Jesus Was Mentioned as Casually as Cornichons

A few Sundays ago I sat in The Bowery in Camden Town at a round table with Christopher and Conor and a man named Tom who has the broadest shoulders I've ever seen on a person. He also has tall hair, a penchant for grandpa sweaters and blingy rings, and a way with words that'd captivate you for hours.

Tom's a comedian and he told us a humorous anecdote that seemed totally realistic until Jesus (yes, The Jesus) somehow made an actual appearance, like he was just one of the guys. Tom briefly stepped away after he'd finished and we'd laughed. Christopher, who's known Tom for some time, leaned over to me and whispered "I have no idea if any of that was true."


Overnight Inventory

by Dorothy Parker

Four be the things I am wiser to know: Idleness, sorrow, a friend, and a foe.

Four be the things I'd been better without: Love, curiosity, freckles, and doubt.

Three be the things I shall never attain: Envy, content, and sufficient champagne.

Three be the things I shall have till I die: Laughter and hope and a sock in the eye.

Nothing like an upcoming birthday to get you thinking about what came before, what's happening now, and what's coming next.


In Which I Wander Lost in the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea

With my backpack on and wheelie suitcase in tow, I got off the coach in Earl's Court and promptly walked in the wrong direction... twice... adding an hour and forty-five minutes to a fifteen minute walk to the hotel. There've never been so many steps on my FitBit.

I headed East and then North along the majour roads, past tiny pubs with tiny dark windows and large modern office buildings with large even darker windows. I walked past people and dogs and bins. 
I'd wander back through the side-streets... lanes and courts and ways... past row after row of white buildings with steep stairs and courtyards so small they seemed to be designed exclusively so estate agents could say there was a courtyard. 

I had a lot of time to think.
I'm still thinking. 

Don't worry.
I found the hotel.

to be continued...


In Which I Go to Cambridge & am Pretty Vague About the Experience

A month ago today I was on a train speeding my way from Cambridge to Liverpool by way of London. I'd only arrived in England two days before and was only running on one meal, about 7 hours of good sleep, a significant dose of euphoria, and probably some residual Bacardi. I'd been consensually hugged by more people than I can count, happy-cried at least twice, and already given up trying to figure out how to pay for things with coins. I'd perched in a rear pew of a stone and glass chapel and declared everything good. I'd been embraced by the sun, and held an angel's face in my hands. There was music and singing and familiarity and newness. By the time I sat down on the return train after less than 24 hours in Cambridge, I knew that something had changed.

to be continued...


Things that happened today, plus some things that happened last month, and the month before

Hello here are some things that happened today and before today.

I worked today half at home and half in the office. Inefficient. Did you know I work the weekends? It's true.

I watched this video and this video, and this one in particular three times.

For dinner I made a salad with leafy romaine and pecans and chicken and muenster cheese. I forgot I have scallions or I would’ve put scallions on.

original artwork by CAB
I mentally composed a reasoned response to anyone who steps to me and suggests my choices of late might indicate I’m having a midlife crisis. I haven’t shaken my long-held habit of having an explanation at the ready for any possible situation or criticism.

Last month I began the process of volunteering for a small literary press and blog. Things are progressing at a pace with which I’m comfortable, that being about 3 weeks between email volleys and no sign of responsibilities yet.   

I went to the post office. I received a letter from Katie, a card from MK, So Sad Today by Melissa Broder, and an Etsy order of a zipper pouch with an obnoxiously stereotypical British motif.

I procrastinated going to sleep way past my bedtime (by writing this) because I’m unhappy about what's on the calendar for tomorrow.

In January I booked a trip to England and I leave in about a week. I’m traveling light (i.e. no computer) so watch Instagram for updates and maybe here for anecdotes when I get back.  


Start Again, Buttercup

One of my favorite albums is Interpol's Antics: The Special Edition. I listen to it on repeat for hours at a time at work as I find it simultaneously soothing and invigorating. There is a track called Song Seven wherein Mr. Banks croons

"Start again, buttercup...
Start again, 
oh start again, dear"

I get a bit misty at that part. I've started a lot of things again recently. I can tell you that it's not easy and, if it's a positive thing you enjoy doing, you'd do well to just never stop.

I've looked at this blank page, off and on, since November. For a year before that I didn't even come here. The bookmark was there, and domain paid for, but I felt like I couldn't write anything well enough for it to communicate what I was trying to say. And I wasn't sure that what I did manage to write was worth sharing. It was a repetitive, and negative, violent inner monologue trying too hard to be Tyler Durden sans the benefit of fearlessness or quality time with Marla Singer.

Fearlessness. I'm unskilled at quickly identifying feelings, mostly because my experience of what I think the feeling is often doesn't match the scenario or reactions that I see when others express the same feeling. In the moment, I cry when I'm frustrated and feel indifferent around loved ones I haven't seen in ages. It takes some time and consideration for me to understand and identify what I felt or didn't feel, sometimes hours to years later. I took forever to figure out that I'd stopped writing* out of fear, and out of holding myself to a quality standard that never applied here before (I don't think). I doubted whether I had any fearlessness in me but when I asked friends if they'd ever seen me do anything fearless, I was genuinely surprised to learn that I had, and that blogging was one of them.

I know the fear is irrational and a bit pretentious. But I'm afraid I'll say something I can't take back. And I'm afraid I'll never live up to my own expectations. And I'm afraid it's all shit and no one will say it's shit or never stop saying it's shit. And I'm afraid to be vulnerable and raw despite knowing that I write well when I go to those places and the sky doesn't fall. I'm concerned about telling the truth because I don't know that it is truth, and if it is, I know from experience that it's subject to change. But if it changes was it ever true? What does it matter?

Recently I've seen several creatives I admire discuss "getting out of your head" when it comes to creating things. The general advice has been to just make stuff, be creative, don't worry about what people will think, don't worry about quality... just keep making and learning and enjoying. And while my first thought is that it's easier said than done, let's try nonetheless.

Start again, buttercup... 
Do right.  

*Writing being a broad term covering anything from hastily-written blog scrawl to a carefully crafted and edited essay