You helped a kid grow up into the wonderful girl who thanked you kindly and put you in a box in my garage while she traveled the world and made money doing back-flips until one day she took you out and gave you to a new kid who loves you just the same, but also different than you thought.
I want to care and be a team player – I really do. But you’re three years too late. I don’t want to do this anymore; I can’t do this anymore; and soon enough I’ll have to put an end to it. It puzzles me deeply and sours my life.
There’s comfort in a full moon. It’s hard not to sound over-sentimental about them, but with the days as they are, it’s nice to have a nightlight.
Take any job, when it’s offered, if you desperately need it, but please, for G-d’s sake, don’t work here. Fake commerce, behind stolen capital, just a weird group of assholes rifling off LLCs, and never making a buck. Look anywhere else.
A year since your wedding and you’re moving, and we’re producing life, and everything is terrible, and how weird it is being years apart from those choir kids in a coffee shop.
I need your new address, thanks.
Okay, so. Look. I don’t know how to roughhouse, or shit-talk, or take a kick to the shins after a close loss; I never got the training. My brother and I did not play; we said nothing, for as long as possible, floating past each other’s bedroom doors until we had something good enough to fight about. The chairs thrown and righted; verbal abuses swept deep into the back; and a quiet stalemate would resume in the morning. Nothing changed.
I will not play football with you, I’m sorry. I don’t like being touched.
This place is weird. You can touch things with your hands. Hear my voice when I’m calling your name. Eat with us, taste foods, nourishing your body. Smell heat, timing, and preparation make it just right. Sit down, see what the future holds, but don’t blink until the final credits. You can come here and spend time or leave for a while, but hometowns sneak up in you.
Yeah, it’s really fucking weird.
A little later, I always know I’ve fucked up. Recently, playing board games, I kept asking for M. to explain a game mechanic instead of asking both of you, collectively. You’ve always been collective board game explainers. We’ve never “gotten along“, so I jump to Player 2. We’re not enemies, we have an understanding of sorts. We shouldn’t share a kitchen and that’s enough said. You intimidate me in a way that feels so targeted against me. It’s like seeing how I could have turned out had I had more friends.
I want to be a little more kind and thoughtful and buy Christmas gifts for family, months ahead of time.
I wish the world would give us a chance because I think we could both use a lucky break.
In the original office at the bottom of the hill, I lined random junk on the ledge by my desk with Pittsburgh memories. A box of salt and corn nuts from a punk band playing in a basement in Oakland. A small rock, stolen from my boss’ desk at my first shitty job after college. A handwritten card from Danielle’s kid. A toy pegasus, but also a unicorn. No clue where that one came from.
Then we moved into the office at the top of the hill. I really wanted my own space. I’d never had an office and it sounded so nice to get away from everyone; a little quiet for once, I told myself.
I built myself a nest. A dark, lightless nest of an office with no desk-space and decreasing number of knick knacks. First they didn’t fit on my desk, then in my drawers, and then I started passing them out to everyone in the office to get them out of my life.
I had so much space in my nest, but no space for myself. It wasn’t long before I got the MacBook, packed up, and moved away.
I hope you still like your knick-knacks,