I’d never seen it that still before in my life. The great lake mirrored the gray sky leaving no horizon in the distance. An infinit pane of glass stretching into a mysterious beyond and further than the universe could reach. It looked as though you could walk on it until forever, a nightmarish and desolate plane. A mass of nothingness causing blindness that would penetrate your eyes and deeper still into your soul.
There was a satisfying beauty to such nothingness. A terrifying calm. The kind that left you to suspect something terrible would happen, or that you would be lost forever were you to venture out into that vast expanse of wasteland.
As infinite as it seemed, I knew there was an end beyond that horizon. Another shore perhaps just like this one. He was on that shore. “You’re so far away.” I whispered to the invisible horizon. I wondered if he would be standing on the other side of the edge of infinity, whispering the same statement. Wishing he could just walk across to me as I wished I could do to get to him.
I would see him soon. A shiver of excitement went through me, paired with the chill of the day. Fall came to visit for the week bringing cooler weather that settled in for a short stay. The next week we were expecting 90 degree weather again. Summer would be back with vengeance. Just in time for my five hour drive around the lake to visit him.
My excitement was building. Only two more days, I thought to myself. Two days until I could hold his hand. Two days until I got to look him in the eyes. Until I got to press my lips to his. Repeatedly. For a whole week of vacation away from retail. Away from home. Just time away for a little bit, and time with him…for far too short a visit.
I am neither
Monster or angel
The Middle Ground Being
Captured in the grey
Monochromatic in my ways
Thoughts in shades and values
Waiting for the moment
When others realize
Is a charcoaled shade of white
Just as white
Can be a higher valued black
I had spent time frettingWondering if things
Would fall into place
Just like the leaves of autumn
Seem to fall perfectly
In their picturesque manner
Turning the earth into
A mosaic masterpiece
I worried a time about it
Winding if my hopes in you
Would ever come to fruition
If what I had dreamed of
Would be in you
And I had not yet discovered
But unlike the leaves of autumn
I did not let things fall into place
As they naturally intended
It was like
I was trying to pluck those
Lovely colorful leaves
And make them into
The kind of beauty nature did
But with my own hands
It wasn’t until
I stopped trying to
That I saw you perfectly
As the beautiful mess you are
I loved you all the same
I didn’t know
Age could take hold
Of your soul
And break you down
And burry you so deeply
That the very thought of you
Felt like thinking
Of someone else
But it had happened
Before the moon arched over
The places where light couldn’t touch
And hope was so far beneath
The ruins of my despair
That the numb pieces I
Held together with hopes and dreams
More fine than spiders thread
And more fragile than
The wings of butterflies
Could not recall your name
Though I had shouted it to the
Whispers in the wind
As if even my screams
Couldn’t be loud enough
To reveal the secrets my heart held
And the confusion in my soul was like
Being thrust into the heavens
Where sight is but light specks
And there is no oxygen
Because you breathe like smoke
And exhale like dust
Having known you
You were someone else
I heard my phone chime his text ringtone. I let it lay though. I was preoccupied with dishes and knew myself well enough that if I stopped doing the dishes, I would certainly never get back to them, and they had accumulated quite a bit since the day prior. I have no automatic dishwasher. Just my own two hands and a sink full of soap.
“I miss you bad.” He had texted.
“I’m miss you terribly as well baby. I’m home now. Just finished doing all of my dishes. It’s only Tuesday and I had quite a pile. Of course when you have a tiny kitchen even three dishes look like a pile.”
It was a testament to our communication styles. He was a man of few, but very important and concise words. I was all about details. I wanted to know and inform if things down to the feelings I felt. He just wanted to say it.
It works for us. I do all the talking and he does quite a bit of listening. Which is great because I’m the one who has a lot of feelings to analyze while he admits he is not very in touch with his emotions until they are extremely intense.
As I waited for his response I started vacuuming. I didn’t know why I had the sudden urge to clean everything, but I did. Maybe it was the feeling that my life had so little going on. Maybe it was the fact that things were so out of my control at work. Maybe it was because it was that time of the month and I needed to control my emotions by investing in something worthwhile.
I made my bed next. It hadn’t been made in weeks. I even changed the sheets to the only other set I owned, which unfortunately we’re flannel, and it happened to be 89 degrees outside. I didn’t care all that much. I would take a shower every night and put my fan on. Half the time I didn’t even sleep under the covers, even with my AC on.
