Thursday, January 26, 2012

".....a friend calls me up with her heart heavy still..." Hammers and Strings-Jack's Mannequin

So, I saw a man wearing UGGS with his jeans tucked into them. Cool. I should have told him but I didn't. It's best if he doesn't know.

I buy a ticket about every other day to the concert hall between metro stops Okhotny Ryad and Teatral'naya. I pay 98 cents. This lady stands at the end of a long corridor that connects two metro stops and plays her violin. She turns what would be a monotonous, slightly-uphill trek into walk-through concert. It's Moscow, and like any city with over 13 million people living in it, everyone is in a hurry to get somewhere. But all the passers-by slow their step on their way to everywhere else and listen a little longer. I like that.

I've really missed talking with drunk people. The other night I talked to a pair of them; a drunk duo, if you will. Or possibly a duo of drunkards. Take your pick. Anyways, I spoke with them and told them I was from Australia. My mom told me that if I have to speak with strangers, lie to them. When I told them I was from Australia that made them happy for some reason. So happy, in fact, they asked me for money. I handed one of them a couple coins to congratulate him on his honesty in confessing that he would use them to buy vodka. Hopefully it kept him a little bit warmer during what was a below-freezing night. I mean that.

I think I sometimes forget that the drunk bums on the streets are people. When they sleep I bet they still dream at night, even though their bed is different than mine. But I still forget they are people. They seem to me more like part of the scenery. I avoid them the same way I avoid a mud puddle or a patch of ice. That's wrong. There should be a difference.

I also want to stop thinking I know everything... but that is gonna be hard.

 I remember when I was little the world was mine. Everyone was an American, everyone lived in Utah, everyone went to Orchard Elementary School, and everyone was in love with Michelle Duncan. Me too. But I remember picking up a copy of War and Peace in our school library and just knowing that Tolstoy was an American. He had to be. After all, the book was in English.
 Mexicans were also from America, even though they were from Mexico too. California was just an extension of Utah and people smoked cigarettes in Vegas just so that I would know I was on vacation when I smelled the smoke. Oh, and everyone was Mormon, too.

When I was little everyone that drank was going to hell and my world shook and groaned under the weight of finding a 6-pack of Coors Light in my Grandpa's fridge. I didn't mean to. I had opened the fridge and got on my tiptoes to see if he had any more Shasta diet-grapefruit soda cans left. In the few moments after my eyes read and my mind processed the words Coors Light I tried so hard to lie to myself and say I didn't see what I saw. Back then I was still an awful liar. So I tucked my hands into the pockets of my shorts made in Malaysia, which was probably somewhere on the East Coast, which was still just an extension of Utah, and walked back into the house to ask my dad who my Grandpa was.
On that day I had to wake up a little more than I wanted to. I yawned and stretched my mind in a way that I didn't really like, wanting to go back to sleep. There was an actual world out there. There were places that weren't Utah, or extensions of it, places that weren't America, filled to the brim with everything that I didn't know yet, couldn't know yet, and didn't want to know yet. It was like just getting a grip on long division only to find out that things like the Pythagorean Theorem and molecular physics exist.

It was too much. Daunting. Stifling, even.

It was going to take way too long until I could know enough; until I could know anything. It was going to take time the same way that growing up takes time.

Believe it or not I have grown up a little. I realized that California was California, that people don't smoke just to let me know I'm not in Orem anymore, that God can forgive people for drinking, and that my Grandpa is a man that I want to be like. But my jeans made in Taiwan still feel like they come from America. See, growing up takes time, but actually growing takes experience; which is limited when you spend your whole life in Orem, Utah.

Life is a lot different for everyone. I spent 10 minutes talking to two grown men that spend their nights sleeping in a dark stairwell and trying to beg enough money for food and alcohol. But they dream when they sleep. I know that. Because if I was one of them I know I would still dream, even though my bed was different.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Another Poem Post

*This poem is called a ghazal. It's a traditional poetry form from Pakistan, Iran, and northern India and it's way fun to try and write them. It might read weird at first, but give it a chance. :) I won't explain the rules for it, just look them up on Wikipedia (as long as our stupid government doesn't destroy the internet). Anyways, here it is:

Here’s to You

I wrote you a song, but you might never hear it
There's a box of your things, not a chance I'll go near it

Now I question the questions 'bout you in my head
If my thoughts were a playlist I could just clear it

If we were a sandwich, would you be the jam?
I'll be peanut butter, just try not to smear it

Or if you weren't a vegan and we were a steak
Would you brazen or broil or pan-fry or sear it?

And if our love was a fish just floating along
Would you admire or feed or simply just spear it?

Well, the rudder fell off the love boat we were on
But with all hands on deck I bet we could steer it

So I'll raise half a glass to the long-shot we were,
If love is a battlefield there's no reason to fear it

A Poem Post

I Never Wanted to Fly

I never wanted to fly--not just because
I'm scared of heights
but because what if I tried and didn't get quite high
enough to be part of the sky. . .

