Archive | August, 2016

It Won’t Matter In A Year

29 Aug

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It started with the nightmares.

I dreamt of violence and pain, of an ex-boyfriend showing up and ruining the good parts of my life.

My mother says it takes time for her dreams to catch up to her reality. When she moved to Kentucky it wasn’t until three years in that she actually dreamt in the Bluegrass State.

By this standard that ex-boyfriend should be long gone.

I’m learning, though, that there are certain hurts that we work through to the best of our abilities. We seek help, we find healthy relationships and keep going, but those wounds are there, under the surface.

I do not know for how long.

Some time in the tumultuous night I turned off my alarm. When I woke up I had five minutes to get ready for an important meeting an hour and a half away.

I threw on my dress from the day before, smeared sunblock on my face, and squashed a banana in my purse.  As I locked the door behind me I had a sinking feeling.

I had left my keys inside.

No, no, no, no.

Fifteen “there are no available Ubers in your area right now” later I gave an apologetic call to my meeting and I walked to the closest bus stop.

Urine.  It smelled like I was sitting on a pile of urine.

I probably was.

I took the bus and then an Uber. I got my extra key from Rob’s work, a nice place in Century City, oh about a lifetime away from me.

I treated myself to an iced tea that really sucked.  I tried to eat a now-black banana and gave up almost immediately.

And then another Uber home, this time with my phone dead in my hands.

I read once that you shouldn’t get caught up in things that won’t matter a year from now. Life is full of little petty annoyances, three hours and a missed meeting out of your day, $48.03 you would have rather put towards chili cheese fries or at least your credit card bill.

I know people who are suffering from life-altering physical pain. I know people who are getting divorced, who are aching and changing and bleeding in the biggest ways.

My stupid three hours for my stupid mistake was stupid.

I got home and put my nightgown back on.  I poured my tiny princess self a glass of cold water and watched Drake’s VMA speech again.

I prayed that Rihanna would accept him, perhaps in a few years when she’s more mature. That she’ll realize that all you really want in life is a man who will put on a tux and embarrass himself in front of the whole world for you.

I got choked up when Drake did.

She’s someone…she’s someone I’ve been in love with since I was 22 years old. 

Who can blame either of them?

This stupid morning won’t matter in a year from now and I know that. And so I type it out, letting the stupid poison bleed into my stupid keyboard instead of my stupid heart.

I stop calling myself stupid.

I wish I had meditated last night. I wish I hadn’t dated an asshole who treated my heart like a Jell-O trampoline for his steel-toed boots. I wish I had grabbed my keys on the way out the door.

I wish, I wish, I wish.

 

It won’t matter in a year.

I remind myself it won’t matter in a year.

Cape Cod Year Four

22 Aug

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The days blurred together on the Cape, one stifling afternoon after another. We walked through soup air, dripping sweat on our coverups. It’s so hot we said, our brains gone dead with the temperature.

The bay was cooler, with a breeze.  We set our chairs out by the water, letting our toes dip into the bathtub before us. The water’s so warm, we said, our brains gone dad with the temperature.

My hair found snarls, knotting and twisting, revealing my insides like I always knew it did.

Clumps and chunks and curls I pulled out to no avail. The next day it was back to the same.

Back to me.

I noticed every picture I took was a copy of the last. Command C. Command P. We went one place and one place only.

We went to the water.

There weren’t long rainy days in town, slow afternoons exploring the bookstore or eating fried fish. There weren’t day trips and gallery walks, plays and movies and vintage teapots like in years past.

The days were the same.

The heat turned everything to mush, including time.

Hank Green said Gilmore Girls taught him that your great ambition in life can be your life.

I wrote it down as soon as he said it, because he had put to words something I never had.

Your great ambition in life can be your life.

Gilmore Girls was about the minutia, but the minutia mattered. Where Rory went to school mattered, what Lorelai’s inn was like mattered.

The minutia can be your life.

Is your life.

We had big breakfasts, potatoes and butter, bacon and cranberry juice.

We piled our coolers full of drinks and treats. The best that the corner store could buy.

We took ladder golf and bocce, high-backed chairs and umbrellas. We spoke to neighbors, and took beach walks. We stayed in the water until it turned slate and the sky finished its last streak of light.

We walked back home in the dark to a kitchen full of food, to a homemade basil sauce and grilled tomatoes, fluffy white rice and marinated chicken.

We listened to themed music and watched the Olympics. Cuddled and talked and had ice cream sometimes and ice cream cake other times.

It was routine and small and boring and mushy and Command P again and again.

And again.

 

We did it with our greatest ambition.

 

 

Cape Cod Year 1 (and Martha’s Vineyard), Year 2, Year 3, and my love affair with it in general

Jillian Denning: By the Book

21 Aug

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Based on the recent interview with Amy Schumer

What books are currently on your nightstand?

According to the LA County Library app I currently have 21 books out of the library with 6 on hold. Of those, I’m curious about the poetry and essays of So Sad Today, by the Twitter vixen Melissa Broder.  My friend who never gets it wrong recommended Truth and Beauty and Girl Meets God. And then there’s Valley of the Dolls. I have a feeling now is the right time for me and Valley of the Dolls since it seems like the type of book I would have read and fell into a melancholia/feminist rage at just years ago and can now approach as a rational human being.