I always know when my bed is in too much disarray, because my cat tells me. She refuses to sleep in bed with me if it isn’t made properly, or at least if the blankets are not somewhat flat. Immediately after the bed was made the cat laid herself down at her favorite corner of the bed, right by the window. Daylight streamed over her and she purred with delight. I felt a little more sound myself. I had at least done something productive with my day.
He hadn’t responded yet. He was probably working on something. Recording for his radio show or shopping for groceries were the most likely possibilities. My guess was the radio show, because it happened to be the only thing that kept him from me during the day. He’d text me at work, he’d text me when he was with his friends, he’d text me watching films preparing for the radio show, but he’d never text me during recording. It was our unspoken understanding.
I couldn’t remember what film he was critiquing this week for the show. I thought it was “The Interview” but I couldn’t remember. Maybe that was last week? I felt like the worst girlfriend in the world. His passion was so important to him, and I could never even recall what film he was critiquing. I tried to cut myself some slack. I didn’t listen to his show as much as I wanted to, but he had never read a single blog post of mine either. Not that I was keeping count, but I had to remind myself that there are just some interests we didn’t fully share. Film was not my forte. Books were. Graphic design was. Art in general. Unless it was a Wes Anderson, or Tim Burton film, I wasn’t super interested.
I’m kinda picky about my preference in movies. I like really odd films. Works that are practically art pieces. Like “Big Fish” or “Moonrise Kingdom” or “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus” kind if films. Oddities. Masterpieces. Works of genius.
He was similar. He liked old black and white films. Horror films. Obscure films that were only released in certain countries. He specialized in the most random and unusual films, while also appreciating films of historical significance. He viewed “The Interview” as a film that was historic in being offensive to the nation of North Korea so much so that North Korea threatened the United States over it. It was an act toward the revolution of freedom of speech. It was released online and gained international acclaim. In doing so it not only sent a message to North Korea, but the entire world that our voice would be heard.
Personally? I didn’t feel the need to see it. It didn’t impact my life much. It wasn’t weird enough for me. Plus it’s not often I really feel like seeing a comedy.
My phone finally chimed. “I love you.” It read.
A younger friend of mine started a new job. She’s been through several in the past few months, mainly because of mental health issues, and this morning we had a good long conversation about eg she shouldn’t call off today even though she is working with a coworker she hasn’t met yet, who is a dude, and she has none of her trainers there for the last hour and a half of her shift.
After what encouragement u could offer, and being real by reminding her it’s hard to hold jobs when you’re setting yourself up to fail I received a text from her about a question one of her coworkers asked.
Her: She was like what’s up with you and I lied and sad I was hungover. Oh shit I did do bad?
What I said: Well I never condone lying unless it’s with a really good reason. You’re awesome and if you’re having an off day you don’t need to lie about it. You just say how you’re feeling about stuff. People usually have the innate ability to want to make others feel better.
What I left out: However, the fact that you’re asking that question leads me to believe that you have some how wronged yourself by responding how you did. In truth, yes, you did do wrong, by doing yourself a disservice.
I knew full well she knew she did wrong. Which is why I held back much of what could have been said. Using as much tact as I could I responded as I did and will let her own moral crisis cause her inner conflict. That was the hardest part of her mental illness. To affirm her would be to make her affirm her own bad decision. To scold her would have caused her to destroy herself emotionally. There is no balance in her mind. Either it’s all good or all bad.
What I feel on the matter? I can’t play mom for an adult. Especially one who is set on falling apart.
I woke up alone. I had found out when I reached out my hand, groggy and blind without my glasses, only to touch my body pillow. It was unlike my dream where he had been asleep beside me. Arms around me. In a tiny apartment I didn’t recognize, built by my own imagination so vividly and realistically crappy that it amazed me I hadn’t seen it before in reality.
It was 6:30am. My alarm sang “Spend the Day in Bed” by Over the Rhine. I got out from under my blankets and stumbled to the bathroom. My cat sat looking at me the whole while, pondering if she should leave the bed, then decided against it. I fumbled with my pill bottle to retrieve a tiny Levothyroxine tablet. It took me a few tries to swallow the tiny thing. Trying to keep it from sticking to my tonsils and the back of my throat took a great deal of water and concentration. Once it was successfully consumed I wandered back to my bed.