And for the rest of my life I'd have to lie and tell you
I'm fine, while I look back and die
a little each day.
Regretting that this dream of mine
shriveled and shrunk to two-thirds the size
of what a dream ought to be.
That might kill me.

Like the morning your eyes reached
for my throat and I wished. . . I wished
I could go back and tell my first lie all over again.
Make it much more grand than it wasn't me
I'd say that it was.

Although I know I'm not what you want I was once
what I wanted to be.
And then I turned six and tripped and fell
on a playground of stones and sticks with words
that hurt more than I'd like to admit
with kids in their cliques where I never quite fit.

That's when I think my dreams began slipping;
sinking into those cracks where I began tipping
way too far towards insecure
and I lingered--
and hope fell through my fingers
like the books you saw me drop that day.
I'd say it wasn't me you saw,
but you were there to see
firsthand that I wasn't what you wanted,
So I told a new lie--I never wanted to fly.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

" kiss me and smile for me, tell me that you'll wait for me..."

In about 8 hours I'm heading to Salt Lake International airport to catch a flight that will take me away to Moscow for a bunch of months. Naturally I've been listening to John Denver's Leaving on a Jet Plane to psych myself up for it. But it's not working as well as I hoped. There are some things that have always been hard for me--leaving is one of them. It's always been like that. I'm not really big on change.

I've got this thing where I get attached to people really easily. Sometimes I try to not get attached but some people are sometimes so attractive--gravitationally, not necessarily physically--that my efforts sometimes are sometimes in vain. And that's a lot of sometimes. It adds up. Then, before I realize what's been going on, I'm all wrapped up in a bunch of people that have no clue that I feel this way. I'm really good at keeping it hidden since I never really open up. These people I speak of are the ones that make saying goodbye hard. God bless them. Hard goodbyes are some of the things I like. I even said a goodbye to my favorite bench on campus.

Don't get me wrong, I'm looking forward to my travels. It's going to be quite the experience. I'll see to that. All I'm trying to say is that I love that I love some places and people enough to miss them when I'm gone. Even if it is only for a bunch of months.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Some Things I Like

  • Yellow sunsets (makes me feel like I'm in a sepia tone photograph)
  • When you can see the moon during the day
  • When spare change from the front pocket of my backpack turns into an orange juice
  • People that laugh super loud in movie theaters
  • Knowing someone so well you can hear their thoughts
  • Singing alone in the car so loud you lose your voice
  • Singing with your friend in the car so loud you lose your voice
  • Parks and their benches
  • When silence is ok
  • When your iPod plays the perfect song all by itself
  • Getting a text from someone you're thinking about
  • Keeping other people's secrets
  • When it rains and the sun is shining
  • When it rains anyways
  • When free songs on iTunes are really good
  • When you hear and like a song months before the radio beats it into an early grave
  • When little kids act like grown ups
  • When grown ups act like little kids
  • High heels and when girls are bad at walking in them
  • Reflections of me. Its cool. That's what I look like
  • Deep philosophical conversations that only make a difference to the people having them, but that's enough
  • Eavesdropping on those conversations
  • Changing shirts 3 times in the morning cuz somehow it matters
  • Having awkward conversations just loud enough to make people around you uncomfortable
  • When you lean forward in church and the girl next to you just starts tickling your back
  • When a friend asks you for help
  • When a girl looks at you and smiles
  • The way my backyard smells after the lawn gets mowed
  • When someone cares about you so much that they stop being polite
  • When someone that you think doesn't like you or know who you are actually does like you and know who you are
  • Liking someone so much you can't put your words together the way you'd like to
  • Saying the perfect thing
  • Sunburns
  • People that dress like its the 20's or 30's or 40's again
  • Driving with the windows down in a summer rainstorm
  • Knowing they would really like you if they knew you
  • When the more you get to know someone the more wonderful they become
  • A smile you can't help
  • Deja Vu
  • Dark haired girls with brown boots up to their knees
  • Blonde girls with huge sunglasses
  • People that forget the punch line to the joke they're telling
  • Not being able to tell your own joke cuz its way too funny and you're laughing way too hard
  • Seeing my friends in plays and performances
  • When tears and laughter happen together
  • Knowing my eyes are my eyes and only I can see what I see, but still wanting to share it
  • When other people share what they see through their eyes
  • Trying to think about everything and only being able to think of one thing
  • Trying to think about only one thing and thinking about everything else instead
  • When old people still hold hands
  • When the wind blows fall leaves around your ankles on a sunny afternoon and you feel like something great is about to happen
  • Making awkward eye-contact with a random stranger and noticing how quickly I look away
  • Learning knew words
  • Fedoras
  • Moments when your life feels like a movie, except its your life so it feels real, and realizing that things like that really do happen
  • The way my Grandpa's eyebrows stick out at weird angles
  • Listening to his stories
  • How songs and memories sometimes are inseparable
  • When goodbyes are hard
To be continued someday....