I expect to pull myself out of the melancholia/feminist rage in three months minimum.

 

Which writers—novelists, playwrights, critics, journalists, poets—working today do you admire most?

Nick Hornby, obviously. Warsan Shire. (When Lemonade came out and suddenly everyone was about Warsan I was childishly like BUT ME FIRST, PLEASE PROVE YOUR CREDENTIALS I HAVE SEVERAL.) Elena Ferrante is also on there, mainly due to the mystique and I really need someone to talk to about her hello is it you.

What genres do you especially enjoy reading? And which do you avoid?

In the last two years I’ve become a way bigger nonfiction/memoir person. I credit Anne Lamott with that, but in general I’m a fiction girl, usually adult, sometimes young adult. I avoid: dystopian YA with the same female lead I’ve read 40 billion times who has exactly one personality trait, anything that begins with a sentence like “Elascador bowed before his king, the sword of Roandresibe by his side” and 50 Shades of Grey.

 

What’s your favorite self-help book?

The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up hello it’s me.

 

 

I was wondering if after all these years you’d like to meet.

 

How and when do you read/ electronic or paper/ bath or bed?

For a brief period in London I used a Kindle as it was easier than carrying a book with me everywhere, but I really hated it. I read All the Light We Cannot See on a Kindle and I think it ruined the experience for me because I just didn’t love it as much as everyone else and there was a weird page turning/date thing.

I do not have a bathtub but I fancy myself a bath reader.

Truly I just read in bed like I do everything in my life.

It’s a comfortable bed, though.

 

How do you organize your books?

I used to organize them using the “shove in communal bookshelves wherever they fit” method but now that I have my own place I’m thinking about this seriously. Color is trendy, pretty and impractical–many things I enjoy.

Maybe I’ll figure out the Dewey Decimal system for fun on a long Wednesday evening and then explain it to you all in depth.

Most likely I’ll do author all boring like.

 

What do you like to read on the plane?

I just bring whatever book I’m reading at the moment. I want to be into magazines, but I truly only buy them if Stevie Nicks is on the cover.

I will Google articles if Bachelor stars are involved.

Would you like to hear more about my article reading habits yes or no?

 

What book might people be surprised to find on your shelves?

Three copies of The Corrections by Jonathon Franzen. One because I’ve never read it and two because Franzen is the ultimate douche writer whom my entire Twitter feed hates, though is apparently great?

 

What’s your favorite book by a comedian?

It’s got to be a Nora. Maybe I Feel Bad about My Neck?

What’s the last book that made you laugh out loud?

I just read Diary of a Wimpy Kid for the first time and there were lots of laughs there and not just because Rob looks a bit like the lead on the cover. Oh! And The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian! Read it now!! If I only do one thing for your life!

 

What’s the best book you’ve ever received as a gift?

A blog reader turned friend Bailey told me to read Traveling Mercies by Anne Lamott and that really kickstarted a huge era of my life that now leads to me liking and sharing each individual Instagram post Anne deigns to give us unworthy mortals.

Tell us your favorite TV, film, or theater adaptation of a book.

Bridget Jones was a wonderful film and I think that book is truly perfect do not change a word perfect so this is a big statement.

Lord of the Rings surely surpassed the books as I’ve never finished them.

 

What kind of reader were you as a child? Which childhood books and authors stick with you most?

I was a voracious reader. I would max out my library card and sit with a stack of books next to me on a Sunday afternoon. I played librarian.  I was grounded from books at several points.

Once, in a fit of mania, I printed off a divorce decree and used a quill pen to fill it out for Alana of Trebond after she chose the wrong man in the Lioness Quartet. “I married the wrong man, I was always in love with someone else,” I wrote, in my earnest handwriting.

Narnia, Harry Potter, Anne of Green Gables, Little Women and Ender’s Game were all wildly influential to my childhood and my current self.

Scarlett O’Hara made me the selfish, determined drama queen I am today.

I lived for Sweet Valley.

 

If you could be friends with any author, dead or alive, who would it be?

Nora Ephron. I want her dinner parties and her wisdom and her food and her dinner parties and her wisdom and her food and wait what.

 

Disappointed, overrated, just not good: what book did you feel you were supposed to like and didn’t? Do you remember the last book you put down without finishing?

I finally read Ballet Shoes, of You’ve Got Mail fame and it was only OK for me.

I was devastated by this. I mean, clearly it meant something to Nora. Clearly I should have named my future daughter Posy.

I wonder if this is an age thing, like those people who go to Disneyland for the first time as adults and then find it only OK?

I started a book about Rosaline following Romeo and Juliet, recommended by a Twitter librarian I’m all about and had to return it to the library before I finished. It was a bit of a relief.

 

Whom would you want to write your life story?

Myself obviously.  If that were impossible, I would like Hilary and Rob to collaborate with notes from the following:

 

Mariah Carey lyrics

Mother

My wannabe Sylvia Plath poetry