His good morning messages waited patiently for me through out my morning ritual, as it usually did. A simple “Good morning my love,” or “Good morning beautiful,” was all it said, but every ounce of conversation from the evening before gave those simple words meaning. His trademark conclusion to every conversation was the reminder my heart needed that I was valued, respected, and loved beyond the words he had to tell me. “I am the luckiest man in the world.” He would say it with such conviction that I had no choice but to believe him. He didn’t care what other men had in those moments. He had me, and I was enough.
I was enough.
We all think
we are actors in life.
We are mistaken.
We are capable of living without an audience.
This is an interesting perspective. I’ve always thought about
(and to be honest, judged) the people who go to see them myself, but I do see more of a willingness to call out a “hoe” than a “perv” in most circles. It’s kind of weird that we degrade the “service” when there is a “demand” for it.
I theorize that the reason we blame the stripper is because she the one providing the service. “If she just didn’t provide the service we wouldn’t have the viewers who come to see her.” By saying this we play an adult version (and societal norm) of the age old child’s blame game. “They made me do it.” By doing this we completely remove those who demand the service from responsibility. Why? Because consumers don’t want to feel badly about their purchases, and we are a consumerist culture. We will blame the product or those who sold us the product, before we blame ourselves for using the product.
Yes. I objectified a female stripper. Because that is exactly what society does. She’s not a person. She is a product. Don’t believe me? There are tons of studies on bikinis. Yes. Bikinis. The studies showed that men who see a woman wearing a bikini have the same part of their brain light up that is associated with the use of tools and objects. Not emotional parts of the brain. Not even pleasure parts of the brain. The functional part of the brain for the use of objects as tools. So what does that say about how the viewer feels about a woman wearing even less?
Although it was a man who created the bikini, women have embraced the design as a way to liberate themselves from the symbolically—and physically—restrictive bathing suits of the time, to take control of their bodies and what they wear on it. But every upside has a downside. In this video excerpt, designer/actor Jessica Rey discusses a Princeton study that has revealed that when males observe females in bikinis, their brain activity reacts the same way as if they were looking at tools. Literally. As in hammers and screwdrivers.
I visited the Hamilton Wood Type Museum (http://woodtype.org) today. My very first time ever. Which is odd. Because I’ve lived near there practically my whole life. I’ve also been a freelance Graphic Designer for three years and known about it’s existence for almost six years.
Why I had been dragging my feet to visit I can’t say. Maybe it was from burn out. I work a lot. I sleep a lot. I get tired just from waking up in the morning these days. Maybe it was deeper than that. Maybe I was on design burn out. I was visualized out. Design was on the back burner. It wasn’t making me my living. Retail was, and retail was stealing my soul.
I needed a break from retail.
So I decided after work today I was going to go to the museum. That was, after bumming off wifi at McDonald’s, and after responding to a million e-mails, and after avoiding the phone call from a coworker to come in to close in cosmetics.
I made it though. Just before closing. Browsed through. Bought a bunch of cool stuff (to show my support for local economy as well as the cause). I loved it. I asked to volunteer there.
What I love about this place is not only its historical significance as a home for industrial revolution artifacts. Not only its importance to graphic design. Not only its awesome industrial space. It is predominately the fact that those same pieces of type from so long ago…are still being used, held, catalogued, and still have so much life left to offer.
They are barely alive though.
The problem is the lack of demand keeping those little wood letters alive. Letter press is a dying art, and though it is somewhat reviving with Indy culture bring it to closer to the forefront of popular culture, it isn’t enough.
What is dying even more is the ability to make wood type. When the Hamilton Company closed its doors, many of the individuals who carved the wood pieces for the letter presses were replaced by machines and computers. As technology improved, those mysterious artists began to die off, and the artistry they conducted (though they would humbly/ignorantly call it a “job”) ended up dying with them.
The museum survives. With sales from their humble gift shop (http://woodtype.org/store) and the help of the Historical Society of Two Rivers keeping it alive through ice cream sales from the local watering hole The Washington House (a community museum made from one of the oldest buildings in town, and the “home of the ice cream sundae”).
The sometimes sad, hopeful, and simple tale of the Hamilton Wood Type Museum can be heard in the film “Type Face” by Justine Nagan (winner of the Best Documentary in the 2009 Flyway Film Festival). If you wish to help keep this beautiful and under appreciated art form alive, feel free to donate to the Hamilton Wood Type Museum (http://woodtype.org/support). Or better yet, sign up for a class (http://woodtype.org/learn) and visit sometime.