saying

and to whomever I was saying it-

all of it seems so

very small and unnecessary;

funny looking.

Yes, This is Seattle

Gasworks Park, Seattle

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Dinner at Pizzeria WHITES

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Carkeek Park

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I Hate Roaches. (jenn)

Dedicated to all my Hawaii peeps and our PTRD (Post Traumatic Roach Disorder) stories.

If you have a good story, comment!

I hate it when you wake up in the middle of the night to pee, and after sitting, you hear a roach scuffling along the inside of the toilet bowl.

I hate it when you can’t pee in the middle of the night for the rest of your life.

I hate it when you pour a glass of orange juice in the morning and take a sip, only to notice the floating roach exoskeleton one sip to late.

I hate that.

I hate it when you come home from work and a flying roach dives down your bra for no obvious reason while you are trying to take off your shoes.

I hate it when you are trying to shake said roach out of your shirt, but instead you accidentally squash it against your chest.

Shit. That’s the worst.

I hate it when you are trying to put on your shoes and you feel a roach crawl between your toes and you throw off your shoe and scream like a little castrated man named Earl.

I hate it when there are roaches on the front seat of your car. They can’t even drive.

I hate it when people say, “They’re more scared of you than you are of them,” because that’s bullshit.

I hate it when there are little dead baby cockroach carcasses in your toothbrush.

I hate it when they are alive.

I hate that my whole life I thought cockroaches was spelled cockaroaches.

I hate it when you open up your medicine cabinet to take your Prozac and there’s a roach sitting on it and it says, BOO!

I hate it when you spray a phatty momma roach with Raid, and suddenly she lays a gooey roach egg on your kitchen counter on her frantic crawl towards the light.

I hate it when you go to the kitchen in the middle of the night to get some guacamole and there’s three huge roaches having a pow wow on your floor.

I hate it when roaches have names, like Sanchez and Bob, and wear hats.

I hate it when you’re in bed at night and hear them running along your wall, especially because of that time when you woke up and one was in your hair. How fucked up is that? 100 points.

I hate it when you’re camping at Bellow’s and you can’t sleep because you’re scared of the Blair Roach.

I hate it when roaches exist.

I hate it when you are trying to throw away a dead roach in a paper towel, and suddenly it comes back to life, only long enough to slice your finger with its razor sharp roach leg and quote Dylan Thomas.

I hate it when you find a roach leg floating in your saimin.

I hate it when you eat it, confusing it with a food that resembles roach legs.

I hate it when roaches take the shape of my mother in my nightmares, wearing matching aprons, and all shaking their hairy roach leg/finger, saying I’ll never amount to anything.

I hate it when your baby says, “Hey look mom at my new toy,” but it’s not a toy, it’s a roach.

I hate it when you have to throw away the overflowing roach motel and you look inside and know FOR SURE that there can’t be a god, because why would god make roaches?

Amen.

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