Simple Truths

Like many people, I grew up with an eye for romance. I wanted to be whisked off my feet; not literally, like in an avalanche or tsunami, or by being run over by a bus – but rather in the poetic sense. But isn’t it funny that the older you get, the more you realize that no matter the method, being whisked off your feet is still not only scary, but detrimental?

I dreamed of hills and overpasses last night, and highways that pass by sleepy, forgotten hamlets. I walked a bicycle up a hill. I was late in going somewhere, I know not where.

Maybe a week ago, the night after the night I dreamt about the black dog, I encountered its real-life counterpart just down the street from my house. This black dog was also huge, and scared me at first, but she was so friendly. Her eyes were full of such love that I couldn’t help but feel overjoyed as I petted her. When she and her owner walked away, I almost cried; I felt instantly bereft. I hope to meet her again.

Someone with speakers on their bicycle just rode by my house. Through the open living room window I could hear those speakers playing a song off of Tricky’s “Maxinquaye” album, which my college roommate played every night to fall asleep. It still makes me deliciously sleepy.

I’m growing my hair out. To grow out a pixie cut properly, it’s best to have a stylist shape the way your hair is going to grow. I decided to go to a new salon just down the street from my house. The stylist gave me what she called a “men’s cut” – anything above the chin – and I was charged accordingly. That’s never happened before, no matter the length of my hair, no matter the salon, no matter how short my hair has been. Even when I shaved it off last year, I paid for a “women’s cut,” which is more expensive than a “men’s cut” by very definition. I have always gotten a little upset at getting charged double what a man pays, especially for the same hairdo, but I always swallowed the anger. What good would complaining do, I thought. Today I saved $35 on a haircut. In terms of what I’ve traditionally paid for the last 10 years, you could say that today I basically got a BOGO deal. The next time I go back, I’m going to ask the salon to consider removing gender from their descriptions, since the real determination is made on length.

The other day, I took a detour on my way home and walked down a little wooded path in the middle of the Esplanade Avenue neutral ground. As my feet left the pavement and joined back up with the dirt and gravel on this tiny stretch, I felt a tickle of energy pass from earth to toes. For a moment, I felt at one with God, there in the middle of a busy New Orleans street. It was fleeting, but fine.

I found a new ghost story podcast on Spotify this morning.

Once, I told Duncan Sheik to his face that his music put me to sleep. Not my finest moment; it was meant to be a compliment. Oops.

I miss people, but not the people you probably think I miss. 

I once waltzed with a German at a bar called the Casablanca. Another time, I drank wine with a Canadian in Paris; we watched the Eiffel Tower sparkle like a promise. I kissed a Brazilian in Austin, cuddled with a Costa Rican in Memphis, was propositioned by an Algerian in Nice, and once, in a fit of pique, I smushed a dollop of blue cake icing into an Ecuadorian’s ear. Sometimes I see a particular dead Italian walking towards me down the street. My love life is a travelogue. How does it happen? I’m not even that outgoing.

When the hypnotist says to picture a “beautiful place,” I think of how it felt to fall asleep in the same room as my pilgrim friends.

I find myself wondering what it is that people live for, what keeps them going. I find solace in my cats, and dream of getting my own tiny prickly pear cactus.

My apartment is feeling cramped, and Charlie keeps destroying the toilet paper.

It’s up to you to figure out who Charlie might be.

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