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The Captain
01 February 2014 @ 01:04 pm
Happy New Year!

It has been a year of clarity thus far. Twelve days of clarity and becoming. Travel will do that to me, and reading good books too. Today I walked and biked. Yesterday I ate and was flattered.

Music is good in the winter. Sometimes I think every thing I've felt has been written into a song sometime before the 21st century began.

In this case the Talking Heads are at it again.
"I'm just an animal looking for a home
Share the same space for a minute or two
And you love me till my heart stops
Love me till I'm dead"
The Captain
30 November 2013 @ 05:28 pm
In my sweater the color of kitchen twine you cannot unravel me.
Each night I sleep the same sleep.
With different images of animals in each dream.

I drive the road to your house, as I have done many nights, with the same cold hands tense on the wheel. I have gone on many roads to the homes of many I have loved. This highway is different, because no other path to a love's house was one I also travelled as a child. How we all lean into the night.
The Captain
28 November 2013 @ 09:49 pm
The stars are coldly bright, the long dead grass glitters like a prom dress. My breath streams out like an expectant horse. The moon has shrunk from a great juicy orange slice to a darkening sliver.

Two nights past I was walked to my doorstep for the first time in my life. Orion was low in the west, just over the rooftop, too drunk to stand. I fell asleep at four, curled around a sleeping cat. We woke together, still pieced together like a hickory in a shell.

I've thought it upwards of a thousand times, it is all I know how to sing, "How strange it is to be anything at all."
The Captain
I see you over there, Milwaukee, glittering in the distance. Over five miles of rooftops and potholed streets I see downtown rising up, white and orange against this Klein blue November sky. Funny how all downtowns seem like the heart of the city, but they're not. The heart of the city is the river, it is the neighborhood you walk through every day. It is the overhang where you sheltered from a rainstorm, the bus stop where you danced, the brick wall you leaned against while making out with someone. It is the houses of your friends.

I see you out there, glittering, glistening, glistering!
The Captain
29 October 2013 @ 06:40 pm
Things I probably shouldn't have done this weekend:

- that second shot of tequila
- made out with the guy dressed as a dinosaur
- stayed up til 5 am (or was it later?) talking with a new friend who I think has a crush on me
- not tell him that I'm not attracted to him and just want to be friends
- worn a shirt that allowed him to notice the dinosaur-related hickey I didn't know I had
- only sleep for 4 hours on Friday night, and not nap on Saturday
- bike 8 miles in the cold
- blown off my parents invitation to visit because it was inconvenient and too insistent
- ate macaroni and cheese
- contracted this terrible cold

Things I am glad I did this weekend:
- talked to lots of cool people at our halloween party
- followed up with many of them the next day because I want to be better friends with them
- made out with the pantry guy dressed as a dinosaur and not getting caught
- hung out with Mike and his friend rather than napping
- costume canoe ride on Sunday!
- bought new bike tires
- took two long walks, one alone and one with friends
The Captain
16 October 2013 @ 07:48 pm
I'm inconsolably nostalgic. Which is perhaps another way to say homesick.

Also my trigger finger hurts. I still wish I were chainsawing all day, because then I didn't have time to think.

The days are closing out! I feel it in my bones and my migratory heart.
The Captain
05 October 2013 @ 11:52 pm
Is deliberate recklessness really that reckless? Is choosing to be irresponsible worse than doing it by accident? Is ignoring problems worse than letting them become overpowering?

Sometimes I'm secretive because I don't know what I'm doing. Sometimes I'm sneaky because I know all too well.
The Captain
"I wore your thermal shirt to bed to keep your skin against my skin" sings Brian Whitson. I love wearing other people's clothes, it is such a lovely intimacy even if its not any specific type of intimacy. It is mostly like a hug, a really nostalgic hug.
I really crave human contact these days. All contact. High-fives are my most frequent touch, and having 5 year olds hold my hand. Every day Simon the cat snuggles with me at 6 am and again at 4 pm. He lays out his whole body along my torso and purrs purrs purrs warmly. And I don't ever want to stand up. That is how fall should be.

Last week at this time I was sitting just where I am now, looking at the weather radar. A big red heap was coming toward the city, and I had just had my plans of canoeing cancelled, but decided to still get together with a friend for drinks. I left home at 7 pm and already the sky to the west was dark, the storm coming. I saw lightning in the distance, maybe two miles away. But I decided I would make it. I pounded down the street as fast as I ever have, panting and grinning, dodging every pothole, hitting every green light. The dark line of clouds was behind my shoulder, the breeze was at my back. As I pedalled, the dark line inched forward until it was level with me. I knew I was going to make it. A few drops of rain fell down, and some women walking down the sidewalk screamed as the water hit their warm skin. I turned north for a few blocks, and then east again. Ahead of me, the sky was a deep sunset blue, and the giant harvest moon was directly ahead of me. It was huge and pink-orange like a peachy pale piece of amber. I aimed myself, as always, straight at it. The rain fell but I didn't feel it. After a mile I stopped at a red light, and saw the moon swallowed by dark strands of cloud. A huge cold gust blew up along with a sudden pounding rain. I balked and broke, and dragged my bike into a bus shelter. The moon was gone. I called the friend I was meeting and he asked if I needed rescue, which I admitted to needing.

"I could have just picked you up, goofball" he said.

I should have said "I'm too fiercely independent for that" but instead I said, "I had a hell of a ride!" because how often do you get to race a storm across town?
The Captain
08 September 2013 @ 05:30 pm
September comes with new moon dreams, rain clouds, lightning over the lake, alternating days of chill and blazing heat.

Today I wrote to a friend, "Change is mourning and excitement, loss and comfort, opportunity and nostalgia. It is the only constant, after all."

After four years of a mostly-secret, on-n-off again lover, he has called it quits. Not for the first time, but I think for the last. My stomach flip-flopped when I read the words, and I accepted it calmly. Unsurprised. But I am terrified of being without his emotional support. That was certainly not tied to the other part of our relationship, but I fear that in parting the strands some might get too tangled and need to be cut. I really truly depend on his loving friendship, especially now when things are so uncertain in my life. But change is inevitable. We have to mourn and move along. Prairies must be burned to bloom.

Every day the chairs on the porch are rearranged.
Still we sit in them. Put our feet on the railing. Watch the leaves shake and the clouds scatter. Drink our coffee. Listen to the katydids.

Last night I learned to hula hoop in a dark field. I was called an encyclopedia of knowledge. I called a stranger on a series of sexist comments. I rested my head on the shoulder of a boy I like, and he put his arm around me. But I saw too the steadiness of his gaze (oh how I know the subtle intensity of a look like that, like a plant toward an open window) for another woman. Everything is so goddamn simple, when it comes down to it.

I have cast my net, ok. There are tugs on the line: a sardonic suspenders-wearing anarchist who hugged me with his one unbroken arm. A serious-looking bike mechanic. A ridiculous new coworker. Nothing is what it was, but everything must, of force, be brand new.
The Captain
Mike ran after, howling, as I skipped down a woody path. When we met up we started galloping, pretending we were on horses. We spurred them on with invisible reins, kicked their sides, shouted at them when they nipped each other or started grazing on grass.

Later one of our coworkers said he had been walking down the path behind some bushes, and had seen the whole thing, and that it was incredible.